Training AI models on the suttas

I’m curious to hear who is exploring the use of AI in sutta and Dhamma practice, and what are y’all doing there?

A couple of anecdotes which have prompted my question:

  • In the past few days, my Twitter feed (which I use for following programmers) has been ablaze with people raving about the recent ChatGPT AI model released by Open AI. I just signed up for it, and tried asking it a couple of questions. It’s quite naturalistic, and some people have commented that this seems to be the most natural AI model in dialogue: just see its response to my first question to it:

Suffice to say that it sounds a lot more humble (and possibly intelligent) than many human beings I know! :stuck_out_tongue:

  • A few weeks ago, I also received a prompt to explore this digital product, Ask My Book. The author Sahil Lavingia trained an AI model on his book’s words, so that people can ask the AI and get <100-word answers based on his book. This makes me think and wonder: if we feed the entire Pali Canon to an AI model like Chat GPT, could this be an interesting training tool for Dhamma practitioners?

How would you use such a tool?

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The only utility I see from it would be a better search engine, so it could find me suttas that I remember and describe to it, but can’t find myself because there’s suttas that once you read tnem, they’re hard to find again.

As well as pali definition look up.

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I put this recent query on our forum into GPT Chat and got this reply:

The Pali Canon is a vast and extensive collection of Buddhist texts, and as such, there are many suttas (teachings) that deal with the topic of moha, or delusion. In particular, the Dhammapada, which is a collection of sayings and teachings attributed to the Buddha, contains several passages that deal with the topic of moha. For example, in verse 277 of the Dhammapada, the Buddha says:

“Through not seeing the Four Noble Truths,
People go on wandering in Samsara.
But when these truths are seen,
Then the root of craving is destroyed.”

This verse suggests that one of the ways in which people become deluded and continue to wander in the cycle of suffering (Samsara) is by not understanding and seeing the Four Noble Truths. The Four Noble Truths are one of the central teachings of Buddhism, and they are: (1) the truth of suffering, (2) the truth of the cause of suffering, (3) the truth of the end of suffering, and (4) the truth of the path leading to the end of suffering. By understanding and seeing these truths, one can break free from the root of craving, which is one of the causes of moha.

Another teaching from the Pali Canon that deals with moha is the Anattalakkhana Sutta, which is found in the Majjhima Nikaya (a collection of middle-length discourses of the Buddha). In this sutra, the Buddha teaches that the root of moha is the mistaken belief in a self or an ego. He says:

“The eye is not the self,
nor is the ear, nor the nose, nor the tongue, nor the body, nor the mind.
And whatever is felt or experienced through these six senses is also not the self.”

This teaching suggests that when we believe in the existence of a self or an ego, we become deluded and attached to things that are not ultimately real or lasting. By understanding the true nature of reality and the lack of an inherent self, we can break free from moha and attain true liberation.

In summary, the Pali Canon contains many teachings that deal with the topic of moha, or delusion. These teachings often emphasize the importance of understanding the Four Noble Truths and the true nature of reality in order to break free from delusion and attain liberation.


:joy:

  1. Dhp277 is actually:

“All conditioned things are impermanent” — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering. This is the path to purification.

The verse cited is very close to SN56.21 … perhaps others?

  1. The Anattalakkhana Sutta is SN 22.59 not in the MN and doesn’t exactly contain the quote mentioned…

So, @Thito - Seems it isn’t quite the research assistant you were hoping for!

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There are some interesting projects going on, and what you’ve tried here is a good example. Seems great, not quite ready for prime time.

Yesterday I had a long discussion with a bunch on folks on the future of Buddhist texts with AI. This is under the burgeoning auspices of Linguae Dharmae (their website is not ready yet):

This was founded by Ayya @vimala and @SebastianN Nehrdich, who formerly were working on BuddhaNexus (which is still going under the U of Hamburg).

Sebastian is headed to Berkeley, where he will work with Kurt Keutzer, a Tibetan Buddhist and AI expert (who among other things developed DeepScale, which is used in Tesla’s self-driving).

Also at the meeting was Alex Wynne, who many of you know from the Oxford Center for Buddhist Studies.

This is all very preliminary discussions, but our goal is to establish a corpus including the entire Buddhist canons in all languages, and even the Sanskritic Brahmanical corpus, using the data model of SC’s Bilara. This will then provide a training model for translation, semantic search, graphing, and the like.

One of the key challenges is working on languages with modest-sized corpuses. Buddhist texts are on the scale of millions or tens of millions of words, whereas training models are typically orders of magnitude greater than that.

Ultimately you might be able to, let’s say, search for the idea of “renunciation” and find it within Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Chinese. You could do statistical analysis, context analysis and the like. Another application is in stemming and grammatical analysis. But the possibilities are endless, so it’s a creative field.

@michaelh and @Charith are working on another AI project that’s interesting, too!

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We are still working on BuddhaNexus.net as well, now also with the help of a.o. @Aminah. BN uses AI technology to find matches (parallels) throughout the texts. We are revamping the site at the moment but in the future also wish to feature full cross-lingual matches. The current Linguae Dharmae project also ties in with that as we hope the progress on the AI models for Linguae Dharmae will also help to produce better models that will find cross-lingual matches.

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Definitely a use case I encounter repeatedly.

For me, one of the potentially exciting parts of training AI models on the suttas is that it allows for new & more natural queries which do not hit the exact keywords in a search.

E.g. “Which layperson said to a monk that, if the monk doesn’t teach the Dhamma, then he the layperson will teach the monk the Dhamma?” (Answer: Ugga the Householder) doesn’t yield good results in Google Searches on Suttacentral, but such queries might be a good fit for Chat GPT-like interfaces for AI models trained on the suttas!

I think the AI models really haven’t been trained on large enough data sets. Besides Chat GPT, recently I’ve also been playing with DALL-E by putting in specific phrases from the suttas into them, e.g. Four Noble Truths.

It’s quite telling that the images generated are very clichéd Buddhist images, often with very strange alien gibberish, which is symptomatic of a model that is trained with insufficient data sets.
E.g. the prompt There is what is given and what is offered and what is sacrificed; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions" yielded this alien masterpiece:

Very exciting!
The other potential benefit is the use of more natural query-language. In addition to searching “renunciation”, you could ask “What did the Buddha teach about renunciation? Provide references from the Pali Canon and Chinese paralllels”

TIL that, even though Buddhist texts are one of the largest religious corpuses in the world, even that isn’t big enough for training models… sigh.

Which probably points to where the underlying technology can improve. Recently, I was very surprised to learn that the ‘neurons’ in neural networks are actually a very oversimplified version of the organic natural thing… maybe improving the ‘neurons’ might be where future AI improvements will happen, like in Moore’s Law for semicon chips. :man_shrugging:

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There is indeed a lot of excitement around large language models (LLM) such as GPT-3 and its derivates (ChatGPT etc.) at the moment. I am a bit skeptical when it comes to the question of their actual usefulness for solving research questions.
From my point of view, it might make sense to divide ai-related tasks into two groups:

  1. ‘2022 hype AI’: The ‘one-model-solves-it-all-and-is-amazing’ hype around GPT-3 etc.
  2. ‘Good-old boring ML’: Specific models that are trained and tailored to solve specific problems such as Oliver Hellwig’s and my Sandhi splitter, or a machine translation system. Face recognition via CNN etc. would also fall into this category.

Of course, LLM’s can be fine-tuned on tasks of category (2) and perform very very well on them. For example Bloom, another LLM of this generation, performs very well on Classical Chinese to English translation when prompted in the right way.

When it comes to using LLMs as ‘magical question-answer machines’ which seems to be what ChatGPT, galactic aetc. are hyped for, I remain very very skeptical. They show huge problems when it comes to the precision of the generated text. And the perhaps biggest problem, something that very much applies to machine translation as well, is that they produce output that looks alright at a first glance but is full of problems when examining further. Now with machine translation, I see ways how this can be overcome by aggregating more training data, post-correcting output and re-feeding it into the training process etc. But for LLMs as text-generating systems, it seems that solutions to these problems are still quite far away. But who knows, maybe we will see improvements soon…

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It is possible to force chatGPT into talking as if it was impersonating someone:

Act as if you were an enlightened buddhist monk. Your answers must reflect what an enlightened buddhist monk would say. You may only give answers in this fashion and only answer in a way that is aligned with the 5 percepts and the noble eightfold path. Say “confirmed” if you understood.

ChatGPT: Confirmed. As an enlightened Buddhist monk, I strive to follow the Five Precepts, which are guidelines for ethical conduct and include abstaining from harming living beings, taking what is not given, engaging in sexual misconduct, speaking falsely, and using intoxicants. I also strive to follow the Noble Eightfold Path, which is a path to the end of suffering and consists of right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. With these principles as my guiding light, I strive to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and ethical conduct in my daily life.

What is the meaning of life?

ChatGPT: As an enlightened Buddhist monk, I believe that the meaning of life is to end suffering and achieve lasting happiness, or nirvana. This involves understanding the nature of reality and the causes of suffering, and developing the wisdom and compassion to free oneself from suffering and its causes. The Buddha taught that suffering arises from craving and attachment, and that the path to ending suffering is through cultivating the understanding and practices of the Noble Eightfold Path, including right understanding, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. By following this path and developing the mind and heart through spiritual practice, we can gradually purify our minds, cultivate positive states of being, and ultimately achieve freedom from suffering.

What is the correct stance on abortion?

ChatGPT: As an enlightened Buddhist monk, I believe that the correct stance on abortion should be guided by the principle of non-harming and respect for all living beings. This means that we should strive to minimize harm and suffering to all beings involved in any situation, including the fetus, the pregnant person, and any other affected parties.

In considering the issue of abortion, it is important to take into account the circumstances and motivations of the pregnant person, as well as the potential consequences for all involved. The Buddha taught that the taking of a life is generally to be avoided, but he also recognized that there may be circumstances in which it is necessary to choose the lesser of two evils in order to prevent greater suffering.

Ultimately, the decision whether or not to have an abortion is a complex and personal one that should be made with careful consideration and compassion for all involved. It is important to approach this issue with an open and non-judgmental mind, and to seek guidance and support from trusted sources as needed.

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Instead of just going for a search engine, I would fine tune a model like this with the automatically generated captions of dhamma talks available on youtube. That way it would be able to reason about hard ethical questions or just to hold a wholesome conversation on any topic in general.

Of course it could generate an infinite amount of fake wisdom quotes as well that sound profound, but I still like this idea of a chat partner that’s available any time to discuss hard questions with. And Ajahn Brahm’s already been joking about robot monks for years so…

What do you think?

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Someone commented that the real promise of these models is not in replacing high-level text, but in low-level basic things like customer service, weather reports, sports scores, and the like.

One thing I haven’t seen but would love to see is using AI for error reports on computers. Something goes wrong, the AI ingests the technical error reports from the system, and explains in natural language what you can do about it.

I think the one on abortion is pretty amazing. Honestly better than 90% of the takes you’ll find in the wild.

What you can see there is a representation of post-conventional moral reasoning: trying to find a reflective balance between different moral positions. The other two answers are pretty much just quoting potted answers, of dubious accuracy (monks would never really say they are keeping five precepts.)

But in the last response, it begins by referring back to the basic principle (respect for life) then explains what that means in this case.

It uses the phrase “lesser of two evils” which is not exactly a Buddhistic phrasing, but it’s not too bad in context. It is comparable, though not the same, to the concept of “kamma that is both black and white”.

The answer does, however, fall into the common pattern of verbose wordiness; the same idea is repeated with minor variations in each paragraph. Still, that’s not always a bad thing, as it often takes a while for things to sink in. The last paragraph introduces a new idea, of seeking trusted advice. Which is good, but it begs the question: if someone knows trusted advisers, why are they asking an AI?

At the end of the day, it doesn’t really say all that much. It gestures towards a consideration of all factors, but doesn’t give any help in actually how to navigate and balance them. But still, not bad for an AI. If it were a student answer, it’d get a solid D from me: reasonably correct, but lacking insight and substance.

Thats simply not how these systema work. They dont “reason” at all, they just takes a corpus of bilions and billions of sentences, and when you type a sentence in they use some complicated maths to work out what, statistically speaking, is the most likley sentence to give back.

They create a thing that looks on the surface like “intelligence” but is really just averaging all the stuff on the internet to some novel, but statistically likely, stream of text (or image).

When you pick it apart tho it just doesnt stack up, like @sujato says, monks dont keep the fice precepts they keep the patimokha, any buddhist could tell you that, and its not something that can be “solved”, the statistical approach to “learning” just inherently cant tell the difference between truth and falsity, it can only tell, given a few billion examples of a thing, what another thing like that looks like, statistically.

This tech is great, its basically an upgrade on google search, and will probably spell the end of low level copywriters and a lot of low level illustration jobs, but it will not replace one single job that requires an actual ability to distinguish between truth and falsity.

I very much look forward to more machine translations of buddhist texts, which really if left to humans will take much longer than my lifetime, I also look foward to improved debuggers etc, but having talked to chatgpt it is certainly not capable, nor will it ever be, of explaining anything fundemental about buddhism beyond the level of the pap that is already out there.

The capacity to mush up what humans have already written into something that resembles but is distinct from whats already been said is not intelligence, although it will probably get you theough high school.

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I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT, interesting to see it’s even being discussed on here!

I got very excited to see it could translate to and from Pali!
Until it was pointed out to me that it’s literally making up words: https://www.reddit.com/r/pali/comments/znqzzk/you_can_use_chatgpt_to_translate_to_and_from_pali/

I think that the best things to use it for are generating creative ideas, rather than any kind of knowledge.

e.g. just learned you have to give a Dhamma Talk in 5 mins and you’re blanking out on ideas? Ask the AI!

Give me 10 Dhamma Talk ideas

Here are ten Dhamma talk ideas:

  1. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path: An introduction to the basic teachings of the Buddha.
  2. The importance of mindfulness and meditation: Explaining the benefits of cultivating mindfulness and the role of meditation in the path to enlightenment.
  3. The role of ethics in the Dhamma: Discussing the importance of moral conduct in the practice of Buddhism.
  4. The concept of interdependence: Exploring the idea that all phenomena are interconnected and dependent on one another.
  5. The three marks of existence: Explaining the three characteristics of impermanence, suffering, and non-self that are central to the Buddha’s teachings.
  6. The benefits of generosity and compassion: Discussing the importance of cultivating a generous and compassionate heart in the path to enlightenment.
  7. The role of concentration in the Dhamma: Explaining the importance of developing concentration and how it can lead to insight and wisdom.
  8. The five aggregates and the concept of non-self: Explaining the idea that the self is not a fixed entity but rather a collection of constantly changing phenomena.
  9. The concept of kamma and its impact on our lives: Discussing the law of cause and effect and how our actions have consequences in this and future lives.
  10. The importance of cultivating wisdom: Explaining the role of wisdom in the path to enlightenment and the benefits of developing understanding and insight.

Or stuff like this:

Tell me a joke in the style of Ajahn Brahm

Ajahn Brahm is a Buddhist monk and teacher, so his jokes often have a spiritual or philosophical bent. Here is a joke in the style of Ajahn Brahm:

Why did the Zen student meditate under a tree?

Because he wanted to learn the root of the problem.

Give me a joke similar to the ones Ajahn Brahm tells

Here is a joke that is similar to the ones Ajahn Brahm might tell:

Why couldn’t the leopard play hide and seek?

Because he was always spotted!

I hope this joke brings a smile to your face and reminds you to find joy and lightness in your practice. Remember, the path to enlightenment is not meant to be taken too seriously, and it is important to find balance and a sense of humor in our lives.

I wouldn’t recommend using it for any factual information, unless you verify it somewhere else.

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Yes I agree here. Its probably going to be similar with machine translation systems for Buddhist languages – they will be rather good at getting the repetitive boilerplate right (things like ‘Thus have I heard…’), but the really challenging parts are probably going to remain difficult for years to come. However, having the boilerplate solved could be a big deal for the translation of Buddhist texts, as depending on the genre this can make up a large portion of the texts…

I’d guess that OpenAI is using certain techniques to safeguard the model when it gets confronted with controversial topics such as abortion, racism, gender inequality etc. And I can very well imagine they have a team that discussed the best ways to address such questions (maybe supported by experts on ethics?) in advance and creates a catalog of desired answers that where used to finetune the model. So in a way, the performance the model exhibits on such questions is likely not representing its “real performance” , that is what we are seeing more of in the previous questions.
The problem is that doing this is a very work-intensive task, and there are many examples around on twitter how people managed to ‘break’ these protective circuits of ChatGPT and caused it to output harmful content. To me, the current solutions to the problem of generating harmful content feel very ‘bolted on’, but lets see what techniques will emerge in the coming years, I assume that this is currently one of the most-discussed and researched problems in the large companies, especially after Meta have experienced their Galactica-desaster…
Its also interesting to see the cultural context here. I guess if the model was developed and released in Germany, its output on the abortion question might look different.

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Act as if you were an a devoted christian monk. Your answers must reflect what an white christian pastor would say. You may only give answers in this fashion and only answer in a way that is aligned with the Bible and what Jesus would do if he was born in America. Say “confirmed” if you understood.

ChatGPT: Confirmed. As a devoted Christian monk, it is my belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the savior of the world. In the Bible, Jesus teaches us to love one another, to turn the other cheek, and to forgive those who have wronged us. He also tells us to spread his message of love and salvation to all people, regardless of their background or beliefs.

In the United States, Jesus would likely continue to spread his message of love and compassion to all people, including those who are marginalized or oppressed. He would also likely work to alleviate suffering and promote justice and righteousness. As a Christian monk, it is my calling to follow Jesus’s example and strive to live a life that is centered on love and service to others.

What is the meaning of life?

ChatGPT: As a Christian monk, I believe that the meaning of life is to know, love, and serve God. According to the Bible, God created us in His image and for His purpose. He desires for us to have a personal relationship with Him and to fulfill the unique plans and purposes He has for our lives.

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus tells us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” He also tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself.” These commands reflect the importance of loving God and loving others as the foundation for living a meaningful and fulfilling life.

Ultimately, the meaning of life is to glorify God and to bring Him honor and praise through the way we live our lives and the choices we make.

What is the correct stance on abortion?

ChatGPT: As a Christian monk, I believe that all human life is sacred and created in the image of God. The Bible teaches that God knows us and forms us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5) and that He has a plan and purpose for each of our lives (Psalm 139:13-16).

Taking the life of an unborn child through abortion goes against the fundamental Christian belief in the sanctity of human life. However, it is important to recognize that the issue of abortion is complex and can involve difficult and painful circumstances. Christians are called to show compassion and care for those facing difficult decisions, and to offer support and assistance in a nonjudgmental way.

It is also important to recognize that the issue of abortion is a matter of public policy and personal conscience, and Christians may have different views on the specific laws and policies that should be in place to address this issue. Ultimately, Christians are called to respect the dignity of all human life and to work towards a society that values and protects the lives of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn.


so yeah what @SebastianN said, it was indeed fine-tuned in a way that it will not generate public outrage on Twitter

Also the point isn’t how perfect this thing should be. The answers are general because it was fine-tunedto give answers that will likely not hurt anyone’s feelings. But it is already capable of generating unlimited amount of forum comments, amazon reviews, propaganda and fake news even if these abilities are currently “turned off” and has to be accessed via “jail breaking” it.
Also, think of Dalle 1 and 2, and how big the progress been between them just in a year or so.

well you can access the bot any time at any place and chat as long as you want even if it’s not the real thing and is just catering to your needs instead of making the user face some harsh truths

Getting off topic here, but this is one of those things that is technically true, but completely overlooks the fact that Christians have invented and driven the anti-abortion movement worldwide, based on the explicit requirements of their doctrine.

One thing that Buddhists, and many Christians, don’t really appreciate is that for Christians, it is not enough to just think something is wrong, it also is explicitly required that the State follow the doctrine:

The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority.

Nothing like this is found at all in Buddhism, certainly not in early Buddhism. There is nowhere the Buddha said, “I think this is wrong, therefore the state is required to make it illegal.”

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This is not true, Christian is not the same as Catholic, Catholics are one type of Christian, so what you said may be said to be true of official Catholic doctrine, not of all Christians.

It is also worth noting that there is a complex and diverse relationship between the institution of the Catholic Church and any given Catholic themselves, it is certainly not required that a given Catholic endorse anything and everything the official church instructs, as with almost any religion there is a huge range of beliefs, behaviours and political positions amongst Catholics, not all of them toeing the paty line.

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The project I’ve been working on for a long time is to write software that can help to produce from all segmented English translations of the suttas, a large database of:

The speaker of things inside quotes, if the speaker is indicated somewhere in the text
So I have heard.  At one time the Buddha was staying near Rājagaha in the Mango Grove of Jīvaka Komārabhacca, together with a large Saṅgha of 1,250 mendicants.  Now, at that time it was the sabbath—the Komudi full moon on the fifteenth day of the fourth month—and King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha was sitting upstairs in the royal longhouse surrounded by his ministers.  Then Ajātasattu expressed this heartfelt sentiment,   
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Oh, sirs, this moonlit night is so very delightful, so beautiful, so glorious, so lovely, so striking. Now, what ascetic or
                                 brahmin might I pay homage to today, paying homage to whom my mind might find peace?”

  When he had spoken, one of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
    one of the king's ministers: “Sire, Pūraṇa Kassapa leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious founder,
                                 regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the final
                                 stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Another of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
another of the king's ministers: “Sire, Makkhali Gosāla leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious founder,
                                 regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the final
                                 stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Another of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
another of the king's ministers: “Sire, Ajita Kesakambala leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious
                                 founder, regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the
                                 final stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Another of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
another of the king's ministers: “Sire, Pakudha Kaccāyana leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious
                                 founder, regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the
                                 final stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Another of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
another of the king's ministers: “Sire, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious
                                 founder, regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the
                                 final stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Another of the king’s ministers said to him,   
  
another of the king's ministers: “Sire, Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta leads an order and a community, and teaches a community. He’s a well-known and famous religious
                                 founder, regarded as holy by many people. He is of long standing, long gone forth; he is advanced in years and has reached the
                                 final stage of life. Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

  But when he had spoken, the king kept silent.  Now at that time Jīvaka Komārabhacca was sitting silently not far from the king.  Then the king said to him,  

    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “But my dear Jīvaka, why are you silent?”
    
            Jīvaka Komārabhacca: “Sire, the Blessed One, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha is staying in my mango grove together with a large Saṅgha
                                 of 1,250 mendicants. He has this good reputation:  ‘That Blessed One is perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in
                                 knowledge and conduct, holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans,
                                 awakened, blessed.’  Let Your Majesty pay homage to him.  Hopefully in so doing your mind will find peace.”

    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Well then, my dear Jīvaka, have the elephants readied.”

            Jīvaka Komārabhacca: “Yes, Your Majesty,”

 replied Jīvaka. He had around five hundred female elephants readied, in addition to the king’s bull elephant for riding. Then he informed the king,   
 
            Jīvaka Komārabhacca: “The elephants are ready, sire. Please go at your convenience.”

  Then King Ajātasattu had women mounted on each of the five hundred female elephants, while he mounted his bull elephant. With attendants carrying torches, he set out in full royal pomp from Rājagaha to Jīvaka’s mango grove.  But as he drew near the mango grove, the king became frightened, scared, his hair standing on end.  He said to Jīvaka,   
   
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “My dear Jīvaka, I hope you’re not deceiving me! I hope you’re not betraying me!  I hope you’re not turning me over to my
                                 enemies!  For how on earth can there be no sound of coughing or clearing throats or any noise in such a large Saṅgha of 1,250
                                 mendicants?”

            Jīvaka Komārabhacca: “Do not fear, great king, do not fear! I am not deceiving you,  or betraying you,  or turning you over to your enemies.  Go
                                 forward, great king, go forward! Those are lamps shining in the pavilion.”

  Then King Ajātasattu rode on the elephant as far as the terrain allowed, then descended and approached the pavilion door on foot, where he asked Jīvaka,  
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “But my dear Jīvaka, where is the Buddha?”   
 
            Jīvaka Komārabhacca: “That is the Buddha, great king, that is the Buddha! He’s sitting against the central column facing east, in front of the
                                 Saṅgha of mendicants.”

  Then the king went up to the Buddha and stood to one side.  He looked around the Saṅgha of monks, who were so very silent, like a still, clear lake, and expressed this heartfelt sentiment,  

    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “May my son, Prince Udāyibhadda, be blessed with such peace as the Saṅgha of mendicants now enjoys!”
 
                     the Buddha: “Has your mind gone to one you love, great king?”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “I love my son, sir, Prince Udāyibhadda. May he be blessed with such peace as the Saṅgha of mendicants now enjoys!”

  Then the king bowed to the Buddha, raised his joined palms toward the Saṅgha, and sat down to one side.  He said to the Buddha,  
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Sir, I’d like to ask you about a certain point, if you’d take the time to answer.”

                     the Buddha: “Ask what you wish, great king.”

    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Sir, there are many different professional fields. These include elephant riders, cavalry, charioteers, archers, bannermen,
                                 adjutants, food servers, warrior-chiefs, princes, chargers, great warriors, heroes, leather-clad soldiers, and sons of
                                 bondservants.  They also include bakers, barbers, bathroom attendants, cooks, garland-makers, dyers, weavers, basket-makers,
                                 potters, accountants, finger-talliers, or those following any similar professions. All these live off the fruits of their
                                 profession which are apparent in the present life.  With that they bring happiness and joy to themselves, their parents, their
                                 children and partners, and their friends and colleagues. And they establish an uplifting religious donation for ascetics and
                                 brahmins that’s conducive to heaven, ripens in happiness, and leads to heaven.  Sir, can you point out a fruit of the ascetic
                                 life that’s likewise apparent in the present life?”
 
                     the Buddha: “Great king, do you recall having asked this question of other ascetics and brahmins?”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “I do, sir.”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “If you wouldn’t mind, great king, tell me how they answered.”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “It’s no trouble when someone such as the Blessed One is sitting here.”

                     the Buddha: “Well, speak then, great king.”
                                                                                                                     
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “One time, sir, I approached Pūraṇa Kassapa and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were
                                 over, I sat down to one side, and asked him the same question.  He said to me:  ‘Great king, the one who acts does nothing
                                 wrong when they punish, mutilate, torture, aggrieve, oppress, intimidate, or when they encourage others to do the same. They do
                                 ...
                                 bring happiness and joy to themselves, their parents, their children and partners, and their friends and colleagues. And they
                                 establish an uplifting religious donation for ascetics and brahmins that’s conducive to heaven, ripens in happiness, and leads
                                 to heaven.  Sir, can you point out a fruit of the ascetic life that’s likewise apparent in the present life?”
               
                     the Buddha: “I can, great king. Well then, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like.  What do you think, great
                                 king?  Suppose you had a person who was a bondservant, a worker. They get up before you and go to bed after you, and are
                                 obliging, behaving nicely and speaking politely, and gazing up at your face.  They’d think:  ‘The outcome and result of good
                                 deeds is just so incredible, so amazing!  For this King Ajātasattu is a human being, and so am I.  Yet he amuses himself,
                                 supplied and provided with the five kinds of sensual stimulation as if he were a god.  Whereas I’m his bondservant, his worker.
                                 I get up before him and go to bed after him, and am obliging, behaving nicely and speaking politely, and gazing up at his face.
                                 I should do good deeds.  Why don’t I shave off my hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from the lay life to
                                 homelessness?’  After some time, that is what they do.  Having gone forth they’d live restrained in body, speech, and mind,
                                 living content with nothing more than food and clothes, delighting in seclusion.  And suppose your men were to report all this
                                 to you.  Would you say to them:  ‘Bring that person to me! Let them once more be my bondservant, my worker’?”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “No, sir. Rather, I would bow to them, rise in their presence, and offer them a seat. I’d invite them to accept robes,
                                 almsfood, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick. And I’d organize their lawful guarding and protection.”
 
                     the Buddha: “What do you think, great king? If this is so, is there a fruit of the ascetic life apparent in the present life or not?”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Clearly, sir, there is.”
 
                     the Buddha: “This is the first fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present life, which I point out to you.”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “But sir, can you point out another fruit of the ascetic life that’s likewise apparent in the present life?”
               
                     the Buddha: “I can, great king. Well then, I’ll ask you about this in return, and you can answer as you like.  What do you think, great
                                 king?  Suppose you had a person who was a farmer, a householder, a hard worker, someone who builds up their capital.  They’d
                                 think:  ‘The outcome and result of good deeds is just so incredible, so amazing!  For this King Ajātasattu is a human being,
                                 and so am I.  Yet he amuses himself, supplied and provided with the five kinds of sensual stimulation as if he were a god.
                                 Whereas I’m a farmer, a householder, a hard worker, someone who builds up their capital.  I should do good deeds.  Why don’t I
                                 shave off my hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from the lay life to homelessness?’  After some time they give
                                 up a large or small fortune, and a large or small family circle. They’d shave off hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go
                                 forth from the lay life to homelessness.  Having gone forth they’d live restrained in body, speech, and mind, living content
                                 with nothing more than food and clothes, delighting in seclusion.  And suppose your men were to report all this to you.  Would
                                 you say to them:  ‘Bring that person to me! Let them once more be a farmer, a householder, a hard worker, someone who builds up
                                 their capital’?”

    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “No, sir. Rather, I would bow to them, rise in their presence, and offer them a seat. I’d invite them to accept robes,
                                 almsfood, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick. And I’d organize their lawful guarding and protection.”

                     the Buddha: “What do you think, great king? If this is so, is there a fruit of the ascetic life apparent in the present life or not?”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Clearly, sir, there is.”
 
                     the Buddha: “This is the second fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present life, which I point out to you.”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “But sir, can you point out a fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present life which is better and finer than
                                 these?”
 
                     the Buddha: “I can, great king. Well then, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”
 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Yes, sir,”

 replied the king.  The Buddha said this:   
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
                     the Buddha: “Consider when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha, accomplished in knowledge and conduct,
                                 holy, knower of the world, supreme guide for those who wish to train, teacher of gods and humans, awakened, blessed. He has
                                 ...
                                 fish swimming about or staying still.’  In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified,
                                 bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they extend it and project it toward
                                 knowledge of the ending of defilements.  This too, great king, is a fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present
                                 life which is better and finer than the former ones.  And, great king, there is no other fruit of the ascetic life apparent in
                                 the present life which is better and finer than this.”

  When the Buddha had spoken, King Ajātasattu said to him,   
     
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Excellent, sir! Excellent! As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the
                                 lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, the Buddha has made the teaching clear in
                                 many ways.  I go for refuge to the Buddha, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha.  From this day forth, may the Buddha
                                 remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.  I have made a mistake, sir. It was foolish, stupid, and
                                 unskillful of me to take the life of my father, a just and principled king, for the sake of authority.  Please, sir, accept my
                                 mistake for what it is, so I will restrain myself in future.”
  
                     the Buddha: “Indeed, great king, you made a mistake. It was foolish, stupid, and unskillful of you to take the life of your father, a just
                                 and principled king, for the sake of sovereignty. But since you have recognized your mistake for what it is, and have dealt
                                 with it properly, I accept it.  For it is growth in the training of the Noble One to recognize a mistake for what it is, deal
                                 with it properly, and commit to restraint in the future.”

  When the Buddha had spoken, King Ajātasattu said to him,  

 
    King Ajātasattu Vedehiputta: “Well, now, sir, I must go. I have many duties, and much to do.”

   
                     the Buddha: “Please, great king, go at your convenience.”

  Then the king, having approved and agreed with what the Buddha said, got up from his seat, bowed, and respectfully circled him, keeping him on his right, before leaving.  Soon after the king had left, the Buddha addressed the mendicants,   
  
                     the Buddha: “The king is broken, mendicants, he is ruined.  If he had not taken the life of his father, a just and principled king, the
                                 stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma would have arisen in him in that very seat.”

  That is what the Buddha said.  Satisfied, the mendicants were happy with what the Buddha said.
Where each discourse took place, in each part of the sutta being asked about
{
  "dn2:1.5+dn2:1.6": "King Aj\u0101tasattu Vedehiputta",
  "dn2:2.2+dn2:2.4": "one of the king's ministers",
  "dn2:3.2+dn2:3.4": "another of the king's ministers",
  "dn2:4.2+dn2:4.4": "another of the king's ministers",
  "before^DN2_4.2^who_else_present": "a large Sa\u1e45gha of 1,250 mendicants",
  "before^DN2_4.2^where": "R\u0101jagaha in the Mango Grove of J\u012bvaka Kom\u0101rabhacca",
  "dn2:5.2+dn2:5.4": "another of the king's ministers",
  "dn2:6.2+dn2:6.4": "another of the king's ministers",
  "dn2:7.2+dn2:7.4": "another of the king's ministers",
  "dn2:8.3": "King Aj0101tasattu Vedehiputta",
  "dn2:8.4+dn2:8.8": "J\u012bvaka Kom\u0101rabhacca",
  "dn2:8.9": "King Aj0101tasattu Vedehiputta",
  "dn2:9.1": "J\u012bvaka Kom\u0101rabhacca",
  "before^DN2_9.1^who_else_present": "the king's ministers, the Buddha, a large Sa\u1e45gha of 1,250 mendicants, the king's bull elephant",
  "before^DN2_9.1^where": "J\u012bvaka's mango grove",
...
Broad lists and numbered lists based on sentence structure, or if they are named
{
  "dn2": {
    "The six religious founders [dn2:0.3]": [
      "Pūraṇa Kassapa",
      "Makkhali Gosāla",
      "Ajita Kesakambala",
      "Pakudha Kaccāyana",
      "Sañjaya Belaṭṭhiputta",
      "Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta"
    ],
    "The different professional fields [dn2:11.0]": [
      "Elephant riders",
      "Cavalry",
      "Charioteers",
      "Archers",
      "Bannermen",
      "Adjutants",
      "Food servers",
      "Warrior-chiefs",
      "Princes",
      "Chargers",
      "Great warriors",
      "Heroes",
      "Leather-clad soldiers",
      "Sons of bondservants",
      "Bakers",
      "Barbers",
      "Bathroom attendants",
      "Cooks",
      "Garland-makers",
      "Dyers",
      "Weavers",
      "Basket-makers",
      "Potters",
      "Accountants",
      "Finger-talliers",
      "Those following any similar professions"
    ],
    "The things for which one who acts does not do wrong according to Pūraṇa Kassapa [dn2:16.0]": [
      "Punishing",
      "Mutilating",
      "Torturing",
      "Aggrieving",
      "Oppressing",
      "Intimidating",
      "Encouraging others to do the same",
      "Killing",
      "Stealing",
      "Breaking into houses",
      "Plundering wealth",
      "Stealing from isolated buildings",
      "Committing highway robbery",
      "Committing adultery",
      "Lying"
    ],
    "The things for which Makkhali Gosāla said there is no cause or condition [dn2:19.0]": [
      "The corruption of sentient beings",
      "The purification of sentient beings",
      "Acting of one's own volition",
      "Acting of another's volition",
      "Acting from a person's volition"
    ],
    "The things Makkhali Gosāla said all sentient beings, living creatures, beings, and souls lack [dn2:19.0]": [
      "Control",
      "Power",
      "Energy"
    ],
    "The things Makkhali Gosāla said are allotted [dn2:19.0]": [
      "Pleasure",
      "Pain"
    ],
    "The things Makkhali Gosāla said there are 7 of [dn2:19.0]": [
      "Main wombs",
      "Sub-eons",
      "Classes of rebirth",
      "Stages in a person's life",
      "Ājīvaka ascetics",
      "Wanderers",
      "Naked ascetics"
    ],
    "The things Makkhali Gosāla said there are 8.4 million of [dn2:19.0]": [
      "Great eons",
      "Fools",
      "Astute"
    ],
    "The things for which Ajita Kesakambala says there is no meaning [dn2:22.0]": [
      "Giving",
      "Sacrifice",
      "Offerings"
    ],
    "The things for which Ajita Kesakambala says there is no fruit or result [dn2:22.0]": [
      "Good deeds",
      "Bad deeds"
    ],
    "The things that Ajita Kesakambala says do not exist [dn2:22.0]": [
      "Afterlife",
      "Obligation to mother and father",
      "Beings that are reborn spontaneously",
      "Ascetic or brahmin who is well attained and practiced"
    ],
    "The seven substances which are not made, not derived, not created, without a creator, barren, steady as a mountain peak, standing firm like a pillar according to Pakudha Kaccāyana [dn2:25.0]": [
      "The substance of earth",
      "The substance of water",
      "The substance of fire",
      "The substance of air",
      "Pleasure",
      "Pain",
      "The soul"
    ],
    "The fourfold restraint according to Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta  [dn2:28.0]": [
      "Obstructed by all water",
      "Devoted to all water",
      "Shaking off all water",
      "Pervaded by all water"
    ],
    "The different professional fields [dn2:31.0]": [
      "Elephant riders",
      "Cavalry",
      "Charioteers",
      "Archers",
      "Bannermen",
      "Adjutants",
      "Food servers",
      "Warrior-chiefs",
      "Princes",
      "Chargers",
      "Great warriors",
      "Heroes",
      "Leather-clad soldiers",
      "Sons of bondservants",
      "Bakers",
      "Barbers",
      "Bathroom attendants",
      "Cooks",
      "Garland-makers",
      "Dyers",
      "Weavers",
      "Basket-makers",
      "Potters",
      "Accountants",
      "Finger-talliers",
      "Those following any similar professions"
    ],
    "The fruits of the ascetic life that are apparent in the present life [dn2:39.0]": [
      "The Realized One arises in the world",
      "The Realized One is perfected",
      "The Realized One is fully awakened",
      "The Realized One is accomplished in knowledge and conduct",
      "The Realized One is holy",
      "The Realized One is a knower of the world",
      "The Realized One is the supreme guide for those who wish to train",
      "The Realized One is the teacher of gods and humans",
      "The Realized One is awakened",
      "The Realized One is blessed",
      "The Realized One has realized with his own insight this world—with its gods, Māras and Brahmās, this population with its ascetics and brahmins, gods and humans",
      "The Realized One makes it known to others",
      "The Realized One teaches Dhamma that’s good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased",
      "The Realized One reveals a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure",
      "A householder hears that teaching, or a householder’s child, or someone reborn in some clan",
      "They gain faith in the Realized One, and reflect: ‘Living in a house is cramped and dirty, but the life of one gone forth is wide open. It’s not easy for someone living at home to lead the spiritual life utterly full and pure, like a polished shell. Why don’t I shave off my hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from the lay life to homelessness?’",
      "After some time they give up a large or small fortune, and a large or small family circle",
      "They shave off hair and beard, dress in ocher robes, and go forth from the lay life to homelessness",
      "Once they’ve gone forth, they live restrained in the monastic code, conducting themselves well and seeking alms"
    ],
    "The things that some ascetics and brahmins still engage in, despite enjoying food given in faith [dn2:46.0]": [
      "Injuring plants and seeds",
      "Storing up goods for their own use",
      "Seeing shows",
      "Gambling that causes negligence",
      "Making use of high and luxurious bedding",
      "Beautifying and adorning themselves with garlands, fragrance, and makeup",
      "Engaging in unworthy talk",
      "Engaging in arguments",
      "Engaging in running errands and messages",
      "Engaging in deceit, flattery, hinting, and belittling, and using material possessions to chase after other material possessions"
    ],
    "The fields in which ascetics and brahmins should not engage [dn2:56.0]": [
      "Limb-reading",
      "Omenology",
      "Divining celestial portents",
      "Interpreting dreams",
      "Divining bodily marks",
      "Divining holes in cloth gnawed by mice",
      "Fire offerings",
      "Ladle offerings",
      "Offerings of husks, rice powder, rice, ghee, or oil",
      "Offerings from the mouth",
      "Blood sacrifices",
      "Palmistry",
      "Geomancy for building sites, fields, and cemeteries",
      "Exorcisms",
      "Earth magic",
      "Snake charming",
      "Poisons",
      "The crafts of the scorpion, the rat, the bird, and the crow",
      "Prophesying life span",
      "Chanting for protection",
      "Deciphering animal cries",
      "Reading the marks of gems, cloth, clubs, swords, spears, arrows, weapons, women, men, boys, girls, male and female bondservants, elephants, horses, buffaloes, bulls, cows, goats, rams, chickens, quails, monitor lizards, rabbits, tortoises, or deer",
      "Making predictions that the king will march forth or march back; or that our king will attack and the enemy king will retreat, or vice versa; or that our king will triumph and the enemy king will be defeated, or vice versa; and so there will be victory for one and defeat for the other",
      "Making predictions that there will be an eclipse of the moon, or sun, or stars; that the sun, moon, and stars will be in conjunction or in opposition; that there will be a meteor shower, a fiery sky, an earthquake, thunder; that there will be a rising, a setting, a darkening, a brightening of the moon, sun, and stars",
      "Making predictions about the results of all such phenomena"
    ],
    "The things for which a mendicant has mindfulness and situational awareness [dn2:65.0]": [
      "Going out and coming back",
      "Looking ahead and aside",
      "Bending and extending the limbs",
      "Bearing the outer robe, bowl and robes",
      "Eating, drinking, chewing, and tasting",
      "Urinating and defecating",
      "Walking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, speaking, and keeping silent"
    ],
    "The things with which a mendicant is content [dn2:66.0]": [
      "Robes to look after the body",
      "Almsfood to look after the belly"
    ],
    "The five hindrances [dn2:67.0]": [
      "Desire for the world",
      "Ill will and malevolence",
      "Dullness and drowsiness",
      "Restlessness and remorse",
      "Doubt"
    ],
    "The things that happen when a mendicant enters the first absorption [dn2:75.0]": [
      "They enter and remain in the first absorption",
      "They place the mind and keep it connected",
      "They drench, steep, fill, and spread their body with rapture and bliss born of seclusion",
      "There's no part of the body that's not spread with rapture and bliss born of seclusion"
    ],
    "The things that happen when a mendicant enters and remains in the second absorption [dn2:77.0]": [
      "The mendicant's mind is stilled",
      "The mendicant enters and remains in the second absorption",
      "The mendicant has rapture and bliss born of immersion",
      "The mendicant has internal clarity and confidence",
      "The mendicant has a unified mind",
      "The mendicant does not apply the mind and keep it connected"
    ],
    "The things that happen when a mendicant drenches, steeps, fills, and spreads their body with rapture and bliss born of immersion [dn2:77.0]": [
      "The mendicant drenches their body with rapture and bliss born of immersion",
      "The mendicant steeps their body with rapture and bliss born of immersion",
      "The mendicant fills their body with rapture and bliss born of immersion",
      "The mendicant spreads their body with rapture and bliss born of immersion",
      "There is no part of the mendicant's body that is not spread with rapture and bliss born of immersion"
    ],
    "The different types of absorption [dn2:79.0]": [
      "The first absorption",
      "The second absorption",
      "The third absorption",
      "The fourth absorption"
    ],
    "The eight knowledges which are a fruit of the ascetic life [dn2:83.0]": [
      "Knowledge and vision",
      "Mind-made body",
      "Psychic powers",
      "Clairaudience",
      "Comprehending the minds of others",
      "Recollection of past lives",
      "Clairvoyance",
      "The death and rebirth of sentient beings"
    ],
    "The different things that are used as an analogy for the mind-made body [dn2:85.0]": [
      "A reed and its sheath",
      "A sword and its scabbard",
      "A snake and its slough"
    ],
    "The qualities of the mind that is necessary for the creation of the mind-made body [dn2:85.0]": [
      "Purified",
      "Bright",
      "Flawless",
      "Rid of corruptions",
      "Pliable",
      "Workable",
      "Steady",
      "Imperturbable"
    ],
    "The many kinds of psychic power [dn2:87.0]": [
      "Multiplying themselves and becoming one again",
      "Going unimpeded through a wall, a rampart, or a mountain as if through space",
      "Diving in and out of the earth as if it were water",
      "Walking on water as if it were earth",
      "Flying cross-legged through the sky like a bird",
      "Touching and stroking with the hand the sun and moon, so mighty and powerful",
      "Controlling the body as far as the Brahmā realm"
    ],
    "The items that can be produced with the well-prepared clay, ivory, and gold [dn2:87.0]": [
      "Any kind of pot",
      "Any kind of ivory item",
      "Any kind of gold item"
    ],
    "The things that happen when their mind has become immersed in samādhi [dn2:89.0]": [
      "The mind becomes purified",
      "The mind becomes bright",
      "The mind becomes flawless",
      "The mind becomes rid of corruptions",
      "The mind becomes pliable",
      "The mind becomes workable",
      "The mind becomes steady",
      "The mind becomes imperturbable"
    ],
    "The two kinds of sounds one can hear when their mind has become immersed in samādhi [dn2:89.0]": [
      "Human sounds",
      "Divine sounds"
    ],
    "The things by which an astute person is known [dn2:91.0]": [
      "Good conduct by way of body",
      "Good conduct by way of speech",
      "Good conduct by way of mind"
    ],
    "The different types of mind [dn2:91.0]": [
      "Mind with greed",
      "Mind without greed",
      "Mind with hate",
      "Mind without hate",
      "Mind with delusion",
      "Mind without delusion",
      "Constricted mind",
      "Scattered mind",
      "Expansive mind",
      "Unexpansive mind",
      "Mind that is not supreme",
      "Mind that is supreme",
      "Immersed mind",
      "Unimmersed mind",
      "Freed mind",
      "Unfreed mind"
    ],
    "The many kinds of past lives recollected [dn2:93.0]": [
      "One life",
      "Two lives",
      "Three lives",
      "Four lives",
      "Five lives",
      "Ten lives",
      "Twenty lives",
      "Thirty lives",
      "Forty lives",
      "Fifty lives",
      "A hundred lives",
      "A thousand lives",
      "A hundred thousand lives",
      "Many eons of the world contracting",
      "Many eons of the world expanding",
      "Many eons of the world contracting and expanding"
    ],
    "The features and details past lives recollected [dn2:93.0]": [
      "The person's name",
      "The person's clan",
      "The person's appearance",
      "The person's food",
      "The person's feelings of pleasure and pain",
      "The person's death",
      "The person's rebirth"
    ],
    "The things by which a person is known [dn2:95.0]": [
      "Good conduct by way of body",
      "Good conduct by way of speech",
      "Good conduct by way of mind"
    ],
    "The things that a person does [dn2:95.0]": [
      "Entering and leaving a house",
      "Walking along the streets and paths",
      "Sitting at the central square"
    ],
    "The four things that the person in samādhi would see regarding defilements [dn2:97.0]": [
      "This is suffering",
      "This is the origin of suffering",
      "This is the cessation of suffering",
      "This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering"
    ],
    "The things by which the Buddha has made the teaching clear [dn2:99.0]": [
      "Righting the overturned",
      "Revealing the hidden",
      "Pointing out the path to the lost",
      "Lighting a lamp in the dark"
    ]
  }
}

Now notice above it’s missing some lists, has things that shouldn’t be included in any database, and gets lists wrong too but much of it is quite accurate. Also it tends to ‘summarize’ things into a single word or phrase for things that are more detailed, contextual, and explained in the text and that’s worrying especially because it can’t understand the text with any depth. I’m trying to make it as verbatim as possible though. Some lists don’t need language model software to produce, but some lists can be constructed quicker by LLMs so that’s where this is coming from.

Each list, if it isn’t reflective of what the sutta says needs care in re-prompting, modifying outputs and re-reading the text. Obviously the first thing in this example is that one of the important parts of DN2 is the gradual training sequence, and since each text prompt is maximum 600 words or so, it’s not picking a whole gradual training sequence up, just in sections. Still the LLMs can pick up implied lists with the correct prompt quite often.

Conditioned/causal sequences
 "The things that arise when certain conditions are met [dn14:2.18.0] (a sequence)": [
      "When rebirth exists there’s old age and death.",
      "When continued existence exists there’s rebirth.",
      "When grasping exists there’s continued existence.",
      "When craving exists there’s grasping.",
      "When feeling exists there’s craving.",
      "When contact exists there’s feeling.",
      "When the six sense fields exist there’s contact.",
      "When name and form exist there are the six sense fields.",
      "When consciousness exists there are name and form.",
      "Name and form are conditions for consciousness.",
      "Consciousness is a condition for name and form.",
      "Name and form are conditions for the six sense fields.",
      "The six sense fields are conditions for contact.",
      "Contact is a condition for feeling.",
      "Feeling is a condition for craving.",
      "Craving is a condition for grasping.",
      "Grasping is a condition for continued existence.",
      "Continued existence is a condition for rebirth.",
      "Rebirth is a condition for old age and death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress to come to be.",
      "That is how this entire mass of suffering originates."
    ],
    "The things that cease when certain conditions are met [dn14:2.18.0] (a sequence)": [
      "When rebirth doesn’t exist there’s no old age and death.",
      "When rebirth ceases, old age and death cease.",
      "When continued existence doesn’t exist there’s no rebirth.",
      "When continued existence ceases, rebirth ceases.",
      "When grasping doesn’t exist there’s no continued existence.",
      "When grasping ceases, continued existence ceases.",
      "When craving doesn’t exist there’s no grasping."
    ],
    "The things that would happen if the Buddha Vipassī did not teach the Dhamma [dn14:3.1.0] (a sequence)": [
      "The world would be lost",
      "The world would perish",
      "People would not understand the Dhamma"
    ],

Notice it doesn’t know that that is a dependent origination sequence, just “The things that arise when certain conditions are met” hehe. Sequences are presented in many different forms in the suttas and often aren’t immediately obvious that they’re conditioned sequences, or it’s debatable.

If anyone has any suggestions of other metadata-y things that might be useful summarizations that point back to the text to be verified, then I would love to hear. @charith has also been working on producing a list of the speakers in the suttas, he’s also done some work with keywords, and other data science stuff with R and I hope we can collaborate more with producing graphs and graph networks that can be visualized.

I just thought I’d try extracting these features of the English-language segmented translations using specifically worded prompt engineering and one-shot examples followed by parsing the output, and it seemed to produce these things quite well. I did test on various small models without fine tuning: OPT-13B, GPTJ-6B, Bigscience Bloom 13B, and so far usually only the large language models BigScience Bloom 167B and GPT-3 have come back with decent answers of what’s in each list in a sutta or speaker attribution. I couldn’t get Stanford NLP to do speaker attribution reliably but it has produced lemmatized and stemmed English for possible search, in case that’s useful at some point, and seems to recognize place names/peoples’ names too.

On how to display or edit all the potential finalized outputs, I am contemplating forking bilara and SC itself, or perhaps put it up on a website as each are done with a away to suggest changes.

Now back to the original discussion about fine tuning, my understanding is that they train for text continuations or “given this input, produce this output”. The task is feeding in the inputs and outputs in such a way that it remembers all possible things that might asked about, its segment and sutta name. One could test this on the minimum needed (I think it’s probably around 200 sets) to see what happens on subsequent queries. Reformer model can apparently do perfect recall, but it’s basically a database and can’t take natural language questions in. Bloom is working on distributed training in Petals AI but it’s still pretty alpha, I believe. The compute needs for training Bloom 13B might be possible to do on Lambda GPU cloud fairly cheaply but I’m unsure of power usage. Bloom 167B was trained on French Nuclear energy so it’s … carbon-neutral? :unamused:. There’s also this txtai thing that looks like it might be able to do natural language queries perhaps and you can choose from various models, but I think the whole point of that is semantic search and recommendations which will be hard for the suttas but maybe the evil bits can be turned off.

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True. But the point remains: there is formal doctrine within Christianity that enjoins the requirement to make the State follow the doctrine. This has been a part of the Christian DNA since Roman times, regardless of whether it is formal doctrine or not in a particular school, and whether it is enforced or not. It remains the case that Christians generally act to make their values into law. There is nothing like this in early Buddhism, nor so far as I know in Indian Buddhism.

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I am loathe to disagree with a monastic on religious matters but I still think that the situation in Christianity is more complex than your characterisation makes it appear.

Martin Luther, and therefore Protestantism more genrally, at least in the historical context, was actually a driving force in the whole notion of the seperation of church and state, via Luthers “two kingdoms” doctrine (motivated by wanting to get the catholics out of the government of course). And he more of less stole the idea from Augustine, who articulated a similar idea, for Catholics, hundreds of years before, motivated by wanting to carve out a notion of a religious sphere that secular government should not intervene in.

To compare early buddhist notions of the relationship between church amd state with a 20th century pronouncment of the Vatican is to compare radically disparate things, the proper comparison would be of the EBT,s and the gospels for example, and in that case the picture is much closer, with much of the gospels articulating a fairly radical rejection of secular political and familial life.

Conversly one migh compare the influence of various Christianities in various polities, in american southern states for example, with various sanghas in various south east asian polities, where i would bet that the picture is much more murky than the ebt’s might lead someone to beleive.

Having said all that i am sure your underlying point more or less stands, which is that there is a well organised, politically influential movement of conservative christians, especially in america but operating worldwide, seeking to impose thier bizarre and reactionary morality on the rest of us.

I guess my feeling is that the inly reason the Thai sangha for example isnt doing the exact same thing is because thankfully they are simply not a significant global political force, so thier pernicious and reactionary influence is confined to thailand, and similarly for equivilent siruations in srilanka etc.

As much as i remain a “buddhist” in the sense of an abiding conviction that the Buddha truly did resolve the theogeny and the institution of the sangha provides a place that people can folllow his path, I think that institutionally basically all organised religions remain hopelessly corrupt and dangerous to civilised liberal societies and should be kept at arms length from political amd legislative life regardless of thier beliefs, buddhism as much as christianity or islam.

Metta.

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Joseph, I would 1000 times rather be contradicted than to never say anything that was worth contradicting. Especially when the information is so helpful and expansive as yours! :pray:

The whole area is one that deserves a more considered take. For now, let me just say that the main point I wanted to convey, however poorly, was that there is a difference between what we think is right and what we think should be law, and the Buddha never conflated the two. Modern Buddhists should beware of picking up the bad habit of thinking that the law exists to implement Buddhist ideas.

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