Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 1.2.3
Dullabhasuttaṃ - Difficult to Encounter

The Dullabhasutta again increases the number of appearances by one and relates the three appearances that are extremely rare to encounter. It is quoted from the Tikanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo, the section with three:

    ●      the Tathāgata,

    ●      someone who can expound the Dhamma and the Vinaya properly in the same way as the Tathāgata would,

    ●      and someone who develops gratitude and noblesse oblige.


It is the individual decision of anyone having encountered the path and walking on it — to make all feasible efforts at one’s capacity — to be considered one who has developed the qualities of gratitude and noblesse oblige: kataññū katavedī puggalo. Its literal translation is kata + aññū (what was done + knowing) and kata + vedī (what was done + experiencing). This points to the gratitude that one develops out of deep knowledge based on one’s own experience as to the benefits derived  — for oneself and for many others — from previous actions.

Once this quality gets established, another rare appearance manifests itself: the motivation to help other beings and to offer selfless service without expecting anything in return: Yo ca pubbakārī puggalo.

Referring to the items of two, the Dukanipātapāḷi1 which explains these two rare individuals:

“Dveme, bhikkhave, puggalā dullabhā lokasmiṃ.
Katame dve?
Yo ca pubbakārī, yo ca kataññū katavedī. Ime kho, bhikkhave, dve puggalā dullabhā lokasmin”ti2

“There are two kinds of individuals rare in this world.
What are these two?
An individual, who is doing something first (i.e., without expecting something in return), and likewise an individual who is grateful and obliged — these are the two kinds of individuals who are rare in this world.”

1. See the previous lesson 1.2.2 - Puggalavaggo - The Two Rare Individuals.

2. Āsāduppajahavaggo, Tatiyapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Dukanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo.

Last modified: Saturday, 2 December 2023, 12:42 PM