Worldly Conditions Sutta

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The Worldly Conditions Sutta is a sutta of the Anguttara Nikaya of the Pali Canon, in which the Buddha presents the eight worldly concerns.

The eight worldly concerns are:

  • gain and loss
  • fame and disgrace
  • praise and blame
  • pleasure and pain

Text

There are two versions of this sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya:

  • Paṭhamalokadhamma Sutta, AN 8.5 (short version)
  • Dutiyalokadhamma Sutta, AN 8.6 (long version)

SuttaCentral identifies a parallel text in the Mahāsaṅghika Vinaya.[1]

Translation from SuttaCentral

Translation of long version (AN 8.6) from SuttaCentral:

This translation of the text Worldly Conditions; AN 8.6 is published by SuttaCentral under license CC0 1.0. Translation by Bhikkhu Sujato. SuttaCentral icon square 170px.png

Worldly Conditions (AN 8.6)

“Mendicants, the eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around the eight worldly conditions. What eight? Gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame, pleasure and pain. These eight worldly conditions revolve around the world, and the world revolves around these eight worldly conditions.

An uneducated ordinary person encounters gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain. And so does an educated noble disciple. What, then, is the difference between an ordinary uneducated person and an educated noble disciple?”

“Our teachings are rooted in the Buddha. He is our guide and our refuge. Sir, may the Buddha himself please clarify the meaning of this. The mendicants will listen and remember it.”

“Well then, mendicants, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, an uneducated ordinary person encounters gain. They don’t reflect: ‘I’ve encountered this gain. It’s impermanent, suffering, and perishable.’ They don’t truly understand it. They encounter loss … fame … disgrace … praise … blame … pleasure … pain. They don’t reflect: ‘I’ve encountered this pain. It’s impermanent, suffering, and perishable.’ They don’t truly understand it.

So gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain occupy their mind. They favor gain and oppose loss. They favor fame and oppose disgrace. They favor praise and oppose blame. They favor pleasure and oppose pain. Being so full of favoring and opposing, they’re not freed from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. They’re not freed from suffering, I say.

An educated noble disciple encounters gain. They reflect: ‘I’ve encountered this gain. It’s impermanent, suffering, and perishable.’ They truly understand it. They encounter loss … fame … disgrace … praise … blame … pleasure … pain. They reflect: ‘I’ve encountered this pain. It’s impermanent, suffering, and perishable.’ They truly understand it.

So gain and loss, fame and disgrace, praise and blame, and pleasure and pain don’t occupy their mind. They don’t favor gain or oppose loss. They don’t favor fame or oppose disgrace. They don’t favor praise or oppose blame. They don’t favor pleasure or oppose pain. Having given up favoring and opposing, they’re freed from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. They’re freed from suffering, I say. This is the difference between an educated noble disciple and an uneducated ordinary person.

Gain and loss, fame and disgrace,
praise and blame, and pleasure and pain.
These qualities among people are impermanent,
transient, and perishable.


A clever and mindful person knows these things,
seeing that they’re perishable.
Desirable things don’t disturb their mind,
nor are they repelled by the undesirable.


Both favoring and opposing
are cleared and ended, they are no more.
Knowing the stainless, sorrowless state,
they understand rightly, going beyond rebirth.”
— translated by Bhikkhu Sujato, SuttaCentral

Other translations

References