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Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.18 Kalyāna Sutta
Good Friends

The Buddha explains how the entire path to Nibbāna depends on good friends, good companions and good associates.

At the city of Sāvatthī…

Seated to one side, King Pasenadi said to the Buddha, “Just now, bhante, as I was alone in my room, this thought came to mind. ‘The Dhamma is well explained by the Buddha. But it’s for someone with good friends, good companions, and good associates, not for someone with bad friends, bad companions, and bad associates.’”

“That’s so true, great king! That’s so true! The Dhamma is well explained by me. But it’s for someone with good friends, good companions, and good associates, not for someone with bad friends, bad companions, and bad associates.

“Great king, one day I was living in the state of the Sakyans where they have a town named Nagaraka. Then the monk Ānanda came to me, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and said: ‘Bhante, half of the path leading to Nibbāna depends on good friends, good companions, and good associates.’

“When he had spoken, I said to him: ‘Don’t say so, Ānanda! Don’t say so, Ānanda! Not only half, but the entire path leading to Nibbāna depends on good friends, good companions, and good associates. A monk who has good friends, good companions, and good associates can expect to develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path.

“‘And how does a monk who has good friends develop and cultivate the Noble Eightfold Path? It’s when a monk develops right view, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. They rely on freedom from the five hindrances, detachment, and lean towards cessation of craving, and Nibbāna. That’s how a monk, who has good friends, develops and cultivates the Noble Eightfold Path.

“‘And Ānanda, here’s another way to understand how good friends help the entire path to Nibbāna. Ānanda, by associating with me as a good friend, beings who are subject to rebirth, old age, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress are freed from all these things. This is another way to understand how good friends help the entire path to Nibbāna.’

“So, great king, you should train like this: ‘I will live with good friends, good companions, and good associates.’ That’s how you should train.

“When you live with good friends, good companions, and good associates, you should live supported by one thing; diligence in wholesome qualities. When you’re diligent, supported by diligence, your queens, ministers, army, and people will think, ‘The king lives diligently, supported by diligence. We’d better live diligently, supported by diligence!’

“When you’re diligent, supported by diligence, then not only you yourself, but your queens, your treasury and storehouses will also be guarded and protected.”

The Buddha:

“The person who wishes to enjoy great wealth
must be diligent in making merit.
The wise praise diligence in making merit.

“Being diligent, a wise person
secures two benefits: the benefit in this life,
and benefit in the lives to come.
Such an energetic person is called the wise one.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 3.18 Kalyāna Sutta: Good Friends

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