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AN 8.34 Khettasutta: The Field

“Bhikkhus, a seed sown in a field that possesses eight factors does not bring forth abundant fruits, its fruits are not delectable, and it does not yield a profit. What eight factors?

“Here, (1) the field has mounds and ditches; (2) it contains stones and gravel; (3) it is salty; (4) it is not deeply furrowed; (5) it does not have inlets for the water to enter; (6) it does not have outlets for excess water to flow out; (7) it does not have irrigation channels; and (8) it does not have boundaries. A seed sown in a field that possesses these eight factors does not bring forth abundant fruits, its fruits are not delectable, and it does not yield a profit.

“So too, bhikkhus, a gift given to ascetics and brahmins who possess eight factors is not of great fruit and benefit, and it is not very brilliant or pervasive. What eight factors? Here, the ascetics and brahmins are of wrong view, wrong intention, wrong speech, wrong action, wrong livelihood, wrong effort, wrong mindfulness, and wrong concentration. A gift given to ascetics and brahmins who possess these eight factors is not of great fruit and benefit, and it is not very brilliant or pervasive.

“Bhikkhus, a seed sown in a field that possesses eight factors brings forth abundant fruits, its fruits are delectable, and it yields a profit. What eight factors?

“Here, (1) the field does not have mounds and ditches; (2) it does not contain stones and gravel; (3) it is not salty; (4) it is deeply furrowed; (5) it has inlets for the water to enter; (6) it has outlets for excess water to flow out; (7) it has irrigation channels; and (8) it has boundaries. A seed sown in a field that possesses these eight factors brings forth abundant fruits, its fruits are delectable, and it yields a profit.

“So too, bhikkhus, a gift given to ascetics and brahmins who possess eight factors is of great fruit and benefit, and it is extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive. What eight factors? Here, the ascetics and brahmins are of right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. A gift given to ascetics and brahmins who possess these eight factors is of great fruit and benefit, and it is extraordinarily brilliant and pervasive.”

When the field is excellent,
and the seed sown is excellent,
and there is an excellent supply of rain,
the yield of grain is excellent.

Its health is excellent;
its growth too is excellent;
its maturation is excellent;
its fruit truly is excellent.

So too when one gives excellent food
to those accomplished in virtuous behavior,
it arrives at several kinds of excellence,
for what one has done is excellent.

Therefore if one desires excellence
let a person here be accomplished;
one should resort to those accomplished in wisdom;
thus one’s own accomplishments flourish.

One accomplished in true knowledge and conduct,
having gained accomplishment of mind,
performs action that is accomplished
and accomplishes the good.

Having known the world as it is,
one should attain accomplishment in view.
One accomplished in mind advances
by relying on accomplishment in the path.

Having rubbed off all stains,
having attained nibbāna,
one is then freed from all sufferings:
this is total accomplishment.


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.34 Khettasutta: The Field by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 35.238 Āsīvisopamasutta: The Simile of the Vipers

“Mendicants, suppose there were four lethal poisonous vipers. Then a person would come along who wants to live and doesn’t want to die, who wants to be happy and recoils from pain.

They’d say to him, ‘Mister, here are four lethal poisonous vipers. They must be periodically picked up, washed, fed, and put to sleep. But when one or other of these four poisonous vipers gets angry with you, you’ll meet with death or deadly pain. So then, mister, do what has to be done.’

Then that man, terrified of those four poisonous vipers, would flee this way or that.

They’d say to him, ‘Mister, there are five deadly enemies chasing you, thinking: “When we catch sight of him, we’ll murder him right there!” So then, mister, do what has to be done.’

Then that man, terrified of those four poisonous vipers and those five deadly enemies, would flee this way or that.

They’d say to him, ‘Mister, there’s a sixth hidden killer chasing you with a drawn sword, thinking: “When I catch sight of him, I’ll chop off his head right there!” So then, mister, do what has to be done.’

Then that man, terrified of those four poisonous vipers and those five deadly enemies and the hidden killer, would flee this way or that.

He’d see an empty village. But whatever house he enters is vacant, deserted, and empty. And whatever vessel he touches is vacant, hollow, and empty.

They’d say to him, ‘Mister, there are bandits who raid villages, and they’re striking now. So then, mister, do what has to be done.’

Then that man, terrified of those four poisonous vipers and those five deadly enemies and the hidden killer and the bandits, would flee this way or that.

He’d see a large deluge, whose near shore is dubious and perilous, while the far shore is a sanctuary free of peril. But there’s no ferryboat or bridge for crossing over.

Then that man thought, ‘Why don’t I gather grass, sticks, branches, and leaves and make a raft? Riding on the raft, and paddling with my hands and feet, I can safely reach the far shore.’

And so that man did exactly that. Having crossed over and gone beyond, the brahmin stands on the far shore.

I’ve made up this simile to make a point. And this is the point.

‘Four lethal poisonous vipers’ is a term for the four primary elements: the elements of earth, water, fire, and air.

‘Five deadly enemies’ is a term for the five grasping aggregates, that is: form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness.

‘The sixth hidden killer with a drawn sword’ is a term for relishing and greed.

‘Empty village’ is a term for the six interior sense fields. If an astute, competent, clever person investigates this in relation to the eye, it appears vacant, hollow, and empty. If an astute, competent, clever person investigates this in relation to the ear … nose … tongue … body … mind, it appears vacant, hollow, and empty.

‘Bandits who raid villages’ is a term for the six exterior sense fields. The eye is struck by both agreeable and disagreeable sights. The ear … nose … tongue … body … mind is struck by both agreeable and disagreeable ideas.

‘Large deluge’ is a term for the four floods: the floods of sensual pleasures, desire to be reborn, views, and ignorance.

‘The near shore that’s dubious and perilous’ is a term for substantial reality.

‘The far shore, a sanctuary free of peril’ is a term for extinguishment.

‘The raft’ is a term for the noble eightfold path, that is: right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion.

‘Paddling with hands and feet’ is a term for rousing energy.

‘Crossed over, gone beyond, the brahmin stands on the shore’ is a term for a perfected one.”


Note: “Perfected one” is the translation for arahant.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 35.238 Āsīvisopamasutta: The Simile of the Vipers 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.

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Dhp 144–5 From… Daṇḍavagga: The Rod

Can a person constrained by conscience
be found in the world?
Who shies away from blame,
like a fine horse from the whip?

Like a fine horse under the whip,
be keen and full of urgency.
With faith, ethics, and energy,
immersion, and investigation of principles,
accomplished in knowledge and conduct, mindful,
give up this vast suffering.



Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 129–145 Daṇḍavagga: The Rod by Bhikkhu Sujato 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 Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 47.6 Sakuṇagghisutta: The Hawk

“Bhikkhus, once in the past a hawk suddenly swooped down and seized a quail. Then, while the quail was being carried off by the hawk, he lamented: ‘We were so unlucky, of so little merit! We strayed out of our own resort into the domain of others. If we had stayed in our own resort today, in our own ancestral domain, this hawk wouldn’t have stood a chance against me in a fight.’—‘But what is your own resort, quail, what is your own ancestral domain?’—‘The freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil.’

“Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, released the quail, saying: ‘Go now, quail, but even there you won’t escape me.’

“Then, bhikkhus, the quail went to a freshly ploughed field covered with clods of soil. Having climbed up on a large clod, he stood there and addressed the hawk: ‘Come get me now, hawk! Come get me now, hawk!’

“Then the hawk, confident of her own strength, not boasting of her own strength, folded up both her wings and suddenly swooped down on the quail. But when the quail knew, ‘That hawk has come close,’ he slipped inside that clod, and the hawk shattered her breast right on the spot. So it is, bhikkhus, when one strays outside one’s own resort into the domain of others.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, do not stray outside your own resort into the domain of others. Mara will gain access to those who stray outside their own resort into the domain of others; Mara will get a hold on them.

“And what is not a bhikkhu’s own resort but the domain of others? It is the five cords of sensual pleasure. What five? Forms cognizable by the eye that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. Sounds cognizable by the ear … Odours cognizable by the nose … Tastes cognizable by the tongue … Tactile objects cognizable by the body that are desirable, lovely, agreeable, pleasing, sensually enticing, tantalizing. These are the five cords of sensual pleasure. This is what is not a bhikkhu’s own resort but the domain of others.

“Move in your own resort, bhikkhus, in your own ancestral domain. Mara will not gain access to those who move in their own resort, in their own ancestral domain; Mara will not get a hold on them.

“And what is a bhikkhu’s resort, his own ancestral domain? It is the four establishments of mindfulness. What four? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. He dwells contemplating feelings in feelings … mind in mind … phenomena in phenomena, ardent, clearly comprehending, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. This is a bhikkhu’s resort, his own ancestral domain.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 47.6 Sakuṇagghisutta: The Hawk by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 23.2 Sattasutta: Sentient Beings

At Sāvatthī.

Seated to one side, Venerable Rādha said to the Buddha:

“Sir, they speak of this thing called a ‘sentient being’. How is a sentient being defined?”

“Rādha, when you cling, strongly cling, to desire, greed, relishing, and craving for form, then a being is spoken of. When you cling, strongly cling, to desire, greed, relishing, and craving for feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, then a being is spoken of.

Suppose some boys or girls were playing with sandcastles. As long as they’re not rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for those sandcastles, they cherish them, fancy them, treasure them, and treat them as their own. But when they are rid of greed, desire, fondness, thirst, passion, and craving for those sandcastles, they scatter, destroy, and demolish them with their hands and feet, making them unplayable.

In the same way, you should scatter, destroy, and demolish form, making it unplayable. And you should practice for the ending of craving. You should scatter, destroy, and demolish feeling … perception … choices … consciousness, making it unplayable. And you should practice for the ending of craving. For the ending of craving is extinguishment.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 23.2 Sattasutta: Sentient Beings by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Dhp 58–59 From… Puppha Vagga: Flowers

58. In the roadside ditch, in a heap of rubbish, blooms a lotus, sweet smelling and pleasing to the eyes.

59. In the same way, among the rubbish heap of unaware ordinary people, the disciple of the Supreme Buddha shines brightly with wisdom.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 4 Puppha Vagga: Flowers (44-59) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 4.105 Ambasutta: Mangoes

“Mendicants, there are these four mangoes. What four?

  1. One is unripe but seems ripe,
  2. one is ripe but seems unripe,
  3. one is unripe and seems unripe, and
  4. one is ripe and seems ripe.

These are the four mangoes.

In the same way, these four people similar to mangoes are found in the world. What four?

  1. One is unripe but seems ripe,
  2. one is ripe but seems unripe,
  3. one is unripe and seems unripe, and
  4. one is ripe and seems ripe.

And how is a person unripe but seems ripe? It’s when a person is impressive when going out and coming back, when looking ahead and aside, when bending and extending the limbs, and when bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes. But they don’t really understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. That’s how a person is unripe but seems ripe. That person is like a mango that’s unripe but seems ripe, I say.

And how is a person ripe but seems unripe? It’s when a person is not impressive … But they really understand: ‘This is suffering’ …

And how is a person unripe and seems unripe? It’s when a person is not impressive … Nor do they really understand: ‘This is suffering’ …

And how is a person ripe and seems ripe? It’s when a person is impressive … And they really understand: ‘This is suffering’ …

These four people similar to mangoes are found in the world.”


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AN 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt

“Mendicants, isn’t poverty suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor, penniless person falls into debt, isn’t being in debt also suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person who has fallen into debt agrees to pay interest, isn’t the interest also suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person who has fallen into debt and agreed to pay interest fails to pay it when it falls due, they get a warning. Isn’t being warned suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person fails to pay after getting a warning, they’re prosecuted. Isn’t being prosecuted suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“When a poor person fails to pay after being prosecuted, they’re imprisoned. Isn’t being imprisoned suffering in the world for a person who enjoys sensual pleasures?”

“Yes, sir.”

“So mendicants, poverty, debt, interest, warnings, prosecution, and imprisonment are suffering in the world for those who enjoy sensual pleasures. In the same way, whoever has no faith, conscience, prudence, energy, and wisdom when it comes to skillful qualities is called poor and penniless in the training of the Noble One.

Since they have no faith, conscience, prudence, energy, or wisdom when it comes to skillful qualities, they do bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. This is how they’re in debt, I say.

In order to conceal the bad things they do by way of body, speech, and mind they harbour corrupt wishes. They wish, plan, speak, and act with the thought: ‘May no-one find me out!’ This is how they pay interest, I say.

Good-hearted spiritual companions say this about them: ‘This venerable acts like this, and behaves like that.’ This is how they’re warned, I say.

When they go to a wilderness, the root of a tree, or an empty hut, they’re beset by remorseful, unskillful thoughts. This is how they’re prosecuted, I say.

That poor, penniless person has done bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re trapped in the prison of hell or the animal realm. I don’t see a single prison that’s as brutal, as vicious, and such an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary from the yoke as the prison of hell or the animal realm.

Poverty is said to be suffering in the world,
and so is being in debt.
A poor person who has fallen into debt
frets even when spending the loan.

And then they’re prosecuted,
or even thrown in jail.
Such imprisonment is true suffering
for someone who prays for pleasure and possessions.

In the same way, in the noble one’s training
whoever has no faith,
no conscience or prudence,
contemplates bad deeds.

After doing bad things
by way of body,
speech, and mind,
they wish, ‘May no-one find me out!’

Their behavior is creepy
by body, speech, and mind.
They pile up bad deeds
on and on, life after life.

That stupid evildoer,
knowing their own misdeeds,
is a poor person who has fallen into debt,
and frets even when spending the loan.

And when in village or wilderness
they’re prosecuted
by painful mental plans,
which are born of remorse.

That stupid evildoer,
knowing their own misdeeds,
goes to one of the animal realms,
or is trapped in hell.

Such imprisonment is true suffering,
from which a wise one is released.
With confident heart, they give
with wealth that is properly earned.

That faithful householder
holds a perfect hand on both counts:
welfare and benefit in this life,
and happiness in the next.
This is how, for a householder,
merit grows by generosity.

In the same way, in the noble one’s training,
whoever is grounded in faith,
with conscience and prudence,
wise, and ethically restrained,

is said to live happily
in the noble one’s training.
After gaining pleasure not of the flesh,
they concentrate on equanimity.

They give up the five hindrances,
constantly energetic,
and enter the absorptions,
unified, alert, and mindful.

Truly knowing in this way
the end of all fetters,
by not grasping in any way,
their mind is rightly freed.

To that poised one, rightly freed
with the end of the fetters of rebirth,
the knowledge comes:
‘My freedom is unshakable.’

This is the ultimate knowledge.
This is the supreme happiness.
Sorrowless, stainless, secure:
this is the highest freedom from debt.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt 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.

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SN 12.63 Puttamaṁsa Sutta: A Son’s Flesh

Near Sāvatthī. “There are these four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born. Which four? Physical food, gross or refined; contact as the second, intellectual intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four nutriments for the maintenance of beings who have come into being or for the support of those in search of a place to be born.

“And how is physical food to be regarded? Suppose a couple, husband & wife, taking meager provisions, were to travel through a desert. With them would be their only baby son, dear & appealing. Then the meager provisions of the couple going through the desert would be used up & depleted while there was still a stretch of the desert yet to be crossed. The thought would occur to them, ‘Our meager provisions are used up & depleted while there is still a stretch of this desert yet to be crossed. What if we were to kill this only baby son of ours, dear & appealing, and make dried meat & jerky. That way—chewing on the flesh of our son—at least the two of us would make it through this desert. Otherwise, all three of us would perish.’ So they would kill their only baby son, loved & endearing, and make dried meat & jerky. Chewing on the flesh of their son, they would make it through the desert. While eating the flesh of their only son, they would beat their breasts, (crying,) ‘Where have you gone, our only baby son? Where have you gone, our only baby son?’ Now what do you think, monks? Would that couple eat that food playfully or for intoxication, or for putting on bulk, or for beautification?”

“No, lord.”

“Wouldn’t they eat that food simply for the sake of making it through that desert?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of physical food to be regarded. When physical food is comprehended, passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended. When passion for the five strings of sensuality is comprehended, there is no fetter bound by which a disciple of the noble ones would come back again to this world.

“And how is the nutriment of contact to be regarded? Suppose a flayed cow were to stand leaning against a wall. The creatures living in the wall would chew on it. If it were to stand leaning against a tree, the creatures living in the tree would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to water, the creatures living in the water would chew on it. If it were to stand exposed to the air, the creatures living in the air would chew on it. For wherever the flayed cow were to stand exposed, the creatures living there would chew on it. In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of contact to be regarded. When the nutriment of contact is comprehended, the three feelings [pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain] are comprehended. When the three feelings are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

“And how is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded? Suppose there were a pit of glowing embers, deeper than a man’s height, full of embers that were neither flaming nor smoking, and a man were to come along—loving life, hating death, loving pleasure, abhorring pain—and two strong men, having grabbed him by the arms, were to drag him to the pit of embers. To get far away would be that man’s intention, far away would be his wish, far away would be his aspiration. Why is that? Because he would realize, ‘If I fall into this pit of glowing embers, I will meet with death from that cause, or with death-like pain.’ In the same way, I tell you, is the nutriment of intellectual intention to be regarded. When the nutriment of intellectual intention is comprehended, the three forms of craving [for sensuality, for becoming, and for non-becoming] are comprehended. When the three forms of craving are comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.

“And how is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded? Suppose that, having arrested a thief, a criminal, they were to show him to the king: ‘This is a thief, a criminal for you, your majesty. Impose on him whatever punishment you like.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and stab him in the morning with a hundred spears.’ So they would stab him in the morning with a hundred spears. Then the king would say at noon, ‘Men, how is that man?’ ‘Still alive, your majesty.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and stab him at noon with a hundred spears.’ So they would stab him at noon with a hundred spears. Then the king would say in the evening, ‘Men, how is that man?’ ‘Still alive, your majesty.’ So the king would say, ‘Go, men, and stab him in the evening with a hundred spears.’ So they would stab him in the evening with a hundred spears. Now what do you think, monks? Would that man, being stabbed with three hundred spears a day, experience pain & distress from that cause?”

“Even if he were to be stabbed with only one spear, lord, he would experience pain & distress from that cause, to say nothing of three hundred spears.”

“In the same way, I tell you, monks, is the nutriment of consciousness to be regarded. When the nutriment of consciousness is comprehended, name-&-form is comprehended. When name-&-form is comprehended, I tell you, there is nothing further for a disciple of the noble ones to do.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 12.63 Puttamaṁsa Sutta. A Son’s Flesh by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 35.246 Vīṇopamasutta: The Simile of the Lute

“Bhikkhus, if in any bhikkhu or bhikkhunī desire or lust or hatred or delusion or aversion of mind should arise in regard to forms cognizable by the eye, such a one should rein in the mind from them thus: ‘This path is fearful, dangerous, strewn with thorns, covered by jungle, a deviant path, an evil path, a way beset by scarcity. This is a path followed by inferior people; it is not the path followed by superior people. This is not for you.’ In this way the mind should be reined in from these states regarding forms cognizable by the eye. So too regarding sounds cognizable by the ear … regarding mental phenomena cognizable by the mind.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, that the barley has ripened and the watchman is negligent. If a bull fond of barley enters the barley field, he might indulge himself as much as he likes. So too, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling who does not exercise restraint over the six bases for contact indulges himself as much as he likes in the five cords of sensual pleasure.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, that the barley has ripened and the watchman is vigilant. If a bull fond of barley enters the barley field, the watchman would catch hold of him firmly by the muzzle. While holding him firmly by the muzzle, he would get a secure grip on the locks between his horns and, keeping him in check there, would give him a sound beating with his staff. After giving him that beating, he would drive the bull away. This might happen a second time and a third time. Thus that bull fond of barley, whether he has gone to the village or the forest, whether he is accustomed to standing or to sitting, remembering the previous beating he got from the staff, would not enter that barley field again.

“So too, bhikkhus, when a bhikkhu’s mind has been subdued, well subdued, regarding the six bases for contact, it then becomes inwardly steady, settled, unified, and concentrated.

“Suppose, bhikkhus, there was a king or a royal minister who had never before heard the sound of a lute. He might hear the sound of a lute and say: ‘Good man, what is making this sound—so tantalizing, so lovely, so intoxicating, so entrancing, so enthralling?’ They would say to him: ‘Sire, it is a lute that is making this sound—so tantalizing, so lovely, so intoxicating, so entrancing, so enthralling.’ He would reply: ‘Go, man, bring me that lute.’

“They would bring him the lute and tell him: ‘Sire, this is that lute, the sound of which was so tantalizing, so lovely, so intoxicating, so entrancing, so enthralling.’ The king would say: ‘I’ve had enough with this lute, man. Bring me just that sound.’ The men would reply: ‘This lute, sire, consists of numerous components, of a great many components, and it gives off a sound when it is played upon with its numerous components; that is, in dependence on the parchment sounding board, the belly, the arm, the head, the strings, the plectrum, and the appropriate effort of the musician. So it is, sire, that this lute consisting of numerous components, of a great many components, gives off a sound when it is played upon with its numerous components.’

“The king would split the lute into ten or a hundred pieces, then he would reduce these to splinters. Having reduced them to splinters, he would burn them in a fire and reduce them to ashes, and he would winnow the ashes in a strong wind or let them be carried away by the swift current of a river. Then he would say: ‘A poor thing, indeed sir, is this so-called lute, as well as anything else called a lute. How the multitude are utterly heedless about it, utterly taken in by it!’

“So too, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu investigates form to the extent that there is a range for form, he investigates feeling to the extent that there is a range for feeling, he investigates perception to the extent that there is a range for perception, he investigates volitional formations to the extent that there is a range for volitional formations, he investigates consciousness to the extent that there is a range for consciousness. As he investigates form to the extent that there is a range for form … consciousness to the extent that there is a range for consciousness, whatever notions of ‘I’ or ‘mine’ or ‘I am’ had occurred to him before no longer occur to him.”



Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 35.246 Vīṇopamasutta: The Simile of the Lute by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 17.3 Kummasutta: A Turtle

At Sāvatthī.

“Possessions, honor, and popularity are brutal, bitter, and harsh. They’re an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary from the yoke.

Once upon a time in a certain lake there was a large family of turtles that had lived there for a long time. Then one of the turtles said to another, ‘My dear turtle, don’t you go to that place.’

But that turtle did go to that place, and a hunter pierced her with a harpoon.

Then that turtle went back to the other turtle. When the other turtle saw her coming off in the distance, he said, ‘My dear turtle, I hope you didn’t go to that place!’

‘I did.’

‘But my dear turtle, I hope you’re not hurt or injured!’

‘I’m not hurt or injured. But this cord keeps dragging behind me.’

‘Indeed, my dear turtle, you’re hurt and injured! Your father and grandfather met with tragedy and disaster because of such a cord. Go now, you are no longer one of us.’

‘Hunter’ is a term for Māra the Wicked.

‘Harpoon’ is a term for possessions, honor, and popularity.

‘Cord’ is a term for greed and relishing.

Whoever enjoys and likes arisen possessions, honor, and popularity is called a mendicant who has been pierced with a harpoon. They’ve met with tragedy and disaster, and the Wicked One can do with them what he wants.

So brutal are possessions, honor, and popularity—bitter and harsh, an obstacle to reaching the supreme sanctuary from the yoke.

So you should train like this: ‘We will give up arisen possessions, honor, and popularity, and we won’t let them occupy our minds.’ That’s how you should train.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 17.3 Kummasutta: A Turtle 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.

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MN 64 From… Mahāmālukyasutta: The Longer Discourse With Māluṅkya

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

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

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

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

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


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

SN 45.152 Rukkhasutta: Trees

“Mendicants, suppose a tree slants, slopes, and inclines to the east. If it was cut off at the root, where would it fall?”

“Sir, it would fall in the direction that it slants, slopes, and inclines.”

“In the same way, a mendicant who develops and cultivates the noble eightfold path slants, slopes, and inclines to extinguishment.

And how does a mendicant who develops the noble eightfold path slant, slope, and incline to extinguishment? It’s when a mendicant develops right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right immersion, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go. That’s how a mendicant who develops and cultivates the noble eightfold path slants, slopes, and inclines to extinguishment.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 45.152 Rukkhasutta: Trees 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.

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Dhp 91 From… Arahantavagga: The Perfected Ones

The mindful apply themselves;
they delight in no abode.
Like a swan gone from the marsh,
they leave home after home behind.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 90–99 Arahantavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato 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 Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 8.19 Pahārādasutta: Pahārāda

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Verañjā at the foot of Naḷeru’s neem tree. Then Pahārāda, ruler of the asuras, approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and stood to one side. The Blessed One then said to him:

“Pahārāda, do the asuras take delight in the great ocean?”

“Bhante, the asuras do take delight in the great ocean.”

“But, Pahārāda, how many astounding and amazing qualities do the asuras see in the great ocean because of which they take delight in it?”

“The asuras see eight astounding and amazing qualities in the great ocean because of which they take delight in it. What eight?

(1) “The great ocean, Bhante, slants, slopes, and inclines gradually, not dropping off abruptly. This is the first astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean because of which they take delight in it.

(2) “Again, the great ocean is stable and does not overflow its boundaries. This is the second astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(3) “Again, the great ocean does not associate with a corpse, but quickly carries it to the coast and washes it ashore. This is the third astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(4) “Again, when the great rivers—the Ganges, the Yamunā, the Aciravatī, the Sarabhū, and the Mahī—reach the great ocean, they give up their former names and designations and are simply called the great ocean. This is the fourth astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(5) “Again, whatever streams in the world flow into the great ocean and however much rain falls into it from the sky, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the great ocean. This is the fifth astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(6) “Again, the great ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt. This is the sixth astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(7) “Again, the great ocean contains many precious substances, numerous precious substances such as pearls, gems, lapis lazuli, conch, quartz, coral, silver, gold, rubies, and cats-eye. This is the seventh astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean….

(8) “Again, the great ocean is the abode of great beings such as timis, timiṅgalas, timirapiṅgalas, asuras, nāgas, and gandhabbas. There are in the great ocean beings with bodies one hundred yojanas long, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred, and five hundred yojanas long. This is the eighth astounding and amazing quality that the asuras see in the great ocean because of which they take delight in it.

“These, Bhante, are the eight astounding and amazing qualities that the asuras see in the great ocean because of which they take delight in it. But do the bhikkhus take delight in this Dhamma and discipline?”

“Pahārāda, the bhikkhus do take delight in this Dhamma and discipline.”

“But, Bhante, how many astounding and amazing qualities do the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline because of which they take delight in it?”

“The bhikkhus see eight astounding and amazing qualities in this Dhamma and discipline because of which they take delight in it. What eight?

(1) “Just as, Pahārāda, the great ocean slants, slopes, and inclines gradually, not dropping off abruptly, so too, in this Dhamma and discipline penetration to final knowledge occurs by gradual training, gradual activity, and gradual practice, not abruptly. This is the first astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline because of which they take delight in it.

(2) “Just as the great ocean is stable and does not overflow its boundaries, so too, when I have prescribed a training rule for my disciples, they will not transgress it even for life’s sake. This is the second astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(3) “Just as the great ocean does not associate with a corpse, but quickly carries it to the coast and washes it ashore, so too, the Saṅgha does not associate with a person who is immoral, of bad character, impure, of suspect behavior, secretive in his actions, not an ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved; rather, it quickly assembles and expels him. Even though he is seated in the midst of the Saṅgha of bhikkhus, yet he is far from the Saṅgha and the Saṅgha is far from him. This is the third astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(4) “Just as, when the great rivers … reach the great ocean, they give up their former names and designations and are simply called the great ocean, so too, when members of the four social classes—khattiyas, brahmins, vessas, and suddas—go forth from the household life into homelessness in the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by the Tathāgata, they give up their former names and clans and are simply called ascetics following the Sakyan son. This is the fourth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(5) “Just as, whatever streams in the world flow into the great ocean and however much rain falls into it from the sky, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the great ocean, so too, even if many bhikkhus attain final nibbāna by way of the nibbāna element without residue remaining, neither a decrease nor a filling up can be seen in the nibbāna element. This is the fifth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(6) “Just as the great ocean has but one taste, the taste of salt, so too, this Dhamma and discipline has but one taste, the taste of liberation. This is the sixth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(7) “Just as the great ocean contains many precious substances, numerous precious substances such as pearls … cats-eye, so too, this Dhamma and discipline contains many precious substances, numerous precious substances: the four establishments of mindfulness, the four right strivings, the four bases for psychic potency, the five spiritual faculties, the five powers, the seven factors of enlightenment, the noble eightfold path. This is the seventh astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline….

(8) “Just as the great ocean is the abode of great beings such as timis … … gandhabbas; and as there are in the great ocean beings with bodies one hundred yojanas long … five hundred yojanas long, so too this Dhamma and discipline is the abode of great beings: the stream-enterer, the one practicing for realization of the fruit of stream-entry; the once-returner, the one practicing for realization of the fruit of once-returning; the non-returner, the one practicing for realization of the fruit of non-returning; the arahant, the one practicing for arahantship. This is the eighth astounding and amazing quality that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline because of which they take delight in it.

“These, Pahārāda, are the eight astounding and amazing qualities that the bhikkhus see in this Dhamma and discipline because of which they take delight in it.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.19 Pahārādasutta: Pahārāda by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

MN 63 Cūḷa Māluṅkyovāda Sutta: The Shorter Exhortation to Māluṅkya

[Note: Today’s selection is a complete sutta from the MN, so it is a bit longer than usual. However the simile is very famous and it’s good to see it in its full context. The simile itself is in bold below if you like to skip to that.]

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then, as Ven. Māluṅkyaputta was alone in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness: “These positions that are undisclosed, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One—‘The cosmos is eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ ‘The cosmos is finite,’ ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist,’ ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’—I don’t approve, I don’t accept that the Blessed One has not disclosed them to me. I’ll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he discloses to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ that ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ that ‘The cosmos is finite,’ that ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ that ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ that ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ that ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,’ that ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ that ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist,’ or that ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,’ then I will live the holy life under him. If he does not disclose to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ … or that ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,’ then I will renounce the training and return to the lower life.”

Then, emerging from his seclusion in the evening, Ven. Māluṅkyaputta 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, “Lord, just now, as I was alone in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in my awareness: ‘These positions that are undisclosed, set aside, discarded by the Blessed One… I don’t approve, I don’t accept that the Blessed One has not disclosed them to me. I’ll go ask the Blessed One about this matter. If he discloses to me that “The cosmos is eternal,” … or that “After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,” then I will live the holy life under him. If he does not disclose to me that “The cosmos is eternal,” … or that “After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,” then I will renounce the training and return to the lower life.’

“Lord, if the Blessed One knows that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ then may he disclose to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal.’ If he knows that ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ then may he disclose to me that ‘The cosmos is not eternal.’ But if he doesn’t know or see whether the cosmos is eternal or not eternal, then, in one who is unknowing & unseeing, the straightforward thing is to admit, ‘I don’t know. I don’t see.’ … If he doesn’t know or see whether after death a Tathāgata exists… does not exist… both exists & does not exist… neither exists nor does not exist,’ then, in one who is unknowing & unseeing, the straightforward thing is to admit, ‘I don’t know. I don’t see.’”

“Māluṅkyaputta, did I ever say to you, ‘Come, Māluṅkyaputta, live the holy life under me, and I will disclose to you that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is finite,’ or ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ or ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’?”

“No, lord.”

“And did you ever say to me, ‘Lord, I will live the holy life under the Blessed One and (in return) he will disclose to me that ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ or ‘The cosmos is finite,’ or ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ or ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ or ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist,’ or ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’?”

“No, lord.”

“Then that being the case, foolish man, who are you to be claiming grievances/making demands of anyone?

“Māluṅkyaputta, if anyone were to say, ‘I won’t live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not disclose to me that “The cosmos is eternal,” … or that “After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,”’ the man would die and those things would still remain undisclosed by the Tathāgata.

“It’s just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen & relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded me was a noble warrior, a brahman, a merchant, or a worker.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know the given name & clan name of the man who wounded me… until I know whether he was tall, medium, or short… until I know whether he was dark, ruddy-brown, or golden-colored… until I know his home village, town, or city… until I know whether the bow with which I was wounded was a long bow or a crossbow… until I know whether the bowstring with which I was wounded was fiber, bamboo threads, sinew, hemp, or bark… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was wild or cultivated… until I know whether the feathers of the shaft with which I was wounded were those of a vulture, a stork, a hawk, a peacock, or another bird… until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was bound with the sinew of an ox, a water buffalo, a langur, or a monkey.’ He would say, ‘I won’t have this arrow removed until I know whether the shaft with which I was wounded was that of a common arrow, a curved arrow, a barbed, a calf-toothed, or an oleander arrow.’ The man would die and those things would still remain unknown to him.

“In the same way, if anyone were to say, ‘I won’t live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not disclose to me that “The cosmos is eternal,” … or that “After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,”’ the man would die and those things would still remain undisclosed by the Tathāgata.

“Māluṅkyaputta, it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ and when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is finite,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘The cosmos is finite,’ and when there is the view, ‘The cosmos is infinite,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘The soul & the body are the same,’ and when there is the view, ‘The soul is one thing and the body another,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“It’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘After death a Tathāgata exists,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist,’ there is the living of the holy life. And it’s not the case that when there is the view, ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist’ there is the living of the holy life. When there is the view, ‘After death a Tathāgata exists’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,’ there is still the birth, there is the aging, there is the death, there is the sorrow, lamentation, pain, despair, & distress whose destruction I make known right in the here & now.

“So, Māluṅkyaputta, remember what is undisclosed by me as undisclosed, and what is disclosed by me as disclosed. And what is undisclosed by me? ‘The cosmos is eternal,’ is undisclosed by me. ‘The cosmos is not eternal,’ is undisclosed by me. ‘The cosmos is finite’ … ‘The cosmos is infinite’ … ‘The soul & the body are the same’ … ‘The soul is one thing and the body another’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata exists’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata both exists & does not exist’ … ‘After death a Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist,’ is undisclosed by me.

“And why are they undisclosed by me? Because they are not connected with the goal, are not fundamental to the holy life. They do not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, unbinding. That’s why they are undisclosed by me.

“And what is disclosed by me? ‘This is stress,’ is disclosed by me. ‘This is the origination of stress,’ is disclosed by me. ‘This is the cessation of stress,’ is disclosed by me. ‘This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress,’ is disclosed by me. And why are they disclosed by me? Because they are connected with the goal, are fundamental to the holy life. They lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calming, direct knowledge, self-awakening, unbinding. That’s why they are disclosed by me.

“So, Māluṅkyaputta, remember what is undisclosed by me as undisclosed, and what is disclosed by me as disclosed.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Māluṅkyaputta delighted in the Blessed One’s words.


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 63 Cūḷa Māluṅkyovāda Sutta. The Shorter Exhortation to Māluṅkya by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.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.

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Dhp 240 From… Mala Vagga: Stain

240. As rust born from iron eats away the very iron that formed it, so does the reckless behaviour of a monk leads him to the plain of misery.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 18 Mala Vagga: Stain (235-255) 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.

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SN 36.6 Sallasutta: The Dart

“Bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling feels a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling, and a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. The instructed noble disciple too feels a pleasant feeling, a painful feeling, and a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling. Therein, bhikkhus, what is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the instructed noble disciple and the uninstructed worldling?”

“Venerable sir, our teachings are rooted in the Blessed One, guided by the Blessed One, take recourse in the Blessed One. It would be good if the Blessed One would clear up the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him, the bhikkhus will remember it.”

“Then listen and attend closely, bhikkhus, I will speak.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:

“Bhikkhus, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling, he sorrows, grieves, and laments; he weeps beating his breast and becomes distraught. He feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, and then they would strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by two darts. So too, when the uninstructed worldling is being contacted by a painful feeling … he feels two feelings—a bodily one and a mental one.

“Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours aversion towards it. When he harbours aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling lies behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he seeks delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the uninstructed worldling does not know of any escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. When he seeks delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling lies behind this. He does not understand as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. When he does not understand these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling lies behind this.

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it attached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it attached. This, bhikkhus, is called an uninstructed worldling who is attached to birth, aging, and death; who is attached to sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is attached to suffering, I say.

“Bhikkhus, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling, he does not sorrow, grieve, or lament; he does not weep beating his breast and become distraught. He feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one. Suppose they were to strike a man with a dart, but they would not strike him immediately afterwards with a second dart, so that the man would feel a feeling caused by one dart only. So too, when the instructed noble disciple is contacted by a painful feeling … he feels one feeling—a bodily one, not a mental one.

“Being contacted by that same painful feeling, he harbours no aversion towards it. Since he harbours no aversion towards painful feeling, the underlying tendency to aversion towards painful feeling does not lie behind this. Being contacted by painful feeling, he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the instructed noble disciple knows of an escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. Since he does not seek delight in sensual pleasure, the underlying tendency to lust for pleasant feeling does not lie behind this. He understands as it really is the origin and the passing away, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these feelings. Since he understands these things, the underlying tendency to ignorance in regard to neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling does not lie behind this.

“If he feels a pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a painful feeling, he feels it detached. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he feels it detached. This, bhikkhus, is called a noble disciple who is detached from birth, aging, and death; who is detached from sorrow, lamentation, pain, displeasure, and despair; who is detached from suffering, I say.

“This, bhikkhus, is the distinction, the disparity, the difference between the instructed noble disciple and the uninstructed worldling.”

The wise one, learned, does not feel
The pleasant and painful mental feeling.
This is the great difference between
The wise one and the worldling.

For the learned one who has comprehended Dhamma,
Who clearly sees this world and the next,
Desirable things do not provoke his mind,
Towards the undesired he has no aversion.

For him attraction and repulsion no more exist;
Both have been extinguished, brought to an end.
Having known the dust-free, sorrowless state,
The transcender of existence rightly understands.



Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 36.6 Sallasutta: The Dart by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 15 From… Anumānasutta: Measuring Up

[Note: Read the whole sutta to see the specific unwholesome traits being discussed.]

“…Suppose that, upon checking, a mendicant sees that they haven’t given up all these bad, unskillful qualities. Then they should make an effort to give them all up. But suppose that, upon checking, a mendicant sees that they have given up all these bad, unskillful qualities. Then they should meditate with rapture and joy, training day and night in skillful qualities.

Suppose there was a woman or man who was young, youthful, and fond of adornments, and they check their own reflection in a clean bright mirror or a clear bowl of water. If they see any dirt or blemish there, they’d try to remove it. But if they don’t see any dirt or blemish there, they’re happy, thinking: ‘How fortunate that I’m clean!’

In the same way, suppose that, upon checking, a mendicant sees that they haven’t given up all these bad, unskillful qualities. Then they should make an effort to give them all up. But suppose that, upon checking, a mendicant sees that they have given up all these bad, unskillful qualities. Then they should meditate with rapture and joy, training day and night in skillful qualities.…”


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DN 13 From… Tevijjasutta: Experts in the Three Vedas

“…Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. Standing on the near shore, they’d call out to the far shore, ‘Come here, far shore! Come here, far shore!’

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Would the far shore of the Aciravatī river come over to the near shore because of that man’s call, request, desire, or expectation?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, Vāseṭṭha, the brahmins proficient in the three Vedas proceed having given up those things that make one a true brahmin, and having undertaken those things that make one not a true brahmin. Yet they say: ‘We call upon Indra! We call upon Soma! We call upon Varuṇa! We call upon Īsāna! We call upon the Progenitor! We call upon Brahmā! We call upon Mahinda! We call upon Yama!’

So long as they proceed in this way it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.

Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. But while still on the near shore, their arms are tied tightly behind their back with a strong chain.

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Could that person cross over to the far shore?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, the five kinds of sensual stimulation are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. What five? Sights known by the eye that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing. Sounds known by the ear … Smells known by the nose … Tastes known by the tongue … Touches known by the body that are likable, desirable, agreeable, pleasant, sensual, and arousing.

These are the five kinds of sensual stimulation that are called ‘chains’ and ‘fetters’ in the training of the Noble One. The brahmins proficient in the three Vedas enjoy these five kinds of sensual stimulation tied, infatuated, attached, blind to the drawbacks, and not understanding the escape. So long as they enjoy them it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.

Suppose the river Aciravatī was full to the brim so a crow could drink from it. Then along comes a person who wants to cross over to the far shore. But they’d lie down wrapped in cloth from head to foot.

What do you think, Vāseṭṭha? Could that person cross over to the far shore?”

“No, Master Gotama.”

“In the same way, the five hindrances are called ‘obstacles’ and ‘hindrances’ and ‘encasings’ and ‘shrouds’ in the training of the Noble One. What five? The hindrances of sensual desire, ill will, dullness and drowsiness, restlessness and remorse, and doubt. These five hindrances are called ‘obstacles’ and ‘hindrances’ and ‘encasings’ and ‘shrouds’ in the training of the Noble One.

The brahmins proficient in the three Vedas are obstructed, hindered, encased, and shrouded by these five hindrances. So long as they are so obstructed it’s impossible that they will, when the body breaks up, after death, be reborn in the company of Brahmā.…”


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Dhp 162 From… Attavagga: The Self

One choked by immorality,
as a sal tree by a creeper,
does to themselves
what a foe only wishes.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 157–166 Attavagga: by Bhikkhu Sujato 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 Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 7.71 Bhāvanāsutta: Committed to Development

“Mendicants, when a mendicant is not committed to development, they might wish: ‘If only my mind were freed from the defilements by not grasping!’ Even so, their mind is not freed from defilements by not grasping. Why is that? You should say: ‘It’s because they’re undeveloped.’ Undeveloped in what? The four kinds of mindfulness meditation, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening factors, and the noble eightfold path.

Suppose there was a chicken with eight or ten or twelve eggs. But she had not properly sat on them to keep them warm and incubated. Even if that chicken might wish: ‘If only my chicks could break out of the eggshell with their claws and beak and hatch safely!’ Still they can’t break out and hatch safely. Why is that? Because she has not properly sat on them to keep them warm and incubated.

In the same way, when a mendicant is not committed to development, they might wish: ‘If only my mind was freed from the defilements by not grasping!’ Even so, their mind is not freed from defilements by not grasping. Why is that? You should say: ‘It’s because they’re undeveloped.’ Undeveloped in what? The four kinds of mindfulness meditation, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening factors, and the noble eightfold path.

When a mendicant is committed to development, they might not wish: ‘If only my mind was freed from the defilements by not grasping!’ Even so, their mind is freed from defilements by not grasping. Why is that? You should say: ‘It’s because they are developed.’ Developed in what? The four kinds of mindfulness meditation, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening factors, and the noble eightfold path.

Suppose there was a chicken with eight or ten or twelve eggs. And she properly sat on them to keep them warm and incubated. Even if that chicken doesn’t wish: ‘If only my chicks could break out of the eggshell with their claws and beak and hatch safely!’ Still they can break out and hatch safely. Why is that? Because she properly sat on them to keep them warm and incubated.

In the same way, when a mendicant is committed to development, they might not wish: ‘If only my mind was freed from the defilements by not grasping!’ Even so, their mind is freed from defilements by not grasping. Why is that? You should say: ‘It’s because they are developed.’ Developed in what? The four kinds of mindfulness meditation, the four right efforts, the four bases of psychic power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven awakening factors, and the noble eightfold path.

Suppose a carpenter or their apprentice sees the marks of his fingers and thumb on the handle of his adze. They don’t know how much of the handle was worn away today, how much yesterday, and how much previously. They just know what has been worn away. In the same way, when a mendicant is committed to development, they don’t know how much of the defilements were worn away today, how much yesterday, and how much previously. They just know what has been worn away.

Suppose there was a sea-faring ship bound together with ropes. For six months they deteriorated in the water. Then in the cold season it was hauled up on dry land, where the ropes were weathered by wind and sun. When the clouds soaked it with rain, the ropes would readily collapse and rot away. In the same way, when a mendicant is committed to development their fetters readily collapse and rot away.”


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MN 39 From… Mahāassapurasutta: The Longer Discourse at Assapura

[This is an excerpt from a discourse where the Buddha is detailing the full path to enlightenment.]

…What more is there to do? Take a mendicant who frequents a secluded lodging—a wilderness, the root of a tree, a hill, a ravine, a mountain cave, a charnel ground, a forest, the open air, a heap of straw.

After the meal, they return from almsround, sit down cross-legged, set their body straight, and establish mindfulness in front of them. Giving up covetousness for the world, they meditate with a heart rid of covetousness, cleansing the mind of covetousness. Giving up ill will and malevolence, they meditate with a mind rid of ill will, full of compassion for all living beings, cleansing the mind of ill will. Giving up dullness and drowsiness, they meditate with a mind rid of dullness and drowsiness, perceiving light, mindful and aware, cleansing the mind of dullness and drowsiness. Giving up restlessness and remorse, they meditate without restlessness, their mind peaceful inside, cleansing the mind of restlessness and remorse. Giving up doubt, they meditate having gone beyond doubt, not undecided about skillful qualities, cleansing the mind of doubt.

Suppose a man who has gotten into debt were to apply himself to work, and his efforts proved successful. He would pay off the original loan and have enough left over to support his partner. Thinking about this, he’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose a person was sick, suffering, and gravely ill. They’d lose their appetite and get physically weak. But after some time they’d recover from that illness, and regain their appetite and their strength. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose a person was imprisoned in a jail. But after some time they were released from jail, safe and sound, with no loss of wealth. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose a person was a bondservant. They would not be their own master, but indentured to another, unable to go where they wish. But after some time they’d be freed from servitude. They would be their own master, not indentured to another, an emancipated individual able to go where they wish. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

Suppose there was a person with wealth and property who was traveling along a desert road. But after some time they crossed over the desert, safe and sound, with no loss of wealth. Thinking about this, they’d be filled with joy and happiness.

In the same way, as long as these five hindrances are not given up inside themselves, a mendicant regards them as a debt, a disease, a prison, slavery, and a desert crossing. But when these five hindrances are given up inside themselves, a mendicant regards this as freedom from debt, good health, release from prison, emancipation, and a place of sanctuary at last.…


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MN 128 From… Upakkilesasutta: Corruptions

[This is a small part of a longer sutta where the Buddha explains his experience with meditation before his enlightenment.]

…While meditating … ‘Excessive energy arose in me, and because of that my immersion fell away. When immersion falls away, the light and vision of forms vanish. Suppose a person was to grip a quail too tightly in their hands—it would die right there. I’ll make sure that neither doubt nor loss of focus nor dullness and drowsiness nor terror nor excitement nor discomfort nor excessive energy will arise in me again.’

While meditating … ‘Overly lax energy arose in me, and because of that my immersion fell away. When immersion falls away, the light and vision of forms vanish. Suppose a person was to grip a quail too loosely—it would fly out of their hands. I’ll make sure that neither doubt nor loss of focus nor dullness and drowsiness nor terror nor excitement nor discomfort nor excessive energy nor overly lax energy will arise in me again.’…


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AN 8.38 Sappurisasutta: The Good Person

“Bhikkhus, when a good person is born in a family, it is for the good, welfare, and happiness of many people. It is for the good, welfare, and happiness of (1) his mother and father, (2) his wife and children, (3) his slaves, workers, and servants, (4) his friends and companions, (5) his departed ancestors, (6) the king, (7) the deities, and (8) ascetics and brahmins. Just as a great rain cloud, nurturing all the crops, appears for the good, welfare, and happiness of many people, so too, when a good person is born in a family, it is for the good, welfare, and happiness of many people. It is for the good, welfare, and happiness of his mother and father … … ascetics and brahmins.”

The wise person, dwelling at home,
truly lives for the good of many.
Day and night diligent toward
his mother, father, and ancestors,
he venerates them in accordance with the Dhamma,
recollecting what they did for him in the past.

Firm in faith, the pious man,
having known their good qualities,
venerates the homeless renouncers,
the mendicants who lead the spiritual life.

Beneficial to the king and the devas,
beneficial to his relatives and friends,
indeed, beneficial to all,
well established in the good Dhamma,
he has removed the stain of miserliness
and fares on to an auspicious world.


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Dhp 49 From… Puppha Vagga: Flowers

49. As a bee gathers nectar from the flower and flies away
without harming the flower’s beauty or its fragrance,
just so the sage goes on his alms round in the village.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 4 Puppha Vagga: Flowers (44-59) 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.

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SN 47.19 Sedakasutta: Sedaka

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling among the Sumbhas, where there was a town of the Sumbhas named Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:

“Bhikkhus, once in the past an acrobat set up his bamboo pole and addressed his apprentice Medakathalika thus: ‘Come, dear Medakathalika, climb the bamboo pole and stand on my shoulders.’ Having replied, ‘Yes, teacher,’ the apprentice Medakathalika climbed up the bamboo pole and stood on the teacher’s shoulders. The acrobat then said to the apprentice Medakathalika: ‘You protect me, dear Medakathalika, and I’ll protect you. Thus guarded by one another, protected by one another, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’ When this was said, the apprentice Medakathalika replied: ‘That’s not the way to do it, teacher. You protect yourself, teacher, and I’ll protect myself. Thus, each self-guarded and self-protected, we’ll display our skills, collect our fee, and get down safely from the bamboo pole.’

“That’s the method there,” the Blessed One said. “It’s just as the apprentice Medakathalika said to the teacher. ‘I will protect myself,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. ‘I will protect others,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.

“And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

“And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, lovingkindness, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.

“‘I will protect myself,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. ‘I will protect others,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.”


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SN 20.7 Āṇi Sutta: The Peg

Staying near Sāvatthī. “Monks, there once was a time when the Dasārahas had a large drum called ‘Summoner.’ Whenever Summoner was split, the Dasārahas inserted another peg in it, until the time came when Summoner’s original wooden body had disappeared and only a conglomeration of pegs remained.

“In the same way, in the course of the future there will be monks who won’t listen when discourses that are words of the Tathāgata—deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness—are being recited. They won’t lend ear, won’t set their hearts on knowing them, won’t regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works—the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples—are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.

“In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathāgata—deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness—will come about.

“Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathāgata—deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness—are being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them, will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.”

See also: AN 5:79


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AN 7.67 Nagaropamasutta: The Simile of the Citadel

[Sometimes the Buddha gave very complex similes to explain an important topic. We will have some of these as longer suttas on the weekends.]

“Mendicants, when a king’s frontier citadel is well provided with seven essentials and gets four kinds of sustenance when needed, without trouble or difficulty, it is then called a king’s frontier citadel that cannot be overrun by external foes and enemies.

With what seven essentials is a citadel well provided?

Firstly, a citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable. This is the first essential with which a king’s frontier citadel is well provided, to defend those within and repel those outside.

Furthermore, a citadel has a moat that is deep and wide. This is the second essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a patrol path that is high and wide. This is the third essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has stores of many weapons, both projectile and hand-held. This is the fourth essential …

Furthermore, many kinds of armed forces reside in a citadel, such as elephant riders, cavalry, charioteers, archers, bannermen, adjutants, food servers, warrior-chiefs, princes, chargers, great warriors, heroes, leather-clad soldiers, and sons of bondservants. This is the fifth essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a gatekeeper who is astute, competent, and intelligent. He keeps strangers out and lets known people in. This is the sixth essential …

Furthermore, a citadel has a wall that’s high and wide, covered with plaster. This is the seventh essential with which a king’s frontier citadel is well provided, to defend those within and repel those outside.

With these seven essentials a citadel is well provided.

What are the four kinds of sustenance it gets when needed, without trouble or difficulty?

Firstly, a king’s frontier citadel has much hay, wood, and water stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much rice and barley stored up for those within.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much food such as sesame, green gram, and black gram stored up for those within.

Furthermore, a king’s frontier citadel has much medicine—ghee, butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt—stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside.

These are the four kinds of sustenance it gets when needed, without trouble or difficulty.

When a king’s frontier citadel is well provided with seven essentials and gets four kinds of sustenance when needed, without trouble or difficulty, it is then called a king’s frontier citadel that cannot be overrun by external foes and enemies.

In the same way, when a noble disciple has seven good qualities, and they get the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—when they want, without trouble or difficulty, they are then called a noble disciple who cannot be overrun by Māra, who cannot be overrun by the Wicked One. What are the seven good qualities that they have?

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has a pillar with deep foundations, firmly embedded, imperturbable and unshakable, to defend those within and repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple has faith in the Realized One’s awakening: ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed.’ A noble disciple with faith as their pillar gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the first good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a moat that is deep and wide, in the same way a noble disciple has a conscience. They’re conscientious about bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and conscientious about having any bad, unskillful qualities. A noble disciple with a conscience as their moat gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the second good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a patrol path that is high and wide, in the same way a noble disciple is prudent. They’re prudent when it comes to bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and prudent when it comes to acquiring any bad, unskillful qualities. A noble disciple with prudence as their patrol path gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the third good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has stores of many weapons, both projectile and hand-held, in the same way a noble disciple is very learned. They remember and keep what they’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. They are very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reciting them, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically. A noble disciple with learning as their weapon gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the fourth good quality they have.

Just as many kinds of armed forces reside in a citadel … in the same way a noble disciple is energetic. They live with energy roused up for giving up unskillful qualities and embracing skillful qualities. They are strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities. A noble disciple with energy as their armed forces gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the fifth good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a gatekeeper who is astute, competent, and intelligent, who keeps strangers out and lets known people in, in the same way a noble disciple is mindful. They have utmost mindfulness and alertness, and can remember and recall what was said and done long ago. A noble disciple with mindfulness as their gatekeeper gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the sixth good quality they have.

Just as a citadel has a wall that’s high and wide, covered with plaster, to defend those within and repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple is wise. They have the wisdom of arising and passing away which is noble, penetrative, and leads to the complete ending of suffering. A noble disciple with wisdom as their wall gives up the unskillful and develops the skillful, they give up the blameworthy and develop the blameless, and they keep themselves pure. This is the seventh good quality they have. These are the seven good qualities that they have.

And what are the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—that they get when they want, without trouble or difficulty? Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much hay, wood, and water stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside, in the same way a noble disciple, quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, enters and remains in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much rice and barley stored up, in the same way, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected are stilled, a noble disciple enters and remains in the second absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of immersion, with internal clarity and mind at one, without placing the mind and keeping it connected. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much food such as sesame, green gram, and black gram stored up, in the same way with the fading away of rapture, a noble disciple enters and remains in the third absorption, where they meditate with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’ This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment.

Just as a king’s frontier citadel has much medicine—ghee, butter, oil, honey, molasses, and salt—stored up for the enjoyment, relief, and comfort of those within and to repel those outside, in the same way, giving up pleasure and pain, and ending former happiness and sadness, a noble disciple enters and remains in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness. This is for their own enjoyment, relief, and comfort, and for alighting upon extinguishment. These are the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—which they get when they want, without trouble or difficulty.

When a noble disciple has seven good qualities, and they get the four absorptions—blissful meditations in the present life that belong to the higher mind—when they want, without trouble or difficulty, they are then called a noble disciple who cannot be overrun by Māra, who cannot be overrun by the Wicked One.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 7.67 Nagaropamasutta: The Simile of the Citadel by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 48.54 Padasutta: Footprints

“The footprints of all creatures that walk can fit inside an elephant’s footprint, so an elephant’s footprint is said to be the biggest of them all. In the same way, the faculty of wisdom is said to be the best of the steps that lead to awakening in terms of becoming awakened.

And what are the steps that lead to awakening? The faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom are steps that lead to awakening, in that they lead to becoming awakened.

The footprints of all creatures that walk can fit inside an elephant’s footprint, so an elephant’s footprint is said to be the biggest of them all. In the same way, the faculty of wisdom is said to be the best of the steps that lead to awakening in terms of becoming awakened.”


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Dhp 19 From… Yamakavagga: Pairs

Much though they may recite scripture,
if a negligent person does not apply them,
then, like a cowherd who counts the cattle of others,
they miss out on the blessings of the ascetic life.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 1–20 Yamakavagga: Pairs by Bhikkhu Sujato 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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