MN 108 From Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Gopaka Moggallāna—No Single Bhikkhu

…Then the brahmin Vassakāra, the minister of Magadha, having delighted and rejoiced in the venerable Ānanda’s words, rose from his seat and departed.

Then, soon after he had left, the brahmin Gopaka Moggallāna said to the venerable Ānanda: “Master Ānanda has not yet answered what we asked him.”

“Did we not tell you, brahmin: ‘There is no single bhikkhu, brahmin, who possesses in each and every way all those qualities that were possessed by the Blessed One, accomplished and fully enlightened. For the Blessed One was the arouser of the unarisen path, the producer of the unproduced path, the declarer of the undeclared path; he was the knower of the path, the finder of the path, the one skilled in the path. But his disciples now abide following that path and become possessed of it afterwards’?”


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 108 Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Gopaka Moggallāna by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, or DhammaTalks.org.

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AN 4.33 Sīhasutta: The Lion

“Bhikkhus, in the evening the lion, the king of beasts, comes out from his lair, stretches his body, surveys the four quarters all around, and roars his lion’s roar three times. Then he sets out in search of game.

“Whatever animals hear the lion roaring for the most part are filled with fear, a sense of urgency, and terror. Those who live in holes enter their holes; those who live in the water enter the water; those who live in the woods enter the woods; and the birds resort to the sky. Even those royal bull elephants, bound by strong thongs in the villages, towns, and capital cities, burst and break their bonds asunder; frightened, they urinate and defecate and flee here and there. So powerful among the animals is the lion, the king of beasts, so majestic and mighty.

“So too, bhikkhus, when the Tathāgata arises in the world, an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One, he teaches the Dhamma thus:

1) ‘Such is personal existence,
2) such the origin of personal existence,
3) such the cessation of personal existence,
4) such the way to the cessation of personal existence.’

“When those devas who are long-lived, beautiful, abounding in happiness, dwelling for a long time in lofty palaces, hear the Tathāgata’s teaching of the Dhamma, for the most part they are filled with fear, a sense of urgency, and terror thus: ‘It seems that we are actually impermanent, though we thought ourselves permanent; it seems that we are actually transient, though we thought ourselves everlasting; it seems that we are actually non-eternal, though we thought ourselves eternal. It seems that we are impermanent, transient, non-eternal, included in personal existence.’ So powerful is the Tathāgata, so majestic and mighty is he in this world together with its devas.”

When, through direct knowledge,
the Buddha, the teacher, the peerless person
in this world with its devas,
sets in motion the wheel of Dhamma,
he teaches personal existence, its cessation,
the origin of personal existence,
and the noble eightfold path
that leads to the calming down of suffering.

Then even those devas with long life spans—
beautiful, ablaze with glory—
become fearful and filled with terror,
like beasts who hear the lion’s roar.
“It seems that we are impermanent,
not beyond personal existence,” they say,
when they hear the word of the Arahant,
the Stable One who is fully freed.



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DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Subhadda’s Question

…Now at that time a wanderer named Subhadda was residing near Kusinārā. He heard that on that very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama would become fully extinguished. He thought: “I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty.”

Then Subhadda went to the Mallian sal grove at Upavattana, approached Ānanda, and said to him, “Master Ānanda, I have heard that brahmins of the past who were elderly and senior, the teachers of teachers, said: ‘Only rarely do Realized Ones arise in the world, perfected ones, fully awakened Buddhas.’ And this very day, in the last watch of the night, the ascetic Gotama will become fully extinguished. This state of uncertainty has come up in me. I am quite confident that the Buddha is capable of teaching me so that I can give up this state of uncertainty. Master Ānanda, please let me see the ascetic Gotama.”

When he had spoken, Ānanda said, “Enough, Reverend Subhadda, do not trouble the Realized One. He is tired.”

For a second time, and a third time, Subhadda asked Ānanda, and a third time Ānanda refused.

The Buddha heard that discussion between Ānanda and Subhadda. He said to Ānanda, “Enough, Ānanda, don’t obstruct Subhadda; let him see the Realized One. For whatever he asks me, he will only be looking for understanding, not trouble. And he will quickly understand any answer I give to his question.”

So Ānanda said to the wanderer Subhadda, “Go, Reverend Subhadda, the Buddha is taking the time for you.”

Then the wanderer Subhadda went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

“Master Gotama, there are those ascetics and brahmins who lead an order and a community, and teach a community. They’re well-known and famous religious founders, regarded as holy by many people. Namely: Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Nigaṇṭha Nāṭaputta, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta, Pakudha Kaccāyana, and Ajita Kesakambala. According to their own claims, did all of them have direct knowledge, or none of them, or only some?”

“Enough, Subhadda, let that be. I shall teach you the Dhamma. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” Subhadda replied. The Buddha said this:

“Subhadda, in whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is not found, there is no true ascetic found, no second ascetic, no third ascetic, and no fourth ascetic. In whatever teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found, there is a true ascetic found, a second ascetic, a third ascetic, and a fourth ascetic. In this teaching and training the noble eightfold path is found. Only here is there a true ascetic, here a second ascetic, here a third ascetic, and here a fourth ascetic. Other sects are empty of ascetics.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.

I was twenty-nine years of age, Subaddha,
when I went forth to discover what is skillful.
It’s been over fifty years
since I went forth.
I am the one who points out the proper teaching:
Outside of here there is no true ascetic.

Were these mendicants to practice well, the world would not be empty of perfected ones.”

When he had spoken, Subhadda said to the Buddha, “Excellent, sir! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, the Buddha has made the teaching clear in many ways. I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha. Sir, may I receive the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence?”

“Subhadda, if someone formerly ordained in another sect wishes to take the going forth, the ordination in this teaching and training, they must spend four months on probation. When four months have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, they’ll give the going forth, the ordination into monkhood. However, I have recognized individual differences in this matter.”

“Sir, if four months probation are required in such a case, I’ll spend four years on probation. When four years have passed, if the mendicants are satisfied, let them give me the going forth, the ordination into monkhood.”

Then the Buddha said to Ānanda, “Well then, Ānanda, give Subhadda the going forth.”

“Yes, sir,” Ānanda replied.

Then Subhadda said to Ānanda, “You’re so fortunate, Reverand Ānanda, so very fortunate, to be anointed here in the Teacher’s presence as his pupil!” And the wanderer Subhadda received the going forth, the ordination in the Buddha’s presence. Not long after his ordination, Venerable Subhadda, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, keen, and resolute, soon realized the supreme end of the spiritual path in this very life. He lived having achieved with his own insight the goal for which gentlemen rightly go forth from the lay life to homelessness.

He understood: “Rebirth is ended; the spiritual journey has been completed; what had to be done has been done; there is no return to any state of existence.” And Venerable Subhadda became one of the perfected. He was the last personal disciple of the Buddha.…



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

AN 5.196 Supina Sutta: Dreams

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, five great dreams appeared to him. Which five?

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this great earth was his great bed. The Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow. His left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the first great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the second great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the third great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fourth great dream that appeared to him.

“And further, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement. When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, this was the fifth great dream that appeared to him.

“Now, when the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and this great earth was his great bed, the Himalayas, king of mountains, was his pillow, his left hand rested in the eastern sea, his right hand in the western sea, and both feet in the southern sea: this first great dream appeared to let him know that he would awaken to the unexcelled right self-awakening.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and a woody vine growing out of his navel stood reaching to the sky: this second great dream appeared to let him know that when he had awakened to the noble eightfold path, he would proclaim it well as far as there are devas & human beings.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and white worms with black heads crawling up from his feet covered him as far as his knees: this third great dream appeared to let him know that many white-clothed householders would go for life-long refuge to the Tathāgata.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and four different-colored birds coming from the four directions fell at his feet and turned entirely white: this fourth great dream appeared to let him know that people from the four castes—brahmans, noble-warriors, merchants, and laborers—having gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the Dhamma & Vinaya taught by the Tathāgata, would realize unexcelled release.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, and he walked back & forth on top of a giant mountain of excrement but was not soiled by the excrement: this fifth great dream appeared to let him know that the Tathāgata would receive gifts of robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites to cure the sick, but he would use them unattached to them, uninfatuated, guiltless, seeing the drawbacks (of attachment to them), and discerning the escape from them.

“When the Tathāgata—worthy & rightly self-awakened—was still just an unawakened bodhisatta, these five great dreams appeared to him.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.196 Supina Sutta. Dreams by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Uruvela on the bank of the river Nerañjara at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Now on that occasion Mara the Evil One had been following the Blessed One for seven years, seeking to gain access to him but without success. Then Mara the Evil One approached the Blessed One and addressed him in verse:

“Is it because you are sunk in sorrow
That you meditate in the woods?
Because you’ve lost wealth or pine for it,
Or committed some crime in the village?
Why don’t you make friends with people?
Why don’t you form any intimate ties?”

The Blessed One:

“Having dug up entirely the root of sorrow,
Guiltless, I meditate free from sorrow.
Having cut off all greedy urge for existence,
I meditate taintless, O kinsman of the negligent!”

Mara:

“That of which they say ‘It’s mine,’
And those who speak in terms of ‘mine’—
If your mind exists among these,
You won’t escape me, ascetic.”

The Blessed One:

“That which they speak of is not mine,
I’m not one of those who speak of mine.
You should know thus, O Evil One:
Even my path you will not see.”

Mara:

“If you have discovered the path,
The secure way leading to the Deathless,
Be off and walk that path alone;
What’s the point of instructing others?”

The Blessed One:

“Those people going to the far shore
Ask what lies beyond Death’s realm.
When asked, I explain to them
The truth without acquisitions.”

Mara: “Suppose, venerable sir, not far from a village or a town there was a lotus pond in which a crab was living. Then a group of boys and girls would leave the village or town and go to the pond. They would pull the crab out from the water and set it down on high ground. Then, whenever that crab would extend one of its claws, those boys and girls would cut it off, break it, and smash it to bits with sticks and stones. Thus, when all its claws have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits, that crab would be unable to return to that pond. So too, venerable sir, all those distortions, manoeuvres, and contortions of mine have been cut off, broken, and smashed to bits by the Blessed One. Now, venerable sir, I am unable to approach the Blessed One again seeking to gain access to him.”

Then Mara the Evil One, in the presence of the Blessed One, recited these verses of disappointment:

“There was a crow that walked around
A stone that looked like a lump of fat.
‘Let’s find something tender here,’ he thought,
‘Perhaps there’s something nice and tasty.’

But because he found nothing tasty there,
The crow departed from that spot.
Just like the crow that attacked the stone,
We leave Gotama disappointed.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 4.24 Sattavassānubandhasutta: Seven Years of Pursuit by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

MN 26 From Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search—Meeting Upaka

“…Then, bhikkhus, when I had stayed at Uruvelā as long as I chose, I set out to wander by stages to Benares. Between Gayā and the Place of Enlightenment the Ājīvaka Upaka saw me on the road and said: ‘Friend, your faculties are clear, the colour of your skin is pure and bright. Under whom have you gone forth, friend? Who is your teacher? Whose Dhamma do you profess? ’ I replied to the Ājīvaka Upaka in stanzas:

‘I am one who has transcended all, a knower of all,
Unsullied among all things, renouncing all,
By craving’s ceasing freed. Having known this all
For myself, to whom should I point as teacher?

I have no teacher, and one like me
Exists nowhere in all the world
With all its gods, because I have
No person for my counterpart.

I am the Accomplished One in the world,
I am the Teacher Supreme.
I alone am a Fully Enlightened One
Whose fires are quenched and extinguished.

I go now to the city of Kāsi
To set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma.
In a world that has become blind
I go to beat the drum of the Deathless.’

‘By your claims, friend, you ought to be the Universal Victor.’
‘The victors are those like me
Who have won to destruction of taints.
I have vanquished all evil states,
Therefore, Upaka, I am a victor.’

“When this was said, the Ājīvaka Upaka said: ‘May it be so, friend.’ Shaking his head, he took a bypath and departed.


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 26 Ariyapariyesanāsutta: The Noble Search by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com.

AN 4.127 Paṭhamatathāgataacchariyasutta: Incredible Things About the Realized One (1st)

“Mendicants, with the appearance of a Realized One, a perfected one, a fully awakened Buddha, four incredible and amazing things appear. What four?

When the being intent on awakening passes away from the host of Joyful Gods, he’s conceived in his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the first incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the being intent on awakening emerges from his mother’s womb, mindful and aware. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the second incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One understands the supreme perfect awakening. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the third incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

Furthermore, the Realized One rolls forth the supreme Wheel of Dhamma. And then—in this world with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. Even in the boundless desolation of interstellar space—so utterly dark that even the light of the moon and the sun, so mighty and powerful, makes no impression—an immeasurable, magnificent light appears, surpassing the glory of the gods. And the sentient beings reborn there recognize each other by that light: ‘So, it seems other sentient beings have been reborn here!’ This is the fourth incredible and amazing thing that appears with the appearance of a Realized One.

With the appearance of a Realized One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha, these four incredible and amazing things appear.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.127 Paṭhamatathāgataacchariyasutta: Incredible Things About the Realized One (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

Snp 3.11 Nālakasutta: Nālaka the Seer

Asita the seer, in his mid-day meditation,
saw the Group of Thirty—
Sakka the king, and devas dressed in pure white
     exultant, ecstatic—
holding up banners, cheering wildly,
& on seeing the devas so joyful & happy,
having paid his respects, he said:

“Why is the deva community
     so wildly elated?
Why are they holding up banners
& waving them around?
Even after the war with the Asuras
     —when victory was the devas’,
     the Asuras defeated—
even then there was nothing hair-raising like this.
Seeing what marvel
are the devas so joyful?
     They whistle,
     they sing,
     play music,
     clap their hands,
     dance.
So I ask you, who live on Mount Meru’s summit.
Please dispel my doubt quickly, dear sirs.”

“The Bodhisatta, the foremost jewel,
     unequaled,
has been born for welfare & happiness
     in the human world,
in a town in the Sakyan countryside,
     Lumbini.
That’s why we’re contented, so wildly elated.
He, the highest of all beings,
the ultimate person,
a bull among men, highest of all people,
will set turning the Wheel [of Dhamma]
in the forest named after the seers,
like a strong, roaring lion,
the conqueror of beasts.”

Hearing these words,
Asita quickly descended [from heaven]
and went to Suddhodana’s dwelling.
There, taking a seat, he said to the Sakyans:
     “Where is the prince?
     I, too, want to see him.”
The Sakyans then showed
to the seer named Asita
     their son, the prince,
     like gold aglow,
burnished by a most skillful smith
in the mouth of the furnace,
blazing with glory, flawless in color.
On seeing the prince blazing like flame,
pure like the bull of the stars
going across the sky
     —the burning sun,
     released from the clouds of autumn—
he was exultant, filled with abundant rapture.
The devas held in the sky
a many-spoked sunshade
of a thousand circles.
Gold-handled whisks
waved up & down,
but those holding the whisks & the sunshade
     couldn’t be seen.

The coiled-haired seer
named Dark Splendor,
seeing the boy, like an ornament of gold
on the red woolen blanket,
a white sunshade held over his head,
received him, joyful in mind & pleased.
And on receiving the bull of the Sakyans,
longingly, the master of mantras & signs
exclaimed with a confident mind:
     “This one is unsurpassed,
     the highest of the biped race.”

Then, foreseeing his own imminent departure,
he, dejected, shed tears.
On seeing him weeping,
the Sakyans asked:
     “But surely there will be
     no danger for the prince?”
On seeing the Sakyans’ concern
he replied, “I foresee for the prince
     no harm.
Nor will there be any danger for him.
This one’s not insignificant: Be assured.
     This prince will touch
     the ultimate self-awakening.
He, seeing the utmost purity,
will set rolling the Wheel of Dhamma
through sympathy for the welfare of many.
His holy life will spread far & wide.

     But as for me,
my life here has no long remainder.
My death will take place before then.
     I won’t get to hear
the Dhamma of this one with the peerless role.
That’s why I’m stricken,
     afflicted, & pained.”

He, having brought the Sakyans
abundant rapture,
the follower of the holy life
left the inner chamber and,
out of sympathy for his nephew,
urged him on toward the Dhamma
of the one with the peerless role:
“When you hear from another the word,
     ‘Awakened One,’
or ‘Attaining self-awakening,
he lays open the path of the Dhamma,’
go there and, asking him yourself,
     follow the holy life
under that Blessed One.”

Instructed by the one
whose mind was set on his benefit,
          Such,
seeing in the future the utmost purity,
Nālaka, who had laid up a store of merit,
awaited the Victor expectantly,
guarding his senses.
On hearing word of the Victor’s
turning of the foremost wheel,
     he went, he saw
the bull among seers. Confident,
he asked the foremost sage
about the utmost sagacity,
now that Asita’s forecast
had come to pass.

Nālaka:
“Now that I know
Asita’s words to be true,
I ask you, Gotama,
you who have gone
to the beyond of all dhammas.
I’m intent on the homeless life;
I long for the almsround.
Tell me sage, when asked,
the highest state of sagacity.”

The Buddha:
“I’ll teach you
a sagacity          hard to do,
          hard to master.
Come now, I’ll tell you.
Be steadfast. Be firm.
Practice even-mindedness,
for in a village
there’s praise & abuse.
Ward off any flaw in the heart.
Go about calmed & not haughty.
High & low things will come up
like fire-flames in a forest.
Women seduce a sage.
     May they not seduce you.
Abstaining from sexual intercourse,
abandoning various sensual pleasures,
be unopposed, unattached,
to beings moving & still.
     ‘As I am, so are these.
     As are these, so am I.’
Drawing the parallel to
     yourself,
neither kill nor get others to kill.
Abandoning the wants & greed
where people run-of-the-mill are stuck,
     practice with vision,
     cross over this hell.

Stomach not full,
moderate in food,
modest,
not being greedy,
always not hungering for wants:
     One without hunger
     is one who’s unbound.

Having gone on his almsround, the sage
should then go to the forest,
     approaching the root of a tree,
     taking a seat.
The enlightened one, intent on jhāna,
should find delight in the forest,
should practice jhāna at the foot of a tree,
attaining his own satisfaction.
Then, at the end of the night,
he should go to the village,
     not delighting in an invitation
     or gift from the village.
Having gone to the village,
the sage should not go
forcing his way among families.
Cutting off chatter,
he shouldn’t utter a scheming word.
     ‘I got something,
     that’s fine.
     I got nothing,
     that, too, is good.’
Being such with regard to both,
he returns to the very same tree.
Wandering with his bowl in hand
     —not dumb,
     but seemingly dumb—
he shouldn’t despise a piddling gift
nor disparage the giver.
High & low are the practices
proclaimed by the contemplative.
They don’t go twice to the further shore.
This [unbinding] isn’t sensed only once.
In one who has no attachment—
the monk who has cut the stream,
abandoning what is
& isn’t a duty—
     no fever is found.

I’ll teach you
sagacity:Be like a razor’s edge.
Pressing tongue against palate,
     restrain your stomach.
Neither be lazy in mind,
nor have many thoughts.
Be free of raw stench,
     independent,
having the holy life as your aim.
Train in     solitude
          & the contemplative’s task,
     Solitude
     is called
     sagacity.
Alone, you truly delight
     & shine in the ten directions.

On hearing the fame of the enlightened
     —those who practice jhāna,
     relinquishing sensuality—
my disciple should foster
     all the more
     shame & conviction.

Know from the rivers
in clefts & in crevices:
Those in small channels flow
                    noisily,
     the great
     flow silent.

Whatever’s deficient
     makes noise.
Whatever is full
     is quiet.
The fool is like a half-empty pot;
one who is wise, a full lake.

A contemplative who speaks a great deal
     endowed with meaning:
     Knowing, he teaches the Dhamma;
     knowing, he speaks a great deal.
But he who,
     knowing, is restrained,
     knowing, doesn’t speak a great deal:
He is a sage
     worthy of sagehood.
He is a sage,
     his sagehood attained.”


Read this translation of Sn 3.11 Nālaka by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 44.1 From Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom

…Then the Kosalan King Pasenadi approached the nun Khemā, and after approaching and worshipping the nun Khemā, he sat down on one side.

While sitting on one side the Kosalan King Pasenadi said this to the nun Khemā:

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’”

“How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’”

“But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?

“This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: ‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’”

“‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist after death?”’

‘But how is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One not exist after death?”’

When there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?”’

‘How is it, Noble Lady, does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ – when there is this question, you say: ‘This has not been answered, Great King, by the Fortunate One: “Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?” ’

What is the cause, Noble Lady, what is the reason, why does the Fortunate One not answer this?”

“Now then, Great King, here I will ask you something in return, as you see fit, so you should answer.

What do you think, Great King, do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to count the amount of sand in the Ganges, saying: there is this much sand, or there are so many hundreds of grains of sand, or there are so many thousands of grains of sand, or there are so many hundreds of thousands of grains of sand?

“Certainly not, Noble Lady.”

“But do you have a mathematician, or a calculator or an accountant who is able to measure the water in the great ocean, saying: there are this many gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of gallons of water, or there are this many thousands of gallons of water, or there are this many hundreds of thousands of gallons of water?”

“Certainly not, Noble Lady. What is the cause of that? Great is the ocean, Noble Lady, deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom.”

“Just so, Great King, through knowing whatever bodily form a Realised One can be known by, that form the Realised One has abandoned, cut off at the root, made a palm stump, made unviable, so that by nature it is unable to rise again in the future.

The Realised One, Great King, is free from being considered as bodily form, he is deep, immeasurable, hard to fathom, like the great ocean.

‘Does the Realised One exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One exist and not exist after death?’ does not apply,
‘Does the Realised One neither exist nor not exist after death?’ does not apply.


Read the complete translation of SN 44.1 Khemāsutta: Khemā Therī’s Wisdom by Bhikkhu Ānandajoti on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.

DN 16 From Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation—The Four Places

…“Formerly, reverend Sir, the monks, having dwelt for the Rains Retreat used to come to see the Realised One, and we would receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One. But after the Fortunate One has passed way, reverend Sir, we will not receive those meditating monks for assembling and seeing the Realised One.”

“There are these four places that can be seen, that produce enthusiasm, Ānanda, for a faithful man of good family.

Which four?

  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.
  • Thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was completely Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, Ānanda, that is a place to be seen that produces enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

These are the four places, Ānanda, that are to be seen that produce enthusiasm for a faithful man of good family.

Faithful monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen will come, thinking: ‘Here the Realised One was born’, ‘Here the Realised One awoke to the unsurpassed and Perfect Awakening’, ‘Here the Realised One set rolling the Wheel of the Teaching’, ‘Here the Realised One was Finally Emancipated in the Emancipation-element which has no basis for attachment remaining’, and whoever, Ānanda, will die while on pilgrimage to the Shrines with a confident mind they will all, at the break-up of the body, after death, re-arise in a fortunate destiny, in a heavenly world.”…


Read the entire translation of DN 16 Mahāparinibbānasuttaṁ: The Discourse about the Great Emancipation by Ānandajoti Bhikkhu on Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org.