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SN 48.44 Pubbakoṭṭhakasutta: At the Eastern Gate

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in Sāvatthī at the eastern gate. Then the Buddha said to Venerable Sāriputta:

“Sāriputta, do you have faith that the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death?”

“Sir, in this case I don’t rely on faith in the Buddha’s claim that the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death. There are those who have not known or seen or understood or realized or experienced this with wisdom. They may rely on faith in this matter. But there are those who have known, seen, understood, realized, and experienced this with wisdom. They have no doubts or uncertainties in this matter. I have known, seen, understood, realized, and experienced this with wisdom. I have no doubts or uncertainties that the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death.”

“Good, good, Sāriputta! There are those who have not known or seen or understood or realized or experienced this with wisdom. They may rely on faith in this matter. But there are those who have known, seen, understood, realized, and experienced this with wisdom. They have no doubts or uncertainties that the faculties of faith, energy, mindfulness, immersion, and wisdom, when developed and cultivated, culminate, finish, and end in freedom from death.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 48.44 Pubbakoṭṭhakasutta: At the Eastern Gate by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

SN 14.15 Caṅkamasutta: Walking Together

At one time the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha, on the Vulture’s Peak Mountain. Now at that time Venerable Sāriputta was walking together with several mendicants not far from the Buddha. Venerable Mahāmoggallāna was doing likewise, as were Venerable Mahākassapa, Venerable Anuruddha, Venerable Puṇṇa son of Mantāṇī, Venerable Upāli, Venerable Ānanda, and Devadatta.

Then the Buddha said to the mendicants, “Mendicants, do you see Sāriputta walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants have great wisdom. Do you see Moggallāna walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants have great psychic power. Do you see Kassapa walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants advocate austerities. Do you see Anuruddha walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants have clairvoyance. Do you see Puṇṇa son of Mantāṇī walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants are Dhamma speakers. Do you see Upāli walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants are experts in monastic law. Do you see Ānanda walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants are very learned. Do you see Devadatta walking together with several mendicants?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All of those mendicants have corrupt wishes.

Sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have bad convictions come together and converge with those who have bad convictions. Those who have good convictions come together and converge with those who have good convictions.

In the past, in the future, and also in the present, sentient beings come together and converge because of an element. Those who have bad convictions come together and converge with those who have bad convictions. Those who have good convictions come together and converge with those who have good convictions.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 14.15 Caṅkamasutta: Walking Together by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 21.3 Ghaṭasutta: The Barrel

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Now on that occasion the Venerable Sāriputta and the Venerable Mahamoggallana were dwelling at Rajagaha in a single dwelling in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrel Sanctuary. Then, in the evening, the Venerable Sāriputta emerged from seclusion and approached the Venerable Mahamoggallana. He exchanged greetings with the Venerable Mahamoggallana and, when they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to him:

“Friend Moggallana, your faculties are serene, your facial complexion is pure and bright. Has the Venerable Mahamoggallana spent the day in a peaceful dwelling?”

“I spent the day in a gross dwelling, friend, but I did have some Dhamma talk.”

“With whom did the Venerable Mahamoggallana have some Dhamma talk?”

“I had some Dhamma talk with the Blessed One, friend.”

“But the Blessed One is far away, friend. He is now dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Did the Venerable Mahamoggallana approach the Blessed One by means of spiritual power, or did the Blessed One approach the Venerable Mahamoggallana by means of spiritual power?”

“I didn’t approach the Blessed One by means of spiritual power, friend, nor did the Blessed One approach me by means of spiritual power. Rather, the Blessed One cleared his divine eye and divine ear element to communicate with me, and I cleared my divine eye and divine ear element to communicate with the Blessed One.”

“What kind of Dhamma talk did the Venerable Mahamoggallana have with the Blessed One?”

“Here, friend, I said to the Blessed One: ‘Venerable sir, it is said, “one with energy aroused, one with energy aroused.” In what way, venerable sir, does one have energy aroused?’ The Blessed One then said to me: ‘Here, Moggallana, a bhikkhu with energy aroused dwells thus: “Willingly, let only my skin, sinews, and bones remain, and let the flesh and blood dry up in my body, but I will not relax my energy so long as I have not attained what can be attained by manly strength, by manly energy, by manly exertion.” It is in such a way, Moggallana, that one has aroused energy.’ Such, friend, is the Dhamma talk that I had with the Blessed One.”

“Friend, compared to the Venerable Mahamoggallana we are like a few grains of gravel compared to the Himalayas, the king of mountains. For the Venerable Mahamoggallana is of such great spiritual power and might that if so he wished he could live on for an aeon.”

“Friend, compared to the Venerable Sāriputta we are like a few grains of salt compared to a barrel of salt. For the Venerable Sāriputta has been extolled, lauded, and praised in many ways by the Blessed One:

“‘As Sāriputta is supreme
In wisdom, virtue, and peace,
So a bhikkhu who has gone beyond
At best can only equal him.’”

In this manner both these great nagas rejoiced in what was well stated and well declared by the other.


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SN 47.12 Nālandasutta: Nalanda

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Nalanda in Pavarika’s Mango Grove. Then the Venerable Sāriputta approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment.”

“Lofty indeed is this bellowing utterance of yours, Sāriputta, you have roared a definitive, categorical lion’s roar: ‘Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment.’ Have you now, Sāriputta, encompassed with your mind the minds of all the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones, arisen in the past and known thus: ‘Those Blessed Ones were of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Then, Sāriputta, have you encompassed with your mind the minds of all the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones, who will arise in the future and known thus: ‘Those Blessed Ones will be of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Then, Sāriputta, have you encompassed with your mind my own mind—I being at present the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One—and known thus: ‘The Blessed One is of such virtue, or of such qualities, or of such wisdom, or of such dwellings, or of such liberation’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Sāriputta, when you do not have any knowledge encompassing the minds of the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present, why do you utter this lofty, bellowing utterance and roar this definitive, categorical lion’s roar: ‘Venerable sir, I have such confidence in the Blessed One that I believe there has not been nor ever will be nor exists at present another ascetic or brahmin more knowledgeable than the Blessed One with respect to enlightenment’?”

“I do not have, venerable sir, any knowledge encompassing the minds of the Arahants, the Perfectly Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present, but still I have understood this by inference from the Dhamma. Suppose, venerable sir, a king had a frontier city with strong ramparts, walls, and arches, and with a single gate. The gatekeeper posted there would be wise, competent, and intelligent; one who keeps out strangers and admits acquaintances. While he is walking along the path that encircles the city he would not see a cleft or an opening in the walls even big enough for a cat to slip through. He might think: ‘Whatever large creatures enter or leave this city, all enter and leave through this one gate.’

“So too, venerable sir, I have understood this by inference from the Dhamma: Whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones arose in the past, all those Blessed Ones had first abandoned the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with their minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, they had developed correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby they had awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. And, venerable sir, whatever Arahants, Perfectly Enlightened Ones will arise in the future, all those Blessed Ones will first abandon the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with their minds well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, they will develop correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby they will awaken to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment. And, venerable sir, the Blessed One, who is at present the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, first abandoned the five hindrances, corruptions of the mind and weakeners of wisdom; and then, with his mind well established in the four establishments of mindfulness, he developed correctly the seven factors of enlightenment; and thereby he has awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment.”

“Good, good, Sāriputta! Therefore, Sāriputta, you should repeat this Dhamma exposition frequently to the bhikkhus and the bhikkhunis, to the male lay followers and the female lay followers. Even though some foolish people may have perplexity or uncertainty regarding the Tathagata, when they hear this Dhamma exposition their perplexity or uncertainty regarding the Tathagata will be abandoned.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 47.12 Nālandasutta: Nalanda by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 47.13 Cundasutta: With Cunda

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. At that time Venerable Sāriputta was staying in the Magadhan lands near the little village of Nālaka, and he was sick, suffering, gravely ill. And the novice Cunda was his carer.

Then Venerable Sāriputta became fully extinguished because of that sickness. Then Cunda took Sāriputta’s bowl and robes and set out for Sāvatthī. He went to see Venerable Ānanda at Jeta’s grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, Venerable Sāriputta has become fully extinguished. This is his bowl and robe.”

“Reverend Cunda, we should see the Buddha about this matter. Come, let’s go to the Buddha and inform him about this.”

“Yes, sir,” replied Cunda.

Then Ānanda and Cunda went to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, this novice Cunda says that Venerable Sāriputta has become fully extinguished. This is his bowl and robe. Since I heard this, my body feels like it’s drugged. I’m disorientated, and the teachings don’t spring to mind.”

“Well, Ānanda, when Sāriputta became fully extinguished, did he take away your entire spectrum of ethical conduct, of immersion, of wisdom, of freedom, or of the knowledge and vision of freedom?”

“No, sir, he did not. But Venerable Sāriputta was my adviser and counselor. He educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired me. He never tired of teaching the Dhamma, and he supported his spiritual companions. I remember the nectar of the teaching, the riches of the teaching, the support of the teaching given by Venerable Sāriputta.”

“Ānanda, did I not prepare for this when I explained that we must be parted and separated from all we hold dear and beloved? How could it possibly be so that what is born, created, conditioned, and liable to wear out should not wear out? That is not possible.

Suppose there was a large tree standing with heartwood, and the largest branch fell off. In the same way, in the great Saṅgha that stands with heartwood, Sāriputta has become fully extinguished.

How could it possibly be so that what is born, created, conditioned, and liable to wear out should not wear out? That is not possible.

So Ānanda, live as your own island, your own refuge, with no other refuge. Let the teaching be your island and your refuge, with no other refuge.

And how does a mendicant do this? It’s when a mendicant meditates by observing an aspect of the body—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of covetousness and displeasure for the world. They meditate observing an aspect of feelings … mind … principles—keen, aware, and mindful, rid of covetousness and displeasure for the world.

That’s how a mendicant lives as their own island, their own refuge, with no other refuge. That’s how the teaching is their island and their refuge, with no other refuge.

Whether now or after I have passed, any who shall live as their own island, their own refuge, with no other refuge; with the teaching as their island and their refuge, with no other refuge—those mendicants of mine who want to train shall be among the best of the best.”


For a similar sutta, see SN 47. 14.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 47.13 Cundasutta: With Cunda by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 2.29 Susimasutta: With Susīma

At Sāvatthī.

Then Venerable Ānanda went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Ānanda, do you endorse Sāriputta?”

“Sir, who on earth would not endorse Venerable Sāriputta unless they’re a fool, a hater, delusional, or mentally deranged? Venerable Sāriputta is astute, he has great wisdom, widespread wisdom, laughing wisdom, swift wisdom, sharp wisdom, and penetrating wisdom. He has few wishes, he’s content, secluded, aloof, and energetic. He gives advice and accepts advice; he accuses and criticizes wickedness. Who on earth would not endorse Venerable Sāriputta unless they’re a fool, a hater, delusional, or mentally deranged?”

“That’s so true, Ānanda! That’s so true! Who on earth would not endorse Venerable Sāriputta unless they’re a fool, a hater, delusional, or mentally deranged?” And the Buddha repeated all of Ānanda’s terms of praise.

While this praise of Sāriputta was being spoken, the god Susīma approached the Buddha, escorted by a large assembly of gods. He bowed, stood to one side, and said to him:

“That’s so true, Blessed One! That’s so true, Holy One! Who on earth would not endorse Venerable Sāriputta unless they’re a fool, a hater, delusional, or mentally deranged?” And he too repeated all the terms of praise of Sāriputta, adding, “For I too, sir, whenever I go to an assembly of gods, frequently hear the same terms of praise.”

While this praise of Sāriputta was being spoken, the gods of Susīma’s assembly—uplifted and overjoyed, full of rapture and happiness—generated a rainbow of bright colors.

Suppose there was a beryl gem that was naturally beautiful, eight-faceted, well-worked. When placed on a cream rug it would shine and glow and radiate. In the same way, the gods of Susīma’s assembly generated a rainbow of bright colors.

Suppose there was a pendant of river gold, fashioned by a deft smith, well wrought in the forge. When placed on a cream rug it would shine and glow and radiate. In the same way, the gods of Susīma’s assembly generated a rainbow of bright colors.

Suppose that after the rainy season the sky was clear and cloudless. At the crack of dawn, the Morning Star shines and glows and radiates. In the same way, the gods of Susīma’s assembly generated a rainbow of bright colors.

Suppose that after the rainy season the sky was clear and cloudless. As the sun rises, it would dispel all the darkness from the sky as it shines and glows and radiates. In the same way, the gods of Susīma’s assembly generated a rainbow of bright colors.

Then the god Susīma recited this verse about Venerable Sāriputta in the Buddha’s presence:

“He’s considered astute,
Sāriputta, free of anger.
Few in wishes, sweet, tamed,
the seer shines in the Teacher’s praise!”

Then the Buddha replied to Susīma with this verse about Venerable Sāriputta:

“He’s considered astute,
Sāriputta, free of anger.
Few in wishes, sweet, tamed;
developed and well-tamed, he bides his time.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 2.29 Susimasutta: With Susīma by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 2.20 Anāthapiṇḍikasutta: With Anāthapiṇḍika

Standing to one side, the god Anāthapiṇḍika recited these verses in the Buddha’s presence:

“This is indeed that Jeta’s Grove,
frequented by the Saṅgha of seers,
where the King of Dhamma stayed:
it brings me joy!

Deeds, knowledge, and principle;
ethical conduct, an excellent livelihood;
by these are mortals purified,
not by clan or wealth.

That’s why an astute person,
seeing what’s good for themselves,
would examine the teaching rationally,
and thus be purified in it.

Sāriputta is full of wisdom,
ethics, and peace.
Even a mendicant who has crossed over
might at best equal him.”

This is what the god Anāthapiṇḍika said. Then he bowed and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right side, before vanishing right there.

Then, when the night had passed, the Buddha addressed the mendicants: “Mendicants, tonight, a certain glorious god, lighting up the entire Jeta’s Grove, came to me, bowed, stood to one side, and recited these verses in my presence.” The Buddha then repeated the verses in full.

When he said this, Venerable Ānanda said to the Buddha, “Sir, that god must surely have been Anāthapiṇḍika. For the householder Anāthapiṇḍika was devoted to Venerable Sāriputta.”

“Good, good, Ānanda. You’ve reached the logical conclusion, as far as logic goes. For that was indeed the god Anāthapiṇḍika.”


Note: This event is also recounted at the end of MN 143 Anāthapiṇḍikovāda Sutta.

Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 2.20 Anāthapiṇḍikasutta: With Anāthapiṇḍika by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Thag 17.2 From… Sāriputtattheragāthā: Sāriputta—Part 3

“Calm and still,
thoughtful in counsel, not restless—
he shakes off bad qualities
as the wind shakes leaves off a tree.

Calm and still,
thoughtful in counsel, not restless—
he plucks off bad qualities
as the wind plucks leaves off a tree.

Calm and free of despair,
clear and unclouded,
of good morals, intelligent:
one would make an end of suffering.”

“Some householders, and even some renunciants,
are not to be trusted.
Some who were good later become bad;
while some who were bad become good.”

“Sensual desire, ill will,
dullness and drowsiness,
restlessness, and doubt:
these are the five mental stains for a monk.”

“Whether they’re honored
or not honored, or both,
their immersion doesn’t waver
as they live diligently.

They persistently practice absorption
with subtle view and discernment.
Rejoicing in the ending of grasping,
they’re said to be a true person.”

“The oceans and the earth,
the mountains and the wind—
none of these can compare
with the Teacher’s magnificent liberation.”

“The senior monk who keeps the wheel rolling,
he is very wise and serene.
Like earth, like water, like fire,
he is neither attracted nor repelled.

He has attained the perfection of wisdom,
so intelligent and thoughtful.
He is bright, but seems to be dull;
he always wanders, quenched.”

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

“Persist with diligence:
this is my instruction.
Come, I’ll be fully extinguished—
I am everywhere free.”


Read the entire translation of Theragāthā 17.2 Sāriputtattheragāthā: Sāriputta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 8.28 Dutiyabalasutta: Powers (2nd)

Then Venerable Sāriputta went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Sāriputta, how many powers does a mendicant who has ended the defilements have that qualify them to claim: ‘My defilements have ended’?”

“Sir, a mendicant who has ended the defilements has eight powers that qualify them to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

What eight? Firstly, a mendicant with defilements ended has clearly seen with right wisdom all conditions as truly impermanent. This is a power that a mendicant who has ended the defilements relies on to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

Furthermore, a mendicant with defilements ended has clearly seen with right wisdom that sensual pleasures are truly like a pit of glowing coals. This is a power that a mendicant who has ended the defilements relies on to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

Furthermore, the mind of a mendicant with defilements ended slants, slopes, and inclines to seclusion. They’re withdrawn, loving renunciation, and they’ve totally done with defiling influences. This is a power that a mendicant who has ended the defilements relies on to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

Furthermore, a mendicant with defilements ended has well developed the four kinds of mindfulness meditation. This is a power that a mendicant who has ended the defilements relies on to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

Furthermore, a mendicant with defilements ended has well developed the four bases of psychic power … the five faculties … the seven awakening factors … the noble eightfold path. This is a power that a mendicant who has ended the defilements relies on to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’

A mendicant who has ended the defilements has these eight powers that qualify them to claim: ‘My defilements have ended.’”


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Thag 17.2 From… Sāriputtattheragāthā: Sāriputta—Part 2

“Whether in the village or the wilderness,
in a valley or the uplands,
wherever the perfected ones live
is a delightful place.”

“The wilderness is so lovely!
Though most people don’t like it,
those free of greed are happy there,
as they don’t seek sensual pleasures.”

“Regard one who sees your faults
as a guide to a hidden treasure.
Stay close to one so wise and astute
who corrects you when you need it.
Sticking close to such an impartial person,
things get better, not worse.”

“Advise and instruct;
curb wickedness:
for you shall be loved by the good,
and disliked by the bad.”

“The Blessed One, the Buddha, the seer
was teaching Dhamma to another.
As he taught the Dhamma,
I lent an ear to get the meaning.

My listening wasn’t wasted:
I’m freed, without defilements.”

“Not for knowledge of past lives,
nor even for clairvoyance;
not for psychic powers, or reading the minds of others,
nor for knowing people’s passing away and being reborn;
not for purifying the power of clairaudience,
did I have any wish.”

“His only shelter is the foot of a tree;
shaven, wrapped in his outer robe,
the senior monk foremost in wisdom,
Upatissa himself practices absorption.

When in a meditation free of placing the mind,
a disciple of the Buddha
is at that moment blessed
with noble silence.

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

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

“I don’t long for death;
I don’t long for life;
I will lay down this body,
aware and mindful.

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

“Both what came before and what follows after
are nothing but death, not freedom from death.
Practice, don’t perish—
don’t let the moment pass you by.

Just like a frontier city,
is guarded inside and out,
so you should ward yourselves—
don’t let the moment pass you by.
For if you miss your moment
you’ll grieve when sent to hell.”


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MN 111 Anupadasutta: One by One

[Note: Today’s sutta is much longer and a bit more technical than usual, but it’s one of the few detailed accounts of the process leading to enlightenment by a disciple. It recounts all of the stages of meditation that Ven. Sāriputta went through on his way to become an arahant.]

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

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

“Sāriputta is astute, mendicants. He has great wisdom, widespread wisdom, laughing wisdom, swift wisdom, sharp wisdom, and penetrating wisdom. For a fortnight he practiced discernment of phenomena one by one. And this is how he did it.

Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, he entered and remained in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. And he distinguished the phenomena in the first absorption one by one: placing and keeping and rapture and bliss and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, as the placing of the mind and keeping it connected were stilled, he entered and remained 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.

And he distinguished the phenomena in the second absorption one by one: internal confidence and rapture and bliss and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, with the fading away of rapture, he entered and remained in the third absorption, where he meditated with equanimity, mindful and aware, personally experiencing the bliss of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous and mindful, one meditates in bliss.’

And he distinguished the phenomena in the third absorption one by one: bliss and mindfulness and awareness and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, with the giving up of pleasure and pain, and the ending of former happiness and sadness, he entered and remained in the fourth absorption, without pleasure or pain, with pure equanimity and mindfulness.

And he distinguished the phenomena in the fourth absorption one by one: equanimity and neutral feeling and mental unconcern due to tranquility and pure mindfulness and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, going totally beyond perceptions of form, with the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, he entered and remained in the dimension of infinite space.

And he distinguished the phenomena in the dimension of infinite space one by one: the perception of the dimension of infinite space and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of infinite space, aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, he entered and remained in the dimension of infinite consciousness.

And he distinguished the phenomena in the dimension of infinite consciousness one by one: the perception of the dimension of infinite consciousness and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of infinite consciousness, aware that ‘there is nothing at all’, he entered and remained in the dimension of nothingness.

And he distinguished the phenomena in the dimension of nothingness one by one: the perception of the dimension of nothingness and unification of mind; contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, enthusiasm, decision, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, and application of mind. He knew those phenomena as they arose, as they remained, and as they went away. He understood: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of nothingness, he entered and remained in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.

And he emerged from that attainment with mindfulness. Then he contemplated the phenomena in that attainment that had passed, ceased, and perished: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is an escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is.

Furthermore, going totally beyond the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, he entered and remained in the cessation of perception and feeling. And, having seen with wisdom, his defilements came to an end.

And he emerged from that attainment with mindfulness. Then he contemplated the phenomena in that attainment that had passed, ceased, and perished: ‘So it seems that these phenomena, not having been, come to be; and having come to be, they flit away.’ And he meditated without attraction or repulsion for those phenomena; independent, untied, liberated, detached, his mind free of limits. He understood: ‘There is no escape beyond.’ And by repeated practice he knew for sure that there is not.

And if there’s anyone of whom it may be rightly said that they have attained mastery and perfection in noble ethics, immersion, wisdom, and freedom, it’s Sāriputta.

And if there’s anyone of whom it may be rightly said that they’re the Buddha’s true-born child, born from his mouth, born of the teaching, created by the teaching, heir to the teaching, not the heir in things of the flesh, it’s Sāriputta.

Sāriputta rightly keeps rolling the supreme Wheel of Dhamma that was rolled forth by the Realized One.”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the mendicants approved what the Buddha said.


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Thag 17.2 From… Sāriputtattheragāthā: Sāriputta—Part 1

“One who’s mindful as per their conduct and mindfulness,
diligent as per their intentions and meditation,
happy inside, serene, solitary, contented:
that is what they call a mendicant.

When eating fresh or dried food,
one shouldn’t be overly replete.
A mendicant should wander mindfully,
with empty stomach, taking limited food.

Four or five mouthfuls before you’re full,
drink some water;
this is enough for a resolute mendicant
to live in comfort.

If they cover themselves with a robe
that’s allowable and fit for purpose;
this is enough for a resolute mendicant
to live in comfort.

When sitting cross-legged,
the rain doesn’t fall on the knees;
this is enough for a resolute mendicant
to live in comfort.”

“When you’ve seen happiness as suffering,
and suffering as a dart,
and that there’s nothing between the two—
what keeps you in the world? What would you become?

Thinking, ‘May I have nothing to do with those of bad wishes,
lazy, lacking energy,
unlearned, lacking regard for others’—
what keeps you in the world? What would you become?”

“An intelligent, learned person,
steady in ethics,
devoted to serenity of heart—
let them stand at the head.”

“A beast who likes to proliferate,
enjoying proliferation,
fails to win extinguishment,
the supreme sanctuary from the yoke.

But one who gives up proliferation,
enjoying the state of non-proliferation,
wins extinguishment,
the supreme sanctuary from the yoke.”…


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AN 11.7 Saññāsutta: Percipient

Then Venerable Ānanda went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Could it be, sir, that a mendicant might gain a state of immersion like this? They wouldn’t perceive earth in earth, water in water, fire in fire, or air in air. And they wouldn’t perceive the dimension of infinite space in the dimension of infinite space, the dimension of infinite consciousness in the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of nothingness in the dimension of nothingness, or the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. They wouldn’t perceive this world in this world, or the other world in the other world. And they wouldn’t perceive what is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, or explored by the mind. And yet they would still perceive.”

“It could be, Ānanda, that a mendicant might gain a state of immersion like this. They wouldn’t perceive earth in earth, water in water, fire in fire, or air in air. And they wouldn’t perceive the dimension of infinite space in the dimension of infinite space, the dimension of infinite consciousness in the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of nothingness in the dimension of nothingness, or the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. They wouldn’t perceive this world in this world, or the other world in the other world. And they wouldn’t perceive what is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, or explored by the mind. And yet they would still perceive.”

“But how could this be, sir?”

“Ānanda, it’s when a mendicant perceives: ‘This is peaceful; this is sublime—that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.’

That’s how a mendicant might gain a state of immersion like this. They wouldn’t perceive earth in earth, water in water, fire in fire, or air in air. And they wouldn’t perceive the dimension of infinite space in the dimension of infinite space, the dimension of infinite consciousness in the dimension of infinite consciousness, the dimension of nothingness in the dimension of nothingness, or the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. They wouldn’t perceive this world in this world, or the other world in the other world. And they wouldn’t perceive what is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, or explored by the mind. And yet they would still perceive.”

And then Ānanda approved and agreed with what the Buddha said. He got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right. Then he went up to Venerable Sāriputta, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to Sāriputta:

“Could it be, reverend Sāriputta, that a mendicant might gain a state of immersion like this? They wouldn’t perceive earth in earth … And they wouldn’t perceive what is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, or explored by the mind. And yet they would still perceive.”

“It could be, Reverend Ānanda.”

“But how could this be?”

“Ānanda, it’s when a mendicant perceives: ‘This is peaceful; this is sublime—that is, the stilling of all activities, the letting go of all attachments, the ending of craving, fading away, cessation, extinguishment.’ That’s how a mendicant might gain a state of immersion like this. They wouldn’t perceive earth in earth … And they wouldn’t perceive what is seen, heard, thought, known, attained, sought, or explored by the mind. And yet they would still perceive.”

“It’s incredible, it’s amazing! How the meaning and the phrasing of the teacher and the disciple fit together and agree without conflict when it comes to the chief matter! Just now I went to the Buddha and asked him about this matter. And the Buddha explained it to me in this manner, with these words and phrases, just like Venerable Sāriputta. It’s incredible, it’s amazing! How the meaning and the phrasing of the teacher and the disciple fit together and agree without conflict when it comes to the chief matter!”


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SN 17.23 Ekaputtakasutta: An Only Son

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

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

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

A faithful laywoman with a dear and beloved only son would rightly appeal to him, ‘My darling, please be like the householder Citta and Hatthaka of Ãḷavī.’

These are a standard and a measure for my male lay disciples, that is, the householder Citta and Hatthaka of Ãḷavī.

‘But my darling, if you go forth from the lay life to homelessness, please be like Sāriputta and Moggallāna.’

These are a standard and a measure for my monk disciples, that is, Sāriputta and Moggallāna.

‘And my darling, may you not come into possessions, honor, and popularity while you’re still a trainee and haven’t achieved your heart’s desire.’

If a trainee who hasn’t achieved their heart’s desire comes into possessions, honor, and popularity it’s an obstacle for them.

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.”


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SN 39.16 Dukkarasutta: Hard to Do

At one time Venerable Sāriputta was staying in the land of the Vajjis near Ukkacelā on the bank of the Ganges river. Then the wanderer Sāmaṇḍaka went up to Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to Sāriputta:

“Reverend Sāriputta, in this teaching and training, what is hard to do?”

“Going forth, reverend, is hard to do in this teaching and training.”

“But what’s hard to do for someone who has gone forth?”

“When you’ve gone forth it’s hard to be satisfied.”

“But what’s hard to do for someone who is satisfied?”

“When you’re satisfied, it’s hard to practice in line with the teaching.”

“But if a mendicant practices in line with the teaching, will it take them long to become a perfected one?”

“Not long, reverend.”


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SN 45.3 Sāriputtasutta: Sāriputta

[Note: In this sutta, we see that the Arahant Sāriputta already knew the importance of good friends that had to be taught to Ven. Ānanda in a similar sutta. Arahant Sāriputta was well known for his care and appreciation of the community.]

At Sāvatthī.

Then Sāriputta went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, good friends, companions, and associates are the whole of the spiritual life.”

“Good, good, Sāriputta! Good friends, companions, and associates are the whole of the spiritual life. A mendicant with good friends, companions, and associates can expect to develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path. And how does a mendicant with good friends develop and cultivate the noble eightfold path?

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 with good friends develops and cultivates the noble eightfold path.

And here’s another way to understand how good friends are the whole of the spiritual life. For, by relying on me as a good friend, sentient beings who are liable to rebirth, old age, and death, to sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress are freed from all these things. This is another way to understand how good friends are the whole of the spiritual life.”



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AN 1.189: Foremost with great wisdom

“Monks, the foremost of my monk disciples with great wisdom is Sāriputta.”


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AN 9.11 Sīhanādasutta: Sāriputta’s Lion’s Roar

[Note: today’s selection is longer than usual, but it gives us a way to understand the mind of an arahant, a fully enlightened being.]

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.

Then Venerable Sāriputta went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him, “Sir, I have completed the rainy season residence at Sāvatthī. I wish to depart to wander the countryside.”

“Please, Sāriputta, go at your convenience.” Then Sāriputta got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled the Buddha, keeping him on his right, before leaving.

And then, not long after Sāriputta had left, a certain monk said to the Buddha, “Sir, Venerable Sāriputta attacked me and left without saying sorry.”

So the Buddha addressed one of the monks, “Please, monk, in my name tell Sāriputta that the teacher summons him.”

“Yes, sir,” that monk replied. He went to Sāriputta and said to him, “Reverend Sāriputta, the teacher summons you.”

“Yes, reverend,” Sāriputta replied.

Now at that time the venerables Mahāmoggallāna and Ānanda took a key and went from dwelling to dwelling, saying: “Come forth, venerables! Come forth, venerables! Now Venerable Sāriputta will roar his lion’s roar in the presence of the Buddha!”

Then Venerable Sāriputta went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him:

“Sāriputta, one of your spiritual companions has made this complaint: ‘Venerable Sāriputta attacked me and left without saying sorry.’”

“Sir, someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose they were to toss both clean and unclean things on the earth, like feces, urine, spit, pus, and blood. The earth isn’t horrified, repelled, and disgusted because of this. In the same way, I live with a heart like the earth, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose they were to wash both clean and unclean things in water, like feces, urine, spit, pus, and blood. The water isn’t horrified, repelled, and disgusted because of this. In the same way, I live with a heart like water, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose a fire were to burn both clean and unclean things, like feces, urine, spit, pus, and blood. The fire isn’t horrified, repelled, and disgusted because of this. In the same way, I live with a heart like fire, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose the wind was to blow on both clean and unclean things, like feces, urine, spit, pus, and blood. The wind isn’t horrified, repelled, and disgusted because of this. In the same way, I live with a heart like the wind, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose a rag was to wipe up both clean and unclean things, like feces, urine, spit, pus, and blood. The rag isn’t horrified, repelled, and disgusted because of this. In the same way, I live with a heart like a rag, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose a boy or girl of a corpse-worker tribe, holding a pot and clad in rags, were to enter a town or village. They’d enter with a humble mind. In the same way, I live with a heart like a boy or girl of a corpse-worker tribe, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose there was a bull with his horns cut, gentle, well tamed and well trained. He’d wander from street to street and square to square without hurting anyone with his feet or horns. In the same way, I live with a heart like a bull with horns cut, abundant, expansive, limitless, free of enmity and ill will. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose there was a woman or man who was young, youthful, and fond of adornments, and had bathed their head. If the carcass of a snake or a dog or a human were hung around their neck, they’d be horrified, repelled, and disgusted. In the same way, I’m horrified, repelled, and disgusted by this rotten body. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.

Suppose someone was to carry around a bowl of fat that was leaking and oozing from holes and cracks. In the same way, I carry around this body that’s leaking and oozing from holes and cracks. Someone who had not established mindfulness of the body might well attack one of their spiritual companions and leave without saying sorry.”

Then that monk rose from his seat, placed his robe over one shoulder, bowed with his head at the Buddha’s feet, and said, “I have made a mistake, sir. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of me to speak ill of Venerable Sāriputta with a false, hollow, lying, untruthful claim. Please, sir, accept my mistake for what it is, so I will restrain myself in future.”

“Indeed, monk, you made a mistake. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of you to act in that way. But since you have recognized your mistake for what it is, and have dealt with it properly, I accept it. For it is growth in the training of the Noble One to recognize a mistake for what it is, deal with it properly, and commit to restraint in the future.”

Then the Buddha said to Venerable Sāriputta, “Sāriputta, forgive that silly man before his head explodes into seven pieces right here.”

“I will pardon that venerable if he asks me: ‘May the venerable please pardon me too.’”


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Ud 4.4 Juñha Sutta: Moonlit

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rājagaha at the Bamboo Forest, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta and Ven. Mahā Moggallāna were staying in Pigeon Cave. Then, on a moonlit night, Ven. Sāriputta–his head newly shaven–was sitting in the open air, having attained a certain level of concentration.

And on that occasion two yakkhas who were companions were flying from north to south on some business or other. They saw Ven. Sāriputta–his head newly shaven–sitting in the open air. Seeing him, the first yakkha said to the second, “I’m inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head.”

When this was said, the second yakkha said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the contemplative. He’s an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might.”

A second time, the first yakkha said to the second, “I’m inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head.”

A second time, the second yakkha said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the contemplative. He’s an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might.”

A third time, the first yakkha said to the second, “I’m inspired to give this contemplative a blow on the head.”

A third time, the second yakkha said to the first, “Enough of that, my good friend. Don’t lay a hand on the contemplative. He’s an outstanding contemplative, of great power & great might.”

Then the first yakkha, ignoring the second yakkha, gave Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. And with that blow he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But right there the yakkha–yelling, “I’m burning!”–fell into the Great Hell.

Now, Ven. Moggallāna–with his divine eye, pure and surpassing the human–saw the yakkha give Ven. Sāriputta a blow on the head. Seeing this, he went to Ven. Sāriputta and, on arrival, said to him, “I hope you are well, friend Sāriputta. I hope you are comfortable. I hope you are feeling no pain.”

“I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache.”

“How amazing, friend Sāriputta! How astounding! How great your power & might! Just now a yakkha gave you a blow on the head. So great was that blow that he might have knocked over an elephant seven or eight cubits tall, or split a great rocky crag. But all you say is this: ‘I am well, friend Moggallāna. I am comfortable. But I do have a slight headache’!”

“How amazing, friend Moggallāna! How astounding! How great your power & might! Where you saw a yakkha just now, I didn’t even see a dust devil!”

The Blessed One–with the divine ear-property, pure and surpassing the human–heard those two great beings conversing in this way. Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

Whose mind, standing like rock,
doesn’t shake,
dispassionate for things that spark passion,
unprovoked by things that spark provocation:
When one’s mind is developed like this,
from where can there come to him
suffering & stress?


Read this translation of Udāna 4.4 Juñha Sutta. Moonlit by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Pv 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost

Sāriputta Bhante sees a female ghost and asks,

Sāriputta Bhante:

You are naked and very ugly, your veins are popping out. You thin person, with your ribs sticking out, who are you?

Ghost:

I am a ghost, sir. I am suffering in the world of Yama. I have done an evil deed as a human and have been reborn in the world of ghosts.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Now what evil deed have you done by body, speech, or mind for you to have been born in the world of ghosts?

Ghost:

Nobody had sympathy for me. Neither my father, mother, nor relatives encouraged me to give alms to monks. Therefore, I did not give alms. I must wander around the world naked and always hungry for five hundred years. This is the result of my evil deed.

I pay respect to you good sir with a very happy mind. Please have compassion towards me, oh noble monk. Please offer something and share the merits with me. Please release me from this state of misery.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Very well.

Out of kindness Sāriputta Bhante offered a handful of rice, a piece of cloth and a bowl of water to monks. He then shared the merits with the female ghost. The result of that merit was received by the female ghost immediately in the form of food, drink, and clothing. She became clean and fresh with the cleanest and finest clothes. She approached Sāriputta Bhante.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Who are you, with heavenly beauty, shining in all directions like a star? Why are you so beautiful? What merit have you collected when you were a human?

Ghost:

Sāriputta Bhante, you were very compassionate when you saw me in a miserable state: thin, starved, and naked with rough skin. You offered the monks a handful of rice, a piece of cloth, and a bowl of water then dedicated the merit to me.

Now look at the result of offering a handful of rice. For a thousand years I will eat delicious food whenever I want.

Look at the result of offering a piece of cloth. I have as many clothes as King Nanda. Still I have more clothes than that, made from silk, wool, linen, and cotton. There are lots of expensive clothes, so many they even hang from the sky. I can wear whatever I want.

Look at the result of offering a bowl of water. I have gained a beautiful pond with clear and cool water. It is surrounded by fine sand and there are fragrant lotuses and lilies with flower petals floating in the water. I am very happy playing in the water. I am not afraid of anything. You were very compassionate to me Bhante. I have come to worship you.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 2.1 Saṃsāramocaka Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante Helps a Ghost by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, 日本語, සිංහල, or Tiếng Việt. Learn how to find your language.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

AN 4.168 Sāriputtasutta: Sāriputta’s Practice

Then Venerable Mahāmoggallāna went up to Venerable Sāriputta, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, Mahāmoggallāna sat down to one side, and said to Sāriputta:

“Reverend Sāriputta, there are four ways of practice. What four?

  1. Painful practice with slow insight,
  2. painful practice with swift insight,
  3. pleasant practice with slow insight, and
  4. pleasant practice with swift insight.

These are the four ways of practice. Which one of these four ways of practice did you rely on to free your mind from defilements by not grasping?”

“Reverend Moggallāna … I relied on the pleasant practice with swift insight to free my mind from defilements by not grasping.”


[Note: Arahant Moggallāna’s practice is described in the previous sutta.

Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.168 Sāriputtasutta: Sāriputta’s Practice by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 46.4 Vatthasutta: Clothes

[Note: One of the reasons for learning about great disciples like Arahant Sāriputta is to deepen our faith in the Saṅgha. Suttas like this one remind us of the great mental powers these monastics were able to develop by following the Buddha’s instructions.]

At one time Venerable Sāriputta was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There Sāriputta addressed the mendicants: “Reverends, mendicants!”

“Reverend,” they replied. Sāriputta said this:

“There are these seven awakening factors. What seven? The awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity. These are the seven awakening factors.

In the morning, I meditate on whichever of these seven awakening factors I want. At midday, and in the evening, I meditate on whichever of these seven awakening factors I want. If it’s the awakening factor of mindfulness, I know that it’s limitless and that it’s properly implemented. While it remains I understand that it remains. And if it subsides in me I understand the specific reason it subsides. … If it’s the awakening factor of equanimity, I know that it’s limitless and that it’s properly implemented. While it remains I understand that it remains. And if it subsides I understand the specific reason it subsides.

Suppose that a ruler or their minister had a chest full of garments of different colors. In the morning, they’d don whatever pair of garments they wanted. At midday, and in the evening, they’d don whatever pair of garments they wanted.

In the same way, in the morning, at midday, and in the evening, I meditate on whichever of these seven awakening factors I want. If it’s the awakening factor of mindfulness, I know that it’s limitless and that it’s properly implemented. While it remains I understand that it remains. And if it subsides I understand the specific reason it subsides. … If it’s the awakening factor of equanimity, I know that it’s limitless and that it’s properly implemented. While it remains I understand that it remains. And if it subsides I understand the specific reason it subsides.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 46.4 Vatthasutta: Clothes by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Ud 3.4 Sāriputta Sutta: Sāriputta

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. And on that occasion Ven. Sāriputta was sitting not far from the Blessed One, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having set mindfulness to the fore. The Blessed One saw Ven. Sāriputta sitting not far away, his legs crossed, his body held erect, having set mindfulness to the fore.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

As a mountain of rock
is unwavering, well-settled,
so a monk whose delusion is ended
doesn’t quiver–
just like a mountain.


Read this translation of Udāna 3.4 Sāriputta Sutta. Sāriputta by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, or Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net. Or listen on SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Srpski, Español, Bahasa Indonesia, Italiano, 日本語, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Nederlands, Norsk, Português, Русский, or සිංහල. Learn how to find your language.

SN 8.6 Sāriputtasutta: With Sāriputta

At one time Venerable Sāriputta was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery.

Now at that time Venerable Sāriputta was educating, encouraging, firing up, and inspiring the mendicants in the assembly hall with a Dhamma talk. His words were polished, clear, articulate, and expressed the meaning. And those mendicants were paying attention, applying the mind, concentrating wholeheartedly, and actively listening.

Then Venerable Vaṅgīsa thought, “This Venerable Sāriputta is educating the mendicants. … And those mendicants are paying attention, applying the mind, concentrating wholeheartedly, and actively listening. Why don’t I extoll him in his presence with fitting verses?”

Then Venerable Vaṅgīsa got up from his seat, arranged his robe over one shoulder, raised his joined palms toward Sāriputta, and said, “I feel inspired to speak, Reverend Sāriputta! I feel inspired to speak, Reverend Sāriputta!”

“Then speak as you feel inspired,” said Sāriputta.

Then Vaṅgīsa extolled Sāriputta in his presence with fitting verses:

“Deep in wisdom, intelligent,
expert in what is the pathand what is not the path;
Sāriputta, so greatly wise,
teaches Dhamma to the mendicants.

He teaches in brief,
or he speaks at length.
His call, like a myna bird,
overflows with inspiration.

While he teaches
the mendicants listen to his sweet voice,
sounding attractive,
clear and graceful.
They listen joyfully,
their hearts elated.”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 8.6 Sāriputtasutta: With Sāriputta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or SC-Voice.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Pv 2.2 Sāriputtatherassa Mātu Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante’s Mother

Sāriputta Bhante sees a female ghost and asks,

Sāriputta Bhante:

You are naked and very ugly. Your veins are popping out. You thin person, with your ribs sticking out, who are you?

Ghost:

I was your mother in a previous life. Now I am living in the ghost world suffering from hunger and thirst. My food is saliva, mucus, phlegm, the fat of burning bodies, the blood of women giving birth, blood of wounds, pus, and the blood from shaving wounds. I can only feed on the pus and blood of humans and animals. I do not have a house of my own, therefore I stay in the cemetery. Oh my son, please offer alms to monks and dedicate that merit to me. Then I will be free from eating pus and blood.

Having heard what his mother said, the compassionate Sāriputta Bhante called Moggallāna Bhante, Nārada Bhante, and Kappina Bhante. Sāriputta Bhante built four huts and offered those huts along with food and drink to the whole community of monks and dedicated the merit to his mother.

The result of this donation immediately took effect in the form of food, drink, and clothing for the ghost. She became pure, wearing the cleanest and finest clothes with jewelry. Then she approached Sāriputta Bhante.

Sāriputta Bhante:

Who are you, with heavenly beauty, shining in all directions like a star? Why are you so beautiful? What merit have you collected when you were a human?

Ghost:

I was your mother in a previous life. I was reborn in the ghost world suffering from hunger and thirst. My food was saliva, mucus, phlegm, the fat of burning bodies, the blood of women giving birth, the blood of wounds, pus, and the blood from shaving wounds. I could only feed on the pus and blood of humans and animals. I did not have a house of my own, therefore I stayed in the cemetery.

I am very happy now, rejoicing in Sāriputta Bhante’s gift. I do not fear anything. I have come here to worship the compassionate Sāriputta Bhante.


Read this translation of Petavatthu 2.2 Sāriputtatherassa Mātu Sutta: Sāriputta Bhante’s Mother by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org.

You can find the entire translation of the Petavatthu: Stories of Ghosts available on SuttaFriends.org.

Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Deutsch, සිංහල, or Tiếng Việt. Learn how to find your language.