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 3.25 Vajirūpamasutta: Diamond

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

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

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

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

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


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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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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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AN 5.196 Supina Sutta: Dreams

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. Which five?

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this great earth was his great bed. The Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow. His left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the first great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the second great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the third great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fourth great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fifth great dream that appeared to him.

“Now, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and this great earth was his great bed, the Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow, his left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea: this first great dream appeared to let him know that he would awaken to the unexcelled right self-awakening.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky: this second great dream appeared to let him know that when he had awakened to the noble eightfold path, he would proclaim it well as far as there are devas & human beings.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees: this third great dream appeared to let him know that many white-clothed householders would go for life-long refuge to the Tathāgata.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white: this fourth great dream appeared to let him know that people from the four castes—brahmans, noble-warriors, merchants, and laborers—having gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya taught by the Tathāgata, would realize unexcelled release.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement: this fifth great dream appeared to let him know that the Tathāgata would receive gifts of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites to cure the sick, but he would use them unattached to them, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to them), and discerning the escape from them.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, these five great dreams appeared to him.”


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AN 4.127 Paṭhamatathāgataacchariyasutta: Incredible Things About the Realized One (1st)

“Mendicants, with the appearance of a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, four incredible and amazing things appear. What four?

When the being intent on awakening passes away from the host of Joyful Gods, he’s conceived in his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the first incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the being intent on awakening emerges from his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the second incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One understands the supreme perfect awakening. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the third incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One rolls forth the supreme Wheel of Dhamma. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the fourth incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

With the appearance of a Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, these four incredible and amazing things appear.”


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AN 3.103 Pubbevasambodhasutta: Before Awakening

“Mendicants, before my awakening—when I was still unawakened but intent on awakening—I thought: ‘What’s the gratification in the world? What’s the drawback? What’s the escape?’

Then it occurred to me: ‘The pleasure and happiness that arise from the world: this is its gratification.

That the world is impermanent, suffering, and perishable: this is its drawback.

Removing and giving up desire and greed for the world: this is its escape.’

As long as I didn’t truly understand the world’s gratification, drawback, and escape in this way for what they are, I didn’t announce my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

But when I did truly understand the world’s gratification, drawback, and escape in this way for what they are, I announced my supreme perfect awakening in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans.

Knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘My freedom is unshakable; this is my last rebirth; now there’ll be no more future lives.’”


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AN 3.39 Sukhumālasutta: A Delicate Lifestyle

“My lifestyle was delicate, mendicants, most delicate, extremely delicate.

In my father’s home, lotus ponds were made just for me. In some, blue water lilies blossomed, while in others, there were pink or white lotuses, just for my benefit. I only used sandalwood from Kāsī, and my turbans, jackets, sarongs, and upper robes also came from Kāsī. And a white parasol was held over me night and day, with the thought: ‘Don’t let cold, heat, grass, dust, or damp bother him.’

I had three stilt longhouses—one for the winter, one for the summer, and one for the rainy season. I stayed in a stilt longhouse without coming downstairs for the four months of the rainy season, where I was entertained by musicians—none of them men.

While the bondservants, workers, and staff in other houses are given rough gruel with pickles to eat, in my father’s home they eat fine rice with meat.

Amid such prosperity and such a delicate lifestyle, I thought: ‘When an uneducated ordinary person—who is liable to grow old, not being exempt from old age—sees someone else who is old, they’re horrified, repelled, and disgusted, overlooking the fact that they themselves are in the same situation. But since I, too, am liable to grow old, it would not be appropriate for me to be horrified, embarrassed, and disgusted, when I see someone else who is old.’ Reflecting like this, I entirely gave up the vanity of youth.

‘When an uneducated ordinary person—who is liable to get sick, not being exempt from sickness—sees someone else who is sick, they’re horrified, repelled, and disgusted, overlooking the fact that they themselves are in the same situation. But since I, too, am liable to get sick, it would not be appropriate for me to be horrified, embarrassed, and disgusted, when I see someone else who is sick.’ Reflecting like this, I entirely gave up the vanity of health.

‘When an uneducated ordinary person—who is liable to die, not being exempt from death—sees someone else who is dead, they’re horrified, repelled, and disgusted, overlooking the fact that they themselves are in the same situation. But since I, too, am liable to die, it would not be appropriate for me to be horrified, embarrassed, and disgusted, when I see someone else who is dead.’ Reflecting like this, I entirely gave up the vanity of life.

There are these three vanities. What three? The vanity of youth, of health, and of life.

Intoxicated with the vanity of youth, an uneducated ordinary person does bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

Intoxicated with the vanity of health …

Intoxicated with the vanity of life, an uneducated ordinary person does bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

Intoxicated with the vanity of youth, health, or life, a mendicant resigns the training and returns to a lesser life.

For others, sickness is natural,
and so are old age and death.
Though this is how their nature is,
ordinary people feel disgusted.

If I were to be disgusted
with creatures whose nature is such,
it would not be appropriate for me,
since my life is just the same.

Living in such a way,
I understood the reality without attachments.
I mastered all vanities—
of health, of youth,

and even of life—
seeing renunciation as sanctuary.
Zeal sprang up in me
as I looked to extinguishment.

Now I’m unable
to indulge in sensual pleasures;
there’s no turning back,
I’m committed to the spiritual life.”


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AN 1.170 from Ekapuggalavagga: One Person

“One person, mendicants, arises in the world for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans. What one person? The Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha. This is the one person, mendicants, who arises in the world for the welfare and happiness of the people, out of compassion for the world, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans.”


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