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Sutta Nipata II.11

Rahula Sutta

Advice to Rahula

Translated from the Pali by John D. Ireland

For free distribution only,
by arrangement with the Buddhist Publication Society


"Renouncing the five pleasures of sense that entrance and delight the mind, and in faith departing from home, become one who makes an end of suffering!

"Associate with good friends and choose a remote lodging, secluded, with little noise. Be moderate in eating. Robes, alms-food, remedies and a dwelling, -- do not have craving for these things; do not be one who returns to the world. [1] Practice restraint according to the Discipline, [2] and control the five sense-faculties.

"Practice mindfulness of the body and continually develop dispassion (towards it). Avoid the sign of the beautiful connected with passion; by meditating on the foul [3] cultivate a mind that is concentrated and collected.

"Meditate on the Signless [4] and get rid of the tendency to conceit. By thoroughly understanding and destroying conceit [5] you will live in the (highest) peace."

In this manner the Lord repeatedly exhorted the Venerable Rahula.

-- vv. 337-342


1. By being dragged back to it again by your craving for these things (Comy). [Go back]

2. The Vinaya, or disciplinary code of the community of Bhikkhus. [Go back]

3. The "foul," or asubha-kammatthana, refers to the practice of contemplating a corpse in various stages of decay and the contemplation on the thirty-two parts of the body, as a means of developing detachment from body and dispassion in regard to its beautiful (or, "the sign of the beautiful," subha-nimitta). [Go back]

4. The Signless (animitta) is one of the three Deliverances (vimokkha) by which beings are liberated from the world. The other two are Desirelessness (appanihita) and Emptiness (sunnata). The Signless is connected with the idea of impermanence of all conditioned things (cf. Visuddhi Magga, XXI 67f). [Go back]

5. The word "mana" means both conceit and misconceiving. [Go back]

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

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Vision and Routine by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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