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Summary of Anuruddha Sutta: To Anuruddha 1

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self Enlightened One!

Rasika Wijayaratne

Published: 2017-10-24 — Updated: 2017-10-27


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When Ven. Anuruddha was sitting alone in seclusion this line of thinking arose in him.

1. This Dhammma (Teaching) is for one who is modest, not for one who is self—aggrandizing (boasting, showing off, etc.).

2. This Dhamma is for one who is content, not for one who is discontent.

3. This Dhamma is for one who is reclusive, not for one who is entangled (with people, society, etc.).

4. This Dhamma is for one whose persistence is aroused, not for one who is lazy.

5. This Dhamma is for one whose mindfulness is established, not for one whose mindfulness is confused. This refers to having a good level of mindfulness (sati), constant present moment awareness without distraction and thus also being able to recall the past in meticulous detail.

6. This Dhamma is for one whose mind is centered, not for one whose mind is uncentered. This refers to the four jhanic meditative states and the unification of mind that they give rise to.


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7. This Dhamma is for one endowed with wisdom, not for whose wisdom is weak. Wisdom here refers to being able to see the arising and passing away of phenomena, impermanance (anicca); the wisdom that leads to the ending of suffering (dukkha) and the gaining of Nibbana.

Then the Lord Buddha who was at another location, saw with His mind this line of thinking in Ven. Anuruddha, and through super—normal powers appeared in front of Ven. Anuruddha. He then commended Ven. Anuruddha for his line of thinking and added another:

8. This Dhamma is for one who reduces mental defilements, not those who increase mental defilements.

The Lord Buddha explained to Ven. Anuruddha that these are the eight thoughts of the great person and if anyone thinks these regularly, would be able to attain the four jhanic (blissful meditative) states easily. For a monk that gains these four jhanic states, his alms food would appear like fine food of a lay person, the tree that he sits under in the forest will seem like a lay person’s mansion, the grass that he uses for laying on will seem like a luxurious couch / bed, the strong smelling urine based medicine will seems like the various tonics of a lay person made from ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, and molasses sugar.


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The Lord Buddha says to Ven. Anuruddha that as he lives in contentment, it will lead to happiness, comfortable living, non—agitation leading to enlightenment (Nibbana). Then he advices Ven. Anuruddha to stay where he is for the rains retreat (vas) and returned using super normal powers.

The Lord Buddha then taught the eight thoughts of the great person to the other monks as well. During the rains retreat, Ven. Anuruddha gained the lasting peace of Nibbana.

May all be happy and well!

Sutta: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.030.than.html

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