Is there a sutta on the gradual training for lay people?

Is there a sutta similar to MN 107 - GanakaMoggallana Sutta, but for the training of lay people, not monks?

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It seems to me that becoming a bhikkhu / bhikkhuni was an essential first step of the training of someone who would start as a lay disciple…

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Not in the 4 main Nikayas AFAIK.

I think the three bases/grounds for meritorious action (puñña kiriya vatthu, have also heard them referred to as ‘three pillars of Dhamma’, ‘three bases of merit’ and ‘three meritorious actions’) are usually recommended for laypeople:

  1. dāna (generosity, giving, (gift-giving? and gratitude?))
  2. sīla (moral practice, virtuous conduct | iti60: specifies samacariyā — a balanced, calm, quietest life)
  3. bhāvanā (cultivation/development — meditation | iti60: specifies developing a mettā/loving mind)

mentioned in these suttas:


Yes, but not clearly denoted as such.

There are entry level practices for lay people in the following suttas:

'The practices leading to stream entry are encapsulated in four factors:

Association with people of integrity is a factor for stream-entry.
Listening to the true Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.
Appropriate attention is a factor for stream-entry.
Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor for stream-entry.
— SN 55.5

“And how is final knowledge achieved by gradual training, gradual practice, gradual progress? Here one who has faith in a teacher visits him; when he visits him, he pays respect to him; when he pays respect to him, he gives ear; one who gives ear hears the Dhamma; having heard the Dhamma, he memorises it; he examines the meaning of the teachings he has memorised; when he examines their meaning, he gains a reflective acceptance of those teachings; when he has gained a reflective acceptance of those teachings, zeal springs up in him; when zeal has sprung up, he applies his will; having applied his will, he scrutinises; having scrutinised, he strives; resolutely striving, he realises with the body the supreme truth and sees it by penetrating it with wisdom. Kitagiri sutta MN70

Morality (saddha) and other factors

"One who is aroused to practice is one of conviction, not without conviction. One aroused to practice is one with persistence aroused, not lazy. One aroused to practice is one of established mindfulness, not muddled mindfulness. One aroused to practice is centered in concentration, not uncentered. One aroused to practice is discerning, not undiscerning. AN11.12

With metta


Thanks, that reminds me of another list of qualities, partly overlapping that one, oft-mentioned in the suttas. After a quick google search, it seems to be usually be used in regard to the “noble disciple” the meaning of which in this context I assume to be a commited disciple of the Buddha but not necessarily a Noble One.

[quote=“AN 5.47”]“Bhikkhus, there are these five kinds of wealth. What five? The wealth of faith, the wealth of virtuous behavior, the wealth of learning, the wealth of generosity, and the wealth of wisdom.

(1) “And what, bhikkhus, is the wealth of faith? Here, a noble disciple is endowed with faith. He places faith in the enlightenment of the Tathāgata thus: ‘The Blessed One is an arahant, perfectly enlightened, accomplished in true knowledge and conduct, fortunate, knower of the world, unsurpassed trainer of persons to be tamed, teacher of devas and humans, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’ This is called the wealth of faith.

(2) “And what is the wealth of virtuous behavior? Here, a noble disciple abstains from the destruction of life, abstains from taking what is not given, abstains from sexual misconduct, abstains from false speech, abstains from liquor, wine, and intoxicants, the basis for heedlessness. This is called the wealth of virtuous behavior.

(3) “And what is the wealth of learning? Here, a noble disciple has learned much, remembers what he has learned, and accumulates what he has learned. Those teachings that are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, with the right meaning and phrasing, which proclaim the perfectly complete and pure spiritual life—such teachings as these he has learned much of, retained in mind, recited verbally, mentally investigated, and penetrated well by view.

(4) “And what is the wealth of generosity? Here, a noble disciple dwells at home with a heart devoid of the stain of miserliness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in relinquishment, devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. This is called the wealth of generosity.

(5) “And what is the wealth of wisdom? Here, a noble disciple is wise; he possesses the wisdom that discerns arising and passing away, which is noble and penetrative and leads to the complete destruction of suffering. This is called the wealth of wisdom.

“These, bhikkhus, are the five kinds of wealth.”

When one has faith in the Tathāgata,
unshakable and well established,
and virtuous behavior that is good,
loved and praised by the noble ones;
when one has confidence in the Saṅgha
and one’s view has been straightened out,
they say that one is not poor,
that one’s life is not lived in vain.

Therefore an intelligent person,
remembering the Buddhas’ teaching,
should be intent on faith and virtuous behavior,
confidence and vision of the Dhamma.[/quote]
These qualities can take one all the way to the final goal, as MN 120 points out.


The parallel, AN8.54 is also a good sutta for lay people which reflects the five types of wealth.

“We, Lord, are laymen who enjoy worldly pleasure. We lead a life encumbered by wife and children. We use sandalwood of Kasi. We deck ourselves with garlands, perfume and unguents. We use gold and silver. To those like us, O Lord, let the Exalted One preach the Dhamma, teach those things that lead to weal and happiness in this life and to weal and happiness in future life…”

"Herein a householder is wise: he is endowed with wisdom that understands the arising and cessation; he is possessed of the noble penetrating insight that leads to the destruction of suffering. This is called the accomplishment of wisdom.

Importantly it holds that seeing arising and passing away (ie- practice of dhammanusarins and those training for stream entry -see Okkanta samyutta) is practice for lay people, busy as they are.

Here’s a general link for suttas for lay people (or more specifically suttas addressed to lay people, as the former would be much larger I would have thought):

with metta