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MN 64 From… Mahāmālukyasutta: The Longer Discourse With Māluṅkya

There is a path and a practice for giving up the five lower fetters. It is possible to know and see and give up the five lower fetters by relying on that path and that practice.

Suppose there was a large tree standing with heartwood. It is possible to cut out the heartwood after having cut through the bark and the softwood. In the same way, there is a path and a practice for giving up the five lower fetters. It is possible to know and see and give up the five lower fetters by relying on that path and that practice.

Suppose the river Ganges was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a feeble person, who thinks: ‘By swimming with my arms I’ll safely cross over to the far shore of the Ganges.’ But they’re not able to do so. In the same way, when the Dhamma is being taught for the cessation of substantialist view, someone whose mind isn’t secure, confident, settled, and decided should be regarded as being like that feeble person.

Suppose the river Ganges was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a strong person, who thinks: ‘By swimming with my arms I’ll safely cross over to the far shore of the Ganges.’ And they are able to do so.

In the same way, when the Dhamma is being taught for the cessation of substantialist view, someone whose mind is secure, confident, settled, and decided should be regarded as being like that strong person.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 64 Mahāmālukyasutta: The Longer Discourse With Māluṅkya by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 6.30 Anuttariyasutta: Unsurpassable

“Mendicants, these six things are unsurpassable. What six? The unsurpassable seeing, listening, acquisition, training, service, and recollection.

And what is the unsurpassable seeing? Some people go to see an elephant-treasure, a horse-treasure, a jewel-treasure, or a diverse spectrum of sights; or ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a seeing, I don’t deny it. That seeing is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. The unsurpassable seeing is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, goes to see a Realized One or their disciple. This is in order to purify sentient beings, to get past sorrow and crying, to make an end of pain and sadness, to discover the system, and to realize extinguishment. This is called the unsurpassable seeing. Such is the unsurpassable seeing.

But what of the unsurpassable hearing? Some people go to hear the sound of drums, arched harps, singing, or a diverse spectrum of sounds; or ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a hearing, I don’t deny it. That hearing … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable hearing is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, goes to hear the teaching of a Realized One or one of his disciples. … This is called the unsurpassable hearing. Such is the unsurpassable seeing and hearing.

But what of the unsurpassable acquisition? Some people acquire a child, a wife, wealth, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they acquire faith in an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such an acquisition, I don’t deny it. That acquisition … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable acquisition is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, acquires faith in a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable acquisition. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, hearing, and acquisition.

But what of the unsurpassable training? Some people train in elephant riding, horse riding, chariot driving, archery, swordsmanship, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they train under an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such a training, I don’t deny it. That training … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable training is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, trains in the higher ethics, the higher mind, and the higher wisdom in the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One. … This is called the unsurpassable training. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, hearing, acquisition, and training.

But what of the unsurpassable service? Some people serve an aristocrat, a brahmin, a householder, or a diverse spectrum of people; or they serve ascetics and brahmins of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such service, I don’t deny it. That service … doesn’t lead to extinguishment. The unsurpassable service is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, serves a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable service. Such is the unsurpassable seeing, listening, acquisition, training, and service.

But what of the unsurpassable recollection? Some people recollect a child, a wife, wealth, or a diverse spectrum of things; or they recollect an ascetic or brahmin of wrong view and wrong practice. There is such recollection, I don’t deny it. That recollection is low, crude, ordinary, ignoble, and pointless. It doesn’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment. The unsurpassable recollection is when someone with settled faith and love, sure and devoted, recollects a Realized One or their disciple. … This is called the unsurpassable recollection.

These are the six unsurpassable things.

They’ve gained the unsurpassed seeing,
the unsurpassed hearing,
and the unsurpassable acquisition.
They enjoy the unsurpassable training

and serve with care.
Then they develop recollection
connected with seclusion,
which is safe, and leads to the deathless.

They rejoice in diligence,
alert and ethically restrained.
And in time they arrive
at the place where suffering ceases.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.30 Anuttariyasutta: Unsurpassable Anuttariyasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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

AN 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sakyans at Kapilavatthu in the Banyan Tree Park. Then Mahānāma the Sakyan approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“In what way, Bhante, is one a lay follower?”

“When, Mahānāma, one has gone for refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha, in that way one is a lay follower.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower virtuous?”

“When, Mahānāma, a lay follower abstains from the destruction of life, from taking what is not given, from sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness, in that way a lay follower is virtuous.”

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith but does not encourage others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior but does not encourage others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity but does not encourage others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus but does not encourage others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma but does not encourage others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard but does not encourage others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind but does not encourage others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself has understood the meaning and the Dhamma and practices in accordance with the Dhamma, but does not encourage others to do so: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare but not for the welfare of others.

“In what way, Bhante, is a lay follower practicing for his own welfare and for the welfare of others?”

  1. “When, Mahānāma, a lay follower is himself accomplished in faith and also encourages others to accomplish faith;
  2. when he is himself accomplished in virtuous behavior and also encourages others to accomplish virtuous behavior;
  3. when he is himself accomplished in generosity and also encourages others to accomplish generosity;
  4. when he himself wants to see bhikkhus and also encourages others to see bhikkhus;
  5. when he himself wants to hear the good Dhamma and also encourages others to hear the good Dhamma;
  6. when he himself retains in mind the teachings he has heard and also encourages others to retain the teachings in mind;
  7. when he himself examines the meaning of the teachings that have been retained in mind and also encourages others to examine their meaning;
  8. when he himself understands the meaning and the Dhamma and then practices in accordance with the Dhamma, and also encourages others to practice in accordance with the Dhamma: it is in this way, Mahānāma, that a lay follower is practicing for his own welfare and also for the welfare of others.”

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.25 Mahānāmasutta: Mahānāma by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

“Bhikkhus, in three cases one may be understood to have faith and confidence. What three? When one desires to see those of virtuous behavior; when one desires to hear the good Dhamma; and when one dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. In these three cases, one may be understood to have faith and confidence.”

One who desires to see the virtuous ones,
who wishes to hear the good Dhamma,
who has removed the stain of miserliness,
is called a person endowed with faith.


Faith: saddha
Confidence: pasanna

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 4.114 Nāgasutta: A Royal Elephant

“Mendicants, a royal bull elephant with four factors is worthy of a king, fit to serve a king, and is considered a factor of kingship. What four? A royal bull elephant listens, destroys, endures, and goes fast.

And how does a royal bull elephant listen? It’s when a royal bull elephant pays heed, pays attention, engages wholeheartedly, and lends an ear to whatever task the elephant trainer has it do, whether or not it has done it before. That’s how a royal bull elephant listens.

And how does a royal bull elephant destroy? It’s when a royal bull elephant in battle destroys elephants with their riders, horses with their riders, chariots and charioteers, and foot soldiers. That’s how a royal bull elephant destroys.

And how does a royal bull elephant endure? It’s when a royal bull elephant in battle endures being struck by spears, swords, arrows, and axes; it endures the thunder of the drums, kettledrums, horns, and cymbals. That’s how a royal bull elephant endures.

And how does a royal bull elephant go fast? It’s when a royal bull elephant swiftly goes in whatever direction the elephant trainer sends it, whether or not it has been there before. That’s how a royal bull elephant goes fast. A royal bull elephant with four factors is worthy of a king, fit to serve a king, and is considered a factor of kingship.

In the same way, a mendicant with four qualities is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a religious donation, worthy of veneration with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world. What four? A mendicant listens, destroys, endures, and goes fast.

And how does a mendicant listen? It’s when a mendicant pays heed, pays attention, engages wholeheartedly, and lends an ear when the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One is being taught. That’s how a mendicant listens.

And how does a mendicant destroy? It’s when a mendicant doesn’t tolerate a sensual, malicious, or cruel thought. They don’t tolerate any bad, unskillful qualities that have arisen, but give them up, get rid of them, eliminate them, and obliterate them. That’s how a mendicant destroys.

And how does a mendicant endure? It’s when a mendicant endures cold, heat, hunger, and thirst; the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; rude and unwelcome criticism; and they put up with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening. That’s how a mendicant endures.

And how does a mendicant go fast? It’s when a mendicant swiftly goes in the direction they’ve never gone before in all this long time; that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment. That’s how a mendicant goes fast. A mendicant with these four qualities … is the supreme field of merit for the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.114 Nāgasutta: A Royal Elephant by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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

SN 46.38 Anīvaraṇasutta: Without Hindrances

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion the five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion the seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.

“And what are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion? The hindrance of sensual desire is not present on that occasion; the hindrance of ill will … the hindrance of sloth and torpor … the hindrance of restlessness and remorse … the hindrance of doubt is not present on that occasion. These are the five hindrances that are not present on that occasion.

“And what are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion? The enlightenment factor of mindfulness goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion…. the enlightenment factor of discrimination of states … the enlightenment factor of energy … the enlightenment factor of rapture … the enlightenment factor of tranquillity … the enlightenment factor of concentration …The enlightenment factor of equanimity goes to fulfilment by development on that occasion. These are the seven factors of enlightenment that go to fulfilment by development on that occasion.

“When, bhikkhus, a noble disciple listens to the Dhamma with eager ears, attending to it as a matter of vital concern, directing his whole mind to it, on that occasion these five hindrances are not present in him; on that occasion these seven factors of enlightenment go to fulfilment by development.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.38 Anīvaraṇasutta: Without Hindrances by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 6.87 Voropitasutta: A Murderer

“Mendicants, someone with six qualities is unable to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities even when listening to the true teaching. What six?

They murder their mother
or father
or a perfected one.
They maliciously shed the blood of a Realized One.
They cause a schism in the Saṅgha.
They’re witless, dull, and stupid.

Someone with these six qualities is unable to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, even when listening to the true teaching.

Someone with six qualities is able to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities when listening to the true teaching. What six?

They don’t murder their mother
or father
or a perfected one.
They don’t maliciously shed the blood of a Realized One.
They don’t cause a schism in the Saṅgha.
They’re wise, bright, and clever.

Someone with these six qualities is able to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities when listening to the true teaching.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.87 Voropitasutta: A Murderer by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 4.147 Dutiyakālasutta: Times (2nd)

“Mendicants, when these four times are rightly developed and progressed, they gradually lead to the ending of defilements. What four?

A time for listening to the teaching,
a time for discussing the teaching,
a time for serenity,
and a time for discernment.

It’s like when it rains heavily on a mountain top, and the water flows downhill to fill the hollows, crevices, and creeks. As they become full, they fill up the pools. The pools fill up the lakes, the lakes fill up the streams, and the streams fill up the rivers. And as the rivers become full, they fill up the ocean.

In the same way, when these four times are rightly developed and progressed, they gradually lead to the ending of defilements.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.147 Dutiyakālasutta: Times (2nd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.26 Vimuttāyatanasutta: Opportunities for Freedom

“Mendicants, there are these five opportunities for freedom. If a mendicant stays diligent, keen, and resolute at these times, their mind is freed, their defilements are ended, and they arrive at the supreme sanctuary. What five?

Firstly, the Teacher or a respected spiritual companion teaches Dhamma to a mendicant. That mendicant feels inspired by the meaning and the teaching in that Dhamma, no matter how the Teacher or a respected spiritual companion teaches it. Feeling inspired, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is the first opportunity for freedom. If a mendicant stays diligent, keen, and resolute at this time, their mind is freed, their defilements are ended, and they arrive at the supreme sanctuary.

Furthermore, it may be that neither the Teacher nor a respected spiritual companion teaches Dhamma to a mendicant. But the mendicant teaches Dhamma in detail to others as they learned and memorized it. That mendicant feels inspired by the meaning and the teaching in that Dhamma, no matter how they teach it in detail to others as they learned and memorized it. Feeling inspired, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is the second opportunity for freedom. …

Furthermore, it may be that neither the Teacher nor … the mendicant teaches Dhamma. But the mendicant recites the teaching in detail as they learned and memorized it. That mendicant feels inspired by the meaning and the teaching in that Dhamma, no matter how they recite it in detail as they learned and memorized it. Feeling inspired, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is the third opportunity for freedom. …

Furthermore, it may be that neither the Teacher nor … the mendicant teaches Dhamma … nor does the mendicant recite the teaching. But the mendicant thinks about and considers the teaching in their heart, examining it with the mind as they learned and memorized it. That mendicant feels inspired by the meaning and the teaching in that Dhamma, no matter how they think about and consider it in their heart, examining it with the mind as they learned and memorized it. Feeling inspired, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is the fourth opportunity for freedom. …

Furthermore, it may be that neither the Teacher nor … the mendicant teaches Dhamma … nor does the mendicant recite the teaching … or think about it. But a meditation subject as a foundation of immersion is properly grasped, attended, borne in mind, and comprehended with wisdom. That mendicant feels inspired by the meaning and the teaching in that Dhamma, no matter how a meditation subject as a foundation of immersion is properly grasped, attended, borne in mind, and comprehended with wisdom. Feeling inspired, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, one feels bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi. This is the fifth opportunity for freedom. …

These are the five opportunities for freedom. If a mendicant stays diligent, keen, and resolute at these times, their mind is freed, their defilements are ended, and they arrive at the supreme sanctuary.



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.26 Vimuttāyatanasutta: Opportunities for Freedom by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 10.83 Puṇṇiyasutta: With Puṇṇiya

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

“Sir, what is the cause, what is the reason why sometimes the Realized One feels inspired to teach, and other times not?”

“Puṇṇiya, when a mendicant has faith but doesn’t approach, the Realized One doesn’t feel inspired to teach. But when a mendicant has faith and approaches, the Realized One feels inspired to teach.

When a mendicant has faith and approaches, but doesn’t pay homage … they pay homage, but don’t ask questions … they ask questions, but don’t lend an ear … they lend an ear, but don’t remember the teaching they’ve heard … they remember the teaching they’ve heard, but don’t reflect on the meaning of the teachings they’ve remembered … they reflect on the meaning of the teachings they’ve remembered, but, having understood the meaning and the teaching, they don’t practice accordingly … they practice accordingly, but they’re not a good speaker. Their voice is not polished, clear, articulate, and doesn’t express the meaning … They’re a good speaker, but they don’t educate, encourage, fire up, and inspire their spiritual companions. The Realized One doesn’t feel inspired to teach.

But when a mendicant

  1. has faith,
  2. approaches,
  3. pays homage,
  4. asks questions,
  5. lends an ear,
  6. remembers the teachings,
  7. reflects on the meaning,
  8. practices accordingly,
  9. has a good voice, and
  10. encourages their spiritual companions,

the Realized One feels inspired to teach. When someone has these ten qualities, the Realized One feels totally inspired to teach.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.83 Puṇṇiyasutta: With Puṇṇiya by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Thag 2.11 The Verses of Arahant Mahācunda (141-142)

141. In one who desires to listen to the Dhamma,
knowledge of Dhamma increases.
His wisdom grows through that knowledge of Dhamma.
Reality can be understood through that wisdom.
Realizing the truth brings true happiness.

142. One should live in remote and solitary monasteries.
One should practice the Dhamma
with the intention of freeing oneself
from the bondage of saṁsāra.
But if one doesn’t like to live in a forest far away,
guarding his faculties well
and establishing mindfulness well,
one should live under respected senior monks.

These verses were said by Arahant Mahācunda.


Read Thag 2.11 The Verses of Arahant Mahācunda (141-142) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

MN 48 From… Kosambiyā Sutta: In Kosambī—Proper Listening

“…And further, the disciple of the noble ones considers thus: ‘I am endowed with the strength of a person consummate in view?’ And what, monks, is the strength of a person consummate in view? This is the strength of a person consummate in view: When the Dhamma & Vinaya proclaimed by the Tathāgata is being taught, he heeds it, gives it attention, engages it with all his mind, hears the Dhamma with eager ears.

“He discerns that, ‘I am endowed with the strength of a person consummate in view.’ This is the sixth knowledge attained by him that is noble, transcendent, not held in common with run-of-the-mill people.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 48 Kosambiyā Sutta. In Kosambī by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 2.42–51 Parisavagga: 47—An assembly educated in fancy talk

“There are, mendicants, these two assemblies. What two? An assembly educated in fancy talk, not in questioning, and an assembly educated in questioning, not in fancy talk. And what is an assembly educated in fancy talk, not in questioning? It is an assembly where, when discourses spoken by the Realized One—deep, profound, transcendent, dealing with emptiness—are being recited the mendicants do not want to listen. They don’t pay attention or apply their minds to understand them, nor do they think those teachings are worth learning and memorizing. But when discourses composed by poets—poetry, with fancy words and phrases, composed by outsiders or spoken by disciples—are being recited the mendicants do want to listen. They pay attention and apply their minds to understand them, and they think those teachings are worth learning and memorizing. But when they’ve learned those teachings they don’t question or examine each other, saying: ‘Why does it say this? What does that mean?’ So they don’t clarify what is unclear, or reveal what is obscure, or dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters. This is called an assembly educated in fancy talk, not in questioning.

And what is an assembly educated in questioning, not in fancy talk? It is an assembly where, when discourses composed by poets—poetry, with fancy words and phrases, composed by outsiders or spoken by disciples—are being recited the mendicants do not want to listen. They don’t pay attention or apply their minds to understand them, nor do they think those teachings are worth learning and memorizing. But when discourses spoken by the Realized One—deep, profound, transcendent, dealing with emptiness—are being recited the mendicants do want to listen. They pay attention and apply their minds to understand them, and they think those teachings are worth learning and memorizing. And when they’ve learned those teachings they question and examine each other, saying: ‘Why does it say this? What does that mean?’ So they clarify what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters. This is called an assembly educated in questioning, not in fancy talk. These are the two assemblies. The better of these two assemblies is the assembly educated in questioning, not in fancy talk.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 2.47 by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

MN 33 From… Mahāgopālakasutta: The Longer Discourse on the Cowherd—Knowing the ford

…And how does a mendicant not know the ford? It’s when a mendicant doesn’t from time to time go up to those mendicants who are very learned—knowledgeable in the scriptures, who have memorized the teachings, the monastic law, and the outlines—and ask them questions: ‘Why, sir, does it say this? What does that mean?’ Those venerables don’t clarify what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters. That’s how a mendicant doesn’t know the ford.

And how does a mendicant not know satisfaction? It’s when a mendicant, when the teaching and training proclaimed by the Realized One are being taught, finds no inspiration in the meaning and the teaching, and finds no joy connected with the teaching. That’s how a mendicant doesn’t know satisfaction.…



Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 33 Mahāgopālakasutta: The Longer Discourse on the Cowherd by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 4.191 Sotānugata Sutta: Followed by Ear

“Monks, when the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, four rewards can be expected. Which four?

“There is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma: dialogues, narratives of mixed prose & verse, explanations, verses, spontaneous exclamations, quotations, birth stories, amazing events, question & answer sessions (i.e. the earliest classifications of the Buddha’s teachings). In him, these teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view. Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas. To him, happy there, they recite verses of Dhamma. Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction. When the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, this is the first reward that can be expected.

“Further, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma: dialogues… question & answer sessions. In him, these teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view. Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas. It doesn’t happen that they recite verses of Dhamma to him, happy there. But a monk with psychic power, attained to mastery of awareness, teaches the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. The thought occurs to the new deva: ‘This is the Dhamma & Vinaya under which I used to live the holy life.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction.

“Suppose a man skilled in the sound of a war drum were to hear the sound of a war drum while traveling along a highway. He would have no doubt or perplexity, ‘Is that the sound of a war drum or not the sound of a war drum?’ He would come to the conclusion, ‘That’s the sound of a war drum for sure.’ In the same way, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma.… Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas.… A monk with psychic power, attained to mastery of awareness, teaches the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. The thought occurs [to the new deva]: ‘This is the Dhamma & Vinaya under which I used to live the holy life.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction. When the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, this is the second reward that can be expected.

“Further, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma: dialogues… question & answer sessions. In him, these teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view. Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas. It doesn’t happen that they recite verses of Dhamma to him, happy there. Nor does a monk with psychic power, attained to mastery of awareness, teach the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. But a deva teaches the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. The thought occurs to the new deva: ‘This is the Dhamma & Vinaya under which I used to live the holy life.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction.

“Suppose a man skilled in the sound of a conch were to hear the sound of a conch while traveling along a highway. He would have no doubt or perplexity, ‘Is that the sound of a conch or not the sound of a conch?’ He would come to the conclusion, ‘That’s the sound of a conch for sure.’ In the same way, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma.… Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas.… A deva teaches the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. The thought occurs to the new deva: ‘This is the Dhamma & Vinaya under which I used to live the holy life.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction. When the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, this is the third reward that can be expected.

“Further, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma: dialogues… question & answer sessions. In him, these teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view. Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas. It doesn’t happen that they recite verses of Dhamma to him, happy there. Nor does a monk with psychic power, attained to mastery of awareness, teach the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. Nor does a deva teach the Dhamma to the assembly of devas. But another spontaneously-arisen being reminds this spontaneously-arisen being, ‘Do you remember, my dear? Do you remember where we practiced the holy life together?’ He says, ‘I remember, my dear. I remember.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction.

“Suppose that there were two comrades who played together in the mud. They would happen to meet later at some time, at some place, and there one companion would say to the other, ‘Do you remember this, my friend? And do you remember this?’ And the other would say, ‘I remember, my friend. I remember.’ In the same way, there is the case where a monk has mastered the Dhamma: dialogues… question & answer sessions. In him, these teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view. Passing away when his mindfulness is muddled, he arises in a certain group of devas.… A spontaneously-arisen being reminds this spontaneously-arisen being, ‘Do you remember, my dear? Do you remember where we practiced the holy life together?’ He says, ‘I remember, my dear. I remember.’ Slow is the arising of his mindfulness, but when mindful, he quickly arrives at distinction. When the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, this is the fourth reward that can be expected.

“Monks, when the teachings have been followed by ear, recited by speech, examined by mind, and well penetrated by view, these four rewards can be expected.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.191 Sotānugata Sutta. Followed by Ear by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

SN 42.7 Khettūpamasutta: The Simile of the Field

At one time the Buddha was staying near Nālandā in Pāvārika’s mango grove. Then Asibandhaka’s son the chief went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, doesn’t the Buddha live full of compassion for all living beings?”

“Yes, chief.”

“Well, sir, why exactly do you teach some people thoroughly and others less thoroughly?”

“Well then, chief, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like. What do you think? Suppose a farmer has three fields: one’s good, one’s average, and one’s poor—bad ground of sand and salt. What do you think? When that farmer wants to plant seeds, where would he plant them first: the good field, the average one, or the poor one?”

Sir, he’d plant them first in the good field, then the average, then he may or may not plant seed in the poor field. Why is that? Because at least it can be fodder for the cattle.”

To me, the monks and nuns are like the good field. I teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Because they live with me as their island, protection, shelter, and refuge.

To me, the laymen and laywomen are like the average field. I also teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Because they live with me as their island, protection, shelter, and refuge.

To me, the ascetics, brahmins, and wanderers who follow other paths are like the poor field, the bad ground of sand and salt. I also teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Hopefully they might understand even a single sentence, which would be for their lasting welfare and happiness.

Suppose a person had three water jars: one that’s uncracked and nonporous; one that’s uncracked but porous; and one that’s cracked and porous. What do you think? When that person wants to store water, where would they store it first: in the jar that’s uncracked and nonporous, the one that’s uncracked but porous, or the one that’s cracked and porous?”

Sir, they’d store water first in the jar that’s uncracked and nonporous, then the one that’s uncracked but porous, then they may or may not store water in the one that’s cracked and porous. Why is that? Because at least it can be used for washing the dishes.”

“To me, the monks and nuns are like the water jar that’s uncracked and nonporous. I teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Because they live with me as their island, protection, shelter, and refuge.

To me, the laymen and laywomen are like the water jar that’s uncracked but porous. I teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Because they live with me as their island, protection, shelter, and refuge.

To me, the ascetics, brahmins, and wanderers who follow other paths are like the water jar that’s cracked and porous. I also teach them the Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased. And I reveal a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Why is that? Hopefully they might understand even a single sentence, which would be for their lasting welfare and happiness.”

When he said this, Asibandhaka’s son the chief said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! … From this day forth, may the Buddha remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 42.7 Khettūpamasutta: The Simile of the Field by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 10.55 From… Parihānasutta: Decline

“…In what way, friends, has the Blessed One said that a person is subject to decline? Here,

1. a bhikkhu does not get to hear a teaching he has not heard before,
2. forgets those teachings he has already heard,
3. does not bring to mind those teachings with which he is already familiar, and
4. does not understand what he has not understood.

It is in this way that the Blessed One has said a person is subject to decline.

“And in what way, friends, has the Blessed One said that a person is not subject to decline? Here,

a bhikkhu gets to hear a teaching he has not heard before,
does not forget those teachings he has already heard,
brings to mind those teachings with which he is already familiar,
and understands what he has not understood. It is in this way that the Blessed One has said a person is not subject to decline….



Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.55 Parihānasutta: Decline by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.153 Tatiyasammattaniyāmasutta: Inevitability Regarding the Right Path (3rd)

“Mendicants, someone with five qualities is unable to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities even when listening to the true teaching. What five?

They listen to the teaching bent only on putting it down.
They listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
They’re antagonistic to the teacher, planning to attack them.
They’re witless, dull, and stupid.
And they think they know what they don’t know.

Someone with these five qualities is unable to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities even when listening to the true teaching.

Someone with five qualities is able to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities when listening to the true teaching. What five?

They don’t listen to the teaching bent only on putting it down.
They don’t listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
They’re not antagonistic to the teacher, and not planning to attack them.
They’re wise, bright, and clever.
And they don’t think they know what they don’t know.

Someone with these five qualities is able to enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities when listening to the true teaching.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.153 Tatiyasammattaniyāmasutta: Inevitability Regarding the Right Path (3rd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 4.133 Ugghaṭitaññūsutta: One Who Understands Immediately

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

One who understands immediately,
one who understands after detailed explanation,
one who needs education,
and one who merely learns by rote.

These are the four people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.133 Ugghaṭitaññūsutta: One Who Understands Immediately by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 1.338–345 Catutthavagga: Few and Many

338

“Just as, mendicants, in India the delightful parks, woods, meadows, and lotus ponds are few, while the hilly terrain, inaccessible riverlands, stumps and thorns, and rugged mountains are many; so too the sentient beings who get to see a Realized One are few, while those who don’t get to see a Realized One are many.

339

… so too the sentient beings who get to hear the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One are few, while those sentient beings who don’t get to hear the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One are many.

340

… so too the sentient beings who remember the teachings they hear are few, while those who don’t remember the teachings are many.

341

… so too the sentient beings who examine the meaning of the teachings they have memorized are few, while those who don’t examine the meaning of the teachings are many.

342

… so too the sentient beings who understand the meaning and the teaching and practice accordingly are few, while those who understand the meaning and the teaching but don’t practice accordingly are many.

343

… so too the sentient beings inspired by inspiring places are few, while those who are uninspired are many.

344

… so too the sentient beings who, being inspired, strive effectively are few, while those who, even though inspired, don’t strive effectively are many.

345

… so too the sentient beings who, relying on letting go, gain immersion, gain unification of mind are few, while those who don’t gain immersion, don’t gain unification of mind relying on letting go are many.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 1.333–377 Catutthavagga by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 3.30 Avakujja Sutta: Upside Down

“Monks, there are these three types of persons to be found existing in the world. Which three? The person of upside down discernment, the person of lap discernment, and the person of wide-open discernment.

And which is the person of upside-down discernment? There is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. Having gotten up from that seat, he doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. Just as when a pot is turned upside down, water poured there runs off and doesn’t stay; in the same way, there is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. Having gotten up from that seat, he doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. This is called a person of upside down discernment.

And which is the person of lap discernment? There is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. But having gotten up from that seat, he doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. Just as when a person has various foods strewn over his lap—sesame seeds, husked rice, cakes, & jujubes—and when getting up, his mindfulness lapsed, he would scatter them; in the same way, there is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. But having gotten up from that seat, he doesn’t attend to the beginning of that talk, doesn’t attend to the middle, doesn’t attend to the end. This is called a person of lap discernment.

And which is the person of wide open discernment? There is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. And having gotten up from that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. Just as when a pot is set right side up, water poured there stays and doesn’t run off; in the same way, there is the case where a person, having gone to a monastery, often listens to the Dhamma in the presence of the monks. The monks teach him the Dhamma admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end. They expound the holy life both in its particulars & in its meaning, entirely perfect, surpassingly pure. He, while sitting in that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. And having gotten up from that seat, attends to the beginning of that talk, attends to the middle, attends to the end. This is called a person of wide open discernment.”

A man of upside down discernment—
     stupid, injudicious,
even if he often goes in the presence of the monks,
can’t grasp anything
like the beginning, middle, or end of a talk,
     for discernment isn’t found in him.

A man of lap discernment
is said to be better than that one.
If he often goes in the presence of the monks,
while sitting in that seat, grasps the words
of the beginning, middle, & end of the talk,
but getting up, he doesn’t discern anything like that,
     for he forgets what he had grasped.

But a man of wide open discernment
is said to be better than those ones.
If he often goes in the presence of the monks,
while sitting in that seat, he grasps the words
of the beginning, middle, & end of the talk.
He remembers—the person of undivided mind,
with the best of resolves.
Practicing the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma,
     he’ll put an end
     to suffering & stress.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.30 Avakujja Sutta. Upside Down by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net by Bhikkhu Sujato or Bhikkhu Bodhi. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

Dhp 100–103 From Sahassavagga: Thousands

     Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless words is
     one
     meaningful
     word
that on hearing
brings peace.

     Better
than if there were thousands
of meaningless verses is
     one
     meaningful
     line of verse
that on hearing
brings peace.

And better than chanting hundreds
of meaningless verses is
     one
     Dhamma-saying
that on hearing
brings peace.


Read the translation of Dhammapada chapter 8, verses 100–103, Thousands by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation by Bhikkhu Sujato or Bhante Buddharakkhita on SuttaCentral.net, or on SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

Snp 2.8 Dhamma (nāvā) sutta: The Boat

Honor the person from whom you would learn the teaching,
as the gods honor Inda.
Then they will have confidence in you,
and being learned, they reveal the teaching.

Heeding well, a wise pupil
practicing in line with that teaching
grows intelligent, discerning, and subtle
through diligently sticking close to such a person.

But associating with a petty fool
who falls short of the goal, jealous,
then unable to discern the teaching in this life,
one proceeds to death still plagued by doubts.

It’s like a man who has plunged into a river,
a rushing torrent in spate.
As they are swept away downstream,
how could they help others across?

Just so, one unable to discern the teaching,
who hasn’t studied the meaning under the learned,
not knowing it oneself, still plagued by doubts,
how could they help others to contemplate?

But one who has embarked on a strong boat
equipped with rudder and oar,
would bring many others across there
with skill, care, and intelligence.

So too one who understands—a knowledge master,
evolved, learned, and unflappable—
can help others to contemplate,
so long as they are prepared to listen carefully.

That’s why you should spend time with a good person,
intelligent and learned.
Having understood the meaning, putting it into practice,
one who has realized the teaching may find happiness.


Read this translation of Snp 2.8 Dhamma (nāvā) sutta: The Boat by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 5.202 Dhammassavanasutta: Listening to the Teaching

“Mendicants, there are these five benefits of listening to the teaching. What five?

You learn new things,
clarify what you’ve learned,
get over uncertainty,
correct your views,
and inspire confidence in your mind.

These are the five benefits of listening to the teaching.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.202 Dhammassavanasutta: Listening to the Teaching by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 3.22 Gilānasutta: Patients

“These three patients are found in the world. What three?

In some cases a patient won’t recover from an illness, regardless of whether or not they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer.

In some cases a patient will recover from an illness, regardless of whether or not they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer.

In some cases a patient can recover from an illness, but only if they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer, and not if they don’t get these things.

Now, it’s for the sake of the last patient—who will recover only if they get suitable food and medicines, and a capable carer—that food, medicines, and a carer are prescribed. But also, for the sake of this patient, the other patients should be looked after.

These are the three kinds of patients found in the world.

In the same way, these three people similar to patients are found in the world. What three? Some people don’t enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, regardless of whether or not they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims.

Some people do enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, regardless of whether or not they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims.

Some people can enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, but only if they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims, and not when they don’t get those things.

Now, it’s for the sake of this last person that teaching the Dhamma is prescribed, that is, the one who can enter the sure path with regards to skillful qualities, but only if they get to see a Realized One, and to hear the teaching and training that he proclaims. But also, for the sake of this person, the other people should be taught Dhamma.

These are the three people similar to patients found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.22 Gilānasutta: Patients by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

MN 43 From Mahā Vedalla Sutta: The Greater Set of Questions & Answers

Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita:
“…Friend, how many conditions are there for the arising of right view?”

Ven. Sāriputta:
“Friend, there are two conditions for the arising of right view: the voice of another and appropriate attention. These are the two conditions for the arising of right view.…”


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 43 Mahā Vedalla Sutta. The Greater Set of Questions & Answers by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.

AN 9.19 Devatāsutta: A Deity

“Mendicants, tonight, several glorious deities, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, came to me, bowed, stood to one side, and said to me: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them, but we didn’t bow. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them and bowed, but we didn’t offer a seat. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose for them, bowed, and offered a seat, but we didn’t share as best we could. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t sit nearby to listen to the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t lend an ear to the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t memorize the teachings. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… we didn’t examine the meaning of teachings we’d memorized. …’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘… having understood the meaning and the teaching, we didn’t practice accordingly. And so, having not fulfilled our duty, full of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a lesser realm.’

Then several other deities came to me and said: ‘Sir, formerly when we were human beings, renunciates came to our homes. We politely rose, bowed, and offered them a seat. We shared as best we could. We sat nearby to listen to the teachings, lent an ear, memorized them, and examined their meaning. Understanding the teaching and the meaning we practiced accordingly. And so, having fulfilled our duty, free of remorse and regret, we were reborn in a superior realm.’

Here, mendicants, are these roots of trees, and here are these empty huts. Practice absorption, mendicants! Don’t be negligent! Don’t regret it later, like those former deities.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.19 Devatāsutta: A Deity by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Thag 5.10 Yasadattattheragāthā: Yasadatta

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They’re as far from the true teaching
as the earth is from the sky.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They fall away from the true teaching,
like the moon in the waning fortnight.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They wither away in the true teaching,
like a fish in a little puddle.

With fault-finding mind, the dullard
listens to the victor’s instruction.
They don’t thrive in the true teaching,
like a rotten seed in a field.

But one with contented mind
who listens to the victor’s instruction—
having wiped out all defilements;
having witnessed the unshakable;
having arrived at ultimate peace—
they are quenched without defilements.



Read this translation of Theragāthā 5.10 Yasadattattheragāthā: Yasadatta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 7.29 Dutiyaparihānisutta: Non-decline for a Lay Follower

“These seven things lead to the decline of a lay follower. What seven?

1. They miss out on seeing the mendicants.
2. They neglect listening to the true teaching.
3. They don’t train in higher ethical conduct.
4. They’re very suspicious about mendicants, whether senior, junior, or middle.
5. They listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
6. They seek outside of the Buddhist community for those worthy of religious donations.
7. And they serve them first.

These seven things lead to the decline of a lay follower.

These seven things don’t lead to the decline of a lay follower. What seven?

1. They don’t miss out on seeing the mendicants.
2. They don’t neglect listening to the true teaching.
3. They train in higher ethical conduct.
4. They’re very confident about mendicants, whether senior, junior, or middle.
5. They don’t listen to the teaching with a hostile, fault-finding mind.
6. They don’t seek outside of the Buddhist community for those worthy of religious donations.
7. And they serve the Buddhist community first.

These seven things don’t lead to the decline of a lay follower.”

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

“A lay follower misses out on seeing
those who are evolved
and listening to the teachings of the Noble One.
They don’t train in higher ethical conduct,

and their suspicion about mendicants
just grows and grows.
They want to listen to the true teaching
with a fault-finding mind.

They seek outside the Buddhist community
for someone else worthy of religious donations,
and that lay follower
serves them first.

These seven principles leading to decline
have been well taught.
A lay follower who practices them
falls away from the true teaching.

A lay follower doesn’t miss out on seeing
those who are evolved
and listening to the teachings of the Noble One.
They train in higher ethical conduct,

and their confidence in mendicants
just grows and grows.
They want to listen to the true teaching
without a fault-finding mind.

They don’t seek outside the Buddhist community
for someone else worthy of religious donations,
and that lay follower
serves the Buddhist community first.

These seven principles that prevent decline
have been well taught.
A lay follower who practices them
doesn’t fall away from the true teaching.”



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.29 Dutiyaparihānisutta: Non-decline for a Lay Follower by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net.

AN 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases

“Bhikkhus, in three cases one may be understood to have faith and confidence. What three? When one desires to see those of virtuous behavior; when one desires to hear the good Dhamma; and when one dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. In these three cases, one may be understood to have faith and confidence.”

One who desires to see the virtuous ones,
who wishes to hear the good Dhamma,
who has removed the stain of miserliness,
is called a person endowed with faith.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.42 Tiṭhānasutta: Cases by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net.