AN 5.214 Bahubhāṇisutta: Someone Who Talks a Lot

“Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot. What five? They use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. These are the five drawbacks for a person who talks a lot.

There are these five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully. What five? They don’t use speech that’s false, divisive, harsh, and nonsensical. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. These are the five benefits for a person who talks thoughtfully.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.214 Bahubhāṇisutta: Someone Who Talks a Lot by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Park. Then Mahānāma the Sakyan approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“In what way, Bhante, is one a lay follower?”

“When, Mahānāma, one has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, in that way one is a lay follower.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower virtuous?”

“When, Mahānāma, a lay follower abstains from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness, in that way a lay follower is virtuous.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith but does not encourage others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior but does not encourage others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity but does not encourage others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus but does not encourage others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma but does not encourage others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard but does not encourage others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind but does not encourage others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself has understood the meaning and the Dhamma and practices in accordance with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to do so: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others.

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare and for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith and also encourages others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior and also encourages others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity and also encourages others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus and also encourages others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma and also encourages others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard and also encourages others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind and also encourages others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself understands the meaning and the Dhamma and then practices in accordance with the Dhamma, and also encourages others to practice in accordance with the Dhamma: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare and also for the welfare of others.”

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 10.91 Kāmabhogīsutta: Pleasure Seekers

[Another weekend long read. But this sutta gives some interesting information on wealth and giving that we don’t find spelled out like this elsewhere. Because there a number of factors, read carefully to see the differences.]


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

“These ten pleasure seekers are found in the world. What ten?

  1. First, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit.
  2. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. They make themselves happy and pleased, but don’t share it and make merit.
  3. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. They make themselves happy and pleased, and they share it and make merit.
  4. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit.
  5. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive. They make themselves happy and pleased, but don’t share it and make merit.
  6. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive. They make themselves happy and pleased, and they share it and make merit.
  7. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit.
  8. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. They make themselves happy and pleased, but don’t share it and make merit.
  9. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. They make themselves happy and pleased, and they share it and make merit. But they enjoy that wealth tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape.
  10. Next, a pleasure seeker seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. They make themselves happy and pleased, and they share it and make merit. And they enjoy that wealth untied, uninfatuated, unattached, seeing the drawbacks, and understanding the escape.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means, and who doesn’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit. They may be criticized on three grounds. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the first ground for criticism. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for criticism. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the third ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be criticized on these three grounds.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, but doesn’t share it and make merit. They may be criticized on two grounds, and praised on one. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the first ground for criticism. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the one ground for praise. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the second ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be criticized on these two grounds, and praised on this one.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using illegitimate, coercive means, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and makes merit. They may be criticized on one ground, and praised on two. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the one ground for criticism. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the first ground for praise. They share it and make merit. This is the second ground for praise. This pleasure seeker may be criticized on this one ground, and praised on these two.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive, and who doesn’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit. They may be praised on one ground, and criticized on three. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the one ground for praise. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the first ground for criticism. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for criticism. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the third ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be praised on this one ground, and criticized on these three.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, but doesn’t share it and make merit. They may be praised on two grounds, and criticized on two. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the first ground for praise. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the first ground for criticism. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for praise. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the second ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be praised on these two grounds, and criticized on these two.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using means both legitimate and illegitimate, and coercive and non-coercive, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and make merit. They may be praised on three grounds, and criticized on one. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the first ground for praise. They seek for wealth using illegitimate, coercive means. This is the one ground for criticism. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for praise. They share it and make merit. This is the third ground for praise. This pleasure seeker may be praised on these three grounds, and criticized on this one.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, and who doesn’t make themselves happy and pleased, nor share it and make merit. They may be praised on one ground and criticized on two. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the one ground for praise. They don’t make themselves happy and pleased. This is the first ground for criticism. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the second ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be praised on this one ground, and criticized on these two.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, but doesn’t share it and make merit. They may be praised on two grounds and criticized on one. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the first ground for praise. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for praise. They don’t share it and make merit. This is the one ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be praised on these two grounds, and criticized on this one.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and makes merit. But they enjoy that wealth tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape. They may be praised on three grounds and criticized on one. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the first ground for praise. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for praise. They share it and make merit. This is the third ground for praise. They enjoy that wealth tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape. This is the one ground for criticism. This pleasure seeker may be praised on these three grounds, and criticized on this one.

Now, consider the pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, and who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and makes merit. And they enjoy that wealth untied, uninfatuated, unattached, seeing the drawbacks, and understanding the escape. They may be praised on four grounds. They seek for wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means. This is the first ground for praise. They make themselves happy and pleased. This is the second ground for praise. They share it and make merit. This is the third ground for praise. They enjoy that wealth untied, uninfatuated, unattached, seeing the drawbacks, and understanding the escape. This is the fourth ground for praise. This pleasure seeker may be praised on these four grounds.

These are the ten pleasure seekers found in the world. The pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and makes merit, and who uses that wealth untied, uninfatuated, unattached, seeing the drawbacks, and understanding the escape is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the ten.

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 pleasure seeker who seeks wealth using legitimate, non-coercive means, who makes themselves happy and pleased, and shares it and makes merit, and who uses that wealth untied, uninfatuated, unattached, seeing the drawbacks, and understanding the escape is the foremost, best, chief, highest, and finest of the ten.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.91 Kāmabhogīsutta: Pleasure Seekers Kāmabhogīsutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 6.37 Dāna Sutta: Giving

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. And on that occasion the female lay follower Veḷukaṇṭakin Nandamātar, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna. The Blessed One saw with his divine eye, surpassing the human, that the laywoman Veḷukaṇḍakī, Nanda’s mother, had established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna. On seeing this, he addressed the monks: “Monks, the female lay follower Veḷukaṇṭakin Nandamātar, has established a donation endowed with six factors for the Saṅgha of monks headed by Sāriputta & Moggallāna.

“And how is a donation endowed with six factors? There is the case where there are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients.

“And which are the three factors of the donor? There is the case where the donor, before giving, is glad; while giving, his/her mind is bright & clear; and after giving is gratified. These are the three factors of the donor.

“And which are the three factors of the recipients? There is the case where the recipients are free of passion or are practicing for the subduing of passion; free of aversion or practicing for the subduing of aversion; and free of delusion or practicing for the subduing of delusion. These are the three factors of the recipients.

“Such are the three factors of the donor, the three factors of the recipients. And this is how a donation is endowed with six factors.

“And it’s not easy to take the measure of the merit of a donation thus endowed with six factors as ‘just this much a bonanza of merit, a bonanza of what is skillful—a nutriment of bliss, heavenly, resulting in bliss, leading to heaven—that leads to what is desirable, pleasing, charming, beneficial, pleasant.’ It is simply reckoned as a great mass of merit, incalculable, immeasurable.

“Just as it’s not easy to take the measure of the great ocean as ‘just this many buckets of water, just this many hundreds of buckets of water, just this many thousands of buckets of water, or just this many hundreds of thousands of buckets of water.’ It’s simply reckoned as a great mass of water, incalculable, immeasurable. In the same way, it’s not easy to take the measure of the merit of a donation thus endowed with six factors as ‘just this much a bonanza of merit, a bonanza of what is skillful—a nutriment of bliss, heavenly, resulting in bliss, leading to heaven—that leads to what is desirable, pleasing, charming, beneficial, pleasant.’ It is simply reckoned as a great mass of merit, incalculable, immeasurable.”

Before giving, glad;
while giving, the mind is bright & clear;
having given, one is gratified:
          This is the consummation of the sacrifice.
Free of passion, free of aversion,
free of delusion, without effluent:
          the consummation of the field of the sacrifice,
          one restrained, leading the holy life.
Having rinsed oneself,
having given with one’s own hands,
          then—because of oneself,
          because of the other—
that is a sacrifice yielding great fruit.
Having given thus
          —intelligent—
a person of conviction,
with awareness released,
          reappears
          —wise—
in a world of bliss
          unalloyed.



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.37 Dāna Sutta. Giving by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.147 Asappurisadānasutta: Gifts of a Bad Person

“Mendicants, there are these five gifts of a bad person. What five? They give carelessly. They give thoughtlessly. They don’t give with their own hand. They give the dregs. They give without consideration for consequences. These are the five gifts of a bad person.

There are these five gifts of a good person. What five? They give carefully. They give thoughtfully. They give with their own hand. They don’t give the dregs. They give with consideration for consequences. These are the five gifts of a good person.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.147 Asappurisadānasutta: Gifts of a Bad Person by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 42.9 Kula Sutta: Families

On one occasion the Blessed One, while wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of monks, arrived at Nāḷandā. There he stayed at Nāḷandā in Pāvārika’s Mango Grove.

Now at that time Nāḷandā was in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, the crops white with blight and turned to straw. And at that time Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta was staying in Nāḷandā together with a large following of nigaṇṭhas. Then Asibandhakaputta the headman, a disciple of the nigaṇṭhas, went to Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta said to him, “Come, now, headman. Refute the words of the contemplative Gotama, and this admirable report about you will spread afar: ‘The words of the contemplative Gotama—so mighty, so powerful—were refuted by Asibandhakaputta the headman!’”

“But how, lord, will I refute the words of the contemplative Gotama—so mighty, so powerful?”

“Come now, headman. Go to the contemplative Gotama and on arrival say this: ‘Lord, doesn’t the Blessed One in many ways praise kindness, protection, & sympathy for families?’ If the contemplative Gotama, thus asked, answers, ‘Yes, headman, the Tathāgata in many ways praises kindness, protection, & sympathy for families,’ then you should say, ‘Then why, lord, is the Blessed One, together with a large Saṅgha of monks, wandering on tour around Nāḷandā in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, when the crops are white with blight and turned to straw? The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families.’ When the contemplative Gotama is asked this two-pronged question by you, he won’t be able to swallow it down or spit it up.”

Responding, “As you say, lord,” Asibandhakaputta the headman got up from his seat, bowed down to Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, circumambulated him, and then went to the Blessed One. On arrival, he bowed down to the Blessed One and sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, doesn’t the Blessed One in many ways praise kindness, protection, & sympathy for families?”

“Yes, headman, the Tathāgata in many ways praises kindness, protection, & sympathy for families.”

“Then why, lord, is the Blessed One, together with a large Saṅgha of monks, wandering on tour around Nāḷandā in the midst of famine, a time of scarcity, when the crops are white with blight and turned to straw? The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families.”

“Headman, recollecting back over 91 eons, I do not know any family to have been brought to downfall through the giving of cooked alms. On the contrary: Whatever families are rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities, all have become so from giving, from truth, from restraint.

“Headman, there are eight causes, eight reasons for the downfall of families.

  1. Families go to their downfall because of kings,
  2. or families go to their downfall because of thieves,
  3. or families go to their downfall because of fire, or
  4. families go to their downfall because of floods, or
  5. their stored-up treasure disappears, or
  6. their mismanaged undertakings go wrong, or
  7. in the family a wastrel is born who squanders, scatters, & shatters its wealth, and
  8. inconstancy itself is the eighth.

These are the eight causes, the eight reasons for the downfall of families. Now, when these eight causes, these eight reasons are to be found, if anyone should say of me, ‘The Blessed One is practicing for the ruin of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the demise of families. The Blessed One is practicing for the downfall of families’—without abandoning that statement, without abandoning that intent, without relinquishing that view—then as if he were to be carried off, he would thus be placed in hell.”

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


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 42.9 Kula Sutta. Families by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral. or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.34 Sīha Sutta: To General Sīha (On Giving)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Forest. Then General Sīha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Is it possible, lord, to point out a fruit of giving visible in the here & now?”

“It is possible, Sīha. One who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large. And the fact that who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large: This is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving. And the fact that good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide. And the fact that the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment. And the fact that when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world. And the fact that at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world: This is a fruit of giving in the next life.”

When this was said, General Sīha said to the Blessed One: “As for the four fruits of giving visible in the here & now that have been pointed out by the Blessed One, it’s not the case that I go by conviction in the Blessed One with regard to them. I know them, too.

  • I am generous, a master of giving, dear & charming to people at large.
  • I am generous, a master of giving; good people, people of integrity, admire me.
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and my fine reputation is spread far & wide: ‘Sīha is generous, a doer, a supporter of the Saṅgha.’
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and when I approach any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—I do so confidently & without embarrassment.

“But when the Blessed One says to me, ‘At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world,’ that I do not know. That is where I go by conviction in the Blessed One.”

“So it is, Sīha. So it is. At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world.”

One who gives is dear.
People at large admire him.
He gains honor. His status grows.
He enters an assembly unembarrassed.
He is confident—the unmiserly man.

Therefore the wise give gifts.
Seeking bliss, they would subdue the stain of miserliness.
Established in the three-fold heavenly world,
they enjoy themselves long
in fellowship with the devas.

Having made the opportunity for themselves,
having done what is skillful,
then when they fall from here
they fare on, self-radiant, in Nandana [the garden of the devas].

There they delight, enjoy, are joyful,
replete with the five sensuality strands.
Having followed the words of the sage who is Such,
they enjoy themselves in heaven—
disciples of the One Well-Gone.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.34 Sīha Sutta. To General Sīha (On Giving) by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.

AN 7.52 Dāna Sutta: Giving

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Campā on the shore of Gaggarā Lake. Then a large number of lay followers from Campā went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to Ven. Sāriputta: “It has been a long time, venerable sir, since we have had a chance to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence. It would be good if we could get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“Then in that case, my friends, come again on the next uposatha day, and perhaps you’ll get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“As you say, venerable sir,” the lay followers from Campā said to Ven. Sāriputta. Rising from their seats, bowing down to him, and then circling him—keeping him on their right—they left.

Then, on the following uposatha day, the lay followers from Campā went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. Then Ven. Sāriputta, together with the lay followers from Campā, went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “Might there be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Yes, Sāriputta, there would be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”

“Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Sāriputta, there is the case where a person gives a gift seeking his own profit, with a mind attached (to the reward), seeking to store up for himself (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift seeking his own profit—with a mind attached (to the reward), seeking to store up for himself, (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death’—on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Four Great Kings. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Then there is the case of a person who gives a gift not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached (to the reward), not seeking to store up for himself, nor (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ Instead, he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’ on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Thirty-three. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘Giving is good,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Hours. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Contented Devas. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past—Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamadaggi, Aṇgīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, & Bhagu—in the same way will this be my distribution of gifts’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas who Delight in Creation. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise’ … on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas Wielding power over the creations of others. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind.’ He gives his gift—food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp—to a contemplative or a brahman. What do you think, Sāriputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached (to the reward), not seeking to store up for himself, nor (with the thought), ‘I’ll enjoy this after death,’

—nor with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’

—nor with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued,’

—nor with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,’

—nor with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past—Aṭṭhaka, Vāmaka, Vāmadeva, Vessāmitta, Yamadaggi, Aṇgīrasa, Bhāradvāja, Vāseṭṭha, Kassapa, & Bhagu—in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,’

—nor with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’

—but with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind’—on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahmā’s Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

“This, Sāriputta, is the cause, this is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.52 Dāna Sutta. Giving by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.