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Sutta Nipata IV.16

Sariputta Sutta

To Sariputta

For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma

"Never before
have I seen or heard
from anyone
of a teacher with such lovely speech
come, together with his following
from Tusita heaven,[1]
as the One with Eyes
who appears to the world with its devas
having dispelled all darkness
having arrived at delight
        all alone.

To that One Awakened --
    unentangled, Such, un-
    come with his following --
I have come with a question
on behalf of the many
here who are fettered.
For a monk disaffected,
frequenting a place that's remote --
    the root of a tree,
    a cemetery,
    in mountain caves
    various places to stay --
how many are the fears there
at which he shouldn't tremble
    -- there in his noiseless abode --
how many the dangers in the world
for the monk     going the direction
            he never has gone
that he should transcend
there in his isolated abode?
What should be
    the ways of his speech?
What should be
    his range there of action?
What should be
    a resolute monk's
    precepts & practices?[2]
Undertaking what training
    -- alone, astute, & mindful --
would he blow away
his own impurities
as a silver smith,
    those in molten silver?"

The Buddha:

"I will tell you
as one who knows,
what is comfort
for one disaffected
resorting to a remote place,
desiring self-awakening
in line with the Dhamma.
An enlightened monk,
    living circumscribed,
shouldn't fear the five fears:
of horseflies, mosquitoes, snakes,
human contact, four-footed beings;
shouldn't be disturbed
by those following another's teaching
even on seeing their manifold
should overcome still other
further dangers
as he seeks what is skillful.

    by the touch
of discomforts, hunger,
he should endure cold
& inordinate heat.
He with no home,
in many ways touched by these things,
striving, should make firm his persistence.

He shouldn't commit a theft,
shouldn't speak a lie,
should touch with thoughts of good will
beings firm & infirm.
Conscious of when
his mind is stirred up & turbid,
he should dispel it:
    'It's on the Dark One's side.'

He shouldn't come under the sway
of anger or pride.
Having dug up their root
he would stand firm.
Then, when prevailing
    -- yes --
he'd prevail over his sense of dear & undear.
Yearning     for discernment
enraptured     with what's admirable,
he should overcome these dangers,
should conquer     discontent
            in his isolated spot,
should conquer     these four
            thoughts of lament:

    'What will I eat,
    or where will I eat.
    How badly I slept.
    Tonight were will I sleep?'

These lamenting thoughts
he should subdue --
one under training,
wandering without home.
Receiving food & cloth
at appropriate times,
he should have a sense of enough
for the sake of contentment.[3]
Guarded in regard to these things
going restrained into a village,
even when harassed
he shouldn't say a harsh word.

With eyes downcast,
& not footloose,
committed to jhana,
he should be continually wakeful.[4]
Strengthening equanimity,
    centered within,
he should cut off any penchant
to conjecture or worry.
When reprimanded,
he should -- mindful --
should smash any stubbornness
toward his fellows in the holy life;
should utter skillful words
that are not untimely;
should give no mind
to the gossip people might say.

And then there are in the world
the five kinds of dust
for whose dispelling, mindful
he should train:
with regard to forms, sounds, tastes,
smells, & tactile sensations
    he should conquer passion;
with regard to these things
    he should subdue his desire.

A monk, mindful,
his mind well-released,
contemplating the right Dhamma
at the right times,
    on coming
    to oneness
    should annihilate

                        the Blessed One said.


1. The Buddha spent his next-to-last lifetime in the Tusita heaven, one of the highest levels on the sensual plane. [Go back]

2. The fact that the Buddha answers this question in a straightforward manner illustrates the point that abandoning precepts and practices does not mean having no precepts and practices. See note 2 to Sn IV.13. [Go back]

3. See AN IV.37 and AN VII.64. [Go back]

4. See AN IV.37. [Go back]

5. See Dhp 76-77. [Go back]

See also: AN V.77; AN VIII.30
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Two Faces of the Dhamma by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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