The Further-Factored Discourses (AN)

Anguttara Nikaya

The Further-Factored Discourses

Ponciana SplendorThe Anguttara Nikaya, the fourth division of the Sutta Pitaka, consists of several thousand[1] suttas arranged in eleven books (nipatas) according to numerical content. For example, the first nipata — the Book of the Ones — contains suttas concerning a single topic; the second nipata — the Book of the Twos — contains suttas concerning pairs of things (for example, a sutta about tranquillity and insight; another about the two people one can never adequately repay [one’s parents]; another about two kinds of happiness; and so forth); the third nipata contains suttas concerning three things (for example, a sutta on the three kinds of praiseworthy acts; another about three kinds of offense, and so on).

At first glance this may seem a rather pedantic classification scheme, but in fact it often proves quite useful. For example, if you dimly recall having heard something about the five subjects worthy of daily contemplation and you would like to track down the original passage in the Canon, a good place to begin your search is the Book of the Fives in the Anguttara. (The Index by Number on the website may also be helpful in such cases.)

An excellent modern print translation of the complete Anguttara Nikaya is Bhikkhu Bodhi’s The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2012).

A fine anthology of selected suttas is Handful of Leaves (Vol. 3), by Thanissaro Bhikkhu (distributed by Metta Forest Monastery).

Book of the Ones 

AN 1.21-40: Ekadhamma Suttas — A Single Thing

The Buddha enumerates twenty things of singular importance to the spiritual path.

AN 1.31-40: Adanta Suttas — Untamed

There’s nothing so conducive to happiness as a mind that has been tamed.

AN 1.45-46: Udakarahaka Suttas — A Pool of Water

The difference between a clear mind and a muddy one.

AN 1.47: Mudu Sutta — Soft

A simile for a mind that’s pliant.

AN 1.48: Lahu-parivatta Sutta — Quick to Reverse Itself

The Buddha, normally so adept at finding similes, is here at a loss.

AN 1.49-52: Pabhassara Sutta — Luminous

The mind is inherently luminous; the unwise person can’t even see that it is obscured by defilements.

Book of the Twos 

AN 2.5: Appativana Sutta — Relentlessly

What is the one thing regarding which the Buddha does not recommend contentment?

AN 2.9: Lokapala Sutta — The Bright Protectors/Guardians of the World

Conscience and concern — two qualities that keep one from harm.

AN 2.18: Ekamsena Sutta — Categorically

The drawbacks of unskillful conduct and the rewards of skillful conduct.

AN 2.19: Kusala Sutta — Skillful

Yes, it really is possible to abandon unskillful habits and to develop skillful ones.

AN 2.21: Bala-pandita Sutta — Fools & Wise People

What’s the difference between a fool and a wise person?

AN 2.23: Abhasita Sutta — What Was Not Said

AN 2.25: Neyyatha Sutta — A Meaning to be Inferred

Two short reminders not to misquote or misrepresent the Buddha’s teachings.

AN 2.30: Vijja-bhagiya Sutta — A Share in Clear Knowing

How tranquillity (samatha) and insight (vipassana) function together to uproot passion and ignorance.

AN 2.31-32: Kataññu Suttas — Gratitude

We owe a great debt to our parents. The gratitude we show to them is a measure of our personal integrity.

AN 2.33: Aññataro Brāhmano Sutta — A Certain Brahman

The Buddha answers the question, “What do you teach?”

AN 2.38: Kandarayana Sutta — To Kandarayana

What makes a person an elder worthy of respect?

AN 2.46: Ukkacita Sutta — Bombast

Two kinds of people: those who listen attentively and critically to the Dhamma, and those who listen uncritically to other teachings.

AN 2.98: Bala Sutta — Fools

Two kinds of fools.

AN 2.119: Dullabha Sutta — Hard to Find

A grateful person is hard to find.

AN 2.125-126: Ghosa Suttas — Voice

Appropriate attention (yoniso manasikara) is a condition for Right View.

Book of the Threes 

AN 3.2: Lakkhana Sutta — Characterized (by Action)

How to recognize a wise person and a fool.

AN 3.15: Rathakara (Pacetana) Sutta — The Chariot Maker

The Buddha recalls a previous lifetime during which he was a chariot-maker “skilled in dealing with the crookedness of wood.” Now, as the Buddha, he is skilled in dealing with the crookedness of thought, word, and deed.

AN 3.22: Gilana Sutta — Sick People

The Buddha compares the Dhamma to good medicine.

AN 3.33: Nidana Sutta — Causes

An action (kamma) performed by an arahant bears no kammic fruit. This sutta explains why.

AN 3.34: Hatthaka Sutta — To Hatthaka

Is a comfortable home the best guarantee for a good night’s sleep?

AN 3.38: Sukhamala Sutta — Refinement

The Buddha describes the insights that led him as a young man to go forth, and how those insights apply to the conduct of our own lives.

AN 3.40: Adhipateyya Sutta — Governing Principles

The Buddha describes three governing principles that keep one’s Dhamma practice on-track. Beware: there’s nowhere to hide from your unskillful actions!

AN 3.47: Sankhata Sutta — Fabricated

The marks by which fabricated and unfabricated experiences can be recognized.

AN 3.48: Pabbata Sutta — A Mountain

A parent’s responsibility to his or her family. If you want your family to prosper, then be like a mountain of virtue, conviction, and discernment.

AN 3.51: Dvejana Sutta — Two People (1)

AN 3.52: Dvejana Sutta — Two People (2)

The Buddha offers advice to two aging brahmans who are facing the end of life.

AN 3.57: Vaccha Sutta — To Vaccha

Every act of generosity is meritorious, but some are more so than others.

AN 3.60: Sangarava Sutta — To Sangarava

The Buddha answers the accusation that the spiritual path he teaches is a selfish one.

AN 3.61: Tittha Sutta — Sectarians

The Buddha explains how three common views about pain and pleasure can, if followed to their logical conclusion, lead to a life of inaction. He then shows how pain and pleasure actually do come about and how they can be transcended.

AN 3.62: Bhaya Sutta — Dangers

Although fire, flood, and war may threaten to divide families, the world is fraught with even greater dangers. Here is a surefire way to overcome them all.

AN 3.65: Kalama Sutta — The Instruction to the Kalamas/To the Kalamas

The Buddha explains to a group of skeptics the proper criteria for accepting a spiritual teaching.

AN 3.66: Salha Sutta — To Salha

The arahant Ven. Nandaka engages the layman Salha in a dialogue that ranges from elementary principles all the way to the nature of arahantship.

AN 3.67: Kathavatthu Sutta — Topics for Discussion

This short discourse contains detailed practical instructions on how to answer questions skillfully. A valuable teaching for politicians, debaters, and the rest of us.

AN 3.68: Titthiya Sutta — Sectarians

How appropriate attention (yoniso manasikara) lies at the heart of any effort to abandon the roots of greed, hatred, and delusion.

AN 3.69: Mula Sutta — Roots

What motivates a person to wrongly imprison people and subject them to beatings? The answer lies right here, in your own heart.

AN 3.70: Muluposatha Sutta — The Roots of the Uposatha

The Buddha describes to Visakha, the laywoman, right and wrong ways of observing the Uposatha days. Those who observe the Uposatha correctly are to reap great rewards.

AN 3.71: Channa Sutta — To Channa the Wanderer

Ven. Ananda instructs Channa on abandoning the mental defilements of passion, aversion, and delusion.

AN 3.72: Ajivaka Sutta — To the Fatalists’ Student

Ven. Ananda gives a skillful answer to the questions, “Whose teaching is right? Whose practice is right?”

AN 3.73: Sakka Sutta — To the Sakyan

Mahanama asks the Buddha, “Which comes first: concentration or wisdom?” Ven. Ananda answers on behalf of the Buddha, who is recovering from an illness.

AN 3.76: Bhava Sutta — Becoming (1)

The three levels on which becoming (bhava) operates, in relation to consciousness.

AN 3.77: Bhava Sutta — Becoming (2)

The three levels on which becoming (bhava) operates, in relation to intention.

AN 3.78: Silabbata Sutta — Precept & Practice

Are all religious paths fruitful? Ven. Ananda answers.

AN 3.81: Gadrabha Sutta — The Donkey

Practicing the Dhamma means more than simply acting the part.

AN 3.83: Vajjiputta Sutta — The Vajjian Monk

A monk who is having difficulty following all the Pāṭimokkha training rules can boil them all down to these three.

AN 3.85: Sekhin Sutta — One in Training (1)

The various levels of noble attainment, described in terms of the degree of accomplishment of each of the three trainings.

AN 3.86: Sekhin Sutta — One in Training (2)

A discussion of the various levels of noble attainment, dividing stream-winners into three types, and non-returners into five.

AN 3.88: Sikkha Sutta — Trainings (1)

AN 3.89: Sikkha Sutta — Trainings (2)

The Buddha summarizes the three aspects of Dhamma practice that should be developed.

AN 3.91: Accayika Sutta — Urgent

Just as a farmer can’t predict when the fruit will ripen, so we can’t predict when Awakening will occur. So just keep your practice strong; the rest will take care of itself.

AN 3.94: Ajaniya Sutta — The Thoroughbred

What qualities make a monk worthy of respect?

AN 3.99: Lonaphala Sutta — The Salt Crystal

A Buddhist response to the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

AN 3.100 (i-x): Pansadhovaka Sutta — The Dirt-washer

AN 3.100 (xi-xv): Nimitta Sutta — Themes

The Buddha compares the skillful training of one’s mind to the way a goldsmith purifies gold ore.

AN 3.105: Kuta Sutta — The Peak of the Roof

Protect your mind, and you guard yourself from harm.

AN 3.120: Moneyya Sutta — Sagacity

The Buddha describes three kinds of wisdom: bodily, verbal, and mental. (This is one of the suttas selected by King Asoka (r. 270-232 BCE) to be studied and reflected upon frequently by all practicing Buddhists. See That the True Dhamma Might Last a Long Time: Readings Selected by King Asoka, by Thanissaro.)

AN 3.123: Gotamaka-cetiya Sutta — At Gotamaka Shrine

What more do you want from the Buddha’s teachings?

AN 3.126: Katuviya Sutta — Putrid

When you let your concentration slip and your mindfulness falter, there’s no telling what nasty sorts of flies will start swarming around you.

AN 3.130: Lekha Sutta — Inscriptions

Why hold on to your anger? Beware you don’t let it get carved deep into your psyche, like an inscription in solid rock.

AN 3.134: Dhamma-niyama Sutta — The Discourse on the Orderliness of the Dhamma

Whether or not a Buddha arises in the world, the three characteristics of existence always remain: impermanence, stress, and not-self.

Book of the Fours

AN 4.1: Anubuddha Sutta — Understanding

Why do we wander aimlessly in samsara? It’s because we haven’t yet realized four noble qualities.

AN 4.5: Anusota Sutta — With the Flow

A reminder that the popular advice to “just go with the flow” finds no support in the Buddha’s teachings.

AN 4.10: Yoga Sutta — Bondage/Yokes

In many discourses, the Buddha speaks of “the unexcelled rest from the yoke.” In this discourse he explains what yokes he is referring to, and how that rest comes about. [TB]

AN 4.19: Agati Sutta — Off Course

The Buddha explains the difference between staying “on course” and straying “off course” in one’s Dhamma practice.

AN 4.24: Kalaka Sutta — At Kalaka’s Park

Even though the Buddha has deep understanding, he doesn’t take a stance on any of it.

AN 4.28: Ariya-vamsa Sutta — The Discourse on the Traditions of the Noble Ones

The Buddha describes four good qualities in a monk: contentment with regard to robes, alms food, and lodging, and finding pleasure in cultivating wholesome mental states. (This is one of the suttas selected by King Asoka (r. 270-232 BCE) to be studied and reflected upon frequently by all practicing Buddhists. See That the True Dhamma Might Last a Long Time: Readings Selected by King Asoka, by Thanissaro.)

AN 4.31: Cakka Sutta — Wheels

Here is one kind of four-wheel drive that is sure to keep you on the road.

AN 4.32: Sangaha Sutta — The Bonds of Fellowship

The qualities that help hold together a family — or any community.

AN 4.35: Vassakara Sutta — With Vassakara

Four distinguishing qualities of a wise person.

AN 4.36: Dona Sutta — With Dona

A passerby, struck by the Buddha’s serene presence, asks him, “What are you? Are you a deva? A spirit? A human being?” The Buddha’s now-famous reply has made this one of the most oft-quoted passages in the entire Canon.

AN 4.37: Aparihani Sutta — No Falling Away

If one is sincere in one’s aspirations to realize Awakening, these four aspects of Dhamma practice should be constantly developed.

AN 4.41: Samadhi Sutta — Concentration

The Buddha explains how concentration, when fully developed, can bring about any one of four different desirable results.

AN 4.42: Pañha Sutta — Questions

The Buddha’s teachings on skillfulness and speech extend to mastering the art of answering questions.

AN 4.45: Rohitassa Sutta — To Rohitassa

A well-traveled deva learns that we don’t have to go to the ends of the world to find an end to suffering; we need look no further than right here, in this very body.

AN 4.49: Vipallasa Sutta — Distortions of the Mind/Perversions

Four kinds of misperceptions that keep us bound to the cycle of rebirths.

AN 4.50: Upakkilesa Sutta — Obscurations

Four unskillful activities that prevent a monk from shining with Dhamma.

AN 4.55: Samajivina Sutta — Living in Tune

Would you like to live with your current spouse in future lives, too? Here’s how.

AN 4.62: Anana Sutta — Debtless

The Buddha tells the wealthy lay-follower Anathapindika about four kinds of happiness that a householder may enjoy. Some require wealth, but the best is free of charge.

AN 4.67: Ahi Sutta/Ahina Sutta — A Snake/By a Snake

How the practice of metta (loving-kindness) can serve as a protection against harm.

AN 4.73: Sappurisa Sutta — A Person of Integrity

Are you a person of integrity? How you speak about yourself and others reveals much about your personal integrity.

AN 4.77: Acintita Sutta — Unconjecturable

If you spend too much time pondering these four things you will surely drive yourself crazy.

AN 4.79: Vanijja Sutta — Trade

One reason why some people succeed and others fail in their trades.

AN 4.85: Tamonata Sutta — Darkness

A person’s goodness is measured not by his or her wealth, beauty, or status, but by the goodness of his or her actions.

AN 4.94: Samadhi Sutta — Concentration (Tranquillity and Insight)

The Buddha explains how correct meditation practice consists of the development of both insight (vipassana) and tranquillity (samatha).

AN 4.95: Chavalata Sutta — Wood from a Pyre/The Firebrand

Which is better: to practice Dhamma for one’s own benefit or for another’s? The answer may surprise you.

AN 4.96: Raga-vinaya Sutta — The Subduing of Passion

What does it mean to practice Dhamma for one’s own benefit — and for another’s?

AN 4.99: Sikkha Sutta — Trainings

It is best of all if you not only follow the precepts yourself, but can support others in following them, too.

AN 4.102: Valahaka Sutta — Thunderheads

Reading suttas is good, but there is more to be done. Go meditate!

AN 4.111: Kesi Sutta — To Kesi the Horsetrainer

The Buddha explains to Kesi, a horsetrainer, how he teaches Dhamma. This brilliant exposition warrants close study by every teacher, as it reveals the multiple levels in which effective teaching operates: the Buddha speaks in terms that the listener understands (horsetraining), he uses similes to great effect, and he deftly answers the real question that lies behind the student’s query (“Please, can you train me?”).

AN 4.113: Patoda Sutta — The Goad-stick/The Goad

How much dukkha does it take to motivate you to practice the Dhamma in earnest? The Buddha illustrates his point with the famous simile of a thoroughbred horse stirred to action by its rider.

AN 4.115: Thana Sutta — Courses of Action

When faced with a choice, how does one decide which course of action to follow? The Buddha here offers some helpful advice.

AN 4.123: Jhana Sutta — Mental Absorption (1)

The Buddha describes four possible courses of rebirth open to someone who practices jhana.

AN 4.124: Jhana Sutta — Mental Absorption (2)

The Buddha describes another possible course of rebirth open to someone who practices jhana.

AN 4.125: Metta Sutta — Loving-kindness (1)/Good Will (1)

The Buddha describes four possible courses of rebirth open to someone who practices the brahma-vihara (good will, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity).

AN 4.126: Metta Sutta — Loving-kindness (2)/Good Will (2)

The Buddha describes another possible course of rebirth open to someone who practices the brahma-vihara (good will, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity).

AN 4.144: Obhasa Sutta — Brightness

What provides the most brightness in life?

AN 4.159: Bhikkhuni Sutta — The Nun

Ven. Ananda teaches a nun that, although craving can be used to overcome craving, and conceit to overcome conceit, the same principle does not hold for sexual intercourse.

AN 4.162: Vitthara Sutta — (Modes of Practice) in Detail

Your native personality traits may influence how painful or pleasant your meditation practice is; but the speed of progress is determined by factors within your control.

AN 4.163: Asubha Sutta — Unattractiveness

How to make meditation practice both more pleasant and more efficient.

AN 4.164: Khama Sutta — Tolerant (1)

Four modes of practice: intolerant, tolerant, self-controlled, and even.

AN 4.165: Khama Sutta — Tolerant (2)

Four modes of practice: intolerant, tolerant, self-controlled, and even.

AN 4.170: Yuganaddha Sutta — In Tandem

Ven. Ananda describes the paths to arahantship by which insight (vipassana) and tranquillity (samatha) work hand-in-hand.

AN 4.174: Kotthita Sutta — To Kotthita

How Sariputta answers the question, “What lies beyond Nibbana?”

AN 4.178: Jambali Sutta — The Waste-water Pool

The Buddha uses some memorable similes to describe the overcoming of self-identification and ignorance.

AN 4.179: Nibbana Sutta — Unbinding

Why do some people gain Awakening in this life, while others don’t?

AN 4.181: Yodhajiva Sutta — The Warrior

An accomplished meditator — like a great warrior — develops these four qualities.

AN 4.183: Suta Sutta — On What is Heard

Why the principle of truthfulness does not imply total frankness or openness.

AN 4.184: Abhaya Sutta — Fearless

The Buddha explains to Janussonin four ways to overcome the fear of death.

AN 4.192: Thana Sutta — Traits

How can you recognize a good and wise person? The Buddha explains what qualities to look for and how to spot them.

AN 4.199: Tanha Sutta — Craving

The Buddha enumerates the many kinds of tangled thoughts experienced by a mind not yet free of craving. Sound familiar?

AN 4.200: Pema Sutta — Affection

The opinions of our friends and enemies often influence our own thoughts and feelings about others. This kind of thinking is rooted in craving, and the Buddha offers a cure.

AN 4.235: Ariyamagga Sutta — The Noble Path

Skillful actions (kamma) eventually bring good results, while unskillful ones bring bad. But best of all are the actions that lead to the ending of kamma altogether.

AN 4.245: Sikkha Sutta — Training

This sutta makes the point that the duty of mindfulness is not simply to watch things arise and pass away. Instead, its duty is to remember to make the elements of the path arise and to prevent them from passing away.

AN 4.252: Pariyesana Sutta — Searches

What are you searching for? Are you looking for happiness in all the wrong places? Are you looking for a lasting, noble happiness?

AN 4.255: Kula Sutta — On Families

How a family loses or preserves its wealth.

AN 4.259: Araññika Sutta — A Wilderness Dweller

What sort of person is fit to live in the wilderness?

Book of the Fives

AN 5.2: Vitthara Sutta — (Strengths) in Detail

A summary of the five “strengths” (bala) to be developed in Dhamma practice.

AN 5.20: Hita Sutta — Benefit

How to practice Dhamma for the benefit of both oneself and others.

AN 5.25: Anuggahita Sutta — Supported

Five factors that lead to the fulfillment of right view.

AN 5.27: Samadhi Sutta — (Immeasurable) Concentration

The Buddha encourages the practice of the brahmavihara (sublime states of metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha) as a basis for concentration practice, as it leads to five important realizations.

AN 5.28: Samadhanga Sutta — The Factors of Concentration

The Buddha explains how the progressive development of jhana (absorption) leads to the development of the supranormal powers and Awakening.

AN 5.29: Cankama Sutta — Walking

The benefits of walking meditation.

AN 5.30: Nagita Sutta — To Nagita

The raucous carryings-on of a group of brahmans lead the Buddha to reflect on the rewards of detachment.

AN 5.34: Siha Sutta — To General Siha (On Generosity)

General Siha, known for his generosity, asks the Buddha about the fruits of generosity that one can experience in this life. The Buddha describes four such fruits; a fifth (a happy rebirth) Siha can only take on faith.

AN 5.36: Kaladana Sutta — Seasonable Gifts

Gifts given at the proper time bear the greatest fruit. Here the Buddha describes five such occasions. [Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]

AN 5.37: Bhojana Sutta — A Meal

Whenever one gives the gift of food, five wonderful things are also given, automatically, to both giver and recipient alike. [Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]

AN 5.38: Saddha Sutta — Conviction

The five rewards that a layperson can expect for having conviction (faith) in the Triple Gem.

AN 5.41: Adiya Sutta — Benefits to be Obtained (from Wealth)

The Buddha describes for the wealthy householder Anathapindika five skillful ways of using one’s money that bring immense benefits to the giver — benefits that last long after all the wealth is gone. [Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]

AN 5.43: Ittha Sutta — What is Welcome

The Buddha explains to Anathapindika how true happiness can never be achieved merely by wishing for it.

AN 5.49: Kosala Sutta — The Kosalan

When Queen Mallika dies, her husband, King Pasenadi, is overcome with grief. The Buddha advises the king on how to free himself of obsessive grieving.

AN 5.51: Avarana Sutta — Obstacles

The Buddha invokes a vivid simile to illustrate the hazards posed by the hindrances.

AN 5.53: Anga Sutta — Factors (for Exertion)

The five factors that sustain the proper level of exertion toward the goal.

AN 5.57: Upajjhatthana Sutta — Subjects for Contemplation

The Buddha describes the “five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained.”

AN 5.64: Vuddhi Sutta — Growth

What does it mean to grow in the Dhamma?

AN 5.73: Dhamma-viharin Sutta — One Who Dwells in the Dhamma

What does it mean to be truly committed to the Dhamma?

AN 5.75: Yodhajiva Sutta — The Warrior (1)

AN 5.76: Yodhajiva Sutta — The Warrior (2)

Two suttas on how a monk intent on reaching the goal must steadfastly guard his celibacy in the face of all temptation.

AN 5.77: Anagata-bhayani Sutta — The Discourse on Future Dangers (1)

AN 5.78: Anagata-bhayani Sutta — The Discourse on Future Dangers (2)

AN 5.79: Anagata-bhayani Sutta — The Discourse on Future Dangers (3)

AN 5.80: Anagata-bhayani Sutta — The Discourse on Future Dangers (4)

The Buddha reminds the monks that the practice of Dhamma should not be put off for a later date, for there are no guarantees that the future will provide any opportunities for practice. (These suttas are among those selected by King Asoka (r. 270-232 BCE) to be studied and reflected upon frequently by all practicing Buddhists. See That the True Dhamma Might Last a Long Time: Readings Selected by King Asoka, by Thanissaro.)

AN 5.95: Akuppa Sutta — Discourse on the Unshakeable

Five qualities that are conducive to Awakening.

AN 5.96: Sutadhara Sutta — One Who Retains What He Has Heard

AN 5.97: Katha Sutta — Talk

AN 5.98: Arañña Sutta — Wilderness

Three short suttas that describe five qualities a meditator should develop in order to reach the goal.

AN 5.114: Andhakavinda Sutta — At Andhakavinda

Five things that the Buddha exhorted his newly ordained monks to do. Laypeople should take heed, too!

AN 5.121: Gilana Sutta — To a Sick Man

The Buddha reminds a sick monk that by keeping five particular themes of meditation well established, even a sick person can realize Awakening.

AN 5.129: Parikuppa Sutta — In Agony

Five grave deeds that prevent one from realising any of the noble attainments in this lifetime.

AN 5.130: Sampada Sutta — Being Consummate

Which of life’s many kinds of losses should we be truly concerned about? Which of life’s many kinds of rewards should we truly aspire toward?

AN 5.139: Akkhama Sutta — Not Resilient

The Buddha uses powerful imagery from the battlefield to underscore the importance of developing mastery over the senses.

AN 5.140: Sotar Sutta — The Listener

Five qualities one should develop to gain mastery of the senses and become a truly worthy person.

AN 5.148: Sappurisadana Sutta — A Person of Integrity’s Gifts

Five attributes of gift-giving that distinguish a person of integrity.

AN 5.159: Udayi Sutta — About Udayin

The Buddha explains to Ven. Ananda the five prerequisites for teaching Dhamma to others.

AN 5.161: Aghatavinaya Sutta — Removing Annoyance/Subduing Hatred (1)

Five skillful ways of dealing with people who annoy you.

AN 5.162: Aghatavinaya Sutta — Subduing Hatred (2)

Sariputta describes five skillful ways of dealing with feelings of hatred toward others.

AN 5.165: Pañhapuccha Sutta — On Asking Questions

Five possible motives behind asking a question.

AN 5.175: Candala Sutta — The Outcaste

This discourse lists — first in negative and then in positive form — the basic requirements for being a Buddhist lay follower in good standing.

AN 5.176: Piti Sutta — Rapture

Instructions to a generous lay person: Generosity is good, but there is still more to be done. An even greater happiness awaits if you practice meditation to attain an internal state of seclusion and rapture.

AN 5.177: Vanijja Sutta — Business (Wrong Livelihood)

Five kinds of wrong livelihood for lay followers.

AN 5.179: Gihi Sutta — The Householder

How to recognize a lay stream-winner.

AN 5.180: Gavesin Sutta — About Gavesin

How the pursuit of excellence — and a competitive spirit — led a layman and his friends to attain arahantship. This story made even the Buddha smile.

AN 5.196: Supina Sutta — Dreams

Five dreams that appeared to the Buddha before his Awakening, together with their interpretation.

AN 5.198: Vaca Sutta — A Statement

The secret to blameless speech.

AN 5.199: Kula Sutta — A Family

On the rewards of being attentive and hospitable to a visiting monk/nun.

AN 5.200: Nissaraniya Sutta — Leading to Escape

Five qualities of mind that lead to true freedom.

AN 5.202: Dhammassavana Sutta — Listening to the Dhamma

The five rewards in listening to the Dhamma.

AN 5.254-271: Macchariya Suttas — Stinginess

Generosity isn’t just a nice idea: it is a requisite for progress along the Buddha’s Path.

Book of the Sixes

AN 6.12: Saraniya Sutta — Conducive to Amiability

The Buddha describes how to behave with one’s peers in ways that engender mutual feelings of fellowship, friendship, and respect.

AN 6.13: Nissaraniya Sutta — Means of Escape

Six qualities that, when fully developed, lead to liberation.

AN 6.16: Nakula Sutta — Nakula’s Parents

A wise female householder consoles her worried husband as he faces death from a grave illness.

AN 6.19: Maranassati Sutta — Mindfulness of Death (1)

AN 6.20: Maranassati Sutta — Mindfulness of Death (2)

Death could come at any time. Are you ready?

AN 6.37: Dana Sutta — Giving

The six factors with which to make the most of giving.

AN 6.38: Attakārī Sutta — The Self-Doer

The Buddha corrects a brahman who believes that we are not responsible for our actions.

AN 6.41: Daruka-khandha Sutta — The Wood Pile

If you ever wanted to know how psychic transformation works, here’s a brief primer.

AN 6.42: Nagita Sutta — To Nagita

While dwelling in a forest grove, the Buddha speaks in praise of modesty, contentment, unentanglement, and seclusion in the wilderness. (See AN 8.86 for a longer version of this conversation.)

AN 6.45: Ina Sutta — Debt

Falling under the grip of sensuality is like falling heavily into debt.

AN 6.46: Cunda Sutta — Cunda

Why the world needs both meditators and those who devote themselves to the study of Dhamma.

AN 6.47: Sanditthika Sutta — Visible Here-&-Now

A few of the more obvious ways in which the Dhamma is visible here-&-now.

AN 6.49: Khema Sutta — With Khema

Having abandoned all sense of self, arahants don’t regard themselves as better than, worse than, or equal to anyone else.

AN 6.51: Ananda Sutta — Ven. Ananda

Six ways for a monk’s understanding of Dhamma to grow.

AN 6.54: Dhammika Sutta — Dhammika

In the first of these excerpts, the Buddha uses a telling simile to explain the meaning of his most common epithet, Tathagata — “the Thus-Gone one.” In the second, the Buddha tells a story illustrating how patient endurance is the best response to the insults of others.

AN 6.55: Sona Sutta — About Sona

In this famous sutta the Buddha explains to Ven. Sona that balancing one’s effort in meditation practice is like tuning a musical instrument.

AN 6.63: Nibbedhika Sutta — Penetrative

The Buddha explains that mastery of the Dhamma comes from meditating on six factors in the mind, each of which should be understood deeply in six different ways. This sutta contains a lovely short verse pointing out the true cause of attachment based on sensuality.

AN 6.85: Siti Sutta — Cooled

Six qualities required to achieve Awakening.

AN 6.86: Avaranata Sutta — Obstructions

Six qualities that prevent, and six that foster, the development of skillful states of mind.

AN 6.87: Kammavaranata Sutta — Kamma Obstructions

Six things that can render one incapable of developing skillful mental qualities.

AN 6.88: Sussusa Sutta — Listening Well

The Buddha’s instructions on how to listen to the Dhamma so that it can be truly taken to heart.

AN 6.97: Anisansa Sutta — Rewards

Six rewards of stream-entry.

AN 6.102: Anodhi Sutta — Without Exception (1)

AN 6.103: Anodhi Sutta — Without Exception (2)

AN 6.104: Anodhi Sutta — Without Exception (3)

What six things motivate one to see the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha, and anatta?

Book of the Sevens

AN 7.6: Dhana Sutta — Treasure

Possess these seven treasures and your life will not have been lived in vain.

AN 7.7: Ugga Sutta — To Ugga

The Buddha teaches Ugga of seven treasures that are always safe from “fire, flood, kings, thieves, or hateful heirs.”

AN 7.11: Anusaya Sutta — Obsessions (1)

An enumeration of the seven anusaya (obsessions or latent tendencies).

AN 7.12: Anusaya Sutta — Obsessions (2)

On abandoning the seven anusaya (obsessions or latent tendencies).

AN 7.15: Udakupama Sutta — The Water Simile

In a beautiful progression of metaphors, the Buddha illustrates the various levels to which people allow their grasp of Dhamma to take them. How far are you willing to go?

AN 7.21: Bhikkhu-aparihaniya Sutta — Conditions for No Decline Among the Monks

The seven conditions that lead to the long-term welfare of the Sangha.

AN 7.31: Appamada Sutta — Heedfulness

Seven qualities of respect that support the practice of meditation.

AN 7.32: Hirima Sutta — A Sense of Shame

Seven qualities of respect that support the practice of meditation.

AN 7.33: Sovacassata Sutta — Compliance (1)

Seven qualities that support the practice of meditation.

AN 7.34: Sovacassata Sutta — Compliance (2)

Seven qualities that support the practice of meditation.

AN 7.35: Mitta Sutta — A Friend

What is a true friend?

AN 7.46: Sañña Sutta — Perceptions

Seven inner reflections that are well worth pursuing.

AN 7.48: Saññoga Sutta — Bondage

How dwelling on one’s sexual identity only leads to greater suffering.

AN 7.49: Dana Sutta — Giving

The Buddha describes some of the motivations one might have for being generous. The karmic fruits of giving depend heavily on one’s motives.

AN 7.51: Avyakata Sutta — Undeclared

Why does doubt not arise in the mind of a stream-enterer?

AN 7.56: Kimila Sutta — To Kimila

You say you want Buddhism to thrive in the West? In this sutta the Buddha explains to Ven. Kimila what is required of those who wish to see the Dhamma last a long, long time.

AN 7.58: Capala (Pacala) Sutta — Nodding

Do you nod off during meditation? Here the Buddha catches Ven. Maha Moggallana nodding off, and offers him a prescription for overcoming drowsiness.

AN 7.60: Kodhana Sutta — The Wretchedness of Anger/An Angry Person

Seven dangers of giving in to anger.

AN 7.63: Nagara Sutta — The Fortress

Seven qualities that must be developed for the truest kind of homeland security.

AN 7.64: Dhammaññu Sutta — One With a Sense of Dhamma

Do you want to be worthy of other people’s respect? Here are seven qualities of a respectable and honorable individual.

AN 7.68: Aggikkhandopama Sutta — The Mass of Fire Comparison

The Buddha warns a group of monks about the danger of abusing the generosity and good faith of their lay supporters.

AN 7.70: Arakenanusasani Sutta — Araka’s Teaching

Seven beautiful similes on the brevity of the human lifespan. Use your short time here well!

AN 7.79: Satthusasana Sutta — To Upali

The Buddha explains to Ven. Upali how to recognize authentic teachings of Dhamma.

Book of the Eights 

AN 8.2: Pañña Sutta — Discernment

The Buddha outlines the skills that one must develop in order for wisdom to unfold.

AN 8.6: Lokavipatti Sutta — The Failings of the World

The eight worldly conditions. The difference between an ordinary person and an Awakened one manifests in how they respond to life’s inevitable ups and downs.

AN 8.7: Devadatta Sutta — About Devadatta

On the hazards of allowing the mind to get caught up in the worldly ups and down of life (the eight ‘untrue dhammas’)

AN 8.8: Uttara Sutta — About Uttara

Sakka, the king of the devas, repeats the Buddha’s teaching on the eight ‘untrue dhammas’ for the benefit of Ven. Uttara.

AN 8.9: Nanda Sutta — About Nanda

Ven. Nanda sets a good example of how to take care of the mind.

AN 8.13: Ajañña Sutta — The Thoroughbred

Eight praiseworthy qualities that a good monk possesses.

AN 8.14: Khalunga Sutta — Unruly

The eight unskillful ways we react to accusations are like the eight ways a horse can be unruly.

AN 8.23: Hatthaka Sutta — About Hatthaka (1)

Eight qualities rarely found in people of power and wealth.

AN 8.24: Hatthaka Sutta — About Hatthaka (2)

The Buddha’s advice on how to win a large following.

AN 8.25: Mahanama Sutta — Being a Lay Buddhist

What is a lay follower? A virtuous one? One engaged in his own welfare? His own and others’?

AN 8.26: Jivaka Sutta — To Jivaka

The Buddha explains how a lay follower can best work for the welfare of others.

AN 8.28: Bala Sutta — Strengths

The eight strengths enjoyed by the awakened mind.

AN 8.30: Anuruddha Sutta — To Anuruddha

The Buddha tells of eight good qualities that, if actively cultivated, lead us toward the goal.

AN 8.39: Abhisanda Sutta — Rewards

The Buddha tells of eight rewards that can be expected from skillful conduct.

AN 8.40: Vipaka Sutta — Results

The Buddha describes the unpleasant consequences of not sticking to the precepts.

AN 8.41: Uposatha Sutta — The Uposatha Observance

The Buddha summarizes the eight uposatha day observances.

AN 8.43: Visakhuposatha Sutta — The Discourse to Visakha on the Uposatha with the Eight Practices

The Buddha explains to Visakha, a devout laywoman, the benefits of following the uposatha day (observance day) practices.

AN 8.53: Gotami Sutta — To Gotami

The Buddha explains to Mahapajapati Gotami (his aunt) how to recognize authentic teachings of Dhamma.

AN 8.54: Dighajanu (Vyagghapajja) Sutta — Conditions of Welfare/To Dighajanu

The Buddha’s instructions for householders on how to preserve and increase wealth and happiness, in both the mundane and spiritual senses.

AN 8.59: Pathama Atthapuggala Sutta — Eight Individuals (a)

The eight individuals who are worthy of gifts.

AN 8.63: Sankhitta Sutta — In Brief

The Buddha describes the practices of the four sublime states (metta, karuna, mudita, and upekkha) and of the four frames of reference (satipatthana) as a basis for concentration practice.

AN 8.80: Kusita-Arambhavatthu Sutta — The Grounds for Laziness & the Arousal of Energy

“I’m too tired too meditate! I’m too hungry! I’m too full!” Sound familiar? The Buddha offers sound advice for overcoming this kind of laziness.

AN 8.86: Yasa Sutta — Honor

While dwelling in a forest grove, the Buddha speaks in praise of modesty, contentment, unentanglement, and seclusion in the wilderness. (This sutta is a longer version of the conversation reported in AN 6.42.)

Book of the Nines 

AN 9.1: Sambodhi Sutta — Self-awakening

Having admirable friends, companions, and comrades is an essential part of the path to Awakening.

AN 9.7: Sutava Sutta — To Sutavan

Nine unskillful acts an Awakened one is incapable of doing.

AN 9.13: Kotthita Sutta — With Kotthita

The holy life is lived, not with the purpose of altering the results of past actions, but with the purpose of gaining direct knowledge of the four noble truths.

AN 9.14: Samiddhi Sutta — About Samiddhi

Where do thoughts and intentions come from?

AN 9.15: Ganda Sutta — A Boil

Nine good reasons not to get enchanted with the body.

AN 9.16: Sañña Sutta — Perception

Nine useful perceptions.

AN 9.20: Velāma Sutta — About Velāma

The fruits of giving depend upon the inner qualities of both giver and recipient.

AN 9.31: Anupubbanirodha Sutta — Step-by-step Stopping

The nine step-by-step “stoppings” (nirodhā).

AN 9.32: Vihāra Sutta — Dwellings (1)

The nine step-by-step “dwellings” (vihāra).

AN 9.33: Vihāra Sutta — Dwellings (2)

The nine step-by-step “dwelling-attainments” (vihārasamāpatti).

AN 9.34: Nibbana Sutta — Unbinding

Ven. Sariputta explains to Ven. Udayin how even the most exquisitely refined and beautiful mental states are beset with dukkha; only Nibbana itself can truly be called “pleasant.”

AN 9.35: Gavi Sutta — The Cow

The Buddha explains that if you try to move on to the next level of concentration before you’ve mastered the last, you’re sure to stumble, like a foolish cow on a steep hill.

AN 9.36: Jhana Sutta — Mental Absorption

Meditation, like archery, is a skill that develops over time, through practice, practice, practice.

AN 9.37: Ananda Sutta — With Ananda

In subtle states of concentration the sense spheres are present to one’s awareness, but one is not taking mental note of them.

AN 9.38: Brahmana Sutta — To Two Brahmans

You can wander the entire world and never find the end of suffering. Perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place.

AN 9.39: Deva Sutta — The Devas (About Jhāna)

A colorful simile illustrates the peaceful seclusion that jhāna offers.

AN 9.40: Naga Sutta — The Tusker

With gentle humor, the Buddha tells how to allay the itch in your mind.

AN 9.41: Tapussa Sutta — To Tapussa

The Buddha tells how the long road of meditation practice begins with appreciating the value of renunciation.

AN 9.42: Pañcala Sutta — Pañcala’s Verse

How jhana leads the meditator out from the confines of the mind.

AN 9.43: Kayasakkhi Sutta — Bodily Witness

AN 9.44: Paññavimutti Sutta — Released Through Discernment

AN 9.45: Ubhatobhaga Sutta — (Released) Both Ways

In this group of short suttas, Ven. Ananda answers Ven. Udayin’s lingering questions about the meaning of several key terms that the Buddha uses in other suttas: What is a “bodily witness”? What is “discernment-release”? What is “released both ways”? Ven. Ananda shows here that the development of jhana plays an integral part in the development of wisdom.

AN 9.62: Bhabba Sutta — Capable

Nine barriers to arahantship.

AN 9.63: Sikkha-dubbalya Sutta — Things That Weaken the Training

How to overcome the obstructions to one’s progress in meditation.

AN 9.64: Nivarana Sutta — Hindrances

How to overcome the five hindrances.

Book of the Tens 

AN 10.6: Samadhi Sutta — Concentration

AN 10.7: Sariputta Sutta — With Sariputta

Two descriptions of the concentration in which the mind is inclined toward the Deathless.

AN 10.13: Sanyojana Sutta — Fetters

The ten fetters that bind us to the cycle of birth and death.

AN 10.15: Appamada Sutta — Heedfulness

Ten similes to illustrate the point that heedfulness is the foremost of all skillful qualities.

AN 10.17: Natha Sutta — Protectors

Ten qualities that provide protection for the mind.

AN 10.20: Ariyavasa Sutta — Dwellings of the Noble Ones

Qualities of mind in which noble ones are at home.

AN 10.24: Cunda Sutta — Cunda

Anyone who claims to know the Dhamma, and yet still has a mind overcome by defilement, is like a person who talks about wealth but can produce none when it’s needed.

AN 10.27: Mahapañha Sutta — The Great Questions

One thing to become dispassionate towards.

AN 10.29: Kosala Sutta — The Kosalan

Like supremacy in the human and deva worlds, exalted states of mind — even experiences of all-encompassing white light and non-dual consciousness — are all subject to change and aberration. Some people criticized the Buddha for showing the way to freedom from this change and aberration. In this sutta the Buddha offers a series of contemplations for inducing disenchantment and dispassion for even the most supreme things in the cosmos. [TB]

AN 10.46: Sakka Sutta — To the Sakyans (on the Uposatha)

Money can’t buy you happiness, but practicing Dhamma can.

AN 10.48: Dasadhamma Sutta — Discourse on The Ten Dhammas/Ten Things

Ten things that an ordained monk must reflect on often.

AN 10.51: Sacitta Sutta — One’s Own Mind

How to read your own mind.

AN 10.54: Samatha Sutta — With Regard to Tranquility

More on how to read your own mind.

AN 10.58: Mula Sutta — Rooted

What is the root of all phenomena (sabbe dhamma)? Is Nibbana itself a phenomenon, or is it the end of all phenomena?

AN 10.60: Girimananda Sutta — Discourse to Girimananda Thera/To Girimananda

The Buddha instructs Ven. Girimananda, who is ill, on the ten themes of meditation that can heal both mind and body.

AN 10.65: Pathama Sukha Sutta — First Discourse on the Pleasant

The benefits of not being re-born.

AN 10.66: Dutiya Sukha Sutta — Second Discourse on the Pleasant

The benefits of delighting in the Dhamma-Vinaya.

AN 10.69: Kathavatthu Sutta — Topics of Conversation (1)

Ten wholesome topics of conversation as an alternative to gossip.

AN 10.70: Kathavatthu Sutta — Topics of Conversation (2)

Right speech is most praiseworthy when you embody the good things you talk about.

AN 10.71: Akankha Sutta — Wishes

This discourse lists ten reasons, in ascending worth, for perfecting the precepts and being committed to the development of calm (samatha) and insight (vipassana). An interesting feature of this discussion is that the Buddha does not separate insight and jhana into separate paths of practice, and actually cites insight, together with tranquillity, as a prerequisite for mastering the four jhanas. [TB]

AN 10.80: Aghata Sutta — Hatred

When hatred arises in the mind what do you do? Here are ten possible antidotes.

AN 10.81: Bahuna Sutta — To Bahuna

Of what is an Awakened being freed?

AN 10.92: Vera Sutta — Animosity

What it takes for a lay person to become a stream-winner.

AN 10.93: Ditthi Sutta — Views

The householder Anathapindika instructs a group of non-Buddhist wanderers on the nature of Right View.

AN 10.94: Vajjiya Sutta — About Vajjiya

A lay disciple answers the charge that the Buddha doesn’t have any straightforward teachings.

AN 10.95: Uttiya Sutta — To Uttiya

Is the goal of the Buddha’s teachings to liberate all beings?

AN 10.96: Kokanuda Sutta — To Kokanuda

Ven. Ananda explains that wisdom is not based on subscribing to this or that point of view.

AN 10.103: Micchatta Sutta — Wrongness

Success or failure on the Path hinges on the extent to which one has right view.

AN 10.104: Bija Sutta — The Seed

Two similes illustrate how success or failure on the Path hinges on right view.

AN 10.108: Virecana (Tikicchaka) Sutta — A Purgative

Sometimes even the best medicines for the body don’t work. Here, the Buddha offers a “noble purgative” for the mind that never fails.

AN 10.118: Orimatīra Sutta — The Near Shore

What is the near shore? What is the far shore?

AN 10.176: Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta — To Cunda the Silversmith

The Buddha explains to Cunda that genuine self-purification comes about not from performing sacred rites, but by cultivating skillfulness in one’s thoughts, words, and deeds.

AN 10.177: Janussonin Sutta — To Janussonin

Who stands to benefit most from a gift given in another’s honor?

AN 10.208: Brahmavihara Sutta — The Sublime Attitudes

The Buddha’s instructions on the practice and rewards of the four sublime attitudes: metta (goodwill, loving-kindness), karuna (compassion), mudita (appreciative joy), and upekkha (equanimity).

Book of the Elevens 

AN 11.1: Kimattha Sutta — What is the Purpose?

Why does the Buddha repeatedly implore us to cultivate sila (virtue)?

AN 11.2: Cetana Sutta — An Act of Will

Good qualities in the heart naturally lead to the development of other good qualities. And it all starts with sila (virtue).

AN 11.10: Sandha Sutta — To Sandha

What makes the arahant’s experience of jhana unique?

AN 11.12: Mahanama Sutta — To Mahanama (1)

The Buddha instructs the householder Mahanama on the importance of developing the six recollections (recollection of the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, one’s own virtues, one’s own generosity, and the devas).

AN 11.13: Mahanama Sutta — To Mahanama (2)

The Buddha further instructs the householder Mahanama on the importance of developing the six recollections, reminding him to develop these recollections in every posture, even “while you are busy at work, while you are resting in your home crowded with children.”

AN 11.16: Metta (Mettanisamsa) Sutta — Discourse on Advantages of Loving-kindness/Good Will

Eleven benefits arising from the practice of metta (loving kindness, or goodwill) meditation.

AN 11.17: Dasama Sutta — To Dasama

Ven. Ananda describes eleven modes of practice that can lead to the Deathless. (This sutta is identical to MN 52, but without the preamble.)

AN 11.18: Gopalaka Sutta — The Cowherd

Eleven factors that are conducive to spiritual growth, and eleven that are obstructive. (This sutta is identical to MN 33, but without the preamble.)

Note:

  1. The exact count of suttas in the Anguttara depends on the particular edition (Sri Lankan, Thai, or Burmese) and on the way the suttas are enumerated. Jayawardhana says: “Although the text tells us that it consists of 9,557 suttas, the present edition [the modern Sri Lankan Tipitaka] has only 8,777 suttas. Most of these suttas are mere repetitions with a new word added here and there. Therefore, the number of suttas distinctive in character could be brought down to a little over one thousand” [Somapala Jayawardhana, Handbook of Pali Literature (Colombo: Karunaratne, 1993), p. 12]. Bhikkhu Bodhi counts 2,344 suttas [Nyanaponika & Bodhi, Numerical Discourses of the Buddha, p. xv], while Webb counts 2,308 [Russell Webb, An Analysis of the Pali Canon, (Kandy: Buddhist Publication Society, 1975), p. 26].

On the website, the suttas are numbered by nipata (book) and sutta, with the suttas numbered sequentially from the start of each nipata, using as a guide the Woodward & Hare PTS English translations of the Anguttara Nikaya (The Book of the Gradual Sayings). Because suttas in the Anguttara have often been numbered inconsistently in different Tipitaka editions and translations, alternate reference numbers have also been provided in the braces {} that follow the sutta descriptions. For all suttas, these alternate references include the volume and starting page number in the Pali Text Society (PTS) romanized Pali edition of the Anguttara Nikaya (example: A i 60 = PTS Anguttara Nikaya volume one, page 60). For suttas in the Ones and Twos, whose numberings are particularly problematic, the nipata, vagga (chapter), and number of the sutta, with suttas counted from the start of each vagga (example: II,iii,5 = Book of the Twos, third vagga, fifth sutta) have also been included.

The translator appears in the square brackets [].

Source: “Anguttara Nikaya: The Further-factored Discourses”, edited by Access to Insight. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 21 December 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/index.html . [This format has been produced by Alexander Peck.]

It is highly recommended to go to the website given above for the missing embedded links in the first six pages of this document.

©2005 Access to Insight.

The text of this page (“Anguttara Nikaya: The Further-factored Discourses”, by Access to Insight) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of the license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. Last revised for Access to Insight on 21 December 2013.