Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Chakkanipata
Pannasakasangahita Vagga
Vaggasangahita suttanta

Suttas 131-151
[PTS Pali #119-120]
(PTS GS III: 131-151)

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Sixes

Seers of the Deathless

Translated by Michael Olds

 


 

Introduction:

The topic of whether or not it is possible for a layman to attain arahantship is a subject of debate going way back. As far as I can tell the doubt begins after the compilation of the suttas; I can't find anything in the suttas to indicate that there is any reason to think that it is impossible. The selection below would indicate that it was undoubtingly possible, but there is some doubt about the authority of the passage. Anathapindika, for one, is pretty clearly stated to have become a Non-Returner elsewhere (citation missing of course). Does this mean that the meaning of "seeing the deathless, going on to realization of the deathless" should be taken to mean the state of Non-Returner? This in turn is complicated by the definition of Arahant (as well as the other stages) as including those "on the way to attainment of ..."

Why is this important? For motivation. There are a few out there I know of who are really going at this system full tilt. They live alone, don't work, are celibate or are working on celibacy, eat one meal a day or very moderately, and meditate. Like the Karate Master who, wanting to make his punch really powerful, invisions not only hitting the target, but penetrating the target, the meditator needs to be able to see that he can really attain the goal if he works at it.

Personally, I think it can be done. The very weakest take on this collection of little suttas would say that there was no question that the layman was able to attain Non-Returning, meaning, in this case the sort of non-returner who attains the deathless upon death, or just after death, or in any case before taking birth in a new individuality.

 


 

Sutta 131

Tapussa Sutta

[119.1][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, beggars,
the housefather Tapusso,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Tapusso,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

Seers of the Deathless

132

Bhallika

[120.1][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus,
the housefather Bhallika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Bhallika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

133

Sudatta Anathapindika

[120.2][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus,
the housefather Sudatta Anathapindika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Sudatta Anathapindika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

134

Citta Macchikasandika

[120.3][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Citta Macchikasandika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Citta Macchikasandika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

135

Hatthaka A'avaka

[120.4][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Hatthaka A'avaka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Hatthaka A'avaka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

136

Mahanama Sakka

[120.5][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Mahanama Sakka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Mahanama Sakka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

137

Ugga Vesalika

[120.6][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Ugga Vesalika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Ugga Vesalika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

138

Uggata

[120.7][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Uggata,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Uggata,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

139

Sura Ambattha

[120.8][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Sura Ambattha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Sura Ambattha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

140

Jivaka Komarabhacca

[120.9][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Jivaka Komarabhacca,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Jivaka Komarabhacca,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

141

Nakulapita

[120.10][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Nakulapita,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Nakulapita,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

142

Tavakannika

[120.11][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Tavakannika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Tavakannika,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

143

Purana

[120.12][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Purana,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Purana,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

144

Isidatta

[120.13][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Isidatta,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Isidatta,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

145

Sandhana

[120.14][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Sandhana
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Sandhana,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

146

Vijaya

[120.15][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Vijaya,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Vijaya,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

147

Vajiyamahita

[120.16][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Vajjiyamahita,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Vajiyamahita,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

148

Mendaka

[120.17][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Mendaka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Mendaka,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

149

Vasettha

[120.18][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the lay disciple Vasettha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Vasettha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

150

Arittha

[120.19][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the lay disciple Arittha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Arittha,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 

§

 

151

Sarangga

[120.20][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the lay disciple Sarangga,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

What six?

Undoubting faith in the Buddha,
undoubting faith in the Dhamma,
undoubting faith in the Sangha,
the ethical culture of the Aristocrat,
the knowledge of the Aristocrat,
the freedom of the Aristocrat.

Indeed, beggars, having mastered six dhammas,
the housefather Sarangga,
coming to perfection under the Tathagata,
has positioned himself
as an eye-witness seer of the deathless.

 


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