AN 5.34 Sīha Sutta: To General Sīha (On Giving)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Vesālī at the Gabled Hall in the Great Forest. Then General Sīha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Is it possible, lord, to point out a fruit of giving visible in the here & now?”

“It is possible, Sīha. One who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large. And the fact that who is generous, a master of giving, is dear & charming to people at large: This is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving. And the fact that good people, people of integrity, admire one who is generous, a master of giving: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide. And the fact that the fine reputation of one who is generous, a master of giving, is spread far & wide: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment. And the fact that when one who is generous, a master of giving, approaches any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—he/she does so confidently & without embarrassment: This, too, is a fruit of giving visible in the here & now.

“And further, at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world. And the fact that at the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world: This is a fruit of giving in the next life.”

When this was said, General Sīha said to the Blessed One: “As for the four fruits of giving visible in the here & now that have been pointed out by the Blessed One, it’s not the case that I go by conviction in the Blessed One with regard to them. I know them, too.

  • I am generous, a master of giving, dear & charming to people at large.
  • I am generous, a master of giving; good people, people of integrity, admire me.
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and my fine reputation is spread far & wide: ‘Sīha is generous, a doer, a supporter of the Saṅgha.’
  • I am generous, a master of giving, and when I approach any assembly of people—noble warriors, brahmans, householders, or contemplatives—I do so confidently & without embarrassment.

“But when the Blessed One says to me, ‘At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world,’ that I do not know. That is where I go by conviction in the Blessed One.”

“So it is, Sīha. So it is. At the break-up of the body, after death, one who is generous, a master of giving, reappears in a good destination, a heavenly world.”

One who gives is dear.
People at large admire him.
He gains honor. His status grows.
He enters an assembly unembarrassed.
He is confident—the unmiserly man.

Therefore the wise give gifts.
Seeking bliss, they would subdue the stain of miserliness.
Established in the three-fold heavenly world,
they enjoy themselves long
in fellowship with the devas.

Having made the opportunity for themselves,
having done what is skillful,
then when they fall from here
they fare on, self-radiant, in Nandana [the garden of the devas].

There they delight, enjoy, are joyful,
replete with the five sensuality strands.
Having followed the words of the sage who is Such,
they enjoy themselves in heaven—
disciples of the One Well-Gone.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.34 Sīha Sutta. To General Sīha (On Giving) 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.

SN 3.25 Pabbatūpamasutta: The Simile of the Mountain

At Sāvatthī.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

SN 3.22 Ayyikāsutta: Grandmother

At Sāvatthī.

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

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

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

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

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

That is what the Buddha said. …

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

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



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

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

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

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

The Blessed One:

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

Sādhu! Sādhu!! Sādhu!!!


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 1.3 Upanīya Sutta: The Discourse About Life That Is Led on Towards Death by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Itv 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.

AN 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then Princess Sumanā, accompanied by five hundred chariots and five hundred court girls, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. Princess Sumanā then said to the Blessed One:

“Here, Bhante, there might be two disciples of the Blessed One equal in faith, virtuous behavior, and wisdom, but one is generous while the other is not. With the breakup of the body, after death, they would both be reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. When they have become devas, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in five ways: in celestial life span, celestial beauty, celestial happiness, celestial glory, and celestial authority. The generous one, having become a deva, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two pass away from there and again become human beings, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in five ways: in human life span, human beauty, human happiness, human fame, and human authority. When they again become human beings, the generous one would surpass the other in these five ways.”

“But, Bhante, if these two should go forth from the household life into homelessness, would there still be some distinction or difference between them?”

“There would be, Sumanā,” the Blessed One said. “The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in five ways. 1) He would usually use a robe that has been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 2) He would usually eat almsfood that has been specifically offered to him, seldom almsfood that had not been specifically offered to him. 3) He would usually use a lodging that had been specifically offered to him, seldom one that had not been specifically offered to him. 4) He would usually use medicines and provisions for the sick that had been specifically offered to him, seldom those that had not been specifically offered to him. 5) His fellow monastics, those with whom he dwells, would usually behave toward him in agreeable ways by bodily, verbal, and mental action, seldom in disagreeable ways. They would usually present him what is agreeable, seldom what is disagreeable. The generous one, having gone forth, would surpass the other in these five ways.”

But, Bhante, if both attain arahantship, would there still be some distinction or difference between them after they have attained arahantship?”

“In this case, Sumanā, I declare, there would be no difference between the liberation of one and the liberation of the other.”

“It’s astounding and amazing, Bhante! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

“So it is, Sumanā! So it is, Sumanā! Truly, one has good reason to give alms and do meritorious deeds, since they will be helpful if one becomes a deva, again becomes a human being, or goes forth.”

This is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Fortunate One, the Teacher, further said this:

“As the stainless moon
moving through the sphere of space
outshines with its radiance
all the stars in the world,
so one accomplished in virtuous behavior,
a person endowed with faith,
outshines by generosity
all the misers in the world.

“As the hundred-peaked rain cloud,
thundering, wreathed in lightning,
pours down rain upon the earth,
inundating the plains and lowlands,
so the Perfectly Enlightened One’s disciple,
the wise one accomplished in vision,
surpasses the miserly person
in five specific respects:
life span and glory,
beauty and happiness.
Possessed of wealth, after death
he rejoices in heaven.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.31 Sumanasutta: Sumanā by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org.

Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.