The Short Passages
This is the first book of the Khuddakanikāya consisting of nine chapters. It is also known as “The Novice’s Training,” since it is a collection of essential passages that a newly ordained novice needs to learn. It is thought to be a later work, but it is obvious that the teachings herein are from earlier texts. The first of the boy’s questions — “What is the one?” — was used by the Venerable Sāriputta to defeat in debate the female wanderer Bhaddā-Kuṇḍalakesā, and the first five of the 32-body parts (kesa, loma, nakkha, danta, taco) were taught to one going-forth to recite while his head was being shaved. A newly ordained novice would need to memorise the three main protection discourses — the Metta, Maṅgala, and Ratana Suttas — and the verses on “Outside These Walls,” for sharing merits with the departed. The verses on storing up treasure are only found here.
- The Three Refuges
- The Ten Precepts
- The Thirty-two Body Parts
- The Boy’s Questions
- A Discourse on Blessings
- A Discourse on Jewels
- Outside These Walls
- Storing up Treasure
- A Discourse on Loving-kindness
1. Saraṇattayaṃ — The Three Refuges
Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — I take refuge in the Buddha
Dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — I take refuge in the Dhamma
Saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — I take refuge in the Saṅgha
Dutiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A second time I take refuge in the Buddha
Dutiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A second time I take refuge in the Dhamma
Dutiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A second time I take refuge in the Saṅgha
Tatiyampi buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A third time I take refuge in the Buddha
Tatiyampi dhammaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A third time I take refuge in the Dhamma
Tatiyampi saṅghaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi — A third time I take refuge in the Saṅgha
2. Dasasikkhāpadaṃ — The Ten Precepts
- Pāṇātipātā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from killing living beings.
- Adinnādānā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from taking that which is not given.
- Abrahmacariyā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from unchastity.
- Musāvādā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from lying.
- Surāmerayamajjapamādaṭṭhānā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from intoxicants that cause heedlessness.
- Vikālabhojanā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from eating at the wrong time (before dawn and after midday).
- Nacca-gīta-vādita-visūkadassanā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from dancing, singing, music, and entertainments.
- Mālā-gandha-vilepana-dhāraṇamaṇḍana-vibhūsanaṭṭhānā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from garlands, perfumes, cosmetics, wearing ornaments, and adornments.
- Uccāsayana-mahāsayanā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from using high or luxurious beds and seats.
- Jātarūparajata-paṭiggahaṇā veramaṇī-sikkhāpadaṃ samādiyāmi — I undertake the precept to abstain from accepting money.
3. Dvattiṃsākāro — The Thirty-two Body Parts
Atthi imasmiṃ kāye — Kesā lomā nakhā dantā taco,
Maṃsaṃ nhāru aṭṭhi aṭṭhimiñjaṃ vakkaṃ,
Hadayaṃ yakanaṃ kilomakaṃ pihakaṃ papphāsaṃ,
Antaṃ antaguṇaṃ udariyaṃ karīsaṃ matthaluṅgaṃ,
Pittaṃ semhaṃ pubbo lohitaṃ sedo medo,
Assu vasā kheḷo siṅghāṇikā lasikā muttanti.
There are in this body — Head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin,
Flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys,
Heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs,
Large intestine, small intestine, stomach, dung, brain,
Phlegm, pus, bile, blood, sweat, fat,
Tears, grease, spittle, mucus, synovial fluid, and urine.
4. Kumārapañhā — The Boy’s Questions
- “Ekaṃ nāma kiṃ?” “Sabbe sattā āhāraṭṭhitikā.”
“What is the one?” “All living-beings are sustained by food.”
- “Dve nāma kiṃ?” “Nāmañca rūpañca.”
“What is the two?” “Mind and matter.”
- “Tīṇi nāma kiṃ?” “Tisso vedanā.”
“What is the three?” “Three feelings.” (Pleasant, painful, and neutral).
- “Cattāri nāma kiṃ?” “Cattāri ariyasaccāni.”
“What is the four?” “The Four Noble Truths.” (Suffering, its cause, its cessation, and the path).
- “Pañca nāma kiṃ?” “Pañcupādānakkhandhā.”
“What is the five?” “The five aggregates of attachment.” (Matter, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness).
- “Cha nāma kiṃ?” “Cha ajjhattikāni āyatanāni.”
“What is the six?” “The six internal sense faculties.” (Eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind)
- “Satta nāma kiṃ?” “Satta bojjhaṅgā.”
“What is the seven?” “The seven factors of enlightenment.” (Mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity).
- “Aṭṭha nāma kiṃ?” “Ariyo aṭṭhaṅgiko maggo.”
“What is the eight?” “The Eightfold Noble Path.” (Right-view, right-thought, right-speech, right-action, right-livelihood, right-effort, right-mindfulness, and right-concentration).
- “Nava nāma kiṃ?” “Nava sattāvāsā.”
“What is the nine?” “The nine abodes of living-beings.”
- “Dasa nāma kiṃ?” “Dasahaṅgehi samannāgato ‘Arahā’ti vuccatī”ti.
“What are the ten?” “The ten factors possessed by an Arahant.”
5. Maṅgala Suttaṃ — The Discourse on Blessings
Please refer to “An Exposition of the Maṅgala Sutta” for the Pāḷi text, translation, and commentary.
6. Ratana Suttaṃ — The Discourse on Jewels
Please refer to “An Exposition of the Ratana Sutta” for the Pāḷi text, translation, and commentary.
7. Tirokuṭṭa Suttaṃ — Outside These Walls
- Tirokuṭṭesu tiṭṭhanti, sandhisiṅghāṭakesu ca.
Dvārabāhāsu tiṭṭhanti, āgantvāna sakaṃ gharaṃ.
They stand outside these walls, and at the crossroads.
They stand at the door-post, returning to their former home.
- Pahūte annapānamhi, khajjabhojje upaṭṭhite.
Na tesaṃ koci sarati, sattānaṃ kammapaccayā.
When abundant food and drink is prepared
No one remembers them, that is the condition of living-beings.
- Evaṃ dadanti ñātīnaṃ, ye honti anukampakā.
Suciṃ paṇītaṃ kālena, kappiyaṃ pānabhojanaṃ.
Idaṃ vo ñātīnaṃ hotu, sukhitā hontu ñātayo.
Those who have compassion for their dead relatives
Give pure food and drink at the proper time.
May this be for our relatives, may our relatives be happy.
- Te ca tattha samāgantvā, ñātipetā samāgatā.
Pahūte annapānamhi, sakkaccaṃ anumodare.
May those who have gathered there, the ghosts of our relatives,
Respectfully appreciate the abundant food and drink prepared.
- Ciraṃ jīvantu no ñātī, yesaṃ hetu labhāmase.
Amhākañca katā pūjā, dāyakā ca anipphalā.
May our relatives live long, who are the reason for this gift.
And the donors of the offering done by us are not without benefit.
- Na hi tattha kasi atthi, gorakkhettha na vijjati.
Vaṇijjā tādisī natthi, hiraññena kayokayaṃ.
Ito dinnena yāpenti, petā kālaṅkatā tahiṃ.
For there is no farming there, no ploughing by oxen.
There is no trading, no investing with money.
The ghosts of those who have died depend on what is given here.
- Unname udakaṃ vuṭṭhaṃ, yathā ninnaṃ pavattati.
Evameva ito dinnaṃ, petānaṃ upakappati.
As water that rains on hills flows down to the valleys,
Likewise what is given here benefits the hungry ghosts.
- Yathā vārivahā pūrā, paripūrenti sāgaraṃ.
Evameva ito dinnaṃ, petānaṃ upakappati.
As the rivers that are filled, in turn fill the ocean,
Likewise what is given here benefits the hungry ghosts.
- Adāsi me akāsi me, ñātimittā sakhā ca me.
Petānaṃ dakkhiṇaṃ dajjā, pubbe katamanussaraṃ.
He gave to me, he did this for me, they were my relatives, friends, and companions.
Offerings should be made for the hungry ghosts, remembering what they did before.
- Na hi ruṇṇaṃ vā soko vā, yā caññā paridevanā.
Na taṃ petānamatthāya, evaṃ tiṭṭhanti ñātayo.
Neither crying nor grieving, nor lamentation,
Are any benefit for the hungry ghosts, whose relatives remain thus.
- Ayañca kho dakkhiṇā dinnā, saṅghamhi suppatiṭṭhitā.
Dīgharattaṃ hitāyassa, ṭhānaso upakappati.
When this offering is given, well-established in the Saṅgha,
It is for their long-term welfare, and immediate benefit.
- So ñātidhammo ca ayaṃ nidassito, petāna pūjā ca katā uḷārā.
Balañca bhikkhūnamanuppadinnaṃ, tumhehi puññaṃ pasutaṃ anappakanti.
The duty to relatives has been taught, great offerings have been made for the hungry ghosts.
The monks have gained strength, and the merit acquired by you is considerable.
8. Nidhikaṇḍa Suttaṃ — Storing up Treasure
- Nidhiṃ nidheti puriso, gambhīre odakantike.
Atthe kicce samuppanne, atthāya me bhavissati.
A man deposits a hidden treasure, deep and near the water table.
If a need for this arises, this will be for my benefit.
- Rājato vā duruttassa, corato pīḷitassa vā.
Iṇassa vā pamokkhāya, dubbhikkhe āpadāsu vā.
Etadatthāya lokasmiṃ, nidhi nāma nidhīyati.
If accused by the king, or oppressed by robbers,
To escape from debt, famine, or misfortune,
With worldly aims like this, a hidden treasure is deposited.
- Tāvassunihito santo, gambhīre odakantike.
Na sabbo sabbadā eva, tassa taṃ upakappati.
However well it is hidden, deep and near the water table,
It will not always serve its purpose.
- Nidhi vā ṭhānā cavati, saññā vāssa vimuyhati.
Nāgā vā apanāmenti, yakkhā vāpi haranti naṃ.
The treasure may get moved, or one may forget where it is.
Dragons may remove it, or spirits may carry it away.
- Appiyā vāpi dāyādā, uddharanti apassato.
Yadā puññakkhayo hoti, sabbametaṃ vinassati.
Unloved heirs may dig it up without being seen.
When one’s merit is exhausted, all can be lost.
- Yassa dānena sīlena, saṃyamena damena ca.
Nidhī sunihito hoti, itthiyā purisassa vā.
Whoever by generosity, morality, restraint, and self-control,
Deposits a well-stored treasure, whether a woman or a man.
- Cetiyamhi ca saṅghe vā, puggale atithīsu vā.
Mātari pitari cāpi, atho jeṭṭhamhi bhātari.
In a pagoda or the Saṅgha, or an individual wanderer,
In a mother, father, or elder brother.
- Eso nidhi sunihito, ajeyyo anugāmiko.
Pahāya gamanīyesu, etaṃ ādāya gacchati.
Deposits a well-stored treasure that is invincible and follows one.
Having abandoned and departed [this life] one takes this and goes.
- Asādhāraṇamaññesaṃ, acorāharaṇo nidhi.
Kayirātha dhīro puññāni, yo nidhi anugāmiko.
Not shared with others, this treasure cannot be stolen by thieves.
Resolutely perform merit, the treasure that will follow you.
- Esa devamanussānaṃ, sabbakāmadado nidhi.
Yaṃ yadevābhipatthenti, sabbametena labbhati.
This treasure gives to gods and men everything they desire,
Whatever they long for, they get by means of this.
- Suvaṇṇatā susaratā, susaṇṭhānā surūpatā.
Ādhipaccaparivāro, sabbametena labbhati.
Beauty, a sweet voice, a perfectly formed and handsome body,
Leadership and a following, they get by means of this.
- Padesarajjaṃ issariyaṃ, cakkavattisukhaṃ piyaṃ.
Devarajjampi dibbesu, sabbametena labbhati.
An earthly king or ruler, a beloved emperor,
King of gods in heaven, they get by means of this.
- Mānussikā ca sampatti, devaloke ca yā rati.
Yā ca nibbānasampatti, sabbametena labbhati.
Attainment of the human state, and the delight of celestial realms,
The attainment of nibbāna, they get by means of this.
- Mittasampadamāgamma, yonisova payuñjato.
Vijjā vimutti vasībhāvo, sabbametena labbhati.
The blessing of good friends, the application of systematic attention,
Mastery of knowledge and liberation, they get by means of this.
- Paṭisambhidā vimokkhā ca, yā ca sāvakapāramī.
Paccekabodhi buddhabhūmi, sabbametena labbhati.
Analytical knowledge and release, the perfection of a disciple,
Solitary Buddhahood and Full Enlightenment, they get by means of this.
- Evaṃ mahatthikā esā, yadidaṃ puññasampadā.
Tasmā dhīrā pasaṃsanti, paṇḍitā katapuññatanti.
Such is the great benefit of accomplishment in merit,
Therefore the wise always praise the performance of merit.
9. Metta Suttaṃ — The Discourse on Loving Kindness
Please refer to “An Exposition of the Metta Sutta” for the Pāḷi text, translation, and commentary.