Samyutta Nikaya
Brahmaṇa Saṁyutta

SN 7.5 Ahiṁsaka Sutta
The Harmless One

What does it mean to be harmless?

At one time, the Buddha was living in the city of Sāvatthī, in the Jeta’s park, at Anathapindika’s monastery.

One day, Ahiṁsaka of the brahmin caste went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him.

When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said, “I am Ahiṁsaka,1 Master Gotama, I am Ahiṁsaka!”

The Buddha:

“If your name is ‘the harmless one,’
and you live such a harmless life,
then truly you are Ahiṁsaka.
If a person does not harm and harass anyone
with his body, speech or mind,
he is truly a harmless one.”

When the Buddha taught this, Ahiṁsaka said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent! Just as if someone turned upright, what was upside down, revealed what was hidden, pointed out the path to whoever was lost, or lit a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes could see what’s there, Master Gotama taught me the Dhamma, which is clear in many ways. I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the Dhamma, and to the Saṅgha. Bhante, may I become a monk under you?”

And he became a monk under the Buddha. Not long after his ordination, Bhante Ahiṁsaka, living alone, withdrawn, diligent, passionate, and firm, soon realized the supreme goal of the spiritual path in this very life. He achieved with his own wisdom the goal for which a son would leave the lay life to become a monk.

He realized: “Rebirth has ended. The spiritual journey has been completed. What had to be done to end suffering has been done. There will be no rebirth.” Therefore, Bhante Ahiṁsaka became one of the enlightened monks.

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Saṁyutta Nikāya 7.5 Ahiṁsaka Sutta: The Harmless One

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