ReadingFaithfully.org icon Facebook icon Reddit icon Tumblr icon Mastodon icon RSS icon

AN 3.62 Bhayasutta: Perils

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling speaks of these three perils that separate mother and son. What three?

(1) “There comes a time when a great conflagration arises. When the great conflagration has arisen, it burns up villages, towns, and cities. When villages, towns, and cities are burning up, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the first peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

(2) “Again, there comes a time when a great rain cloud arises. When the great rain cloud has arisen, a great deluge takes place. When the great deluge takes place, villages, towns, and cities are swept away. When villages, towns, and cities are being swept away, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the second peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

(3) “Again, there comes a time of perilous turbulence in the wilderness, when the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, flee on all sides. When there is perilous turbulence in the wilderness, and the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, are fleeing on all sides, the mother does not find her son and the son does not find his mother. This is the third peril that separates mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

“These are the three perils that separate mother and son of which the uninstructed worldling speaks.

“There are, bhikkhus, these three perils when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as perils that separate mother and son. What three?

(1) “There comes a time when a great conflagration arises. When the great conflagration has arisen, it burns up villages, towns, and cities. When villages, towns, and cities are burning up, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the first peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

(2) “Again, there comes a time when a great rain cloud arises. When the great rain cloud has arisen, a great deluge takes place. When the great deluge takes place, villages, towns, and cities are swept away. When villages, towns, and cities are being swept away, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the second peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

(3) “Again, there comes a time of perilous turbulence in the wilderness, when the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, flee on all sides. When there is perilous turbulence in the wilderness, and the people of the countryside, mounted on their vehicles, are fleeing on all sides, there is sometimes an occasion when the mother finds her son and the son finds his mother. This is the third peril when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speaks of as a peril that separates mother and son.

“These are the three perils when mother and son reconnect that the uninstructed worldling speak of as perils that separate mother and son.

“There are, bhikkhus, these three perils that separate mother and son. What three? The peril of old age, the peril of illness, and the peril of death.

(1) “When the son is growing old, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me grow old, but may my son not grow old!’ And when the mother is growing old, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me grow old, but may my mother not grow old!’

(2) “When the son has fallen ill, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me fall ill, but may my son not fall ill!’ And when the mother has fallen ill, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me fall ill, but may my mother not fall ill!’

(3) “When the son is dying, the mother cannot fulfill her wish: ‘Let me die, but may my son not die!’ And when the mother is dying, the son cannot fulfill his wish: ‘Let me die, but may my mother not die!’

“These are the three perils that separate mother and son.

There is a path, bhikkhus, there is a way that leads to the abandoning and overcoming of these three perils when mother and son reconnect and of these three perils that separate mother and son. And what is the path and way? It is just this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This is the path and way that leads to the abandoning and overcoming of these three perils when mother and son reconnect and of these three perils that separate mother and son.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.62 Bhayasutta: Perils by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Português, Bengali, Magyar, Indonesian, Italiano, မြန်မာဘာသာ, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

SN 48.41 Jarā Sutta: Old Age

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migāra’s mother. Now on that occasion the Blessed One, on emerging from his seclusion in the evening, sat warming his back in the western sun.

Then Ven. Ānanda went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, massaged the Blessed One’s limbs with his hand and said, “It’s amazing, lord. It’s astounding, how the Blessed One’s complexion is no longer so clear & bright; his limbs are flabby & wrinkled; his back, bent forward; there’s a discernible change in his faculties—the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.”

“That’s the way it is, Ānanda. When young, one is subject to aging; when healthy, subject to illness; when alive, subject to death. The complexion is no longer so clear & bright; the limbs are flabby & wrinkled; the back, bent forward; there’s a discernible change in the faculties—the faculty of the eye, the faculty of the ear, the faculty of the nose, the faculty of the tongue, the faculty of the body.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

“I spit on you, wretched old age—
old age that makes for ugliness.
The bodily image, so charming,
      is trampled by old age.
Even those who live to a hundred
are headed—all—to an end in death,
      which spares no one,
      which tramples all.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 48.41 Jarā Sutta. Old Age by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Bengali, Indonesian, Italiano, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

AN 6.19 From… Paṭhamamaraṇassatisutta: Mindfulness of Death (1st)

…“As to the mendicants who develop mindfulness of death by wishing to live for a day and night … or to live for a day … or to live as long as it takes to eat a meal of almsfood … or to live as long as it takes to chew and swallow four or five mouthfuls— these are called mendicants who live negligently. They slackly develop mindfulness of death for the ending of defilements.

But as to the mendicants who develop mindfulness of death by wishing to live as long as it takes to chew and swallow a single mouthful … or to live as long as it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out— these are called mendicants who live diligently. They keenly develop mindfulness of death for the ending of defilements.

So you should train like this: ‘We will live diligently. We will keenly develop mindfulness of death for the ending of defilements.’ That’s how you should train.”


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.19 Paṭhamamaraṇassatisutta: Mindfulness of Death (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 3.25 Pabbatūpamasutta: The Simile of the Mountain

At Sāvatthī.

King Pasenadi of Kosala sat to one side, and the Buddha said to him, “So, great king, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?”

“Sir, there are anointed aristocratic kings who are infatuated with authority, and obsessed with greed for sensual pleasures. They have attained stability in the country, occupying a vast conquered territory. Today I have been busy fulfilling the duties of such kings.”

“What do you think, great king? Suppose a trustworthy and reliable man were to come from the east. He’d approach you and say: ‘Please sir, you should know this. I come from the east. There I saw a huge mountain that reached the clouds. And it was coming this way, crushing all creatures. So then, great king, do what you must!’

Then a second trustworthy and reliable man were to come from the west … a third from the north … and a fourth from the south. He’d approach you and say: ‘Please sir, you should know this. I come from the south. There I saw a huge mountain that reached the clouds. And it was coming this way, crushing all creatures. So then, great king, do what you must!’

Should such a dire threat arise—a terrible loss of human life, when human birth is so rare—what would you do?”

“Sir, what could I do but practice the teachings, practice morality, doing skillful and good actions?”

“I tell you, great king, I announce to you: old age and death are advancing upon you. Since old age and death are advancing upon you, what would you do?”

“Sir, what can I do but practice the teachings, practice morality, doing skillful and good actions?

Sir, there are anointed aristocratic kings who are infatuated with authority, and obsessed with greed for sensual pleasures. They have attained stability in the country, occupying a vast conquered territory. Such kings engage in battles of elephants, cavalry, chariots, or infantry. But there is no place, no scope for such battles when old age and death are advancing.

In this royal court there are ministers of wise counsel who are capable of dividing an approaching enemy by wise counsel. But there is no place, no scope for such diplomatic battles when old age and death are advancing.

In this royal court there is abundant gold coin and bullion stored in dungeons and towers. Using this wealth we can pay off an approaching enemy. But there is no place, no scope for such monetary battles when old age and death are advancing.

When old age and death are advancing, what can I do but practice the teachings, practice morality, doing skillful and good actions?”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true! When old age and death are advancing, what can you do but practice the teachings, practice morality, doing skillful and good actions?”

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

“Suppose there were vast mountains
of solid rock touching the sky
drawing in from all sides
and crushing the four quarters.

So too old age and death
advance upon all living creatures—
aristocrats, brahmins, merchants,
workers, outcastes, and scavengers.
They spare nothing.
They crush all beneath them.

There’s nowhere for elephants to take a stand,
nor chariots nor infantry.
They can’t be defeated
by diplomatic battles or by wealth.

That’s why an astute person,
seeing what’s good for themselves,
being wise, would place faith
in the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha.

Whoever lives by the teaching
in body, speech, and mind,
is praised in this life
and departs to rejoice in heaven.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.25 Pabbatūpamasutta: The Simile of the Mountain by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 55.21 Paṭhamamahānāmasutta: With Mahānāma (1st)

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Sakyans, near Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Monastery. Then Mahānāma the Sakyan went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, this Kapilavatthu is successful and prosperous and full of people, with cramped cul-de-sacs. In the late afternoon, after paying homage to the Buddha or an esteemed mendicant, I enter Kapilavatthu. I encounter a stray elephant, horse, chariot, cart, or person. At that time I lose mindfulness regarding the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. I think: ‘If I were to die at this time, where would I be reborn in my next life?’”

“Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not be a bad one; your passing will not be a bad one. Take someone whose mind has for a long time been imbued with faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Their body consists of form, 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. Right here the crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures devour it. But their mind rises up, headed for a higher place.

Suppose a person was to sink a pot of ghee or oil into a deep lake and break it open. Its shards and chips would sink down, while the ghee or oil in it would rise up, headed for a higher place.

In the same way, take someone whose mind has for a long time been imbued with faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Their body consists of form, made up of the four 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. Right here the crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures devour it. But their mind rises up, headed for a higher place.

Your mind, Mahānāma, has for a long time been imbued with faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not be a bad one; your passing will not be a bad one.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.21 Paṭhamamahānāmasutta: With Mahānāma (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Iti 83 Pañcapubbanimittasutta: The Five Prognostic Signs

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, when a deva is due to pass away from a company of devas, five prognostic signs appear: his flower-garlands wither, his clothes become soiled, sweat is released from his armpits, his bodily radiance fades, and the deva takes no delight in his heavenly throne. The devas, observing the prognostic signs that this deva is due to pass away, encourage him in three things with the words: ‘Go from here, friend, to a good bourn. Having gone to a good bourn, gain that which is good to gain. Having gained that which is good to gain, become firmly established in it.’”

When this was said, a certain bhikkhu asked the Lord: “Venerable sir, what is reckoned by the devas to be a good bourn? What is reckoned by the devas to be a gain that is good to gain? What is reckoned by the devas to be firmly established?”

“It is human existence, bhikkhus, that is reckoned by the devas to be a good bourn. When a human being acquires faith in the Dhamma-and-Discipline taught by the Tathāgata, this is reckoned by the devas to be a gain that is good to gain. When faith is steadfast in him, firmly rooted, established and strong, not to be destroyed by any recluse or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or by anyone else in the world, this is reckoned by the devas to be firmly established.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

When a deva whose life is exhausted
Passes away from a deva-company,
The devas encourage him
In three ways with the words:

“Go, friend, to a good bourn,
To the fellowship of humans.
On becoming human acquire faith
Unsurpassed in the true Dhamma.

That faith made steadfast,
Become rooted and standing firm,
Will be unshakeable for life
In the true Dhamma well proclaimed.

Having abandoned misconduct by body,
Misconduct by speech as well,
Misconduct by mind, and whatever else
Is reckoned as a fault,

Having done much that is good
Both by body and by speech,
And done good with a mind
That is boundless and free from clinging,

With that merit as a basis
Made abundant by generosity,
You should establish other people
In the true Dhamma and the holy life.”

When the devas know that a deva
Is about to pass from their midst,
Out of compassion they encourage him:
“Return here, deva, again and again.”

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 83 Pañcapubbanimittasutta: The Five Prognostic Signs by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 21–22 From… Appamādavagga: Heedfulness

21. Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already.

22. Clearly understanding this excellence of heedfulness, the wise exult therein and enjoy the resort of the Noble Ones.



The Deathless (amata) is a synonymy for nibbāna.

Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 21–32 Appamādavagga: Heedfulness by Ven. Achariya Buddharakkhita on AccessToInsight.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Thag 16.4 From… Raṭṭhapāla Theragāthā

…A king who conquered the earth by force,
ruling the land from sea to sea,
unsatisfied with the near shore of the ocean,
would still yearn for the further shore.

Not just the king, but others too,
reach death not rid of craving.
They leave the body still wanting,
for in this world sensual pleasures never satisfy.

Relatives lament, their hair disheveled,
saying ‘Ah! Alas! They’re not immortal!’
They take out the body wrapped in a shroud,
heap up a pyre, and burn it there.

It’s poked with stakes while being burnt,
in just a single cloth, all wealth gone.
Relatives, friends, and companions
can’t help you when you’re dying.

Heirs take your riches,
while beings fare on according to their deeds.
Riches don’t follow you when you die;
nor do children, wife, wealth, nor kingdom.

Longevity isn’t gained by riches,
nor does wealth banish old age;
for the wise say this life is short,
it’s perishable and not eternal.

The rich and the poor feel its touch;
the fool and the wise feel it too.
But the fool lies stricken by their own folly,
while the wise don’t tremble at the touch.

Therefore wisdom’s much better than wealth,
since by wisdom you reach consummation in this life.
But if because of delusion you don’t reach consummation,
you’ll do evil deeds in life after life.…


Read the entire translation of Theragāthā 16.4 Raṭṭhapālattheragāthā: Raṭṭhapāla by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 7.49 From… Saññā Sutta: Perceptions

“‘…The perception of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the deathless, has the deathless as its final end’: Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

“When a monk’s awareness often remains steeped in the perception of death, his mind shrinks away from fervor for life, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance. Just as a cock’s feather or a piece of tendon, when thrown into a fire, shrinks away, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in; in the same way, when a monk’s awareness often remains steeped in the perception of death, his mind shrinks away from fervor for life, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance. If, when a monk’s awareness often remains steeped in the perception of death, his mind inclines to fervor for life, or if non-loathing takes a stance, then he should realize, ‘I have not developed the perception of death; there is no step-by-step distinction in me; I have not arrived at the fruit of (mental) development.’ In that way he is alert there. But if, when a monk’s awareness often remains steeped in the perception of death, his mind shrinks away from fervor for life, bends away, pulls back, and is not drawn in, and either equanimity or loathing take a stance, then he should realize, ‘I have developed the perception of death; there is a step-by-step distinction in me; I have arrived at the fruit of (mental) development.’ In that way he is alert there.

“‘The perception of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the deathless, has the deathless as its final end’: Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.49 Saññā Sutta. Perceptions by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 1.303: One Thing

“One thing, mendicants, when developed and cultivated, leads solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. What one thing? Mindfulness of death. This one thing, when developed and cultivated, leads solely to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 1.303 by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Snp 4.6 Jarāsutta: Old Age

Short, alas, is this life;
you die before a hundred years.
Even if you live a little longer,
you still die of old age.

People grieve over belongings,
yet there is no such thing as permanent possessions.
Separation is a fact of life; when you see this,
you wouldn’t stay living at home.

Whatever a person thinks of as belonging to them,
that too is given up when they die.
Knowing this, an astute follower of mine
would not be bent on ownership.

Just as, upon awakening, a person does not see
what they encountered in a dream;
so too you do not see your loved ones
when they are dead and gone.

You used to see and hear those folk,
and call them by their name.
Yet the name is all that’s left to tell
of a person when they’re gone.

Those who are greedy for belongings
don’t give up sorrow, lamentation, and stinginess.
That’s why the sages, seers of sanctuary,
left possessions behind and wandered.

For a mendicant who lives withdrawn,
frequenting a secluded seat,
they say it’s fitting
to not show themselves in a home.

The sage is independent everywhere,
they don’t form likes or dislikes.
Lamentation and stinginess
slip off them like water from a leaf.

Like a droplet slips from a lotus-leaf,
like water from a lotus flower;
the sage doesn’t cling to that
which is seen or heard or thought.

For the one who is cleansed does not conceive
in terms of things seen, heard, or thought.
They do not wish to be purified by another;
they are neither passionate nor growing dispassioned.


Read this translation of Snp 4.6 Jarāsutta: Old Age by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.113 Patodasutta: The Goad

“Mendicants, these four fine thoroughbreds are found in the world. What four?

One fine thoroughbred is moved to act when it sees the shadow of the goad, thinking: ‘What task will the horse trainer have me do today? How should I respond?’ Some fine thoroughbreds are like that. This is the first fine thoroughbred found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred isn’t moved to act when it sees the shadow of the goad, but only when its hairs are struck, thinking: ‘What task will the horse trainer have me do today? How should I respond?’ Some fine thoroughbreds are like that. This is the second fine thoroughbred found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred isn’t moved to act when it sees the shadow of the goad, nor when its hairs are struck, but only when its hide is struck, thinking: ‘What task will the horse trainer have me do today? How should I respond?’ Some fine thoroughbreds are like that. This is the third fine thoroughbred found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred isn’t moved to act when it sees the shadow of the goad, nor when its hairs are struck, nor when its hide is struck, but only when its bone is struck, thinking: ‘What task will the horse trainer have me do today? How should I respond?’ Some fine thoroughbreds are like that. This is the fourth fine thoroughbred found in the world.

These are the four fine thoroughbreds found in the world.

In the same way, these four fine thoroughbred people are found in the world. What four?

One fine thoroughbred person hears about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town. They’re moved to act by this, and strive effectively. Applying themselves, they directly realize the ultimate truth, and see it with penetrating wisdom. This person is like the fine thoroughbred that’s shaken when it sees the shadow of the goad. Some fine thoroughbred people are like that. This is the first fine thoroughbred person found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred person doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town, but they see it themselves. They’re moved to act by this, and strive effectively. Applying themselves, they directly realize the ultimate truth, and see it with penetrating wisdom. This person is like the fine thoroughbred that’s moved to act when its hairs are struck. Some fine thoroughbred people are like that. This is the second fine thoroughbred person found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred person doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town, nor do they see it themselves, but it happens to their own relative or family member. They’re moved to act by this, and strive effectively. Applying themselves, they directly realize the ultimate truth, and see it with penetrating wisdom. This person is like the fine thoroughbred that’s moved to act when its skin is struck. Some fine thoroughbred people are like that. This is the third fine thoroughbred person found in the world.

Furthermore, one fine thoroughbred person doesn’t hear about the suffering or death of a woman or man in such and such village or town, nor do they see it themselves, nor does it happen to their own relative or family member, but they themselves are afflicted with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening. They’re moved to act by this, and strive effectively. Applying themselves, they directly realize the ultimate truth, and see it with penetrating wisdom. This person is like the fine thoroughbred that’s moved to act when its bone is struck. Some fine thoroughbred people are like that. This is the fourth fine thoroughbred person found in the world.

These are the four fine thoroughbred people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.113 Patodasutta: The Goad by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 129 From… Dandavagga: Violence

All tremble at violence;
all fear death.
Putting oneself in the place of another,
one should not kill nor cause another to kill.


Read the entire chapter Dandavagga: Violence from the Dhammapada translated by Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita on AccessToInsight.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 47.14 Ukkacelasutta: At Ukkacelā

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Vajjīs near Ukkacelā on the bank of the Ganges river, together with a large Saṅgha of mendicants. It was not long after Sāriputta and Moggallāna had become fully extinguished. Now, at that time the Buddha was sitting in the open, surrounded by the Saṅgha of mendicants.

Then the Buddha looked around the Saṅgha of mendicants, who were silent. He addressed them:

“Mendicants, this assembly seems empty to me now that Sāriputta and Moggallāna have become fully extinguished. When Sāriputta and Moggallāna were alive, my assembly was never empty; I had no concern for any region where they stayed. The Buddhas of the past or the future have pairs of chief disciples who are no better than Sāriputta and Moggallāna were to me.

It’s an incredible and amazing quality of such disciples that they fulfill the Teacher’s instructions and follow his advice. And they’re liked and approved, respected and admired by the four assemblies.

And it’s an incredible and amazing quality of the Realized One that when such a pair of disciples becomes fully extinguished he does not sorrow or lament. How could it possibly be so that what is born, created, conditioned, and liable to fall apart should not fall apart? That is not possible.

Suppose there was a large tree standing with heartwood, and the largest branches fell off. In the same way, in the great Saṅgha that stands with heartwood, Sāriputta and Moggallāna have become fully extinguished.

How could it possibly be so that what is born, created, conditioned, and liable to fall apart should not fall apart? That is not possible.

So mendicants, 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 desire and aversion for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of desire and aversion for the world.

That’s how a mendicant lives as 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.

Whether now or after I have passed, any who shall live as their own island, their own refuge, with no other refuge; with the teaching as their island and their refuge, with no other refuge—those mendicants of mine who want to train shall be among the best of the best.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 47.14 Ukkacelasutta: At Ukkacelā by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.109 Arakkhitasutta: Unprotected

Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Householder, when the mind is unprotected, deeds of body, speech, and mind are unprotected. When deeds are unprotected, they become corrupted. When deeds are corrupted, they become rotten. Someone whose deeds of body, speech, and mind are rotten will not have a good death.

It’s like a bungalow with a bad roof. The roof peak, rafters, and walls are unprotected. They get soaked, and become rotten.

In the same way, when the mind is unprotected, bodily, verbal, and mental deeds are unprotected. … Someone whose deeds of body, speech, and mind are rotten will not have a good death.

When the mind is protected, bodily, verbal, and mental deeds are protected. When deeds are protected, they don’t become corrupted. When deeds aren’t corrupted, they don’t become rotten. Someone whose deeds of body, speech, and mind aren’t rotten will have a good death.

It’s like a bungalow with a good roof. The roof peak, rafters, and walls are protected. They don’t get soaked, and they don’t become rotten.

In the same way, when the mind is protected, bodily, verbal, and mental deeds are protected. … Someone whose deeds of body, speech, and mind aren’t rotten will have a good death.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.109 Arakkhitasutta: Unprotected by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Ud 8.8 Visākhāsutta: With Visākhā

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in the Eastern Monastery, the stilt longhouse of Migāra’s mother. Now at that time the dear and beloved granddaughter of Visākhā Migāra’s Mother had just passed away. Then, in the middle of the day, Visākhā with wet clothes and hair went to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down. The Buddha said to her,

“So, Visākhā, where are you coming from in the middle of the day with wet clothes and hair?” “Sir, my beloved granddaughter has just passed away. That’s why I came here in the middle of the day with wet clothes and hair.” “Visākhā, would you like as many children and grandchildren as there are people in the whole of Sāvatthī?” “I would, sir.”

“But Visākhā, how many people pass away each day in Sāvatthī?” “Every day, sir, there are ten people passing away in Sāvatthī. Or else there are nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, or at least one person who passes away every day in Sāvatthī. Sāvatthī is never without someone passing away.”

“What do you think, Visākhā? Would there ever be a time when your clothes and hair were not wet?” “No, sir. Enough, sir, with so many children and grandchildren.”

“Those who have a hundred loved ones, Visākhā, have a hundred sufferings. Those who have ninety loved ones, or eighty, seventy, sixty, fifty, forty, thirty, twenty, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, or one loved one have one suffering. Those who have no loved ones have no suffering. They are free of sorrow, stains, and anguish I say.”

Then, understanding this matter, on that occasion the Buddha expressed this heartfelt sentiment:

“All the sorrows and lamentations
and the countless forms of suffering in the world
occur because of those that we love;
without loved ones they do not occur.

That’s why those who have no loved ones at all in the world
are happy and free of grief.
So aspiring to the sorrowless and stainless,
have no loved ones in the world at all.”



Read this translation of Udāna 8.8 Visākhāsutta: With Visākhā by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 87 Piyajātikasutta: Born From the Beloved

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.

Now at that time a certain householder’s dear and beloved only child passed away. After their death he didn’t feel like working or eating. He would go to the cemetery and wail, “Where are you, my only child? Where are you, my only child?”

Then he went to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Householder, you look like someone who’s not in their right mind; your faculties have deteriorated.”

“And how, sir, could my faculties not have deteriorated? For my dear and beloved only child has passed away. Since their death I haven’t felt like working or eating. I go to the cemetery and wail: ‘Where are you, my only child? Where are you, my only child?’”

“That’s so true, householder! That’s so true, householder! For our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.”

“Sir, who on earth could ever think such a thing! For our loved ones are a source of joy and happiness.” Disagreeing with the Buddha’s statement, rejecting it, he got up from his seat and left.

Now at that time several gamblers were playing dice not far from the Buddha. That householder approached them and told them what had happened.

“That’s so true, householder! That’s so true, householder! For our loved ones are a source of joy and happiness.”

Thinking, “The gamblers and I are in agreement,” the householder left.

Eventually that topic of discussion reached the royal compound. Then King Pasenadi addressed Queen Mallikā, “Mallika, your ascetic Gotama said this: ‘Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.’”

“If that’s what the Buddha said, great king, then that’s how it is.”

“No matter what the ascetic Gotama says, Mallikā agrees with him: ‘If that’s what the Buddha said, great king, then that’s how it is.’ You’re just like a student who agrees with everything their teacher says. Go away, Mallikā, get out of here!”

Then Queen Mallikā addressed the brahmin Nāḷijaṅgha, “Please, brahmin, go to the Buddha, and in my name bow with your head to his feet. Ask him if he is healthy and well, nimble, strong, and living comfortably. And then say: ‘Sir, did the Buddha make this statement: “Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress”?’ Remember well how the Buddha answers and tell it to me. For Realized Ones say nothing that is not so.”

“Yes, ma’am,” he replied. He went 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, Queen Mallikā bows with her head to your feet. She asks if you are healthy and well, nimble, strong, and living comfortably. And she asks whether the Buddha made this statement: ‘Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.’”

“That’s right, brahmin, that’s right! For our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

And here’s a way to understand how our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. Once upon a time right here in Sāvatthī a certain woman’s mother passed away. And because of that she went mad and lost her mind. She went from street to street and from square to square saying, ‘Has anyone seen my mother? Has anyone seen my mother?’

And here’s another way to understand how our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

Once upon a time right here in Sāvatthī a certain woman’s father … brother … sister … son … daughter … husband passed away. And because of that she went mad and lost her mind. She went from street to street and from square to square saying, ‘Has anyone seen my husband? Has anyone seen my husband?’

And here’s another way to understand how our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

Once upon a time right here in Sāvatthī a certain man’s mother … father … brother … sister … son … daughter … wife passed away. And because of that he went mad and lost his mind. He went from street to street and from square to square saying, ‘Has anyone seen my wife? Has anyone seen my wife?’

And here’s another way to understand how our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.

Once upon a time right here in Sāvatthī a certain woman went to live with her relative’s family. But her relatives wanted to divorce her from her husband and give her to another, who she didn’t want. So she told her husband about this. But he cut her in two and disemboweled himself, thinking, ‘We shall be together after death.’ That’s another way to understand how our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.”

Then Nāḷijaṅgha the brahmin, having approved and agreed with what the Buddha said, got up from his seat, went to Queen Mallikā, and told her of all they had discussed. Then Queen Mallikā approached King Pasenadi and said to him, “What do you think, great king? Do you love Princess Vajirī?”

“Indeed I do, Mallikā.”

“What do you think, great king? If she were to decay and perish, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress arise in you?”

“If she were to decay and perish, my life would fall apart. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress not arise in me?”

“This is what the Buddha was referring to when he said: ‘Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.’

What do you think, great king? Do you love Lady Vāsabhā? …

Do you love your son, General Viḍūḍabha? …

Do you love me?”

“Indeed I do love you, Mallikā.”

“What do you think, great king? If I were to decay and perish, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress arise in you?”

“If you were to decay and perish, my life would fall apart. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress not arise in me?”

“This is what the Buddha was referring to when he said: ‘Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.’

What do you think, great king? Do you love the realms of Kāsi and Kosala?”

“Indeed I do, Mallikā. It’s due to the bounty of Kāsi and Kosala that we use sandalwood imported from Kāsi and wear garlands, perfumes, and makeup.”

“What do you think, great king? If these realms were to decay and perish, would sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress arise in you?”

“If they were to decay and perish, my life would fall apart. How could sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress not arise in me?”

“This is what the Buddha was referring to when he said: ‘Our loved ones are a source of sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress.’”

“It’s incredible, Mallikā, it’s amazing, how far the Buddha sees with penetrating wisdom, it seems to me. Come, Mallikā, rinse my hands.”

Then King Pasenadi got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward the Buddha, and expressed this heartfelt sentiment three times:

“Homage to that Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha!

Homage to that Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha!

Homage to that Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha!”


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 87 Piyajātikasutta: Born From the Beloved by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Snp 3.8 Sallasutta: The Dart

Unforeseen and unknown
is the extent of this mortal life—
hard and short
and bound to pain.

There is no way that
those born will not die.
On reaching old age death follows:
such is the nature of living creatures.

As ripe fruit
are always in danger of falling,
so mortals once born
are always in danger of death.

As clay pots
made by a potter
all end up being broken,
so is the life of mortals.

Young and old,
foolish and wise—
all go under the sway of death;
all are destined to die.

When those overcome by death
leave this world for the next,
a father cannot protect his son,
nor relatives their kin.

See how, while relatives look on,
wailing profusely,
mortals are led away one by one,
like a cow to the slaughter.

And so the world is stricken
by old age and by death.
That is why the wise do not grieve,
for they understand the way of the world.

For one whose path you do not know—
not whence they came nor where they went—
you lament in vain,
seeing neither end.

If a bewildered person,
lamenting and self-harming,
could extract any good from that,
then those who see clearly would do the same.

For not by weeping and wailing
will you find peace of heart.
It just gives rise to more suffering,
and distresses your body.

Growing thin and pale,
you hurt yourself.
It does nothing to help the dead:
your lamentation is in vain.

Unless a person gives up grief,
they fall into suffering all the more.
Bewailing those whose time has come,
you fall under the sway of grief.

See, too, other folk departing
to fare after their deeds;
fallen under the sway of death,
beings flounder while still here.

For whatever you imagine it is,
it turns out to be something else.
Such is separation:
see the way of the world!

Even if a human lives
a hundred years or more,
they are parted from their family circle,
they leave this life behind.

Therefore, having learned from the Perfected One,
dispel lamentation.
Seeing the dead and departed, think:
“I cannot escape this.”

As one would extinguish
a blazing refuge with water,
so too a sage—a wise,
astute, and skilled person—
would swiftly blow away grief that comes up,
like the wind a tuft of cotton.

One who seeks their own happiness
would pluck out the dart from themselves—
the wailing and moaning,
and sadness inside.

With dart plucked out, unattached,
having found peace of mind,
overcoming all sorrow,
one is sorrowless and extinguished.


Read this translation of Snp 3.8 Sallasutta: The Dart by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 287 From… Maggavagga: The Path

As a great flood carries away a sleeping village,
so death seizes and carries away
the man with a clinging mind,
doting on his children and cattle.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada Chapter 20 Maggavagga: The Path by Ven. Achariya Buddharakkhita on AccessToInsight.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

Pv 1.12 Uraga Sutta: The Snake

A beloved son of a family died but none of the family members cried at his death. The son, reborn as the god Sakka, came to the family disguised as an old man and asked them why they didn’t cry.

Father:

Just as the serpent sheds its old skin and abandons it, humans also abandon their useless body and die. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead son. He went to another life according to his karma.

Mother:

He came to this world without invitation and departed without permission. He was born in this world and went from this world according to his own karma. What is the use of crying? That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead son. He went to another life according to his karma.

Sister:

If I would cry, I would become very exhausted. What would I gain from crying? My crying would only bring more sadness to our relatives, friends, and family. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead brother. He went to another life according to his karma.

Wife:

Just as a child cries asking for the moon, it is the same as someone crying over another’s death. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead husband. He went to another life according to his karma.

Servant:

Just as a shattered pot cannot be fixed, it is the same as someone crying over another’s death. That burning dead body is unaware of the crying of its relatives. Therefore I do not cry over my dead master. He went to another life according to his karma.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 1.12 Uraga Sutta: The Snake by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 5.57 From… Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta: Themes

“…And for the sake of what benefit should a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death’? During their lives beings are intoxicated with life, and when they are intoxicated with life they engage in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. But when one often reflects upon this theme, the intoxication with life is either completely abandoned or diminished. It is for the sake of this benefit that a woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death.…’

“…This noble disciple reflects thus: ‘I am not the only one who is subject to death, not exempt from death. All beings that come and go, that pass away and undergo rebirth, are subject to death; none are exempt from death.’ As he often reflects on this theme, the path is generated. He pursues this path, develops it, and cultivates it. As he does so, the fetters are entirely abandoned and the underlying tendencies are uprooted.…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.57 Abhiṇhapaccavekkhitabbaṭhānasutta: Themes by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 3.22 Ayyikāsutta: Grandmother

At Sāvatthī.

King Pasenadi of Kosala sat to one side, and the Buddha said to him, “So, great king, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?”

“Sir, my grandmother has passed away. She was old, elderly and senior. She was advanced in years and had reached the final stage of life; she was a hundred and twenty years old. But I loved my grandmother; she was dear to me. If by giving away the elephant-treasure I could get my grandmother back, I’d do it. If by giving away the horse-treasure I could get my grandmother back, I’d do it. If by giving away a prize village I could get my grandmother back, I’d do it. If by giving away the whole country I could get my grandmother back, I’d do it.”

“Great king, all sentient beings are liable to die. Death is their end; they’re not exempt from death.”

“It’s incredible, sir, it’s amazing, how well said this was by the Buddha: ‘All sentient beings are liable to die. Death is their end; they’re not exempt from death.’”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true! All sentient beings are liable to die. Death is their end; they’re not exempt from death. It’s like the vessels made by potters. Whatever kind they are, whether baked or unbaked, all of them are liable to break apart. Breaking is their end; they’re not exempt from breakage. In the same way, all sentient beings are liable to die. Death is their end; they’re not exempt from death.”

That is what the Buddha said. …

“All beings will die,
for life ends with death.
They pass on according to their deeds,
reaping the fruits of good and bad.
Those who do bad go to hell,
and if you do good you go to heaven.

That’s why you should do good,
investing in the future life.
The good deeds of sentient beings
support them in the next world.”



Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.22 Ayyikāsutta: Grandmother by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 7.74 Arakenānusasani Sutta: Araka’s Instructions

“Once, monks, there was a teacher named Araka, a sectarian leader who was free of passion for sensuality. He had many hundreds of students and he taught them the Dhamma in this way: ‘Next to nothing, brahmans, is the life of human beings—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a dewdrop on the tip of a blade of grass quickly vanishes with the rising of the sun and does not stay long, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a dewdrop—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as when the rain-devas send rain in fat drops, and a bubble on the water quickly vanishes and does not stay long, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a water bubble—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a line drawn in the water with a stick quickly vanishes and does not stay long, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a line drawn in the water with a stick—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a river flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it, so that there is not a moment, an instant, a second where it stands still, but instead it goes & rushes & flows, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a river flowing down from the mountains—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a strong man forming a drop of spit on the tip of his tongue would spit it out with little effort, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a drop of spit—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a sliver of meat thrown into an iron pan heated all day quickly vanishes and does not stay long, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a sliver of meat—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.

“‘Just as a cow to be slaughtered being led to the slaughterhouse, with every step of its foot closer to its slaughtering, closer to death, in the same way, brahmans, the life of human beings is like a cow to be slaughtered—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.’

“Now at that time, monks, the human life span was 60,000 years, with girls marriageable at 500. And at that time there were (only) six afflictions: cold, heat, hunger, thirst, defecation, & urination. Yet even though people were so long-lived, long-lasting, with so few afflictions, that teacher Araka taught the Dhamma to his disciples in this way: ‘Next to nothing, brahmans, is the life of human beings—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.’

“At present, monks, one speaking rightly would say, ‘Next to nothing is the life of human beings—limited, trifling, of much stress & many despairs. One should touch this (truth) like a sage, do what is skillful, follow the holy life. For one who is born there is no freedom from death.’ At present, monks, one who lives a long time is 100 years old or a little bit more. Living 100 years, one lives for 300 seasons: 100 seasons of cold, 100 seasons of heat, 100 seasons of rain. Living for 300 seasons, one lives for 1,200 months: 400 months of cold, 400 months of heat, 400 months of rain. Living for 1,200 months, one lives for 2,400 fortnights: 800 fortnights of cold, 800 fortnights of heat, 800 fortnights of rain. Living for 2,400 fortnights, one lives for 36,000 days: 12,000 days of cold, 12,000 days of heat, 12,000 days of rain. Living for 36,000 days, one eats 72,000 meals: 24,000 meals in the cold, 24,000 meals in the heat, 24,000 meals in the rain—counting the taking of mother’s milk and obstacles to eating. These are the obstacles to eating: when one doesn’t eat while angered, when one doesn’t eat while suffering or stressed, when one doesn’t eat while sick, when one doesn’t eat on the observance [uposatha] day, when one doesn’t eat while poor.

“Thus, monks, I have reckoned the life of a person living for 100 years: I have reckoned the life span, reckoned the seasons, reckoned the years,1 reckoned the months, reckoned the fortnights, reckoned the nights, reckoned the days, reckoned the meals, reckoned the obstacles to eating. Whatever a teacher should do—seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them—that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhāna, monks. Don’t be heedless. Don’t later fall into regret. This is our message to you all.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.74 Arakenānusasani Sutta. Araka’s Instructions by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Vv 7.9 Maṭṭakuṇḍalīvimānavatthu: Mattakundali’s Mansion

A Brahmin was crying over his dead son’s grave when he saw a grieving deva who was disguised as a young man.

Brahmin:

My dear child, you are very handsome, wearing polished earrings, garlands, and sandalwood cream. You are weeping, holding your head in your hands in the middle of this forest. Why are you crying so sadly?

Deva:

I have received a bright golden chariot, but it does not have wheels. That is why I am so sad. I am about to commit suicide.

Brahmin:

Oh dear boy, tell me, what kind of wheels do you need? Should they be made of gold, jewels, rubies, or silver? I will give you a pair of wheels made from anything.

Deva:

We can see the sun and moon right here. It would be great if my chariot could have them as wheels.

Brahmin:

Oh, dear boy, you are indeed foolish. You seek something that cannot be obtained. I am sure that you will die from sadness because it is impossible to get the sun and moon as your wheels.

Deva:

But wait a minute. We can see the sun and moon moving in the sky. We can see their color and tracks. But when someone dies, one can never see him again. So, who is more foolish, you or me? You are crying over your dead son, who cannot even be seen, and I am crying over something that can at least be seen.

Brahmin:

Oh, dear boy, what you just said is very true. Of the two of us, I am the greater fool. I am crying to get my dead son back, like a childish boy crying to obtain the moon.

My heart was burning with sadness over the death of my son, like when ghee is poured onto a fire. But now, all my sorrow has been extinguished as if I had been sprayed with water. I was struck with an arrow of grief, but you have removed it from me, my dear boy. Having heard your advice, I have become tranquil and cool, with the arrow of sorrow removed. I no longer grieve or weep.

Are you a god, a divine musician, the god Sakka, or someone’s son? Who are you?

Deva:

Your son has been cremated in this cemetery. You are weeping over his remains. I am that son of yours. Having done a meritorious deed, I was reborn in the Tavatimsa Heaven as a deva.

Brahmin:

We have never known you to give a small or large gift in charity. We have never known you to observe the Five or Eight Precepts. What kind of meritorious action did you do to go to heaven?

Deva:

Do you remember when I was very sick and lying sadly on a bed outside our house? One day, all of a sudden, I saw the Supreme Buddha who had great wisdom and a pure mind, and who had realized everything about this world.

I was very happy and had confidence when I saw him. I quickly worshiped him. That was the only meritorious action I did to have come to this heaven.

Brahmin:

It is wonderful! Just mere worshiping has resulted in a great happiness. Without delay, on this very day, I happily place confidence in the Buddha. I go for refuge to the Buddha.

Deva:

That is exactly what you should do. From this very day, go for refuge to the Supreme Buddha, the Supreme Dhamma, and the Supreme Sangha with a confident mind. Follow the Five Precepts honestly without breaking any of them.

Stop killing any beings, never steal, never drink alcohol, never lie, never commit sexual misconduct, and be content with your own wife.

Brahmin:

Oh Deva, you really wish for my well-being. You have been very helpful to me. From today onward, you are my teacher. I will do all the things you advised me to do. With a confident mind I go for refuge to the Supreme Buddha, the excellent Dhamma, and the disciples of the Great Teacher – the Noble Sangha. I will stop killing living beings, never steal anything, never drink alcohol, never lie, and never commit sexual misconduct. I will be content with my own wife.


To learn the whole background story of Maṭṭakuṇḍali’s sad human life and his father’s horrible actions, read the commentary to Dhammapada verse 2 on ancient-buddhist-texts.net.

Read this translation of Vimānavatthu 7.9 Maṭṭakuṇḍalī Sutta: Mattakundali’s Mansion by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

You can find the entire translation of the Vimanavatthu: Stories of Heavenly Mansions available on SuttaFriends.org.

SN 5.3 Kisāgotamīsutta: With Kisāgotamī

At Sāvatthī.

Then the nun Kisāgotamī robed up in the morning and, taking her bowl and robe, entered Sāvatthī for alms. She wandered for alms in Sāvatthī. After the meal, on her return from almsround, she went to the Dark Forest, plunged deep into it, and sat at the root of a tree for the day’s meditation.

Then Māra the Wicked, wanting to make the nun Kisāgotamī feel fear, terror, and goosebumps, wanting to make her fall away from immersion, went up to her and addressed her in verse:

“Why do you sit alone and cry
as if your children have died?
You’ve come to the woods all alone—
you must be looking for a man!”

Then the nun Kisāgotamī thought, “Who’s speaking this verse, a human or a non-human?”

Then she thought, “This is Māra the Wicked, wanting to make me feel fear, terror, and goosebumps, wanting to make me fall away from immersion!”

Then Kisāgotamī, knowing that this was Māra the Wicked, replied to him in verse:

“I’ve got over the death of children,
and I’m finished with men.
I don’t grieve or lament,
and I’m not afraid of you, sir!

Relishing is destroyed in every respect,
and the mass of darkness is shattered.
I’ve defeated the army of death,
and live without defilements.”

Then Māra the Wicked, thinking, “The nun Kisāgotamī knows me!” miserable and sad, vanished right there.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 5.3 Kisāgotamīsutta: With Kisāgotamī 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 or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 1.3 Upanīya Sutta: The Discourse About Life That Is Led on Towards Death

This is as I heard. At one time the Blessed One was staying in the province of Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s park, at Anathapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s park, went up to the Blessed One, bowed, stood to one side, and recited this verse:

“This life is led on towards death.
The time left to live is short.
Beings led on towards death by old age
have no place to find shelter.
One who sees this fear in death
must do good deeds that bring comfort.”

The Blessed One:

“This life is led on towards death.
The time left to live is short.
Beings led on towards death by old age
have no place to find shelter.
One who sees this fear in death,
seeking the comfort attained by Nibbāna,
should drop the world’s bait.”

Sādhu! Sādhu!! Sādhu!!!


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.3 Upanīya Sutta: The Discourse About Life That Is Led on Towards Death 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. 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.

Dhp 41 From… Cittavaggo: The Mind

Before long has passed by, alas,
this body will lie on the ground,
rejected, without consciousness,
just like a useless piece of wood.



Read the entire translation of Dhp Cittavagga: The Mind by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti on Ancient-BuddhistTexts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Tiếng Việt, Català, Čeština, Español, Français, עִבְֿרִיתּ, Magyar, Italiano, 日本語, Latine, मराठी, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Polski, Português, සිංහල, Slovenščina, தமிழ், or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

AN 6.20 Maraṇassati Sutta: Mindfulness of Death (2)

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying near Nādika in the Brick Hall.

There he addressed the monks, “Monks, mindfulness of death—when developed & pursued—is of great fruit & great benefit. It gains a footing in the deathless, has the deathless as its final end. And how is mindfulness of death developed & pursued so that it is of great fruit & great benefit, gains a footing in the deathless, and has the deathless as its final end?

“There is the case where a monk, as day departs and night returns, reflects: ‘Many are the possible causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm… piercing wind forces in the body might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.’

“Then the monk should investigate: ‘Are there any evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die in the night?’

“If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities.

“Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities.

“But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.

“Further, there is the case where a monk, as night departs and day returns, reflects: ’Many are the possible causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm… piercing wind forces in the body might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.’ Then the monk should investigate: ‘Are there any evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die during the day?’ If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die during the day, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die during the day, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.

“This, monks, is how mindfulness of death is developed & pursued so that it is of great fruit & great benefit, gains a footing in the Deathless, and has the Deathless as its final end.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.20 Maraṇassati Sutta. Mindfulness of Death (2) by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.184 Abhaya Sutta: Fearless

Then Jānussoṇi the brahman went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “I am of the view & opinion that there is no one who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.”

The Blessed One said: “Brahman, there are those who, subject to death, are afraid & in terror of death. And there are those who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.

“And who is the person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death? There is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!’ He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person who has not abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!’ He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person who has not done what is good, has not done what is skillful, has not given protection to those in fear, and instead has done what is evil, savage, & cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘I have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful, have not given protection to those in fear, and instead have done what is evil, savage, & cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have not done what is good, have not done what is skillful, have not given protection to those in fear, and instead have done what is evil, savage, & cruel, that’s where I’m headed after death.’ He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person in doubt & perplexity, who has not arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘How doubtful & perplexed I am! I have not arrived at any certainty with regard to the True Dhamma!’ He grieves & is tormented, weeps, beats his breast, & grows delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is afraid & in terror of death.

“These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are afraid & in terror of death.

“And who is the person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death?

“There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought doesn’t occur to him, ‘O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, & craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought doesn’t occur to him, ‘O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person who has done what is good, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘I have done what is good, have done what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and I have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have done what is good, what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel, that’s where I’m headed after death.’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

“Then there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, ‘I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.’ He doesn’t grieve, isn’t tormented; doesn’t weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

“These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death.”

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


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.184 Abhaya Sutta. Fearless by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.