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AN 4.94 Tatiyasamādhisutta: Immersion (3rd)

“Mendicants, these four people are found in the world. What four?

One person has internal serenity of heart, but not the higher wisdom of discernment of principles. One person has the higher wisdom of discernment of principles, but not internal serenity of heart. One person has neither internal serenity of heart, nor the higher wisdom of discernment of principles. One person has both internal serenity of heart, and the higher wisdom of discernment of principles.

As for the person who has serenity but not discernment: they should approach someone who has discernment and ask: ‘Reverend, how should conditions be seen? How should they be comprehended? How should they be discerned?’ That person would answer from their own experience: ‘This is how conditions should be seen, comprehended, and discerned.’ After some time they have both serenity and discernment.

As for the person who has discernment but not serenity: they should approach someone who has serenity and ask: ‘Reverend, how should the mind be stilled? How should it be settled? How should it be unified? How should it be immersed in samādhi?’ That person would answer from their own experience: ‘Reverend, this is how the mind should be stilled, settled, unified, and immersed in samādhi.’ After some time they have both discernment and serenity.

As for the person who has neither serenity nor discernment: they should approach someone who has serenity and discernment and ask: ‘Reverend, how should the mind be stilled? How should it be settled? How should it be unified? How should it be immersed in samādhi?’ How should conditions be seen? How should they be comprehended? How should they be discerned?’ That person would answer as they’ve seen and known: ‘Reverend, this is how the mind should be stilled, settled, unified, and immersed in samādhi. And this is how conditions should be seen, comprehended, and discerned.’ After some time they have both serenity and discernment.

As for the person who has both serenity and discernment: grounded on those skillful qualities, they should practice meditation further to end the defilements.

These are the four people found in the world.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 4.94 Tatiyasamādhisutta: Immersion (3rd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Or read a translation in Čeština, Deutsch, বাংলা, Español, Français, Magyar, Indonesian, Italiano, 日本語, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Português, Русский, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

AN 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

“Yes, sir.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.45 Iṇasutta: Debt by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 7.67 Nagaropamasutta: The Simile of the Citadel

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

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

With what seven essentials is a citadel well provided?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With these seven essentials a citadel is well provided.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Or read a translation in Deutsch, Bengali, Español, Indonesian, မြန်မာဘာသာ, Norsk, Português, ру́сский язы́к, සිංහල, ไทย, Tiếng Việt, or 汉语. Learn how to find your language.

SN 48.54 Padasutta: Footprints

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

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

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


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 48.54 Padasutta: Footprints by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Dhp 111 From… Sahassa Vagga: The Thousands

111. Better it is to live one day wise and meditative than to live a hundred years without wisdom and stillness of mind.


Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 8 Sahassa Vagga: The Thousands (100-115) by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Iti 61 Cakkhusutta: Eyes

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, there are these three eyes. What three? The fleshly eye, the divine eye, and the wisdom eye. These, bhikkhus, are the three eyes.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

The fleshly eye, the divine eye,
And the unsurpassed wisdom eye—
These three eyes were described
By the Buddha, supreme among men.

The arising of the fleshly eye
Is the path to the divine eye,
But the unsurpassed wisdom eye
Is that from which knowledge arises.
By obtaining such an eye
One is released from all suffering.


This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 61 Cakkhusutta: Eyes by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Thag 15.1 From… Aññāsikoṇḍaññattheragāthā: Koṇḍañña Who Understood

…Just as a rain cloud would settle
the dust blown up by the wind,
so thoughts settle down
when seen with wisdom.

All conditions are impermanent—
when this is seen with wisdom
one grows disillusioned with suffering:
this is the path to purity.

All conditions are suffering—
when this is seen with wisdom
one grows disillusioned with suffering:
this is the path to purity.

All things are not-self—
when this is seen with wisdom
one grows disillusioned with suffering:
this is the path to purity.…”


Read the entire translation of Theragāthā 15.1 Aññāsikoṇḍaññattheragāthā: Koṇḍañña Who Understood by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Thig 5.4 Sundarīnandātherīgāthā: Verses of the Elder Sundarīnandā

“Nandā, see this body as diseased,
impure, and rotten.
Cultivate awareness of the unattractive,
with a well-collected, one-pointed mind.

As this is, so is that,
as that is, so is this.
Only fools enjoy
the vile smell of rotten winds.”

“I looked at it in this way
relentlessly, by day and by night,
saw it for myself with wisdom,
and had a breakthrough.

I heedfully investigated
the origin of things
to accurately see this body
inside and out.

Then I was disenchanted by the body,
and I became dispassionate.
Heedful, unbound,
I am quenched and at peace.”


Read this translation of Therīgāthā 5.4 Sundarīnandātherīgāthā: Verses of the Elder Sundarīnandā by Ayya Soma on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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SN 10.12 Āḷavakasutta: With Āḷavaka

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Āḷavī in the haunt of the native spirit Āḷavaka.

Then the native spirit Āḷavaka went up to the Buddha, and said to him: “Get out, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went out.

“Get in, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went in.

And for a second time the native spirit Āḷavaka said to the Buddha, “Get out, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went out.

“Get in, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went in.

And for a third time the native spirit Āḷavaka said to the Buddha, “Get out, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went out.

“Get in, ascetic!”

Saying, “All right, sir,” the Buddha went in.

And for a fourth time the native spirit Āḷavaka said to the Buddha,

“Get out, ascetic!”

“No, sir, I won’t get out. Do what you must.”

“I will ask you a question, ascetic. If you don’t answer me, I’ll drive you insane, or explode your heart, or grab you by the feet and throw you to the far shore of the Ganges!”

“I don’t see anyone in this world with its gods, Māras, and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, its gods and humans who could do that to me. But anyway, ask what you wish.”

“What’s a person’s best wealth?
What brings happiness when practiced well?
What’s the sweetest taste of all?
The one they say has the best life: how do they live?”

“Faith here is a person’s best wealth.
The teaching brings happiness when practiced well.
Truth is the sweetest taste of all.
The one they say has the best life lives by wisdom.”

“How do you cross the flood?
How do you cross the deluge?
How do you get over suffering?
How do you get purified?”

“By faith you cross the flood,
and by diligence the deluge.
By energy you get past suffering,
and you’re purified by wisdom.”

“How do you get wisdom?
How do you earn wealth?
How do you get a good reputation?
How do you hold on to friends?
How do the departed not grieve
when passing from this world to the next?”

“One who is diligent and discerning
gains wisdom by wanting to learn,
having faith in the perfected ones,
and the teaching for becoming extinguished.

Being responsible, acting appropriately,
and working hard you earn wealth.
Truthfulness wins you a good reputation.
You hold on to friends by giving.
That’s how the departed do not grieve
when passing from this world to the next.

A faithful householder
who has these four qualities
does not grieve after passing away:
truth, principle, steadfastness, and generosity.

Go ahead, ask others as well,
there are many ascetics and brahmins.
See whether anything better is found
than truth, self-control, generosity, and patience.”

“Why now would I question
the many ascetics and brahmins?
Today I understand
what’s good for the next life.

It was truly for my benefit
that the Buddha came to stay at Āḷavī.
Today I understand
where a gift is very fruitful.

I myself will journey
village to village, town to town,
paying homage to the Buddha,
and the natural excellence of the teaching!”


Read this translation of Saṁyutta Nikāya 10.12 Āḷavakasutta: With Āḷavaka by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.192 Ṭhānasutta: Facts

[Note to new subscribers: Weekend selections are sometimes longer.]

“Mendicants, these four things can be known in four situations. What four?

You can get to know a person’s ethics by living with them. But only after a long time, not casually; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.

You can get to know a person’s purity by dealing with them. …

You can get to know a person’s resilience in times of trouble. …

You can get to know a person’s wisdom by discussion. But only after a long time, not casually; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.

‘You can get to know a person’s ethics by living with them. But only after a long time, not casually; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? Take a person who’s living with someone else. They come to know: ‘For a long time this venerable’s deeds have been broken, tainted, spotty, and marred. Their deeds and behavior are inconsistent. This venerable is unethical, not ethical.’

Take another person who’s living with someone else. They come to know: ‘For a long time this venerable’s deeds have been unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred. Their deeds and behavior are consistent. This venerable is ethical, not unethical.’ That’s why I said that you can get to know a person’s ethics by living with them. But only after a long time, not a short time; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.

‘You can get to know a person’s purity by dealing with them. …’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? Take a person who has dealings with someone else. They come to know: ‘This venerable deals with one person in one way. Then they deal with two, three, or many people each in different ways. They’re not consistent from one deal to the next. This venerable’s dealings are impure, not pure.’

Take another person who has dealings with someone else. They come to know: ‘This venerable deals with one person in one way. Then they deal with two, three, or many people each in the same way. They’re consistent from one deal to the next. This venerable’s dealings are pure, not impure.’ That’s why I said that you can get to know a person’s purity by dealing with them. …

‘You can get to know a person’s resilience in times of trouble. …’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? Take a person who experiences loss of family, wealth, or health. But they don’t reflect: ‘The world’s like that. Reincarnation’s like that. That’s why the eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around the eight worldly conditions: gain and loss, fame and disgrace, blame and praise, pleasure and pain.’ They sorrow and wail and lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion.

Take another person who experiences loss of family, wealth, or health. But they reflect: ‘The world’s like that. Reincarnation’s like that. That’s why the eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around the eight worldly conditions: gain and loss, fame and disgrace, blame and praise, pleasure and pain.’ They don’t sorrow or wail or lament, beating their breast and falling into confusion. That’s why I said that you can get to know a person’s resilience in times of trouble. …

‘You can get to know a person’s wisdom by discussion. But only after a long time, not casually; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.’ That’s what I said, but why did I say it? Take a person who is discussing with someone else. They come to know: ‘Judging by this venerable’s approach, by what they’re getting at, and by how they discuss a question, they’re witless, not wise. Why is that? This venerable does not bring up a deep and meaningful saying that is peaceful, sublime, beyond the scope of logic, subtle, comprehensible to the astute. When this venerable speaks on Dhamma they’re not able to explain the meaning, either briefly or in detail. They can’t teach it, assert it, establish it, clarify it, analyze it, or reveal it. This venerable is witless, not wise.’

Suppose a person with clear eyes was standing on the bank of a lake. They’d see a little fish rising, and think: ‘Judging by this fish’s approach, by the ripples it makes, and by its force, it’s a little fish, not a big one.’ In the same way, a person who is discussing with someone else would come to know: ‘Judging by this venerable’s approach, by what they’re getting at, and by how they discuss a question, they’re witless, not wise. …’

Take another person who is discussing with someone else. They come to know: ‘Judging by this venerable’s approach, by what they’re getting at, and by how they discuss a question, they’re wise, not witless. Why is that? This venerable brings up a deep and meaningful saying that is peaceful, sublime, beyond the scope of logic, subtle, comprehensible to the astute. When this venerable speaks on Dhamma they’re able to explain the meaning, either briefly or in detail. They teach it, assert it, establish it, clarify it, analyze it, and reveal it. This venerable is wise, not witless.’

Suppose a man with clear eyes was standing on the bank of a lake. He’d see a big fish rising, and think: ‘Judging by this fish’s approach, by the ripples it makes, and by its force, it’s a big fish, not a little one.’ In the same way, a person who is discussing with someone else would come to know: ‘Judging by this venerable’s approach, by what they’re getting at, and by how they articulate a question, they’re wise, not witless. …’

That’s why I said that you can get to know a person’s wisdom by discussion. But only after a long time, not casually; only when attentive, not when inattentive; and only by the wise, not the witless.

These are the four things that can be known in four situations.”



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SN 22.27 Dutiyaassādasutta: Gratification (2)

At Savatthi. “Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the gratification in form. Whatever gratification there is in form—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the gratification in form extends.

“Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the danger in form. Whatever danger there is in form—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the danger in form extends.

“Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the escape from form. Whatever escape there is from form—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the escape from form extends.

“Bhikkhus, I set out seeking the gratification in … the danger in … the escape from feeling … from perception … from volitional formations … from consciousness. Whatever escape there is from consciousness—that I discovered. I have clearly seen with wisdom just how far the escape from consciousness extends.

“So long, bhikkhus, as I did not directly know as they really are the gratification, the danger, and the escape in the case of these five aggregates subject to clinging, I did not claim to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with its devas, Mara, and Brahma, in this generation with its ascetics and brahmins, its devas and humans. But when I directly knew all this as it really is, then I claimed to have awakened to the unsurpassed perfect enlightenment in this world with … its devas and humans.

“The knowledge and vision arose in me: ‘Unshakable is my liberation of mind; this is my last birth; now there is no more renewed existence.’”



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AN 1.76–81 From… Kalyāṇamittādivagga

76

“Loss of relatives, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

77

“Growth of relatives, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow.

So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”

78

“Loss of wealth, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

79

“Growth of wealth, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow.

So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”

80

“Loss of fame, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the worst thing to lose.”

81

“Growth of fame, mendicants, is a small thing. Wisdom is the best thing to grow.

So you should train like this: ‘We will grow in wisdom.’ That’s how you should train.”



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DN 33 From… Saṅgītisutta: Reciting in Concert

…There are teachings grouped by three that have been rightly explained by the Buddha. You should all recite these in concert. What are the teachings grouped by three?…

Three kinds of wisdom: the wisdom of a trainee, the wisdom of an adept, and the wisdom of one who is neither a trainee nor an adept.

Another three kinds of wisdom: wisdom produced by thought, learning, and meditation.

Three weapons: learning, seclusion, and wisdom.

Three faculties: the faculty of understanding that one’s enlightenment is imminent, the faculty of enlightenment, and the faculty of one who is enlightened.

Three eyes: the eye of the flesh, the eye of clairvoyance, and the eye of wisdom.

Three trainings: in higher ethics, higher mind, and higher wisdom.

Three kinds of development: the development of physical endurance, the development of the mind, and the development of wisdom.…



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SN 37.34 Vaḍḍhīsutta: Growth

“Mendicants, a female noble disciple who grows in five ways grows nobly, taking on what is essential and excellent in this life. What five? She grows in faith, ethics, learning, generosity, and wisdom. A female noble disciple who grows in these five ways grows nobly, taking on what is essential and excellent in this life.

When she grows in faith and ethics,
wisdom, and both generosity and learning—
a virtuous laywoman such as she
takes on what is essential for herself in this life.”


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SN 1.23 Jaṭāsutta: Tangle

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“A tangle inside, a tangle outside,
This generation is entangled in a tangle.
I ask you this, O Gotama,
Who can disentangle this tangle?”

The Blessed One:

“A man established on virtue, wise,
Developing the mind and wisdom,
A bhikkhu ardent and discreet:
He can disentangle this tangle.

“Those for whom lust and hatred
Along with ignorance have been expunged,
The arahants with taints destroyed:
For them the tangle is disentangled.

“Where name-and-form ceases,
Stops without remainder,
And also impingement and perception of form:
It is here this tangle is cut.”


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DN 10 From… Subhasutta: With Subha

[The selection today is unusually long. And even this is just part of a longer sutta. It explains with beautiful similes both psychic powers as well as the three knowledges attained by the Buddha on the night of his enlightenment. It is a conversation between Ven. Ānanada and the householder Subha.]

But what, Master Ānanda, was that spectrum of noble wisdom that the Buddha praised?

“When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge and vision. They understand: ‘This body of mine is physical. It’s made up of the four primary elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and porridge, liable to impermanence, to wearing away and erosion, to breaking up and destruction. And this consciousness of mine is attached to it, tied to it.’

Suppose there was a beryl gem that was naturally beautiful, eight-faceted, well-worked, transparent, clear, and unclouded, endowed with all good qualities. And it was strung with a thread of blue, yellow, red, white, or golden brown. And someone with clear eyes were to take it in their hand and examine it: ‘This beryl gem is naturally beautiful, eight-faceted, well-worked, transparent, clear, and unclouded, endowed with all good qualities. And it’s strung with a thread of blue, yellow, red, white, or golden brown.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge and vision. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward the creation of a mind-made body. From this body they create another body, physical, mind-made, complete in all its various parts, not deficient in any faculty.

Suppose a person was to draw a reed out from its sheath. They’d think: ‘This is the reed, this is the sheath. The reed and the sheath are different things. The reed has been drawn out from the sheath.’ Or suppose a person was to draw a sword out from its scabbard. They’d think: ‘This is the sword, this is the scabbard. The sword and the scabbard are different things. The sword has been drawn out from the scabbard.’ Or suppose a person was to draw a snake out from its slough. They’d think: ‘This is the snake, this is the slough. The snake and the slough are different things. The snake has been drawn out from the slough.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward the creation of a mind-made body. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward psychic power. They wield the many kinds of psychic power: multiplying themselves and becoming one again; appearing and disappearing; going unimpeded through a wall, a rampart, or a mountain as if through space; diving in and out of the earth as if it were water; walking on water as if it were earth; flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird; touching and stroking with the hand the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful; controlling the body as far as the Brahmā realm.

Suppose a deft potter or their apprentice had some well-prepared clay. They could produce any kind of pot that they like. Or suppose a deft ivory-carver or their apprentice had some well-prepared ivory. They could produce any kind of ivory item that they like. Or suppose a deft goldsmith or their apprentice had some well-prepared gold. They could produce any kind of gold item that they like.

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward psychic power. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward clairaudience. With clairaudience that is purified and superhuman, they hear both kinds of sounds, human and divine, whether near or far. Suppose there was a person traveling along the road. They’d hear the sound of drums, clay drums, horns, kettledrums, and tom-toms. They’d think: ‘That’s the sound of drums,’ and ‘that’s the sound of clay drums,’ and ‘that’s the sound of horns, kettledrums, and tom-toms.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward clairaudience. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward comprehending the minds of others. They understand mind with greed as ‘mind with greed’, and mind without greed as ‘mind without greed’. They understand mind with hate … mind without hate … mind with delusion … mind without delusion … constricted mind … scattered mind … expansive mind … unexpansive mind … mind that is not supreme … mind that is supreme … immersed mind … unimmersed mind … freed mind … They understand unfreed mind as ‘unfreed mind’.

Suppose there was a woman or man who was young, youthful, and fond of adornments, and they check their own reflection in a clean bright mirror or a clear bowl of water. If they had a spot they’d know ‘I have a spot,’ and if they had no spots they’d know ‘I have no spots.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward comprehending the minds of others. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward recollection of past lives. They recollect many kinds of past lives, that is, one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand rebirths; many eons of the world contracting, many eons of the world expanding, many eons of the world contracting and expanding. They remember: ‘There, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food. This was how I felt pleasure and pain, and that was how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn somewhere else. There, too, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food. This was how I felt pleasure and pain, and that was how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn here.’ And so they recollect their many kinds of past lives, with features and details.

Suppose a person was to leave their home village and go to another village. From that village they’d go to yet another village. And from that village they’d return to their home village. They’d think: ‘I went from my home village to another village. There I stood like this, sat like that, spoke like this, or kept silent like that. From that village I went to yet another village. There too I stood like this, sat like that, spoke like this, or kept silent like that. And from that village I returned to my home village.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward recollection of past lives. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. With clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, they see sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. They understand how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds. ‘These dear beings did bad things by way of body, speech, and mind. They spoke ill of the noble ones; they had wrong view; and they chose to act out of that wrong view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. These dear beings, however, did good things by way of body, speech, and mind. They never spoke ill of the noble ones; they had right view; and they chose to act out of that right view. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm.’ And so, with clairvoyance that is purified and superhuman, they see sentient beings passing away and being reborn—inferior and superior, beautiful and ugly, in a good place or a bad place. They understand how sentient beings are reborn according to their deeds.

Suppose there was a stilt longhouse at the central square. A person with clear eyes standing there might see people entering and leaving a house, walking along the streets and paths, and sitting at the central square. They’d think: ‘These are people entering and leaving a house, walking along the streets and paths, and sitting at the central square.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project and extend it toward knowledge of the death and rebirth of sentient beings. This pertains to their wisdom.

When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. They truly understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. They truly understand: ‘These are defilements’ … ‘This is the origin of defilements’ … ‘This is the cessation of defilements’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of defilements’. Knowing and seeing like this, their mind is freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn, and ignorance. When they’re freed, they know they’re freed.

They understand: ‘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.’

Suppose that in a mountain glen there was a lake that was transparent, clear, and unclouded. A person with clear eyes standing on the bank would see the clams and mussels, and pebbles and gravel, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still. They’d think: ‘This lake is transparent, clear, and unclouded. And here are the clams and mussels, and pebbles and gravel, and schools of fish swimming about or staying still.’

In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they project it and extend it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. This pertains to their wisdom.

This is that spectrum of noble wisdom that the Buddha praised. And there is nothing more to be done.…”


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SN 1.13 Natthiputtasamasutta: None Equal to That for a Son

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One and stood to one side. Standing to one side, that devatā recited this verse in the presence of the Blessed One:

“There is no affection like that for a son,
No wealth equal to cattle,
There is no light like the sun,
Among the waters the ocean is supreme.”

The Blessed One:

“There is no affection like that for oneself,
No wealth equal to grain,
There is no light like wisdom,
Among the waters the rain is supreme.”



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Iti 41 Paññāparihīnasutta: Deprived of Wisdom

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, those beings are thoroughly deprived who are deprived of noble wisdom. They live in discomfort even here and now, with vexation, trouble, and distress, and when the body perishes at death a bad bourn is to be expected.

“Those beings are not deprived who are not deprived of noble wisdom. They live in comfort here and now, without vexation, trouble, or distress, and when the body perishes at death a good bourn is to be expected.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

See the world with its devas,
Destitute of wisdom,
Established in name-and-form,
Conceiving this to be the truth.

Wisdom which leads to penetration
Is the best thing in the world;
By this one completely understands
The ending of both birth and being.

Devas and human beings hold dear
Those awakened ones ever mindful,
Possessing joyous wisdom,
Bearing their final bodies.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


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AN 6.107 Rāgasutta: Greed

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


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SN 46.45 Paññavantasutta: Wise

“Sir they speak of a person who is ‘wise, no idiot’. How is a person who is wise, no idiot defined?”

“Mendicant, they’re called wise, no idiot because they’ve developed and cultivated the seven awakening factors. What seven? The awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity. They’re called wise, no idiot because they’ve developed and cultivated these seven awakening factors.”


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Dhp 282 from… Maggavagga: The Path

Wisdom springs from meditation; without meditation wisdom wanes. Having known these two paths of progress and decline, let a man so conduct himself that his wisdom may increase.


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AN 9.25 Paññāsutta: Consolidated by Wisdom

“Mendicants, when a mendicant’s mind has been well consolidated with wisdom it’s appropriate for them to say: ‘I understand: “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 how is a mendicant’s mind well consolidated with wisdom?

  • The mind is well consolidated with wisdom when they know: ‘My mind is without greed.’ …
  • ‘My mind is without hate.’ …
  • ‘My mind is without delusion.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to become greedy.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to become hateful.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to become deluded.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to return to rebirth in the sensual realm.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to return to rebirth in the realm of luminous form.’ …
  • ‘My mind is not liable to return to rebirth in the formless realm.’

“When a mendicant’s mind has been well consolidated with wisdom it’s appropriate for them to say: ‘I understand: “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.”’”


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DN 30 From… Lakkhana Sutta: The Marks of a Great Man

[The Lakkhana Sutta details the the actions the Buddha did to obtained the 32 Marks and their corresponding wholesome qualities.]

“…Monks, in some past lives the Buddha was reborn as a human being. He approached virtuous and knowledgeable people and asked: ‘Sirs, what is wholesome? What is unwholesome? What is blameworthy? What is blameless? What should be cultivated? What should not be cultivated? Doing what leads to my lasting harm and suffering? Doing what leads to my lasting welfare and happiness?’ Due to performing those deeds he was reborn in heaven. When he passed away from there and was reborn here as a human, he obtained this mark: he has smooth skin, so smooth that dust and dirt don’t stick to his body.

Possessing this mark, if this great man continues to live in the palace, he becomes a universal king. And what does he obtain as a king? He has great wisdom. Of those who enjoy worldly pleasures, no one is equal to him or surpasses him in wisdom. That’s what he obtains as a king.

And what does he obtain as the Buddha? He has great wisdom, widespread wisdom, joyful wisdom, fast wisdom, sharp wisdom, and penetrating wisdom. No being is equal to him or surpasses him in wisdom. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.”

That is what the Buddha said. On this it is said:

“In olden days, in past lives,
He was eager to understand things, he asked questions.
He was keen to learn things, he waited on virtuous people,
listening to their explanation with pure intent.

Due to that good kamma of searching for wisdom,
When he was reborn in the human world, his skin was smooth.
At his birth the mark-readers who are experts in mark-reading predicted:
‘He’ll understand even very subtle things of life.

If he doesn’t choose the monk-life,
he’ll rule the earth righteously.
Among those who instruct and who investigate things,
none is equal or better than him.

But if he chooses the monk-life,
and wisely loves that simple life,
Gaining wisdom that’s supreme and unparalleled,
The Supreme One attains enlightenment.…’”



Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 30 Lakkhana Sutta: The Marks of a Great Man by Ven. Kiribathgoda Gnananda Thero on SuttaFriends.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Dhp 81–82 From… Paṇḍitavagga: The Astute

As the wind cannot stir
a solid mass of rock,
so too blame and praise
do not affect the wise.

Like a deep lake,
clear and unclouded,
so clear are the astute
when they hear the teachings.



Read the entire translation of Dhammapada 76–89 Paṇḍitavagga: The Astute by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org, DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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MN 135 Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta: The Shorter Analysis of Deeds—Wisdom

…Take some woman or man who doesn’t approach an ascetic or brahmin to ask: ‘Sir, what is skillful and what is unskillful? What is blameworthy and what is blameless? What should be cultivated and what should not be cultivated? What kind of action will lead to my lasting harm and suffering? Or what kind of action will lead to my lasting welfare and happiness?’ Because of undertaking such deeds, after death they’re reborn in a place of loss … or if they return to the human realm, they’re witless …

But take some woman or man who does approach an ascetic or brahmin to ask: ‘Sir, what is skillful and what is unskillful? What is blameworthy and what is blameless? What should be cultivated and what should not be cultivated? What kind of action will lead to my lasting harm and suffering? Or what kind of action will lead to my lasting welfare and happiness?’ Because of undertaking such deeds, when their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. If they’re not reborn in a heavenly realm, but return to the human realm, then wherever they’re reborn they’re very wise. For asking questions of ascetics or brahmins is the path leading to wisdom.


Read this translation of Majjhima Nikāya 135 Cūḷakammavibhaṅgasutta: The Shorter Analysis of Deeds by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 4.141 Ābhāsutta: Brightness

“Mendicants, there are these four kinds of brightness. What four? The brightness of the moon, sun, fire, and wisdom. These are the four kinds of brightness. The best of these four kinds of brightness is the brightness of wisdom.”


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AN 8.83 Mūlakasutta: Rooted

“Mendicants, if wanderers of other religions were to ask: ‘Reverends, all things have what as their root? What produces them? What is their origin? What is their meeting place? What is their chief? What is their ruler? What is their overseer? What is their core?’ How would you answer them?”

“Our teachings are rooted in the Buddha. He is our guide and our refuge. Sir, may the Buddha himself please clarify the meaning of this. The mendicants will listen and remember it.”

“Well then, mendicants, I will teach it. Listen and apply your mind well, I will speak.”

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

“Mendicants, if wanderers of other religions were to ask: ‘Reverends, all things have what as their root? What produces them? What is their origin? What is their meeting place? What is their chief? What is their ruler? What is their overseer? What is their core?’ You should answer them: ‘Reverends, all things are rooted in desire. They are produced by application of mind. Contact is their origin. Feeling is their meeting place. Immersion is their chief. Mindfulness is their ruler. Wisdom is their overseer. Freedom is their core.’ When questioned by wanderers of other religions, that’s how you should answer them.”


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AN 10.17 Nātha Sutta: Protectors (1)

[Note: “Discerning” is Ajahn Thianssaro’s usual translation for pañña.]

“Live with a protector, monks, and not without a protector. He suffers, one who lives without a protector. And these ten are qualities creating a protector. Which ten?

“There is the case where a monk is virtuous. He dwells restrained in accordance with the Pāṭimokkha, consummate in his behavior & sphere of activity. He trains himself, having undertaken the training rules, seeing danger in the slightest faults. And the fact that he is virtuous… seeing danger in the slightest faults is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk has heard much, has retained what he has heard, has stored what he has heard. Whatever teachings are admirable in the beginning, admirable in the middle, admirable in the end, that—in their meaning and expression—proclaim the holy life that is entirely perfect, surpassingly pure: Those he has listened to often, retained, discussed, accumulated, examined with his mind, & well-penetrated in terms of his views. And the fact that he has heard much… well-penetrated in terms of his views is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk has admirable friends, admirable comrades, admirable companions. And the fact that he has admirable friends, admirable comrades, admirable companions is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is easy to speak to, endowed with qualities that make him easy to speak to, patient, respectful to instruction. And the fact that he is easy to speak to… respectful to instruction is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is adept at the various affairs involving his companions in the holy life; is vigorous, quick-witted in the techniques involved in them, is up to doing them or arranging to get them done. And the fact that he is adept at… doing them or arranging to get them done is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is one who desires the Dhamma, endearing in his conversation, greatly rejoicing in the higher Dhamma & higher Vinaya. And the fact that he is one who desires the Dhamma, endearing in his conversation, greatly rejoicing in the higher Dhamma & higher Vinaya is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful qualities and for taking on skillful qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful qualities. And the fact that he keeps his persistence aroused… not shirking his duties with regard to skillful qualities is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is content with any old robe cloth at all, any old alms food, any old lodging, any old medicinal requisites for curing sickness at all. And the fact that he is content with any old robe cloth at all, any old alms food, any old lodging, any old medicinal requisites for curing sickness at all is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering & recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. And the fact that he is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering & recollecting what was done and said a long time ago is a quality creating a protector.

“Then again, the monk is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away—noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. And the fact that the monk is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away—noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress is a quality creating a protector.

“Live with a protector, monks, and not without a protector. He suffers, one who lives without a protector. These are the ten qualities creating a protector.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.17 Nātha Sutta. Protectors (1) by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.23 Kāyasutta: Body

“Bhikkhus, there are things to be abandoned by body, not by speech. There are things to be abandoned by speech, not by body. There are things to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom.

“And what, bhikkhus, are the things to be abandoned by body, not by speech? Here, a bhikkhu has committed a particular unwholesome deed with the body. His wise fellow monks investigate him and say thus: ‘You have committed a particular unwholesome deed with the body. It would really be good if you would abandon bodily misconduct and develop bodily good conduct.’ When his wise fellow monks investigate him and speak to him, he abandons bodily misconduct and develops bodily good conduct. These are called things to be abandoned by body, not by speech.

“And what are the things to be abandoned by speech, not by body? Here, a bhikkhu has committed a particular unwholesome deed by speech. His wise fellow monks investigate him and say thus: ‘You have committed a particular unwholesome deed by speech. It would really be good if you would abandon verbal misconduct and develop verbal good conduct.’ When his wise fellow monks investigate him and speak to him, he abandons verbal misconduct and develops verbal good conduct. These are called things to be abandoned by speech, not by body.

“And what are the things to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom? Greed is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom. Hatred … Delusion … Anger … Hostility … Denigration … Insolence … Miserliness is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom.

“Evil envy, bhikkhus, is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom. And what is evil envy? Here, a householder or householder’s son is prospering in wealth or grain, in silver or gold. A slave or dependent might think of him: ‘Oh, may this householder or householder’s son not prosper in wealth or grain, in silver or gold!’ Or else an ascetic or brahmin gains robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines and provisions for the sick. Another ascetic or brahmin might think of him: ‘Oh, may this venerable one not gain robes, almsfood, lodging, and medicines and provisions for the sick!’ This is called evil envy. Evil envy is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom.

“Evil desire, bhikkhus, is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom. And what is evil desire? Here, one without faith desires: ‘Let them know me as one endowed with faith.’ An immoral person desires: ‘Let them know me as virtuous.’ One with little learning desires: ‘Let them know me as learned.’ One who delights in company desires: ‘Let them know me as solitary.’ One who is lazy desires: ‘Let them know me as energetic.’ One who is muddle-minded desires: ‘Let them know me as mindful.’ One who is unconcentrated desires: ‘Let them know me as concentrated.’ One who is unwise desires: ‘Let them know me as wise.’ One whose taints are not destroyed desires: ‘Let them know me as one whose taints are destroyed.’ This is called evil desire. Evil desire is to be abandoned neither by body nor by speech but by having repeatedly seen with wisdom.

“If, bhikkhus, greed overcomes that bhikkhu and continues on; if hatred … delusion … anger … hostility … denigration … insolence … miserliness … evil envy … evil desire overcomes that bhikkhu and continues on, he should be understood thus: ‘This venerable one does not understand in such a way that he would have no greed; thus greed overcomes him and continues on. This venerable one does not understand in such a way that he would have no hatred … no delusion … no anger … no hostility … no denigration … no insolence … no miserliness … no evil envy … no evil desire; thus evil desire overcomes him and continues on.’

“If, bhikkhus, greed does not overcome that bhikkhu and continue on; if hatred … delusion … anger … hostility … denigration … insolence … miserliness … evil envy … evil desire does not overcome that bhikkhu and continue on, he should be understood thus: ‘This venerable one understands in such a way that he would have no greed; thus greed does not overcome him and continue on. This venerable one understands in such a way that he would have no hatred … no delusion … no anger … no hostility … no denigration … no insolence … no miserliness … no evil envy … no evil desire; thus evil desire does not overcome him and continue on.’”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.23 Kāyasutta: Body by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

AN 5.12 Kūṭasutta: Peak (1)

“Bhikkhus, there are these five trainee’s powers. What five? The power of faith, the power of moral shame, the power of moral dread, the power of energy, and the power of wisdom. These are the five trainee’s powers. Among these five trainee’s powers, the power of wisdom is foremost, the one that holds all the others in place, the one that unifies them. Just as the peak is the chief part of a peaked-roof house, the part that holds all the others in place, that unifies them, so among these five trainee powers, the power of wisdom is foremost, the one that holds all the others in place, the one that unifies them.

“Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: (1) ‘We will possess the power of faith, a trainee’s power; (2) the power of moral shame, a trainee’s power; (3) the power of moral dread, a trainee’s power; (4) the power of energy, a trainee’s power; (5) the power of wisdom, a trainee’s power.’ Thus, bhikkhus, should you train yourselves.”


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AN 1.336 Catutthavagga: The Wise are Few

“Just as, mendicants, in India the delightful parks, woods, meadows, and lotus ponds are few, while the hilly terrain, inaccessible riverlands, stumps and thorns, and rugged mountains are many; so too the sentient beings who are wise, bright, clever, and able to distinguish what is well said from what is poorly said are few, while the sentient beings who are witless, dull, stupid, and unable to distinguish what is well said from what is poorly said are many.


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