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Academic Sutta Name Notes PSA Plae Vagga Nikaya PTS Keywords

VII:8 Faith alone cannot make one realise Nibbana

Thirty bhikkhus from a village had arrived at the Jetavana monastery to pay homage to the Buddha. He knew that the time was ripe for those bhikkhus to attain Arahanthood. So, he sent for Sariputta, and in the presence of those bhikkhus, he asked, 'My son, do you accept the fact that by meditating on the senses one could realise Nibbana?' Sariputta answered, 'Venerable Sir, in the matter of realisation of Nibbana by meditating on the senses, I do not accept it simply because I have faith* in you. It is only those who have not personally realised it who accept the fact from others.' Sariputta's answer was not properly understood by the bhikkhus, who thought, 'Sariputta has not given up wrong views yet. Even now, he has no faith in the Buddha.'

Then the Buddha explained, 'Bhikkhus, the meaning of Sariputta's answer is simply this: he accepts the fact that Nibbana is realised by means of meditation on the senses, but his acceptance is due to his own personal realisation and not merely because I have said it or somebody else has said it. Sariputta has faith in me. He also has faith in the consequences of good and bad deeds.'

55/170 Dhammapada & Commentary Khuddhaka J.i.106ff. despair

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Last modified on: Sunday, 13 August 2000.