Snp4.15 Attadaṇḍasutta: mentioned by Bhante Sujato

Bhante Sujato quoted this sutta in the following talk and pointed out these pāli words. Thank you, bhante.

  • attadaṇḍā
  • aññamaññehi byāruddhe
  • macche appodake yathā
  • hadayanissitaṃ

Thanks for posting this Waiyin! The Attadanada sutta is literally my favorite sutta in the entire canon.

A very nicely read audio version of the entire Sutta Nipata is available from Dharma Audiobooks. It is based on he K. R. Norman translation.


Found (in my notes), this sutta was also referenced in BSWA Early Buddhism course back in 2013, given by Bhante Sujato and Ajahn Brahmali.

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I also take much solace in this sutta. It is a concise and poetic summary of so many core concepts in Buddhism. I find that I read it (or sections) most nights before going to bed. I like the translation from Thanissaro Bhikkhu available here: Attadanda Sutta: The Rod Embraced

I particularly like the use of the word “dismay” in the beginning of his translation (others translate it as fear or dread), and how the ending loops back to the sentiments expressed in the beginning (it starts with the phrase “when embraced…” and concludes with the phrase “doesn’t embrace”).

This sutta has many memorable phrases that I often reflect on during the day. My favorites are:
“Seeing people floundering
like fish in small puddles,
competing with one another”
(I work at a University, so this is a common sentiment)

“you should train for your own

“I call greed
a ‘great flood’;
hunger, a swift current.
Preoccupations are ripples;
sensuality, a bog
hard to cross over.
Not deviating from truth,
a sage stands on high ground”

“Moving rightly through the world,
he doesn’t envy
anyone here.”
(this is particularly helpful when I feel envy, such as seeing an expensive car, or hear someone talking about a “great” vacation or their “beach house”, etc.)

“The sage
doesn’t speak of himself
as among those who are higher,
or lower.”
(this helps to remind me to be humble)


This is a nice audiobook. I just purchased it. Unfortunately, it only says “Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc.” instead of saying “Chapter 1.1 The Snake, Chapter 1.2 Dhaniya, etc.”. Chapter 13, for example, is SN 2.1 The Jewel. The workaround is to use the “Bookmark” feature in Audible. Basically, make a clip of the first 5 seconds, then give the clip a name, such as “2.1 The Jewel”. Then, when using the Audible app, choose the menu (three dots), then “Clips & Bookmarks” and you will see the labelled chapters. Select “Go to Bookmark” and you will be taken to the chapter. After a bit of searching, I found that Chapter 53 is the Attadanda sutta.

Despite this minor limitation, it is very nice to be able to listen to the suttas this way–thank you for the recommendation!

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