Anguttara Nikaya


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A'nguttara Nikaaya
Chakkanipata
Pa.n.naasakaasa'ngahitaa Vaggaa
Vaggaasa'ngahitaa suttantaa

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 Anaathapi.n.dika

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

 

§

 

134

Citta Macchikaasa.n.dika

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

 

§

 

135

Hatthaka Aa'avaka

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

 

§

 

136

Mahaanaama Sakka

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

 

§

 

137

Ugga Vesaalika

[120.6][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Ugga Vesaalika,
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 Vesaalika,
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

Suura Amba.t.tha

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

 

§

 

140

Jiivaka Komaarabhacca

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

 

§

 

141

Nakulapitaa

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

 

§

 

142

Tavaka.n.nika

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

 

§

 

143

Puura.na

[120.12][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Puura.na,
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 Puura.na,
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

Sandhaana

[120.14][pts] Having mastered six dhammas, bhikkhus, the housefather Sandhaana
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 Sandhaana,
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

Vajiyamaahita

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

 

§

 

148

Me.n.daka

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

 

§

 

149

Vaase.t.tha

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

 

§

 

150

Ari.t.tha

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

 

§

 

151

Saarangga

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

 


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