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AN 2.64:

“There are, mendicants, these two kinds of happiness. What two? The happiness of laypeople, and the happiness of renunciates. These are the two kinds of happiness. The better of these two kinds of happiness is the happiness of renunciates.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 2.64: by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 5.228 Ussūrabhattasutta: Eating Late

“Mendicants, there are these five drawbacks for a family who takes their meals late in the day. What five? When guests visit, they are not served on time. The deities who accept spirit-offerings are not served on time. Ascetics and brahmins who eat in one part of the day, abstaining from eating at night, and from food at the wrong time are not served on time. Bondservants, workers, and staff do their duties neglectfully. A meal eaten during the wrong period is not nutritious. These are the five drawbacks for a family who takes their meals late in the day.

There are these five benefits for a family who takes their meals at a proper time. What five? When guests visit, they are served on time. The deities who accept spirit-offerings are served on time. Ascetics and brahmins who eat in one part of the day, abstaining from eating at night, and from food at the wrong time are served on time. Bondservants, workers, and staff do their duties attentively. A meal eaten during the proper period is nutritious. These are the five benefits for a family who takes their meals at a proper time.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.228 Ussūrabhattasutta: Eating Late by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 99 From… Subhasutta: With Subha

“…Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Laypeople succeed in the system of the skillful teaching, not renunciates.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, student, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. I don’t praise wrong practice for either laypeople or renunciates. Because of wrong practice, neither laypeople nor renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching. I praise right practice for both laypeople and renunciates. Because of right practice, both laypeople and renunciates succeed in the system of the skillful teaching.”

“Master Gotama, the brahmins say: ‘Since the work of the lay life has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is very fruitful. But since the work of the renunciate has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings it is not very fruitful.’ What do you say about this?”

“On this point, too, I speak after analyzing the question, not definitively. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful. Some work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful.

And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Farming. And what work has many requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it is farming. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it fails it’s not very fruitful? Trade. And what work has few requirements, duties, issues, and undertakings, and when it succeeds it is very fruitful? Again, it’s trade.

The lay life is like farming in that it’s work with many requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful. The renunciate life is like trade in that it’s work with few requirements and when it fails it’s not very fruitful; but when it succeeds it is very fruitful.”…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 99 Subhasutta: With Subha by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 97 From… Dhanañjānisutta: With Dhanañjāni

…When Dhanañjāni had finished breakfast he went to Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side. Sāriputta said to him, “I hope you’re diligent, Dhanañjāni?”

“How can I possibly be diligent, Master Sāriputta? I have to provide for my mother and father, my wives and children, and my bondservants and workers. And I have to make the proper offerings to friends and colleagues, relatives and kin, guests, ancestors, deities, and king. And then this body must also be fattened and built up.”

“What do you think, Dhanañjāni? Suppose someone was to behave in an unprincipled and unjust way for the sake of their parents. Because of this the wardens of hell would drag them to hell. Could they get out of being dragged to hell by pleading that they had acted for the sake of their parents? Or could their parents save them by pleading that the acts had been done for their sake?”

“No, Master Sāriputta. Rather, even as they were wailing the wardens of hell would cast them down into hell.”

“What do you think, Dhanañjāni? Suppose someone was to behave in an unprincipled and unjust way for the sake of their wives and children … bondservants and workers … friends and colleagues … relatives and kin … guests … ancestors … deities … king … fattening and building up their body. Because of this the wardens of hell would drag them to hell. Could they get out of being dragged to hell by pleading that they had acted for the sake of fattening and building up their body? Or could anyone else save them by pleading that the acts had been done for that reason?”

“No, Master Sāriputta. Rather, even as they were wailing the wardens of hell would cast them down into hell.”

Who do you think is better, Dhanañjāni? Someone who, for the sake of their parents, behaves in an unprincipled and unjust manner, or someone who behaves in a principled and just manner?”

“Someone who behaves in a principled and just manner for the sake of their parents. For principled and moral conduct is better than unprincipled and immoral conduct.”

“Dhanañjāni, there are other livelihoods that are both profitable and legitimate. By means of these it’s possible to provide for your parents, avoid bad deeds, and practice the path of goodness.

Who do you think is better, Dhanañjāni? Someone who, for the sake of their wives and children … bondservants and workers … friends and colleagues … relatives and kin … guests … ancestors … deities … king … fattening and building up their body, behaves in an unprincipled and unjust manner, or someone who behaves in a principled and just manner?”

“Someone who behaves in a principled and just manner. For principled and moral conduct is better than unprincipled and immoral conduct.”

“Dhanañjāni, there are other livelihoods that are both profitable and legitimate. By means of these it’s possible to fatten and build up your body, avoid bad deeds, and practice the path of goodness.”

Then Dhanañjāni the brahmin, having approved and agreed with what Venerable Sāriputta said, got up from his seat and left.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 97 Dhanañjānisutta: With Dhanañjāni by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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SN 7.12 UdayaSutta: Udaya

Near Sāvatthī. Then early in the morning, the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. The brahman Udaya filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice.

Then a second time, [on the next day,] the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. And a second time, the brahman Udaya filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice.

Then a third time, [on the following day,] the Blessed One, having adjusted his under robe and carrying his bowl & outer robe, went to the home of the brahman Udaya. And a third time, the brahman Udaya, having filled the Blessed One’s bowl with rice, said to him, “This pesky Gotama contemplative keeps coming again & again.”

The Buddha:

“Again & again    they sow the seed.
Again & again     the deva-kings rain.
Again & again     farmers plow the fields.
Again & again     grain comes to the kingdom.
Again & again     beggars wander.
Again & again     lords of giving give.
Again & again     having given, the lords of giving
Again & again     go to a heavenly place.
Again & again     dairy farmers draw milk.
Again & again     the calf goes to its mother.
Again & again     one wearies & trembles.
Again & again     the dullard goes to the womb.
Again & again     you take birth & die.
Again & again     they carry you to the charnel ground.

But on gaining the path
to no again-becoming,
you, deep in discernment,
don’t take birth
   again & again.”

When this was said, the brahman Udaya 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, & to the Saṅgha of monks. May Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge from this day forward, for life.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.12 UdānaayaSutta. Udaya by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org.

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AN 8.54 Dīghajāṇusutta: With Dīghajāṇu

[This is another long selection for the weekend. However, the teachings in it are straightforward, so it should be easy to read.]

At one time the Buddha was staying in the land of the Koliyans, where they have a town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dīghajāṇu the Koliyan went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha:

“Sir, we are laypeople who enjoy sensual pleasures and living at home with our children. We use sandalwood imported from Kāsi, we wear garlands, perfumes, and makeup, and we accept gold and money. May the Buddha please teach us the Dhamma in a way that leads to our welfare and happiness in this life and in future lives.”

“Byagghapajja, these four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life. What four?

Accomplishment in initiative, protection, good friendship, and balanced finances. And what is accomplishment in initiative? It’s when a gentleman earns a living by means such as farming, trade, raising cattle, archery, government service, or one of the professions. He understands how to go about these things in order to complete and organize the work. This is called accomplishment in initiative.

And what is accomplishment in protection? It’s when a gentleman owns legitimate wealth that he has earned by his own efforts and initiative, built up with his own hands, gathered by the sweat of the brow. He ensures it is guarded and protected, thinking: ‘How can I prevent my wealth from being taken by rulers or bandits, consumed by fire, swept away by flood, or taken by unloved heirs?’ This is called accomplishment in protection.

And what is accomplishment in good friendship? It’s when a gentleman resides in a town or village. And in that place there are householders or their children who may be young or old, but are mature in conduct, accomplished in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. He associates with them, converses and engages in discussion. And he emulates the same kind of accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom. This is called accomplishment in good friendship.

And what is accomplishment in balanced finances? It’s when a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ It’s like an appraiser or their apprentice who, holding up the scales, knows that it’s low by this much or high by this much. In the same way, a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, balances his finances, being neither too extravagant nor too frugal. He thinks, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ If a gentleman has little income but an opulent life, people will say: ‘This gentleman eats their wealth like a fig-eater!’ If a gentleman has a large income but a spartan life, people will say: ‘This gentleman is starving themselves to death!’ But a gentleman, knowing his income and expenditure, leads a balanced life, neither too extravagant nor too frugal, thinking, ‘In this way my income will exceed my expenditure, not the reverse.’ This is called accomplishment in balanced finances.

There are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the drains and close off the inlets, and the heavens don’t provide enough rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to dwindle, not expand. In the same way, there are four drains on wealth that has been gathered in this way. Womanizing, drinking, gambling, and having bad friends, companions, and associates.

There are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates. Suppose there was a large reservoir with four inlets and four drains. And someone was to open up the inlets and close off the drains, and the heavens provide plenty of rain. You’d expect that large reservoir to expand, not dwindle. In the same way, there are four inlets for wealth that has been gathered in this way. Not womanizing, drinking, or gambling, and having good friends, companions, and associates.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in this life.

These four things lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives. What four? Accomplishment in faith, ethics, generosity, and wisdom.

And what is accomplishment in faith? It’s when a gentleman has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ This is called accomplishment in faith.

And what is accomplishment in ethics? It’s when a gentleman doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or consume alcoholic drinks that cause negligence. This is called accomplishment in ethics.

And what is accomplishment in generosity? It’s when a gentleman lives at home rid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open-handed, loving to let go, committed to charity, loving to give and to share. This is called accomplishment in generosity.

And what is accomplishment in wisdom? It’s when a gentleman is wise. He has the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. This is called accomplishment in wisdom.

These are the four things that lead to the welfare and happiness of a gentleman in future lives.

They’re enterprising in the workplace,
diligent in managing things,
they balance their finances,
and preserve their wealth.

Faithful, accomplished in ethics,
bountiful, rid of stinginess,
they always purify the path
to well-being in lives to come.

And so these eight qualities
of a faithful householder
are declared by the one who is truly named
to lead to happiness in both spheres,

welfare and benefit in this life,
and happiness in the future lives.
This is how, for a householder,
merit grows by generosity.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.54 Dīghajāṇusutta: With Dīghajāṇu by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Snp 2.4 Maṅgalasutta: Blessings

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then, late at night, a glorious deity, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, went up to the Buddha, bowed, and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that deity addressed the Buddha in verse:

“Many gods and humans
have thought about blessings
desiring well-being:
declare the highest blessing.”

“Not to fraternize with fools,
but to fraternize with the wise,
and honoring those worthy of honor:
this is the highest blessing.

Living in a suitable region,
having made merit in the past,
being rightly resolved in oneself,
this is the highest blessing.

Education and a craft,
discipline and training,
and well-spoken speech:
this is the highest blessing.

Caring for mother and father,
kindness to children and partners,
and unstressful work:
this is the highest blessing.

Giving and righteous conduct,
kindness to relatives,
blameless deeds:
this is the highest blessing.

Desisting and abstaining from evil,
avoiding alcoholic drinks,
diligence in good qualities:
this is the highest blessing.

Respect and humility,
contentment and gratitude,
and timely listening to the teaching:
this is the highest blessing.

Patience, being easy to admonish,
the sight of ascetics,
and timely discussion of the teaching:
this is the highest blessing.

Fervor and celibacy
seeing the noble truths,
and realization of extinguishment:
this is the highest blessing.

Though touched by worldly things,
their mind does not tremble;
sorrowless, stainless, secure,
this is the highest blessing.

Having completed these things,
undefeated everywhere;
everywhere they go in safety:
this is their highest blessing.”


Read this translation of Snp 2.4 Maṅgalasutta: Blessings by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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MN 137 From… Saḷāyatanavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of the Six Sense Fields

[Please read the entire sutta to see the forms of renunciate happiness, sadness, and equanimity]

‘…The thirty-six positions of sentient beings should be understood.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? There are six kinds of lay happiness and six kinds of renunciate happiness. There are six kinds of lay sadness and six kinds of renunciate sadness. There are six kinds of lay equanimity and six kinds of renunciate equanimity.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay happiness? There are sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the worldly pleasures of the flesh. Happiness arises when you regard it as a gain to obtain such sights, or when you recollect sights you formerly obtained that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such happiness is called lay happiness. There are sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body … Thoughts known by the mind that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the world’s material delights. Happiness arises when you regard it as a gain to obtain such thoughts, or when you recollect thoughts you formerly obtained that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such happiness is called lay happiness. These are the six kinds of lay happiness.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay sadness? There are sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the world’s material delights. Sadness arises when you regard it as a loss to lose such sights, or when you recollect sights you formerly lost that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such sadness is called lay sadness. There are sounds known by the ear … There are smells known by the nose … There are tastes known by the tongue … There are touches known by the body … There are thoughts known by the mind that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasing, connected with the worldly pleasures of the flesh. Sadness arises when you regard it as a loss to lose such thoughts, or when you recollect thoughts you formerly lost that have passed, ceased, and perished. Such sadness is called lay sadness. These are the six kinds of lay sadness.

And in this context what are the six kinds of lay equanimity? When seeing a sight with the eye, equanimity arises for the unlearned ordinary person—a foolish ordinary person who has not overcome their limitations and the results of deeds, and is blind to the drawbacks. Such equanimity does not transcend the sight. That’s why it’s called lay equanimity. When hearing a sound with the ear … When smelling an odor with the nose … When tasting a flavor with the tongue … When feeling a touch with the body … When knowing a thought with the mind, equanimity arises for the unlearned ordinary person—a foolish ordinary person who has not overcome their limitations and the results of deeds, and is blind to the drawbacks. Such equanimity does not transcend the thought. That’s why it’s called lay equanimity. These are the six kinds of lay equanimity.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 137 Saḷāyatanavibhaṅgasutta: The Analysis of the Six Sense Fields by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

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Dhp 302 From… Pakiṇṇakavagga: Miscellaneous

Going forth is hard, it’s hard to be happy;
life at home is hard too, and painful,
it’s painful to stay when you’ve nothing in common.
A traveler is a prey to pain,
so don’t be a traveler,
don’t be prey to pain.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 302 Pakiṇṇakavagga: Miscellaneous by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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