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AN 10.30 Dutiyakosalasutta: Kosala (2)

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Now on that occasion King Pasenadi of Kosala had returned from the war front, victorious in battle, his purpose having been achieved. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala set out for the park. He went by carriage as far as the ground was suitable for a carriage, and then he dismounted from his carriage and entered the park on foot. Now on that occasion a number of bhikkhus were walking back and forth in the open air. Then King Pasenadi of Kosala approached those bhikkhus and asked them:

“Bhante, where is the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One now dwelling? For I wish to see the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One.”

“Great king, that is his dwelling with the closed door. Approach it quietly. Without hurrying, enter the porch, clear your throat, and tap on the bolt. The Blessed One will open the door for you.”

Then, King Pasenadi of Kosala went quietly up to the dwelling with the closed door. Without hurrying, he entered the porch, cleared his throat, and tapped on the bolt. The Blessed One opened the door.

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala entered the dwelling, prostrated himself with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, and covered the Blessed One’s feet with kisses and caressed them with his hands, pronouncing his name: “Bhante, I am King Pasenadi of Kosala! Bhante, I am King Pasenadi of Kosala!”

“But, great king, what reasons do you have for showing such supreme honor to this body and displaying such an offering of loving-kindness?”

“Bhante, it is out of my gratitude and thankfulness that I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One and display such an offering of loving-kindness to him.

(1) “For, Bhante, the Blessed One is practicing for the welfare of many people, for the happiness of many people; he has established many people in the noble method, that is, in the way of the good Dhamma, in the way of the wholesome Dhamma. This is one reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One and display such an offering of loving-kindness to him.

(2) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One is virtuous, of mature behavior, of noble behavior, of wholesome behavior, possessing wholesome behavior. This is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(3) “Again, Bhante, for a long time the Blessed One has been a forest-dweller who resorts to remote lodgings in forests and jungle groves. Since that is so, this is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(4) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One is content with any kind of robe, almsfood, lodging, and medicines and provisions for the sick. This is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(5) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of reverential salutation, an unsurpassed field of merit for the world. This is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(6) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One gets to hear at will, without trouble or difficulty, talk concerned with the austere life that leads to the elimination of defilements, that is conducive to opening up the heart, that is, talk on fewness of desires, on contentment, on solitude, on not getting bound up with others, on arousing energy, on virtuous behavior, on concentration, on wisdom, on liberation, on the knowledge and vision of liberation. This is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(7) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One gains at will, without trouble or difficulty, the four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life. This is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(8) “Again, Bhante, the Blessed One recollects his manifold past abodes, that is, one birth, two births, three births, four births, five births, ten births, twenty births, thirty births, forty births, fifty births, a hundred births, a thousand births, a hundred thousand births, many eons of world-dissolution, many eons of world-evolution, many eons of world-dissolution and world-evolution thus: ‘There I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life span; passing away from there, I was reborn elsewhere, and there too I was so named, of such a clan, with such an appearance, such was my food, such my experience of pleasure and pain, such my life span; passing away from there, I was reborn here.’ Thus he recollects his manifold past abodes with their aspects and details. Since that is so, this is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(9) “Again, Bhante, with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, the Blessed One sees beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings fare in accordance with their kamma thus: ‘These beings who engaged in misconduct by body, speech, and mind, who reviled the noble ones, held wrong view, and undertook kamma based on wrong view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; but these beings who engaged in good conduct by body, speech, and mind, who did not revile the noble ones, who held right view, and undertook kamma based on right view, with the breakup of the body, after death, have been reborn in a good destination, in the heavenly world.’ Thus with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, he sees beings passing away and being reborn, inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and he understands how beings fare in accordance with their kamma. Since that is so, this is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One….

(10) “Again, Bhante, with the destruction of the taints, the Blessed One has realized for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life, the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, and having entered upon it, he dwells in it. Since that is so, this is another reason I show such supreme honor toward the Blessed One and display such an offering of loving-kindness to him.

“And now, Bhante, we must be going. We are busy and have much to do.”

“You may go, great king, at your own convenience.”

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala rose from his seat, paid homage to the Blessed One, circumambulated him keeping the right side toward him, and departed.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.30 Dutiyakosalasutta: Kosala (2) by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.24 Kāḷakārāmasutta: At Kāḷaka’s Monastery

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāketa, in Kāḷaka’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“In this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans—whatever is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, and explored by the mind: that I know.

In this world—with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans—whatever is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, and explored by the mind: that I have insight into. That has been known by a Realized One, but a Realized One is not subject to it.

If I were to say that ‘I do not know … the world with its gods’, I would be lying.

If I were to say that ‘I both know and do not know … the world with its gods’, that would be just the same.

If I were to say that ‘I neither know nor do not know … the world with its gods’, that would be my fault.

So a Realized One sees what is to be seen, but does not identify with what is seen, does not identify with what is unseen, does not identify with what is to be seen, and does not identify with a seer. He hears what is to be heard, but does not identify with what is heard, does not identify with what is unheard, does not identify with what is to be heard, and does not identify with a hearer. He thinks what is to be thought, but does not identify with what is thought, does not identify with what is not thought, does not identify with what is to be thought, and does not identify with a thinker. He knows what is to be known, but does not identify with what is known, does not identify with what is unknown, does not identify with what is to be known, and does not identify with a knower.

Since a Realized One is poised in the midst of things seen, heard, thought, and known, he is the poised one. And I say that there is no better or finer poise than this.

Such a one does not take anything
seen, heard, or thought to be ultimately true or false.
But others get attached, thinking it’s the truth,
limited by their preconceptions.

Since they’ve seen this dart
to which people are attached and cling,
saying, ‘I know, I see, that’s how it is’,
the Realized Ones have no attachments.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.24 Kāḷakārāmasutta: At Kāḷaka’s Monastery by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 45.14 Paṭhamauppādasutta: Arising (1st)

At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, these eight things don’t arise to be developed and cultivated except when a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha has appeared. What eight? They are: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion. These eight things don’t arise to be developed and cultivated except when a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha has appeared.”



Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 45.14 Paṭhamauppādasutta: Arising (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 5.30 Nāgitasutta: With Nāgita

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was wandering in the land of the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of mendicants when he arrived at a village of the Kosalan brahmins named Icchānaṅgala. He stayed in a forest near Icchānaṅgala. The brahmins and householders of Icchānaṅgala heard:

“It seems the ascetic Gotama—a Sakyan, gone forth from a Sakyan family—has arrived at Icchānaṅgala. He is staying in a forest near Icchānaṅgala. He has this good reputation: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ He has realized with his own insight this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—and he makes it known to others. He teaches Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And he reveals a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. It’s good to see such perfected ones.”

Then, when the night had passed, they took many fresh and cooked foods and went to the forest near Icchānaṅgala, where they stood outside the gates making a dreadful racket.

Now, at that time Venerable Nāgita was the Buddha’s attendant. Then the Buddha said to Nāgita, “Nāgita, who’s making that dreadful racket? You’d think it was fishermen hauling in a catch!”

“Sir, it’s these brahmins and householders of Icchānaṅgala. They’ve brought many fresh and cooked foods, and they’re standing outside the gates wanting to offer it specially to the Buddha and the mendicant Saṅgha.”

“Nāgita, may I never become famous. May fame not come to me. There are those who can’t get the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of awakening when they want, without trouble or difficulty like I can. Let them enjoy the filthy, lazy pleasure of possessions, honor, and popularity.”

“Sir, may the Blessed One please relent now! May the Holy One relent! Now is the time for the Buddha to relent. Wherever the Buddha now goes, the brahmins and householders will incline the same way, as will the people of town and country. It’s like when it rains heavily and the water flows downhill. In the same way, wherever the Buddha now goes, the brahmins and householders will incline the same way, as will the people of town and country. Why is that? Because of the Buddha’s ethics and wisdom.”

“Nāgita, may I never become famous. May fame not come to me. There are those who can’t get the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of awakening when they want, without trouble or difficulty like I can. Let them enjoy the filthy, lazy pleasure of possessions, honor, and popularity.

What you eat, drink, chew, and taste ends up as excrement and urine. This is its outcome.

When loved ones decay and perish, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress arise. This is its outcome.

When you pursue meditation on the feature of ugliness, revulsion at the feature of beauty becomes stabilized. This is its outcome.

When you meditate observing impermanence in the six fields of contact, revulsion at contact becomes stabilized. This is its outcome.

When you meditate observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates, revulsion at grasping becomes stabilized. This is its outcome.”


Note: To learn more about the dangers of gain and praise, check out SN 17 Lābhasakkāra Saṁyutta.

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.30 Nāgitasutta: With Nāgita by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Thag 16.3 Telakānittheragāthā: Telakāni

Note: In these verses the monk Telākani relates his struggles on the path to enlightenment using beautiful similes and metaphors. You may find that the translation on SuttaFriends.org gives more information on the meaning behind them. The Buddha is the teacher he talks about as the one who truly offers him help.


For a long time, sadly,
though I keenly contemplated the teaching,
I gained no peace of mind.
So I asked this of ascetics and brahmins:

“Who has crossed over the world?
Whose attainment culminates in the deathless?
Whose teaching do I accept
to understand the ultimate goal?

I was hooked inside,
like a fish gulping bait;
bound like the demon Vepaciti
in Mahinda’s trap.

Dragging it along, I’m not free
from grief and lamentation.
Who will free me from bonds in the world,
so that I may know awakening?

What ascetic or brahmin
points out what is frail?
Whose teaching do I accept
to sweep away old age and death?

Tied up with uncertainty and doubt,
secured by the power of pride,
stiff as a mind beset by anger;
the arrow of covetousness,

propelled by the bow of craving,
is stuck in my twice-fifteen ribs—
see how it stands in my breast,
breaking my strong heart.

Speculative views are not abandoned,
they are sharpened by memories and intentions;
and pierced by this I tremble,
like a leaf blowing in the wind.

Having arisen within,
what belongs to me burns quickly,
in that place where the body always heads
with its six sense-fields of contact.

I don’t see a healer
who can pull out my dart of doubt
without a lance
or some other blade.

Without knife or wound,
who will pull out this dart
that’s stuck inside me,
without harming any part of my body?

He really would be the Lord of the Dhamma,
the best one to cure the damage of poison;
when I have fallen into deep waters,
he would give me his show me the shore.

I’ve plunged into a lake,
and I can’t wash off the mud and dirt.
It’s full of fraud, jealousy, pride,
and dullness and drowsiness.

Like a thunder-cloud of restlessness,
like a rain-cloud of fetters;
lustful thoughts are winds
that sweep off a person with bad views.

The streams flow everywhere;
a weed springs up and remains.
Who will block the streams?
Who will cut the weed?”

“Venerable sir, build a dam
to block the streams.
Don’t let your mind-made streams
cut you down suddenly like a tree.”

That is how the teacher whose weapon is wisdom,
surrounded by the Saṅgha of seers,
was my shelter when I was full of fear,
seeking the far shore from the near.

As I was being swept away,
he gave me a strong, simple ladder,
made of the heartwood of Dhamma,
and he said to me: “Do not fear.”

I climbed the tower of mindfulness meditation,
and checked back down
at people delighting in identity,
as I’d obsessed over in the past.

When I saw the path,
as I was embarking on the ship,
without fixating on the self,
I saw the supreme landing-place.

The dart that arises in oneself,
and that which stems from the conduit to rebirth:
he taught the supreme path
for the canceling of these.

For a long time it had lain within me;
for a long time it was fixed in me:
the Buddha cast off the knot,
curing the damage of poison.


Note: “Deathless” is a term for Nibbāna. SN 11.4 Vepacitti tells the story of the asura being captured by Sakka (Mahinda)

Read this translation of Theragāthā 16.3 Telakānittheragāthā: Telakāni by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Ud 1.4 Huṁhuṅkasutta: Whiny

So I have heard. At one time, when he was first awakened, the Buddha was staying near Uruvelā at the goatherd’s banyan tree on the bank of the Nerañjarā River. There the Buddha sat cross-legged for seven days without moving, experiencing the bliss of freedom. When seven days had passed, the Buddha emerged from that state of immersion.

Then a certain brahmin of the whiny sort went up to the Buddha and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he stood to one side, and said, “Master Gotama, how do you define a brahmin? And what are the things that make one a brahmin?”

Then, understanding this matter, on that occasion the Buddha expressed this heartfelt sentiment:

“A brahmin who has banished bad qualities—
not whiny, not stained, but self-controlled,
a complete knowledge master
   who has completed the spiritual journey—
may rightly proclaim the brahmin doctrine,
not proud of anything in the world.”


Read this translation of Udāna 1.4 Huṁhuṅkasutta: Whiny by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 48.41 Jarā Sutta: Old Age

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra’s mother. Now on that occasion the Blessed One, on emerging from his seclusion in the evening, sat warming his back in the western sun.

Then Ven. Ānanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, massaged the Blessed One’s limbs with his hand and said, “It’s amazing, lord. It’s astounding, how the Blessed One’s complexion is no longer so clear & bright; his limbs are flabby & wrinkled; his back, bent forward; there’s a discernible change in his faculties—the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.”

“That’s the way it is, Ānanda. When young, one is subject to aging; when healthy, subject to illness; when alive, subject to death. The complexion is no longer so clear & bright; the limbs are flabby & wrinkled; the back, bent forward; there’s a discernible change in the faculties—the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

“I spit on you, wretched old age—
old age that makes for ugliness.
The bodily image, so charming,
      is trampled by old age.
Even those who live to a hundred
are headed—all—to an end in death,
      which spares no one,
      which tramples all.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 48.41 Jarā Sutta. Old Age by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 3.104 Paṭhamaassādasutta: Gratification (1st)

“Mendicants, I went in search of the world’s gratification, and I found it. I’ve seen clearly with wisdom the full extent of gratification in the world. I went in search of the world’s drawbacks, and I found them. I’ve seen clearly with wisdom the full extent of the drawbacks in the world. I went in search of escape from the world, and I found it. I’ve seen clearly with wisdom the full extent of escape from the world.

As long as I didn’t truly understand the world’s gratification, drawback, and escape for what they are, I didn’t announce my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

But when I did truly understand the world’s gratification, drawback, and escape for what they are, I announced my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

Knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘My freedom is unshakable; this is my last rebirth; now there’ll be no more future lives.’”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.104 Paṭhamaassādasutta: Gratification (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.81 Vāhanasutta: With Bāhuna

At one time the Buddha was staying near Campā on the banks of the Gaggarā Lotus Pond. Then Venerable Bāhuna went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, how many things has the Realized One escaped from, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits?”

“Bāhuna, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits. What ten? Form … feeling … perception … choices … consciousness … rebirth … old age … death … suffering … defilements … Suppose there was a blue water lily, or a pink or white lotus. Though it sprouted and grew in the water, it would rise up above the water and stand with no water clinging to it. In the same way, the Realized One has escaped from ten things, so that he lives unattached, liberated, his mind free of limits.”


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AN 5.195 Piṅgiyānīsutta: Piṅgiyānī

[Note: “Aṅgīrasa” refers to the the Buddha.]

At one time the Buddha was staying near Vesālī, at the Great Wood, in the hall with the peaked roof.

Now at that time around five hundred Licchavis were visiting the Buddha. Some of the Licchavis were in blue, of blue color, clad in blue, adorned with blue. And some were similarly colored in yellow, red, or white. But the Buddha outshone them all in beauty and glory.

Then the brahmin Piṅgīyānī got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and said, “I feel inspired to speak, Blessed One! I feel inspired to speak, Holy One!”

“Then speak as you feel inspired,” said the Buddha. So the brahmin Piṅgīyānī extolled the Buddha in his presence with a fitting verse.

“Like a fragrant pink lotus
that blooms in the morning, its fragrance unfaded—
see Aṅgīrasa shine,
bright as the sun in the sky!”

Then those Licchavis clothed Piṅgiyānī with five hundred upper robes. And Piṅgiyānī clothed the Buddha with them.

Then the Buddha said to the Licchavis:

“Licchavis, the appearance of five treasures is rare in the world. What five?

  1. A Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha.
  2. A person who explains the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One.
  3. A person who understands the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One.
  4. A person who practices in line with the teaching.
  5. A person who is grateful and thankful.

The appearance of these five treasures is rare in the world.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.195 Piṅgiyānīsutta: Piṅgiyānī by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 3.1 Daharasutta: Young

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala 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, “Does Master Gotama claim to have awakened to the supreme perfect awakening?”

“If anyone should rightly be said to have awakened to the supreme perfect awakening, it’s me. For, great king, I have awakened to the supreme perfect awakening.”

“Well, 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, deemed holy by many people. That is, Pūraṇa Kassapa, the bamboo-staffed ascetic Gosāla, the Jain ascetic of the Ñātika clan, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta, Pakudha Kaccāyana, and Ajita of the hair blanket. I also asked them whether they claimed to have awakened to the supreme perfect awakening, but they made no such claim. So why do you, given that you’re so young in age and newly gone forth?”

“Great king, these four things should not be looked down upon or disparaged because they are young. What four? An aristocrat, a serpent, a fire, and a mendicant. These four things should not be looked down upon or disparaged because they are young.”

That is what the Buddha said. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“A man should not despise
an aristocrat of impeccable lineage,
high-born and famous,
just because they’re young.

For it’s possible that that lord of men,
as aristocrat, will gain the throne.
And in his anger he’ll execute a royal punishment,
and have you violently beaten.
Hence you should avoid him
for the sake of your own life.

Whether in village or wilderness,
wherever a serpent is seen,
a man should not look down on it
or despise it for its youth.

With its rainbow of colors,
the serpent of fiery breath glides along.
It lashes out and bites the fool,
both men and women alike.
Hence you should avoid it
for the sake of your own life.

A fire devours a huge amount,
a conflagration with a blackened trail.
A man should not look down on it
just because it’s young.

For once it gets fuel
it’ll become a huge conflagration.
It’ll lash out and burn the fool,
both men and women alike.
Hence you should avoid it
for the sake of your own life.

When a forest is burned by fire,
a conflagration with a blackened trail,
the shoots will spring up there again,
with the passing of the days and nights.

But if a mendicant endowed with ethics
burns you with their power,
you’ll have no sons or cattle,
nor will your heirs find wealth.
Childless and heirless you become,
like a palm-tree stump.

That’s why an astute person,
seeing what’s good for themselves,
would always treat these properly:
a snake, a conflagration,
a famous aristocrat,
and a mendicant endowed with ethics.”

When this was said, King Pasenadi of Kosala 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. From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.1 Daharasutta: Young by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Iti 38 Vitakkasutta: Often Occurring Thoughts

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, two thoughts often occur to the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One: the thought of security (for beings) and the thought of solitude.

“The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is one who delights in and enjoys non-ill will. As the Tathāgata delights in and enjoys non-ill will, this thought often occurs to him: ‘By this behaviour I do not oppress anyone either frail or firm.’The Tathāgata, bhikkhus, is one who delights in and enjoys solitude. As the Tathāgata delights in and enjoys solitude, this thought often occurs to him: ‘What is unwholesome has been abandoned.’

“Therefore, bhikkhus, I say, you too must live delighting in and enjoying non-ill will. As you so live this thought will often occur to you: ‘By this behaviour we do not oppress anyone either frail or firm.’

“Bhikkhus, you too must live delighting in and enjoying solitude. As you so live this thought will often occur to you: ‘What is unwholesome? What has not been abandoned? What have we abandoned?’”

Two thoughts occur to him,
The Tathāgata, the Awakened One
Who endured what is beyond endurance:
Security (for beings) was the first thought spoken of,
Solitude was the second announced.

The dispeller of darkness, gone beyond,
The great sage who has reached attainment,
Become a master, freed from taints,
Who has crossed over entirely,
Released by the destruction of craving—
That sage bears his final body,
And having left behind Māra, I say,
He has gone beyond decay.

As one standing on a mountain peak
Might see all round the people down below,
So having ascended the Dhamma-palace,
The vastly wise one, all-seeing,
Views the people of the world.
The sorrowless one views below
Those still immersed in sorrow,
Overwhelmed by birth and decay.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 38 Vitakkasutta: Often Occurring Thoughts by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 6.30 Anuttariyasutta: Unsurpassable

“Mendicants, these six things are unsurpassable. What six? The unsurpassable seeing, listening, acquisition, training, service, and recollection.

And what is the unsurpassable seeing? Some people go to see an elephant-treasure, a horse-treasure, a jewel-treasure, or a diverse spectrum of sights; or ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a seeing, I don’t deny it. That seeing is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. The unsurpassable seeing is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, goes to see a Realized One or their disciple. This is in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to discover the system, and to realize extinguishment. This is called the unsurpassable seeing. Such is the unsurpassable seeing.

But what of the unsurpassable hearing? Some people go to hear the sound of drums, arched harps, singing, or a diverse spectrum of sounds; or ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a hearing, I don’t deny it. That hearing … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable hearing is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, goes to hear the teaching of a Realized One or one of his disciples. … This is called the unsurpassable hearing. Such is the unsurpassable seeing and hearing.

But what of the unsurpassable acquisition? Some people acquire a child, a wife, wealth, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they acquire faith in an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such an acquisition, I don’t deny it. That acquisition … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable acquisition is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, acquires faith in a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable acquisition. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, hearing, and acquisition.

But what of the unsurpassable training? Some people train in elephant riding, horse riding, chariot driving, archery, swordsmanship, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they train under an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a training, I don’t deny it. That training … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable training is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, trains in the higher ethics, the higher mind, and the higher wisdom in the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One. … This is called the unsurpassable training. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, hearing, acquisition, and training.

But what of the unsurpassable service? Some people serve an aristocrat, a brahmin, a householder, or a diverse spectrum of people; or they serve ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such service, I don’t deny it. That service … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable service is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, serves a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable service. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, listening, acquisition, training, and service.

But what of the unsurpassable recollection? Some people recollect a child, a wife, wealth, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they recollect an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such recollection, I don’t deny it. That recollection is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. The unsurpassable recollection is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, recollects a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable recollection.

These are the six unsurpassable things.

They’ve gained the unsurpassed seeing,
the unsurpassed hearing,
and the unsurpassable acquisition.
They enjoy the unsurpassable training

and serve with care.
Then they develop recollection
connected with seclusion,
which is safe, and leads to the deathless.

They rejoice in diligence,
alert and ethically restrained.
And in time they arrive
at the place where suffering ceases.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.30 Anuttariyasutta: Unsurpassable Anuttariyasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 46.42 Cakkavattisutta: Wheel-Turning Monarch

“Bhikkhus, with the manifestation of a wheel-turning monarch comes the manifestation of seven gems. What seven? There comes the manifestation of the wheel-gem, the elephant-gem, the horse-gem, the jewel-gem, the woman-gem, the steward-gem, and the commander-gem.

“With the manifestation of a Tathagata, bhikkhus, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, comes the manifestation of the seven gems of the factors of enlightenment. What seven? There comes the manifestation of

  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of mindfulness
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states,
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of energy,
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of rapture,
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of tranquillity,
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of concentration
  • the gem of the enlightenment factor of equanimity.

With the manifestation of a Tathagata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, comes the manifestation of these seven gems of the factors of enlightenment.”


Note: You can learn about the nutriment for each of the enlightenment factors in SN 46.2 Kāya. You can learn about the seven gems of a wheel turning monarch in MN 129 Bālapaṇḍita.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.42 Cakkavattisutta: Wheel-Turning Monarch by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Ud 7.9 Udapāna Sutta: The Well

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was wandering among the Mallans, together with a large community of monks, and came to a brahman village of the Mallans named Thūna. The brahman householders of Thūna heard that “Gotama the Sakyan contemplative, gone forth from the Sakyan clan, is wandering among the Mallans together with a large community of monks, and has arrived at Thūna.” So they filled the well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], “Don’t let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water.”

Then the Blessed One, going down from the road, went to a certain tree, and on arrival sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, he said to Ven. Ānanda: “Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well.”

When this was said, Ven. Ānanda replied, “Just now, lord, the brahman householders of Thūna filled that well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], ‘Don’t let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water.’”

A second time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda: “Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well.”

A second time, Ven. Ānanda replied, “Just now, lord, the brahman householders of Thūna filled that well all the way to the brim with grass & chaff, [thinking], ‘Don’t let these shaven-headed contemplatives draw drinking water.’”

A third time, the Blessed One said to Ven. Ānanda: “Please, Ānanda, fetch me some drinking water from that well.”

Responding, “As you say, lord,” to the Blessed One, Ven. Ānanda–taking a bowl–went to the well. As he was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim–streaming, as it were–with pristine water, undisturbed & clear. The thought occurred to him, “How amazing! How astounding!–the great power & great might of the Tathāgata!–in that, while I was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim–streaming, as it were–with pristine water, undisturbed & clear.”

Taking drinking water in his bowl, he went to the Blessed One and on arrival said, “How amazing, lord! How astounding!–the great power & great might of the Tathāgata!–in that, while I was approaching the well, it expelled all the grass & chaff from its mouth and stood filled to the brim–streaming, as it were–with pristine water, undisturbed & clear. Drink the water, O Blessed One! Drink the water, O One-Well-Gone!”

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

What need for a well
if there were waters always?
Having cut craving
     by the root,
one would go about searching
     for what?


Read this translation of Udāna 7.9 Udapāna Sutta. The Well by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org.

AN 5.99 Sīhasutta: The Lion

“Mendicants, towards evening the lion, king of beasts, emerges from his den, yawns, looks all around the four quarters, and roars his lion’s roar three times. Then he sets out on the hunt. If he strikes an elephant, he does it carefully, not carelessly. If he strikes a buffalo … a cow … a leopard … or any smaller creatures—even a hare or a cat—he does it carefully, not carelessly. Why is that? Thinking: ‘May I not lose my way.’

‘Lion’ is a term for the Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. When the Realized One teaches Dhamma to an assembly, this is his lion’s roar. When the Realized One teaches the monks … nuns … laymen … laywomen … or ordinary people—even food-carriers and hunters—he teaches them carefully, not carelessly. Why is that? Because the Realized One has respect and reverence for the teaching.


See also AN 4.21 Paṭhamauruvelasutta: At Uruvelā (1st) from a few days ago.

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AN 4.76 Kusinārasutta: At Kusinārā

At one time the Buddha was staying between a pair of sal trees in the sal forest of the Mallas at Upavattana near Kusinārā at the time of his final extinguishment. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Perhaps even a single mendicant has doubt or uncertainty regarding the Buddha, the teaching, the Saṅgha, the path, or the practice. So ask, mendicants! Don’t regret it later, thinking: ‘We were in the Teacher’s presence and we weren’t able to ask the Buddha a question.’” When this was said, the mendicants kept silent.

For a second time the Buddha addressed the mendicants: … For a second time, the mendicants kept silent.

For a third time the Buddha addressed the mendicants: … For a third time, the mendicants kept silent.

Then the Buddha said to the mendicants:

“Mendicants, perhaps you don’t ask out of respect for the Teacher. So let a friend tell a friend.” When this was said, the mendicants kept silent. Then Venerable Ānanda said to the Buddha:

“It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing! I am quite confident that there’s not even a single mendicant in this Saṅgha who has doubt or uncertainty regarding the Buddha, the teaching, the Saṅgha, the path, or the practice.”

“Ānanda, you speak from faith. But the Realized One knows that there’s not even a single mendicant in this Saṅgha who has doubt or uncertainty regarding the Buddha, the teaching, the Saṅgha, the path, or the practice. Even the last of these five hundred mendicants is a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.76 Kusinārasutta: At Kusinārā Kusinārasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Ud 6.1 Āyusaṅkhārossajjanasutta: Surrendering the Life Force

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Vesālī, at the Great Wood, in the hall with the peaked roof. Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, entered Vesālī for alms. Then, after the meal, on his return from almsround, he addressed Venerable Ānanda: “Ānanda, get your sitting cloth. Let’s go to the Cāpāla shrine for the day’s meditation.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Ānanda. Taking his sitting cloth he followed behind the Buddha. Then the Buddha went up to the Cāpāla shrine, where he sat on the seat spread out. When he was seated he said to Venerable Ānanda:

“Ānanda, Vesālī is lovely. And the Udena, Gotamaka, Seven Maidens, Many Sons, Sārandada, and Cāpāla Tree-shrines are all lovely. Whoever has developed and cultivated the four bases of psychic power—made them a vehicle and a basis, kept them up, consolidated them, and properly implemented them—may, if they wish, live for the proper lifespan or what’s left of it. The Realized One has developed and cultivated the four bases of psychic power, made them a vehicle and a basis, kept them up, consolidated them, and properly implemented them. If he wished, the Realized One could live for the proper lifespan or what’s left of it.”

But Ānanda didn’t get it, even though the Buddha dropped such an obvious hint, such a clear sign. He didn’t beg the Buddha, “Sir, may the Blessed One please remain for the eon! May the Holy One please remain for the eon! That would be for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.” For his mind was as if possessed by Māra. For a second time … and for a third time, the Buddha said to Ānanda:

“Ānanda, Vesālī is lovely. And the Udena, Gotamaka, Seven Maidens, Many Sons, Sārandada, and Cāpāla Tree-shrines are all lovely. Whoever has developed and cultivated the four bases of psychic power—made them a vehicle and a basis, kept them up, consolidated them, and properly implemented them—may, if they wish, live for the proper lifespan or what’s left of it. The Realized One has developed and cultivated the four bases of psychic power, made them a vehicle and a basis, kept them up, consolidated them, and properly implemented them. If he wished, the Realized One could live for the proper lifespan or what’s left of it.”

But Ānanda didn’t get it, even though the Buddha dropped such an obvious hint, such a clear sign. He didn’t beg the Buddha, “Sir, may the Blessed One please remain for the eon! May the Holy One please remain for the eon! That would be for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.” For his mind was as if possessed by Māra.

Then the Buddha said to Venerable Ānanda, “Go now, Ānanda, at your convenience.” “Yes, sir,” replied Ānanda. He rose from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before sitting at the root of a tree close by.

And then, not long after Ānanda had left, Māra the Wicked went up to the Buddha, stood to one side, and said to him:

“May the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One now become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished. Sir, you once made this statement: ‘Wicked One, I will not become fully extinguished until I have monk disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned, have memorized the teachings, and practice in line with the teachings. Not until they practice properly, living in line with the teaching. Not until they’ve learned their own tradition, and explain, teach, assert, establish, disclose, analyze, and make it clear. Not until they can legitimately and completely refute the doctrines of others that come up, and teach with a demonstrable basis.’ Today you do have such monk disciples. May the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One now become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished.

Sir, you once made this statement: ‘Wicked One, I will not become fully extinguished until I have nun disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned …’ … Today you do have such nun disciples.

‘Wicked One, I will not become fully extinguished until I have layman disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned …’ Today you do have such layman disciples.

‘Wicked One, I will not become fully extinguished until I have laywoman disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned …’ Today you do have such laywoman disciples. May the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One now become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished.

Sir, you once made this statement: ‘Not until my spiritual path is successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans.’ Today your spiritual path is successful and prosperous, extensive, popular, widespread, and well proclaimed wherever there are gods and humans. May the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One now become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished.

When this was said, the Buddha said to Māra, “Relax, Wicked One. The final extinguishment of the Realized One will be soon. Three months from now the Realized One will finally be extinguished.”

So at the Cāpāla Tree-shrine the Buddha, mindful and aware, surrendered the life force. When he did so there was a great earthquake, awe-inspiring and hair-raising, and thunder cracked the sky.

Then, understanding this matter, on that occasion the Buddha expressed this heartfelt sentiment:

“Comparing the incomparable with the creation of prolonged life,
the sage surrendered the life force.
Happy inside, serene,
he shattered self-creation like a suit of armor.”



Read this translation of Udāna 6.1 Āyusaṅkhārossajjanasutta: Surrendering the Life Force by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.21 Paṭhamauruvelasutta: At Uruvelā (1st)

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, this one time, when I was first awakened, I was staying near Uruvelā at the goatherd’s banyan tree on the bank of the Nerañjarā River. As I was in private retreat this thought came to mind: ‘One without respect and reverence lives in suffering. What ascetic or brahmin should I honor and respect and rely on?’

Then it occurred to me: ‘I would honor and respect and rely on another ascetic or brahmin so as to complete the entire spectrum of ethics, if it were incomplete. But I don’t see any other ascetic or brahmin in this world—with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans—who is more accomplished than myself in ethics, who I should honor and respect and rely on.

I would honor and respect and rely on another ascetic or brahmin so as to complete the entire spectrum of immersion, if it were incomplete. But I don’t see any other ascetic or brahmin … who is more accomplished than myself in immersion …

I would honor and respect and rely on another ascetic or brahmin so as to complete the entrie spectrum of wisdom, if it were incomplete. But I don’t see any other ascetic or brahmin in this world … who is more accomplished than myself in wisdom …

I would honor and respect and rely on another ascetic or brahmin so as to complete the entire spectrum of freedom, if it were incomplete. But I don’t see any other ascetic or brahmin in this world … who is more accomplished than myself in freedom …’

Then it occurred to me: ‘Why don’t I honor and respect and rely on the same teaching to which I was awakened?’

And then Brahmā Sahampati, knowing what I was thinking, vanished from the Brahmā realm and appeared in front of me, as easily as a strong man would extend or contract his arm. He arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward me, and said: ‘That’s so true, Blessed One! That’s so true, Holy One! All the perfected ones, the fully awakened Buddhas who lived in the past honored and respected and relied on this same teaching. All the perfected ones, the fully awakened Buddhas who will live in the future will honor and respect and rely on this same teaching. May the Blessed One, who is the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha at present, also honor and respect and rely on this same teaching.’

That’s what Brahmā Sahampati said. Then he went on to say:

‘All Buddhas, whether in the past,
the Buddhas of the future,
and the Buddha at present—
destroyer of the sorrows of many—

respecting the true teaching
they did live, they do live,
and they also will live.
This is the nature of the Buddhas.

Therefore someone who cares for their own welfare,
and wants to become the very best they can be,
should respect the true teaching,
remembering the instructions of the Buddhas.’

That’s what Brahmā Sahampati said. Then he bowed and respectfully circled me, keeping me on his right side, before vanishing right there. Then, knowing the request of Brahmā and what was suitable for myself, I honored and respected and relied on the same teaching to which I was awakened. And since the Saṅgha has also achieved greatness, I also respect the Saṅgha.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.21 Paṭhamauruvelasutta: At Uruvelā (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.118 Saṁvejanīyasutta: Inspiring

“Mendicants, a faithful gentleman should go to see these four inspiring places. What four?

Thinking: ‘Here the Realized One was born!’—that is an inspiring place.

Thinking: ‘Here the Realized One became awakened as a supreme fully awakened Buddha!’—that is an inspiring place.

Thinking: ‘Here the Realized One rolled forth the supreme Wheel of Dhamma!’—that is an inspiring place.

Thinking: ‘Here the Realized One became fully extinguished in the element of extinguishment, with nothing left over!’—that is an inspiring place.

These are the four inspiring places that a faithful gentleman should go to see.”


These four places are as follows:

  • Birthplace: Lumbini
  • Enlightenment: Bodh Gaya
  • First sermon: Isipatana
  • Passing away: Kusināra
Map of Ancient Buddhist India.

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.118 Saṁvejanīyasutta: Inspiring by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Thag 1.86 Nāgitattheragāthā: Arahant Nāgita

Elsewhere there are many other doctrines;
those paths don’t lead to quenching like this one does.
For the Buddha himself instructs the Saṅgha;
the Teacher shows the palms of his hands.


Note: Showing “the palms of his hands” refers to the fact that the Buddha did not have hidden teachings. See also Iti 100. “Lead to quenching” is a translation of the Pāli “nibbānagamo.”

Read this translation of Theragāthā 1.86 Nāgitattheragāthā by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 1.296: One Thing—Recollection of the Buddha

“One thing, mendicants, when developed and cultivated, leads solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. What one thing? Recollection of the Buddha. This one thing, when developed and cultivated, leads solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.”


Note: Traditionally, recollection of the Buddha can be practiced through remembering the qualities of the Buddha found in the “Iti pi so…”:

‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’

In AN 11.12 Dutiya Mahānāma The Buddha says “You should develop this recollection of the Buddha while walking, standing, sitting, lying down, while working, and while at home with your children.”


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Thag 7.5 Sarabhaṅgattheragāthā: Sarabhaṅga

I broke the reeds off with my hands,
made a hut, and stayed there.
That’s how I became known
as “Reed-breaker”.

But now it’s not appropriate
for me to break reeds with my hands.
The training rules have been laid down for us
by Gotama the renowned.

Previously, I, Sarabhaṅga,
didn’t see the disease in its entirety.
But now I have seen the disease,
as I’ve practiced what was taught
     by he who is beyond the gods.

Gotama traveled by that straight road;
the same path traveled by Vipassī,
by Sikhī, Vessabhū,
Kakusandha, Koṇāgamana, and Kassapa.

These seven Buddhas have plunged into the ending,
free of craving, without grasping,
having become Dhamma, poised.
They have taught this Dhamma

out of compassion for living creatures—
suffering, origin, path,
and cessation, the ending of suffering.
In these four noble truths,

the endless suffering of transmigration
finally comes to an end.
When the body breaks up,
and life comes to an end,
there are no future lives;
I’m everywhere well-freed.


Read this translation of Theragāthā 7.5 Sarabhaṅgattheragāthā: Sarabhaṅga by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 1.172–174 From… Ekapuggalavagga: One Person

172

“One person, mendicants, arises in the world who is an incredible human being. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world who is an incredible human being.”

173

“The death of one person, mendicants, is regretted by many people. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, whose death is regretted by many people.”

174

“One person, mendicants, arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of men. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world unique, without peer or counterpart, incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unequaled, without equal, the best of men.”



Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 1.170–187 Ekapuggalavagga by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read another translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or read the Pāli on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 139 From… Araṇavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Non-Conflict—Just Teach Dhamma

[Note: In this excerpt, the Buddha takes the teaching on avoiding the extremes of self mortification and self indulgence (which he gave in his very first sermon) and illuminates how we can think about these teachings without criticizing or praising others. In this way we can avoid conflict while still teaching the Dhamma. It’s a wonderful reminder of how he was able to talk about good and bad qualities without personally criticizing people. This is just one of many cases of the Buddha showing his “supreme trainer of persons to be tamed” quality.]

‘Don’t indulge in sensual pleasures, which are low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. And don’t indulge in self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, and pointless.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it?

Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. Indulging in such happiness is a principle beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the wrong way. Breaking off such indulgence is a principle free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the right way.

Indulging in self-mortification is painful, ignoble, and pointless. It is a principle beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the wrong way. Breaking off such indulgence is a principle free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the right way.

‘Don’t indulge in sensual pleasures, which are low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. And don’t indulge in self-mortification, which is painful, ignoble, and pointless.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.

· • ·

‘Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One woke up by understanding the middle way of practice, which gives vision and knowledge, and leads to peace, direct knowledge, awakening, and extinguishment.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? It is simply this noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.

‘Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One woke up by understanding the middle way of practice, which gives vision and knowledge, and leads to peace, direct knowledge, awakening, and extinguishment.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.

· • ·

‘Know what it means to flatter and to rebuke. Knowing these, avoid them, and just teach Dhamma.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? And how is there flattering and rebuking without teaching Dhamma?

In speaking like this, some are rebuked: ‘Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. All those who indulge in such happiness are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’

In speaking like this, some are flattered: ‘Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. All those who have broken off such indulgence are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’

In speaking like this, some are rebuked: ‘Indulging in self-mortification is painful, ignoble, and pointless. All those who indulge in it are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’

In speaking like this, some are flattered: ‘Indulging in self-mortification is painful, ignoble, and pointless. All those who have broken off such indulgence are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’

In speaking like this, some are rebuked: ‘All those who have not given up the fetters of rebirth are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’

In speaking like this, some are flattered: ‘All those who have given up the fetters of rebirth are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’ That’s how there is flattering and rebuking without teaching Dhamma.

· • ·

And how is there neither flattering nor rebuking, and just teaching Dhamma? You don’t say: ‘Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. All those who indulge in such happiness are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘The indulgence is a principle beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the wrong way.’

You don’t say: ‘Pleasure linked to sensuality is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. All those who have broken off such indulgence are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘Breaking off the indulgence is a principle free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the right way.’

You don’t say: ‘Indulging in self-mortification is painful, ignoble, and pointless. All those who indulge in it are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘The indulgence is a principle beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the wrong way.’

You don’t say: ‘Indulging in self-mortification is painful, ignoble, and pointless. All those who have broken off such indulgence are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘Breaking off the indulgence is a principle free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and it is the right way.’

You don’t say: ‘All those who have not given up the fetters of rebirth are beset by pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the wrong way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘When the fetter of rebirth is not given up, rebirth is also not given up.’

You don’t say: ‘All those who have given up the fetters of rebirth are free of pain, harm, stress, and fever, and they are practicing the right way.’ Rather, by saying this you just teach Dhamma: ‘When the fetter of rebirth is given up, rebirth is also given up.’

That’s how there is neither flattering nor rebuking, and just teaching Dhamma. ‘Know what it means to flatter and to rebuke. Knowing these, avoid them, and just teach Dhamma.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it.



Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 139 Araṇavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of Non-Conflict by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Iti 92 Saṅghāṭikaṇṇasutta: The Hem of the Robe

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might hold on to the hem of my robe and follow close behind me step by step, if he is covetous for objects of desire, strongly passionate, malevolent, corrupt in thought, unmindful, uncomprehending, unconcentrated, of wandering mind and uncontrolled faculties, he is far from me and I am far from him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu does not see Dhamma. Not seeing Dhamma, he does not see me.

“Bhikkhus, even though a bhikkhu might live a hundred leagues away, if he is not covetous for objects of desire, not strongly passionate, not malevolent, uncorrupt in thought, with mindfulness established, clearly comprehending, concentrated, of unified mind and controlled faculties, he is close to me and I am close to him. What is the reason? That bhikkhu sees Dhamma. Seeing Dhamma, he sees me.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

Though closely following behind,
Full of longings and resentment,
See how far away he is—
The desirous one from the desireless,
One unquenched from the quenched,
A greedy one from the one without greed.

But a wise person who by direct knowledge
Has fully understood the Dhamma,
Becomes desireless and tranquil
Like a calm unruffled lake.

See how close he is to him—
A desireless one to the desireless,
One quenched to the quenched,
The greedless one to the one without greed.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 92 Saṅghāṭikaṇṇasutta: The Hem of the Robe by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Snp 3.11 Nālakasutta: About Nālaka

[Note: Happy Vesak! The sutta below is one of the few that talks directly about the birth of the Buddha. It’s a bit long for a weekday sutta, but it is a good one to read for Vesak, the Buddha’s birthday.]

The hermit Asita in his daily meditation
saw the bright-clad gods of the Thirty-Three
and their lord Sakka joyfully celebrating,
waving streamers in exuberant exaltation.

Seeing the gods rejoicing, elated,
he paid respects and said this there:
“Why is the community of gods in such excellent spirits?
Why take up streamers and whirl them about?

Even in the war with the demons,
when gods were victorious and demons defeated,
there was no such excitement.
What marvel have the celestials seen that they so rejoice?

Shouting and singing and playing music,
they clap their hands and dance.
I ask you, dwellers on Mount Meru’s peak,
quickly dispel my doubt, good sirs!”

“The being intent on awakening, a peerless gem,
has been born in the human realm for the sake of welfare and happiness,
in Lumbinī, a village in the Sakyan land.
That’s why we’re so happy, in such excellent spirits.

He is supreme among all beings, the best of people,
chief of men, supreme among all creatures.
He will roll forth the wheel in the grove of the hermits,
roaring like a mighty lion, lord of beasts.”

Hearing this, he swiftly descended
and right away approached Suddhodana’s home.
Seated there he said this to the Sakyans,
“Where is the boy? I too wish to see him!”

Then the Sakyans showed their son to the one named Asita—
the boy shone like burning gold
well-wrought in the forge;
resplendent with glory, of peerless beauty.

The boy beamed like crested flame,
pure as the moon, lord of stars traversing the sky,
blazing like the sun free of clouds after the rains;
seeing him, he was joyful, brimming with happiness.

The celestials held up a parasol in the sky,
many-ribbed and thousand-circled;
and golden-handled chowries waved—
but none could see who held the chowries or the parasols.

When the dreadlocked hermit called “Dark Splendor”
had seen the boy like a gold nugget on a cream rug
with a white parasol held over his head,
he received him, elated and happy.

Having received the Sakyan bull,
the seeker, master of marks and hymns,
lifted up his voice with confident heart:
“He is supreme, the best of men!”

But then, remembering he would depart this world,
his spirits fell and his tears flowed.
Seeing the weeping hermit, the Sakyans said,
“Surely there will be no threat to the boy?”

Seeing the crestfallen Sakyans, the hermit said,
“I do not forsee harm befall the boy,
and there will be no threat to him,
not in the least; set your minds at ease.

This boy shall reach the highest awakening.
As one of perfectly purified vision,compassionate for the welfare of the many,
he shall roll forth the wheel of the teaching;
his spiritual path will become widespread.

But I have not long left in this life,
I shall die before then.
I will never hear the teaching of the one who bore the unequaled burden.
That’s why I’m so upset and distraught—it’s a disaster for me!”

Having brought abundant happiness to the Sakyans,
the spiritual seeker left the royal compound.
He had a nephew; and out of compassion
he encouraged him in the teaching of the one who bore the unequaled burden.

“When you hear the voice of another saying‘Buddha’—
one who has attained awakening and who reveals the foremost teaching—
go there and ask about his breakthrough;
lead the spiritual life under that Blessed One.”

Now, that Nālaka had a store of accumulated merit;
so when instructed by one of such kindly intent,
with perfectly purified vision of the future,
he waited in hope for the Victor,guarding his senses.

When he heard of the Victor rolling forth the excellent wheel he went to him,
and seeing the leading hermit, he became confident.
The time of Asita’s instruction had arrived;
so he asked the excellent sage about the highest sagacity.

The introductory verses are finished.

“I now know that Asita’s words
have turned out to be true.
I ask you this, Gotama,
who has gone beyond all things:

For one who has entered the homeless life,
seeking food on alms round,
when questioned, O sage, please tell me
of sagacity, the ultimate state.”

“I shall school you in sagacity,” said the Buddha,
“so difficult and challenging.
Come, I shall tell you all about it.
Brace yourself; stay strong!

In the village, keep the same attitude
no matter if reviled or praised.
Guard against ill-tempered thoughts,
wander peaceful, not frantic.

Many different things come up,
like tongues of fire in a forest.
Women try to seduce a sage—
let them not seduce you!

Refraining from sex,
having left behind sensual pleasures high and low,
don’t be hostile or attached
to living creatures firm or frail.

‘As am I, so are they;
as are they, so am I’—
Treating others like oneself,
neither kill nor incite to kill.

Leaving behind desire and greed
for what ordinary people are attached to,
a seer would set out to practice,
they’d cross over this abyss.

With empty stomach, taking limited food,
few in wishes, not greedy;
truly hungerless regarding all desires,
desireless, one is quenched.

Having wandered for alms,
they’d take themselves into the forest;
and nearing the foot of a tree,
the sage would take their seat.

That wise one intent on absorption,
would delight within the forest.
They’d practice absorption at the foot of a tree,
filling themselves with bliss.

Then, at the end of the night,
they’d take themselves into a village.
They’d not welcome being called,
nor offerings brought from the village.

A sage who has come to a village
would not walk hastily among the families.
They’d not discuss their search for food,
nor would they speak suggestively.

‘I got something, that’s good.
I got nothing, that’s fine.’
Impartial in both cases,
they return right to the tree.

Wandering with bowl in hand,
not dumb, but thought to be dumb,
they wouldn’t scorn a tiny gift,
nor look down upon the giver.

For the practice has many aspects,
as explained by the Ascetic.
They do not go to the far shore twice,
nor having gone once do they fall away.

When a mendicant has no creeping,
and has cut the stream of craving,
and given up all the various duties,
no fever is found in them.

I shall school you in sagacity.
Practice as if you were licking a razor’s edge.
With tongue pressed to the roof of your mouth,
be restrained regarding your stomach.

Don’t be sluggish in mind,
nor think overly much.
Be free of putrefaction and unattached,
committed to the spiritual life.

Train in a lonely seat,
attending closely to ascetics;
solitude is sagacity, they say.
If you welcome solitude,
you’ll light up the ten directions.

Having heard the words of the wise,
the meditators who’ve given up sensual desires,
a follower of mine would develop
conscience and faith all the more.

Understand this by the way streams move
in clefts and crevices:
the little creeks flow on babbling,
while silent flow the great rivers.

What is lacking, babbles;
what is full is at peace.
The fool is like a half-full pot;
the wise like a brimfull lake.

When the Ascetic speaks much
it is relevant and meaningful:
knowing, he teaches the Dhamma;
knowing, he speaks much.

But one who, knowing, is restrained,
knowing, does not speak much;
that sage is worthy of sagacity,
that sage has achieved sagacity.”


Read this translation of Snp 3.11 Nālakasutta: About Nālaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 2.137: Acting Wrongly toward Two People

“When a foolish, incompetent bad person acts wrongly toward two people they keep themselves broken and damaged. They deserve to be blamed and criticized by sensible people, and they make much bad karma. What two? The Realized One and a disciple of the Realized One. When a foolish, incompetent bad person acts wrongly toward these people they keep themselves broken and damaged. They deserve to be blamed and criticized by sensible people, and they make much bad karma.

When an astute, competent good person acts rightly toward two people they keep themselves healthy and whole. They don’t deserve to be blamed and criticized by sensible people, and they make much merit. What two? The Realized One and a disciple of the Realized One. When an astute, competent good person acts rightly toward these two people they keep themselves healthy and whole. They don’t deserve to be blamed and criticized by sensible people, and they make much merit.”


Note: “Realized One” is a translation of the Pali Tathāgata. It refers to the Buddha or Buddhas in general.

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MN 133 From… Mahākaccānabhaddekarattasutta: Mahākaccāna and One Fine Night

[Note: The excerpt below is often found when people miss the opportunity of asking the Buddha a question and instead ask one of his disciples. It shows the great respect even the most capable disciples have for the Buddha.]

“…Who can explain in detail the meaning of this brief summary given by the Buddha?”

Then those mendicants thought:

“This Venerable Mahākaccāna is praised by the Buddha and esteemed by his sensible spiritual companions. He is capable of explaining in detail the meaning of this brief passage for recitation given by the Buddha. Let’s go to him, and ask him about this matter.”

Then those mendicants went to Mahākaccāna, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, they sat down to one side. They told him what had happened, and said: “May Venerable Mahākaccāna please explain this.”

“Reverends, suppose there was a person in need of heartwood. And while wandering in search of heartwood he’d come across a large tree standing with heartwood. But he’d pass over the roots and trunk, imagining that the heartwood should be sought in the branches and leaves. Such is the consequence for the venerables. Though you were face to face with the Buddha, you overlooked him, imagining that you should ask me about this matter. For he is the Buddha, who knows and sees. He is vision, he is knowledge, he is the principle, he is the supreme holiness. He is the teacher, the proclaimer, the elucidator of meaning, the bestower of the deathless, the lord of truth, the Realized One. That was the time to approach the Buddha and ask about this matter. You should have remembered it in line with the Buddha’s answer.”

“Certainly he is the Buddha, who knows and sees. He is vision, he is knowledge, he is the principle, he is the supreme holiness. He is the teacher, the proclaimer, the elucidator of meaning, the bestower of the deathless, the lord of truth, the Realized One. That was the time to approach the Buddha and ask about this matter. We should have remembered it in line with the Buddha’s answer. Still, Venerable Mahākaccāna is praised by the Buddha and esteemed by his sensible spiritual companions. He is capable of explaining in detail the meaning of this brief passage for recitation given by the Buddha. Please explain this, if it’s no trouble.”

“Well then, reverends, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.…”


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 133 Mahākaccānabhaddekarattasutta: Mahākaccāna and One Fine Night by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.36 Doṇa Sutta: With Doṇa

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was traveling along the road between Ukkaṭṭha and Setabya, and Doṇa the brahman was also traveling along the road between Ukkaṭṭha and Setabya. Doṇa the brahman saw, in the Blessed One’s footprints, wheels with 1,000 spokes, together with rims and hubs, complete in all their features. On seeing them, the thought occurred to him, “How amazing! How astounding! These are not the footprints of a human being!”

Then the Blessed One, leaving the road, went to sit at the root of a certain tree—his legs crossed, his body erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. Then Doṇa, following the Blessed One’s footprints, saw him sitting at the root of the tree: confident, inspiring confidence, his senses calmed, his mind calmed, having attained the utmost control & tranquility, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a nāga. On seeing him, he went to him and said, “Master, are you a deva?”

“No, brahman, I am not a deva.”

“Are you a gandhabba?”

“No….”

“… a yakkha?”

“No….”

“… a human being?”

“No, brahman, I am not a human being.”

“When asked, ‘Are you a deva?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a deva.’ When asked, ‘Are you a gandhabba?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a gandhabba.’ When asked, ‘Are you a yakkha?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a yakkha.’ When asked, ‘Are you a human being?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a human being.’ Then what sort of being are you?”

“Brahman, the effluents by which—if they were not abandoned—I would be a deva: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. The effluents by which—if they were not abandoned—I would be a gandhabba… a yakkha… a human being: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“Just like a red, blue, or white lotus—born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water—stands unsmeared by the water, in the same way I—born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world—live unsmeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as ‘awakened.’

“The effluents by which I would go
to a deva-state,
or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
      Those have been destroyed by me,
      ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,
      I’m awake.”


Note: “Effluents” is a translation for the word āsavā,sometimes also translated as “taints” or “defilements”.

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.36 Doṇa Sutta. With Doṇa by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Dhp 179–182 From… Buddhavagga: The Buddha

179. By what track can you trace that trackless Buddha of limitless range, whose victory nothing can undo, whom none of the vanquished defilements can ever pursue?

180. By what track can you trace that trackless Buddha of limitless range, in whom exists no longer, the entangling and embroiling craving that perpetuates becoming?

181. Those wise ones who are devoted to meditation and who delight in the calm of renunciation — such mindful ones, Supreme Buddhas, even the gods hold dear.

182. Hard is it to be born a man; hard is the life of mortals. Hard is it to gain the opportunity of hearing the Sublime Truth, and hard to encounter is the arising of the Buddhas.



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