AN 5.202 Dhammassavanasutta: Listening to the Teaching

“Mendicants, there are these five benefits of listening to the teaching. What five?

You learn new things,
clarify what you’ve learned,
get over uncertainty,
correct your views,
and inspire confidence in your mind.

These are the five benefits of listening to the teaching.”


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AN 3.22 Gilānasutta: Patients

“These three patients are found in the world. What three?

In some cases a patient won’t recover from an illness, regardless of whether or not they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer.

In some cases a patient will recover from an illness, regardless of whether or not they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer.

In some cases a patient can recover from an illness, but only if they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer, and not if they don’t get these things.

Now, it’s for the sake of the last patient—who will recover only if they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer—that food, medicines, and a carer are prescribed. But also, for the sake of this patient, the other patients should be looked after.

These are the three kinds of patients found in the world.

In the same way, these three people similar to patients are found in the world. What three? Some people don’t enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, regardless of whether or not they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims.

Some people do enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, regardless of whether or not they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims.

Some people can enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, but only if they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims, and not when they don’t get those things.

Now, it’s for the sake of this last person that teaching the Dhamma is prescribed, that is, the one who can enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, but only if they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims. But also, for the sake of this person, the other people should be taught Dhamma.

These are the three people similar to patients found in the world.”


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AN 9.19 Devatāsutta: A Deity

“Mendicants, tonight, several glorious deities, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, came to me, bowed, stood to one side, and said to me: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them, but we didn’t bow. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them and bowed, but we didn’t offer a seat. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them, bowed, and offered a seat, but we didn’t share as best we could. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t sit nearby to listen to the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t lend an ear to the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t memorize the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t examine the meaning of teachings we’d memorized. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… having understood the meaning and the teaching, we didn’t practice accordingly. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose, bowed, and offered them a seat. We shared as best we could. We sat nearby to listen to the teachings, lent an ear, memorized them, and examined their meaning. Understanding the teaching and the meaning we practiced accordingly. And so, having fulfilled our duty, free of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a superior realm.’

Here, mendicants, are these roots of trees, and here are these empty huts. Practice absorption, mendicants! Don’t be negligent! Don’t regret it later, like those former deities.”


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Thag 5.10 Yasadattattheragāthā: Yasadatta

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They’re as far from the true teaching
as the earth is from the sky.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They fall away from the true teaching,
like the moon in the waning fortnight.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They wither away in the true teaching,
like a fish in a little puddle.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They don’t thrive in the true teaching,
like a rotten seed in a field.

But one with contented mind
who listens to the victor’s instruction—
having wiped out all defilements;
having witnessed the unshakable;
having arrived at ultimate peace—
they are quenched without defilements.



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AN 7.29 Dutiyaparihānisutta: Non-decline for a Lay Follower

“These seven things lead to the decline of a lay follower. What seven?

1. They miss out on seeing the mendicants.
2. They neglect listening to the true teaching.
3. They don’t train in higher ethical conduct.
4. They’re very suspicious about mendicants, whether senior, junior, or middle.
5. They listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
6. They seek outside of the Buddhist community for those worthy of religious donations.
7. And they serve them first.

These seven things lead to the decline of a lay follower.

These seven things don’t lead to the decline of a lay follower. What seven?

1. They don’t miss out on seeing the mendicants.
2. They don’t neglect listening to the true teaching.
3. They train in higher ethical conduct.
4. They’re very confident about mendicants, whether senior, junior, or middle.
5. They don’t listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
6. They don’t seek outside of the Buddhist community for those worthy of religious donations.
7. And they serve the Buddhist community first.

These seven things don’t lead to the decline of a lay follower.”

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

“A lay follower misses out on seeing
those who are evolved
and listening to the teachings of the Noble One.
They don’t train in higher ethical conduct,

and their suspicion about mendicants
just grows and grows.
They want to listen to the true teaching
with a fault-finding mind.

They seek outside the Buddhist community
for someone else worthy of religious donations,
and that lay follower
serves them first.

These seven principles leading to decline
have been well taught.
A lay follower who practices them
falls away from the true teaching.

A lay follower doesn’t miss out on seeing
those who are evolved
and listening to the teachings of the Noble One.
They train in higher ethical conduct,

and their confidence in mendicants
just grows and grows.
They want to listen to the true teaching
without a fault-finding mind.

They don’t seek outside the Buddhist community
for someone else worthy of religious donations,
and that lay follower
serves the Buddhist community first.

These seven principles that prevent decline
have been well taught.
A lay follower who practices them
doesn’t fall away from the true teaching.”



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AN 5.181 Āraññikasutta: Wilderness Dwellers

“Mendicants, there are these five kinds of wilderness dwellers. What five? A person may be wilderness dweller because of stupidity and folly. Or because of wicked desires, being naturally full of desires. Or because of madness and mental disorder. Or because it is praised by the Buddhas and their disciples. Or for the sake of having few wishes, for the sake of contentment, self-effacement, seclusion, and simplicity. These are the five kinds of wilderness dwellers. But the person who dwells in the wilderness for the sake of having few wishes is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the five.

From a cow comes milk, from milk comes curds, from curds come butter, from butter comes ghee, and from ghee comes cream of ghee. And the cream of ghee is said to be the best of these. In the same way, the person who dwells in the wilderness for the sake of having few wishes is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the five.”


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AN 4.95 Chavālātasutta: A Firebrand

“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

  1. One who practices to benefit neither themselves nor others;
  2. one who practices to benefit others, but not themselves;
  3. one who practices to benefit themselves, but not others; and
  4. one who practices to benefit both themselves and others.

Suppose there was a firebrand for lighting a funeral pyre, burning at both ends, and smeared with dung in the middle. It couldn’t be used as timber either in the village or the wilderness. The person who practices to benefit neither themselves nor others is like this, I say.

The person who practices to benefit others, but not themselves, is better than that. The person who practices to benefit themselves, but not others, is better than both of those. But the person who practices to benefit both themselves and others is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the four.

From a cow comes milk, from milk comes curds, from curds come butter, from butter comes ghee, and from ghee comes cream of ghee. And the cream of ghee is said to be the best of these. In the same way, the person who practices to benefit both themselves and others is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the four.

These are the four people found in the world.”


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SN 3.2 Purisasutta: A Person

At Sāvatthī.

Then King Pasenadi of Kosala went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha, “Sir, how many things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort?”

“Great king, three things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort. What three? Greed, hate, and delusion. These three things arise inside a person for their harm, suffering, and discomfort.”

That is what the Buddha said. …

“When greed, hate, and delusion,
have arisen inside oneself,
they harm a person of wicked heart,
as a reed is destroyed by its own fruit.”


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Thag 3.8 Vassikattheragāthā: Vassika

I was the only one in my family
who had faith and wisdom.
It’s good for my relatives that I’m
firm in principle, and ethical.

I corrected my family out of compassion,
telling them off out of love
for my family and relatives.
They performed a service for the monks

and then they passed away,
finding happiness in the heaven of the Thirty-three.
There, my brothers and mother
enjoy all the pleasures they desire.


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Iti 71 Sammādiṭṭhikasutta: Having Right View

This was said by the Buddha, the Perfected One: that is what I heard.

“Mendicants, I’ve seen beings who engaged in good conduct of body, speech, and mind, who did not abuse the noble ones, who held right view and acted accordingly. At the breaking up of the body, after death, they were reborn in a good destination, a heaven world.

Now, I don’t say this because I’ve heard it from some other ascetic or brahmin. I only say it because I’ve known, seen, and realized it for myself.”

That is what the Buddha said. On this it is said:

“When the mind has been directed right,
and words rightly spoken,
and right bodily deeds have been done,
a person here

learned, doer of good deeds,
though their life may be short,
when their body breaks up,
that wise person is reborn in heaven.”

This too is a matter that was spoken by the Blessed One: that is what I heard.


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