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Samyutta Nikaya
Sotāpatti Saṁyutta

55.23 Tatiya Mahanāma Sutta
To Mahanāma 3

Mahānāma expresses his confidence in the Buddha.

In those days, the Blessed One was living in the Sakyan Kingdom, in the city of Kapilavatthu, at Nigrodha Monastery. One day, Mahānāma the Sakyan went to Godhā the Sakyan, and asked him, “Godhā, how many factors must a person have for you to recognize him as a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the lower worlds, and headed towards Nibbāna?”

“Mahānāma, a person must have three factors for me to recognize him as a stream-enterer. What three? It’s when a noble disciple has unshakable confidence in the Buddha… the Dhamma… and the Saṅgha… When a person has these three factors I recognize him as a stream-enterer.

“But Mahānāma, how many factors must a person have for you to recognize him as a stream-enterer?”

“Godhā, a person must have four factors for me to recognize him as a stream-enterer. What four? It’s when a noble disciple has unshakable confidence in the Buddha… the Dhamma… the Saṅgha… And he has the virtue loved by the noble ones… leading to concentration. When a person has these four factors I recognize him as a stream-enterer.”

“Hold on, Mahānāma, hold on! Only the Buddha would know whether or not a stream-enterer has these factors.”

“Come, Godhā, let’s go to the Buddha and ask him about this.”

Then Mahānāma and Godhā went to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, and sat down to one side. Mahānāma told the Buddha what happened, and then said, “Bhante, if some issue comes up, the Buddha might take one side, but the order of monks the other side. I’d side with the Buddha. May the Buddha remember me as having such confidence.

“If some issue comes up, the Buddha might take one side, but the order of monks and the order of nuns the other side. I’d side with the Buddha. May the Buddha remember me as having such confidence.

“If some issue comes up, the Buddha might take one side, but the order of monks, the order of nuns and the male lay followers the other side. I’d side with the Buddha. May the Buddha remember me as having such confidence.

“If some issue comes up, the Buddha might take one side, but the order of monks, the order of nuns, the male lay followers and the female lay followers the other side. I’d side with the Buddha. May the Buddha remember me as having such confidence.

“If some issue comes up, the Buddha might take one side, but the order of monks, the order of nuns, the male lay followers, the female lay followers and the entire world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its priests, gods and humans—the other side. I’d side with the Buddha. May the Buddha remember me as having such confidence.”

The Buddha asked, “Godhā, what do you have to say about Mahānāma when he speaks like this?”

“Bhante, I have nothing to say about Mahānāma when he speaks like this, except what is good and wholesome.”1

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.23 Tatiya Mahanāma Sutta: To Mahanāma 3

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