Sāmaññaphala Sutta

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The second discourse in the Collection of Long Discourses (Dīgha Nikāya) of the Pāli Canon. Its title may be translated as ‘The Discourse on the Fruits of the Religious Life’, and its theme is the benefit that accrues to one who follows the path of a śramaṇa (Pāli, samaṇa) or religious mendicant. The occasion for the sermon is a visit by King Ajātaśatru to the Buddha. The king asks about the point of the religious life, and reveals he has previously put this question to six other religious teachers without receiving a satisfactory answer (see six sectarian teachers). In reply the Buddha explains how the religious life as taught by him leads step by step upwards towards the higher knowledge (abhijñā) of the Arhat. The king applauds this teaching and becomes a lay convert, expressing regret for the murder of his father. When he has gone, the Buddha observes that, were it not for this crime, the king would have attained the first stage of the Noble Path (ārya-mārga).

Subjects: Buddhism.

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