Translated by Geshe Michael Roach
Every system of personal development in the world recommends giving as an important strategy for happiness, both personal and global.
Over two thousand years ago, the Buddha challenged his disciples with the question: “Is there any difference, though, between giving and sharing?” That is the question answered by this ancient teaching, which we have entitled The Art of Sharing.
The teaching is based on the true story of King Shri Sena, who was asked not just to give, but to share everything he possessed—including his very life. The entire account explores deep ethical issues that every spiritually-minded person eventually needs to face; and so the story is, truly, timeless, and relevant to us all.
Inevitably, we are struck by how closely the conversation here reflects the same issues treated in many traditions, such as with the crucifixion of Christ.
We have translated this sutra from the ancient Tibetan, as found in the Kangyur Collection of teachings by the Enlightened One.