The Golden Rose Sutta

There is a Sutta about a new monk that Sariputta is trying to train who just isn’t able to learn the Dhamma. In this Sutta Sariputta goes to the Buddha and tells him it seems impossible to instruct this newly ordained monk, I just can’t get through to him Sariputta says. The Buddha asked the new monk to come forward and the Buddha then does something amazing. He conjures a ‘golden rose’ that grows then decays and wastes away. The new monk immediately releases what he was unable to see before. Apparently before the new monk ordained he had spent many lifetimes trying to create the perfect golden rose and had never been able to achieve the task. When the Buddha manifested the golden rose, the monk was gifted with the deep truth.

Ajahn Jayanto shared this story with a group of us and I keeps coming to mind. I can’t find this actual Sutta. I come up with too many conflicting search results when I look for it. Sorry for the inconvenience, but I would be very grateful if someone could help me find this one.

Generally stories that are this complicated aren’t actually in the suttas. It’s not always easy to know, but you start to get a feel.

And when a story doesn’t involve a past life of the Buddha, then there is a good chance it’s in the commentary to the Dhammapada.

I think this is the one you are after:


This definitely is the one, thank you!

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I’m not familiar with Suvaṇṇakārattheravatthu. Can you give more details about this? What is the source and dating of this legend?

I don’t know the answer. Perhaps someone else can say.