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Samyutta Nikaya

Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.13 Ānanda Sutta
Venerable Ānanda Thero

What should we have and what should we lack?

One day, the Venerables, Ānanda and Sāriputta, were living in the city of Sāvatthī, in Jeta’s Park, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Then in the late afternoon, Venerable Sāriputta after finishing meditation, went to Venerable Ānanda, and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and asked him, “Venerable Ānanda, how many things do people have to give up and how many things do they have to possess in order for the Buddha to declare that they’re a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the miserable worlds, heading towards Nibbāna?”

“Venerable, people have to give up four things and possess four things in order for the Buddha to declare that they’re a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the miserable worlds, heading towards Nibbāna.

“What four do noble disciples have and lack? Noble disciples don’t lack confidence in the Buddha that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell after death. Noble disciples have unshakable confidence in the Buddha that causes noble disciples to be reborn in heaven after death. They have confidence in this way, ‘The Blessed One is liberated, self enlightened, has true knowledge and pure conduct, attained Nibbāna, knower of worlds, supreme trainer of beings, teacher of gods and humans, the most generous and the most fortunate.’

“Noble disciples don’t lack confidence in the Dhamma that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell after death. Noble disciples have unshakable confidence in the Dhamma that causes noble disciples to be reborn in heaven after death. They have confidence in this way, ‘The Dhamma is well explained by the Buddha—visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, applied to oneself, wise people can know it for themselves.’

“Noble disciples don’t lack confidence in the Saṅgha that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell after death. Noble disciples have unshakable confidence in the Saṅgha that causes noble disciples to be reborn in heaven after death. They have confidence in this way, ‘The order of the Buddha’s disciples is practicing the pure way, upright way, wise way, and generous way. It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. The order of the Buddha’s disciples is worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of greeting with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.’

“Noble disciples don’t have unethical conduct that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell after death. Noble disciples have virtue loved by the noble ones that causes noble disciples to be reborn in heaven after death. Their virtue is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, flawless, unblemished, not caught up in craving, freed from wrong views, praised by wise people and leading to concentration.

“People have to give up these four things and possess these four things in order for the Buddha to declare that they’re a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the miserable worlds, heading towards Nibbāna.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.13 Ānanda Sutta: Venerable Ānanda Thero

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