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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.

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.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 45.24 Dutiyapaṭipadāsutta: The Way (2) by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.62 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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SN 46.39 Rukkhasutta: Trees

“Bhikkhus, there are huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. And what are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies? The assattha, the banyan, the pilakkha, the udumbara, the kacchaka, and the kapitthana: these are those huge trees with tiny seeds and huge bodies, encirclers of other trees, and the trees which they encircle become bent, twisted, and split. So too, bhikkhus, when some clansman here has left behind sensual pleasures and gone forth from the household life into homelessness, he becomes bent, twisted, and split because of those same sensual pleasures, or because of others worse than them.

“These five, bhikkhus, are obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom. What five? Sensual desire is an obstruction, a hindrance encircling the mind, a weakener of wisdom. Ill will … Sloth and torpor … Restlessness and remorse … Doubt is an obstruction … a weakener of wisdom. These are the five obstructions, hindrances, encirclers of the mind, weakeners of wisdom.

“These seven factors of enlightenment, bhikkhus, are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, nonencirclers of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation. What seven? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness is a nonobstruction … 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 is a nonobstruction.… These seven factors of enlightenment are nonobstructions, nonhindrances, nonencirclers of the mind; when developed and cultivated they lead to the realization of the fruit of true knowledge and liberation.”


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SN 45.2 Upaḍḍhasutta: Half the Holy Life

[Note: Often just a single line of the Buddha’s response to Ven. Ananda is quoted from this sutta. But it’s important to remember the detailed meaning that the Buddha reveals.]

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans where there was a town of the Sakyans named Nagaraka. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, this is half of the holy life, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship.”

“Not so, Ānanda! Not so, Ānanda! This is the entire holy life, Ānanda, that is, good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship. When a bhikkhu has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.

“And how, Ānanda, does a bhikkhu who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu develops right view, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. He develops right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, Ānanda, that a bhikkhu who has a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade, develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path.

By the following method too, Ānanda, it may be understood how the entire holy life is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship: by relying upon me as a good friend, Ānanda, beings subject to birth are freed from birth; beings subject to aging are freed from aging; beings subject to death are freed from death; beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair. By this method, Ānanda, it may be understood how the entire holy life is good friendship, good companionship, good comradeship.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 45.2 Upaḍḍhasutta: Half the Holy Life by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

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AN 4.13 Padhānasutta: Striving

“Bhikkhus, there are these four right strivings. What four? (1) Here, a bhikkhu generates desire for the non-arising of unarisen bad unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. (2) He generates desire for the abandoning of arisen bad unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. (3) He generates desire for the arising of unarisen wholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. (4) He generates desire for the persistence of arisen wholesome states, for their non-decline, increase, expansion, and fulfillment by development; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. These are the four right strivings.”

Those who strive rightly
overcome the realm of Māra;
they are unattached,
gone beyond fear of birth and death.

They are contented and unstirred,
having conquered Māra and his mount;
those happy ones have overcome
all Namuci’s armies.


Note: Namuci is another name for Māra.

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AN 8.13 Assājānīyasutta: Thoroughbred

“Bhikkhus, possessing eight factors, a king’s excellent thoroughbred horse is worthy of a king, an accessory of a king, and reckoned as a factor of kingship. What eight?

  1. “Here, a king’s excellent thoroughbred horse is well born on both sides, maternal and paternal; he is born in whatever area other excellent thoroughbred horses are born.
  2. He respectfully eats whatever food they give him, whether moist or dry, without scattering it.
  3. He is repelled by sitting down or lying down near feces or urine.
  4. He is mild and pleasant to live with, and he does not agitate other horses.
  5. He reveals his tricks, ploys, gambits, and wiles as they really are to his trainer so that his trainer can make an effort to stamp them out of him.
  6. He carries loads, determined: ‘Whether or not the other horses carry loads, I myself will carry them.’
  7. When moving, he moves only along a straight path.
  8. He is strong, and he shows his strength right up until the end of his life.

Possessing these eight factors, a king’s excellent thoroughbred horse is worthy of a king, an accessory of a king, and reckoned as a factor of kingship.

“So too, bhikkhus, possessing eight qualities, a bhikkhu is worthy of gifts … an unsurpassed field of merit for the world. What eight?

  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 respectfully eats whatever food they give him, whether coarse or excellent, without being annoyed.
  3. He is repelled by bodily, verbal, and mental misconduct; he is repelled by the acquisition of the numerous kinds of bad unwholesome qualities.
  4. He is mild and pleasant to live with, and he does not agitate other bhikkhus.
  5. He reveals his tricks, ploys, gambits, and wiles as they really are to the Teacher or to his wise fellow monks so that they can make an effort to stamp them out of him.
  6. He is one who takes up the training, determined: ‘Whether or not other bhikkhus train, I will train.’
  7. When moving, he moves only along a straight path. In this connection, this is the straight path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.
  8. He has aroused energy thus: ‘Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up in my body, but I will not relax my energy so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength, energy, and exertion.’

Possessing these eight qualities, a bhikkhu is worthy of gifts … an unsurpassed field of merit for the world.”


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SN 45.150 Bījasutta: Seeds

“Bhikkhus, just as whatever kinds of seed and plant life attain to growth, increase, and expansion, all do so 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 thereby he attains to growth, increase, and expansion in wholesome states.

“And how does a bhikkhu do so? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … 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, and thereby attains to growth, increase, and expansion in wholesome states.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 45.150 Bījasutta: Seeds by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 45.155 Ākāsasutta: The Sky

“Bhikkhus, just as various winds blow in the sky—easterly winds, westerly winds, northerly winds, southerly winds, dusty winds and dustless winds, cold winds and hot winds, gentle winds and strong winds —so too, when a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, then for him

  • the four establishments of mindfulness go to fulfilment by development;
  • the four right strivings go to fulfilment by development;
  • the four bases for spiritual power go to fulfilment by development;
  • the five spiritual faculties go to fulfilment by development;
  • the five powers go to fulfilment by development;
  • the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.

“And how is this so? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view … right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that when a bhikkhu develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path, then for him the four establishments of mindfulness … the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.”


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AN 5.25 Anuggahitasutta: Assisted

“Bhikkhus, when right view is assisted by five factors, it has liberation of mind as its fruit, liberation of mind as its fruit and benefit; it has liberation by wisdom as its fruit, liberation by wisdom as its fruit and benefit. What five? Here, right view is assisted by

  1. virtuous behavior,
  2. learning,
  3. discussion,
  4. calm, and
  5. insight.

When right view is assisted by these five factors, it has liberation of mind as its fruit, liberation of mind as its fruit and benefit; it has liberation by wisdom as its fruit, liberation by wisdom as its fruit and benefit.”


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MN 117 Mahācattārīsakasutta: The Great Forty

[Note: Today’s sutta is very long, but it’s an important one when studying the Noble Eightfold Path. It includes the definition of two types of right view, right intention, right action, right speech and right livelihood.]

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

“Bhikkhus, I shall teach you noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites. Listen and attend closely to what I shall say.”—“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“What, bhikkhus, is noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites, that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness? Unification of mind equipped with these seven factors is called noble right concentration with its supports and its requisites.

View

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong view as wrong view and right view as right view: this is one’s right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is wrong view? ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed; no fruit or result of good and bad actions; no this world, no other world; no mother, no father; no beings who are reborn spontaneously; no good and virtuous recluses and brahmins in the world who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.’ This is wrong view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right view? Right view, I say, is twofold: there is right view that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is affected by the taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? ‘There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings who are reborn spontaneously; there are in the world good and virtuous recluses and brahmins who have realised for themselves by direct knowledge and declare this world and the other world.’ This is right view affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the power of wisdom, the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor, the path factor of right view in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right view that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong view and to enter upon right view: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong view, mindfully one enters upon and abides in right view: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right view, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

Intention

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong intention as wrong intention and right intention as right intention: this is one’s right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is wrong intention? The intention of sensual desire, the intention of ill will, and the intention of cruelty: this is wrong intention.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right intention? Right intention, I say, is twofold: there is right intention that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions, and there is right intention that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right intention that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? The intention of renunciation, the intention of non-ill will, and the intention of non-cruelty: this is right intention that is affected by taints…ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right intention that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The thinking, thought, intention, mental absorption, mental fixity, directing of mind, verbal formation in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right intention that is noble…a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong intention and to enter upon right intention: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong intention, mindfully one enters upon and abides in right intention: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right intention, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

Speech

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong speech as wrong speech and right speech as right speech: this is one’s right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is wrong speech? False speech, malicious speech, harsh speech, and gossip: this is wrong speech.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Right speech, I say, is twofold: there is right speech that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right speech that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right speech that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? Abstinence from false speech, abstinence from malicious speech, abstinence from harsh speech, abstinence from gossip: this is right speech that is affected by taints…ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right speech that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The desisting from the four kinds of verbal misconduct, the abstaining, refraining, abstinence from them in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right speech that is noble…a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong speech and to enter upon right speech: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong speech, mindfully one enters upon and abides in right speech: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right speech, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

Action

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong action as wrong action and right action as right action: this is one’s right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is wrong action? Killing living beings, taking what is not given, and misconduct in sensual pleasures: this is wrong action.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right action? Right action, I say, is twofold: there is right action that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right action that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right action that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? Abstinence from killing living beings, abstinence from taking what is not given, abstinence from misconduct in sensual pleasures: this is right action that is affected by taints…ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right action that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The desisting from the three kinds of bodily misconduct, the abstaining, refraining, abstinence from them in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right action that is noble…a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong action and to enter upon right action: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong action, mindfully one enters upon and dwells in right action: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right action, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

Livelihood

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood and right livelihood as right livelihood: this is one’s right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is wrong livelihood? Scheming, talking, hinting, belittling, pursuing gain with gain: this is wrong livelihood.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood? Right livelihood, I say, is twofold: there is right livelihood that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right livelihood that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood that is affected by taints, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions? Here, bhikkhus, a noble disciple abandons wrong livelihood and gains his living by right livelihood: this is right livelihood that is affected by taints…ripening in the acquisitions.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood that is noble, taintless, supramundane, a factor of the path? The desisting from wrong livelihood, the abstaining, refraining, abstinence from it in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is taintless, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is right livelihood that is noble…a factor of the path.

“One makes an effort to abandon wrong livelihood and to enter upon right livelihood: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong livelihood, mindfully one enters upon and dwells in right livelihood: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right livelihood, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.

The Great Forty

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? In one of right view, right intention comes into being; in one of right intention, right speech comes into being; in one of right speech, right action comes into being; in one of right action, right livelihood comes into being; in one of right livelihood, right effort comes into being; in one of right effort, right mindfulness comes into being; in one of right mindfulness, right concentration comes into being; in one of right concentration, right knowledge comes into being; in one of right knowledge, right deliverance comes into being. Thus, bhikkhus, the path of the disciple in higher training possesses eight factors, the arahant possesses ten factors.

“Therein, bhikkhus, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? In one of right view, wrong view is abolished, and the many evil unwholesome states that originate with wrong view as condition are also abolished, and the many wholesome states that originate with right view as condition come to fulfilment by development.

“In one of right intention, wrong intention is abolished, and the many evil unwholesome states that originate with wrong intention as condition are also abolished, and the many wholesome states that originate with right intention as condition come to fulfilment by development.

“In one of right speech, wrong speech is abolished…In one of right action, wrong action is abolished…In one of right livelihood, wrong livelihood is abolished …In one of right effort, wrong effort is abolished…In one of right mindfulness, wrong mindfulness is abolished…In one of right concentration, wrong concentration is abolished…In one of right knowledge, wrong knowledge is abolished…In one of right deliverance, wrong deliverance is abolished, and the many evil unwholesome states that originate with wrong deliverance as condition are also abolished, and the many wholesome states that originate with right deliverance as condition come to fulfilment by development.

“Thus, bhikkhus, there are twenty factors on the side of the wholesome, and twenty factors on the side of the unwholesome. This Dhamma discourse on the Great Forty has been set rolling and cannot be stopped by any recluse or brahmin or god or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world.

“Bhikkhus, if any recluse or brahmin thinks that this Dhamma discourse on the Great Forty should be censured and rejected, then there are ten legitimate deductions from his assertions that would provide grounds for censuring him here and now. If that worthy one censures right view, then he would honour and praise those recluses and brahmins who are of wrong view. If that worthy one censures right intention, then he would honour and praise those recluses and brahmins who are of wrong intention. If that worthy one censures right speech… right action…right livelihood…right effort…right mindfulness…right concentration…right knowledge…right deliverance, then he would honour and praise those recluses and brahmins who are of wrong deliverance. If any recluse or brahmin thinks that this Dhamma discourse on the Great Forty should be censured and rejected, then these are ten legitimate deductions from his assertions that would provide grounds for censuring him here and now.

“Bhikkhus, even those teachers from Okkala, Vassa and Bhañña, who held the doctrine of non-causality, the doctrine of non-doing, and the doctrine of nihilism, would not think that this Dhamma discourse on the Great Forty should be censured and rejected. Why is that? For fear of blame, attack, and confutation.”

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


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AN 3.62 Bhayasutta: Perils

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling speaks of these three perils that separate mother and son. What three?

(1) “There comes a time when a great conflagration arises. When the great conflagration has arisen, it burns up villages, towns, and cities. When villages, towns, and cities are burning up, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the first peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

(2) “Again, there comes a time when a great rain cloud arises. When the great rain cloud has arisen, a great deluge takes place. When the great deluge takes place, villages, towns, and cities are swept away. When villages, towns, and cities are being swept away, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the second peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

(3) “Again, there comes a time of perilous turbulence in the wilderness, when the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, flee on all sides. When there is perilous turbulence in the wilderness, and the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, are fleeing on all sides, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the third peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

“These are the three perils that separate mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

“There are, bhikkhus, these three perils when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as perils that separate mother and son. What three?

(1) “There comes a time when a great conflagration arises. When the great conflagration has arisen, it burns up villages, towns, and cities. When villages, towns, and cities are burning up, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the first peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

(2) “Again, there comes a time when a great rain cloud arises. When the great rain cloud has arisen, a great deluge takes place. When the great deluge takes place, villages, towns, and cities are swept away. When villages, towns, and cities are being swept away, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the second peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

(3) “Again, there comes a time of perilous turbulence in the wilderness, when the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, flee on all sides. When there is perilous turbulence in the wilderness, and the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, are fleeing on all sides, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the third peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

“These are the three perils when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speak of as perils that separate mother and son.

“There are, bhikkhus, these three perils that separate mother and son. What three? The peril of old age, the peril of illness, and the peril of death.

(1) “When the son is growing old, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me grow old, but may my son not grow old!’ And when the mother is growing old, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me grow old, but may my mother not grow old!’

(2) “When the son has fallen ill, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me fall ill, but may my son not fall ill!’ And when the mother has fallen ill, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me fall ill, but may my mother not fall ill!’

(3) “When the son is dying, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me die, but may my son not die!’ And when the mother is dying, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me die, but may my mother not die!’

“These are the three perils that separate mother and son.

There is a path, bhikkhus, there is a way that leads to the abandoning and overcoming of these three perils when mother and son reconnect and of these three perils that separate mother and son. And what is the path and way? It is just this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This is the path and way that leads to the abandoning and overcoming of these three perils when mother and son reconnect and of these three perils that separate mother and son.”


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SN 45.9 Sūkasutta: The Spike

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, suppose a spike of rice or a spike of barley were wrongly directed and were pressed upon by the hand or the foot. That it could pierce the hand or the foot and draw blood: this is impossible. For what reason? Because the spike is wrongly directed. So too, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu with a wrongly directed view, with a wrongly directed development of the path, could pierce ignorance, arouse true knowledge, and realize Nibbāna: this is impossible. For what reason? Because his view is wrongly directed.

“Bhikkhus, suppose a spike of rice or a spike of barley were rightly directed and were pressed upon by the hand or the foot. That it could pierce the hand or the foot and draw blood: this is possible. For what reason? Because the spike is rightly directed. So too, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu with a rightly directed view, with a rightly directed development of the path, could pierce ignorance, arouse true knowledge, and realize Nibbāna: this is possible. For what reason? Because his view is rightly directed.

“And how does a bhikkhu do so? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops right view, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. He develops right intention … right speech … right action … right livelihood … right effort … right mindfulness … right concentration, which is based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release.

“It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu with a rightly directed view, with a rightly directed development of the path, pierces ignorance, arouses true knowledge, and realizes Nibbāna.”


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SN 45.8 Vibhaṅgasutta: Analysis

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the Noble Eightfold Path and I will analyse it for you. Listen to that and attend closely, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“And what, bhikkhus, is the Noble Eightfold Path? Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right view? Knowledge of suffering, knowledge of the origin of suffering, knowledge of the cessation of suffering, knowledge of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: this is called right view.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right intention? Intention of renunciation, intention of non-ill will, intention of harmlessness: this is called right intention.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right speech? Abstinence from false speech, abstinence from divisive speech, abstinence from harsh speech, abstinence from idle chatter: this is called right speech.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right action? Abstinence from the destruction of life, abstinence from taking what is not given, abstinence from sexual misconduct: this is called right action.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right livelihood? Here a noble disciple, having abandoned a wrong mode of livelihood, earns his living by a right livelihood: this is called right livelihood.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right effort? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu generates desire for the nonarising of unarisen evil unwholesome states; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. He generates desire for the abandoning of arisen evil unwholesome states…. He generates desire for the arising of unarisen wholesome states…. He generates desire for the maintenance of arisen wholesome states, for their nondecay, increase, expansion, and fulfilment by development; he makes an effort, arouses energy, applies his mind, and strives. This is called right effort.

“And what, bhikkhus is right mindfulness? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating mind in mind, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. This is called right mindfulness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is right concentration? Here, bhikkhus, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, a bhikkhu enters and dwells in the first jhana, which is accompanied by thought and examination, with rapture and happiness born of seclusion. With the subsiding of thought and examination, he enters and dwells in the second jhana, which has internal confidence and unification of mind, is without thought and examination, and has rapture and happiness born of concentration. With the fading away as well of rapture, he dwells equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, he experiences happiness with the body; he enters and dwells in the third jhana of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and displeasure, he enters and dwells in the fourth jhana, which is neither painful nor pleasant and includes the purification of mindfulness by equanimity. This is called right concentration.”


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SN 45.5 Kimatthiyasutta: For What Purpose?


At Savatthī. Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Blessed One…. Sitting to one side, those bhikkhus said to the Blessed One:

“Here, venerable sir, wanderers of other sects ask us: ‘For what purpose, friends, is the holy life lived under the ascetic Gotama?’ When we are asked thus, venerable sir, we answer those wanderers thus: ‘It is, friends, for the full understanding of suffering that the holy life is lived under the Blessed One.’ We hope, venerable sir, that when we answer thus we state what has been said by the Blessed One and do not misrepresent him with what is contrary to fact; that we explain in accordance with the Dhamma, and that no reasonable consequence of our assertion gives ground for criticism.”

“Surely, bhikkhus, when you answer thus you state what has been said by me and do not misrepresent me with what is contrary to fact; you explain in accordance with the Dhamma, and no reasonable consequence of your assertion gives ground for criticism. For, bhikkhus, it is for the full understanding of suffering that the holy life is lived under me.

“If, bhikkhus, wanderers of other sects ask you: ‘But, friends, is there a path, is there a way for the full understanding of this suffering? ’—being asked thus, you should answer them thus: ‘There is a path, friends, there is a way for the full understanding of this suffering.’

“And what, bhikkhus, is that path, what is that way for the full understanding of this suffering? It is this Noble Eightfold Path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the path, this is the way for the full understanding of this suffering.

“Being asked thus, bhikkhus, you should answer those wanderers of other sects in such a way.”


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AN 10.30 Dutiyakosalasutta: Kosala (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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SN 46.42 Cakkavattisutta: Wheel-Turning Monarch

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

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

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

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


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

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AN 3.26 Sevitabbasutta: To be Associated With

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world. What three? (1) There is a person who is not to be associated with, followed, and served; (2) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served; and (3) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

(1) “And what kind of person, bhikkhus, is not to be associated with, followed, and served? Here, some person is inferior to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is not to be associated with, followed, and served except out of sympathy and compassion.

(2) “And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served? Here, some person is similar to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served. For what reason? Because one considers: ‘Since we are similar with regard to virtuous behavior, we will have a discussion on virtuous behavior, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease. Since we are similar with regard to concentration, we will have a discussion on concentration, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease. Since we are similar with regard to wisdom, we will have a discussion on wisdom, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease.’ Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served.

(3) “And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect? Here, some person is superior to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect. For what reason? Because one considers: ‘In such a way I will fulfill the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have fulfilled. I will fulfill the aggregate of concentration that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of concentration that I have fulfilled. I will fulfill the aggregate of wisdom that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of wisdom that I have fulfilled.’ Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”

One who associates with an inferior person declines;
one who associates with an equal does not decline;
attending on a superior person one develops quickly;
therefore you should follow one superior to yourself.



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MN 103 From… Kintisutta: What Do You Think About Me?

[Note: The entire sutta is worth reading if you have time. “The Recluse” mentioned below refers to the Buddha.]

“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there might arise mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the one part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’ “‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“Then whichever bhikkhu you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’

“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“If others should ask that bhikkhu thus: ‘Was it the venerable one who made those bhikkhus emerge from the unwholesome and established them in the wholesome?’ answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Here, friends, I went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One taught me the Dhamma. Having heard that Dhamma, I spoke to those bhikkhus. The bhikkhus heard that Dhamma, and they emerged from the unwholesome and became established in the wholesome.’ Answering thus, the bhikkhu neither exalts himself nor disparages others; he answers in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from his assertion.”


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MN 104 From… Sāmagāmasutta: At Sāmagāma

[Note: This is a slightly longer selection for the weekend. The entire sutta is good to read if you have time.]

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Sakyan country at Sāmagāma.

Now on that occasion the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta had just died at Pāvā. On his death the Nigaṇṭhas divided, split into two; and they had taken to quarrelling and brawling and were deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers: “You do not understand this Dhamma and Discipline. I understand this Dhamma and Discipline. How could you understand this Dhamma and Discipline? Your way is wrong. My way is right. I am consistent. You are inconsistent. What should have been said first you said last. What should have been said last you said first. What you had so carefully thought up has been turned inside out. Your assertion has been shown up. You are refuted. Go and learn better, or disentangle yourself if you can!” It seemed as if there were nothing but slaughter among the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta’s pupils. And his white-clothed lay disciples were disgusted, dismayed, and disappointed with the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta’s pupils, as they were with his badly proclaimed and badly expounded Dhamma and Discipline, which was unemancipating, unconducive to peace, expounded by one not fully enlightened, and was now with its shrine broken, left without a refuge.

Then the novice Cunda, who had spent the Rains at Pāvā, went to the venerable Ānanda, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and told him what was taking place.

The venerable Ānanda then said to the novice Cunda: “Friend Cunda, this is news that should be told to the Blessed One. Come, let us approach the Blessed One and tell him this.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the novice Cunda replied.

Then the venerable Ānanda and the novice Cunda went together to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, they sat down at one side, and the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: “This novice Cunda, venerable sir, says thus: ‘Venerable sir, the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta has just died. On his death the Nigaṇṭhas divided, split into two…and is now with its shrine broken, left without a refuge.’ I thought, venerable sir: ‘Let no dispute arise in the Sangha when the Blessed One has gone. For such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.’”

“What do you think, Ānanda? These things that I have taught you after directly knowing them—that is, the four foundations of mindfulness, the four right kinds of striving, the four bases for spiritual power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven enlightenment factors, the Noble Eightfold Path—do you see, Ānanda, even two bhikkhus who make differing assertions about these things?”

“No, venerable sir, I do not see even two bhikkhus who make differing assertions about these things. But, venerable sir, there are people who live deferential towards the Blessed One who might, when he has gone, create a dispute in the Sangha about livelihood and about the Pātimokkha. Such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.”

“A dispute about livelihood or about the Pātimokkha would be trifling, Ānanda. But should a dispute arise in the Sangha about the path or the way, such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.

“There are, Ānanda, these six roots of disputes. What six? Here, Ānanda, a bhikkhu is angry and resentful. Such a bhikkhu dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and he does not fulfil the training. A bhikkhu who dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and who does not fulfil the training, creates a dispute in the Sangha, which would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans. Now if you see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should strive to abandon that same evil root of dispute. And if you do not see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should practise in such a way that that same evil root of dispute does not erupt in the future. Thus there is the abandoning of that evil root of dispute; thus there is the non-eruption of that evil root of dispute in the future.

“Again, a bhikkhu is contemptuous and insolent…

envious and avaricious…

fraudulent and deceitful…

has evil wishes and wrong view…

adheres to his own views, holds on to them tenaciously, and relinquishes them with difficulty. Such a bhikkhu dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and he does not fulfil the training. A bhikkhu who dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and who does not fulfil the training, creates a dispute in the Sangha, which would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans. Now if you see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should strive to abandon that same evil root of dispute. And if you do not see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should practise in such a way that that same evil root of dispute does not erupt in the future. Thus there is the abandoning of that evil root of dispute; thus there is the non-eruption of that evil root of dispute in the future. These are the six roots of dispute.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 104 Sāmagāmasutta: At Sāmagāma 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.

SN 46.51 From… Āhārasutta: Nutriment

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, I will teach you the nutriment and the denourishment in regard to the five hindrances and the seven factors of enlightenment. Listen to that.…

“And what, bhikkhus, is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will? There is, bhikkhus, the sign of the repulsive: frequently giving careless attention to it is the nutriment for the arising of unarisen ill will and for the increase and expansion of arisen ill will.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the denourishment that prevents unarisen ill will from arising and arisen ill will from increasing and expanding? There is, bhikkhus, the liberation of mind through lovingkindness: frequently giving careful attention to it is the denourishment that prevents unarisen ill will from arising and arisen ill will from increasing and expanding.


Read the entire translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.51 Āhārasutta: Nutriment 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.

AN 3.25 Vajirūpamasutta: Diamond

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world. What three? One whose mind is like an open sore, one whose mind is like lightning, and one whose mind is like a diamond.

(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is the person whose mind is like an open sore? Here, some person is prone to anger and easily exasperated. Even if he is criticized slightly he loses his temper and becomes irritated, hostile, and stubborn; he displays irritation, hatred, and bitterness. Just as a festering sore, if struck by a stick or a shard, will discharge even more matter, so too some person here is prone to anger … and displays irritation, hatred, and bitterness. This person is said to have a mind like an open sore.

(2) “And what is the person whose mind is like lightning? Here, some person understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering,’ and ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ and ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’ and ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ Just as, in the dense darkness of night, a man with good sight can see forms by a flash of lightning, so too some person here understands as it really is: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’ This person is said to have a mind like lightning.

(3) “And what is the person whose mind is like a diamond? Here, with the destruction of the taints, some person realizes for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life, the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, and having entered upon it, dwells in it. Just as there is nothing that a diamond cannot cut, whether gem or stone, so too, with the destruction of the taints, some person realizes for himself with direct knowledge … the taintless liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, and … dwells in it. This person is said to have a mind like a diamond.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.25 Vajirūpamasutta: Diamond by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

SN 11.22 Dubbaṇṇiyasutta: Ugly

At Savatthī in Jeta’s Grove. There the Blessed One said this: “Bhikkhus, once in the past a certain ugly deformed yakkha sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas. Thereupon the Tavatiṁsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, saying: ‘It is wonderful indeed, sir! It is amazing indeed, sir! This ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on the seat of Sakka, lord of the devas!’ But to whatever extent the Tavatiṁsa devas found fault with this, grumbled, and complained about it, to the same extent that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.

“Then, bhikkhus, the Tavatiṁsa devas approached Sakka and said to him: ‘Here, dear sir, an ugly deformed yakkha has sat down on your seat…. But to whatever extent the devas found fault with this … that yakkha became more and more handsome, more and more comely, more and more graceful.’—‘That must be the anger-eating yakkha.’

“Then, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, approached that anger-eating yakkha. Having approached, he arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, and, raising his joined hands in reverential salutation towards that yakkha, he announced his name three times: ‘I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas! I, dear sir, am Sakka, lord of the devas!’ To whatever extent Sakka announced his name, to the same extent that yakkha became uglier and uglier and more and more deformed until he disappeared right there.

“Then, bhikkhus, having sat down on his own seat, instructing the Tavatiṁsa devas, Sakka, lord of the devas, on that occasion recited these verses:

“‘I am not one afflicted in mind,
Nor easily drawn by anger’s whirl.
I never become angry for long,
Nor does anger persist in me.

“‘When I’m angry I don’t speak harshly
And I don’t praise my virtues.
I keep myself well restrained
Out of regard for my own good.’”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 11.22 Dubbaṇṇiyasutta: Ugly by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.17 Paṭhamaagatisutta: Wrong Courses (1)

“Bhikkhus, there are these four ways of taking a wrong course. What four? One takes a wrong course because of desire, because of hatred, because of delusion, or because of fear. These are the four ways of taking a wrong course.”

If through desire, hate, fear, or delusion
one transgresses against the Dhamma,
one’s fame diminishes like the moon
in the dark fortnight.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.17 Paṭhamaagatisutta: Wrong Courses (1) 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.

SN 46.55 From… Saṅgāravasutta: Saṅgarava

[NOTE: The complete sutta gives similes for the five hindrances as well as a simile of a mind without hindrances. If you have time it is worth reading the whole sutta. We can contemplate these similes not only in regards to memorization but also meditation in general.]

At Savatthī. Then the brahmin Saṅgarava 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, what is the cause and reason why sometimes even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited? What is the cause and reason why sometimes those hymns that have not been recited over a long period recur to the mind, let alone those that have been recited?”

…“Again, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will, overwhelmed by ill will, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen ill will, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both. Then even those hymns that have been recited over a long period do not recur to the mind, let alone those that have not been recited.

“Suppose, brahmin, there is a bowl of water being heated over a fire, bubbling and boiling. If a man with good sight were to examine his own facial reflection in it, he would neither know nor see it as it really is.

“So too, brahmin, when one dwells with a mind obsessed by ill will, overwhelmed by ill will, and one does not understand as it really is the escape from arisen ill will, on that occasion one neither knows nor sees as it really is one’s own good, or the good of others, or the good of both.


Read the entire translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.55 Saṅgāravasutta: Saṅgarava by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 12.68 Kosambisutta: Kosambī

[NOTE: It is not possible to know the exact level of attainment of Venerables Saviṭṭha and Narada, but they would at least be stream enterers.]

On one occasion the Venerable Musīla, the Venerable Saviṭṭha, the Venerable Narada, and the Venerable Ānanda were living at Kosambī in Ghosita’s Park.

Then the Venerable Saviṭṭha said to the Venerable Musīla: “Friend Musīla, apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, does the Venerable Musīla have personal knowledge thus: ‘With birth as condition, aging-and-death comes to be’?”

“Friend Saviṭṭha, apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, I know this, I see this: ‘With birth as condition, aging-and-death comes to be.’”

“Friend Musīla, apart from faith … apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, does the Venerable Musīla have personal knowledge thus: ‘With existence as condition, birth’?… ‘With ignorance as condition, volitional formations’?”

“Friend Saviṭṭha, apart from faith … apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, I know this, I see this: ‘With ignorance as condition, volitional formations.’”

“Friend Musīla, apart from faith … apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, does the Venerable Musīla have personal knowledge: ‘With the cessation of birth comes cessation of aging-and-death’? … … ‘With the cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations’?”

“Friend Saviṭṭha, apart from faith …. apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, I know this, I see this: ‘With the cessation of birth comes cessation of aging-and-death.’… ‘With the cessation of ignorance comes cessation of volitional formations.’”

“Friend Musīla, apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, does the Venerable Musīla have personal knowledge thus: ‘Nibbāna is the cessation of existence’?”

“Friend Saviṭṭha, apart from faith, apart from personal preference, apart from oral tradition, apart from reasoned reflection, apart from acceptance of a view after pondering it, I know this, I see this: ‘Nibbāna is the cessation of existence.’”

“Then the Venerable Musīla is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed.”

When this was said, the Venerable Musīla kept silent.

Then the Venerable Narada said to the Venerable Saviṭṭha: “Friend Saviṭṭha, it would be good if I were asked that series of questions. Ask me that series of questions and I will answer you.”

“Then let the Venerable Narada get to answer that series of questions. I will ask the Venerable Narada that series of questions, and let him answer me.”

[Here the Venerable Saviṭṭha asks the Venerable Narada the same series of questions as were addressed to the Venerable Musīla, and he answers in exactly the same way.]

“Then the Venerable Narada is an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed.”

“Friend, though I have clearly seen as it really is with correct wisdom, ‘Nibbāna is the cessation of existence,’ I am not an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed. Suppose, friend, there was a well along a desert road, but it had neither a rope nor a bucket. Then a man would come along, oppressed and afflicted by the heat, tired, parched, and thirsty. He would look down into the well and the knowledge would occur to him, ‘There is water,’ but he would not be able to make bodily contact with it. So too, friend, though I have clearly seen as it really is with correct wisdom, ‘Nibbāna is the cessation of existence,’ I am not an arahant, one whose taints are destroyed.”

When this was said, the Venerable Ānanda asked the Venerable Saviṭṭha: “When he speaks in such a way, friend Saviṭṭha, what would you say about the Venerable Narada?”

“When he speaks in such a way, friend Ānanda, I would not say anything about the Venerable Narada except what is good and favourable.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 12.68 Kosambisutta: Kosambī 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.

SN 1.1 Oghataraṇasutta: Crossing the Flood

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and said to him:

“How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?”

“By not halting, friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood.”

“But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?”

“When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining I crossed the flood.”

The devatā:

“After a long time at last I see
A brahmin who is fully quenched,
Who by not halting, not straining,
Has crossed over attachment to the world.”

This is what that devatā said. The Teacher approved. Then that devatā, thinking, “The Teacher has approved of me,” paid homage to the Blessed One and, keeping him on the right, disappeared right there.


Elsewhere, the Buddha talked about four floods (ogha): The floods of sensuality, desire to be reborn, views, and ignorance.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.1 Oghataraṇasutta: Crossing the Flood 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.

MN 36 From… Mahāsaccakasutta: The Greater Discourse to Saccaka

[Note: These incidents took place when the Buddha was striving as the Bodhisatta. If you are not familiar with this time in his life, this is a good sutta to read.]

…“Now when deities saw me, some said: ‘The recluse Gotama is dead.’ Other deities said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not dead, he is dying.’ And other deities said: ‘The recluse Gotama is not dead nor dying; he is an arahant, for such is the way arahants abide.’

“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.’…



Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 36 Mahāsaccakasutta: The Greater Discourse to Saccaka 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.

SN 11.6 Kulāvakasutta: The Bird Nests

[Note: The asuras (sometimes translated as titans) are the arch enemies of Sakka, lord of gods, in the Tavatimsa heaven.]

At Savatthī. “Bhikkhus, once in the past the devas and the asuras were arrayed for battle. In that battle the asuras won and the devas were defeated. In defeat the devas withdrew towards the north while the asuras pursued them. Then Sakka, lord of the devas, addressed his charioteer Matali in verse:

“‘Avoid, O Matali, with your chariot pole
The bird nests in the silk-cotton woods;
Let’s surrender our lives to the asuras
Rather than make these birds nestless.’

“‘Yes, your lordship,’ Matali the charioteer replied, and he turned back the chariot with its team of a thousand thoroughbreds.

“Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to the asuras: ‘Now Sakka’s chariot with its team of a thousand thoroughbreds has turned back. The devas will engage in battle with the asuras for a second time.’ Stricken by fear, they entered the city of the asuras. In this way, bhikkhus, Sakka, lord of the devas, won a victory by means of righteousness itself.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 11.6 Kulāvakasutta: The Bird Nests by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.12 Nandatisutta: Delight

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that devatā 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 sorrows;
Without acquisitions one does not sorrow.”



For a longer sutta on this topic, read MN 87 Piyajātika Sutta.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.12 Nandatisutta: Delight by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.73 Vittasutta: Treasure

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“What here is a man’s best treasure?
What practised well brings happiness?
What is really the sweetest of tastes?
How lives the one whom they say lives best?”

The Blessed One:

“Faith is here a man’s best treasure;
Dhamma practised well brings happiness;
Truth is really the sweetest of tastes;
One living by wisdom they say lives best.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.73 Vittasutta: Treasure 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.