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Samyutta Nikaya III.17

Appamada Sutta

Heedfulness

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
For free distribution only.

At Savatthi. As he was sitting to one side, King Pasenadi Kosala said to the Blessed One: "Is there, lord, any one quality that keeps both kinds of benefits secure -- those in the present life and those in the future life?"

"There is one quality, great king, that keeps both kinds of benefits secure -- those pertaining to the present life and those to the future life."

"But what, venerable sir, is that one quality...?"

"Heedfulness, great king. Just as the footprints of all living beings with legs can be encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant's footprint is declared to be supreme among them in terms of its great size; in the same way, heedfulness is the one quality that keeps both kinds of benefits secure -- those in the present life and those in the future life."

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said that, the One Well-Gone, the Teacher, said further:

For one who desires
    long life, health,
    beauty, heaven, & noble birth,
    -- lavish delights, one after another --
the wise praise heedfulness
in performing deeds of merit.

The wise person, heedful,
achieves both benefits:
those in the here-&-now
and those in the life to come.
By breaking through to his benefit,
    he's called enlightened,
        wise.


See also: Dhp 21-32; Dhp 315; Sn II.10; AN IV.37.
Revised: Wed 16 May 2001
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/samyutta/sn03-017.html