Kimattha Sutta (What Purpose?)

AN 11.1
PTS: A v 311
Kimattha Sutta
(What Purpose?)

Thus have I heard.

On one occasion, the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s Park. Then the Venerable Ānanda approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him: “Bhante, what is the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior?”

“Ānanda, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of non-regret?”

“The purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of joy?”

“The purpose and benefit of joy is rapture.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of rapture?”

“The purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of tranquility?”

“The purpose and benefit of tranquility is happiness.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of happiness?”

“The purpose and benefit of happiness is concentration.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of concentration?”

“The purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are?”

“The purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of disenchantment?”

“The purpose and benefit of disenchantment is dispassion.”

“And what, Bhante, is the purpose and benefit of dispassion?”

“The purpose and benefit of dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation.”

“Thus, Ānanda, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret; the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy; the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture; the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility; the purpose and benefit of tranquility is happiness; the purpose and benefit of happiness is concentration; the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are; the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment; the purpose and benefit of disenchantment is dispassion; and the purpose and benefit of dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation.

“Thus, Ānanda, wholesome virtuous behavior leads by stages to the greatest benefit.”

“Just as when rain descends heavily upon a mountaintop: the water, flowing down along the slopes, fills the mountain clefts, gullies and creeks; the mountain clefts, gullies and creeks being filled, they fill the little ponds; the little ponds being filled, they fill the big lakes; the big lakes being filled, they fill the little streams; the streams being filled, they fill the big rivers; the big rivers being filled, they fill the great ocean — in the same way, the purpose and benefit of wholesome virtuous behavior is non-regret, the purpose and benefit of non-regret is joy, the purpose and benefit of joy is rapture, the purpose and benefit of rapture is tranquility, the purpose and benefit of tranquility is happiness, the purpose and benefit of happiness is concentration, the purpose and benefit of concentration is the knowledge and vision of things as they really are, the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of things as they really are is disenchantment, the purpose and benefit of disenchantment is dispassion, the purpose and benefit of dispassion is the knowledge and vision of liberation, and the purpose and benefit of the knowledge and vision of liberation is the knowledge of the destruction of the āsavas.”

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