I'm aware of a story in the Pali Canon where a monk commited suicide by slitting his throat and achieved arahantship at the moment of death.

Where in the texts can i find this story?

Thank you for your time.

  • 2
    There is also a story about a Bodhisattva who breaks his vows of not killing, in order to stop a captain of a ship from killing another. He saw that the captain with his current karma would be reborn a human, and if he killed his shipmate would fall to the hells. So he killed the captain knowing he would take the negative karma onto himself. Rather than to let the captain, oblivious of karma, fall into the hells. However these kind of skillful actions require abilities and insight. The bodhisattva could see the future lives of others based on their current karma for example.
    – hellyale
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:12
  • Ran out of characters.... also there was not an alternative means to stopping the Captain from his murder, it was a split second judgement call. Suicide is not a common means of enlightenment. It is rarely recommended.
    – hellyale
    Aug 11, 2015 at 4:24

3 Answers 3


There might be something along those lines in SN 4.23 Godhika Sutta.

Page 85 of The Patimokkha Rules Translated & Explained says,

Case (b) is apparently derived from SN 4.23, where Ven. Godhika takes his life and gains arahantship just moments before death


I am sorry i do not remember the names in this.But here is the complete story.

There was an ambitious monk while Buddha was alive.He wanted to reach nirvana but he had a little problem.He was able to reach "Samadhi" but couldn't hold on to it.he kept loosing and regaining it.He was terrified by the idea of facing his death without a "Samadhi" at least.He kept trying but it was obvious that nothing is going to change.One day he had enough of this game that his fate was having with him and decided to end his life while remaining in "Samadhi".This is not something Lord Buddha would agree with so no one knew this.he took a knife and cut his throat but years of practice was able to be useful at this moment.His mind started to reach higher levels of concentration and he went with that using his samadhi. By the time he was dead he was no longer a normal monk he was an "Arahant".Lord Buddha heard the news and came to see his body and said this is not a normal one he is an "Arahant",Give the body the respect it deserves.That's how the rest of the people got to know about the real story.


I think that you are referring to Arahant Sappadāsa. You can find the verse of that great Arahant in http://mahamevnawa.ca/images/BookThumb/VoiceofEnlightenedMonksTheragathaSample.pdf

Those Who Walked the Path to Nibbana - Verses of Great Arahants

This stanza was told by Arahant Sappadāsa

It has been 25 years since I received ordination. Yet, I have not achieved a mind fully concentrated, not even for a single moment.

I greatly suffered from sensual desires that arose in my mind. My mind was never tranquil. At the end, I was so discouraged and overcome with sorrow. With a sense of un-accomplishment, I went from one monastery to another.

I was determined to take my own life, even if I had to use a weapon on myself. What purpose is there in this life? How can a person like me, who received ordination because of my unshakable confidence in the Noble Triple Gem, disrobe? How can I leave this noble life and die as a householder?

And so, I took the knife on to my hand, and sat on my bed. So determined to cut off my veins, I placed the knife on my neck

Through that itself, ‘wise consideration’ arose in my mind. The suffering that arises from all defilements became apparent to me. I felt a sense of detachment through the understanding of that reality.

Through that understanding, my mind became free from all impurities. Look at the miracle of this noble Dhamma. I too attained the noble Triple knowledge. I fully accomplished the highest level of achievement one can achieve in the Supreme Buddha’s dispensation.

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