Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa

Introduction to 1.2.3
Dullabhasuttaṃ - Difficult to Encounter

This 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 as one amongst those people, who have developed the qualities of gratitude and noblesse oblige: kataññū katavedī puggalo. It’s literal translation is: ‘kata + aññū’: ‘what was done + knowing’ and  ‘kata + vedī’: ‘what was done + experiencing’- which 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 previous lesson: 1.2.2 - Puggalavaggo - The Two Rare Individuals

2. Āsāduppajahavaggo, Tatiyapaṇṇāsakaṃ, Dukanipātapāḷi, Aṅguttaranikāyo

Last modified: Friday, 7 October 2022, 11:51 AM