AN 5.31 With Princess Sumanā

Reading Time: 3minutes

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then Princess Sumanā, escorted by five hundred chariots and five hundred royal maidens, went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, suppose there were two disciples equal in faith, ethics, and wisdom. One is a giver, one is not. When their body breaks up, after death, they’re reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. When they have become gods, would there be any distinction or difference between them?”

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AN 7.67 Nagaropama Sutta, The Simile of the Citadel

Reading Time: 7minutes

“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.

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AN 5:57 Themes

The Buddha gave us a set of five recollections for everyone to practice. He teaches us the benefit that comes from this recollection, and he explains how it leads directly to Nibbana.

Reading Time: 6minutes

“Bhikkhus, there are these five themes that should often be reflected upon by a woman or a man, by a householder or one gone forth. What five?
(1) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to old age; I am not exempt from old age.’
(2) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to illness; I am not exempt from illness.’
(3) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am subject to death; I am not exempt from death.’
(4) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I must be parted and separated from everyone and everything dear and agreeable to me.’
(5) A woman or a man, a householder or one gone forth, should often reflect thus: ‘I am the owner of my kamma, the heir of my kamma; I have kamma as my origin, kamma as my relative, kamma as my resort; I will be the heir of whatever kamma, good or bad, that I do.’

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MN 135 Culakammavibhanga Sutta, The Shorter Analysis of Action

Have you ever wondered why we see different kinds of people in the world? The Supreme Buddha understood exactly why this is.

Reading Time: 5minutes

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

Then the brahmin student Subha, Todeyya’s son, approached the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to the Buddha:

“What is the cause, Master Gotama, what is the reason why even among those who are human beings some are seen to be inferior and superior? For people are seen who are short-lived and long-lived, sickly and healthy, ugly and beautiful, insignificant and illustrious, poor and rich, from low and eminent families, witless and wise. What is the reason why even among those who are human beings some are seen to be inferior and superior?”

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AN 5:50 Sokasallaharana Sutta, Pulling Out the Dart of Sorrow

How does a wise person experience death?

Reading Time: 7minutes

At one time Venerable Nārada was staying at Pāṭaliputta, in the Chicken Monastery.

Now at that time King Muṇḍa’s dear and beloved Queen Bhaddā had just passed away. And since that time, the king did not bathe, anoint himself, eat his meals, or apply himself to his work. Day and night he brooded over Queen Bhaddā’s corpse.

Then King Muṇḍa addressed his treasurer, Piyaka,

“So, my good Piyaka, please place Queen Bhaddā’s corpse in an iron case filled with oil. Then close it up with another case, so that we can view Queen Bhaddā’s body even longer.”

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AN 9:2 With Meghiya

What should we do to prepare the mind for wisdom?

Reading Time: 4minutes

At one time the Buddha was staying near Cālikā, on the Cālikā mountain.

Now, at that time Venerable Meghiya was the Buddha’s attendant. Then Venerable Meghiya went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and said to him, “Sir, I’d like to enter Jantu village for alms.”

“Please, Meghiya, go when it’s convenient.”

Then Meghiya robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, entered Jantu village for alms. After the meal, on his return from alms-round in Jantu village, he went to the shore of Kimikālā river. As he was going for a walk along the shore of the river he saw a lovely and delightful mango grove.

It occurred to him, “Oh, this mango grove is lovely and delightful! It’s truly good enough for meditation for a kinsman who wants to meditate. If the Buddha allows me, I’ll come back to this mango grove to meditate.”

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MN 12 The Similes of the Five Destinations and Nibbana

The following similes that explain the Supreme Buddha’s lokavidū quality are found in the Maha Siha Nada sutta. You can read the whole sutta here.

Reading Time: 6minutes

There are these five destinations. What five? Hell, the animal realm, the ghost realm, humanity, and the gods.

I understand hell, and the path and practice that leads to hell. And I understand how someone practicing that way, when their body breaks up, after death, is reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell. I understand the animal realm … the ghost realm … humanity … gods, and the path and practice that leads to the world of the gods. And I understand how someone practicing that way, when their body breaks up, after death, is reborn in a good place, a heavenly realm. And I understand Nibbāna, and the path and practice that leads to Nibbāna . And I understand how someone practicing that way realizes the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and lives having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements.

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SN 56:31 Simsapa Forest

Reading Time: 2minutes

How can we understand the vast knowledge of a Supreme Buddha? Of that vast knowledge, what did he share with us?

At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambī in a siṁsapā forest. Then the Buddha picked up a few siṁsapā leaves in his hand and addressed the mendicants: “What do you think, mendicants? Which is more: the few leaves in my hand, or those in the forest above me?”

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AN 9.20 About Velama

Reading Time: 4minutes

How does the Buddha want us to give a gift so that it is of the greatest benefit? How should we think about the merit of giving? How should we think about the merit of virtue and meditation?

At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then the householder Anāthapiṇḍika went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, “Householder, I wonder whether your family gives gifts?”

“It does, sir. But only coarse gruel with pickles.”

“Householder, someone might give a gift that’s either coarse or fine. But they give it carelessly, thoughtlessly, not with their own hand. They give the dregs, and they give without consideration for consequences. Then wherever the result of any such gift manifests, their mind doesn’t incline toward enjoyment of nice food, clothes, vehicles, or the five refined kinds of sensual stimulation. And their children, wives, bondservants, employees, and workers don’t want to listen to them. They don’t pay attention or try to understand. Why is that? Because that is the result of deeds done carelessly.

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