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AN 5.58 Licchavikumārakasutta: Licchavi Youths

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Vesālī in the hall with the peaked roof in the Great Wood. Then, in the morning, the Blessed One dressed, took his bowl and robe, and entered Vesālī for alms. Having walked for alms in Vesālī, after the meal, when he had returned from his alms round, he entered the Great Wood and sat down at the foot of a tree to dwell for the day.

Now on that occasion a number of Licchavi youths had taken their strung bows and were walking and wandering in the Great Wood, accompanied by a pack of dogs, when they saw the Blessed One seated at the foot of a tree to dwell for the day. When they saw him, they put down their strung bows, sent the dogs off to one side, and approached him. They paid homage to the Blessed One and silently stood in attendance upon him with their hands joined in reverential salutation.

Now on that occasion the Licchavi youth Mahānāma was walking and wandering for exercise in the Great Wood when he saw the Licchavi youths silently standing in attendance upon the Blessed One with their hands joined in reverential salutation. He then approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and uttered this inspired utterance: “They will be Vajjis! They will be Vajjis!”

The Blessed One said: “But why, Mahānāma, do you say: ‘They will be Vajjis! They will be Vajjis!’?”

“These Licchavi youths, Bhante, are violent, rough, and brash. They are always plundering any sweets that are left as gifts among families, whether sugar cane, jujube fruits, cakes, pies, or sugarballs, and then they devour them. They give women and girls of respectable families blows on their backs. Now they are standing silently in attendance upon the Blessed One with their hands joined in reverential salutation.”

“Mahānāma, in whatever clansman five qualities are found—whether he is a consecrated khattiya king, a country gentleman, the general of an army, a village headman, a guildmaster, or one of those who exercise private rulership over various clans—only growth is to be expected, not decline. What five?

(1) “Here, Mahānāma, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman honors, respects, esteems, and venerates his parents. His parents, being honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated, have compassion on him with a good heart, thinking: ‘May you live long and maintain a long life span.’ When a clansman’s parents have compassion for him, only growth is to be expected for him, not decline.

(2) “Again, Mahānāma, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman honors, respects, esteems, and venerates his wife and children, his slaves, workers, and servants. Being honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated, they have compassion on him with a good heart, thinking: ‘May you live long!’ When a clansman’s wife and children, slaves, workers, and servants have compassion for him, only growth is to be expected for him, not decline.

(3) “Again, Mahānāma, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman honors, respects, esteems, and venerates the owners of the neighboring fields and those with whom he does business. Being honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated, they have compassion on him with a good heart, thinking: ‘May you live long!’ When the owners of the neighboring fields and those with whom he does business have compassion for a clansman, only growth is to be expected for him, not decline.

(4) “Again, Mahānāma, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman honors, respects, esteems, and venerates the oblational deities. Being honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated, they have compassion on him with a good heart, thinking: ‘May you live long!’ When the oblational deities have compassion for a clansman, only growth is to be expected for him, not decline.

(5) “Again, Mahānāma, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteously gained, a clansman honors, respects, esteems, and venerates ascetics and brahmins. Being honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated, they have compassion on him with a good heart, thinking: ‘May you live long!’ When ascetics and brahmins have compassion for a clansman, only growth is to be expected for him, not decline.

“Mahānāma, in whatever clansman these five qualities are found—whether he is a consecrated khattiya king, a country gentleman, the general of an army, a village headman, a guildmaster, or one of those who exercise private rulership over various clans—only growth is to be expected, not decline.”

He always does his duty toward his parents;
he promotes the welfare of his wife and children.
He takes care of the people in his home
and those who live in dependence on him.

The wise person, charitable and virtuous,
acts for the good of both kinds of relatives,
those who have passed away
and those still living in this world.

He benefits ascetics and brahmins,
and also the deities;
he is one who gives rise to joy
while living a righteous life at home.

Having done what is good,
he is worthy of veneration and praise.
They praise him here in this world
and after death he rejoices in heaven.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.58 Licchavikumārakasutta: Licchavi Youths by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.74 Vaḍḍhisutta: Growth

“Mendicants, a noble disciple who grows in ten ways grows nobly, taking on what is essential and excellent in this life. What ten? He grows in fields and lands, money and grain, wives and children, in bondservants, workers, and staff, and in livestock. And he grows in faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. A noble disciple who grows in ten ways grows nobly, taking on what is essential and excellent in this life.

Someone who grows in money and grain,
in wives, children, and livestock,
is wealthy, famous, and respected
by relatives and friends, and even by royals.

When someone grows in faith and ethics,
wisdom, and both generosity and learning—
a good man such as he sees clearly,
and in the present life he grows in both ways.”


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AN 11.13 Nandiyasutta: With Nandiya

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Monastery.

Now at that time the Buddha wanted to commence the rains residence at Sāvatthī.

Nandiya the Sakyan heard about this, and thought, “Why don’t I also commence the rains residence at Sāvatthī. There I can apply myself to my work and from time to time get to see the Buddha.”

So the Buddha commenced the rains residence in Sāvatthī, and so did Nandiya. There he applied himself to his work and from time to time got to see the Buddha.

At that time several mendicants were making a robe for the Buddha, thinking that when his robe was finished and the three months of the rains residence had passed the Buddha would set out wandering.

Nandiya the Sakyan heard about this. He went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, I have heard that several mendicants are making a robe for the Buddha, thinking that when his robe was finished and the three months of the rains residence had passed the Buddha would set out wandering. Now, we spend our life in various ways. Which of these should we practice?”

“Good, good Nandiya! It’s appropriate that gentlemen such as you come to me and ask: ‘We spend our life in various ways. Which of these should we practice?’

  1. The faithful succeed, not the faithless.
  2. The ethical succeed, not the unethical.
  3. The energetic succeed, not the lazy.
  4. The mindful succeed, not the unmindful.
  5. Those with immersion succeed, not those without immersion.
  6. The wise succeed, not the witless.

When you’re grounded on these six things, go on to develop five further things.

Firstly, you should recollect the Realized One: ‘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 this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on the Realized One.

Furthermore, you should recollect the teaching: ‘The teaching is well explained by the Buddha—apparent in the present life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves.’ In this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on the teaching.

Furthermore, you should recollect your good friends: ‘I’m fortunate, so very fortunate, to have good friends who advise and instruct me out of kindness and compassion.’ In this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on good friends.

Furthermore, you should recollect your own generosity: ‘I’m so fortunate, so very fortunate. Among people with hearts full of the stain of stinginess I live at home rid of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share.’ In this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on generosity.

Furthermore, you should recollect the deities: ‘There are deities who, surpassing the company of deities that consume solid food, are reborn in a certain host of mind-made deities. They don’t see in themselves anything more to do, or anything that needs improvement.’ An irreversibly freed mendicant doesn’t see in themselves anything more to do, or anything that needs improvement. In the same way, Nandiya, there are deities who, surpassing the company of deities that consume solid food, are reborn in a certain host of mind-made deities. They don’t see in themselves anything more to do, or anything that needs improvement. In this way you should establish mindfulness internally based on the deities.

A noble disciple who has these eleven qualities gives up bad, unskillful qualities and doesn’t cling to them. It’s like when a pot full of water is tipped over, so the water drains out and doesn’t go back in. Suppose there was an uncontrolled fire. It advances burning up dry woodlands and doesn’t go back over what it has burned. In the same way, a noble disciple who has these eleven qualities gives up bad, unskillful qualities and doesn’t cling to them.”


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AN 5.228 Ussūrabhattasutta: Eating Late

“Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks for a family who takes their meals late in the day. What five? When guests visit, they are not served on time. The deities who accept spirit-offerings are not served on time. Ascetics and brahmins who eat in one part of the day, abstaining from eating at night, and from food at the wrong time are not served on time. Bondservants, workers, and staff do their duties neglectfully. A meal eaten during the wrong period is not nutritious. These are the five drawbacks for a family who takes their meals late in the day.

There are these five benefits for a family who takes their meals at a proper time. What five? When guests visit, they are served on time. The deities who accept spirit-offerings are served on time. Ascetics and brahmins who eat in one part of the day, abstaining from eating at night, and from food at the wrong time are served on time. Bondservants, workers, and staff do their duties attentively. A meal eaten during the proper period is nutritious. These are the five benefits for a family who takes their meals at a proper time.”


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DN 31 From… Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka—Drawbacks of Laziness

…There are these six drawbacks of habitual laziness. You don’t get your work done because you think: ‘It’s too cold! It’s too hot. It’s too late! It’s too early! I’m too hungry! I’m too full!’ By dwelling on so many excuses for not working, you don’t make any more money, and the money you already have runs out. These are the six drawbacks of habitual laziness.”

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

“Some are just drinking buddies,
some call you their dear, dear friend,
but a true friend is one
who stands by you in need.

Sleeping late, adultery,
making enemies, harmfulness,
bad friends, and avarice:
these six grounds ruin a person.

With bad friends, bad companions,
bad behavior and alms-resort,
a man falls to ruin
in both this world and the next.

Dice, women, drink, song and dance;
sleeping by day and roaming at night;
bad friends, and avarice:
these six grounds ruin a person.

They play dice and drink liquor,
and consort with women loved by others.
Associating with the worse, not the better,
they diminish like the waning moon.

A drunkard, broke, and destitute,
thirsty, drinking in the bar,
drowning in debt,
will quickly lose their way.

When you’re in the habit of sleeping late,
seeing night as time to rise,
and always getting drunk,
you can’t keep up the household life.

‘Too cold, too hot,
too late,’ they say.
When the young neglect their work like this,
riches pass them by.

But one who considers heat and cold
as nothing more than blades of grass—
he does his duties as a man,
and happiness never fails.…”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 31 Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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MN 99 From… Subhasutta: With Subha

“…Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Laypeople succeed in the system of the skillful teaching, not renunciates.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, student, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. I don’t praise wrong practice for either laypeople or renunciates. Because of wrong practice, neither laypeople nor renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching. I praise right practice for both laypeople and renunciates. Because of right practice, both laypeople and renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching.”

“Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Since the work of the lay life has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is very fruitful. But since the work of the renunciate has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is not very fruitful.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, too, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful.

And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Farming. And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it is farming. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Trade. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it’s trade.

The lay life is like farming in that it’s work with many requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful. The renunciate life is like trade in that it’s work with few requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful.”…


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AN 5.41 Ādiyasutta: Getting Rich

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Householder, there are these five reasons to get rich. What five?

Firstly, with his legitimate wealth—earned by his efforts and initiative, built up with his own hands, gathered by the sweat of the brow—a noble disciple makes himself happy and pleased, keeping himself properly happy. He makes his mother and father happy … He makes his children, partners, bondservants, workers, and staff happy … This is the first reason to get rich.

Furthermore, with his legitimate wealth he makes his friends and colleagues happy … This is the second reason to get rich.

Furthermore, with his legitimate wealth he protects himself against losses from such things as fire, water, kings, bandits, or unloved heirs. He keeps himself safe. This is the third reason to get rich.

Furthermore, with his legitimate wealth he makes five spirit-offerings: to relatives, guests, ancestors, king, and deities. This is the fourth reason to get rich.

Furthermore, with his legitimate wealth he establishes an uplifting religious donation for ascetics and brahmins—those who avoid intoxication and negligence, are settled in patience and gentleness, and who tame, calm, and extinguish themselves—that’s conducive to heaven, ripens in happiness, and leads to heaven. This is the fifth reason to get rich.

These are the five reasons to get rich.

Now if the riches a noble disciple gets for these five reasons run out, he thinks: ‘So, the riches I have obtained for these reasons are running out.’ And so he has no regrets.

But if the riches a noble disciple gets for these five reasons increase, he thinks: ‘So, the riches I have obtained for these reasons are increasing.’ And so he has no regrets in both cases.

‘I’ve enjoyed my wealth,supporting those who depend on me;
I’ve overcome losses;
I’ve given uplifting religious donations;
and made the five spirit-offerings.
I have looked after the ethical and
disciplined spiritual practitioners.

I’ve achieved the purpose
for which an astute lay person
wishes to gain wealth.
I don’t regret what I’ve done.’

A mortal person who recollects this
stands firm in the teaching of the noble ones.
They’re praised in this life by the astute,
and they depart to rejoice in heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.41 Ādiyasutta: Getting Rich by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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MN 97 From… Dhanañjānisutta: With Dhanañjāni

…When Dhanañjāni had finished breakfast he went to Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side. Sāriputta said to him, “I hope you’re diligent, Dhanañjāni?”

“How can I possibly be diligent, Master Sāriputta? I have to provide for my mother and father, my wives and children, and my bondservants and workers. And I have to make the proper offerings to friends and colleagues, relatives and kin, guests, ancestors, deities, and king. And then this body must also be fattened and built up.”

“What do you think, Dhanañjāni? Suppose someone was to behave in an unprincipled and unjust way for the sake of their parents. Because of this the wardens of hell would drag them to hell. Could they get out of being dragged to hell by pleading that they had acted for the sake of their parents? Or could their parents save them by pleading that the acts had been done for their sake?”

“No, Master Sāriputta. Rather, even as they were wailing the wardens of hell would cast them down into hell.”

“What do you think, Dhanañjāni? Suppose someone was to behave in an unprincipled and unjust way for the sake of their wives and children … bondservants and workers … friends and colleagues … relatives and kin … guests … ancestors … deities … king … fattening and building up their body. Because of this the wardens of hell would drag them to hell. Could they get out of being dragged to hell by pleading that they had acted for the sake of fattening and building up their body? Or could anyone else save them by pleading that the acts had been done for that reason?”

“No, Master Sāriputta. Rather, even as they were wailing the wardens of hell would cast them down into hell.”

Who do you think is better, Dhanañjāni? Someone who, for the sake of their parents, behaves in an unprincipled and unjust manner, or someone who behaves in a principled and just manner?”

“Someone who behaves in a principled and just manner for the sake of their parents. For principled and moral conduct is better than unprincipled and immoral conduct.”

“Dhanañjāni, there are other livelihoods that are both profitable and legitimate. By means of these it’s possible to provide for your parents, avoid bad deeds, and practice the path of goodness.

Who do you think is better, Dhanañjāni? Someone who, for the sake of their wives and children … bondservants and workers … friends and colleagues … relatives and kin … guests … ancestors … deities … king … fattening and building up their body, behaves in an unprincipled and unjust manner, or someone who behaves in a principled and just manner?”

“Someone who behaves in a principled and just manner. For principled and moral conduct is better than unprincipled and immoral conduct.”

“Dhanañjāni, there are other livelihoods that are both profitable and legitimate. By means of these it’s possible to fatten and build up your body, avoid bad deeds, and practice the path of goodness.”

Then Dhanañjāni the brahmin, having approved and agreed with what Venerable Sāriputta said, got up from his seat and left.…


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SN 7.12 UdayaSutta: Udaya

Near Sāvatthī. Then early in the morning, the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. The brahman Udaya filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice.

Then a second time, [on the next day,] the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. And a second time, the brahman Udaya filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice.

Then a third time, [on the following day,] the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. And a third time, the brahman Udaya, having filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice, said to him, “This pesky Gotama contemplative keeps coming again & again.”

The Buddha:

“Again & again    they sow the seed.
Again & again     the deva-kings rain.
Again & again     farmers plow the fields.
Again & again     grain comes to the kingdom.
Again & again     beggars wander.
Again & again     lords of giving give.
Again & again     having given, the lords of giving
Again & again     go to a heavenly place.
Again & again     dairy farmers draw milk.
Again & again     the calf goes to its mother.
Again & again     one wearies & trembles.
Again & again     the dullard goes to the womb.
Again & again     you take birth & die.
Again & again     they carry you to the charnel ground.

But on gaining the path
to no again-becoming,
you, deep in discernment,
don’t take birth
   again & again.”

When this was said, the brahman Udaya said to the Blessed One, “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama—through many lines of reasoning—made the Dhamma clear. I go to Master Gotama for refuge, to the Dhamma, & to the Saṅgha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life.”


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AN 4.60 Gihisāmīcisutta: The Layperson’s Proper Practice

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One said to him:

“Householder, a noble disciple who possesses four qualities is practicing the way proper to the layperson, a way that brings the attainment of fame and leads to heaven. What four?

“Here, householder, a noble disciple serves the Saṅgha of bhikkhus with robes; he serves the Saṅgha of bhikkhus with almsfood; he serves the Saṅgha of bhikkhus with lodgings; he serves the Saṅgha of bhikkhus with medicines and provisions for the sick.

“Householder, a noble disciple who possesses these four qualities is practicing the way proper to the layperson, a way that brings the attainment of fame and leads to heaven.”

When the wise practice the way
proper for the layperson, they serve
the virtuous monks of upright conduct
with robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicines:

for them both by day and night
merit always increases;
having done excellent deeds,
they pass on to a heavenly state.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.60 Gihisāmīcisutta: The Layperson’S Proper Practice by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

Vv 5.11 Dutiya Nāga Sutta: Second Elephant Mansion

Vangisa Bhante:

Dear Deva, you are sitting on the back of an elephant that is huge and all white. You travel from park to park, surrounded by goddesses, shining brightly in all directions like the star Osadhi.

What kind of meritorious actions did you do when you were in the human world?

That deva, delighted at being questioned by Arahant Vangisa, gladly explained what he had done that resulted in such great happiness.

Deva:

In my previous life, I was a man in the human world. I was a lay disciple of the All-Seeing Supreme Buddha. I abstained from killing, stealing, taking intoxicants, and lying. I was content with my own wife, and did not even think of other women. I offered things with a very happy mind.

Because of these meritorious deeds, I have been born as a very beautiful deva and enjoy all the wonderful things that delight my heart.

Great Bhante, those were the meritorious deeds I did to have such a beautiful body which shines brightly in all directions.


Read this translation of Vimānavatthu 5.11 Dutiya Nāga Sutta: Second Elephant Mansion by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, සිංහල, or Tiếng Việt. Learn how to find your language.

You can find the entire translation of the Vimanavatthu: Stories of Heavenly Mansions available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 8.54 Dīghajāṇusutta: With Dīghajāṇu

[This is another long selection for the weekend. However, the teachings in it are straightforward, so it should be easy to read.]

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Koliyans, where they have a town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dīghajāṇu the Koliyan went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha:

“Sir, we are laypeople who enjoy sensual pleasures and living at home with our children. We use sandalwood imported from Kāsi, we wear garlands, perfumes, and makeup, and we accept gold and money. May the Buddha please teach us the Dhamma in a way that leads to our welfare and happiness in this life and in future lives.”

“Byagghapajja, these four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life. What four?

Accomplishment in initiative, protection, good friendship, and balanced finances. And what is accomplishment in initiative? It’s when a gentleman earns a living by means such as farming, trade, raising cattle, archery, government service, or one of the professions. He understands how to go about these things in order to complete and organize the work. This is called accomplishment in initiative.

And what is accomplishment in protection? It’s when a gentleman owns legitimate wealth that he has earned by his own efforts and initiative, built up with his own hands, gathered by the sweat of the brow. He ensures it is guarded and protected, thinking: ‘How can I prevent my wealth from being taken by rulers or bandits, consumed by fire, swept away by flood, or taken by unloved heirs?’ This is called accomplishment in protection.

And what is accomplishment in good friendship? It’s when a gentleman resides in a town or village. And in that place there are householders or their children who may be young or old, but are mature in conduct, accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. He associates with them, converses and engages in discussion. And he emulates the same kind of accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. This is called accomplishment in good friendship.

And what is accomplishment in balanced finances? It’s when a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ It’s like an appraiser or their apprentice who, holding up the scales, knows that it’s low by this much or high by this much. In the same way, a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ If a gentleman has little income but an opulent life, people will say: ‘This gentleman eats their wealth like a fig-eater!’ If a gentleman has a large income but a spartan life, people will say: ‘This gentleman is starving themselves to death!’ But a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, leads a balanced life, neither too extravagant nor too frugal, thinking, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ This is called accomplishment in balanced finances.

There are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the drains and close off the inlets, and the heavens don’t provide enough rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to dwindle, not expand. In the same way, there are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates.

There are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the inlets and close off the drains, and the heavens provide plenty of rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to expand, not dwindle. In the same way, there are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life.

These four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives. What four? Accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom.

And what is accomplishment in faith? It’s when a gentleman has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘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.’ This is called accomplishment in faith.

And what is accomplishment in ethics? It’s when a gentleman doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or consume alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. This is called accomplishment in ethics.

And what is accomplishment in generosity? It’s when a gentleman lives at home rid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share. This is called accomplishment in generosity.

And what is accomplishment in wisdom? It’s when a gentleman is wise. He has the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. This is called accomplishment in wisdom.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives.

They’re enterprising in the workplace,
diligent in managing things,
they balance their finances,
and preserve their wealth.

Faithful, accomplished in ethics,
bountiful, rid of stinginess,
they always purify the path
to well-being in lives to come.

And so these eight qualities
of a faithful householder
are declared by the one who is truly named
to lead to happiness in both spheres,

welfare and benefit in this life,
and happiness in the future lives.
This is how, for a householder,
merit grows by generosity.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.54 Dīghajāṇusutta: With Dīghajāṇu by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Snp 2.4 Maṅgalasutta: Blessings

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that deity addressed the Buddha in verse:

“Many gods and humans
have thought about blessings
desiring well-being:
declare the highest blessing.”

“Not to fraternize with fools,
but to fraternize with the wise,
and honoring those worthy of honor:
this is the highest blessing.

Living in a suitable region,
having made merit in the past,
being rightly resolved in oneself,
this is the highest blessing.

Education and a craft,
discipline and training,
and well-spoken speech:
this is the highest blessing.

Caring for mother and father,
kindness to children and partners,
and unstressful work:
this is the highest blessing.

Giving and righteous conduct,
kindness to relatives,
blameless deeds:
this is the highest blessing.

Desisting and abstaining from evil,
avoiding alcoholic drinks,
diligence in good qualities:
this is the highest blessing.

Respect and humility,
contentment and gratitude,
and timely listening to the teaching:
this is the highest blessing.

Patience, being easy to admonish,
the sight of ascetics,
and timely discussion of the teaching:
this is the highest blessing.

Fervor and celibacy
seeing the noble truths,
and realization of extinguishment:
this is the highest blessing.

Though touched by worldly things,
their mind does not tremble;
sorrowless, stainless, secure,
this is the highest blessing.

Having completed these things,
undefeated everywhere;
everywhere they go in safety:
this is their highest blessing.”


Read this translation of Snp 2.4 Maṅgalasutta: Blessings by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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AN 5.174 Verasutta: Threats

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Householder, unless these five dangers and threats are given up, one is said to be unethical, and is reborn in hell. What five? Killing living creatures, stealing, committing sexual misconduct, lying, and using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. Unless these five dangers and threats are given up, one is said to be unethical, and is reborn in hell.

Once these five dangers and threats are given up, one is said to be ethical, and is reborn in heaven. What five? Killing living creatures, stealing, committing sexual misconduct, lying, and using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. Once these five dangers and threats are given up, one is said to be ethical, and is reborn in heaven.

Anyone who kills living creatures creates dangers and threats both in the present life and in lives to come, and experiences mental pain and sadness. Anyone who refrains from killing living creatures creates no dangers and threats either in the present life or in lives to come, and doesn’t experience mental pain and sadness. So that danger and threat is quelled for anyone who refrains from killing living creatures.

Anyone who steals …

Anyone who commits sexual misconduct …

Anyone who lies …

Anyone who uses alcoholic drinks that cause negligence creates dangers and threats both in the present life and in lives to come, and experiences mental pain and sadness. Anyone who refrains from using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence creates no dangers and threats either in the present life or in lives to come, and doesn’t experience mental pain and sadness. So that danger and threat is quelled for anyone who refrains from using alcoholic drinks that cause negligence.

Take anyone in this world
who kills living creatures,
speaks falsely, steals,
commits adultery,
and indulges in drinking
alcohol and liquor.

Unless they give up these five threats,
they’re said to be unethical.
When their body breaks up, that witless person
is reborn in hell.

A person in the world doesn’t kill living creatures,
speak falsely,
steal,
commit adultery,
or indulge in drinking
alcohol and liquor.

Giving up these five threats,
they’re said to be ethical.
When their body breaks up, that wise person
is reborn in a good place.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.174 Verasutta: Threats by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 137 From… Saḷāyatanavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of the Six Sense Fields

[Please read the entire sutta to see the forms of renunciate happiness, sadness, and equanimity]

‘…The thirty-six positions of sentient beings should be understood.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? There are six kinds of lay happiness and six kinds of renunciate happiness. There are six kinds of lay sadness and six kinds of renunciate sadness. There are six kinds of lay equanimity and six kinds of renunciate equanimity.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay happiness? There are sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the worldly pleasures of the flesh. Happiness arises when you regard it as a gain to obtain such sights, or when you recollect sights you formerly obtained that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such happiness is called lay happiness. There are sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body … Thoughts known by the mind that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the world’s material delights. Happiness arises when you regard it as a gain to obtain such thoughts, or when you recollect thoughts you formerly obtained that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such happiness is called lay happiness. These are the six kinds of lay happiness.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay sadness? There are sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the world’s material delights. Sadness arises when you regard it as a loss to lose such sights, or when you recollect sights you formerly lost that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such sadness is called lay sadness. There are sounds known by the ear … There are smells known by the nose … There are tastes known by the tongue … There are touches known by the body … There are thoughts known by the mind that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the worldly pleasures of the flesh. Sadness arises when you regard it as a loss to lose such thoughts, or when you recollect thoughts you formerly lost that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such sadness is called lay sadness. These are the six kinds of lay sadness.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay equanimity? When seeing a sight with the eye, equanimity arises for the unlearned ordinary person—a foolish ordinary person who has not overcome their limitations and the results of deeds, and is blind to the drawbacks. Such equanimity does not transcend the sight. That’s why it’s called lay equanimity. When hearing a sound with the ear … When smelling an odor with the nose … When tasting a flavor with the tongue … When feeling a touch with the body … When knowing a thought with the mind, equanimity arises for the unlearned ordinary person—a foolish ordinary person who has not overcome their limitations and the results of deeds, and is blind to the drawbacks. Such equanimity does not transcend the thought. That’s why it’s called lay equanimity. These are the six kinds of lay equanimity.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 137 Saḷāyatanavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of the Six Sense Fields by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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AN 8.70 From… Bhūmicālasutta: Earthquakes

…And then, not long after Ānanda had left, Māra the Wicked said to the Buddha:

“Sir, 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 shall 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 appropriately, living in line with the teaching; not until they’ve learned their tradition, and explain, teach, assert, establish, clarify, analyze, and reveal; 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 shall not become fully extinguished until I have nun disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned …’ …

‘Wicked One, I shall not become fully extinguished until I have layman disciples who are competent, educated, assured, learned …’ …

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

Sir, may the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished. Sir, you once made this statement:

‘Wicked One, I shall not become fully extinguished 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.

Sir, may the Blessed One now become fully extinguished! May the Holy One become fully extinguished! Now is the time for the Buddha to become fully extinguished.”

“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.…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.70 Bhūmicālasutta: Earthquakes by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

DN 31 From… Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka—Good Friends

“…Householder’s son, you should recognize these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend in good times and bad, the counselor, and the one who’s compassionate.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a helper on four grounds. They guard you when you’re negligent. They guard your property when you’re negligent. They keep you safe in times of danger. When something needs doing, they provide you with twice the money you need. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a helper on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s the same in good times and bad on four grounds. They tell you secrets. They keep your secrets. They don’t abandon you in times of trouble. They’d even give their life for your welfare. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s the same in good times and bad on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a counselor on four grounds. They keep you from doing bad. They support you in doing good. They teach you what you do not know. They explain the path to heaven. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a counselor on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s compassionate on four grounds. They don’t delight in your misfortune. They delight in your good fortune. They keep others from criticizing you. They encourage praise of you. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s compassionate on these four grounds.”

The Buddha spoke this matter. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“A friend who’s a helper,
one the same in both pleasure and pain,
a friend of good counsel,
and one of compassion;

an astute person understands
these four friends for what they are
and carefully looks after them,
like a mother the child at her breast.
The astute and virtuous
shine like a burning flame.

They pick up riches as bees
roaming round pick up pollen.
And their riches proceed to grow,
like an ant-hill piling up.

In gathering wealth like this,
a householder does enough for their family.
And they’d hold on to friends
by dividing their wealth in four.

One portion is to enjoy.
Two parts invest in work.
And the fourth should be kept
for times of trouble.”…


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 31 Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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Dhp 302 From… Pakiṇṇakavagga: Miscellaneous

Going forth is hard, it’s hard to be happy;
life at home is hard too, and painful,
it’s painful to stay when you’ve nothing in common.
A traveler is a prey to pain,
so don’t be a traveler,
don’t be prey to pain.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 302 Pakiṇṇakavagga: Miscellaneous by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 7.10 Bahudhītarasutta: Many Daughters

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Kosalans in a certain forest grove.

Now at that time one of the brahmins of the Bhāradvāja clan had lost fourteen oxen. While looking for them he went to that forest, where he saw the Buddha sitting down cross-legged, his body set straight, and mindfulness established in front of him. He went up to the Buddha, and recited these verses in the Buddha’s presence:

“This ascetic mustn’t have
fourteen oxen
missing for the past six days:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
a field of sesame ruined,
with just one or two leaves:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
rats in a vacant barn
dancing merrily:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
carpets that for seven months
have been infested with fleas:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
seven widowed daughters
with one or two children each:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
a wife with sallow, blotchy skin
to wake him with a kick:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.

This ascetic mustn’t have
creditors knocking at dawn,
warning, ‘Pay up! Pay up!’:
that’s why this ascetic is happy.”

“You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
fourteen oxen
missing for the past six days:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
a field of sesame ruined,
with just one or two leaves:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
rats in a vacant barn
dancing merrily:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
carpets that for seven months
have been infested with fleas:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
seven widowed daughters
with one or two children each:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
a wife with blotchy, pockmarked skin
to wake me up with a kick:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.

You’re right, brahmin, I don’t have
creditors knocking at dawn,
warning, ‘Pay up! Pay up!’:
that’s why I’m happy, brahmin.”

When he had spoken, the brahmin said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! 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 clear eyes can see what’s there, Master Gotama has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. May I receive the going forth, the ordination in the ascetic Gotama’s presence?”

And the brahmin received the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence. Not long after his ordination, Venerable Bhāradvāja, 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 Bhāradvāja became one of the perfected.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.10 Bahudhītarasutta: Many Daughters by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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Snp 2.14 From… Dhammikasutta: With Dhammika

…Now I shall tell you the householder’s duty,
doing which one becomes a good disciple.
For one burdened with possessions does not get to realize
the whole of the mendicant’s practice.

They’d not kill any creature, nor have them killed,
nor grant permission for others to kill.
They’ve laid aside violence towards all creatures
frail or firm that there are in the world.

Next, a disciple would avoid knowingly
taking anything not given at all,
they’d not get others to do it, nor grant them permission to steal;
they’d avoid all theft.

A sensible person would avoid the unchaste life,
like a burning pit of coals.
But if unable to remain chaste,
they’d not transgress with another’s partner.

In a council or assembly,
or one on one, they would not lie.
They’d not get others to lie, nor grant them permission to lie;
they’d avoid all untruths.

A householder espousing this teaching
would not consume liquor or drink.
They’d not get others to drink, nor grant them permission to drink;
knowing that ends in intoxication.

For drunken fools do bad things,
and encourage other heedless folk.
Reject this field of demerit,
the maddening, deluding frolic of fools.

You shouldn’t kill living creatures, or steal,
or lie, or drink alcohol.
Be celibate, refraining from sex,
and don’t eat at night, the wrong time.

Not wearing garlands or applying perfumes,
you should sleep on a low bed, or a mat on the ground.
This is the eight-factored sabbath, they say,
explained by the Buddha, who has gone to suffering’s end.

Then having rightly undertaken the sabbath
complete in all its eight factors
on the fourteenth, fifteenth, and eighth of the fortnight,
as well as on the fortnightly special displays,

on the morning after the sabbath
a clever person, rejoicing with confident heart,
would distribute food and drink
to the mendicant Saṅgha as is fitting.

One should rightfully support one’s parents,
and undertake a legitimate business.
A diligent layperson observing these duties
ascends to the gods called Self-luminous.”


Read the entire translation of Snp 2.14 Dhammikasutta: With Dhammika by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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AN 1.248-257 Foremost Laymen

“The foremost of my laymen in first going for refuge are the merchants Tapussa and Bhallika.

… as a donor is the householder Sudatta Anāthapiṇḍika.

… who speak on the teaching is the householder Citta Macchikāsaṇḍika.

… who attract a congregation by the four ways of being inclusive is Hatthaka of Āḷavī.

… who donate fine things is Mahānāma Sakka.

… who donate nice things is the householder Ugga of Vesālī.

… who attend on the Saṅgha is the householder Uggata of Elephant Village.

… who have experiential confidence is Sūrambaṭṭha.

… who have confidence in a person is Jīvaka Komārabhacca.

… who are intimate is the householder Nakula’s father.”


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SN 17.24 Ekadhītusutta: An Only Daughter

At Sāvatthī.

“Possessions, honor, and popularity are brutal, bitter, and harsh. They’re an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary from the yoke.

A faithful laywoman with a dear and beloved only daughter would rightly appeal to her, ‘My darling, please be like the laywomen Khujjuttarā and Veḷukaṇṭakī, Nanda’s mother.’

These are a standard and a measure for my female lay disciples, that is, the laywomen Khujjuttarā and Veḷukaṇṭakī, Nanda’s mother.

‘But my darling, if you go forth from the lay life to homelessness, please be like the nuns Khemā and Uppalavaṇṇā.’

These are a standard and a measure for my nun disciples, that is, the nuns Khemā and Uppalavaṇṇā.

‘And my darling, may you not come into possessions, honor, and popularity while you’re still a trainee and haven’t achieved your heart’s desire.’ If a trainee who hasn’t achieved their heart’s desire comes into possessions, honor, and popularity it’s an obstacle for them.

So brutal are possessions, honor, and popularity. …”


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SN 45.24 Dutiyapaṭipadāsutta: The Way (2)

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, whether for a layperson or one gone forth, I do not praise the wrong way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising wrongly, because of undertaking the wrong way of practice he does not attain the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome. And what, bhikkhus, is the wrong way? It is: wrong view … wrong concentration. This is called the wrong way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising wrongly, because of undertaking the wrong way of practice he does not attain the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome.

“Bhikkhus, whether for a layperson or one gone forth, I praise the right way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising rightly, because of undertaking the right way of practice he attains the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome. And what, bhikkhus, is the right way? It is: right view … right concentration. This is called the right way. Whether it is a layperson or one gone forth who is practising rightly, because of undertaking the right way of practice he attains the method, the Dhamma that is wholesome.”


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MN 71 From… Tevijjavacchasutta: To Vacchagotta on the Three Knowledges

… When he said this, the wanderer Vacchagotta said to the Buddha, “Master Gotama, are there any laypeople who, without giving up the fetter of lay life, make an end of suffering when the body breaks up?”

“No, Vaccha.”

“But are there any laypeople who, without giving up the fetter of lay life, go to heaven when the body breaks up?”

“There’s not just one hundred laypeople, Vaccha, or two or three or four or five hundred, but many more than that who, without giving up the fetter of lay life, go to heaven when the body breaks up.…”


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SN 7.19 Mātuposakasutta: The Brahmin Who Provided for His Mother

At Sāvatthī.

Then a brahmin who provided for his mother 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, I seek alms by legitimate means, which I use to provide for my mother and father. In doing so, am I doing my duty?”

“Indeed, brahmin, in so doing you are doing your duty. Whoever seeks alms by legitimate means, and uses them to provide for their mother and father makes much merit.

A mortal provides for their mother
and father by legitimate means;
because they look after
their parents like this,
they’re praised in this life by the astute,
and they depart to rejoice in heaven.”

When he said this, the brahmin who provided for his mother said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! … From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”


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AN 4.62 Ānaṇyasutta: Freedom From Debt

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika approached the Blessed One…. The Blessed One said to him:

“Householder, there are these four kinds of happiness that may be achieved by a layperson who enjoys sensual pleasures, depending on time and occasion. What four? The happiness of ownership, the happiness of enjoyment, the happiness of freedom from debt, and the happiness of blamelessness.

(1) “And what, householder, is the happiness of ownership? Here, a clansman has acquired wealth by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained. When he thinks, ‘I have acquired wealth by energetic striving … righteously gained,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of ownership.

(2) “And what is the happiness of enjoyment? Here, with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, a clansman enjoys his wealth and does meritorious deeds. When he thinks, ‘With wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, I enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of enjoyment.

(3) “And what is the happiness of freedom from debt? Here, a clansman has no debts to anyone, whether large or small. When he thinks, ‘I have no debts to anyone, whether large or small,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of freedom from debt.

(4) “And what is the happiness of blamelessness? Here, householder, a noble disciple is endowed with blameless bodily, verbal, and mental action. When he thinks, ‘I am endowed with blameless bodily, verbal, and mental action,’ he experiences happiness and joy. This is called the happiness of blamelessness.

“These are the four kinds of happiness that a layperson who enjoys sensual pleasures may achieve, depending on time and occasion.”

Having known the happiness of freedom from debt,
one should recall the happiness of ownership.
Enjoying the happiness of enjoyment,
a mortal then sees things clearly with wisdom.

While seeing things clearly, the wise one
knows both kinds of happiness.
The other is not worth a sixteenth part
of the bliss of blamelessness.


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AN 8.54 Dīghajāṇusutta: With Dīghajāṇu

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Koliyans, where they have a town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dīghajāṇu the Koliyan went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha:

“Sir, we are laypeople who enjoy sensual pleasures and living at home with our children. We use sandalwood imported from Kāsi, we wear garlands, perfumes, and makeup, and we accept gold and money. May the Buddha please teach us the Dhamma in a way that leads to our welfare and happiness in this life and in future lives.”

“Byagghapajja, these four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life. What four? Accomplishment in initiative, protection, good friendship, and balanced finances.

And what is accomplishment in initiative? It’s when a gentleman earns a living by means such as farming, trade, raising cattle, archery, government service, or one of the professions. He understands how to go about these things in order to complete and organize the work. This is called accomplishment in initiative.

And what is accomplishment in protection? It’s when a gentleman owns legitimate wealth that he has earned by his own efforts and initiative, built up with his own hands, gathered by the sweat of the brow. He ensures it is guarded and protected, thinking: ‘How can I prevent my wealth from being taken by rulers or bandits, consumed by fire, swept away by flood, or taken by unloved heirs?’ This is called accomplishment in protection.

And what is accomplishment in good friendship? It’s when a gentleman resides in a town or village. And in that place there are householders or their children who may be young or old, but are mature in conduct, accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. He associates with them, converses and engages in discussion. And he emulates the same kind of accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. This is called accomplishment in good friendship.

And what is accomplishment in balanced finances? It’s when a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ It’s like an appraiser or their apprentice who, holding up the scales, knows that it’s low by this much or high by this much. In the same way, a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ If a gentleman has little income but an opulent life, people will say: ‘This gentleman eats their wealth like a fig-eater!’ If a gentleman has a large income but a spartan life, people will say: ‘This gentleman is starving themselves to death!’ But a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, leads a balanced life, neither too extravagant nor too frugal, thinking, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ This is called accomplishment in balanced finances.

There are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the drains and close off the inlets, and the heavens don’t provide enough rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to dwindle, not expand. In the same way, there are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates.

There are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the inlets and close off the drains, and the heavens provide plenty of rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to expand, not dwindle. In the same way, there are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life.

These four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives. What four? Accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom.

And what is accomplishment in faith? It’s when a gentleman has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘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.’ This is called accomplishment in faith.

And what is accomplishment in ethics? It’s when a gentleman doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or consume alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. This is called accomplishment in ethics.

And what is accomplishment in generosity? It’s when a gentleman lives at home rid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share. This is called accomplishment in generosity.

And what is accomplishment in wisdom? It’s when a gentleman is wise. He has the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. This is called accomplishment in wisdom.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives.

They’re enterprising in the workplace,
diligent in managing things,
they balance their finances,
and preserve their wealth.

Faithful, accomplished in ethics,
bountiful, rid of stinginess,
they always purify the path
to well-being in lives to come.

And so these eight qualities
of a faithful householder
are declared by the one who is truly named
to lead to happiness in both spheres,

welfare and benefit in this life,
and happiness in the future lives.
This is how, for a householder,
merit grows by generosity.”


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AN 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: With Mahānāma

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Monastery. Then Mahānāma the Sakyan went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, how is a lay follower defined?”

“Mahānāma, when you’ve gone for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha, you’re considered to be a lay follower.”

“But how is an ethical lay follower defined?”

“When a lay follower doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or use alcoholic drinks that cause negligence, they’re considered to be an ethical lay follower.”

“But how do we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit themselves, not others?”

“A lay follower is accomplished in faith, but doesn’t encourage others to do the same. They’re accomplished in ethical conduct, but don’t encourage others to do the same. They’re accomplished in generosity, but don’t encourage others to do the same. They like to see the mendicants, but don’t encourage others to do the same. They like to hear the true teaching, but don’t encourage others to do the same. They readily memorize the teachings they’ve heard, but don’t encourage others to do the same. They examine the meaning of the teachings they’ve memorized, but don’t encourage others to do the same. Understanding the meaning and the teaching, they practice accordingly, but they don’t encourage others to do the same. That’s how we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit themselves, not others.”

“But how do we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others?”

“A lay follower is accomplished in faith and encourages others to do the same. They’re accomplished in ethical conduct and encourage others to do the same. They’re accomplished in generosity and encourage others to do the same. They like to see the mendicants and encourage others to do the same. They like to hear the true teaching and encourage others to do the same. They readily memorize the teachings they’ve heard and encourage others to do the same. They examine the meaning of the teachings they’ve memorized and encourage others to do the same. Understanding the meaning and the teaching, they practice accordingly and they encourage others to do the same. That’s how we define a lay follower who is practicing to benefit both themselves and others.”


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AN 10.26 Kāḷīsutta: With Kāḷī

[Note: We met the laywoman Kāḷī of Kuraraghara in yesterdays selection declaring her foremost of laywomen whose confidence is based on oral transmission. In this sutta, she is asking about a statement found in SN 4.25 Māradhītu Sutta. The meditations on universals mentioned below are the kasina meditations. The answer that Arahant Mahākaccāna gives shows that deep Dhamma was taught to lay people as well as monastics.]

At one time Venerable Mahākaccāna was staying in the land of the Avantis near Kuraraghara on Steep Mountain.

Then the laywoman Kāḷī of Kurughara went up to Venerable Mahākaccāna, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him, “Sir, this was said by the Buddha in ‘The Maidens’ Questions’:

‘I’ve reached the goal, peace of heart.
Having conquered the army
of the likable and pleasant,
alone, practicing absorption, I awakened to bliss.
That’s why I don’t get too close to people,
and no-one gets too close to me.’

How should we see the detailed meaning of the Buddha’s brief statement?”

“Sister, some ascetics and brahmins regard the attainment of the meditation on universal earth to be the ultimate. Thinking ‘this is the goal’, they are reborn. The Buddha directly knew the extent to which the attainment of the meditation on universal earth was the ultimate. Directly knowing this he saw the beginning, the drawback, and the escape. And he saw the knowledge and vision of the variety of paths. Because he saw the beginning, the drawback, and the escape, and he saw the knowledge and vision of the variety of paths, he knew that he had reached the goal, peace of heart.

Some ascetics and brahmins regard the attainment of the meditation on universal water to be the ultimate. Thinking ‘this is the goal’, they are reborn. … Some ascetics and brahmins regard the attainment of the meditation on universal fire … universal air … universal blue … universal yellow … universal red … universal white … universal space … universal consciousness to be the ultimate. Thinking ‘this is the goal’, they are reborn. The Buddha directly knew the extent to which the attainment of the meditation on universal consciousness was the ultimate. Directly knowing this he saw the beginning, the drawback, and the escape. And he saw the knowledge and vision of the variety of paths. Because he saw the beginning, the drawback, and the escape, and he saw the knowledge and vision of the variety of paths, he knew that he had reached the goal, peace of heart.

So, sister, that’s how to understand the detailed meaning of what the Buddha said in brief in ‘The Maiden’s Questions’:

‘I’ve reached the goal, peace of heart.
Having conquered the army
of the likable and pleasant,
alone, practicing absorption, I awakened to bliss.
That’s why I don’t get too close to people,
and no-one gets too close to me.’”


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AN 1.258-267 Foremost Laywomen

“The foremost of my laywomen in first going for refuge is Sujātā the general’s daughter.

… as a donor is Visākhā, Migāra’s mother.

… who are very learned is Khujjuttarā.

… who dwell in love is Sāmāvatī.

… who practice absorption is Uttarānanda’s mother.

… who give fine things is Suppavāsā the Koliyan.

… who care for the sick is the laywoman Suppiyā.

… who have experiential confidence is Kātiyānī.

… who are intimate is the householder Nakula’s mother.

… whose confidence is based on oral transmission is the laywoman Kāḷī of Kuraraghara.”


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Ud 2.5 Upāsakasutta: A Lay Follower

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now at that time a certain lay follower from Icchānaṅgalaka arrived at Sāvatthī on some business. Having concluded his business in Sāvatthī he went to see the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said this to him: “It’s been a long time, lay follower, since you took the opportunity to come here.”

“For a long time I’ve wanted to come and see the Buddha, but I wasn’t able, being prevented by my many duties and responsibilities.”

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

“One who has nothing is happy indeed,
a learned person who has assessed the teaching.
See how troubled are those with attachments,
a person bound tight to people.”


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