Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 10: The Guarded Mind

9. Bad Destinies

1. Thus I have heard: 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, “If a monk cultivates one thing, then he won’t be able to destroy the bad destinies and make a destiny that’s either good or nirvāṇa. What is the one thing that when cultivated isn’t able to destroy the bad destinies? It’s a heart that lacks sincere belief. Cultivating this one thing, one won’t destroy the bad destinies.

3. “What one thing when cultivated leads to a good place? That refers to a heart that practices sincere belief. Cultivating this one thing leads to a good place.

4. “What one thing when cultivated reaches nirvāṇa? That refers to the constant focus of mindfulness. Cultivating this thing reaches nirvāṇa.

5. “Therefore, monks, focus your thinking and be mindful of the roots of goodness. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

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

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 2 April 2023