Aṅguttara Nikāya � Book of Gradual Sayings

9. Navakanipāta – 8. Book of Nines

NOTE: All statements in these suttas, unless otherwise noted, are made by the Buddha addressing the monks at Jetavana in Sāvatthi. These are included within 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 nine items. They are usually numbered here (1) ... (9) though not in the original Pali.

1. Paṭhamapaññāsaka – 1. The first Fifty

1. Sambodhivagga – 1. The Awakening

[1] 1. The awakening. (Sambodhisutta). "Monks, if wanderers of other sects ask the proximate causes of awakening (Enlightenment) of a bhikkhu you should answer: (1 - 9) good friends and companions; virtue under restraint of Patimokkha; fewness of desires; energy for abandonment of unwholesome qualities; wisdom to understand the arising and the passing away of dhammas; abandoning lust; developing loving kindness; developing mindfulness of breathing; developing the perception of impermanence."

[2] 2. Support. (Nissayasutta). A certain monk asked the Buddha: "What supports does a bhikkhu have ?" The Buddha replied: "He has these supports: (1 - 9) faith; moral shame; moral dread; energy; wisdom to develop the wholesome; reflecting on things used; on things endured; on things avoided; on things dispelled."

[3] 3.Meghiya. (Meghiyasutta). Once when the Buddha was at Calika he gave his attendant venerable Meghia permission to strive at a mango grove that Meghia had found. While striving there Meghia was overcome by thoughts of sensuality, ill will, and harming. He went back and asked the Buddha the causes for this. The Buddha said: "Success in striving depends first on five factors: (1 - 5) having good friends and comrades; being virtuous restrained by the Patimokkha; hear talk on fewness of desires and on solitude; rousing energy regarding wholesome qualities; developing wisdom regarding the rising and passing away of dhammas. Based on these five factors he should develop the four perceptions of (6 - 9) unattractiveness to abandon lust; loving-kindness to abandon ill will; mindfulness to cut off evil thoughts; impermanence to eradicate the conceit of 'I am'."

[4] 4. Nandaka (Nandakasutta). Once in Sāvatthi the Buddha wanted to exhort the monks and went to the assembly hall. But venerable Nandaka was giving a long exhortation to the monks inside. He waited outside until this was over and then made his presence known. Nandaka apologised for not being aware that the Buddha was waiting outside. The Buddha then said that a bhikkhu could either talk on Dhamma or maintain silence. To do the former he should be: (1 - 9) endowed with faith; be virtuous; have internal serenity; have higher wisdom of insight into phenomena; teach Dhamma that is good in all respects; reveal the perfect spiritual life; show that the Dhamma is deep and penetrated with wisdom; present it in a way that bhikkhus can attain it; show how final liberation can come from listening to the Dhamma whether for learners or for arahants."

[5] 5. Powers. (Balasutta). "Monks, A bhikkhu can develop four powers and having done so he can overcome five fears. The powers are: (1 - 4) wisdom to recognize and develop wholesome qualities; energy to abandon unwholesome qualities; blamelessness in bodily, verbal and mental actions; sustaining a favourable relationship. As a result of these powers the bhikkhu can transcend the fear of (5 - 9) loss of income; disrepute; timidity in assemblies; death; a bad rebirth."

[6] 6. Association. (Sevanāsutta). Venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Persons and things like robes, lodgings, places to go for alms, and lodgings are to be regarded in two ways either to be associated with or rejected. Thus a person who is evil should not he followed, requisites hard to get should be avoided. In the opposite case they should be accepted. If associating with a man, or using a robe, or going for alms to a certain place leads to an increase in evil and a decline in the good then they should be avoided; in the opposite case they should be associated with or used."

[7] 7. Sutava. (Sutavāsutta). Once in Gijjhakuta near Rajagaha the wanderer Sutva said this to the Buddha: " I have heard it said that an Arahant who has destroyed the intoxicants cannot take life, steal, have sexual intercourse, tell lies, or enjoy household pleasure. Have I heard rightly?" The Buddha said: "You have heard rightly. An Arahant is incapable of: (1 - 9) depriving a living being of life; taking what is not given; engaging in sexual intercourse; speaking falsehood; storing things up in order to enjoy sensual pleasures; rejecting the Buddha; rejecting the Dhamma; rejecting the Sahgha; rejecting the training. "

[8] 8. Sajjha (Sajjhasutta). Same as the previous sutta except that the interlocutor of the Buddha is the wanderer Sajjha.

[9] Persons. (Puggalasutta). "Monks, there are nine kinds of persons: the Arahant, the non-returner, the once-returner, the stream winner and the four practicing for these four positions. The ninth is the worldling."

[10] 10. Worthy of gifts. (Āhuneyyasutta). Here nine persons are said to be worthy of gifts. The first eight are the same as in the list in the previous sutta. The ninth is (one's own) clansman.