Which suttas inspire you?

I never found the suttas boring but instead too dense at times.

And changing this was, in my case, a matter of attitude and guidance.

In terms of attitude, I eventually realized the suttas should be ,before all, approached with the deepest gratitude.

We should all consider how valuable they are and how thankful we should feel for those who dedicated their lives to keep an as accurate as possible record of what was said by the Buddha 25 centuries ago.

History tells us that first they were kept through an oral tradition, then they were reformulated in a reconstructed language (Pali) and manually put on very fragile and degradable palm leaves (and eventually on rock slabs). And nowadays we are extremely lucky and have them available at hand in SuttaCentral! :slight_smile:

In terms of guidance, we should pick very carefully a clear route for our studies (and practice).

Not necessarily you need a person to point you the direction. If one is to start with the Dhamma­cakkap­pa­vat­ta­na Sutta for example, he/she will have a fairly good map for the journey: the four noble truths!

But the secret is to keep an inquisitive and dedicated mind, and go from a sutta to another until a satisfactory theoretical framework for one’s practice has become evident.

In my case it took nearly 10 years of exposure to different traditions and masters of Buddhism to finally make sense and gain enough confidence on the practical framework of the Path (pariyatti)!

And the click only came after I went back to the basics (i.e. the Noble Eightfold Path) found in the suttas and put them to test in a self retreat.

The suttas that allowed for the “click” where the MN117 , the SN12.23 and the AN10.2.

Which suttas inspire you?

What inspires me the most is how all the suttas form a single coherent framework. So whatever sutta I read, I’m always reminded of the Buddhas deep underlying understanding about everything important and how rare and special this teaching really is.

Speaking of specific suttas, a few years back I got a very strong emotional response while reading SN 11.6 and the following related note: ‘Spk: As they headed towards the silk-cotton woods, the noise of the chariot, the horses, and the standard was like thunderbolts on all sides. The strong supanna birds in the forest fled, but those that were old, ill, and too young to fly were terrified and let loose a loud cry. Sakka asked, “What is that sound?” and Matali told him. Sakka’s heart was shaken by compassion and he spoke the verse.’

One of my favorites is SN 41.6, Dutiya­kā­ma­bhūsutta, which in my view is a model of how a sutta can be very clear and practical. The whole thing is about meditation from the standpoint of the three saṅkhāra. As far as I know, its contents are very unique within the canon.

While reading Suttas and being able to imagine that 2500 years ago, a man at complete peace, with boundless compassion for all beings, perfectly englightened, actually spoke those words is highly inspiring for me.

MN21 I found inspiring as to how much extend Buddha counseled us to abandon ill will and instead develop loving kindness.

MN 19 as it illustrated Bodhisatta journey before his enlightenment and how we should classify our thoughts.

And last but not the least MN61 where Buddha emphasized on the importance of moral conduct and how we should constantly reflect on our mental, verbal and bodily conduct

1 Like