MN 21 From… Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw—The Bandits

…Even if low-down bandits were to sever you limb from limb, anyone who had a malevolent thought on that account would not be following my instructions. If that happens, you should train like this: ‘Our minds will remain unaffected. We will blurt out no bad words. We will remain full of compassion, with a heart of love and no secret hate. We will meditate spreading a heart of love to that person. And with them as a basis, we will meditate spreading a heart full of love to everyone in the world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’ That’s how you should train.

If you frequently reflect on this advice—the simile of the saw—do you see any criticism, large or small, that you could not endure?”

“No, sir.”

“So, mendicants, you should frequently reflect on this advice, the simile of the saw. This will be for your lasting welfare and happiness.”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.


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AN 5.167 From… Codanāsutta: Accusation

There Sāriputta addressed the mendicants: “Reverends, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should first establish five things in themselves.

What five?

  1. I will speak at the right time, not at the wrong time.
  2. I will speak truthfully, not falsely.
  3. I will speak gently, not harshly.
  4. I will speak beneficially, not harmfully.
  5. I will speak lovingly, not from secret hate.

A mendicant who wants to accuse another should first establish these five things in themselves.…


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AN 7.62 Mettasutta: Don’t Fear Good Deeds

“Mendicants, don’t fear good deeds. For ‘good deeds’ is a term for happiness. I recall undergoing for a long time the likable, desirable, and agreeable results of good deeds performed over a long time. I developed a mind of love for seven years. As a result, for seven eons of the cosmos contracting and expanding I didn’t return to this world again. As the cosmos contracted I went to the realm of streaming radiance. As it expanded I was reborn in an empty mansion of Brahmā.

There I was Brahmā, the Great Brahmā, the undefeated, the champion, the universal seer, the wielder of power. I was Sakka, lord of gods, thirty-six times. Many hundreds of times I was a king, a wheel-turning monarch, a just and principled king. My dominion extended to all four sides, I achieved stability in the country, and I possessed the seven treasures. These were my seven treasures: the wheel, the elephant, the horse, the jewel, the woman, the treasurer, and the counselor as the seventh treasure. I had over a thousand sons who were valiant and heroic, crushing the armies of my enemies. After conquering this land girt by sea, I reigned by principle, without rod or sword.

See the result of good deeds,
of skillful deeds, for one seeking happiness.
I developed a mind of love
for seven years, mendicants.
For seven eons of expansion and contraction
I didn’t return to this world again.

As the world contracted
I went to the realm of streaming radiance.
And when it expanded
I went to an empty mansion of Brahmā.

Seven times I was a Great Brahmā,
and at that time I was the wielder of power.
Thirty-six times I was lord of gods,
acting as ruler of the gods.

Then I was king, a wheel-turning monarch,
ruler of all India.
An anointed aristocrat,
I was sovereign of all humans.

Without rod or sword,
I conquered this land.
Through non-violent action
I guided it justly.

After ruling this vast territory
by means of principle,
I was born in a rich family,
affluent and wealthy.

It was replete with all sense pleasures,
and the seven treasures.
This was well taught by the Buddhas,
who bring the world together.

This is the cause of greatness
by which one is called a lord of the land.
I was a majestic king,
with lots of property and assets.

Successful and glorious,
I was lord of India.
Who would not be inspired by this,
even someone of dark birth.

Therefore someone who cares for their own welfare,
and wants to become the very best they can be,
should respect the true teaching,
remembering the instructions of the Buddhas.”


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Thag 3.7 Vāraṇattheragāthā: Vāraṇa

Anyone among men
who harms other creatures:
that person will fall
both from this world and the next.

But someone with a mind of love,
compassionate for all creatures:
a person like that
makes much merit.

One should train in following good advice,
in attending closely to ascetics,
in sitting alone in hidden places,
and in calming the mind.


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AN 9.20 From… Velāmasutta: About Velāma

…It would be more fruitful to feed the mendicant Saṅgha headed by the Buddha than to feed one Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha.

It would be more fruitful to build a dwelling especially for the Saṅgha of the four quarters than to feed the mendicant Saṅgha headed by the Buddha.

It would be more fruitful to go for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha with a confident heart than to build a dwelling for the Saṅgha of the four quarters.

It would be more fruitful to undertake the training rules—not to kill living creatures, steal, commit sexual misconduct, lie, or take alcoholic drinks that cause negligence—than to go for refuge to the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha with a confident heart.

It would be more fruitful to develop a heart of love—even just as long as it takes to pull a cow’s udder—than to undertake the training rules.

It would be more fruitful develop the perception of impermanence—even for as long as a finger-snap—than to do all of these things, including developing a heart of love for as long as it takes to pull a cow’s udder.”


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MN 40 From… Cūḷaassapurasutta: The Shorter Discourse at Assapura

…And how does a mendicant practice in the way that is proper for an ascetic?

There are some mendicants who have given up covetousness, ill will, irritability, hostility, disdain, contempt, jealousy, stinginess, deviousness, deceit, bad desires, and wrong view. These stains, defects, and dregs of an ascetic are grounds for rebirth in places of loss, and are experienced in bad places. When they have given these up, they are practicing in the way that is proper for an ascetic, I say.

They see themselves purified from all these bad, unskillful qualities. Seeing this, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, they feel bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed in samādhi.

They meditate spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.

They meditate spreading a heart full of compassion …

They meditate spreading a heart full of rejoicing …

They meditate spreading a heart full of equanimity to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.

Suppose there was a lotus pond with clear, sweet, cool water, clean, with smooth banks, delightful. Then along comes a person—whether from the east, west, north, or south—struggling in the oppressive heat, weary, thirsty, and parched. No matter what direction they come from, when they arrive at that lotus pond they would alleviate their thirst and heat exhaustion.

In the same way, suppose someone has gone forth from the lay life to homelessness—whether from a family of aristocrats, brahmins, merchants, or workers—and has arrived at the teaching and training proclaimed by a Realized One. Having developed love, compassion, rejoicing, and equanimity in this way they gain inner peace. Because of that inner peace they are practicing the way proper for an ascetic, I say. …


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SN 42.8 Saṅkhadhamasutta: A Horn Blower

At one time the Buddha was staying near Nālandā in Pāvārika’s mango grove.

Then Asibandhaka’s son the chief, who was a disciple of the Jains, went up to the Buddha, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Chief, how does Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta teach his disciples?”

“Sir, this is how Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta teaches his disciples: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steal, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell. You’re led on by what you usually live by.’ This is how Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta teaches his disciples.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

What do you think, chief? Take a person who kills living creatures. If we compare periods of time during the day and night, which is more frequent: the occasions when they’re killing or when they’re not killing?”

“The occasions when they’re killing are less frequent, while the occasions when they’re not killing are more frequent.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

What do you think, chief? Take a person who steals …

Take a person who commits sexual misconduct …

Take a person who lies. If we compare periods of time during the day and night, which is more frequent: the occasions when they’re lying or when they’re not lying?”

“The occasions when they’re lying are less frequent, while the occasions when they’re not lying are more frequent.”

“‘You’re led on by what you usually live by’: if this were true, then, according to what Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta says, no-one would go to a place of loss, to hell.

Take some teacher who has this doctrine and view: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steals, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell.’ And there’s a disciple who is devoted to that teacher. They think: ‘My teacher has this doctrine and view: ‘Everyone who kills a living creature, steals, commits sexual misconduct, or lies goes to a place of loss, to hell.’ But I’ve killed living creatures … stolen … committed sexual misconduct … or lied. They get the view: ‘I too am going to a place of loss, to hell.’ Unless they give up that speech and thought, and let go of that view, they will be cast down to hell.

But consider when a Realized One arises in the world, 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. In many ways he criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: ‘Stop killing living creatures!’ He criticizes and denounces stealing … sexual misconduct … lying, saying: ‘Stop lying!’ And there’s a disciple who is devoted to that teacher. Then they reflect: ‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces killing living creatures, saying: “Stop killing living creatures!” But I have killed living creatures to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up killing living creatures, and in future they don’t kill living creatures. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces stealing …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces sexual misconduct …

‘In many ways the Buddha criticizes and denounces lying, saying: “Stop lying!” But I have lied to a certain extent. That’s not right, it’s not good, and I feel remorseful because of it. But I can’t undo what I have done.’ Reflecting like this, they give up lying, and in future they refrain from lying. That’s how to give up this bad deed and get past it.

They give up killing living creatures. They give up stealing. They give up sexual misconduct. They give up lying. They give up divisive speech. They give up harsh speech. They give up talking nonsense. They give up covetousness. They give up ill will and malevolence. They give up wrong view and have right view.

That noble disciple is rid of desire, rid of ill will, unconfused, aware, and mindful. They meditate spreading a heart full of love to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Suppose there was a powerful horn blower. They’d easily make themselves heard in the four quarters. In the same way, when the heart’s release by love has been developed and cultivated like this, any limited deeds they’ve done don’t remain or persist there.

Then that noble disciple is rid of desire, rid of ill will, unconfused, aware, and mindful. They meditate spreading a heart full of compassion … They meditate spreading a heart full of rejoicing … They meditate spreading a heart full of equanimity to one direction, and to the second, and to the third, and to the fourth. In the same way above, below, across, everywhere, all around, they spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Suppose there was a powerful horn blower. They’d easily make themselves heard in the four quarters. In the same way, when the heart’s release by equanimity has been developed and cultivated like this, any limited deeds they’ve done don’t remain or persist there.”

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 42.8 Saṅkhadhamasutta: A Horn Blower by Bhikkhu Sujato 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.

AN 4.29 Dhammapadasutta: Dhamma Factors

[NOTE: The term “good will” below is abyāpādo, sometimes translated literally as “non-ill will.”]

“Bhikkhus, there are these four Dhamma factors, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins. What four?

(1) “Non-longing is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(2) Good will is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(3) Right mindfulness is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

(4) Right concentration is a Dhamma factor, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which is not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which is not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.

“These are the four Dhamma factors, primal, of long standing, traditional, ancient, unadulterated and never before adulterated, which are not being adulterated and will not be adulterated, which are not repudiated by wise ascetics and brahmins.”

One should dwell free from longing
with a heart of good will.
One should be mindful and one-pointed in mind,
internally well concentrated.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.29 Dhammapadasutta: Dhamma Factors by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 20.5 Sattisutta: A Spear

At Sāvatthī.

“Mendicants, suppose there was a sharp-pointed spear. And a man came along and thought, ‘With my hand or fist I’ll fold this sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around!’

What do you think, mendicants? Is that man capable of doing so?”

“No, sir. Why not? Because it’s not easy to fold that sharp spear over, bend it back, and twist it around with the hand or fist. That man will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, suppose a mendicant has developed the heart’s release by love, has cultivated it, made it a vehicle and a basis, kept it up, consolidated it, and properly implemented it. Should any non-human think to overthrow their mind, they’ll eventually get weary and frustrated.

So you should train like this: ‘We will develop the heart’s release by love. We’ll cultivate it, make it our vehicle and our basis, keep it up, consolidate it, and properly implement it.’ That’s how you should train.”


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