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Samyutta Nikaya
Sotāpatti Saṁyutta

55.26 Anāthapiṇḍika Sutta
To Anāthapiṇḍika 1

What should we reflect on when we are suffering?

At the city of Sāvatthī.

In those days, Anāthapiṇḍika, a male lay follower of the Buddha was sick, suffering, and gravely ill. Then he told one of his servants, “Please, go to Venerable Sāriputta, and in my name, bow with your head to his feet. Say to him: ‘Bhante, Anāthapiṇḍika is sick, suffering, gravely ill. He bows with his head to your feet.’ And then say: ‘Bhante, please visit him at his home out of compassion.’”

“Yes, sir,” his servant replied. He did as Anāthapiṇḍika asked. Sāriputta consented in silence.

Then, Venerable Sāriputta wore his robes in the morning, took his bowl and double-layered robe, and went with Venerable Ānanda as his second monk to Anāthapiṇḍika’s home. He sat down on the seat spread out, and said to Anāthapiṇḍika, “Dear follower, I hope you’re coping; I hope you’re getting better. And I hope the pain is fading, not growing, that its fading is shown, not its growing.”

“Bhante, I’m not keeping well, I’m not alright. The pain is terrible and growing, not fading; its growing is shown, not its fading.”

“Dear Anāthapiṇḍika, you don’t have the lack of confidence in the Buddha that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. Instead, you have unshakable confidence in the Buddha: ‘That Blessed One is liberated, self enlightened, has true knowledge and pure conduct, attained Nibbāna, knower of the world, supreme trainer of beings, teacher of gods and humans, the most generous, the most fortunate.’

“Seeing that unshakable confidence in the Buddha within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.

“Dear Anāthapiṇḍika, you don’t have the lack of confidence in the Dhamma that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. Instead, you have unshakable confidence in the teaching: ‘The Dhamma is well explained by the Buddha—visible in this very life, immediately effective, inviting inspection, applied to oneself, wise people can know it for themselves.’

“Seeing that unshakable confidence in the Dhamma within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.

“Dear Anāthapiṇḍika, you don’t have the lack of confidence in the Saṅgha that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. Instead, you have unshakable confidence in the Saṅgha: ‘The order of the Buddha’s disciples is practicing the pure way, upright way, wise way, and generous way. It consists of the four pairs, the eight individuals. This is the order of the Buddha’s disciples that is worthy of offerings, worthy of hospitality, worthy of gifts, worthy of greeting with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.’

“Seeing that unshakable confidence in the Saṅgha within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.

“Dear Anāthapiṇḍika, you don’t have the unethical conduct that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. Your virtue is loved by the noble ones, unbroken, flawless, unblemished, not caught up in craving, freed from wrong views, praised by wise people and leading to concentration.

“Seeing that you have the virtue loved by the noble ones within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.

“Dear Anāthapiṇḍika, you don’t have the wrong view that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. Instead, you have right view. Seeing that you have right view within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.

“You don’t have the wrong thoughts… wrong speech… wrong action… wrong livelihood… wrong effort… wrong mindfulness… wrong concentration… wrong knowledge… wrong liberation that causes an ordinary person to be reborn in hell. You have right liberation. Seeing that right liberation within yourself, that pain will die down instantly.”

And then Anāthapiṇḍika’s pain died down instantly. Then, he served Venerable Sāriputta and Venerable Ānanda from his own dish. When Venerable Sāriputta had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, Anāthapiṇḍika took a low seat and sat to one side. Venerable Sāriputta expressed his appreciation to him with these verses.

“Whoever has faith in the Buddha,
unshakable and well grounded;
whose virtue is good,
praised and loved by the noble ones;

“Whoever has confidence in the Saṅgha,
and straight view:
that person is said to be rich,
his life is not in vain.

“So let the wise person devote himself
to faith, virtue,
confidence in the Saṅgha, and insight into the Dhamma,
remembering the instructions of the Buddha.”

After expressing his appreciation to Anāthapiṇḍika with these verses, Venerable Sāriputta got up from his seat and left.

Then, Venerable Ānanda went to the Buddha, bowed respectfully, and sat down to one side. The Buddha asked him, “So, Ānanda, where are you coming from in the middle of the day?”

“Bhante, Venerable Sāriputta advised the male lay follower Anāthapiṇḍika in this way and that.”

“Ānanda, Sāriputta is very wise. He has great wisdom; he taught the Dhamma to Anāthapiṇḍika analyzing the four factors of stream-entry in ten respects.”

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 55.26 Anāthapiṇḍika Sutta: To Anāthapiṇḍika 1

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