ReadingFaithfully.org icon Facebook icon Reddit icon Tumblr icon Mastodon icon RSS icon

AN 5.181 Āraññikasutta: Wilderness Dwellers

“Mendicants, there are these five kinds of wilderness dwellers. What five? A person may be wilderness dweller because of stupidity and folly. Or because of wicked desires, being naturally full of desires. Or because of madness and mental disorder. Or because it is praised by the Buddhas and their disciples. Or for the sake of having few wishes, for the sake of contentment, self-effacement, seclusion, and simplicity. These are the five kinds of wilderness dwellers. But the person who dwells in the wilderness for the sake of having few wishes is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the five.

From a cow comes milk, from milk comes curds, from curds come butter, from butter comes ghee, and from ghee comes cream of ghee. And the cream of ghee is said to be the best of these. In the same way, the person who dwells in the wilderness for the sake of having few wishes is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the five.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.181 Āraññikasutta: Wilderness Dwellers by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 4.95 Chavālātasutta: A Firebrand

“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

  1. One who practices to benefit neither themselves nor others;
  2. one who practices to benefit others, but not themselves;
  3. one who practices to benefit themselves, but not others; and
  4. one who practices to benefit both themselves and others.

Suppose there was a firebrand for lighting a funeral pyre, burning at both ends, and smeared with dung in the middle. It couldn’t be used as timber either in the village or the wilderness. The person who practices to benefit neither themselves nor others is like this, I say.

The person who practices to benefit others, but not themselves, is better than that. The person who practices to benefit themselves, but not others, is better than both of those. But the person who practices to benefit both themselves and others is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the four.

From a cow comes milk, from milk comes curds, from curds come butter, from butter comes ghee, and from ghee comes cream of ghee. And the cream of ghee is said to be the best of these. In the same way, the person who practices to benefit both themselves and others is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the four.

These are the four people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.95 Chavālātasutta: A Firebrand by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

“Bhikkhus, in three cases one may be understood to have faith and confidence. What three? When one desires to see those of virtuous behavior; when one desires to hear the good Dhamma; and when one dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. In these three cases, one may be understood to have faith and confidence.”

One who desires to see the virtuous ones,
who wishes to hear the good Dhamma,
who has removed the stain of miserliness,
is called a person endowed with faith.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

SN 3.2 Purisasutta: A Person

At Sāvatthī.

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha, “Sir, how many things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort?”

“Great king, three things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort. What three? Greed, hate, and delusion. These three things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort.”

That is what the Buddha said. …

“When greed, hate, and delusion,
have arisen inside oneself,
they harm a person of wicked heart,
as a reed is destroyed by its own fruit.”


Read this translation of SN 3.2 Purisasutta: A Person by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.51 Āvaraṇasutta: Obstacles

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, there are these five obstructions, hindrances, encumbrances of the mind, states that weaken wisdom. What five?

(1) Sensual desire is an obstruction, a hindrance, an encumbrance of the mind, a state that weakens wisdom.
(2) Ill will …
(3) Dullness and drowsiness …
(4) Restlessness and remorse …
(5) Doubt is an obstruction, a hindrance, an encumbrance of the mind, a state that weakens wisdom.

These are the five obstructions, hindrances, encumbrances of the mind, states that weaken wisdom.

“Bhikkhus, without having abandoned these five obstructions, hindrances, encumbrances of the mind, states that weaken wisdom, it is impossible that a bhikkhu, with his powerless and feeble wisdom, might know his own good, the good of others, or the good of both, or realize a superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Suppose a river were flowing down from a mountain, traveling a long distance, with a swift current, carrying along much flotsam. Then, on both of its banks, a man would open irrigation channels. In such a case, the current in the middle of the river would be dispersed, spread out, and divided, so that the river would no longer travel a long distance, with a swift current, carrying along much flotsam. So too, without having abandoned these five obstructions … it is impossible that a bhikkhu … might realize a superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones.

“But, bhikkhus, having abandoned these five obstructions, hindrances, encumbrances of the mind, states that weaken wisdom, it is possible that a bhikkhu, with his powerful wisdom, might know his own good, the good of others, and the good of both, and realize a superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Suppose a river were flowing down from a mountain, traveling a long distance, with a swift current, carrying along much flotsam. Then a man would close up the irrigation channels on both of its banks. In such a case, the current in the middle of the river would not be dispersed, spread out, and divided, so that the river could travel a long distance, with a swift current, carrying along much flotsam. So too, having abandoned these five obstructions … it is possible that a bhikkhu … might realize a superhuman distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.51 Āvaraṇasutta: Obstacles by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Thag 3.8 Vassikattheragāthā: Vassika

I was the only one in my family
who had faith and wisdom.
It’s good for my relatives that I’m
firm in principle, and ethical.

I corrected my family out of compassion,
telling them off out of love
for my family and relatives.
They performed a service for the monks

and then they passed away,
finding happiness in the heaven of the Thirty-three.
There, my brothers and mother
enjoy all the pleasures they desire.


Read this translation of Theragāthā 3.8 Vassikattheragāthā: Vassika by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

SN 7.1 Dhanañjānī Sutta: Husband of Dhanañjānī

This is as I heard. At one time, the Buddha was living in the city of Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Garden, in the squirrels’ feeding ground.

Now at that time, there was a person named Bhāradvāja of the brahmin caste. His wife was named Dhanañjānī and was devoted to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha. Once, while she was bringing her husband his meal, she tripped and remembered the Buddha, saying three times:

“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!
“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!
“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!”

When she said this, her husband said, “Are you crazy? Wretched woman, while living in my house, are you praising that bald headed monk? You know what? I’m going to go right now and argue against your master’s teaching!”

“Dear husband, I don’t see anyone in this world with its gods, Māras, Brahmās, monks, and humans who can argue against the teaching of the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the fully enlightened Buddha. But anyway, you can go and see for yourself.”

Then Bhāradvāja, angry and upset, went to the Buddha and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side, and asked the Buddha in verse:

“What should you kill to sleep at ease?
What should you kill so that there is no sadness?
What is the one thing whose killing you approve?”

The Buddha:

“When anger is killed, you sleep at ease.
When anger is killed, there is no sadness.
Bhāradvāja, anger has a poisonous root
and a sweet tip.
The noble ones praise the killing of anger,
for when it is killed, there is no sadness.”

When the Buddha taught this Dhamma, Bhāradvāja said to him, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! Just as if someone turned upright, what was upside down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to whoever was lost, or lit a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes could see what’s there, Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma, which is clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. Bhante, may I become a monk under you?”

And he became a monk under the Buddha. Not long after his ordination, Bhante Bhāradvāja, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, passionate, and firm, soon realized the supreme goal of the spiritual path in this very life. He achieved with his own wisdom the goal for which a son would leave the lay life to become a monk.

He realized: “Rebirth has ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. What had to be done to end suffering has been done. There will be no rebirth.” Therefore, Bhante Bhāradvāja became one of the enlightened monks.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.1 Dhanañjānī Sutta: Husband of Dhanañjānī by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

Iti 71 Sammādiṭṭhikasutta: Having Right View

This was said by the Buddha, the Perfected One: that is what I heard.

“Mendicants, I’ve seen beings who engaged in good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not abuse the noble ones, who held right view and acted accordingly. At the breaking up of the body, after death, they were reborn in a good destination, a heaven world.

Now, I don’t say this because I’ve heard it from some other ascetic or brahmin. I only say it because I’ve known, seen, and realized it for myself.”

That is what the Buddha said. On this it is said:

“When the mind has been directed right,
and words rightly spoken,
and right bodily deeds have been done,
a person here

learned, doer of good deeds,
though their life may be short,
when their body breaks up,
that wise person is reborn in heaven.”

This too is a matter that was spoken by the Blessed One: that is what I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 71 Sammādiṭṭhikasutta: Having Right View by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Thig 6.1 Pañcasatamattā­therīgāthā: Paṭācārā, Who Had a Following of Five Hundred

“One whose path you do not know,
not whence they came nor where they went;
though they came from who knows where,
you mourn that being, crying, ‘Oh my son!’

But one whose path you do know,
whence they came or where they went;
that one you do not lament—
such is the nature of living creatures.

Unasked he came,
he left without leave.
He must have come from somewhere,
and stayed who knows how many days.
He left from here by one road,
he will go from there by another.

Departing with the form of a human,
he will go on transmigrating.
As he came, so he went:
why cry over that?”

“Oh! For you have plucked the arrow from me,
so hard to see, stuck in the heart.
You’ve swept away the grief for my son,
in which I once was mired.

Today I’ve plucked the arrow,
I’m hungerless, extinguished.
I go for refuge to that sage, the Buddha,
to his teaching, and to the Sangha.”

That is how Paṭācārā, who had a following of five hundred, declared her enlightenment.


Read Thig 6.1 Pañcasatamattātherīgāthā: Paṭācārā, Who Had a Following of Five Hundred translated by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then Princess Sumanā, accompanied by five hundred chariots and five hundred court girls, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. Princess Sumanā then said to the Blessed One:

“Here, Bhante, there might be two disciples of the Blessed One equal in faith, virtuous behavior, and wisdom, but one is generous while the other is not. With the breakup of the body, after death, they would both be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. When they have become devas, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in five ways: in celestial life span, celestial beauty, celestial happiness, celestial glory, and celestial authority. The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two pass away from there and again become human beings, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in five ways: in human life span, human beauty, human happiness, human fame, and human authority. When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two should go forth from the household life into homelessness, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in five ways. 1) He would usually use a robe that has been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 2) He would usually eat almsfood that has been specifically offered to him, seldom almsfood that had not been specifically offered to him. 3) He would usually use a lodging that had been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 4) He would usually use medicines and provisions for the sick that had been specifically offered to him, seldom those that had not been specifically offered to him. 5) His fellow monastics, those with whom he dwells, would usually behave toward him in agreeable ways by bodily, verbal, and mental action, seldom in disagreeable ways. They would usually present him what is agreeable, seldom what is disagreeable. The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

But, Bhante, if both attain arahantship, would there still be some distinction or difference between them after they have attained arahantship?”

“In this case, Sumanā, I declare, there would be no difference between the liberation of one and the liberation of the other.”

“It’s astounding and amazing, Bhante! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

“So it is, Sumanā! So it is, Sumanā! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“As the stainless moon
moving through the sphere of space
outshines with its radiance
all the stars in the world,
so one accomplished in virtuous behavior,
a person endowed with faith,
outshines by generosity
all the misers in the world.

“As the hundred-peaked rain cloud,
thundering, wreathed in lightning,
pours down rain upon the earth,
inundating the plains and lowlands,
so the Perfectly Enlightened One’s disciple,
the wise one accomplished in vision,
surpasses the miserly person
in five specific respects:
life span and glory,
beauty and happiness.
Possessed of wealth, after death
he rejoices in heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

SN 22.5 Samādhisutta: Concentration

Thus have I heard. At Savatthi…. There the Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, develop concentration. A bhikkhu who is concentrated understands things as they really are.

“And what does he understand as it really is? The origin and passing away of form; the origin and passing away of feeling; the origin and passing away of perception; the origin and passing away of volitional formations; the origin and passing away of consciousness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the origin of form? What is the origin of feeling? What is the origin of perception? What is the origin of volitional formations? What is the origin of consciousness?

“Here, bhikkhus, one seeks delight, one welcomes, one remains holding. And what is it that one seeks delight in, what does one welcome, to what does one remain holding? One seeks delight in form, welcomes it, and remains holding to it.

  • As a consequence of this, delight arises.
  • Delight in form is clinging.
  • With one’s clinging as condition, existence comes to be;
  • with existence as condition, birth;
  • with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be.
  • Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“One seeks delight in feeling … in perception … in volitional formations … in consciousness, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight arises…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“This, bhikkhus, is the origin of form; this is the origin of feeling; this is the origin of perception; this is the origin of volitional formations; this is the origin of consciousness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the passing away of form? What is the passing away of feeling? What is the passing away of perception? What is the passing away of volitional formations? What is the passing away of consciousness?

“Here, bhikkhus, one does not seek delight, one does not welcome, one does not remain holding. And what is it that one does not seek delight in? What doesn’t one welcome? To what doesn’t one remain holding? One does not seek delight in form, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in form ceases. With the cessation of delight comes cessation of clinging; with cessation of clinging, cessation of existence…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“One does not seek delight in feeling … … in perception … in volitional formations … in consciousness, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in consciousness ceases…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“This, bhikkhus, is the passing away of form; this is the passing away of feeling; this is the passing away of perception; this is the passing away of volitional formations; this is the passing away of consciousness.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 22.5 Samādhisutta: Concentration by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on PaliAudio.com, or SC-Voice.net.

Snp 1.1 Uragasutta: The Snake

When anger surges, they drive it out, as with medicine a snake’s spreading venom. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They’ve cut off greed entirely, like a lotus plucked flower and stalk. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They’ve cut off craving entirely, drying up that swift-flowing stream. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They’ve swept away conceit entirely, as a fragile bridge of reeds by a great flood. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

In future lives they find no substance, as an inspector of fig trees finds no flower. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They hide no anger within, gone beyond any kind of existence. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

Their mental vibrations are cleared away, internally clipped off entirely. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, but have gone beyond all this proliferation. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, for they know that nothing in the world is what it seems. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, knowing nothing is what it seems, free of greed. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, knowing nothing is what it seems, free of lust. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, knowing nothing is what it seems, free of hate. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have not run too far nor run back, knowing nothing is what it seems, free of delusion. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have no underlying tendencies at all, and are rid of unskillful roots, Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have nothing born of distress at all, that might cause them to come back to this world. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They have nothing born of entanglement at all, that would shackle them to a new life. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.

They’ve given up the five hindrances, untroubled, rid of doubt, free of thorns. Such a mendicant sheds this world and the next, as a snake its old worn-out skin.


Read this translation of Snp 1.1 Uragasutta: The Snake by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Pv 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant

Monk:
The deva leading the gods is riding a white elephant. There is a deva in the middle of the line sitting on a chariot. At the end of the line, a female deva travels on a golden stage which shines brightly in ten directions. But you ghosts are carrying hammers in your hands with sad faces and broken bodies. You also drink each other’s blood. What bad karma have you done in the human world?

Ghost:
The one in the middle, sitting on a chariot was our second son. He was unselfish and very generous. He now shines brilliantly.

The female deva with soft eyes like a deer’s who is at the end, travelling on a golden stage is our youngest daughter. She was wise and donated half of her wealth. She is now happy and delighted.

In the human world, our children gave alms to monks with very pleasant minds. But we were very selfish and insulted monks. Our children are now very happy because they practiced generosity, but we are suffering like withered bamboo reeds.

Monk:
You are suffering today because you missed the opportunity to do good deeds when you had plenty of food and wealth. Now in the ghost world, what kind of food do you eat and what kind of bed do you sleep on? How do you live here?

Ghost:
Some rich people neither use their wealth nor do meritorious deeds. These greedy people are reborn in the ghost world and suffer.

These ghosts experience the results of their bad karma, suffering from hunger and thirst; they are burning from suffering.

Wealth and property are temporary things. Even this life is very short. Wise people should understand this impermanent nature of life and should seek a way to protect themselves.

There are wise people who understand the Dhamma well. Having heard the teachings of Arahants, they do not forget to give alms.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.11 Nāga Sutta: The Elephant by Venerable Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu, Stories of Ghosts, available on SuttaFriends.org.

Iti 29 Sukhavihārasutta: Living in Happiness

This was said by the Buddha, the Perfected One: that is what I heard.

“Mendicants, when a mendicant has two qualities they live happily in the present life—without distress, anguish, and fever—and when the body breaks up, after death, they can expect a good rebirth. What two? Guarding the sense doors and moderation in eating. When a mendicant has these two qualities they live happily in the present life—without distress, anguish, and fever—and when the body breaks up, after death, they can expect a good rebirth.”

That is what the Buddha said. On this it is said:

“Eye, ear, nose, tongue,
body, and likewise mind:
a mendicant who makes these
sense doors well guarded—

eating in moderation,
restrained in the sense faculties—
reaps happiness
both physical and mental.

Not burning in body,
not burning in mind,
by day or by night
such a person lives in happiness.”

This too is a matter that was spoken by the Blessed One: that is what I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 29 Sukhavihārasutta: Living in Happiness by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or DhammaTalks.org.

SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vārāṇasī in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

“There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure in connection with sensuality: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathāgata—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding.

“And what is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding? Precisely this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming—accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there—i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this noble eightfold path—right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended’ … ‘This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the origination of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned’ … ‘This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be realized’ … ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been realized.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed’ … ‘This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.

“And, monks, as long as this—my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this—my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: ‘Unprovoked8 is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas cried out: “Near Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by contemplative or brahman, deva, Māra, or Brahmā, or anyone at all in the cosmos.” On hearing the earth devas’ cry, the Devas of the Four Great Kings took up the cry… the Devas of the Thirty-three… the Devas of the Hours… the Contented Devas… the Devas Delighting in Creation … the Devas [Muses?] Wielding Power over the Creations of Others… the Devas of Brahmā’s Retinue took up the cry: “Near Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by contemplative or brahman, deva, Māra, or Brahmā, or anyone at all in the cosmos.”

So in that moment, that instant, the cry shot right up to the Brahmā worlds. And this ten-thousand-fold cosmos shivered & quivered & quaked, while a great, measureless radiance appeared in the cosmos, surpassing the effulgence of the deities.

Then the Blessed One exclaimed: “So you really know, Kondañña? So you really know?” And that is how Ven. Kondañña acquired the name Añña-Kondañña—Kondañña who knows.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

MN 108 From Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Gopaka Moggallāna—No Single Bhikkhu

…Then the brahmin Vassakāra, the minister of Magadha, having delighted and rejoiced in the venerable Ānanda’s words, rose from his seat and departed.

Then, soon after he had left, the brahmin Gopaka Moggallāna said to the venerable Ānanda: “Master Ānanda has not yet answered what we asked him.”

“Did we not tell you, brahmin: ‘There is no single bhikkhu, brahmin, who possesses in each and every way all those qualities that were possessed by the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened. For the Blessed One was the arouser of the unarisen path, the producer of the unproduced path, the declarer of the undeclared path; he was the knower of the path, the finder of the path, the one skilled in the path. But his disciples now abide following that path and become possessed of it afterwards’?”


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 108 Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Gopaka Moggallāna by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

AN 4.33 Sīhasutta: The Lion

“Bhikkhus, in the evening the lion, the king of beasts, comes out from his lair, stretches his body, surveys the four quarters all around, and roars his lion’s roar three times. Then he sets out in search of game.

“Whatever animals hear the lion roaring for the most part are filled with fear, a sense of urgency, and terror. Those who live in holes enter their holes; those who live in the water enter the water; those who live in the woods enter the woods; and the birds resort to the sky. Even those royal bull elephants, bound by strong thongs in the villages, towns, and capital cities, burst and break their bonds asunder; frightened, they urinate and defecate and flee here and there. So powerful among the animals is the lion, the king of beasts, so majestic and mighty.

“So too, bhikkhus, when the Tathāgata arises in the world, an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One, he teaches the Dhamma thus:

1) ‘Such is personal existence,
2) such the origin of personal existence,
3) such the cessation of personal existence,
4) such the way to the cessation of personal existence.’

“When those devas who are long-lived, beautiful, abounding in happiness, dwelling for a long time in lofty palaces, hear the Tathāgata’s teaching of the Dhamma, for the most part they are filled with fear, a sense of urgency, and terror thus: ‘It seems that we are actually impermanent, though we thought ourselves permanent; it seems that we are actually transient, though we thought ourselves everlasting; it seems that we are actually non-eternal, though we thought ourselves eternal. It seems that we are impermanent, transient, non-eternal, included in personal existence.’ So powerful is the Tathāgata, so majestic and mighty is he in this world together with its devas.”

When, through direct knowledge,
the Buddha, the teacher, the peerless person
in this world with its devas,
sets in motion the wheel of Dhamma,
he teaches personal existence, its cessation,
the origin of personal existence,
and the noble eightfold path
that leads to the calming down of suffering.

Then even those devas with long life spans—
beautiful, ablaze with glory—
become fearful and filled with terror,
like beasts who hear the lion’s roar.
“It seems that we are impermanent,
not beyond personal existence,” they say,
when they hear the word of the Arahant,
the Stable One who is fully freed.



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.33 Sīhasutta: The Lion by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Subhadda’s Question

…Now at that time a wanderer named Subhadda was residing near Kusinārā. He heard that on that very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama would become fully extinguished. He thought: “I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty.”

Then Subhadda went to the Mallian sal grove at Upavattana, approached Ānanda, and said to him, “Master Ānanda, I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty. Master Ānanda, please let me see the ascetic Gotama.”

When he had spoken, Ānanda said, “Enough, Reverend Subhadda, do not trouble the Realized One. He is tired.”

For a second time, and a third time, Subhadda asked Ānanda, and a third time Ānanda refused.

The Buddha heard that discussion between Ānanda and Subhadda. He said to Ānanda, “Enough, Ānanda, don’t obstruct Subhadda; let him see the Realized One. For whatever he asks me, he will only be looking for understanding, not trouble. And he will quickly understand any answer I give to his question.”

So Ānanda said to the wanderer Subhadda, “Go, Reverend Subhadda, the Buddha is taking the time for you.”

Then the wanderer Subhadda went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

“Master Gotama, there are those ascetics and brahmins who lead an order and a community, and teach a community. They’re well-known and famous religious founders, regarded as holy by many people. Namely: Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta, Pakudha Kaccāyana, and Ajita Kesakambala. According to their own claims, did all of them have direct knowledge, or none of them, or only some?”

“Enough, Subhadda, let that be. I shall teach you the Dhamma. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” Subhadda replied. The Buddha said this:

“Subhadda, in whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is not found, there is no true ascetic found, no second ascetic, no third ascetic, and no fourth ascetic. In whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found, there is a true ascetic found, a second ascetic, a third ascetic, and a fourth ascetic. In this teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found. Only here is there a true ascetic, here a second ascetic, here a third ascetic, and here a fourth ascetic. Other sects are empty of ascetics.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.

I was twenty-nine years of age, Subaddha,
when I went forth to discover what is skillful.
It’s been over fifty years
since I went forth.
I am the one who points out the proper teaching:
Outside of here there is no true ascetic.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.”

When he had spoken, Subhadda said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, the Buddha has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. Sir, may I receive the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence?”

“Subhadda, if someone formerly ordained in another sect wishes to take the going forth, the ordination in this teaching and training, they must spend four months on probation. When four months have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, they’ll give the going forth, the ordination into monkhood. However, I have recognized individual differences in this matter.”

“Sir, if four months probation are required in such a case, I’ll spend four years on probation. When four years have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, let them give me the going forth, the ordination into monkhood.”

Then the Buddha said to Ānanda, “Well then, Ānanda, give Subhadda the going forth.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied.

Then Subhadda said to Ānanda, “You’re so fortunate, Reverand Ānanda, so very fortunate, to be anointed here in the Teacher’s presence as his pupil!” And the wanderer Subhadda received the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence. Not long after his ordination, Venerable Subhadda, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, keen, and resolute, soon realized the supreme end of the spiritual path in this very life. He lived having achieved with his own insight the goal for which gentlemen rightly go forth from the lay life to homelessness.

He understood: “Rebirth is ended; the spiritual journey has been completed; what had to be done has been done; there is no return to any state of existence.” And Venerable Subhadda became one of the perfected. He was the last personal disciple of the Buddha.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

AN 5.196 Supina Sutta: Dreams

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. Which five?

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this great earth was his great bed. The Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow. His left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the first great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the second great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the third great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fourth great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fifth great dream that appeared to him.

“Now, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and this great earth was his great bed, the Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow, his left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea: this first great dream appeared to let him know that he would awaken to the unexcelled right self-awakening.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky: this second great dream appeared to let him know that when he had awakened to the noble eightfold path, he would proclaim it well as far as there are devas & human beings.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees: this third great dream appeared to let him know that many white-clothed householders would go for life-long refuge to the Tathāgata.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white: this fourth great dream appeared to let him know that people from the four castes—brahmans, noble-warriors, merchants, and laborers—having gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya taught by the Tathāgata, would realize unexcelled release.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement: this fifth great dream appeared to let him know that the Tathāgata would receive gifts of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites to cure the sick, but he would use them unattached to them, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to them), and discerning the escape from them.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, these five great dreams appeared to him.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.196 Supina Sutta. Dreams by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Uruvela on the bank of the river Nerañjara at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Now on that occasion Mara the Evil One had been following the Blessed One for seven years, seeking to gain access to him but without success. Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Is it because you are sunk in sorrow
That you meditate in the woods?
Because you’ve lost wealth or pine for it,
Or committed some crime in the village?
Why don’t you make friends with people?
Why don’t you form any intimate ties?”

The Blessed One:

“Having dug up entirely the root of sorrow,
Guiltless, I meditate free from sorrow.
Having cut off all greedy urge for existence,
I meditate taintless, O kinsman of the negligent!”

Mara:

“That of which they say ‘It’s mine,’
And those who speak in terms of ‘mine’—
If your mind exists among these,
You won’t escape me, ascetic.”

The Blessed One:

“That which they speak of is not mine,
I’m not one of those who speak of mine.
You should know thus, O Evil One:
Even my path you will not see.”

Mara:

“If you have discovered the path,
The secure way leading to the Deathless,
Be off and walk that path alone;
What’s the point of instructing others?”

The Blessed One:

“Those people going to the far shore
Ask what lies beyond Death’s realm.
When asked, I explain to them
The truth without acquisitions.”

Mara: “Suppose, venerable sir, not far from a village or a town there was a lotus pond in which a crab was living. Then a group of boys and girls would leave the village or town and go to the pond. They would pull the crab out from the water and set it down on high ground. Then, whenever that crab would extend one of its claws, those boys and girls would cut it off, break it, and smash it to bits with sticks and stones. Thus, when all its claws have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits, that crab would be unable to return to that pond. So too, venerable sir, all those distortions, manoeuvres, and contortions of mine have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits by the Blessed One. Now, venerable sir, I am unable to approach the Blessed One again seeking to gain access to him.”

Then Mara the Evil One, in the presence of the Blessed One, recited these verses of disappointment:

“There was a crow that walked around
A stone that looked like a lump of fat.
‘Let’s find something tender here,’ he thought,
‘Perhaps there’s something nice and tasty.’

But because he found nothing tasty there,
The crow departed from that spot.
Just like the crow that attacked the stone,
We leave Gotama disappointed.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

Ud 3.10 Lokavolokanasuttaṁ: The Discourse about Looking Around the World

Thus I heard: at one time the Fortunate One was dwelling near Uruvelā, on the bank of the river Nerañjarā, at the root of the Awakening tree, in the first (period) after attaining Awakening.

Then at that time the Fortunate One was sitting in one cross-legged posture for seven days experiencing the happiness of freedom.

Then with the passing of those seven days the Fortunate One, after rising from that concentration, looked around the world with his Buddha-eye. The Fortunate One looking around the world with his Buddha-eye saw beings being tormented with many torments, and being burned with many fevers, born from passion, and born from hatred, and born from delusion.

Then the Fortunate One, having understood the significance of it, on that occasion uttered this exalted utterance:

“This world, overcome by contact, is tormented,
It speaks of a disease as the self,
For with whatever it conceives
Hereafter it becomes otherwise.

Continually becoming other, the world is shackled by continuity, overcome by continuity,

It greatly rejoices in continuity,
What it rejoices in, that is fearful,
What it fears, that is suffering.

This spiritual life is lived for the complete giving up of continuity. For whatever the ascetics or brāhmaṇas say about freedom from continuity being through (further) continuity, all of them are not free from continuity, I say. Or whatever the ascetics or brāhmaṇas say about the escape from continuity being through discontinuity, all of them have not escaped from continuity, I say.

Conditioned by cleaving this suffering originates, through the destruction of all attachment there is no origination of suffering. See this world overcome by many kinds of ignorance beings, who delight in beings, are not free from continuity. Whatever continuities (in existence) there are, everywhere, in every respect, all those continuities are impermanent, suffering, changeable things.

Seeing it like this, as it really is, with right wisdom,
Craving for continuity is given up, and he does not rejoice in discontinuity.

From the complete destruction of craving there is a fading away (of ignorance) without remainder, cessation, and Emancipation.

For that monk who is emancipated,
Without attachment, there is no continuity in existence.
He has vanquished Māra, is victorious in battle,
He is such a one who has overcome all continuations (in existence).”


Read this translation of Ud 3.10 Lokavolokanasuttaṁ: The Discourse about Looking Around the World by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti on DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org.

MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Meeting Upaka

“…Then, bhikkhus, when I had stayed at Uruvelā as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Benares. Between Gayā and the Place of Enlightenment the Ājīvaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: ‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the colour of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess? ’ I replied to the Ājīvaka Upaka in stanzas:

‘I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all,
Unsullied among all things, renouncing all,
By craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all
For myself, to whom should I point as teacher?

I have no teacher, and one like me
Exists nowhere in all the world
With all its gods, because I have
No person for my counterpart.

I am the Accomplished One in the world,
I am the Teacher Supreme.
I alone am a Fully Enlightened One
Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.

I go now to the city of Kāsi
To set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma.
In a world that has become blind
I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.’

‘By your claims, friend, you ought to be the Universal Victor.’
‘The victors are those like me
Who have won to destruction of taints.
I have vanquished all evil states,
Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.’

“When this was said, the Ājīvaka Upaka said: ‘May it be so, friend.’ Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 26 Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

AN 4.127 Paṭhamatathāgataacchariyasutta: Incredible Things About the Realized One (1st)

“Mendicants, with the appearance of a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, four incredible and amazing things appear. What four?

When the being intent on awakening passes away from the host of Joyful Gods, he’s conceived in his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the first incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the being intent on awakening emerges from his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the second incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One understands the supreme perfect awakening. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the third incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One rolls forth the supreme Wheel of Dhamma. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the fourth incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

With the appearance of a Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, these four incredible and amazing things appear.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.127 Paṭhamatathāgataacchariyasutta: Incredible Things About the Realized One (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Dhp 153–154 From… Jarā Vagga: Old Age

153. Through many births, in this journey of misery, I have wandered on and on, searching for the builder of this house of suffering. To be born again and again is indeed suffering!

154. Oh house-builder, you are seen! You will not build a house for me again. All the rafters are broken into pieces and the ridgepole is shattered. My mind has reached the unconditioned. I have attained the destruction of craving.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 11 Jarā Vagga: Old Age (146-156) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Snp 3.11 Nālakasutta: Nālaka the Seer

Asita the seer, in his mid-day meditation,
saw the Group of Thirty—
Sakka the king, and devas dressed in pure white
     exultant, ecstatic—
holding up banners, cheering wildly,
& on seeing the devas so joyful & happy,
having paid his respects, he said:

“Why is the deva community
     so wildly elated?
Why are they holding up banners
& waving them around?
Even after the war with the Asuras
     —when victory was the devas’,
     the Asuras defeated—
even then there was nothing hair-raising like this.
Seeing what marvel
are the devas so joyful?
     They whistle,
     they sing,
     play music,
     clap their hands,
     dance.
So I ask you, who live on Mount Meru’s summit.
Please dispel my doubt quickly, dear sirs.”

“The Bodhisatta, the foremost jewel,
     unequaled,
has been born for welfare & happiness
     in the human world,
in a town in the Sakyan countryside,
     Lumbini.
That’s why we’re contented, so wildly elated.
He, the highest of all beings,
the ultimate person,
a bull among men, highest of all people,
will set turning the Wheel [of Dhamma]
in the forest named after the seers,
like a strong, roaring lion,
the conqueror of beasts.”

Hearing these words,
Asita quickly descended [from heaven]
and went to Suddhodana’s dwelling.
There, taking a seat, he said to the Sakyans:
     “Where is the prince?
     I, too, want to see him.”
The Sakyans then showed
to the seer named Asita
     their son, the prince,
     like gold aglow,
burnished by a most skillful smith
in the mouth of the furnace,
blazing with glory, flawless in color.
On seeing the prince blazing like flame,
pure like the bull of the stars
going across the sky
     —the burning sun,
     released from the clouds of autumn—
he was exultant, filled with abundant rapture.
The devas held in the sky
a many-spoked sunshade
of a thousand circles.
Gold-handled whisks
waved up & down,
but those holding the whisks & the sunshade
     couldn’t be seen.

The coiled-haired seer
named Dark Splendor,
seeing the boy, like an ornament of gold
on the red woolen blanket,
a white sunshade held over his head,
received him, joyful in mind & pleased.
And on receiving the bull of the Sakyans,
longingly, the master of mantras & signs
exclaimed with a confident mind:
     “This one is unsurpassed,
     the highest of the biped race.”

Then, foreseeing his own imminent departure,
he, dejected, shed tears.
On seeing him weeping,
the Sakyans asked:
     “But surely there will be
     no danger for the prince?”
On seeing the Sakyans’ concern
he replied, “I foresee for the prince
     no harm.
Nor will there be any danger for him.
This one’s not insignificant: Be assured.
     This prince will touch
     the ultimate self-awakening.
He, seeing the utmost purity,
will set rolling the Wheel of Dhamma
through sympathy for the welfare of many.
His holy life will spread far & wide.

     But as for me,
my life here has no long remainder.
My death will take place before then.
     I won’t get to hear
the Dhamma of this one with the peerless role.
That’s why I’m stricken,
     afflicted, & pained.”

He, having brought the Sakyans
abundant rapture,
the follower of the holy life
left the inner chamber and,
out of sympathy for his nephew,
urged him on toward the Dhamma
of the one with the peerless role:
“When you hear from another the word,
     ‘Awakened One,’
or ‘Attaining self-awakening,
he lays open the path of the Dhamma,’
go there and, asking him yourself,
     follow the holy life
under that Blessed One.”

Instructed by the one
whose mind was set on his benefit,
          Such,
seeing in the future the utmost purity,
Nālaka, who had laid up a store of merit,
awaited the Victor expectantly,
guarding his senses.
On hearing word of the Victor’s
turning of the foremost wheel,
     he went, he saw
the bull among seers. Confident,
he asked the foremost sage
about the utmost sagacity,
now that Asita’s forecast
had come to pass.

Nālaka:
“Now that I know
Asita’s words to be true,
I ask you, Gotama,
you who have gone
to the beyond of all dhammas.
I’m intent on the homeless life;
I long for the almsround.
Tell me sage, when asked,
the highest state of sagacity.”

The Buddha:
“I’ll teach you
a sagacity          hard to do,
          hard to master.
Come now, I’ll tell you.
Be steadfast. Be firm.
Practice even-mindedness,
for in a village
there’s praise & abuse.
Ward off any flaw in the heart.
Go about calmed & not haughty.
High & low things will come up
like fire-flames in a forest.
Women seduce a sage.
     May they not seduce you.
Abstaining from sexual intercourse,
abandoning various sensual pleasures,
be unopposed, unattached,
to beings moving & still.
     ‘As I am, so are these.
     As are these, so am I.’
Drawing the parallel to
     yourself,
neither kill nor get others to kill.
Abandoning the wants & greed
where people run-of-the-mill are stuck,
     practice with vision,
     cross over this hell.

Stomach not full,
moderate in food,
modest,
not being greedy,
always not hungering for wants:
     One without hunger
     is one who’s unbound.

Having gone on his almsround, the sage
should then go to the forest,
     approaching the root of a tree,
     taking a seat.
The enlightened one, intent on jhāna,
should find delight in the forest,
should practice jhāna at the foot of a tree,
attaining his own satisfaction.
Then, at the end of the night,
he should go to the village,
     not delighting in an invitation
     or gift from the village.
Having gone to the village,
the sage should not go
forcing his way among families.
Cutting off chatter,
he shouldn’t utter a scheming word.
     ‘I got something,
     that’s fine.
     I got nothing,
     that, too, is good.’
Being such with regard to both,
he returns to the very same tree.
Wandering with his bowl in hand
     —not dumb,
     but seemingly dumb—
he shouldn’t despise a piddling gift
nor disparage the giver.
High & low are the practices
proclaimed by the contemplative.
They don’t go twice to the further shore.
This [unbinding] isn’t sensed only once.
In one who has no attachment—
the monk who has cut the stream,
abandoning what is
& isn’t a duty—
     no fever is found.

I’ll teach you
sagacity:Be like a razor’s edge.
Pressing tongue against palate,
     restrain your stomach.
Neither be lazy in mind,
nor have many thoughts.
Be free of raw stench,
     independent,
having the holy life as your aim.
Train in     solitude
          & the contemplative’s task,
     Solitude
     is called
     sagacity.
Alone, you truly delight
     & shine in the ten directions.

On hearing the fame of the enlightened
     —those who practice jhāna,
     relinquishing sensuality—
my disciple should foster
     all the more
     shame & conviction.

Know from the rivers
in clefts & in crevices:
Those in small channels flow
                    noisily,
     the great
     flow silent.

Whatever’s deficient
     makes noise.
Whatever is full
     is quiet.
The fool is like a half-empty pot;
one who is wise, a full lake.

A contemplative who speaks a great deal
     endowed with meaning:
     Knowing, he teaches the Dhamma;
     knowing, he speaks a great deal.
But he who,
     knowing, is restrained,
     knowing, doesn’t speak a great deal:
He is a sage
     worthy of sagehood.
He is a sage,
     his sagehood attained.”


Read this translation of Sn 3.11 Nālaka by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 44.1 From Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom

…Then the Kosalan King Pasenadi approached the nun Khemā, and after approaching and worshipping the nun Khemā, he sat down on one side.

While sitting on one side the Kosalan King Pasenadi said this to the nun Khemā:

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’”

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’”

“‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist after death?”’

‘But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One not exist after death?”’

When there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?”’

‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?” ’

What is the cause, Noble Lady, what is the reason, why does the Fortunate One not answer this?”

“Now then, Great King, here I will ask you something in return, as you see fit, so you should answer.

What do you think, Great King, do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to count the amount of sand in the Ganges, saying: there is this much sand, or there are so many hundreds of grains of sand, or there are so many thousands of grains of sand, or there are so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand?

“Certainly not, Noble Lady.”

“But do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to measure the water in the great ocean, saying: there are this many gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of gallons of water, or there are this many thousands of gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of thousands of gallons of water?”

“Certainly not, Noble Lady. What is the cause of that? Great is the ocean, Noble Lady, deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom.”

“Just so, Great King, through knowing whatever bodily form a Realised One can be known by, that form the Realised One has abandoned, cut off at the root, made a palm stump, made unviable, so that by nature it is unable to rise again in the future.

The Realised One, Great King, is free from being considered as bodily form, he is deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom, like the great ocean.

‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ does not apply.


Read the complete translation of SN 44.1 Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.

DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation—The Four Places

…“Formerly, reverend Sir, the monks, having dwelt for the Rains Retreat used to come to see the Realised One, and we would receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One. But after the Fortunate One has passed way, reverend Sir, we will not receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One.”

“There are these four places that can be seen, that produce enthusiasm, Ānanda, for a faithful man of good family.

Which four?

  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was completely Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

These are the four places, Ānanda, that are to be seen that produce enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

Faithful monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will come, thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, ‘Here the Realised One was Finally Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, and whoever, Ānanda, will die while on pilgrimage to the Shrines with a confident mind they will all, at the break-up of the body, after death, re-arise in a fortunate destiny, in a heavenly world.”…


Read the entire translation of DN 16 Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.

MN 12 From… Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar—Purification

“…Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through food.’ They say: ‘Let us live on kola-fruits,’ and they eat kola-fruits, they eat kola-fruit powder, they drink kola-fruit water, and they make many kinds of kola-fruit concoctions. Now I recall having eaten a single kola-fruit a day. Sāriputta, you may think that the kola-fruit was bigger at that time, yet you should not regard it so: the kola-fruit was then at most the same size as now. Through feeding on a single kola-fruit a day, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel’s hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roof-less barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like a gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shrivelled and withered as a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I wanted to touch my belly skin I encountered my backbone, and if I wanted to touch my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I wanted to defecate or urinate, I fell over on my face right there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

“Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through food.’ They say: ‘Let us live on beans,’…‘Let us live on sesamum,’…‘Let us live on rice,’ and they eat rice, they eat rice powder, they drink rice water, and they make many kinds of rice concoctions. Now I recall having eaten a single rice grain a day. Sāriputta, you may think that the rice grain was bigger at that time, yet you should not regard it so: the rice grain was then at most the same size as now. Through feeding on a single rice grain a day, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little…the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

Yet, Sāriputta, by such conduct, by such practice, by such performance of austerities, I did not attain any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Why was that? Because I did not attain that noble wisdom which when attained is noble and emancipating and leads the one who practises in accordance with it to the complete destruction of suffering.

“Sāriputta, there are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through the round of rebirths.’ But it is not easy to find a realm in the round that I have not already passed through in this long journey, except for the gods of the Pure Abodes; and had I passed through the round as a god in the Pure Abodes, I would never have returned to this world.

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through some particular kind of rebirth.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of rebirth that I have not been reborn in already in this long journey, except for the gods of the Pure Abodes…

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through some particular abode.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of abode that I have not already dwelt in…except for the gods of the Pure Abodes…

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes about through sacrifice.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of sacrifice that has not already been offered up by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin.

“There are certain recluses and brahmins whose doctrine and view is this: ‘Purification comes through fire-worship.’ But it is not easy to find a kind of fire that has not already been worshipped by me in this long journey, when I was either a head-anointed noble king or a well-to-do brahmin.


Read the complete translation of MN 12 Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Greater Discourse on the Lion’s Roar by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net by Bhikkhu Sujato, Bhikkhu Suddhāso, or on DhammaTalks.org.

MN 85 From… Bodhirājakumārasutta: With Prince Bodhi

…After eating solid food and gathering my strength, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, I entered and remained in the first absorption … second absorption … third absorption … fourth absorption. When my mind had immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward recollection of past lives. I recollected many past lives. That is: one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand rebirths; many eons of the world contracting, many eons of the world expanding, many eons of the world contracting and expanding. And so I recollected my many kinds of past lives, with features and details. This was the first knowledge, which I achieved in the first watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed and knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed and light arose, as happens for a meditator who is diligent, keen, and resolute.

When my mind had immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, I saw sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. I understood how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds.

This was the second knowledge, which I achieved in the middle watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed and knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed and light arose, as happens for a meditator who is diligent, keen, and resolute.

When my mind had immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—I extended it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. I truly understood: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. I truly understood: ‘These are defilements’ … ‘This is the origin of defilements’ … ‘This is the cessation of defilements’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of defilements’.

Knowing and seeing like this, my mind was freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn, and ignorance. When it was freed, I knew it was freed.

I understood: ‘Rebirth is ended; the spiritual journey has been completed; what had to be done has been done; there is no return to any state of existence.’

This was the third knowledge, which I achieved in the last watch of the night. Ignorance was destroyed and knowledge arose; darkness was destroyed and light arose, as happens for a meditator who is diligent, keen, and resolute.


Read the entire translation of MN 85 Bodhirājakumārasutta: With Prince Bodhi by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net.