Aṅguttara Nikāya Book of Gradual Sayings

8. Aṭṭhkanipāta – 8. Book of Eights

[NOTE: All statements in these suttas, unless otherwise noted, are made by the Buddha addressing the monks at Jetavana in Sāvatthi. These are included withn quotation marks: "...". Sections within curly brackets {...} are comments notes and further explanations by the author of these abstracts. Other statements give general information usually within square brackets [...]. Each sutta in this Book deals with eight items. They are usually numbered here (1) ... (8) though not in the original Pali]

1. Paṭhamapaññāsaka – 1. The first Fifty

1. Mettāvagga – 1. Loving-kindness

[1] 1. Loving-kindness. (Mettāsutta). "Monks, eight benefits derive from the liberation of mind by loving-kindness: (1 - 8) sleeping well; awakening happily; no bad dreams; (4) being pleasing to human beings; being pleasing to spirits; being protected by deities; (7) not being injured by fire, poison, and weapons; on death one may go to the Brahma world."

[2] 2. Wisdom. (Paññāsutta). "Monks, eight ways of getting wisdom are: (1 - 8) being dependent on a Teacher or fellow monk; set up moral shame and moral dread; withdraw from body and mind based on Dhamma; dwell restrained by the Patimokkha; learn much and remember it; develop wholesome qualities; no pointless talk with fellow sangha; contemplate on the transience of the aggregates."

[3] 3. Pleasing 1. (Paṭhamaappiysutta). "Monks, a displeasing and disagreeable bhikkhu has eight qualities: (1 - 8): praises other displeasing monks; criticizes pleasant monks; desires gains; seeks honour; (5) is morally shameless; is morally reckless; (7) has evil desires; holds wrong view."

[4] 4. Pleasing 2. (Dutiyaappiysutta). Same as previous suta.

[5] 5. World 1. (DutiyaPaṭhamalokadhammasutta). "Monks, the eight worldly conditions are: (1 - 8) Gain; loss; disrepute; fame; blame; praise; pleasure pain."

[6] 6. World 2. (Dutiyalokadhammasutta). This sutta explains in detail the eight conditions identified in the previous sutta.

[7] 7. Devadatta's fate. (Devadattavipattisutta). "Monks, Devadatta was cast into hell for an eon because he was overcome and obsessed by: (1 - 8) gain; loss; fame; disrepute; honour; lack of honour; evil desires; bad friendship. For this reason a bhikkhu should avoid these failings."

[8] 8. Uttara. (Uttravipattisutta). Once in Dhavajalika the venerable Uttara addressed the monks thus: "It is good for a bhikkhu from time to time to review the failings and achievements of others and of himself". A deva overheard him and reported this to Sakka, king of the gods. Sakka magically appeared before Uttara and asked the reason for his utterance. Uttara said: "Suppose there were a heap of grain in a certain place and people were carrying away baskets of it. When asked by others where they got the grain they would say from the heap at such-and-such place. Similarly the word of the Tathāgata is always the truth and is well spoken." Sakka then went to the Buddha and related what Uttara had said. The Buddha approved of it and said that it was a cardinal principle of the Dhamma.

[9] 9. Nanda. (Nandasutta). "Monks, anyone speaking of Nanda would rightly say that he is a clansman, strong, and graceful but prone to lust. To overcome this he should do the following: (1) guard the sense doors by observing the six directions and resolving that bad unwholesome states of longing and dejection do not occur; (2) eat moderately by meditating the food is taken not for pleasure but for bodily upkeep; and (3) be wakeful and mindful with clear comprehension."

[10] 10. Rejecting.. (Kāraṇḍvasutta). Once while in Campa a bhikkhu had committed an offence and when reproved by the other monks he evaded the issue and displayed anger, hatred and resentment. When apprised of this the Buddha said that the offending monk should be rejected giving the example of a barley field where a rot arises at the root of a plant and soon spreads to the whole plant and then would spread ot the whole field if the infected plant is not thrown out.