Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Medium Discourses

48. Precepts (2)

1. Thus I have heard: One time, the Buddha traveled to the country of Śrāvastī and stayed at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove.

2. It was then that Venerable Śāriputra addressed the monks, “Good men, if a monk violates the precepts, that’s detrimental to not having regrets, gladness, joy, calm, happiness, concentration, seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is, disenchantment, lack of desire, and liberation. If he has no liberation, that’s detrimental to nirvāṇa.

3. “Good men, just like a tree with roots that are damaged, it’s branches, trunk, core, joints, limbs, leaves, flowers, and fruit won’t completely form.

4. “Good men, you should know that a monk is likewise. If he violates the precepts, that’s detrimental to not having regrets, gladness, joy, calm, happiness, concentration, seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is, disenchantment, lack of desire, and liberation. If he has no liberation, that’s detrimental to nirvāṇa.

5. “Good men, if a monk observes the precepts, he readily cultivates not having regrets, gladness, joy, calm, happiness, concentration, seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is, disenchantment, lack of desire, and liberation. If he has liberation, he readily cultivates nirvāṇa.

6. “Good men, just like a tree with roots that aren’t damaged, then the branches, trunk, core, joints, limbs, leaves, flowers, and fruit will completely form.

7. “Good men, you should know that a monk is likewise. If a monk observes the precepts, he readily cultivates not having regrets, gladness, joy, calm, happiness, concentration, seeing as it really is and knowing as it truly is, disenchantment, lack of desire, and liberation. If he has liberation, he readily cultivates nirvāṇa.”

8. Venerable Śāriputra taught thus. Those monks who heard what the Venerable Śāriputra taught rejoiced and approved.


Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 14 September 2020