Categories
Samyutta Nikaya
Sotāpatti Saṁyutta

55.21 Mahānāma Sutta
To Mahānāma 1

How should we develop our minds to go to a good destination?

This is as I heard. Those days, the Buddha was living in the kingdom of the Sakyans, in the city of Kapilavatthu, in the Nigrodha Monastery. One day, Mahānāma of the Sakya clan went to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, sat down to one side, and asked him, “Bhante, this Kapilavatthu city is very prosperous and full of people, with overcrowded streets. Some days, in the late afternoon, after learning the Dhamma from the Buddha or a monk, I enter Kapilavatthu city. There, I come across a stray elephant, stray horse, speedy chariot, speedy cart, or a busy person. Bhante, at that time, I lose mindfulness regarding the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Saṅgha. Bhante, I think, ‘If I were to die at this time, where would I be reborn?’”

“Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not bring you misfortune; your passing will not bring you misfortune. Take someone whose mind has for a long time been developed with the qualities of faith, virtue, Dhamma knowledge, generosity, and wisdom. He has a physical body which is made up of the four primary elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and curry, liable to change, liable to wear away, liable to break up and be destroyed. The crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures may devour his body. But, his mind is developed with the qualities of faith, virtue, Dhamma knowledge, generosity, and wisdom. Therefore, his mind rises up and is headed towards a happier destination.

“Suppose a person was to sink a clay pot of ghee or oil into a deep lake and break it under water. The broken pieces of the pot would sink down, while the ghee or oil in it would rise to the surface.

“In the same way, take someone whose mind has for a long time been developed with the qualities of faith, virtue, Dhamma knowledge, generosity, and wisdom. He has a physical body which is made up of the four primary elements, produced by mother and father, built up from rice and curry, liable to change, liable to wear away, liable to break up and be destroyed. The crows, vultures, hawks, dogs, jackals, and many kinds of little creatures may devour his body. But, his mind is developed with the qualities of faith, virtue, Dhamma knowledge, generosity, and wisdom. Therefore, his mind rises up and is headed towards a happier destination.

“Mahānāma, your mind has for a long time been developed with the qualities of faith, virtue, Dhamma knowledge, generosity, and wisdom. Do not fear, Mahānāma, do not fear! Your death will not bring you misfortune; your passing will not bring you misfortune.”

Three Bar Menu Button

Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.21 Mahānāma Sutta: To Mahānāma 1

Have a question?

Do you have a question about what you have read?