Sāriputta’s Advice: Abandon Three Qualities

Aṅguttara Nikāya
Tika Nipāta

PTS: A i 281
Anuruddha Sutta

On one occasion the Venerable Anuruddha approached the Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him. When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, he sat down to one side and said to the Venerable Sāriputta:

“Here, friend Sāriputta, (1) with the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I survey a thousand-fold world system; (2) energy is aroused in me without slackening, my mindfulness is established without confusion, my body is tranquil without disturbance, and my mind is concentrated and unified; and (3) yet my mind is not liberated from the taints through non-clinging.”

The Venerable Sāriputta said:

(1) “Friend Anuruddha, when you think: ‘With the divine eye, which is purified and surpasses the human, I survey a thousand-fold world system,’ this is your conceit.

(2) “And when you think: ‘Energy is aroused in me without slackening, my mindfulness is established without confusion, my body is tranquil without disturbance, and my mind is concentrated and unified,’ this is your restlessness.

(3) “And when you think: ‘Yet my mind is not liberated from the taints through non-clinging,’ this is your worry.

“It would be good if you would abandon these three qualities and stop attending to them. Instead, direct your mind to the Deathless.”

The Venerable Anuruddha later abandoned those three qualities and stopped attending to them. Instead, he directed his mind to the Deathless. Then, dwelling alone, withdrawn, heedful, ardent and resolute, in no long time the Venerable Anuruddha realized for himself with direct knowledge, in this very life, that unsurpassed consummation of the spiritual life for the sake of which clansmen rightly go forth from the household life into homelessness, and having entered upon it, he dwelled in it. He directly knew: “Destroyed is birth, the holy life has been lived, what had to be done has been done, there is no further becoming beyond this.” And the Venerable Anuruddha became one of the arahants.

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