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DN 16 From… Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Live as an Island

…So Ānanda, live as your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the teaching be your island and your refuge, with no other refuge. And how does a mendicant do this? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of covetousness and displeasure for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of covetousness and displeasure for the world. That’s how a mendicant is their own island, their own refuge, with no other refuge. That’s how the teaching is their island and their refuge, with no other refuge.…


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 DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 13 From… Tevijjasutta: Experts in the Three Vedas

“…Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. Standing on the near shore, they’d call out to the far shore, ‘Come here, far shore! Come here, far shore!’

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Would the far shore of the Aciravatī river come over to the near shore because of that man’s call, request, desire, or expectation?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, Vāseṭṭha, the brahmins proficient in the three Vedas proceed having given up those things that make one a true brahmin, and having undertaken those things that make one not a true brahmin. Yet they say: ‘We call upon Indra! We call upon Soma! We call upon Varuṇa! We call upon Īsāna! We call upon the Progenitor! We call upon Brahmā! We call upon Mahinda! We call upon Yama!’

So long as they proceed in this way it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.

Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. But while still on the near shore, their arms are tied tightly behind their back with a strong chain.

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Could that person cross over to the far shore?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, the five kinds of sensual stimulation are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. What five? Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing. Sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.

These are the five kinds of sensual stimulation that are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. The brahmins proficient in the three Vedas enjoy these five kinds of sensual stimulation tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape. So long as they enjoy them it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.

Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. But they’d lie down wrapped in cloth from head to foot.

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Could that person cross over to the far shore?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, the five hindrances are called ‘obstacles’ and ‘hindrances’ and ‘encasings’ and ‘shrouds’ in the training of the Noble One. What five? The hindrances of sensual desire, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt. These five hindrances are called ‘obstacles’ and ‘hindrances’ and ‘encasings’ and ‘shrouds’ in the training of the Noble One.

The brahmins proficient in the three Vedas are obstructed, hindered, encased, and shrouded by these five hindrances. So long as they are so obstructed it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.…”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 13 Tevijjasutta: Experts in the Three Vedas by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Srpski, Bengali, Hebrew, हिन्दी, Indonesian, Italiano, 日本語, ಕನ್ನಡ, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

DN 33 From… Saṅgītisutta: Reciting in Concert

…There are teachings grouped by three that have been rightly explained by the Buddha. You should all recite these in concert. What are the teachings grouped by three?…

Three kinds of wisdom: the wisdom of a trainee, the wisdom of an adept, and the wisdom of one who is neither a trainee nor an adept.

Another three kinds of wisdom: wisdom produced by thought, learning, and meditation.

Three weapons: learning, seclusion, and wisdom.

Three faculties: the faculty of understanding that one’s enlightenment is imminent, the faculty of enlightenment, and the faculty of one who is enlightened.

Three eyes: the eye of the flesh, the eye of clairvoyance, and the eye of wisdom.

Three trainings: in higher ethics, higher mind, and higher wisdom.

Three kinds of development: the development of physical endurance, the development of the mind, and the development of wisdom.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 33 Saṅgītisutta: Reciting in Concert by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 10 From… Subhasutta: With Subha

[The selection today is unusually long. And even this is just part of a longer sutta. It explains with beautiful similes both psychic powers as well as the three knowledges attained by the Buddha on the night of his enlightenment. It is a conversation between Ven. Ānanada and the householder Subha.]

But what, Master Ānanda, was that spectrum of noble wisdom that the Buddha praised?

“When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge and vision. They understand: ‘This body of mine is physical. It’s made up of the four primary elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and porridge, liable to impermanence, to wearing away and erosion, to breaking up and destruction. And this consciousness of mine is attached to it, tied to it.’

Suppose there was a beryl gem that was naturally beautiful, eight-faceted, well-worked, transparent, clear, and unclouded, endowed with all good qualities. And it was strung with a thread of blue, yellow, red, white, or golden brown. And someone with clear eyes were to take it in their hand and examine it: ‘This beryl gem is naturally beautiful, eight-faceted, well-worked, transparent, clear, and unclouded, endowed with all good qualities. And it’s strung with a thread of blue, yellow, red, white, or golden brown.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge and vision. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward the creation of a mind-made body. From this body they create another body, physical, mind-made, complete in all its various parts, not deficient in any faculty.

Suppose a person was to draw a reed out from its sheath. They’d think: ‘This is the reed, this is the sheath. The reed and the sheath are different things. The reed has been drawn out from the sheath.’ Or suppose a person was to draw a sword out from its scabbard. They’d think: ‘This is the sword, this is the scabbard. The sword and the scabbard are different things. The sword has been drawn out from the scabbard.’ Or suppose a person was to draw a snake out from its slough. They’d think: ‘This is the snake, this is the slough. The snake and the slough are different things. The snake has been drawn out from the slough.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward the creation of a mind-made body. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward psychic power. They wield the many kinds of psychic power: multiplying themselves and becoming one again; appearing and disappearing; going unimpeded through a wall, a rampart, or a mountain as if through space; diving in and out of the earth as if it were water; walking on water as if it were earth; flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird; touching and stroking with the hand the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful; controlling the body as far as the Brahmā realm.

Suppose a deft potter or their apprentice had some well-prepared clay. They could produce any kind of pot that they like. Or suppose a deft ivory-carver or their apprentice had some well-prepared ivory. They could produce any kind of ivory item that they like. Or suppose a deft goldsmith or their apprentice had some well-prepared gold. They could produce any kind of gold item that they like.

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward psychic power. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward clairaudience. With clairaudience that is purified and superhuman, they hear both kinds of sounds, human and divine, whether near or far. Suppose there was a person traveling along the road. They’d hear the sound of drums, clay drums, horns, kettledrums, and tom-toms. They’d think: ‘That’s the sound of drums,’ and ‘that’s the sound of clay drums,’ and ‘that’s the sound of horns, kettledrums, and tom-toms.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward clairaudience. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward comprehending the minds of others. They understand mind with greed as ‘mind with greed’, and mind without greed as ‘mind without greed’. They understand mind with hate … mind without hate … mind with delusion … mind without delusion … constricted mind … scattered mind … expansive mind … unexpansive mind … mind that is not supreme … mind that is supreme … immersed mind … unimmersed mind … freed mind … They understand unfreed mind as ‘unfreed mind’.

Suppose there was a woman or man who was young, youthful, and fond of adornments, and they check their own reflection in a clean bright mirror or a clear bowl of water. If they had a spot they’d know ‘I have a spot,’ and if they had no spots they’d know ‘I have no spots.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward comprehending the minds of others. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward recollection of past lives. They recollect many kinds of past lives, that is, one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand rebirths; many eons of the world contracting, many eons of the world expanding, many eons of the world contracting and expanding. They remember: ‘There, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food. This was how I felt pleasure and pain, and that was how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn somewhere else. There, too, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food. This was how I felt pleasure and pain, and that was how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn here.’ And so they recollect their many kinds of past lives, with features and details.

Suppose a person was to leave their home village and go to another village. From that village they’d go to yet another village. And from that village they’d return to their home village. They’d think: ‘I went from my home village to another village. There I stood like this, sat like that, spoke like this, or kept silent like that. From that village I went to yet another village. There too I stood like this, sat like that, spoke like this, or kept silent like that. And from that village I returned to my home village.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward recollection of past lives. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, they see sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. They understand how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds. ‘These dear beings did bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. They spoke ill of the noble ones; they had wrong view; and they chose to act out of that wrong view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. These dear beings, however, did good things by way of body, speech, and mind. They never spoke ill of the noble ones; they had right view; and they chose to act out of that right view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm.’ And so, with clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, they see sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. They understand how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds.

Suppose there was a stilt longhouse at the central square. A person with clear eyes standing there might see people entering and leaving a house, walking along the streets and paths, and sitting at the central square. They’d think: ‘These are people entering and leaving a house, walking along the streets and paths, and sitting at the central square.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project and extend it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. They truly understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. They truly understand: ‘These are defilements’ … ‘This is the origin of defilements’ … ‘This is the cessation of defilements’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of defilements’. Knowing and seeing like this, their mind is freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn, and ignorance. When they’re freed, they know they’re freed.

They understand: ‘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.’

Suppose that in a mountain glen there was a lake that was transparent, clear, and unclouded. A person with clear eyes standing on the bank would see the clams and mussels, and pebbles and gravel, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still. They’d think: ‘This lake is transparent, clear, and unclouded. And here are the clams and mussels, and pebbles and gravel, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. This pertains to their wisdom.

This is that spectrum of noble wisdom that the Buddha praised. And there is nothing more to be done.…”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 10 Subhasutta: With Subha by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 30 From… Lakkhana Sutta: The Marks of a Great Man

[The Lakkhana Sutta details the the actions the Buddha did to obtained the 32 Marks and their corresponding wholesome qualities.]

“…Monks, in some past lives the Buddha was reborn as a human being. He approached virtuous and knowledgeable people and asked: ‘Sirs, what is wholesome? What is unwholesome? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? Doing what leads to my lasting harm and suffering? Doing what leads to my lasting welfare and happiness?’ Due to performing those deeds he was reborn in heaven. When he passed away from there and was reborn here as a human, he obtained this mark: he has smooth skin, so smooth that dust and dirt don’t stick to his body.

Possessing this mark, if this great man continues to live in the palace, he becomes a universal king. And what does he obtain as a king? He has great wisdom. Of those who enjoy worldly pleasures, no one is equal to him or surpasses him in wisdom. That’s what he obtains as a king.

And what does he obtain as the Buddha? He has great wisdom, widespread wisdom, joyful wisdom, fast wisdom, sharp wisdom, and penetrating wisdom. No being is equal to him or surpasses him in wisdom. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.”

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

“In olden days, in past lives,
He was eager to understand things, he asked questions.
He was keen to learn things, he waited on virtuous people,
listening to their explanation with pure intent.

Due to that good kamma of searching for wisdom,
When he was reborn in the human world, his skin was smooth.
At his birth the mark-readers who are experts in mark-reading predicted:
‘He’ll understand even very subtle things of life.

If he doesn’t choose the monk-life,
he’ll rule the earth righteously.
Among those who instruct and who investigate things,
none is equal or better than him.

But if he chooses the monk-life,
and wisely loves that simple life,
Gaining wisdom that’s supreme and unparalleled,
The Supreme One attains enlightenment.…’”



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 30 Lakkhana Sutta: The Marks of a Great Man by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 31 From… Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka—Drawbacks of Laziness

…There are these six drawbacks of habitual laziness. You don’t get your work done because you think: ‘It’s too cold! It’s too hot. It’s too late! It’s too early! I’m too hungry! I’m too full!’ By dwelling on so many excuses for not working, you don’t make any more money, and the money you already have runs out. These are the six drawbacks of habitual laziness.”

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

“Some are just drinking buddies,
some call you their dear, dear friend,
but a true friend is one
who stands by you in need.

Sleeping late, adultery,
making enemies, harmfulness,
bad friends, and avarice:
these six grounds ruin a person.

With bad friends, bad companions,
bad behavior and alms-resort,
a man falls to ruin
in both this world and the next.

Dice, women, drink, song and dance;
sleeping by day and roaming at night;
bad friends, and avarice:
these six grounds ruin a person.

They play dice and drink liquor,
and consort with women loved by others.
Associating with the worse, not the better,
they diminish like the waning moon.

A drunkard, broke, and destitute,
thirsty, drinking in the bar,
drowning in debt,
will quickly lose their way.

When you’re in the habit of sleeping late,
seeing night as time to rise,
and always getting drunk,
you can’t keep up the household life.

‘Too cold, too hot,
too late,’ they say.
When the young neglect their work like this,
riches pass them by.

But one who considers heat and cold
as nothing more than blades of grass—
he does his duties as a man,
and happiness never fails.…”


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 31 Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Lietuvių Kalba, Polski, Srpski, Bengali, Čeština, Español, Hebrew, हिन्दी, Magyar, Indonesian, Italiano, ಕನ್ನಡ, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Português, Română, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, Svenska, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

DN 31 From… Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka—Good Friends

“…Householder’s son, you should recognize these four good-hearted friends: the helper, the friend in good times and bad, the counselor, and the one who’s compassionate.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a helper on four grounds. They guard you when you’re negligent. They guard your property when you’re negligent. They keep you safe in times of danger. When something needs doing, they provide you with twice the money you need. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a helper on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s the same in good times and bad on four grounds. They tell you secrets. They keep your secrets. They don’t abandon you in times of trouble. They’d even give their life for your welfare. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s the same in good times and bad on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a counselor on four grounds. They keep you from doing bad. They support you in doing good. They teach you what you do not know. They explain the path to heaven. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s a counselor on these four grounds.

You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s compassionate on four grounds. They don’t delight in your misfortune. They delight in your good fortune. They keep others from criticizing you. They encourage praise of you. You can recognize a good-hearted friend who’s compassionate on these four grounds.”

The Buddha spoke this matter. Then the Holy One, the Teacher, went on to say:

“A friend who’s a helper,
one the same in both pleasure and pain,
a friend of good counsel,
and one of compassion;

an astute person understands
these four friends for what they are
and carefully looks after them,
like a mother the child at her breast.
The astute and virtuous
shine like a burning flame.

They pick up riches as bees
roaming round pick up pollen.
And their riches proceed to grow,
like an ant-hill piling up.

In gathering wealth like this,
a householder does enough for their family.
And they’d hold on to friends
by dividing their wealth in four.

One portion is to enjoy.
Two parts invest in work.
And the fourth should be kept
for times of trouble.”…


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 31 Siṅgālasutta: Advice to Sigālaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Lietuvių Kalba, Polski, Srpski, Bengali, Čeština, Español, Hebrew, हिन्दी, Magyar, Indonesian, Italiano, ಕನ್ನಡ, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Português, Română, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, Svenska, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

DN 8 From… Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Lion’s Roar to the Naked Ascetic Kassapa

“…There is, Kassapa, a path, there is a practice, practicing in accordance with which you will know and see for yourself: ‘Only the ascetic Gotama’s words are timely, true, and meaningful, in line with the teaching and training.’ And what is that path? It is simply this noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion. This is the path, this is the practice, practicing in accordance with which you will know and see for yourself: ‘Only the ascetic Gotama’s words are timely, true, and meaningful, in line with the teaching and training.’”…


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 8 Mahāsīhanādasutta: The Lion’s Roar to the Naked Ascetic Kassapa by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 30 From… Lakkhaṇasutta: The Marks of a Great Man—Forty Gapless Teeth

[Note: The Lakkhana Sutta explains the actions that the Bodhisatta did in the past to have all the physical characteristics belonging to Buddhas and universal monarchs. It then explains the marks and the non-physical results of the actions.]

…“Mendicants, in some past lives the Realized One was reborn as a human being. He refrained from divisive speech. He didn’t repeat in one place what he heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, he reconciled those who were divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony. Due to performing those deeds he was reborn in a heavenly realm. When he came back to this state of existence he obtained these two marks: he has forty teeth, and his teeth have no gaps.

Possessing these marks, if he stays at home he becomes a wheel-turning monarch. And what does he obtain as king? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes brahmins and householders, people of town and country, treasury officials, military officers, guardsmen, ministers, counselors, rulers, tax beneficiaries, and princes. That’s what he obtains as king. And what does he obtain as Buddha? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, gods, humans, demons, dragons, and centaurs. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.” The Buddha spoke this matter.

On this it is said:

“He spoke no words divisive causing friends to split,
creating disputes that foster division,
acting improperly by fostering quarrels,
creating division among friends.

He spoke kind words to foster harmony,
uniting those who are divided.
He eliminated quarrels among the people,
rejoicing together with the united.

In good rebirths he enjoyed the fruit
and result, rejoicing there.
Here his teeth are gapless, close together,
forty standing upright in his mouth.

If he becomes an aristocrat, ruler of the land,
his assembly will be indivisible.
And as an ascetic, stainless, immaculate,
his assembly will follow him, unshakable.”…


Note: “Demons, dragons, and centaurs” is a translation of “asurā nāgā gandhabbā.

Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 30 Lakkhaṇasutta: The Marks of a Great Man Lakkhaṇasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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

[Note: We often see the Buddha criticizing the love of company. We also see him praising good spiritual companionship. These two things are not a contradiction. We should seek out wise companionship and avoid useless socializing.]

…I will teach you seven more principles that prevent decline. …

  1. As long as the mendicants don’t relish work, loving it and liking to relish it, they can expect growth, not decline.
  2. As long as they don’t relish talk …
  3. sleep …
  4. company …
  5. they don’t have corrupt wishes, falling under the sway of corrupt wishes …
  6. they don’t have bad friends, companions, and associates …
  7. they don’t stop half-way after achieving some insignificant distinction, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as these seven principles that prevent decline last among the mendicants, and as long as the mendicants are seen following them, they can expect growth, not decline.


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 DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 5 Kūṭadantasutta: With Kūṭadanta

[NOTE: The following is one of many examples of people who are directly led to stream entry by the Buddha.]

…Then the Buddha taught Kūṭadanta step by step, with a talk on giving, ethical conduct, and heaven. He explained the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, so sordid and corrupt, and the benefit of renunciation. And when he knew that Kūṭadanta’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, elated, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye, in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Kūṭadanta: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

Then Kūṭadanta saw, attained, understood, and fathomed the Dhamma. He went beyond doubt, got rid of indecision, and became self-assured and independent of others regarding the Teacher’s instructions. He said to the Buddha, “Would Master Gotama together with the mendicant Saṅgha please accept tomorrow’s meal from me?” The Buddha consented in silence.…


Read this translation of Dīgha Nikāya 5 Kūṭadantasutta: With Kūṭadanta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

DN 16 From… Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—The Mirror of the Dhamma

[NOTE: This teaching was given by the Buddha after the Venerable Ānanda asked about the rebirth of various disciples.]

“It’s hardly surprising that a human being should pass away. But if you should come and ask me about it each and every time someone passes away, that would be a bother for me.

“So Ānanda, I will teach you the explanation of the Dhamma called ‘the mirror of the teaching’. A noble disciple who has this may declare of themselves: ‘I’ve finished with rebirth in hell, the animal realm, and the ghost realm. I’ve finished with all places of loss, bad places, the underworld. I am a stream-enterer! I’m not liable to be reborn in the underworld, and am bound for awakening.’

“And what is that mirror of the teaching?

“It’s when a noble disciple has experiential confidence in the Buddha: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’

“They have experiential confidence in the teaching: ‘The teaching is well explained by the Buddha—visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, relevant, so that sensible people can know it for themselves.’

They have experiential confidence in the Saṅgha: ‘The Saṅgha of the Buddha’s disciples is practicing the way that’s good, direct, methodical, and proper. It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. This is the Saṅgha of the Buddha’s disciples that is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a religious donation, worthy of greeting with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.’

“And a noble disciple’s ethical conduct is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred, liberating, praised by sensible people, not mistaken, and leading to immersion.

“This is that mirror of the teaching.”

And while staying there in Nādika 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.”

When the Buddha had stayed in Nādika as long as he wished, he addressed Venerable Ānanda, “Come, Ānanda, let’s go to Vesālī.”


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 DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

From… DN 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment

[Note: This short excerpt from this much longer sutta beings with the Buddha going into and out of successively deeper states of meditation.]

…Then the Buddha entered the first absorption. Emerging from that, he entered the second absorption. Emerging from that, he successively entered into and emerged from the third absorption, the fourth absorption, the dimension of infinite space, the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of nothingness, and the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. Then he entered the cessation of perception and feeling.

Then Venerable Ānanda said to Venerable Anuruddha, “Venerable Anuruddha, has the Buddha become fully extinguished?”

“No, Reverend Ānanda. He has entered the cessation of perception and feeling.”

Then the Buddha emerged from the cessation of perception and feeling and entered the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. Emerging from that, he successively entered into and emerged from the dimension of nothingness, the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of infinite space, the fourth absorption, the third absorption, the second absorption, and the first absorption. Emerging from that, he successively entered into and emerged from the second absorption and the third absorption. Then he entered the fourth absorption. Emerging from that the Buddha immediately became fully extinguished.

When the Buddha became fully extinguished, along with the full extinguishment there was a great earthquake, awe-inspiring and hair-raising, and thunder cracked the sky. When the Buddha became fully extinguished, Brahmā Sahampati recited this verse:

“All creatures in this world
must lay down this bag of bones.
For even a Teacher such as this,
unrivaled in the world,
the Realized One, attained to power,
the Buddha became fully extinguished.”

When the Buddha became fully extinguished, Sakka, lord of gods, recited this verse:

“Oh! Conditions are impermanent,
their nature is to rise and fall;
having arisen, they cease;
their stilling is true bliss.”

When the Buddha became fully extinguished, Venerable Anuruddha recited this verse:

“There was no more breathing
for the poised one of steady heart.
Imperturbable, committed to peace,
the sage has done his time.

He put up with painful feelings
without flinching.
The liberation of his heart
was like the extinguishing of a lamp.”

When the Buddha became fully extinguished, Venerable Ānanda recited this verse:

“Then there was terror!
Then they had goosebumps!
When the Buddha, endowed with all fine qualities,
became fully extinguished.”

When the Buddha became fully extinguished, some of the mendicants there, with arms raised, falling down like their feet were chopped off, rolling back and forth, lamented: “Too soon the Blessed One has become fully extinguished! Too soon the Holy One has become fully extinguished! Too soon the seer has vanished from the world!” But the mendicants who were free of desire endured, mindful and aware, thinking, “Conditions are impermanent. How could it possibly be otherwise?”

Then Anuruddha addressed the mendicants: “Enough, reverends, do not grieve or lament. Did the Buddha not prepare us for this when he explained that we must be parted and separated from all we hold dear and beloved? How could it possibly be so that what is born, created, conditioned, and liable to wear out should not wear out? The deities are complaining.”

“But sir, what kind of deities are you thinking of?”

“There are, Ānanda, deities—both in the sky and on the earth—who are percipient of the earth. With hair disheveled and arms raised, they fall down like their feet were chopped off, rolling back and forth, lamenting: ‘Too soon the Blessed One has become fully extinguished! Too soon the Holy One has become fully extinguished! Too soon the seer has vanished from the world!’ But the deities who are free of desire endure, mindful and aware, thinking: ‘Conditions are impermanent. How could it possibly be otherwise?’”

Ānanda and Anuruddha spent the rest of the night talking about Dhamma.…



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 DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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 SC-Voice.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