SN 3.2 Purisasutta: A Person

At Sāvatthī.

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

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

That is what the Buddha said. …

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


Read this translation of SN 3.2 Purisasutta: A Person by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net.

SN 7.1 Dhanañjānī Sutta: Husband of Dhanañjānī

This is as I heard. At one time, the Buddha was living in the city of Rājagaha, in the Bamboo Garden, in the squirrels’ feeding ground.

Now at that time, there was a person named Bhāradvāja of the brahmin caste. His wife was named Dhanañjānī and was devoted to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha. Once, while she was bringing her husband his meal, she tripped and remembered the Buddha, saying three times:

“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!
“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!
“Homage to the Blessed One, the liberated one, the fully enlightened Buddha!”

When she said this, her husband said, “Are you crazy? Wretched woman, while living in my house, are you praising that bald headed monk? You know what? I’m going to go right now and argue against your master’s teaching!”

“Dear husband, I don’t see anyone in this world with its gods, Māras, Brahmās, monks, and humans who can argue against the teaching of the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the fully enlightened Buddha. But anyway, you can go and see for yourself.”

Then Bhāradvāja, angry and upset, went to the Buddha and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side, and asked the Buddha in verse:

“What should you kill to sleep at ease?
What should you kill so that there is no sadness?
What is the one thing whose killing you approve?”

The Buddha:

“When anger is killed, you sleep at ease.
When anger is killed, there is no sadness.
Bhāradvāja, anger has a poisonous root
and a sweet tip.
The noble ones praise the killing of anger,
for when it is killed, there is no sadness.”

When the Buddha taught this Dhamma, Bhāradvāja said to him, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! Just as if someone turned upright, what was upside down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to whoever was lost, or lit a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes could see what’s there, Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma, which is clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. Bhante, may I become a monk under you?”

And he became a monk under the Buddha. Not long after his ordination, Bhante Bhāradvāja, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, passionate, and firm, soon realized the supreme goal of the spiritual path in this very life. He achieved with his own wisdom the goal for which a son would leave the lay life to become a monk.

He realized: “Rebirth has ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. What had to be done to end suffering has been done. There will be no rebirth.” Therefore, Bhante Bhāradvāja became one of the enlightened monks.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.1 Dhanañjānī Sutta: Husband of Dhanañjānī by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net.

SN 22.5 Samādhisutta: Concentration

Thus have I heard. At Savatthi…. There the Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, develop concentration. A bhikkhu who is concentrated understands things as they really are.

“And what does he understand as it really is? The origin and passing away of form; the origin and passing away of feeling; the origin and passing away of perception; the origin and passing away of volitional formations; the origin and passing away of consciousness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the origin of form? What is the origin of feeling? What is the origin of perception? What is the origin of volitional formations? What is the origin of consciousness?

“Here, bhikkhus, one seeks delight, one welcomes, one remains holding. And what is it that one seeks delight in, what does one welcome, to what does one remain holding? One seeks delight in form, welcomes it, and remains holding to it.

  • As a consequence of this, delight arises.
  • Delight in form is clinging.
  • With one’s clinging as condition, existence comes to be;
  • with existence as condition, birth;
  • with birth as condition, aging-and-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair come to be.
  • Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“One seeks delight in feeling … in perception … in volitional formations … in consciousness, welcomes it, and remains holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight arises…. Such is the origin of this whole mass of suffering.

“This, bhikkhus, is the origin of form; this is the origin of feeling; this is the origin of perception; this is the origin of volitional formations; this is the origin of consciousness.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the passing away of form? What is the passing away of feeling? What is the passing away of perception? What is the passing away of volitional formations? What is the passing away of consciousness?

“Here, bhikkhus, one does not seek delight, one does not welcome, one does not remain holding. And what is it that one does not seek delight in? What doesn’t one welcome? To what doesn’t one remain holding? One does not seek delight in form, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in form ceases. With the cessation of delight comes cessation of clinging; with cessation of clinging, cessation of existence…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“One does not seek delight in feeling … … in perception … in volitional formations … in consciousness, does not welcome it, does not remain holding to it. As a consequence of this, delight in consciousness ceases…. Such is the cessation of this whole mass of suffering.

“This, bhikkhus, is the passing away of form; this is the passing away of feeling; this is the passing away of perception; this is the passing away of volitional formations; this is the passing away of consciousness.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 22.5 Samādhisutta: Concentration by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on PaliAudio.com, or Voice.SuttaCentral.net.

SN 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vārāṇasī in the Deer Park at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

“There are these two extremes that are not to be indulged in by one who has gone forth. Which two? That which is devoted to sensual pleasure in connection with sensuality: base, vulgar, common, ignoble, unprofitable; and that which is devoted to self-affliction: painful, ignoble, unprofitable. Avoiding both of these extremes, the middle way realized by the Tathāgata—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding.

“And what is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding? Precisely this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is the middle way realized by the Tathāgata that—producing vision, producing knowledge—leads to stilling, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to unbinding.

Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that makes for further becoming—accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there—i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the cessation of stress: the remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

And this, monks, is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: precisely this noble eightfold path—right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of stress is to be comprehended’ … ‘This noble truth of stress has been comprehended.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the origination of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned’ … ‘This noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the cessation of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress is to be realized’ … ‘This noble truth of the cessation of stress has been realized.’

“Vision arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose within me with regard to things never heard before: ‘This is the noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress’ … ‘This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress is to be developed’ … ‘This noble truth of the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress has been developed.

“And, monks, as long as this—my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was not pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. But as soon as this—my three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be—was truly pure, then I did claim to have directly awakened to the right self-awakening unexcelled in the cosmos with its devas, Māras, & Brahmās, in this generation with its contemplatives & brahmans, its royalty & commonfolk. Knowledge & vision arose in me: ‘Unprovoked8 is my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words. And while this explanation was being given, there arose to Ven. Kondañña the dustless, stainless Dhamma eye: Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.

And when the Blessed One had set the Wheel of Dhamma in motion, the earth devas cried out: “Near Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by contemplative or brahman, deva, Māra, or Brahmā, or anyone at all in the cosmos.” On hearing the earth devas’ cry, the Devas of the Four Great Kings took up the cry… the Devas of the Thirty-three… the Devas of the Hours… the Contented Devas… the Devas Delighting in Creation … the Devas [Muses?] Wielding Power over the Creations of Others… the Devas of Brahmā’s Retinue took up the cry: “Near Vārāṇasī, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the Blessed One has set in motion the unexcelled Wheel of Dhamma that cannot be stopped by contemplative or brahman, deva, Māra, or Brahmā, or anyone at all in the cosmos.”

So in that moment, that instant, the cry shot right up to the Brahmā worlds. And this ten-thousand-fold cosmos shivered & quivered & quaked, while a great, measureless radiance appeared in the cosmos, surpassing the effulgence of the deities.

Then the Blessed One exclaimed: “So you really know, Kondañña? So you really know?” And that is how Ven. Kondañña acquired the name Añña-Kondañña—Kondañña who knows.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

SN 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Uruvela on the bank of the river Nerañjara at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Now on that occasion Mara the Evil One had been following the Blessed One for seven years, seeking to gain access to him but without success. Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Is it because you are sunk in sorrow
That you meditate in the woods?
Because you’ve lost wealth or pine for it,
Or committed some crime in the village?
Why don’t you make friends with people?
Why don’t you form any intimate ties?”

The Blessed One:

“Having dug up entirely the root of sorrow,
Guiltless, I meditate free from sorrow.
Having cut off all greedy urge for existence,
I meditate taintless, O kinsman of the negligent!”

Mara:

“That of which they say ‘It’s mine,’
And those who speak in terms of ‘mine’—
If your mind exists among these,
You won’t escape me, ascetic.”

The Blessed One:

“That which they speak of is not mine,
I’m not one of those who speak of mine.
You should know thus, O Evil One:
Even my path you will not see.”

Mara:

“If you have discovered the path,
The secure way leading to the Deathless,
Be off and walk that path alone;
What’s the point of instructing others?”

The Blessed One:

“Those people going to the far shore
Ask what lies beyond Death’s realm.
When asked, I explain to them
The truth without acquisitions.”

Mara: “Suppose, venerable sir, not far from a village or a town there was a lotus pond in which a crab was living. Then a group of boys and girls would leave the village or town and go to the pond. They would pull the crab out from the water and set it down on high ground. Then, whenever that crab would extend one of its claws, those boys and girls would cut it off, break it, and smash it to bits with sticks and stones. Thus, when all its claws have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits, that crab would be unable to return to that pond. So too, venerable sir, all those distortions, manoeuvres, and contortions of mine have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits by the Blessed One. Now, venerable sir, I am unable to approach the Blessed One again seeking to gain access to him.”

Then Mara the Evil One, in the presence of the Blessed One, recited these verses of disappointment:

“There was a crow that walked around
A stone that looked like a lump of fat.
‘Let’s find something tender here,’ he thought,
‘Perhaps there’s something nice and tasty.’

But because he found nothing tasty there,
The crow departed from that spot.
Just like the crow that attacked the stone,
We leave Gotama disappointed.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

SN 44.1 From Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom

…Then the Kosalan King Pasenadi approached the nun Khemā, and after approaching and worshipping the nun Khemā, he sat down on one side.

While sitting on one side the Kosalan King Pasenadi said this to the nun Khemā:

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’”

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’”

“‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist after death?”’

‘But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One not exist after death?”’

When there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?”’

‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?” ’

What is the cause, Noble Lady, what is the reason, why does the Fortunate One not answer this?”

“Now then, Great King, here I will ask you something in return, as you see fit, so you should answer.

What do you think, Great King, do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to count the amount of sand in the Ganges, saying: there is this much sand, or there are so many hundreds of grains of sand, or there are so many thousands of grains of sand, or there are so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand?

“Certainly not, Noble Lady.”

“But do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to measure the water in the great ocean, saying: there are this many gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of gallons of water, or there are this many thousands of gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of thousands of gallons of water?”

“Certainly not, Noble Lady. What is the cause of that? Great is the ocean, Noble Lady, deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom.”

“Just so, Great King, through knowing whatever bodily form a Realised One can be known by, that form the Realised One has abandoned, cut off at the root, made a palm stump, made unviable, so that by nature it is unable to rise again in the future.

The Realised One, Great King, is free from being considered as bodily form, he is deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom, like the great ocean.

‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ does not apply.


Read the complete translation of SN 44.1 Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.

SN 6.15 Parinibbānasutta: Final Extinguishment

At one time the Buddha was staying between a pair of sal trees in the sal forest of the Mallas at Upavattana near Kusinārā at the time of his final extinguishment.

Then the Buddha said to the mendicants: “Come now, mendicants, I say to you all: ‘Conditions fall apart. Persist with diligence.’”

These were the Realized One’s last words.

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 he 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, 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 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, Venerable Anuruddha recited this verse:

“There was no more breathing
for the poised one of steady heart.
Imperturbable, committed to peace,
the seer became fully extinguished.

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


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 6.15 Parinibbānasutta: Final Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, or DhammaTalks.org.

SN 22.58 Sammāsambuddhasutta: The Fully Awakened Buddha

At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha is freed by not grasping, due to disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding form. They’re called a fully awakened Buddha. A mendicant freed by wisdom is also freed by not grasping, due to disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding form. They’re called a mendicant freed by wisdom.

A Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha is freed by not grasping, due to disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding feelingperceptionchoicesconsciousness. They’re called a fully awakened Buddha. A mendicant freed by wisdom is also freed by not grasping, due to disillusionment, dispassion, and cessation regarding consciousness. They’re called a mendicant freed by wisdom.

What, then, is the difference between a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, and a mendicant freed by wisdom?”

“Our teachings are rooted in the Buddha. He is our guide and our refuge. Sir, may the Buddha himself please clarify the meaning of this. The mendicants will listen and remember it.”

“Well then, mendicants, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

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

“A Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha gives rise to the unarisen path, gives birth to the unborn path, and explains the unexplained path. They know the path, understand the path, and are experts in the path. And now the disciples live following the path; they acquire it later.

This is the difference between a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, and a mendicant freed by wisdom.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 22.58 Sammāsambuddhasutta: The Fully Awakened Buddha by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.

SN 6.1 Ayācana Sutta The Discourse on Brahmā’s Request

This is how I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying in the province of Uruvelā on the Nerañjarā river bank at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan tree, just after the Blessed One had become fully enlightened. Then, while the Blessed One was alone in meditation, a thought occurred in his mind thus:

“This Dhamma that I have realized is deep, hard to see, hard to understand, peaceful and sublime, cannot be realized by reasoning, subtle, and to be experienced by the wise. But this generation is stuck in desire, delights in desire, and rejoices in desire. For a generation that is stuck in desire, delights in desire, and rejoices in desire, realizing this Dhamma that is about the law of causality and the law of dependent arising will be very hard to understand. Nibbāna is the state of dispassion, cessation, stilling in all formations, complete removal of all defilements, and the destruction of craving. Attaining this Nibbāna is very hard for such a generation.

“Therefore if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, and that would be troublesome for me.”

Thereupon these astounding verses, not heard before in the past, occurred to the Blessed One:

“I realized this Dhamma with so much hardship.
It is of no use teaching this to others.
These beings who are burdened
by lust and hate wouldn’t easily
understand this Dhamma.

“This Dhamma practice
is like going upstream.
It is deep, subtle, and hard to see.
These beings that are fired by lust
and covered by darkness of ignorance
will never see this very refined Dhamma.”

As the Blessed One reflected thus, his mind inclined to living at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma. Then Brahmā Sahampati, having known the reflection in the Blessed One’s mind, thought: “Alas, the world is lost! The world will perish! The mind of the Tathāgata, the Arahant, the Supremely Enlightened One has inclined to living at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.”

Then, just as quickly as a strong man extends his drawn-in arm or draws in his extended arm, Brahmā Sahampati disappeared from the brahmā world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Brahmā Sahampati arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt down with his right knee on the ground, worshipping respectfully, he said to the Blessed One: “Bhante, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the Fortunate One teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little defilement. If they do not get to hear the Dhamma they will deteriorate. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma if they get to hear it.”

Having said this, Brahmā Sahampati further said this verse:

“In the past
among the people in the province of Magadha,
many impure views appeared
that were introduced by defiled people.
Therefore please open the door
to the Deathless, Nibbāna!
Let all beings hear the Supreme Dhamma
discovered by the Supreme Buddha
who has stainless wisdom.

“Just as one standing on a mountain peak
might see below the people all around,
so too, oh wise one,
the sage who sees everything,
please, ascend the palace made of the Dhamma.
Look at the people
disturbed by sorrow
and burdened by birth and decay!

“Rise up, oh hero,
victor in battle with Māra!
Oh caravan leader, debt-free sage,
wander in the world.
Oh Blessed One,
please teach the Supreme Dhamma!
There will be those who will definitely understand.”

Then the Blessed One, having understood brahmā’s request, surveyed the world out of great compassion for beings, with the eye of a Buddha. As the Blessed One surveyed the world with the eye of a Buddha, the Blessed One saw some beings with little defilement, and some with much defilement, some with the potential for keen wisdom, some with less potential for wisdom, some with easy access for understanding things clearly, some with weak access for understanding things clearly, some easy to teach, and some difficult to teach, some live seeing fear in wrongdoing and fear about the next world, some live without fear of wrongdoing and without fear about the next world.

Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses having been born in the water, grown in the water, and submerged in the water do not rise up from the water. Some lotuses having been born in the water and grown in the water, stand at an even level with the water. Some lotuses having been born in the water and grown in the water, rise up from the water and stand without being soiled by the water. So too, surveying the world with the eye of a Buddha, the Blessed One saw some beings with little defilement, and some with much defilement, some with the potential for keen wisdom, some with less potential for wisdom, some with easy access for understanding things clearly, some weak access for understanding things clearly, some easy to teach, and some difficult to teach, some live seeing fear in wrong doing and fear about the next world, some live without fear of wrong doing and no fear about the next world.

Having seeing the world in this way, The Blessed One answered Brahmā Sahampati in verse:

“I opened the doors to the Deathless,
Nibbāna.
Let those who have ears
come with confidence.
Oh brahmā, foreseeing trouble,
I didn’t teach people the Dhamma
which has been well realized by me.”

Then Brahmā Sahampati, thinking, “The Blessed One has accepted my request for teaching the Dhamma,” paid homage to the Blessed One and disappeared right there.

Read this translation of SN 6.1 Ayācana Sutta: The Discourse on Brahmā’s Request on ReadingFaithfully.org or on SuttaCentral.net and DhammaTalks.org.

SN 12.15 Kaccānagottasutta: Kaccānagotta

At Sāvatthī.

Then Venerable Kaccānagotta went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, they speak of this thing called ‘right view’. How is right view defined?”

“Kaccāna, this world mostly relies on the dual notions of existence and non-existence.

“But when you truly see the origin of the world with right understanding, you won’t have the notion of non-existence regarding the world. And when you truly see the cessation of the world with right understanding, you won’t have the notion of existence regarding the world.

“The world is for the most part shackled by attraction, grasping, and insisting.

“But if—when it comes to this attraction, grasping, mental fixation, insistence, and underlying tendency—you don’t get attracted, grasp, and commit to the notion ‘my self’, you’ll have no doubt or uncertainty that what arises is just suffering arising, and what ceases is just suffering ceasing. Your knowledge about this is independent of others.

“This is how right view is defined.

“‘All exists’: this is one extreme. ‘All doesn’t exist’: this is the second extreme. Avoiding these two extremes, the Realized One teaches by the middle way:

“‘Ignorance is a condition for choices. Choices are a condition for consciousness. Consciousness is a condition for name and form. Name and form are conditions for the six sense fields. The six sense fields are conditions for contact. Contact is a condition for feeling. Feeling is a condition for craving. Craving is a condition for grasping. Grasping is a condition for continued existence. Continued existence is a condition for rebirth. Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be. That is how this entire mass of suffering originates.

“When ignorance fades away and ceases with nothing left over, choices cease. When choices cease, consciousness ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form cease. When name and form cease, the six sense fields cease. When the six sense fields cease, contact ceases. When contact ceases, feeling ceases. When feeling ceases, craving ceases. When craving ceases, grasping ceases. When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases. When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases. When rebirth ceases, old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress cease. That is how this entire mass of suffering ceases.’”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 12.15 Kaccānagottasutta: Kaccānagotta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.