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AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

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

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


Faith: saddha
Confidence: pasanna

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.61 Pattakammasutta: Worthy Deeds

NOTE: This sutta is longer than usual, but it gives lots of wonderful advice for lay life. Especially on wealth and how to use it.

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

“Householder, there are these four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world. What four?

(1) “One thinks: ‘May wealth come to me righteously!’ This is the first thing in the world that is wished for … and rarely gained in the world.

(2) “Having gained wealth righteously, one thinks: ‘May fame come to me and to my relatives and preceptors!’ This is the second thing … rarely gained in the world.

(3) “Having gained wealth righteously and having gained fame for oneself and for one’s relatives and preceptors, one thinks: ‘May I live long and enjoy a long life span!’ This is the third thing … rarely gained in the world.

(4) “Having gained wealth righteously, having gained fame for oneself and for one’s relatives and preceptors, living long and enjoying a long life span, one thinks: ‘With the breakup of the body, after death, may I be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world!’ This is the fourth thing … rarely gained in the world.

“These are the four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.

“There are, householder, four other things that lead to obtaining those four things. What four? Accomplishment in faith, accomplishment in virtuous behavior, accomplishment in generosity, and accomplishment in wisdom.

(1) “And what, householder, is accomplishment in faith? Here, a noble disciple is endowed with faith; he places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathāgata thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’ This is called accomplishment in faith.

(2) “And what is accomplishment in virtuous behavior? Here, a noble disciple abstains from the destruction of life … abstains from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness. This is called accomplishment in virtuous behavior.

(3) “And what is accomplishment in generosity? Here, a noble disciple dwells at home with a mind free from the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. This is called accomplishment in generosity.

(4) “And what is accomplishment in wisdom? If one dwells with a heart overcome by longing and unrighteous greed, one does what should be avoided and neglects one’s duty, so that one’s fame and happiness are spoiled. If one dwells with a heart overcome by ill will … by dullness and drowsiness … by restlessness and remorse … by doubt, one does what should be avoided and neglects one’s duty, so that one’s fame and happiness are spoiled.

“When, householder, a noble disciple has understood thus: ‘Longing and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Ill will is a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons it.

When he has understood thus: ‘Dullness and drowsiness are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Restlessness and remorse are a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons them.

When he has understood thus: ‘Doubt is a defilement of the mind,’ he abandons it.

“When, householder, a noble disciple has understood thus: ‘Longing and unrighteous greed are a defilement of the mind’ and has abandoned them; when he has understood thus: ‘Ill will … Dullness and drowsiness … Restlessness and remorse … Doubt is a defilement of the mind,’ and has abandoned it, he is then called a noble disciple of great wisdom, of wide wisdom, one who sees the range, one accomplished in wisdom. This is called accomplishment in wisdom.

“These are the four other things that lead to obtaining the four things that are wished for, desired, agreeable, and rarely gained in the world.

“With wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained, the noble disciple undertakes four worthy deeds. What four?

(1) “Here, householder, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes himself happy and pleased and properly maintains himself in happiness; he makes his parents happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness; he makes his wife and children, his slaves, workers, and servants happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness; he makes his friends and companions happy and pleased and properly maintains them in happiness. This is the first case of wealth that has gone to good use, that has been properly utilized and used for a worthy cause.

(2) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes provisions against the losses that might arise from fire, floods, kings, thieves, or displeasing heirs; he makes himself secure against them. This is the second case of wealth that has gone to good use … for a worthy cause.

(3) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple makes the five oblations: to relatives, guests, ancestors, the king, and the deities. This is the third case of wealth that has gone to good use … for a worthy cause.

(4) “Again, with wealth acquired by energetic striving … righteously gained, the noble disciple establishes an uplifting offering of alms—an offering that is heavenly, resulting in happiness, conducive to heaven—to those ascetics and brahmins who refrain from intoxication and heedlessness, who are settled in patience and mildness, who tame themselves, calm themselves, and train themselves for nibbāna. This is the fourth case of wealth that has gone to good use, that has been properly employed and used for a worthy cause.

“These, householder, are the four worthy deeds that the noble disciple undertakes with wealth acquired by energetic striving, amassed by the strength of his arms, earned by the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained. When anyone exhausts wealth on anything apart from these four worthy deeds, that wealth is said to have gone to waste, to have been squandered, to have been used frivolously. But when anyone exhausts wealth on these four worthy deeds, that wealth is said to have gone to good use, to have been properly used, to have been utilized for a worthy cause.

“I’ve enjoyed wealth,
supported my dependents,
and overcome adversities.
I have given an uplifting offering
and performed the five oblations.
I have served the virtuous monks,
the self-controlled celibate ones.

“I have achieved whatever purpose
a wise person, dwelling at home,
might have in desiring wealth;
what I have done brings me no regret.”

Recollecting this, a mortal
remains firm in the noble Dhamma.
They praise him here in this life,
and after death he rejoices in heaven.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.61 Pattakammasutta: Worthy Deeds by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.41 Ādittasutta: Ablaze

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 recited these verses in the presence of the Blessed One:

“When one’s house is ablaze
The vessel taken out
Is the one that is useful,
Not the one left burnt inside.

“So when the world is ablaze
With the fires of aging and death,
One should take out one’s wealth by giving:
What is given is well salvaged.

“What is given yields pleasant fruit,
But not so what is not given.
Thieves take it away, or kings,
It gets burnt by fire or is lost.

“Then in the end one leaves the body
Along with one’s possessions.
Having understood this, the wise person
Should enjoy himself but also give.
Having given and enjoyed as fits his means,
Blameless he goes to the heavenly state.”

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.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.41 Ādittasutta: Ablaze by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.66 Attahatasutta: Afflicted

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:

“By what is the world afflicted?
By what is it enveloped?
By what dart has it been wounded?
With what is it always burning?”

The Blessed One:

“The world is afflicted with death,
Enveloped by old age;
Wounded by the dart of craving,
It is always burning with desire.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.66 Attahatasutta: Afflicted by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.57 From… Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta: Themes

“…And for the sake of what benefit should a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death’? During their lives beings are intoxicated with life, and when they are intoxicated with life they engage in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. But when one often reflects upon this theme, the intoxication with life 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 subject to death; I am not exempt from death.…’

“…This noble disciple reflects thus: ‘I am not the only one who is subject to death, not exempt from death. All beings that come and go, that pass away and undergo rebirth, are subject to death; none are exempt from death.’ 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 Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta: Themes by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 12.2 From… Vibhaṅgasutta: Analysis


And what, bhikkhus, is aging-and-death? The aging of the various beings in the various orders of beings, their growing old, brokenness of teeth, greyness of hair, wrinkling of skin, decline of vitality, degeneration of the faculties: this is called aging. The passing away of the various beings from the various orders of beings, their perishing, breakup, disappearance, mortality, death, completion of time, the breakup of the aggregates, the laying down of the carcass: this is called death. Thus this aging and this death are together called aging-and-death.


Read the entire translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 12.2 Vibhaṅgasutta: Analysis 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 Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.29 Dhammapadasutta: Dhamma Factors

[NOTE: The term “good will” below is abyāpādo, sometimes translated literally as “non-ill will.”]

“Bhikkhus, there are these four Dhamma factors, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins. What four?

(1) “Non-longing is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(2) Good will is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(3) Right mindfulness is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(4) Right concentration is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

“These are the four Dhamma factors, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.”

One should dwell free from longing
with a heart of good will.
One should be mindful and one-pointed in mind,
internally well concentrated.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.29 Dhammapadasutta: Dhamma Factors by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.63 Venāgapurasutta: Venāga

[NOTE: Since it is the weekend, today’s sutta will be a bit longer than usual.]

On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of bhikkhus when he reached the Kosalan brahmin village named Venāgapura. The brahmin householders of Venāgapura heard: “It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan family, has arrived at Venāgapura. Now a good report about that Master Gotama has circulated thus: ‘That Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. Having realized by his own direct knowledge this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, he makes it known to others. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a spiritual life that is perfectly complete and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.”

Then the brahmin householders of Venāgapura approached the Blessed One. Some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down to one side; some exchanged greetings with him and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side; some reverentially saluted him and sat down to one side; some pronounced their name and clan and sat down to one side; some kept silent and sat down to one side. The brahmin Vacchagotta of Venāgapura then said to the Blessed One:

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama, how Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as a yellow jujube fruit in the autumn is pure and bright, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as a palm fruit that has just been removed from its stalk is pure and bright, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as an ornament of finest gold, well prepared by a skilled goldsmith and very skillfully wrought in the furnace, placed on red brocade, shines and beams and radiates, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

“Whatever high and luxurious kinds of bedding there are—that is, a sofa, a divan, a long-haired coverlet, a coverlet of diverse colors, a white coverlet, a woolen coverlet with floral designs, a quilt of cotton wool, a woolen coverlet ornamented with animal figures, a woolen coverlet with double borders, a woolen coverlet with a single border, a silken sheet studded with gems, a sheet made with silk threads and studded with gems, a dancer’s rug, an elephant rug, a horse rug, a chariot rug, a rug of antelope hide, a spread made of the hide of the kadali-deer, a bed with a canopy above and red bolsters at both ends—Master Gotama surely gains them at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“Brahmin, those high and luxurious kinds of bedding are rarely obtained by those who have gone forth, and if they are obtained, they are not allowed.

“But, brahmin, there are three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty. What three? The celestial high and luxurious bed, the divine high and luxurious bed, and the noble high and luxurious bed. These are the three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

(1) “But, Master Gotama, what is the celestial high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination. With the subsiding of thought and examination, I enter and dwell in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination. With the fading away as well of rapture, I dwell equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, I experience pleasure with the body; I enter and dwell in the third jhāna 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 dejection, I enter and dwell in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is celestial. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is celestial. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is celestial. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my celestial high and luxurious bed. This is that celestial high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a celestial high and luxurious bed?

(2) “But, Master Gotama, what is the divine high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will. I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … with a mind imbued with altruistic joy … with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will.

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is divine. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is divine. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is divine. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my divine high and luxurious bed. This is that divine high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a high and luxurious bed?

(3) “But, Master Gotama, what is the noble high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then I understand thus: ‘I have abandoned greed, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising. I have abandoned hatred, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising. I have abandoned delusion, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.’

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is noble. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is noble. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is noble. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my noble high and luxurious bed. This is that noble high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a noble high and luxurious bed?

“Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the darkness so those with good eyesight can see forms. We now go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha of bhikkhus. Let Master Gotama consider us lay followers who from today have gone for refuge for life.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.63 Venāgapurasutta: Venāga by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 52 From… Aṭṭhakanāgarasutta: The Man from Aṭṭhakanāgara

“…Again, a bhikkhu abides pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second, likewise the third, likewise the fourth; so above, below, around, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he abides pervading the all-encompassing world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill will.

“He considers this and understands it thus: ‘This deliverance of mind through loving-kindness is conditioned and volitionally produced. But whatever is conditioned and volitionally produced is impermanent, subject to cessation.’ If he is steady in that, he attains the destruction of the taints. But if he does not attain the destruction of the taints because of that desire for the Dhamma, that delight in the Dhamma, then with the destruction of the five lower fetters he becomes one due to reappear spontaneously in the Pure Abodes and there attain final Nibbāna without ever returning from that world.

“This too is one thing proclaimed by the Blessed One who knows and sees, accomplished and fully enlightened, wherein if a bhikkhu abides diligent, ardent, and resolute, his unliberated mind comes to be liberated, his undestroyed taints come to be destroyed, and he attains the supreme security from bondage that he had not attained before.


Attaining the destruction of the taints means becoming an arahant.

The five lower fetters are

  • identity view
  • doubt
  • distorted grasp of rules and vows
  • sensual desire
  • ill will

They are eliminated by a non-returner. Non-returners are reborn in the Pure Abodes where they eventually become arahants.

Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 52 Aṭṭhakanāgarasutta: The Man from Aṭṭhakanāgara by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.65 From… Kesamutti Sutta: Kesaputtiya—”Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?”

“…What do you think, Kālāmas? When non-hatred arises in a person, is it for his welfare or for his harm?”

“For his welfare, Bhante.”

“Kālāmas, a person who is without hate, not overcome by hatred, his mind not obsessed by it, does not destroy life, take what is not given, transgress with another’s wife, or speak falsehood; nor does he encourage others to do likewise. Will that lead to his welfare and happiness for a long time?”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“What do you think, Kālāmas? Are these things wholesome or unwholesome?”

“Wholesome, Bhante.”

“Blameworthy or blameless?”

“Blameless, Bhante.”

“Censured or praised by the wise?”

“Praised by the wise, Bhante.”

“Accepted and undertaken, do they lead to welfare and happiness or not, or how do you take it?”

“Accepted and undertaken, these things lead to welfare and happiness. So we take it.”…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.65 Kesamuttisutta: Kesaputtiya by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 46.54 Mettāsahagatasutta: Accompanied by Lovingkindness

[NOTE: Today’s sutta is a little bit longer (since it’s a weekend), but it is very important. The Buddha spells out how loving-kindness, along with the other brahmaviharas connect directly to the achievement of enlightenment through the seven enlightenment factors. There is a lot of repetition! If you find yourself unable to benefit from that, then at least scan the sutta looking for the structure of what the Buddha is saying. You also may not be familiar with all the terms either. That’s ok! Just take in what you can.]


On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, where there was a town of the Koliyans named Haliddavasana. Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Haliddavasana for alms. Then it occurred to them: “It is still too early to walk for alms in Haliddavasana. Let us go to the park of the wanderers of other sects.”

Then those bhikkhus went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. They exchanged greetings with those wanderers and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side. The wanderers then said to them: “Friends, the ascetic Gotama teaches the Dhamma to his disciples thus: ‘Come, bhikkhus, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with compassion, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.’

“We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … all as above … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion … altruistic joy … equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?

Then those bhikkhus neither delighted in nor rejected the statement of those wanderers. Without delighting in it, without rejecting it, they rose from their seats and left, thinking, “We shall learn the meaning of this statement in the presence of the Blessed One.”

Then, when those bhikkhus had walked for alms in Haliddavasana and had returned from the alms round, after their meal they approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to him, they sat down to one side and reported to him the entire discussion between those wanderers and themselves. The Blessed One said:

“Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, how is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal?’

“Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathagata or a disciple of the Tathagata or one who has heard it from them.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by lovingkindness based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. … 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 accompanied by lovingkindness, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive and in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive and in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else he enters and dwells in the deliverance of the beautiful. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by lovingkindness has the beautiful as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by compassion … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by compassion, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, with the complete transcendence of perceptions of forms, with the passing away of perceptions of sensory impingement, with nonattention to perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of space. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by compassion has the base of the infinity of space as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by altruistic joy … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by altruistic joy, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending, ’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of consciousness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by altruistic joy has the base of the infinity of consciousness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by equanimity … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by equanimity, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing,’ he enters and dwells in the base of nothingness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by equanimity has the base of nothingness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.”


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SN 46.38 Anīvaraṇasutta: Without Hindrances

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion the five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.

“And what are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion? The hindrance of sensual desire is not present on that occasion; the hindrance of ill will … the hindrance of sloth and torpor … the hindrance of restlessness and remorse … the hindrance of doubt is not present on that occasion. These are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion.

“And what are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion…. 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 goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion. These are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion.

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion these five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion these seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.”


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AN 4.6 Appassutasutta: One of Little Learning

“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of persons found existing in the world. What four? One of little learning who is not intent on what he has learned; one of little learning who is intent on what he has learned; one of much learning who is not intent on what he has learned; and one of much learning who is intent on what he has learned.

(1) “And how is a person one of little learning who is not intent on what he has learned? Here, someone has learned little—that is, of the discourses, mixed prose and verse, expositions, verses, inspired utterances, quotations, birth stories, amazing accounts, and questions-and-answers—but he does not understand the meaning of what he has learned; he does not understand the Dhamma; and he does not practice in accordance with the Dhamma. In such a way, a person is one of little learning who is not intent on what he has learned.

(2) “And how is a person one of little learning who is intent on what he has learned? Here, someone has learned little—that is, of the discourses … questions-and-answers—but having understood the meaning of what he has learned, and having understood the Dhamma, he practices in accordance with the Dhamma. In such a way, a person is one of little learning who is intent on what he has learned.

(3) “And how is a person one of much learning who is not intent on what he has learned? Here, someone has learned much—that is, of the discourses … questions-and-answers—but he does not understand the meaning of what he has learned; he does not understand the Dhamma; and he does not practice in accordance with the Dhamma. In such a way, a person is one of much learning who is not intent on what he has learned.

(4) “And how is a person one of much learning who is intent on what he has learned? Here, someone has learned much—that is, of the discourses … questions-and-answers—and having understood the meaning of what he has learned, and having understood the Dhamma, he practices in accordance with the Dhamma. In such a way, a person is one of much learning who is intent on what he has learned.

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

If one has little learning
and is not settled in the virtues,
they criticize him on both counts,
virtuous behavior and learning.

If one has little learning
but is well settled in the virtues,
they praise him for his virtuous behavior;
his learning has succeeded.

If one is highly learned
but is not settled in the virtues,
they criticize him for his lack of virtue;
his learning has not succeeded.

If one is highly learned
and is settled in the virtues,
they praise him on both counts,
virtuous behavior and learning.

When a disciple of the Buddha is highly learned,
an expert on the Dhamma, endowed with wisdom,
like a coin of refined mountain gold,
who is fit to blame him?
Even the devas praise such a one;
by Brahmā too he is praised.


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AN 10.55 From… Parihānasutta: Decline

“…In what way, friends, has the Blessed One said that a person is subject to decline? Here,

1. a bhikkhu does not get to hear a teaching he has not heard before,
2. forgets those teachings he has already heard,
3. does not bring to mind those teachings with which he is already familiar, and
4. does not understand what he has not understood.

It is in this way that the Blessed One has said a person is subject to decline.

“And in what way, friends, has the Blessed One said that a person is not subject to decline? Here,

a bhikkhu gets to hear a teaching he has not heard before,
does not forget those teachings he has already heard,
brings to mind those teachings with which he is already familiar,
and understands what he has not understood. It is in this way that the Blessed One has said a person is not subject to decline….



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AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

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

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


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AN 5.51 Āvaraṇasutta: Obstacles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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AN 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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SN 22.5 Samādhisutta: Concentration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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AN 4.33 Sīhasutta: The Lion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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SN 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit

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

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

The Blessed One:

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

Mara:

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

The Blessed One:

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

Mara:

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

The Blessed One:

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

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

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

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

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


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MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Meeting Upaka

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Seeking the Unborn

“…Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still only an unenlightened Bodhisatta, I too, being myself subject to birth, sought what was also subject to birth; being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I sought what was also subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement. Then I considered thus: ‘Why, being myself subject to birth, do I seek what is also subject to birth? Why, being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, do I seek what is also subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement? Suppose that, being myself subject to birth, having understood the danger in what is subject to birth, I seek the unborn supreme security from bondage, Nibbāna. Suppose that, being myself subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, having understood the danger in what is subject to ageing, sickness, death, sorrow, and defilement, I seek the unageing, unailing, deathless, sorrowless, and undefiled supreme security from bondage, Nibbāna.’

“Later, while still young, a black-haired young man endowed with the blessing of youth, in the prime of life, though my mother and father wished otherwise and wept with tearful faces, I shaved off my hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and went forth from the home life into homelessness.…”


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

AN 8.1 Mettāsutta: Loving-Kindness

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

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

“Bhikkhus, when the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, eight benefits are to be expected. What eight?

(1) “One sleeps well;
(2) one awakens happily;
(3) one does not have bad dreams;
(4) one is pleasing to human beings;
(5) one is pleasing to spirits;
(6) deities protect one;
(7) fire, poison, and weapons do not injure one; and
(8) if one does not penetrate further, one moves on to the brahmā world.

“When, bhikkhus, the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, these eight benefits are to be expected.”

For one who, ever mindful, develops
measureless loving-kindness,
the fetters thin out as he sees
the destruction of the acquisitions.

If, with a mind free from hate,
one arouses love toward just one being,
one thereby becomes good.
Compassionate in mind toward all beings,
the noble one generates abundant merit.

Those royal sages who conquered the earth
with its multitudes of beings
traveled around performing sacrifices:
the horse sacrifice, the person sacrifice,
sammāpāsa, vājapeyya, niraggaḷa.

All these are not worth a sixteenth part
of a well-developed loving mind,
just as the hosts of stars cannot match
a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance.

One who does not kill or enjoin killing,
who does not conquer or enjoin conquest,
one who has loving-kindness toward all beings
harbors no enmity toward anyone.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.1 Mettāsutta: Loving-Kindness by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 3.10 Malasutta: Stains

“Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities and without having abandoned three stains, one is deposited in hell as if brought there. What three? (1) One is immoral and has not abandoned the stain of immorality. (2) One is envious and has not abandoned the stain of envy. (3) One is miserly and has not abandoned the stain of miserliness. Possessing these three qualities and without having abandoned these three stains, one is deposited in hell as if brought there.

“Bhikkhus, possessing three qualities and having abandoned three stains, one is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What three? (1) One is virtuous and has abandoned the stain of immorality. (2) One is not envious and has abandoned the stain of envy. (3) One is not miserly and has abandoned the stain of miserliness. Possessing these three qualities and having abandoned these three stains, one is deposited in heaven as if brought there.”


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SN 22.1 Nakulapitusutta: Nakulapita

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Bhaggas at Suṁsumaragira in the Bhesakaḷa Grove, the Deer Park. Then the householder Nakulapita approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“I am old, venerable sir, aged, burdened with years, advanced in life, come to the last stage, afflicted in body, often ill. I rarely get to see the Blessed One and the bhikkhus worthy of esteem. Let the Blessed One exhort me, venerable sir, let him instruct me, since that would lead to my welfare and happiness for a long time.”

“So it is, householder, so it is! This body of yours is afflicted, weighed down, encumbered. If anyone carrying around this body were to claim to be healthy even for a moment, what is that due to other than foolishness? Therefore, householder, you should train yourself thus: ‘Even though I am afflicted in body, my mind will be unafflicted.’ Thus should you train yourself.”

Then the householder Nakulapita, having delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement, rose from his seat and, having paid homage to the Blessed One, keeping him on his right, he approached the Venerable Sāriputta. Having paid homage to the Venerable Sāriputta, he sat down to one side, and the Venerable Sāriputta then said to him:

“Householder, your faculties are serene, your facial complexion is pure and bright. Did you get to hear a Dhamma talk today in the presence of the Blessed One?”

“Why not, venerable sir? Just now I was anointed by the Blessed One with the ambrosia of a Dhamma talk.”

“With what kind of ambrosia of a Dhamma talk did the Blessed One anoint you, householder?”

“Here, venerable sir, I approached the Blessed One….

The householder Nakulapita repeats his entire conversation with the Buddha.

“It was with the ambrosia of such a Dhamma talk, venerable sir, that the Blessed One anointed me.”

“Didn’t it occur to you, householder, to question the Blessed One further as to how one is afflicted in body and afflicted in mind, and how one is afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind?”

“We would come from far away, venerable sir, to learn the meaning of this statement from the Venerable Sāriputta. It would be good indeed if the Venerable Sāriputta would clear up the meaning of this statement.”

“Then listen and attend closely, householder, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the householder Nakulapita replied. The Venerable Sāriputta said this:

“How, householder, is one afflicted in body and afflicted in mind? Here, householder, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am form, form is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am feeling, feeling is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that feeling of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of feeling, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am perception, perception is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that perception of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of perception, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards volitional formations as self, or self as possessing volitional formations, or volitional formations as in self, or self as in volitional formations. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am volitional formations, volitional formations are mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, those volitional formations of his change and alter. With the change and alteration of volitional formations, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He regards consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. He lives obsessed by the notions: ‘I am consciousness, consciousness is mine.’ As he lives obsessed by these notions, that consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“It is in such a way, householder, that one is afflicted in body and afflicted in mind.

“And how, householder, is one afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind? Here, householder, the instructed noble disciple, who is a seer of the noble ones and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, who is a seer of superior persons and is skilled and disciplined in their Dhamma, does not regard form as self, or self as possessing form, or form as in self, or self as in form. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am form, form is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that form of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of form, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard feeling as self, or self as possessing feeling, or feeling as in self, or self as in feeling. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am feeling, feeling is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that feeling of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of feeling, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard perception as self, or self as possessing perception, or perception as in self, or self as in perception. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am perception, perception is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that perception of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of perception, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard volitional formations as self, or self as possessing volitional formations, or volitional formations as in self, or self as in volitional formations. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am volitional formations, volitional formations are mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, those volitional formations of his change and alter. With the change and alteration of volitional formations, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“He does not regard consciousness as self, or self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in self, or self as in consciousness. He does not live obsessed by the notions: ‘I am consciousness, consciousness is mine.’ As he lives unobsessed by these notions, that consciousness of his changes and alters. With the change and alteration of consciousness, there do not arise in him sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair.

“It is in such a way, householder, that one is afflicted in body but not afflicted in mind.”

This is what the Venerable Sāriputta said. Elated, the householder Nakulapita delighted in the Venerable Sāriputta’s statement.



Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 22.1 Nakulapitusutta: Nakulapita by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.