DN 2 From… Sāmaññaphalasutta: The Fruits of the Ascetic Life

And how, great king, is a mendicant accomplished in ethics?…

…They give up lying. They speak the truth and stick to the truth. They’re honest and trustworthy, and don’t trick the world with their words. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up divisive speech. They don’t repeat in one place what they heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, they reconcile those who are divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up harsh speech. They speak in a way that’s mellow, pleasing to the ear, lovely, going to the heart, polite, likable and agreeable to the people. This pertains to their ethics.

They give up talking nonsense. Their words are timely, true, and meaningful, in line with the teaching and training. They say things at the right time which are valuable, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial. This pertains to their ethics.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 2 Sāmaññaphalasutta: The Fruits of the Ascetic Life by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

DN 23 From… Pāyāsisutta: With Pāyāsi

…Then the chieftain Pāyāsi set up an offering for ascetics and brahmins, for paupers, vagrants, travelers, and beggars. At that offering such food as rough gruel with pickles was given, and heavy clothes with knotted fringes. Now, it was a brahmin student named Uttara who organized that offering.

When the offering was over he referred to it like this, “Through this offering may I be together with the chieftain Pāyāsi in this world, but not in the next.

Pāyāsi heard of this, so he summoned Uttara and said, “Is it really true, dear Uttara, that you referred to the offering in this way?”

“Yes, sir.”

“But why? Don’t we who seek merit expect some result from the offering?”

“At your offering such food as rough gruel with pickles was given, which you wouldn’t even want to touch with your foot, much less eat. And also heavy clothes with knotted fringes, which you also wouldn’t want to touch with your foot, much less wear. Sir, you’re dear and beloved to me. But how can I reconcile one so dear with something so disagreeable?”

“Well then, dear Uttara, set up an offering with the same kind of food that I eat, and the same kind of clothes that I wear.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Uttara, and did so.

So the chieftain Pāyāsi gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with his own hands, giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia. But the brahmin student Uttara who organized the offering gave gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with his own hands, not giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three.

Now at that time Venerable Gavampati would often go to that empty acacia palace for the day’s meditation. Then the god Pāyāsi went up to him, bowed, and stood to one side. Gavampati said to him, “Who are you, reverend?”

“Sir, I am the chieftain Pāyāsi.”

“Didn’t you have the view that there’s no afterlife, no beings are reborn spontaneously, and there’s no fruit or result of good and bad deeds?”

“It’s true, sir, I did have such a view. But Venerable Kassapa the Prince dissuaded me from that harmful misconception.”

“But the student named Uttara who organized that offering for you—where has he been reborn?”

“Sir, Uttara

  1. gave gifts carefully,
  2. thoughtfully,
  3. with his own hands,
  4. not giving the dregs.

When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three. But I gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with my own hands, giving the dregs. When my body broke up, after death, I was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia.

So, sir, when you’ve returned to the human realm, please announce this: ‘Give gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with your own hands, not giving the dregs. The chieftain Pāyāsi gave gifts carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with his own hands, giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Four Great Kings, in an empty palace of acacia. But the brahmin student Uttara who organized the offering gave gifts carefully, thoughtfully, with his own hands, not giving the dregs. When his body broke up, after death, he was reborn in company with the gods of the Thirty-Three.’”

So when Venerable Gavampati returned to the human realm he made that announcement.


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 23 Pāyāsisutta: With Pāyāsi by Bhikkhu Sujato 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.

DN 14 From… Mahāpadāna Sutta: Seven Fully Enlightened Buddhas

“…Monks, King Bandhuma thought, ‘Prince Vipassī must not renounce the throne. He must not go forth from the lay life to homelessness and become a recluse. And the words of the brāhmin predictors must not come true.’ Considering this, he provided the prince with even more of the five kinds of worldly pleasures, which the prince enjoyed.

“Then, after many thousands of years had passed, Prince Vipassī had his charioteer drive him to the park once more.

“Along the way he saw a large crowd gathered making a hut out of red clothes. He asked his charioteer, ‘My dear charioteer, why is that crowd making a hut out of red clothes?’

“‘Prince, that is for someone who’s dead.’

“‘Well then, drive the chariot up to the dead.’

“‘Yes, Prince,’ replied the charioteer, and did so.

“When the prince saw the body of the deceased, he addressed the charioteer, ‘But why is he called dead?’

“‘He’s called dead because now his mother and father and his relatives won’t be able to see him anymore, and he won’t see them ever again.’

“‘But my dear charioteer, am I going to die? Am I not exempt from death? Will the king and queen and my other relatives not be able to see me? And will I never see them again?’

“‘Prince, everyone will die, including you. No-one is exempt from death. The king and queen and your other relatives will no longer see you, and you will never see them again.’

“‘Well then, my dear charioteer, that’s enough of the park for today. Let’s return to the royal palace.’

“‘Yes, Prince,’ replied the charioteer and returned to the royal palace.

“Back at the royal palace, the prince was sad and unhappily thought, ‘Shame on this thing called birth, since old age, sickness, and death will come to anyone who’s born.’

“Then King Bandhuma summoned the charioteer and asked, ‘My dear charioteer, I hope the prince enjoyed himself at the park? I hope he was happy there?’

“‘No, sire, the prince didn’t enjoy himself at the park. He didn’t go to the park.’

“‘But what did he see on the way to the park?’ And the charioteer told the king about seeing the dead man and the prince’s reaction.…”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 14 Mahāpadāna Sutta: Seven Fully Enlightened Buddhas by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.

DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Subhadda’s Question

…Now at that time a wanderer named Subhadda was residing near Kusinārā. He heard that on that very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama would become fully extinguished. He thought: “I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty.”

Then Subhadda went to the Mallian sal grove at Upavattana, approached Ānanda, and said to him, “Master Ānanda, I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty. Master Ānanda, please let me see the ascetic Gotama.”

When he had spoken, Ānanda said, “Enough, Reverend Subhadda, do not trouble the Realized One. He is tired.”

For a second time, and a third time, Subhadda asked Ānanda, and a third time Ānanda refused.

The Buddha heard that discussion between Ānanda and Subhadda. He said to Ānanda, “Enough, Ānanda, don’t obstruct Subhadda; let him see the Realized One. For whatever he asks me, he will only be looking for understanding, not trouble. And he will quickly understand any answer I give to his question.”

So Ānanda said to the wanderer Subhadda, “Go, Reverend Subhadda, the Buddha is taking the time for you.”

Then the wanderer Subhadda went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

“Master Gotama, there are those ascetics and brahmins who lead an order and a community, and teach a community. They’re well-known and famous religious founders, regarded as holy by many people. Namely: Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta, Pakudha Kaccāyana, and Ajita Kesakambala. According to their own claims, did all of them have direct knowledge, or none of them, or only some?”

“Enough, Subhadda, let that be. I shall teach you the Dhamma. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” Subhadda replied. The Buddha said this:

“Subhadda, in whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is not found, there is no true ascetic found, no second ascetic, no third ascetic, and no fourth ascetic. In whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found, there is a true ascetic found, a second ascetic, a third ascetic, and a fourth ascetic. In this teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found. Only here is there a true ascetic, here a second ascetic, here a third ascetic, and here a fourth ascetic. Other sects are empty of ascetics.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.

I was twenty-nine years of age, Subaddha,
when I went forth to discover what is skillful.
It’s been over fifty years
since I went forth.
I am the one who points out the proper teaching:
Outside of here there is no true ascetic.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.”

When he had spoken, Subhadda said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, the Buddha has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. Sir, may I receive the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence?”

“Subhadda, if someone formerly ordained in another sect wishes to take the going forth, the ordination in this teaching and training, they must spend four months on probation. When four months have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, they’ll give the going forth, the ordination into monkhood. However, I have recognized individual differences in this matter.”

“Sir, if four months probation are required in such a case, I’ll spend four years on probation. When four years have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, let them give me the going forth, the ordination into monkhood.”

Then the Buddha said to Ānanda, “Well then, Ānanda, give Subhadda the going forth.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied.

Then Subhadda said to Ānanda, “You’re so fortunate, Reverand Ānanda, so very fortunate, to be anointed here in the Teacher’s presence as his pupil!” And the wanderer Subhadda received the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence. Not long after his ordination, Venerable Subhadda, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, keen, and resolute, soon realized the supreme end of the spiritual path in this very life. He lived having achieved with his own insight the goal for which gentlemen rightly go forth from the lay life to homelessness.

He understood: “Rebirth is ended; the spiritual journey has been completed; what had to be done has been done; there is no return to any state of existence.” And Venerable Subhadda became one of the perfected. He was the last personal disciple of the Buddha.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation—The Four Places

…“Formerly, reverend Sir, the monks, having dwelt for the Rains Retreat used to come to see the Realised One, and we would receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One. But after the Fortunate One has passed way, reverend Sir, we will not receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One.”

“There are these four places that can be seen, that produce enthusiasm, Ānanda, for a faithful man of good family.

Which four?

  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was completely Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

These are the four places, Ānanda, that are to be seen that produce enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

Faithful monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will come, thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, ‘Here the Realised One was Finally Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, and whoever, Ānanda, will die while on pilgrimage to the Shrines with a confident mind they will all, at the break-up of the body, after death, re-arise in a fortunate destiny, in a heavenly world.”…


Read the entire translation of DN 16 Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.

DN 16 From… Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Such Is Ethics

…And while staying there at the Vulture’s Peak the Buddha often gave this Dhamma talk to the mendicants:

“Such is ethics, such is immersion, such is wisdom. When immersion is imbued with ethics it’s very fruitful and beneficial. When wisdom is imbued with immersion it’s very fruitful and beneficial. When the mind is imbued with wisdom it is rightly freed from the defilements, namely, the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn, and ignorance.”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Also read on DhammaTalks.org and Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net