Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 11: The Non-Returner

8. Alms (2)

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, “Someone was thinking in this assembly. Even if their lives would end, they wouldn’t have spoken falsely to the assembly. On some other occasion, I examined this person, and they had become obsessed with thoughts about valuable things. Then, they spoke falsely to the great assembly. Why was that? Monks, obsessions with valuable things are very difficult to abandon. They cause people to fall to the three bad destinations and not reach the unconditioned state.

3. “Therefore, monks, one must abandon these thoughts that have arisen. If they have yet to arise, then don’t create anymore thoughts that are obsessed with valuable things. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

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


  1. This sūtra and the previous one are very similar in subject and format to SN 17.11-20, but these sūtras don’t provide specific examples of valuable things. See the notes to the previous sūtra for more comments about these sūtras and their parallels. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 07 May 2023