Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 9: The Only Son

6. Birth in Heaven

1. Thus I have heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “When I continuously examine the things that a person thinks about in their mind, I see: ‘This person will be born up in Heaven in the time it takes to flex their arm.’ Why is that? It’s because of their good mind. Having given rise to a good mind, they’ll be born up in Heaven.”

3. The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

4. “Therefore, monks, one should purify their thinking and not produce defiled conduct. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

5. When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.


  1. This sūtra is similar to AN 1.44 and Iti 21. It’s closer to Iti 21 in format, and the concluding are also very similar to the Iti version, but this sūtra adds a conclusion that was standard for EĀ. AN 1.44 includes only the prose portion of the sūtra. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 3 March 2023