The Perfection of Wisdom - Attadanda Sutta

We may not have understood that the defilements and all dukkha, suffering, arising in this life originate in “our personality”, which is the nama dhammas and rupa dhammas we take for me, for self. The true cessation of dukkha is that nama dhamma and rupa dhamma do not have to be reborn.

We read in the “Mahaniddesa, “Attadanda Sutta”:

“The word ‘man’ (nara) is used here with regard to someone

who is inclined to nibbana.

This means, that ‘men’ are people in this world

who perform generous deeds, undertake síla, observe the fastday,

prepare water for drinking and for other uses,

sweep the grounds, pay respect to the stupa,

develop kusala of the three dhatus, elements, that should be developed.

They do not develop kusala because of rebirth,

because of a plane of existence they want to attain,

because they want to continue in the cycle of birth and death.

They have as their goal to depart from dukkha,

they are humble and they are inclined to nibbana.

Because of this goal they will develop all kinds of kusala.

They are called ‘men’,

because they are inclined to nibbana.”


Someone who has not understood the true meaning of dukkha may hope for the

end of dukkha in as far as he sees dukkha as merely getting what he does not

wish for. Or he may just want to have no more suffering. However, when someone

has understanding of the meaning of dukkha, his goal is departing from dukkha,

in the sense of being inclined to nibbana, which is the end of dukkha inherent in

all conditioned dhammas. This kind of understanding has as foundation listening

to the Dhamma and seeing the danger in akusala, seeing the disadvantage,

suffering and danger of rebirth, of the arising of nama dhammas and rupa


  Akusala dhammas arise very often, since they are conditioned by all the akusala we have accumulated. If we see the benefit of the development of the perfections, we should find out whether in our daily life kusala arises often or whether it arises very seldom. When kusala arises we should know whether it has become firmer and whether it has reached already the degree of a perfection. Someone may have performed kusala time and again, also before he listened to the Dhamma but, after he listened to the Dhamma and he learnt that the perfections are an essential condition for the realization of the four noble Truths, his sincerity and unshakable determination to further develop kusala increases.


Topic 280