Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 12: The Single Entry Path

10. Śrīla

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, “Someone taking profit is a serious thing, not an easy thing,[1] for it prevents a person from reaching the unconditioned abode. Why is that? If that monk Śrīla[2] hadn’t craved profit, it wouldn’t have occurred to him to kill measureless beings. He was born in Hell after his body broke up and his life ended.”

3. The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

4. “Therefore, monks, you should know from this that taking profit is a serious thing, not an easy thing.[3] Control and prevent thoughts about profit before they arise. If they’ve already arisen, work to make them cease. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

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


  1. a serious thing, not an easy thing. C. 甚爲不易. The previous sutra has the same opening line, which reads 甚、不易. I’ve corrected this passage assuming a copyist has replaced 重 with 爲. [back]
  2. Śrīla. C. 師利羅 (EMC. ṣïi-lɪi-la = G. śirila = S. śrīla). This personal name is attested in G. sources, but the particular figure being referenced here is thus far unknown to me. [back]
  3. a serious thing, not an easy thing. The same correction applies here as in the opening of the sūtra. I’ve also ignored the spurious insertion of “Thus, monks, you should train yourselves” that occurs at this point. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 12 July 2023