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SN 5.10 Vajirāsutta: Vajira

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Vajira dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms. When she had walked for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Blind Men’s Grove for the day’s abiding. Having plunged into the Blind Men’s Grove, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Vajira, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

“By whom has this being been created?
Where is the maker of the being?
Where has the being arisen?
Where does the being cease?”

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Vajira: “Now who is this that recited the verse—a human being or a nonhuman being?” Then it occurred to her: “This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited the verse desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in me, desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Vajira, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“Why now do you assume ‘a being’?
Mara, is that your speculative view?
This is a heap of sheer formations:
Here no being is found.

“Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word ‘chariot’ is used,
So, when the aggregates exist,
There is the convention ‘a being.’

“It’s only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Vajira knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.10 Vajirāsutta: Vajira by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 4.12 Kinnusīhasutta: Lion

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Now on that occasion the Blessed One was teaching the Dhamma while surrounded by a large assembly.

Then it occurred to Mara the Evil One: “This ascetic Gotama is teaching the Dhamma while surrounded by a large assembly. Let me approach the ascetic Gotama in order to confound them.”

Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Why now do you roar like a lion,
Confident in the assembly?
For there is one who’s a match for you,
So why think yourself the victor?”

The Blessed One:

“The great heroes roar their lion’s roar
Confident in the assemblies—
The Tathagatas endowed with the powers
Have crossed over attachment to the world.”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.


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SN 4.16 Pattasutta: Almsbowls

At Savatthi. Now on that occasion the Blessed One was instructing, exhorting, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus with a Dhamma talk concerning the five aggregates subject to clinging. And those bhikkhus were listening to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, applying their whole minds to it.

Then it occurred to Mara the Evil One: “This ascetic Gotama is instructing, exhorting, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus … who are applying their whole minds to it. Let me approach the ascetic Gotama in order to confound them.”

Now on that occasion a number of almsbowls had been put out in the open. Then Mara the Evil One manifested himself in the form of an ox and approached those almsbowls. Then one bhikkhu said to another: “Bhikkhu, bhikkhu! That ox may break the almsbowls.” When this was said, the Blessed One said to that bhikkhu: “That is not an ox, bhikkhu. That is Mara the Evil One, who has come here in order to confound you.”

Then the Blessed One, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” addressed Mara the Evil One in verses:

“Form, feeling, and perception,
Consciousness, and formations—
‘I am not this, this isn’t mine,’
Thus one is detached from it.

“Though they seek him everywhere,
Mara and his army do not find him:
The one thus detached, secure,
Who has gone beyond all ’fetters.”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 4.16 Pattasutta: Almsbowls by Bhikkhu Bodhi 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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SN 5.5 Uppalavaṇṇāsutta: Uppalavaṇṇa

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa dressed … she stood at the foot of a sal tree in full flower.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

“Having gone to a sal tree with flowering top,
You stand at its foot all alone, bhikkhuni.
There is none whose beauty rivals yours:
Foolish girl, aren’t you afraid of rogues?”

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa: “Now who is this…? This is Mara the Evil One … desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“Though a hundred thousand rogues
Just like you might come here,
I stir not a hair, I feel no terror;
Even alone, Mara, I don’t fear you.

“I can make myself disappear
Or I can enter inside your belly.
I can stand between your eyebrows
Yet you won’t catch a glimpse of me.

“I am the master of my mind,
The bases of power are well developed;
I am freed from all bondage,
Therefore I don’t fear you, friend.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Uppalavaṇṇa knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Note: Arahant Uppalavaṇṇā was one of the two chief bhikkhuni disciples and foremost having psychic powers.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.5 Uppalavaṇṇāsutta: Uppalavaṇṇa by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 19 Dvedhāvitakkasutta: Two Kinds of Thought

“…Suppose, bhikkhus, that in a wooded range there was a great low-lying marsh near which a large herd of deer lived. Then a man appeared desiring their ruin, harm, and bondage, and he closed off the safe and good path to be traveled joyfully, and he opened up a false path, and he put out a decoy and set up a dummy so that the large herd of deer might later come upon calamity, disaster, and loss. But another man came desiring their good, welfare, and protection, and he reopened the safe and good path that led to their happiness, and he closed off the false path, and he removed the decoy and destroyed the dummy, so that the large herd of deer might later come to growth, increase, and fulfilment.

“Bhikkhus, I have given this simile in order to convey a meaning. This is the meaning: ‘The great low-lying marsh’ is a term for sensual pleasures. ‘The large herd of deer’ is a term for beings. ‘The man desiring their ruin, harm, and bondage’ is a term for Māra the Evil One. ‘The false path’ is a term for the wrong eightfold path, that is: wrong view, wrong intention, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, and wrong concentration. ‘The decoy’ is a term for delight and lust. ‘The dummy’ is a term for ignorance. ‘The man desiring their good, welfare, and protection’ is a term for the Tathāgata, accomplished and fully enlightened. ‘The safe and good path to be traveled joyfully’ is a term for the Noble Eightfold Path, that is: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

“So, bhikkhus, the safe and good path to be traveled joyfully has been reopened by me, the wrong path has been closed off, the decoy removed, the dummy destroyed.

“What should be done for his disciples out of compassion by a teacher who seeks their welfare and has compassion for them, that I have done for you, bhikkhus. There are these roots of trees, these empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not delay or else you will regret it later. This is our instruction to you.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 19 Dvedhāvitakkasutta: Two Kinds of Thought by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 5.7 Upacālāsutta: Upacala

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Upacala dressed … she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One approached the bhikkhuni Upacala and said to her: “Where do you wish to be reborn, bhikkhuni?”

“I do not wish to be reborn anywhere, friend.”

“There are Tavatiṁsa and Yama devas,
And devatās of the Tusita realm,
Devas who take delight in creating,
And devas who exercise control.
Direct your mind there to those realms
And you’ll experience delight.”

The bhikkhuni Upacala:

“There are Tavatiṁsa and Yama devas,
And devatās of the Tusita realm,
Devas who take delight in creating,
And devas who exercise control.
They are still bound by sensual bondage,
They come again under Mara’s control.

“All the world is on fire,
All the world is burning,
All the world is ablaze,
All the world is quaking.

“That which does not quake or blaze,
That to which worldlings do not resort,
Where there is no place for Mara:
That is where my mind delights.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Upacala knows me, sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.7 Upacālāsutta: Upacala by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 4.8 Nandatisutta: He Delights

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park.

Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“One who has sons delights in sons,
One with cattle delights in cattle.
Acquisitions truly are a man’s delight;
Without acquisitions one does not delight.”

The Blessed One:

“One who has sons sorrows over sons,
One with cattle sorrows over cattle.
Acquisitions truly are a man’s sorrow;
Without acquisitions one does not sorrow.”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 4.8 Nandatisutta: He Delights by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 5.4 Vijayāsutta: Vijaya

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Vijaya dressed … she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Vijaya, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

“You are so young and beautiful,
And I too am a youth in my prime.
Come, noble lady, let us rejoice
With the music of a fivefold ensemble.”

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Vijaya: “Now who is this…? This is Mara the Evil One … desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Vijaya, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“Forms, sounds, tastes, odours,
And delightful tactile objects—
I offer them right back to you,
For I, O Mara, do not need them.

“I am repelled and humiliated
By this foul, putrid body,
Subject to break up, fragile:
I’ve uprooted sensual craving.

“As to those beings who fare amidst form,
And those who abide in the formless,
And those peaceful attainments too:
Everywhere darkness has been destroyed.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing “The bhikkhuni Vijaya knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.4 Vijayāsutta: Vijaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.15 Paññattisutta: Proclamations

“Bhikkhus, there are these four proclamations of the foremost. What four?

(1) “The foremost of those with bodies is Rāhu, lord of the asuras. (2) The foremost of those who enjoy sensual pleasures is King Mandhātā. (3) The foremost of those who exercise authority is Māra the Evil One. (4) In this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, among this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One is declared foremost. These are the four proclamations of those who are foremost.”

Rāhu is the foremost of those with bodies,
Mandhātā, of those enjoying sense pleasures;
Māra is the foremost of rulers,
blazing with power and glory.

In this world together with its devas
above, across, and below,
as far as the world extends,
the Buddha is declared foremost.


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SN 5.2 Somāsutta: Soma

At Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Soma dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms. When she had walked for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Blind Men’s Grove for the day’s abiding. Having plunged into the Blind Men’s Grove, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Soma, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

“That state so hard to achieve
Which is to be attained by the seers,
Can’t be attained by a woman
With her two-fingered wisdom.”

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Soma: “Now who is this that recited the verse—a human being or a nonhuman being?” Then it occurred to her: “This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited the verse desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in me, desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Soma, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

“What does womanhood matter at all
When the mind is concentrated well,
When knowledge flows on steadily
As one sees correctly into Dhamma.

“One to whom it might occur,
‘I’m a woman’ or ‘I’m a man’
Or ‘I’m anything at all’—
Is fit for Mara to address.”

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Soma knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.2 Somāsutta: Soma by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 4.7 Supatisutta: Sleep

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Then, when the night was fading, the Blessed One, having spent much of the night walking back and forth in the open, washed his feet, entered his dwelling, and lay down on his right side in the lion’s posture, with one leg overlapping the other, mindful and clearly comprehending, having attended to the idea of rising.

Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“What, you sleep? Why do you sleep?
What’s this, you sleep like a wretch?
Thinking ‘The hut’s empty’ you sleep:
What’s this, you sleep when the sun has risen?”

The Blessed One:

“Within him craving no longer lurks,
Entangling and binding, to lead him anywhere;
With the destruction of all acquisitions
The Awakened One sleeps:
Why should this concern you, Mara?”

Then Mara the Evil One … disappeared right there.


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SN 36.21 Sīvakasutta: Sivaka

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Then the wanderer Moḷiyasīvaka approached the Blessed One and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Blessed One:

“Master Gotama, there are some ascetics and brahmins who hold such a doctrine and view as this: ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past.’ What does Master Gotama say about this?”

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from bile disorders: that some feelings arise here originating from bile disorders one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.

“Some feelings, Sīvaka, arise here originating from phlegm disorders … originating from wind disorders … originating from an imbalance of the three … produced by change of climate … produced by careless behaviour … caused by assault … produced as the result of kamma: that some feelings arise here produced as the result of kamma one can know for oneself, and that is considered to be true in the world. Now when those ascetics and brahmins hold such a doctrine and view as this, ‘Whatever a person experiences, whether it be pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant, all that is caused by what was done in the past,’ they overshoot what one knows by oneself and they overshoot what is considered to be true in the world. Therefore I say that this is wrong on the part of those ascetics and brahmins.”

When this was said, the wanderer Moḷiyasīvaka said to the Blessed One: “Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent, Master Gotama!… From today let Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

Bile, phlegm, and also wind,
Imbalance and climate too,
Carelessness and assault,
With kamma result as the eighth.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 36.21 Sīvakasutta: Sivaka by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 5.57 From… Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhāna sutta: Themes—Owners of Actions

…(5) “And for the sake of what benefit should a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do’? People engage in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. But when one often reflects upon this theme, such misconduct is either completely abandoned or diminished. It is for the sake of this benefit that a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.’…

…“This noble disciple reflects thus: ‘I am not the only one who is the owner of one’s kamma, the heir of one’s kamma; who has kamma as one’s origin, kamma as one’s relative, kamma as one’s resort; who will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that one does. All beings that come and go, that pass away and undergo rebirth, are owners of their kamma, heirs of their kamma; all have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; all will be heirs of whatever kamma, good or bad, that they do.’ As he often reflects on this theme, the path is generated. He pursues this path, develops it, and cultivates it. As he does so, the fetters are entirely abandoned and the underlying tendencies are uprooted.…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.57 Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhāna sutta: Themes by Bhikkhu Bodhi 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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SN 16.2 Anottappīsutta: Unafraid of Wrongdoing

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Venerable Mahakassapa and the Venerable Sāriputta were dwelling at Baraṇasī in the Deer Park at Isipatana. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahakassapa. He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahakassapa and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:

“Friend, it is said that one who is not ardent and who is unafraid of wrongdoing is incapable of enlightenment, incapable of Nibbāna, incapable of achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage; but one who is ardent and afraid of wrongdoing is capable of enlightenment, capable of Nibbāna, capable of achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage. In what way is this so, friend?”

“Here, friend, a bhikkhu does not arouse ardour by thinking: ‘If unarisen evil unwholesome states arise in me, this may lead to my harm’; nor by thinking: ‘If evil unwholesome states that have arisen in me are not abandoned, this may lead to my harm’; nor by thinking: ‘If unarisen wholesome states do not arise in me, this may lead to my harm’; nor by thinking: ‘If wholesome states that have arisen in me cease, this may lead to my harm.’ Thus he is not ardent.

“And how, friend, is he unafraid of wrongdoing? Here, friend, a bhikkhu does not become afraid at the thought: ‘If unarisen evil unwholesome states arise in me, this may lead to my harm’ … nor at the thought: ‘If wholesome states that have arisen in me cease, this may lead to my harm.’ Thus he is unafraid of wrongdoing.

“It is in this way, friend, that one who is not ardent and who is unafraid of wrongdoing is incapable of enlightenment, incapable of Nibbāna, incapable of achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage.

“And how, friend, is one ardent? Here, friend, a bhikkhu arouses ardour by thinking: ‘If unarisen evil unwholesome states arise in me, this may lead to my harm’ … and by thinking: ‘If wholesome states that have arisen in me cease, this may lead to my harm.’ Thus he is ardent.

“And how, friend, is he afraid of wrongdoing? Here, friend, a bhikkhu becomes afraid at the thought: ‘If unarisen evil unwholesome states arise in me, this may lead to my harm’; … and at the thought: ‘If wholesome states that have arisen in me cease, this may lead to my harm.’ Thus he is afraid of wrongdoing.

It is in this way, friend, that one who is ardent and afraid of wrongdoing is capable of enlightenment, capable of Nibbāna, capable of achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 16.2 Anottappīsutta: Unafraid of Wrongdoing by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 35.146 Kammanirodhasutta: Kamma

“Bhikkhus, I will teach you new and old kamma, the cessation of kamma, and the way leading to the cessation of kamma. Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak….

“And what, bhikkhus, is old kamma? The eye is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by volition, as something to be felt. The ear is old kamma … The mind is old kamma, to be seen as generated and fashioned by volition, as something to be felt. This is called old kamma.

“And what, bhikkhus is new kamma? Whatever action one does now by body, speech, or mind. This is called new kamma.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the cessation of kamma? When one reaches liberation through the cessation of bodily action, verbal action, and mental action, this is called the cessation of kamma.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the way leading to the cessation of kamma? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“Thus, bhikkhus, I have taught old kamma, I have taught new kamma, I have taught the cessation of kamma, I have taught the way leading to the cessation of kamma. Whatever should be done, bhikkhus, by a compassionate teacher out of compassion for his disciples, desiring their welfare, that I have done for you. These are the feet of trees, bhikkhus, these are empty huts. Meditate, bhikkhus, do not be negligent, lest you regret it later. This is our instruction to you.”


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AN 8.40 Duccaritavipākasutta: Conducive

(1) “Bhikkhus, the destruction of life, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being the destruction of life at minimum conduces to a short life span.

(2) “Taking what is not given, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being taking what is not given at minimum conduces to loss of wealth.

(3) “Sexual misconduct, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being sexual misconduct at minimum conduces to enmity and rivalry.

(4) “False speech, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being false speech at minimum conduces to false accusations.

(5) “Divisive speech, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being divisive speech at minimum conduces to being divided from one’s friends.

(6) “Harsh speech, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being harsh speech at minimum conduces to disagreeable sounds.

(7) “Idle chatter, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being idle chatter at minimum conduces to others distrusting one’s words.

(8) “Drinking liquor and wine, repeatedly pursued, developed, and cultivated, is conducive to hell, to the animal realm, and to the sphere of afflicted spirits; for one reborn as a human being drinking liquor and wine at minimum conduces to madness.”


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MN 36 From… Mahāsaccakasutta: The Greater Discourse to Saccaka

[Note: The events in this selection take place while the Bodhisatta was striving unsuccessfully for enlightenment.]

“I thought: ‘Suppose I practise entirely cutting off food.’ Then deities came to me and said: ‘Good sir, do not practise entirely cutting off food. If you do so, we shall infuse heavenly food into the pores of your skin and you will live on that.’ I considered: ‘If I claim to be completely fasting while these deities infuse heavenly food into the pores of my skin and I live on that, then I shall be lying.’ So I dismissed those deities, saying: ‘There is no need.’

“I thought: ‘Suppose I take very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup.’ So I took very little food, a handful each time, whether of bean soup or lentil soup or vetch soup or pea soup. While I did so, my body reached a state of extreme emaciation. Because of eating so little my limbs became like the jointed segments of vine stems or bamboo stems. Because of eating so little my backside became like a camel’s hoof. Because of eating so little the projections on my spine stood forth like corded beads. Because of eating so little my ribs jutted out as gaunt as the crazy rafters of an old roofless barn. Because of eating so little the gleam of my eyes sank far down in their sockets, looking like the gleam of water that has sunk far down in a deep well. Because of eating so little my scalp shrivelled and withered as a green bitter gourd shrivels and withers in the wind and sun. Because of eating so little my belly skin adhered to my backbone; thus if I touched my belly skin I encountered my backbone and if I touched my backbone I encountered my belly skin. Because of eating so little, if I defecated or urinated, I fell over on my face there. Because of eating so little, if I tried to ease my body by rubbing my limbs with my hands, the hair, rotted at its roots, fell from my body as I rubbed.

“Now when people saw me, some said: ‘The recluse Gotama is black.’ Other people said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not black, he is brown.’ Other people said: ‘The recluse Gotama is neither black nor brown, he is golden-skinned.’ So much had the clear, bright colour of my skin deteriorated through eating so little.

“I thought: ‘Whatever recluses or brahmins in the past have experienced painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. And whatever recluses and brahmins in the future will experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. And whatever recluses and brahmins at present experience painful, racking, piercing feelings due to exertion, this is the utmost, there is none beyond this. But by this racking practice of austerities I have not attained any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. Could there be another path to enlightenment?’

“I considered: ‘I recall that when my father the Sakyan was occupied, while I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I entered upon and abided in the first jhāna, which is accompanied by applied and sustained thought, with rapture and pleasure born of seclusion. Could that be the path to enlightenment?’ Then, following on that memory, came the realisation: ‘That is indeed the path to enlightenment.’

“I thought: ‘Why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states?’ I thought: ‘I am not afraid of that pleasure since it has nothing to do with sensual pleasures and unwholesome states.’

“I considered: ‘It is not easy to attain that pleasure with a body so excessively emaciated. Suppose I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge.’ And I ate some solid food—some boiled rice and porridge. Now at that time five bhikkhus were waiting upon me, thinking: ‘If our recluse Gotama achieves some higher state, he will inform us.’ But when I ate the boiled rice and porridge, the five bhikkhus were disgusted and left me, thinking: ‘The recluse Gotama now lives luxuriously; he has given up his striving and reverted to luxury.’…


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SN 22.94 Pupphasutta: Flowers

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, I do not dispute with the world; rather, it is the world that disputes with me. A proponent of the Dhamma does not dispute with anyone in the world. Of that which the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, I too say that it does not exist. And of that which the wise in the world agree upon as existing, I too say that it exists.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist? Form that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is permanent, stable, eternal, not subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, and I too say that it does not exist.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as not existing, of which I too say that it does not exist.

“And what is it, bhikkhus, that the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists? Form that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists. Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness that is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this the wise in the world agree upon as existing, and I too say that it exists.

“That, bhikkhus, is what the wise in the world agree upon as existing, of which I too say that it exists.

“There is, bhikkhus, a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it.

“And what is that world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through? Form, bhikkhus, is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Feeling … Perception … Volitional formations … Consciousness is a world-phenomenon in the world to which the Tathagata has awakened and broken through. Having done so, he explains it, teaches it, proclaims it, establishes it, discloses it, analyses it, elucidates it. When it is being thus explained … and elucidated by the Tathagata, if anyone does not know and see, how can I do anything with that foolish worldling, blind and sightless, who does not know and does not see?

“Bhikkhus, just as a blue, red, or white lotus is born in the water and grows up in the water, but having risen up above the water, it stands unsullied by the water, so too the Tathagata was born in the world and grew up in the world, but having overcome the world, he dwells unsullied by the world.”


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AN 4.22 Dutiyauruvelasutta: Uruvelā (2)

“Bhikkhus, on one occasion I was dwelling at Uruvelā, by the goatherds’ banyan tree on the bank of the Neranjarā River, just after I had attained full enlightenment. Then a number of brahmins, old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage, approached me and exchanged greetings with me. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, they sat down to one side and said to me:

“‘We have heard, Master Gotama: “The ascetic Gotama does not pay homage to brahmins who are old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage; nor does he stand up for them or offer them a seat.” This is indeed true, for Master Gotama does not pay homage to brahmins who are old, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage; nor does he stand up for them or offer them a seat. This is not proper, Master Gotama.’

“It then occurred to me: These venerable ones do not know what an elder is or what the qualities that make one an elder are. Even though someone is old—eighty, ninety, or a hundred years from birth—if he speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline, if at an improper time he speaks words that are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial, then he is reckoned as a foolish childish elder.

“But even though someone is young, a youth with black hair, endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, if he speaks at a proper time, speaks what is truthful, speaks what is beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the discipline, and if at a proper time he speaks words that are worth recording, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial, then he is reckoned as a wise elder.

“There are, bhikkhus, these four qualities that make one an elder. What four?

(1) “Here, a bhikkhu is virtuous; he dwells restrained by the Pātimokkha, possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken the training rules, he trains in them.

(2) “He has learned much, remembers what he has learned, and accumulates what he has learned. Those teachings that are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, which proclaim the perfectly complete and pure spiritual life—such teachings as these he has learned much of, retained in mind, recited verbally, investigated with the mind, and penetrated well by view.

(3) “He is one who gains at will, without trouble or difficulty, the four jhānas that constitute the higher mind and are pleasant dwellings in this very life.

(4) “With the destruction of the taints, he 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.

“These are the four qualities that make one an elder.”

The dullard with a restless mind
who speaks much chatter,
his thoughts unsettled,
delighting in a bad teaching,
holding bad views, disrespectful,
is far from an elder’s stature.

But one accomplished in virtue,
learned and discerning,
self-controlled in the factors of firmness,
who clearly sees the meaning with wisdom;
gone beyond all phenomena,
not barren, discerning;

who has abandoned birth and death,
consummate in the spiritual life,
in whom there are no taints—
he is the one I call an elder.
With the destruction of the taints
a bhikkhu is called an elder.



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SN 47.31 Ananussutasutta: Unheard Before

At Savatthi. “‘This is the contemplation of the body in the body’—thus, bhikkhus, in regard to things unheard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, true knowledge, and light.

“‘That contemplation of the body in the body is to be developed’ … ‘That contemplation of the body in the body has been developed’—thus, bhikkhus, in regard to things unheard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, true knowledge, and light.

“‘This is the contemplation of feelings in feelings’ …

“‘This is the contemplation of mind in mind’ …

“‘This is the contemplation of phenomena in phenomena’—thus, bhikkhus, in regard to things unheard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, true knowledge, and light.

“‘That contemplation of phenomena in phenomena is to be developed’ … ‘That contemplation of phenomena in phenomena has been developed’—thus, bhikkhus, in regard to things unheard before, there arose in me vision, knowledge, wisdom, true knowledge, and light.”


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AN 5.7 Kāmasutta: Sensual Pleasures

“Bhikkhus, beings for the most part are captivated by sensual pleasures. When a clansman has forsaken the sickle and carrying-pole and gone forth from the household life into homelessness, he can be described as a clansman who has gone forth out of faith. For what reason? Sensual pleasures, whether of this or that kind, can be obtained by a youth. Inferior sensual pleasures, middling sensual pleasures, and superior sensual pleasures are all reckoned simply as sensual pleasures.

“Suppose a young infant boy, ignorant, lying on his back, were to put a stick or pebble in his mouth because of his nurse’s heedlessness. His nurse would quickly attend to him and try to take it out. If she could not quickly take it out, she would brace the boy’s head with her left hand and, hooking a finger of her right hand, she would take it out even if she had to draw blood. For what reason? There would be some distress for the boy—this I don’t deny—but the nurse has to do so for his good and welfare, out of compassion for him. However, when the boy has grown up and has enough sense, the nurse would be unconcerned about him, thinking: ‘The boy can now look after himself. He won’t be heedless.’

“So too, so long as a bhikkhu is still not accomplished in faith in cultivating wholesome qualities, in a sense of shame in cultivating wholesome qualities, in moral dread in cultivating wholesome qualities, in energy in cultivating wholesome qualities, and in wisdom in cultivating wholesome qualities, I must still look after him. But when that bhikkhu is accomplished in faith in cultivating wholesome qualities … accomplished in wisdom in cultivating wholesome qualities, then I am unconcerned about him, thinking: ‘The bhikkhu can now look after himself. He won’t be heedless.’”


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SN 46.16 Tatiyagilānasutta: Ill (3)

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Now on that occasion the Blessed One was sick, afflicted, gravely ill. Then the Venerable Mahacunda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. The Blessed One then said to the Venerable Mahacunda:

“Recite the factors of enlightenment, Cunda.”

“These seven factors of enlightenment, venerable sir, have been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness has been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna…. The enlightenment factor of discrimination of states … The enlightenment factor of energy … The enlightenment factor of rapture … The enlightenment factor of tranquillity … The enlightenment factor of concentration …The enlightenment factor of equanimity has been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, it leads to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna. These seven factors of enlightenment, venerable sir, have been rightly expounded by the Blessed One; when developed and cultivated, they lead to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbāna.”

“Surely, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment! Surely, Cunda, they are factors of enlightenment!”

This is what the Venerable Mahacunda said. The Teacher approved. And the Blessed One recovered from that illness. In such a way the Blessed One was cured of his illness.


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SN 35.13 Paṭhamapubbesambodhasutta: Before My Enlightenment (1)

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me: ‘What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the eye? What is the gratification, what is the danger, what is the escape in the case of the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind?’

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: ‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the eye: this is the gratification in the eye. That the eye is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the eye. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the eye: this is the escape from the eye.

“‘The pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the ear … the nose … the tongue … the body … the mind: this is the gratification in the mind. That the mind is impermanent, suffering, and subject to change: this is the danger in the mind. The removal and abandonment of desire and lust for the mind: this is the escape from the mind.’

“So long, bhikkhus, as I did not directly know as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these six internal sense bases, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when I directly knew all this as it really is, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans.

“The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation of mind; this is my last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.’”


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MN 28 Mahāhatthipadopamasutta: The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant’s Footprint

[Note: Today’s selection is much longer than usual so we can see the Arahant Sāriputtas great ability to expand upon a topic of Dhamma. It’s a wonderful example of the deep yet practical teachings he was able to give.]

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Friends, bhikkhus.”—“Friend,” they replied. The venerable Sāriputta said this:

“Friends, just as the footprint of any living being that walks can be placed within an elephant’s footprint, and so the elephant’s footprint is declared the chief of them because of its great size; so too, all wholesome states can be included in the Four Noble Truths. In what four? In the noble truth of suffering, in the noble truth of the origin of suffering, in the noble truth of the cessation of suffering, and in the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

“And what is the noble truth of suffering? Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, death is suffering; sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; not to obtain what one wants is suffering; in short, the five aggregates affected by clinging are suffering.

“And what are the five aggregates affected by clinging? They are: the material form aggregate affected by clinging, the feeling aggregate affected by clinging, the perception aggregate affected by clinging, the formations aggregate affected by clinging, and the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging.

“And what is the material form aggregate affected by clinging? It is the four great elements and the material form derived from the four great elements. And what are the four great elements? They are the earth element, the water element, the fire element, and the air element.

The Earth Element

“What, friends, is the earth element? The earth element may be either internal or external. What is the internal earth element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to; that is, head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, intestines, mesentery, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to: this is called the internal earth element. Now both the internal earth element and the external earth element are simply earth element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the earth element and makes the mind dispassionate toward the earth element.

“Now there comes a time when the water element is disturbed and then the external earth element vanishes. When even this external earth element, great as it is, is seen to be impermanent, subject to destruction, disappearance, and changeˌ what of this body, which is clung to by craving and lasts but a while? There can be no considering that as ‘I’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am.’

“So then, if others abuse, revile, scold, and harass a bhikkhu who has seen this element as it actually is, he understands thus: ‘This painful feeling born of ear-contact has arisen in me. That is dependent, not independent. Dependent on what? Dependent on contact.’ Then he sees that contact is impermanent, that feeling is impermanent, that perception is impermanent, that formations are impermanent, and that consciousness is impermanent. And his mind, having made an element its objective support, enters into that new objective support and acquires confidence, steadiness, and resolution.

“Now, if others attack that bhikkhu in ways that are unwished for, undesired, and disagreeable, by contact with fists, clods, sticks, or knives, he understands thus: ‘This body is of such a nature that contact with fists, clods, sticks, and knives assail it. But this has been said by the Blessed One in his “advice on the simile of the saw”: “Bhikkhus, even if bandits were to sever you savagely limb by limb with a two-handled saw, he who gave rise to a mind of hate towards them would not be carrying out my teaching.” So tireless energy shall be aroused in me and unremitting mindfulness established, my body shall be tranquil and untroubled, my mind concentrated and unified. And now let contact with fists, clods, sticks, and knives assail this body; for this teaching of the Buddhas is being practised by me.’

“When that bhikkhu thus recollects the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, if equanimity supported by the wholesome does not become established in him, then he arouses a sense of urgency thus: ‘It is a loss for me, it is no gain for me, it is bad for me, it is no good for me, that when I thus recollect the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, equanimity supported by the wholesome does not become established in me.’ Just as when a daughter-in-law sees her father-in-law, she arouses a sense of urgency to please him, so too, when that bhikkhu thus recollects the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, if equanimity supported by the wholesome does not become established in him, then he arouses a sense of urgency. But if, when he recollects the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, equanimity supported by the wholesome becomes established in him, then he is satisfied with it. At that point, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

The Water Element

“What, friends, is the water element? The water element may be either internal or external. What is the internal water element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to; that is, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, grease, spittle, snot, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is water, watery, and clung-to: this is called the internal water element. Now both the internal water element and the external water element are simply water element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the water element and makes the mind dispassionate toward the water element.

“Now there comes a time when the external water element is disturbed. It carries away villages, towns, cities, districts, and countries. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean sink down a hundred leagues, two hundred leagues, three hundred leagues, four hundred leagues, five hundred leagues, six hundred leagues, seven hundred leagues. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand seven palms deep, six palms deep…two palms deep, only a palm deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand seven fathoms deep, six fathoms deep…two fathoms deep, only a fathom deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean stand half a fathom deep, only waist deep, only knee deep, only ankle deep. There comes a time when the waters in the great ocean are not enough to wet even the joint of a finger. When even this external water element, great as it is, is seen to be impermanent, subject to destruction, disappearance, and change, what of this body, which is clung to by craving and lasts but a while? There can be no considering that as ‘I’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am.’

“So then, if others abuse, revile, scold, and harass a bhikkhu who has seen this element as it actually is, he understands thus:…repeat §§8—10…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

The Fire Element

“What, friends, is the fire element? The fire element may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is fire, fiery, and clung-to; that is, that by which one is warmed, ages, and is consumed, and that by which what is eaten, drunk, consumed, and tasted gets completely digested, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is fire, fiery, and clung-to: this is called the internal fire element. Now both the internal fire element and the external fire element are simply fire element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the fire element and makes the mind dispassionate toward the fire element.

“Now there comes a time when the external fire element is disturbed. It burns up villages, towns, cities, districts, and countries. It goes out due to lack of fuel only when it comes to green grass, or to a road, or to a rock, or to water, or to a fair open space. There comes a time when they seek to make a fire even with a cock’s feather or a hide-paring. When even this external fire element, great as it is, is seen to be impermanent, subject to destruction, disappearance, and change, what of this body, which is clung to by craving and lasts but a while? There can be no considering that as ‘I’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am.’

“So then, if others abuse, revile, scold, and harass a bhikkhu who has seen this element as it actually is, he understands thus:…repeat §§8—10…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

The Air Element

“What, friends, is the air element? The air element may be either internal or external. What is the internal air element? Whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is air, airy, and clung-to; that is, up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the belly, winds in the bowels, winds that course through the limbs, in-breath and out-breath, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is air, airy, and clung-to: this is called the internal air element. Now both the internal air element and the external air element are simply air element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the air element and makes the mind dispassionate toward the air element.

“Now there comes a time when the external air element is disturbed. It sweeps away villages, towns, cities, districts, and countries. There comes a time in the last month of the hot season when they seek wind by means of a fan or bellows and even the strands of straw in the drip-fringe of the thatch do not stir. When even this external air element, great as it is, is seen to be impermanent, subject to destruction, disappearance, and change, what of this body, which is clung to by craving and lasts but a while? There can be no considering that as ‘I’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am.’

“So then, if others abuse, revile, scold, and harass a bhikkhu who has seen this element as it actually is, he understands thus:… repeat §§8—10…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“Friends, just as when a space is enclosed by timber and creepers, grass, and clay, it comes to be termed just ‘house,’ so too, when a space is enclosed by bones and sinews, flesh and skin, it comes to be termed just ‘material form.’

“If, friends, internally the eye is intact but no external forms come into its range, and there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. If internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range, but there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. But when internally the eye is intact and external forms come into its range and there is the corresponding conscious engagement, then there is the manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness.

“The material form in what has thus come to be is included in the material form aggregate affected by clinging. The feeling in what has thus come to be is included in the feeling aggregate affected by clinging. The perception in what has thus come to be is included in the perception aggregate affected by clinging. The formations in what has thus come to be are included in the formations aggregate affected by clinging. The consciousness in what has thus come to be is included in the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging. He understands thus: ‘This, indeed, is how there comes to be the inclusion, gathering, and amassing of things into these five aggregates affected by clinging. Now this has been said by the Blessed One: “One who sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination.” And these five aggregates affected by clinging are dependently arisen. The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origin of suffering. The removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for these five aggregates affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering.’ At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“If, friends, internally the ear is intact but no external sounds come into its range…as in §§27—28…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“If, friends, internally the nose is intact but no external smells come into its range…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“If, friends, internally the tongue is intact but no external flavours come into its range…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“If, friends, internally the body is intact but no external tangibles come into its range…At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.

“If, friends, internally the mind is intact but no external mind-objects come into its range, and there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. If internally the mind is intact and external mind-objects come into its range, but there is no corresponding conscious engagement, then there is no manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness. But when internally the mind is intact and external mind-objects come into its range and there is the corresponding conscious engagement, then there is the manifestation of the corresponding section of consciousness.

“The material form in what has thus come to be is included in the material form aggregate affected by clinging. The feeling in what has thus come to be is included in the feeling aggregate affected by clinging. The perception in what has thus come to be is included in the perception aggregate affected by clinging. The formations in what has thus come to be are included in the formations aggregate affected by clinging. The consciousness in what has thus come to be is included in the consciousness aggregate affected by clinging. He understands thus: ‘This, indeed, is how there comes to be the inclusion, gathering, and amassing of things into these five aggregates affected by clinging. Now this has been said by the Blessed One: “One who sees dependent origination sees the Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination.” And these five aggregates affected by clinging are dependently arisen. The desire, indulgence, inclination, and holding based on these five aggregates affected by clinging is the origin of suffering. The removal of desire and lust, the abandonment of desire and lust for these five aggregates affected by clinging is the cessation of suffering.’ At that point too, friends, much has been done by that bhikkhu.”

That is what the venerable Sāriputta said. The bhikkhus were satisfied and delighted in the venerable Sāriputta’s words.


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SN 47.12 Nālandasutta: Nalanda

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nalanda in Pavarika’s Mango Grove. Then the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment.”

“Lofty indeed is this bellowing utterance of yours, Sāriputta, you have roared a definitive, categorical lion’s roar: ‘Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment.’ Have you now, Sāriputta, encompassed with your mind the minds of all the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones, arisen in the past and known thus: ‘Those Blessed Ones were of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Then, Sāriputta, have you encompassed with your mind the minds of all the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones, who will arise in the future and known thus: ‘Those Blessed Ones will be of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Then, Sāriputta, have you encompassed with your mind my own mind—I being at present the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One—and known thus: ‘The Blessed One is of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Sāriputta, when you do not have any knowledge encompassing the minds of the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present, why do you utter this lofty, bellowing utterance and roar this definitive, categorical lion’s roar: ‘Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment’?”

“I do not have, venerable sir, any knowledge encompassing the minds of the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present, but still I have understood this by inference from the Dhamma. Suppose, venerable sir, a king had a frontier city with strong ramparts, walls, and arches, and with a single gate. The gatekeeper posted there would be wise, competent, and intelligent; one who keeps out strangers and admits acquaintances. While he is walking along the path that encircles the city he would not see a cleft or an opening in the walls even big enough for a cat to slip through. He might think: ‘Whatever large creatures enter or leave this city, all enter and leave through this one gate.’

“So too, venerable sir, I have understood this by inference from the Dhamma: Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones arose in the past, all those Blessed Ones had first abandoned the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with their minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, they had developed correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby they had awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. And, venerable sir, whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones will arise in the future, all those Blessed Ones will first abandon the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with their minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, they will develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby they will awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. And, venerable sir, the Blessed One, who is at present the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, first abandoned the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with his mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, he developed correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby he has awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.”

“Good, good, Sāriputta! Therefore, Sāriputta, you should repeat this Dhamma exposition frequently to the bhikkhus and the bhikkhunis, to the male lay followers and the female lay followers. Even though some foolish people may have perplexity or uncertainty regarding the Tathagata, when they hear this Dhamma exposition their perplexity or uncertainty regarding the Tathagata will be abandoned.”


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AN 10.1 Kimatthiyasutta: What Purpose?

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

(1) “Bhante, what is the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior?”

(2) “Ānanda, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret.”

(3) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of non-regret?”

“The purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy.”

(4) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of joy?”

“The purpose and benefit of joy is rapture.”

(5) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of rapture?”

“The purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility.”

(6) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of tranquility?”

“The purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure.”

(7) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of pleasure?”

“The purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration.”

(8) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of concentration?”

“The purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are.”

(9) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are?”

“The purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion.”

(10) “And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion?”

“The purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation.

“Thus, Ānanda, (1)–(2) the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret; (3) the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; (4) the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture; (5) the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; (6) the purpose and benefit of tranquility is pleasure; (7) the purpose and benefit of pleasure is concentration; (8) the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; (9) the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment and dispassion; and (10) the purpose and benefit of disenchantment and dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation. Thus, Ānanda, wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost.”


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SN 46.1 Himavantasutta: The Himalayas

[Note: Nāgas are powerful non-human beings that resemble large snakes or dragons.]

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, based upon the Himalayas, the king of mountains, the nagas nurture their bodies and acquire strength. When they have nurtured their bodies and acquired strength, they then enter the pools. From the pools they enter the lakes, then the streams, then the rivers, and finally they enter the ocean. There they achieve greatness and expansiveness of body. So too, bhikkhus, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the seven factors of enlightenment, and thereby he achieves greatness and expansiveness in wholesome states.

“And how does a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develop the seven factors of enlightenment? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. He develops the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states … the enlightenment factor of energy … the enlightenment factor of rapture … the enlightenment factor of tranquillity … the enlightenment factor of concentration … the enlightenment factor of equanimity, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develops the seven factors of enlightenment, and thereby achieves greatness and expansiveness in wholesome states.”


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AN 4.12 Sīlasutta: Virtuous Behavior

“Bhikkhus, dwell observant of virtuous behavior, observant of the Pātimokkha. Dwell restrained by the Pātimokkha, possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken them, train in the training rules. When you have done so, what further should be done?

(1) “Bhikkhus, if a bhikkhu has gotten rid of longing and ill will while walking; if he has abandoned dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt; if his energy is aroused without slackening; if his mindfulness is established and unmuddled; if his body is tranquil and undisturbed; if his mind is concentrated and one-pointed, then that bhikkhu is said to be ardent and to dread wrongdoing; he is constantly and continuously energetic and resolute while walking.

(2) “If a bhikkhu has gotten rid of longing and ill will while standing … (3) If a bhikkhu has gotten rid of longing and ill will while sitting … … (4) If a bhikkhu has gotten rid of longing and ill will while wakefully lying down; if he has abandoned dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt; if his energy is aroused without slackening; if his mindfulness is established and unmuddled; if his body is tranquil and undisturbed; if his mind is concentrated and one-pointed, then that bhikkhu is said to be ardent and to dread wrongdoing; he is constantly and continuously energetic and resolute while wakefully lying down.”

Controlled in walking, controlled in standing,
controlled in sitting and in lying down;
controlled, a bhikkhu draws in the limbs,
and controlled, he stretches them out.

Above, across, and below,
as far as the world extends,
he is one who scrutinizes the arising and vanishing
of such phenomena as the aggregates.

Training in what is conducive
to serenity of mind, always mindful,
they call such a bhikkhu
one constantly resolute.



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AN 10.34 Upasampadāsutta: Full Ordination

“Bhante, how many qualities should a bhikkhu possess to give full ordination?”

“A bhikkhu who possesses ten qualities, Upāli, may give full ordination. What ten?

(1) Here, a bhikkhu is virtuous; he dwells restrained by the Pātimokkha, possessed of good conduct and resort, seeing danger in minute faults. Having undertaken the training rules, he trains in them.

(2) He has learned much, remembers what he has learned, and accumulates what he has learned. Those teachings that are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, which proclaim the perfectly complete and pure spiritual life—such teachings as these he has learned much of, retained in mind, recited verbally, investigated mentally, and penetrated well by view.

(3) Both Pātimokkhas have been well transmitted to him in detail, well analyzed, well mastered, well determined in terms of the rules and their detailed explication.

(4) He is able to look after a patient or to get someone else to look after him.

(5) He is able to eliminate one’s dissatisfaction or to get someone else to eliminate it.

(6) He is able to use the Dhamma to dispel regrets that might arise in his pupils.

(7) He is able to dissuade them, by way of the Dhamma, from erroneous views that have arisen.

(8) He is able to encourage them in the higher virtuous behavior.

(9) He is able to encourage them in the higher mind.

(10) He is able to encourage them in the higher wisdom. A bhikkhu who possesses these ten qualities may give full ordination.”


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SN 47.15 Bāhiyasutta: Bahiya

At Savatthi. Then the Venerable Bahiya approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, it would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief, so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute.”

“Well then, Bahiya, purify the very starting point of wholesome states. And what is the starting point of wholesome states? Virtue that is well purified and view that is straight. Then, Bahiya, when your virtue is well purified and your view is straight, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness.

“What four? Here, Bahiya, dwell contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. Dwell contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world.

“When, Bahiya, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you develop these four establishments of mindfulness in such a way, then whether night or day comes, you may expect only growth in wholesome states, not decline.”

Then the Venerable Bahiya, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s words, rose from his seat, and, after paying homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he departed. Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, diligent, ardent, and resolute, the Venerable Bahiya, by realizing it for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life entered and dwelt in that unsurpassed goal of the holy life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no more for this state of being.” And the Venerable Bahiya became one of the arahants.


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SN 45.149 Balasutta: Strenuous

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, just as whatever strenuous deeds are done, are all done based upon the earth, established upon the earth, so too, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path.

“And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path.”



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