981. If a monk is virtuous, is full of mindfulness, meditates with restrained thoughts, practices the Dhamma diligently, delights in meditation, is still internally, and is content living in seclusion, he is truly called a monk.
982. Whether the food he eats is moist or dry, he doesn’t overeat. He keeps some empty space in his stomach. A monk should eat mindfully knowing the limit. That is how a monk should live.
983. Without eating the last four or five mouthfuls, he should fill his stomach with water. This leads to the comfort of a monk who is diligent in reaching Nibbāna.
984. He should wear an allowable robe just to cover the private parts of his body. This leads to the comfort of a monk who is diligent in reaching Nibbāna.
985. As he sits for meditation, as long as his knees don’t get wet from the rain, such a hut will do for a monk. This leads to the comfort of a monk who is diligent in reaching Nibbāna.
986. If one sees happy feelings as pain, painful feelings as a dart, and is not deluded by neutral feelings, then how could he be attached to this world?
987. There are people with evil desires, who are lazy, who lack Dhamma knowledge, and who are disrespectful. May I never have anything to do with such people. What good will come to this world by associating with them?
988. If one knows the supreme Dhamma well and is wise and virtuous, has a perfectly still mind, and is devoted to internal serenity—may that noble one stand right on my head.
989. The one who is sunk in and delights in sensual thoughts, angry thoughts, and thoughts of harming: he lives like a wild animal. That person misses the supreme Nibbāna, the end of suffering in saṁsāra.
990. But if one abandons those wrong thoughts without getting caught in wandering thoughts and delights in serene and insight meditation, he will attain the supreme Nibbāna, the end of suffering in saṁsāra.
991. Whether in a village or forest, on low ground or high ground, wherever the enlightened ones live, that land is indeed very delightful.
992. The seekers of sensual pleasures don’t delight in forests. But the lust free sages who don’t seek after sensual pleasures delight in the forests. They are truly excited about those forests.
993. One who notices your faults and corrects you is like someone who reveals a treasure. You should associate with such wise noble ones. Association with such wise noble ones always leads to good and never to bad.
994. He should advise, he should instruct, and he should restrain you from unwholesomeness. Such a person is dear to superior people, but not liked by evil people.
995. That day the Blessed Buddha, the one with eyes of Dhamma, was teaching the Dhamma to another person. While the Dhamma was being taught, being desirous towards realising the meaning, I was listening to it mindfully, paying full attention. My listening wasn’t in vain. My mind was liberated from all taints and attained enlightenment.
996. I was not searching for the knowledge required to find my past lives, nor was I searching for the knowledge to obtain the divine eye, nor for the knowledge to read others’ minds, nor for the knowledge to obtain psychic powers, nor for the knowledge of passing away and rebirth of beings, nor for the knowledge to obtain the divine ear.
997. With a shaven head, wearing the double robe, and sitting at the foot of a tree, he, liberated Upatissa, who became the foremost in wisdom, meditates.
998. The disciple of the fully enlightened Buddha has attained the Jhāna, devoid of applied thoughts, which is called noble silence.
999. A monk who abandoned delusion is unshaken, just like a firm, rocky mountain.
1000. To a person who is without defilements and always seeking purity, a hair’s tip amount of evil seems as if it is the size of a cloud.
1001. I don’t desire death, nor do I desire life, with clear mindfulness and awareness I will discard this body.
1002. I don’t desire death nor do I desire life. Like a person who is waiting for his monthly salary, I am awaiting my time to attain final extinguishing at passing away.
1003. Either afterwards or before, on both sides there is death, not non-death. Therefore, follow only the Noble Eightfold Path. Do not perish! May this rare opportunity not pass you by.
1004. As a city is well guarded inside and out, so you should guard your life through the Dhamma. May this rare opportunity not pass you by. Many who missed this rare opportunity suffer, falling into hell.
1005. Be calm, abstain from evil, speak only with wise consideration, don’t be conceited, and shakes off all evil things as the wind shakes a leaf off a tree.
1006. The monk who is calm abstains from evil, speaks only with wise consideration, and is not conceited, shakes off all evil things as the wind shakes a leaf off a tree.
1007. The monk who is ever calm, undisturbed by defilements, settled in mind, unstirred, full of good qualities and is wise can put an end to all suffering.
1008. One shouldn’t have trust in some lay people and some monks as well because sometimes they are good but other times they become bad, and sometimes they are bad but other times they become good.
1009. Desire for sensual pleasures, anger, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse and doubt—these things defile the mind of a monk.
1010–11. But if a monk practices the Dhamma diligently and his one-pointedness of mind is not disturbed by either praise or blame, he practices Jhānas all the time, investigates even very subtle views with insight and delights in eradicating clinging; he is the one who can be called a superior person.
1012. Even the great ocean, the great earth, Mount Mahā Meru, and the great wind cannot be compared to the supreme liberation taught by the Great Teacher, the Buddha.
1013. With great wisdom, with a still mind, keeping the Buddha’s Dhamma wheel rolling exactly how it was rolled by the Buddha, Sāriputta Bhante is like the great earth, water, and fire. He is not attached nor opposed to any object.
1014. Having attained the perfection of wisdom, having great wisdom, and having great mindfulness, that monk always lives quenched. Even though that monk is truly intelligent, he always lives as though he is unintelligent.
1015. The Buddha’s instruction has been respectfully followed by me. The Buddha’s path has been fully followed by me. I lowered the heavy load of defilements. I rooted out the fetters of existence.
1016. Follow the Noble Eightfold Path diligently. This is all I have to tell you. I was liberated from all existences. Now I am about to attain final extinguishing at passing away.
These verses were said by Arahant Sāriputta.