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MN 127 From… Anuruddhasutta: With Anuruddha

…[Master builder Pañcakaṅga:] “Sir, some senior mendicants have come to me and said, ‘Householder, develop the limitless release of heart.’ Others have said, ‘Householder, develop the expansive release of heart.’ Now, the limitless release of the heart and the expansive release of the heart: do these things differ in both meaning and phrasing? Or do they mean the same thing, and differ only in the phrasing?”

[Venerable Anuruddha:] “Well then, householder, let me know what you think about this. Afterwards you’ll get it without fail.”

“Sir, this is what I think. The limitless release of the heart and the expansive release of the heart mean the same thing, and differ only in the phrasing.”

“The limitless release of the heart and the expansive release of the heart differ in both meaning and phrasing. This is a way to understand how these things differ in both meaning and phrasing.

And what is the limitless release of the heart? It’s when a mendicant meditates 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. This is called the limitless release of the heart.

And what is the expansive release of the heart? It’s when a mendicant meditates determined on pervading the extent of a single tree root as expansive. This is called the expansive release of the heart. Also, a mendicant meditates determined on pervading the extent of two or three tree roots … a single village district … two or three village districts … a single kingdom … two or three kingdoms … this land surrounded by ocean. This too is called the expansive release of the heart. This is a way to understand how these things differ in both meaning and phrasing.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 127 Anuruddhasutta: With Anuruddha by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 6.107 Rāgasutta: Greed

“Mendicants, there are these three things. What three? Greed, hate, and delusion. These are the three things. To give up these three things you should develop three things. What three? You should develop the perception of ugliness to give up greed, love to give up hate, and wisdom to give up delusion. These are the three things you should develop to give up those three things.”


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AN 3.66 From… Sāḷhasutta: With Sāḷha and His Friend

“What do you think, Sāḷha? Is hate real?”

“Yes, sir.”

“‘Malice’ is what I mean by this. A hateful and malicious person kills living creatures, steals, commits adultery, lies, and encourages others to do the same. Is that for their lasting harm and suffering?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What do you think, Sāḷha, are these things skillful or unskillful?”

“Unskillful, sir.”

“Blameworthy or blameless?”

“Blameworthy, sir.”

“Criticized or praised by sensible people?”

“Criticized by sensible people, sir.”

“When you undertake them, do they lead to harm and suffering, or not? Or how do you see this?”

“When you undertake them, they lead to harm and suffering. That’s how we see it.”

What do you think? Is love real?”

“Yes, sir.”

“‘Kindness’ is what I mean by this. A loving and kind-hearted person doesn’t kill living creatures, steal, commit adultery, lie, or encourage others to do the same. Is that for their lasting welfare and happiness?”

“Yes, sir.”

“What do you think, Sāḷha, are these things skillful or unskillful?”

“Skillful, sir.”

“Blameworthy or blameless?”

“Blameless, sir.”

“Criticized or praised by sensible people?”

“Praised by sensible people, sir.”

“When you undertake them, do they lead to welfare and happiness, or not? Or how do you see this?”

“When you undertake them, they lead to welfare and happiness. That’s how we see it.”



Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.66 Sāḷhasutta: With Sāḷha and His Friend by Bhikkhu Sujato 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.

AN 10.44 Kusinārasutta: At Kusināra

At one time the Buddha was staying near Kusināra, in the Forest of Offerings. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

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

“Mendicants, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should first check five things in themselves and establish five things in themselves. What five things should they check in themselves?

A mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my bodily behavior pure? Do I have pure bodily behavior that is impeccable and irreproachable? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train your own bodily behavior first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my verbal behavior pure? Do I have pure verbal behavior that is impeccable and irreproachable? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train your own verbal behavior first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Is my heart established in love for my spiritual companions, without resentment? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, establish your heart in love for your spiritual companions first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Am I very learned, remembering and keeping what I’ve learned? These teachings are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased, describing a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. Am I very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reinforcing them by recitation, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, memorize the scriptures first.’

Furthermore, a mendicant who wants to accuse another should check this: ‘Have both monastic codes been passed down to me in detail, well analyzed, well mastered, and well judged in both the rules and accompanying material? Is this thing found in me or not?’ If it’s not, and if they are unable to respond when asked “Venerable, where was this spoken by the Buddha?” there will be people who say: ‘Come on, venerable, train in the code of conduct first.’ These are the five things they should check in themselves.

What five things should they establish in themselves?

  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.’

These are the five things they should establish in themselves. A mendicant who wants to accuse another should first check these five things in themselves and establish these five things in themselves.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.44 Kusinārasutta: At Kusināra by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 21 Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 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.…


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.167 Codanāsutta: Accusation by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.62 Mettasutta: Don’t Fear Good Deeds by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.


Read this translation of Theragāthā 3.7 Vāraṇattheragāthā: Vāraṇa by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.”


Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 9.20 Velāmasutta: About Velāma by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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. …


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 40 Cūḷaassapurasutta: The Shorter Discourse at Assapura Cūḷaassapurasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 20.5 Sattisutta: A Spear by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 5 From… Yamaka Vagga: Pairs

5. Hatred never ends through hatred; by non-hatred alone does it end. This is an eternal law in this world.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada, Yamaka Vagga: Pairs (1-20) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 50 From… Māratajjanīyasutta: The Rebuke of Māra

[NOTE: In the section below, Arahant Mahā Moggallāna is recounting a story from the time he was reborn as a Māra named Dūsī.]

…Then it occurred to Māra Dūsī, ‘I don’t know the course of rebirth of these ethical mendicants of good character. Why don’t I take possession of these brahmins and householders and say, “Come, all of you, abuse, attack, harass, and trouble the ethical mendicants of good character. Hopefully by doing this we can upset their minds so that Māra Dūsī can find a vulnerability.”’ And that’s exactly what he did.

Then those brahmins and householders abused, attacked, harassed, and troubled the ethical mendicants of good character: ‘These shavelings, fake ascetics, riffraff, black spawn from the feet of our Kinsman, say, “We practice absorption meditation! We practice absorption meditation!” Slouching, downcast, and dopey, they meditate and concentrate and contemplate and ruminate. They’re just like an owl on a branch, which meditates and concentrates and contemplates and ruminates as it hunts a mouse. They’re just like a jackal on a river-bank, which meditates and concentrates and contemplates and ruminates as it hunts a fish. They’re just like a cat by an alley or a drain or a dustbin, which meditates and concentrates and contemplates and ruminates as it hunts a mouse. They’re just like an unladen donkey by an alley or a drain or a dustbin, which meditates and concentrates and contemplates and ruminates. In the same way, these shavelings, fake ascetics, riffraff, black spawn from the feet of our Kinsman, say, “We practice absorption meditation! We practice absorption meditation!” Slouching, downcast, and dopey, they meditate and concentrate and contemplate and ruminate.’

Most of the people who died at that time—when their body broke up, after death—were reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

Then Kakusandha the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, addressed the mendicants: ‘Mendicants, the brahmins and householders have been possessed by Māra Dūsī. He told them to abuse you in the hope of upsetting your minds so that he can find a vulnerability. Come, all of you mendicants, 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, spread a heart full of love to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Meditate spreading a heart full of compassion … Meditate spreading a heart full of rejoicing … 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, spread a heart full of equanimity to the whole world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’

When those mendicants were instructed and advised by the Buddha Kakusandha in this way, they went to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, where they meditated spreading a heart full of love … compassion … rejoicing … equanimity.

Then it occurred to Māra Dūsī, ‘Even when I do this I don’t know the course of rebirth of these ethical mendicants of good character. Why don’t I take possession of these brahmins and householders and say, “Come, all of you, honor, respect, esteem, and venerate the ethical mendicants of good character. Hopefully by doing this we can upset their minds so that Māra Dūsī can find a vulnerability.”’

And that’s exactly what he did. Then those brahmins and householders honored, respected, esteemed, and venerated the ethical mendicants of good character.

Most of the people who died at that time—when their body broke up, after death—were reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm.

Then Kakusandha the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, addressed the mendicants: ‘Mendicants, the brahmins and householders have been possessed by Māra Dūsī. He told them to venerate you in the hope of upsetting your minds so that he can find a vulnerability. Come, all you mendicants, meditate observing the ugliness of the body, perceiving the repulsiveness of food, perceiving dissatisfaction with the whole world, and observing the impermanence of all conditions.’

When those mendicants were instructed and advised by the Buddha Kakusandha in this way, they went to a wilderness, or to the root of a tree, or to an empty hut, where they meditated observing the ugliness of the body, perceiving the repulsiveness of food, perceiving dissatisfaction with the whole world, and observing the impermanence of all conditions. …


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 50 Māratajjanīyasutta: The Rebuke of Māra by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 3.63 Venāgapurasutta: Venāga

[NOTE: Since it is the weekend, today’s sutta will be a bit longer than usual.]

On one occasion the Blessed One was wandering on tour among the Kosalans together with a large Saṅgha of bhikkhus when he reached the Kosalan brahmin village named Venāgapura. The brahmin householders of Venāgapura heard: “It is said that the ascetic Gotama, the son of the Sakyans who went forth from a Sakyan family, has arrived at Venāgapura. Now a good report about that Master Gotama has circulated thus: ‘That Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One. Having realized by his own direct knowledge this world with its devas, Māra, and Brahmā, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, he makes it known to others. He teaches a Dhamma that is good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing; he reveals a spiritual life that is perfectly complete and pure.’ Now it is good to see such arahants.”

Then the brahmin householders of Venāgapura approached the Blessed One. Some paid homage to the Blessed One and sat down to one side; some exchanged greetings with him and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side; some reverentially saluted him and sat down to one side; some pronounced their name and clan and sat down to one side; some kept silent and sat down to one side. The brahmin Vacchagotta of Venāgapura then said to the Blessed One:

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama, how Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as a yellow jujube fruit in the autumn is pure and bright, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as a palm fruit that has just been removed from its stalk is pure and bright, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright. Just as an ornament of finest gold, well prepared by a skilled goldsmith and very skillfully wrought in the furnace, placed on red brocade, shines and beams and radiates, so Master Gotama’s faculties are tranquil and the color of his skin is pure and bright.

“Whatever high and luxurious kinds of bedding there are—that is, a sofa, a divan, a long-haired coverlet, a coverlet of diverse colors, a white coverlet, a woolen coverlet with floral designs, a quilt of cotton wool, a woolen coverlet ornamented with animal figures, a woolen coverlet with double borders, a woolen coverlet with a single border, a silken sheet studded with gems, a sheet made with silk threads and studded with gems, a dancer’s rug, an elephant rug, a horse rug, a chariot rug, a rug of antelope hide, a spread made of the hide of the kadali-deer, a bed with a canopy above and red bolsters at both ends—Master Gotama surely gains them at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“Brahmin, those high and luxurious kinds of bedding are rarely obtained by those who have gone forth, and if they are obtained, they are not allowed.

“But, brahmin, there are three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty. What three? The celestial high and luxurious bed, the divine high and luxurious bed, and the noble high and luxurious bed. These are the three kinds of high and luxurious beds that at present I gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

(1) “But, Master Gotama, what is the celestial high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then, secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unwholesome states, I enter and dwell in the first jhāna, which consists of rapture and pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by thought and examination. With the subsiding of thought and examination, I enter and dwell in the second jhāna, which has internal placidity and unification of mind and consists of rapture and pleasure born of concentration, without thought and examination. With the fading away as well of rapture, I dwell equanimous and, mindful and clearly comprehending, I experience pleasure with the body; I enter and dwell in the third jhāna of which the noble ones declare: ‘He is equanimous, mindful, one who dwells happily.’ With the abandoning of pleasure and pain, and with the previous passing away of joy and dejection, I enter and dwell in the fourth jhāna, neither painful nor pleasant, which has purification of mindfulness by equanimity.

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is celestial. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is celestial. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is celestial. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my celestial high and luxurious bed. This is that celestial high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a celestial high and luxurious bed?

(2) “But, Master Gotama, what is the divine high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will. I dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … with a mind imbued with altruistic joy … with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to myself, I dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will.

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is divine. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is divine. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is divine. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my divine high and luxurious bed. This is that divine high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a high and luxurious bed?

(3) “But, Master Gotama, what is the noble high and luxurious bed that at present you gain at will, without trouble or difficulty?”

“Here, brahmin, when I am dwelling in dependence on a village or town, in the morning I dress, take my bowl and robe, and enter that village or town for alms. After the meal, when I have returned from the alms round, I enter a grove. I collect some grass or leaves that I find there into a pile and then sit down. Having folded my legs crosswise and straightened my body, I establish mindfulness in front of me. Then I understand thus: ‘I have abandoned greed, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising. I have abandoned hatred, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising. I have abandoned delusion, cut it off at the root, made it like a palm stump, obliterated it so that it is no more subject to future arising.’

“Then, brahmin, when I am in such a state, if I walk back and forth, on that occasion my walking back and forth is noble. If I am standing, on that occasion my standing is noble. If I am sitting, on that occasion my sitting is noble. If I lie down, on that occasion this is my noble high and luxurious bed. This is that noble high and luxurious bed that at present I can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty.”

“It is astounding and amazing, Master Gotama! Who else, apart from Master Gotama, can gain at will, without trouble or difficulty, such a noble high and luxurious bed?

“Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent, Master Gotama! Master Gotama has made the Dhamma clear in many ways, as though he were turning upright what had been overthrown, revealing what was hidden, showing the way to one who was lost, or holding up a lamp in the darkness so those with good eyesight can see forms. We now go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha of bhikkhus. Let Master Gotama consider us lay followers who from today have gone for refuge for life.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.63 Venāgapurasutta: Venāga 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.

MN 21 From… Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw—Burning away the Ganges

…Suppose a person was to come along carrying a blazing grass torch, and say, ‘I shall burn and scorch the river Ganges with this blazing grass torch.’

What do you think, mendicants? Could that person burn and scorch the river Ganges with a blazing grass torch?”

“No, sir. Why is that? Because the river Ganges is deep and limitless. It’s not easy to burn and scorch it with a blazing grass torch. That person will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, there are these five ways in which others might criticize you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, beneficial or harmful, from a heart of love or from secret hate. When others criticize you, they may do so in any of these ways. 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 like the earth to everyone in the world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’ That’s how you should train.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 21 Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 1.17: Removing Completely

“Monks, I do not see a single thing that prevents ill will from arising like loving kindness. Also, I do not see a single thing, when ill will has arisen, that causes it to be abandoned, like loving kindness. When you attend wisely on the thought of loving kindness, ill will does not arise, or, if it has already arisen, it’s removed completely.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 1.11-1.20: Removing Completely the Hindrances by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Thag 14.1 Khadiravaniyarevatattheragāthā: Khadiravaniyarevata

Since I’ve gone forth
from the lay life to homelessness,
I’m not aware of any intention
that is ignoble and hateful.

“May these beings be killed!
May they be slaughtered! May they suffer!”—
I’m not aware of having any such intentions
in all this long while.

I have been aware of loving-kindness,
limitless and well-developed;
gradually consolidated
as it was taught by the Buddha.

I’m friend and comrade to all,
compassionate for all beings!
I develop a mind of love,
always delighting in harmlessness.

Unfaltering, unshakable,
I gladden the mind.
I develop the divine meditation,
which sinners do not cultivate.

Having entered a meditation state without thought,
a disciple of the Buddha
is at that moment blessed
with noble silence.

As a rocky mountain
is unwavering and well grounded,
so when delusion ends,
a monk, like a mountain, doesn’t tremble.

To the man who has not a blemish
who is always seeking purity,
even a hair-tip of evil
seems as big as a cloud.

As a frontier city
is guarded inside and out,
so you should ward yourselves—
don’t let the moment pass you by.

I don’t long for death;
I don’t long for life;
I await my time,
like a worker waiting for their wages.

I don’t long for death;
I don’t long for life;
I await my time,
aware and mindful.

I’ve served the teacher
and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
The heavy burden is laid down,
the conduit to rebirth is eradicated.

I’ve attained the goal
for the sake of which I went forth
from the lay life to homelessness—
the ending of all fetters.

Persist with diligence:
this is my instruction.
Come, I’ll be fully extinguished—
I’m liberated in every way.


Read this translation of Theragāthā 14.1 Khadiravaniyarevatattheragāthā: Khadiravaniyarevata by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 1.53: From Accharāsaṅghātavagga: Section on A Fingersnap

“If, mendicants, a mendicant cultivates a mind of love even as long as a finger-snap, they’re called a mendicant who does not lack absorption, who follows the Teacher’s instructions, who responds to advice, and who does not eat the country’s alms in vain. How much more so those who make much of it!”


Read this translation of AN 1.53 by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 6.12 Sārāṇīya Sutta: Conducive to Amiability

“Monks, these six are conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity. Which six?

“There is the case where a monk is set on bodily acts of goodwill with regard to his companions in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“And further, the monk is set on verbal acts of goodwill with regard to his companions in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This, too, is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“And further, the monk is set on mental acts of goodwill with regard to his companions in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This, too, is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“And further, whatever righteous gains the monk may obtain in a righteous way—even if only the alms in his bowl—he does not consume them alone. He consumes them after sharing them in common with his virtuous companions in the holy life. This, too, is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“And further—with reference to the virtues that are untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the observant, ungrasped at, leading to concentration—the monk dwells with his virtue in tune with that of his companions in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This, too, is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“And further—with reference to the view that is noble, leading outward, that leads those who act in accordance with it to the right ending of suffering & stress—the monk dwells with his view in tune with that of his companions in the holy life, to their faces & behind their backs. This, too, is a condition that is conducive to amiability, that engenders feelings of endearment, engenders feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.

“These are the six conditions that are conducive to amiability, that engender feelings of endearment, engender feelings of respect, leading to a sense of fellowship, a lack of disputes, harmony, & a state of unity.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.12 Sārāṇīya Sutta. Conducive to Amiability by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Iti 27 Mettācetovimutti Sutta: The Development of Loving-kindness

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard:

“Monks, all the ways of making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.”

“Just as the radiance of all the stars does not equal a sixteenth part of the radiance of the moon, the moon’s radiance surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.”

“Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the sky is clear and cloudless, the sun, on ascending the sky, dispels the darkness of space and shines, blazes and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.

“Just as in the last stage of the night, not yet dawn, the morning star shines, blazes, and dazzles, so do all the grounds for making merit leading to future happiness do not equal a sixteenth part of the mind-liberation of loving-kindness. The mind-liberation of loving-kindness surpasses them and shines, blazes, and dazzles.

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

The one, who mindfully develops loving-kindness immeasurably, sees the destruction of defilements. The fetters in his mind are worn away.

If one spreads boundless loving-kindness without having a hateful mind, even for one being, as a result, he becomes a skilled Dhamma practitioner, not to speak of the power of abundance of merit accumulated by the noble one who has a compassionate mind towards all beings.

In this world, powerful kings who have conquered the earth crowded with beings have gone about performing sacrifices: the horse sacrifice, human sacrifice, water rites, and soma rites.

But those sacrifices do not equal even a sixteenth part of a well-developed mind of loving-kindness; just as all the stars in the sky do not equal even a sixteenth part of the radiance of the moon.

The one who neither kills nor influences others to kill nor defeats others nor influences others to defeat, spreads loving-kindness to all beings – he has no hatred towards anyone or anything at all.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 27 Mettācetovimutti Sutta: The Development of Loving-kindness by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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

…Suppose a person was to come along with dye such as red lac, turmeric, indigo, or rose madder, and say, ‘I shall draw pictures on the sky, making pictures appear there.

What do you think, mendicants? Could that person draw pictures on the sky?”

“No, sir. Why is that? Because the sky is formless and invisible. It’s not easy to draw pictures there. That person will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, there are these five ways in which others might criticize you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, beneficial or harmful, from a heart of love or from secret hate. When others criticize you, they may do so in any of these ways. 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 like the earth to everyone in the world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’ That’s how you should train.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 21 Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

SN 10.4 Maṇibhadda Sutta: With Maṇibhadda

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying among the Magadhans at the Jewel-stand Shrine, the haunt of the yakkha-spirit, Maṇibhadda, Auspicious Jewel.

Then Maṇibhadda the yakkha-spirit went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, recited this verse:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.
The mindful one prospers happily—always.
The mindful one grows better each day
and is totally freed from animosity.”

The Buddha:

“It’s always auspicious for one who is mindful.
The mindful one prospers happily always.
The mindful one grows better each day
but isn’t totally freed from animosity.

Whoever’s heart, all day, all night,
delights in harmlessness
with goodwill for all beings
has no animosity with anyone at all.


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 10.4 Maṇibhadda Sutta. With Maṇibhadda by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Dhp 368 From… Bhikkhuvagga: The Monk

The monk who abides in universal love and is deeply devoted to the Teaching of the Buddha attains the peace of Nibbana, the bliss of the cessation of all conditioned things.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 360–382 Bhikkhuvagga: The Monk by Ven Ācāriya Buddharakkhita on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, 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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SN 46.54 Mettāsahagatasutta: Accompanied by Lovingkindness

[NOTE: Today’s sutta is a little bit longer (since it’s a weekend), but it is very important. The Buddha spells out how loving-kindness, along with the other brahmaviharas connect directly to the achievement of enlightenment through the seven enlightenment factors. There is a lot of repetition! If you find yourself unable to benefit from that, then at least scan the sutta looking for the structure of what the Buddha is saying. You also may not be familiar with all the terms either. That’s ok! Just take in what you can.]


On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans, where there was a town of the Koliyans named Haliddavasana. Then, in the morning, a number of bhikkhus dressed and, taking their bowls and robes, entered Haliddavasana for alms. Then it occurred to them: “It is still too early to walk for alms in Haliddavasana. Let us go to the park of the wanderers of other sects.”

Then those bhikkhus went to the park of the wanderers of other sects. They exchanged greetings with those wanderers and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, sat down to one side. The wanderers then said to them: “Friends, the ascetic Gotama teaches the Dhamma to his disciples thus: ‘Come, bhikkhus, abandon the five hindrances, the corruptions of the mind that weaken wisdom, and dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with compassion, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with altruistic joy, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.

“Dwell pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to oneself, dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without hostility, without ill will.’

“We too, friends, teach the Dhamma to our disciples thus: ‘Come, friends, abandon the five hindrances … all as above … dwell pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with lovingkindness … compassion … altruistic joy … equanimity … without ill will.’ So, friends, what here is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the ascetic Gotama and us, that is, regarding the one Dhamma teaching and the other, regarding the one manner of instruction and the other?

Then those bhikkhus neither delighted in nor rejected the statement of those wanderers. Without delighting in it, without rejecting it, they rose from their seats and left, thinking, “We shall learn the meaning of this statement in the presence of the Blessed One.”

Then, when those bhikkhus had walked for alms in Haliddavasana and had returned from the alms round, after their meal they approached the Blessed One. Having paid homage to him, they sat down to one side and reported to him the entire discussion between those wanderers and themselves. The Blessed One said:

“Bhikkhus, when wanderers of other sects speak thus, they should be asked: ‘Friends, how is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? How is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal?’

“Being asked thus, those wanderers would not be able to reply and, further, they would meet with vexation. For what reason? Because that would not be within their domain. I do not see anyone, bhikkhus, in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans, who could satisfy the mind with an answer to these questions except the Tathagata or a disciple of the Tathagata or one who has heard it from them.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by lovingkindness developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by lovingkindness based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. … 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 accompanied by lovingkindness, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive and in the repulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the unrepulsive in the repulsive and in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the unrepulsive therein.

“If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else he enters and dwells in the deliverance of the beautiful. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by lovingkindness has the beautiful as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by compassion developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by compassion … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by compassion, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, with the complete transcendence of perceptions of forms, with the passing away of perceptions of sensory impingement, with nonattention to perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of space. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by compassion has the base of the infinity of space as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by altruistic joy developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by altruistic joy … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by altruistic joy, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending, ’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite,’ he enters and dwells in the base of the infinity of consciousness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by altruistic joy has the base of the infinity of consciousness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.

“And how, bhikkhus, is the liberation of the mind by equanimity developed? What does it have as its destination, its culmination, its fruit, its final goal? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu develops the enlightenment factor of mindfulness accompanied by equanimity … the enlightenment factor of equanimity accompanied by equanimity, based upon seclusion, dispassion, and cessation, maturing in release. If he wishes: ‘May I dwell perceiving the repulsive in the unrepulsive,’ he dwells perceiving the repulsive therein…. If he wishes: ‘Avoiding both the unrepulsive and the repulsive, may I dwell equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending,’ then he dwells therein equanimously, mindful and clearly comprehending.

Or else, by completely transcending the base of the infinity of consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing,’ he enters and dwells in the base of nothingness. Bhikkhus, the liberation of mind by equanimity has the base of nothingness as its culmination, I say, for a wise bhikkhu here who has not penetrated to a superior liberation.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.54 Mettāsahagatasutta: Accompanied by Lovingkindness by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 21 From… Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw—Digging away the Great Earth

…Mendicants, there are these five ways in which others might criticize you. Their speech may be

  1. timely or untimely,
  2. true or false,
  3. gentle or harsh,
  4. beneficial or harmful,
  5. from a heart of love or from secret hate.

When others criticize you, they may do so in any of these ways. 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.

Suppose a person was to come along carrying a spade and basket and say, ‘I shall make this great earth be without earth!’ And they’d dig all over, scatter all over, spit all over, and urinate all over, saying, ‘Be without earth! Be without earth!’

What do you think, mendicants? Could that person make this great earth be without earth?”

“No, sir. Why is that? Because this great earth is deep and limitless. It’s not easy to make it be without earth. That person will eventually get weary and frustrated.”

“In the same way, there are these five ways in which others might criticize you. Their speech may be timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, beneficial or harmful, from a heart of love or from secret hate. When others criticize you, they may do so in any of these ways. 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 like the earth to everyone in the world—abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will.’ That’s how you should train.



Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 21 Kakacūpamasutta: The Simile of the Saw by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 11.15 Mettā Sutta: Goodwill

“Monks, for one whose awareness-release through goodwill is cultivated, developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken, eleven benefits can be expected. Which eleven?

  1. “One sleeps easily,
  2. wakes easily,
  3. dreams no evil dreams.
  4. One is dear to human beings,
  5. dear to non-human beings.
  6. The devas protect one.
  7. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one.
  8. One’s mind gains concentration quickly.
  9. One’s complexion is bright.
  10. One dies unconfused
  11. and—if penetrating no higher—is headed for a Brahmā world.

“These are the eleven benefits that can be expected for one whose awareness-release through goodwill is cultivated, developed, pursued, handed the reins, taken as a basis, steadied, consolidated, and well-undertaken.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 11.16 Mettā Sutta. Goodwill by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org.

Khp 9 Metta Sutta: Discourse on Loving-Kindness

One skilled in good wishing to attain that state of peace Nibbāna should act thus: he should be clever upright, exceedingly upright, obedient, gentle and humble.

He should be content, easy to support, with few duties, living lightly, controlled in senses, discerning, courteous and unattached to families.

One should not do any slight wrong which the wise might censure. May all beings be happy and secure! May all beings have happy minds!

Whatever living beings there may be without exception: timid or fearless; long or large, medium, short, subtle or gross,

Visible or invisible, living near or far, born or coming to birth, may all beings have happy minds!

Let no one deceive another, nor despise anyone anywhere. Neither from anger nor ill will should anyone wish harm to another.

As a mother would risk her own life to protect her only child, even so towards all living beings, one should cultivate boundless loving-kindness.

One should cultivate for all the world a heart of boundless loving-kindness, above, below, and all around, unobstructed, without hatred or resentment.

Whether standing, walking or sitting, lying down or whenever awake, one should develop this mindfulness. This is called “divinely dwelling here.”

Not falling into wrong views, but virtuous and possessing right view, removing desire for sensual pleasures, one comes never again to birth in the womb.


This sutta is also known as the Karaṇīyamettā Sutta. It can be found in two places in the canon: Khuddakapāṭha 9 and Sutta Nipāta 1.8.

Read this translation of Kh 9 Metta Sutta: Discourse on Loving-Kindness by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Thag 14.1 Khadiravaniyarevatattheragāthā: Khadiravaniyarevata

Since I’ve gone forth
from the lay life to homelessness,
I’m not aware of any intention
that is ignoble and hateful.

“May these beings be killed!
May they be slaughtered! May they suffer!”—
I’m not aware of having any such intentions
in all this long while.

I have been aware of loving-kindness,
limitless and well-developed;
gradually consolidated
as it was taught by the Buddha.

I’m friend and comrade to all,
compassionate for all beings!
I develop a mind of love,
always delighting in harmlessness.

Unfaltering, unshakable,
I gladden the mind.
I develop the divine meditation,
which sinners do not cultivate.

Having entered a meditation state without thought,
a disciple of the Buddha
is at that moment blessed
with noble silence.

As a rocky mountain
is unwavering and well grounded,
so when delusion ends,
a monk, like a mountain, doesn’t tremble.

To the man who has not a blemish
who is always seeking purity,
even a hair-tip of evil
seems as big as a cloud.

As a frontier city
is guarded inside and out,
so you should ward yourselves—
don’t let the moment pass you by.

I don’t long for death;
I don’t long for life;
I await my time,
like a worker waiting for their wages.

I don’t long for death;
I don’t long for life;
I await my time,
aware and mindful.

I’ve served the teacher
and fulfilled the Buddha’s instructions.
The heavy burden is laid down,
the conduit to rebirth is eradicated.

I’ve attained the goal
for the sake of which I went forth
from the lay life to homelessness—
the ending of all fetters.

Persist with diligence:
this is my instruction.
Come, I’ll be fully extinguished—
I’m liberated in every way.


divine meditation: Brahmavihāra (loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity)

Read this translation of Theragāthā 14.1 Khadiravaniyarevatattheragāthā: Khadiravaniyarevata by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.

AN 8.1 Mettāsutta: Loving-Kindness

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus: “Bhikkhus!”

“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, when the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, eight benefits are to be expected. What eight?

(1) “One sleeps well;
(2) one awakens happily;
(3) one does not have bad dreams;
(4) one is pleasing to human beings;
(5) one is pleasing to spirits;
(6) deities protect one;
(7) fire, poison, and weapons do not injure one; and
(8) if one does not penetrate further, one moves on to the brahmā world.

“When, bhikkhus, the liberation of the mind by loving-kindness has been pursued, developed, and cultivated, made a vehicle and basis, carried out, consolidated, and properly undertaken, these eight benefits are to be expected.”

For one who, ever mindful, develops
measureless loving-kindness,
the fetters thin out as he sees
the destruction of the acquisitions.

If, with a mind free from hate,
one arouses love toward just one being,
one thereby becomes good.
Compassionate in mind toward all beings,
the noble one generates abundant merit.

Those royal sages who conquered the earth
with its multitudes of beings
traveled around performing sacrifices:
the horse sacrifice, the person sacrifice,
sammāpāsa, vājapeyya, niraggaḷa.

All these are not worth a sixteenth part
of a well-developed loving mind,
just as the hosts of stars cannot match
a sixteenth part of the moon’s radiance.

One who does not kill or enjoin killing,
who does not conquer or enjoin conquest,
one who has loving-kindness toward all beings
harbors no enmity toward anyone.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.1 Mettāsutta: Loving-Kindness by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.