Samannaphala Sutta means something in Buddhism , Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article. The second sutta of the Digha Nikaya.
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This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information. This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training, illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes.
This portrait is placed in juxtaposition to the Buddhist view of the teachings of rival philosophical teachers of the time, showing how the Buddha — in contradistinction to the inflexible, party-line approach of his contemporaries — presented his teaching in a way that was pertinent and sensitive to the needs of his listeners.
This larger portrait of the intellectual landscape of early Buddhist India is then presented in a moving narrative frame: the sad story of King Ajatasattu.
Ajatasattu was the son of King Bimbisara of Magadha, one of the Buddha's earliest followers. Urged on by Devadatta — the Buddha's cousin, who wished to use Ajatasattu's support in his bid to take over the Buddha's position as head of the Sangha — Ajatasattu arranged for his father's death so that he could secure his own position on the throne. As a result of this evil deed, he was destined not only to be killed by his own son — Udayibhadda mentioned in the discourse — but also to take immediate rebirth in one of the lowest regions of hell.
In this discourse, Ajatasattu visits the Buddha in hopes that the latter will bring some peace to his mind. The question he puts to the Buddha shows the limited level of his own understanding, so the Buddha patiently describes the steps of the training, beginning at a very basic level and gradually moving up, as a way of raising the king's spiritual horizons.
At the end of the talk, Ajatasattu takes refuge in the Triple Gem. Although his earlier deeds were so heavy that this expression of faith could have only limited consequences in the immediate present, the Commentary assures us that the king's story would ultimately have a happy ending.
After the Buddha's death, he sponsored the First Council, at which a congress of arahant disciples produced the first standardized account of the Buddha's teachings. As a result of the merit coming from this deed, Ajatasattu is destined — after his release from hell — to attain Awakening as a Private Buddha. I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Rajagaha , in Jivaka Komarabhacca 's mango grove, with a large community of monks — 1, monks in all. Now at that time — it being the observance day, the full-moon night of the water-lily season, the fourth month of the rains — King Ajatasattu of Magadha, the son of Queen Videha , was sitting on the roof terrace of his palace surrounded by his ministers.
Then he felt inspired to exclaim: "How wonderful is this moonlit night! How beautiful How lovely How inspiring How auspicious is this moonlit night! What brahman or contemplative should we visit tonight who might enlighten and bring peace to our mind? When this was said, one of the ministers said to the king: "Your majesty, there is Purana Kassapa , the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people. He is aged, long gone forth, advanced in years, in the last phase of life.
Your majesty should visit him. Perhaps, if you visited him, he would enlighten and bring peace to your mind. Then another minister said to the king: "Your majesty, there is Makkhali Gosala Your majesty, there is Ajita Kesakambalin Your majesty, there is Pakudha Kaccayana Your majesty, there is Nigantha Nataputta , the leader of a community, the leader of a group, the teacher of a group, honored and famous, esteemed as holy by the mass of people.
All this time Jivaka Komarabhacca was sitting silently not far from the king. So the king said to him, "Friend Jivaka, why are you silent? Concerning this Blessed One, this admirable report has been spread: 'Surely, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear knowing and conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of tamable people, teacher of beings human and divine, awakened, blessed.
Having replied, "As you say, your majesty," having had five hundred female elephants prepared as well as the king's personal tusker, Jivaka announced to the king: "Your majesty, your riding elephants are prepared. Do what you think it is now time to do. Then the king, having had five hundred of his women mounted on the five hundred female elephants — one on each — and having mounted his own personal tusker, set out from the capital in full royal state, with attendants carrying torches, headed for Jivaka Komarabhacca's mango grove.
But when the king was not far from the mango grove, he was gripped with fear, trepidation, his hair standing on end. Fearful, agitated, his hair standing on end, he said to Jivaka Komarabhacca: "Friend Jivaka, you aren't deceiving me, are you?
You aren't betraying me, are you? You aren't turning me over to my enemies, are you? How can there be such a large community of monks — 1, in all — with no sound of sneezing, no sound of coughing, no voices at all? Don't be afraid. I'm not deceiving you or betraying you or turning you over to your enemies. Go forward, great king, go forward! Those are lamps burning in the pavilion hall. Then the king, going as far on his tusker as the ground would permit, dismounted and approached the door of the pavilion on foot.
Then the king approached the Blessed One and, on reaching him, stood to one side. As he was standing there — surveying the community of monks sitting in absolute silence, as calm as a lake — he felt inspired to exclaim: "May my son, Prince Udayibhadda , enjoy the same peace that this community of monks now enjoys!
May he enjoy the same peace that this community of monks now enjoys! Then, bowing down to the Blessed One, and saluting the community of monks with his hands palm-to-palm over his heart, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "I would like to ask the Blessed One about a certain issue, if he would give me the opportunity to explain my question.
They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the here and now. They give pleasure and refreshment to themselves, to their parents, wives, and children, to their friends and colleagues. They put in place an excellent presentation of offerings to brahmans and contemplatives, leading to heaven, resulting in happiness, conducive to a heavenly rebirth.
Is it possible, lord, to point out a similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now? After an exchange of friendly greetings and courtesies, I sat to one side. As I was sitting there I asked him: 'Venerable Kassapa, there are these common craftsmen They live off the fruits of their crafts, visible in the here and now Is it possible, venerable sir, to point out a similar fruit of the contemplative life, visible in the here and now? If with a razor-edged disk one were to turn all the living beings on this earth to a single heap of flesh, a single pile of flesh, there would be no evil from that cause, no coming of evil.
Even if one were to go along the right bank of the Ganges, killing and getting others to kill, mutilating and getting others to mutilate, torturing and getting others to torture, there would be no evil from that cause, no coming of evil. Even if one were to go along the left bank of the Ganges, giving and getting others to give, making sacrifices and getting others to make sacrifices, there would be no merit from that cause, no coming of merit. Through generosity, self-control, restraint, and truthful speech there is no merit from that cause, no coming of merit.
Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango: In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Purana Kassapa answered with non-action.
The thought occurred to me: 'How can anyone like me think of disparaging a brahman or contemplative living in his realm? Neither delighting nor protesting, I was dissatisfied. Without expressing dissatisfaction, without accepting his teaching, without adopting it, I got up from my seat and left. As I was sitting there I asked him: 'Venerable Gosala, there are these common craftsmen Beings are defiled without cause, without requisite condition.
There is no cause, no requisite condition, for the purification of beings. Beings are purified without cause, without requisite condition. There is nothing self-caused, nothing other-caused, nothing human-caused.
There is no strength, no effort, no human energy, no human endeavor. All living beings, all life, all beings, all souls are powerless, devoid of strength, devoid of effort. Subject to the changes of fate, serendipity, and nature, they are sensitive to pleasure and pain in the six great classes of birth. There are kinds of kamma, five kinds, and three kinds; full kamma and half kamma. There are 62 pathways, 62 sub-eons, six great classes of birth, eight classes of men, 4, modes of livelihood, 4, kinds of wanderers, 4, Naga-abodes, 2, faculties, 3, hells, 36 dust-realms, seven spheres of percipient beings, seven spheres of non-percipient beings, seven kinds of jointed plants, seven kinds of devas, seven kinds of human beings, seven kinds of demons, seven great lakes, seven major knots, seven minor knots, major precipices, minor precipices, major dreams, minor dreams, 84, great aeons.
Having transmigrated and wandered on through these, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain. Pleasure and pain are measured out, the wandering-on is fixed in its limits. There is no shortening or lengthening, no accelerating or decelerating. Just as a ball of string, when thrown, comes to its end simply by unwinding, in the same way, having transmigrated and wandered on, the wise and the foolish alike will put an end to pain.
Just as if a person, when asked about a mango, were to answer with a breadfruit; or, when asked about a breadfruit, were to answer with a mango.
In the same way, when asked about a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here and now, Makkhali Gosala answered with purification through wandering-on.
As I was sitting there I asked him: 'Venerable Ajita, there are these common craftsmen There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no brahmans or contemplatives who, faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves.
A person is a composite of four primary elements. At death, the earth in the body returns to and merges with the external earth-substance. The fire returns to and merges with the external fire-substance.
The liquid returns to and merges with the external liquid-substance. The wind returns to and merges with the external wind-substance. The sense-faculties scatter into space. Four men, with the bier as the fifth, carry the corpse. Its eulogies are sounded only as far as the charnel ground. The bones turn pigeon-colored. The offerings end in ashes. Generosity is taught by idiots. The words of those who speak of existence after death are false, empty chatter.
Samannaphala Sutta, Sāmaññaphala Sutta: 1 definition
This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information. This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training, illustrating each stage of the training with vivid similes. This portrait is placed in juxtaposition to the Buddhist view of the teachings of rival philosophical teachers of the time, showing how the Buddha — in contradistinction to the inflexible, party-line approach of his contemporaries — presented his teaching in a way that was pertinent and sensitive to the needs of his listeners.
Long Discourses 2. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the final stage of life. Then he informed the king, 8. Those are lamps shining in the pavilion.
In terms of narrative, this discourse tells the story of King Ajatasattu , son and successor of King Bimbisara of Magadha , who posed the following question to many leading Indian spiritual teachers : What is the benefit of living a contemplative life? After being dissatisfied with the answers provided by these other teachers, the king posed this question to the Buddha whose answer motivated the king to become a lay follower of the Buddha. In terms of Indian philosophy and spiritual doctrines, this discourse:. Thanissaro Bhikkhu refers to this discourse as "one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. Upon a bright uposatha night, King Ajatasattu, monarch of Magadha Kingdom , who was in the mood to hear a Dhamma discourse, asked his ministers if there was any worthy teacher "who might enlighten and bring peace to our mind. But when the King's physician, Jivaka , who was silent all the time, was asked if he could suggest a teacher to visit, the physician quickly replied that the Buddha was currently staying in the physician's mango groves. The King immediately agreed to go there.