I am asking for reference request and sutras where a person can cut through samsara quickly and obtain liberation.

I have heard a story when Buddha was asked this question and he replied "Sound". However I haven't found any reference of this & don't know how much accurate this is.

Thoughts are more than welcome!

3 Answers 3


You're probably thinking of the Bahiya Sutta (Udana 1.10).

Once there was a bark-clad ascetic Bahiya who thought he was enlightened, but a deva told him that he wasn't and asked him to seek out the Buddha for his guidance.

He found the Buddha who gave him a brief instruction, which resulted in his near-immediate enlightenment. Very shortly after that, he was killed in a freak accident. The Buddha said that Bahiya became totally unbound (i.e. enlightened).

What did the Buddha teach him? (translated by Thanissaro)

"Then, Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

Alternative translation from here (Ireland):

"Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.

"When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

This is a teaching on anatta.

However, this may not work for everyone as it did on Bahiya, because Bahiya apparently was already advanced in attainment. Please see this answer.

For complete beginners, study of the Dhamma (in order to cultivate Right View) and practice of the five precepts and virtue (sila) is recommended. Please see this answer.

  • Thanks Ruben,if you know more stories about this please feel free to add to your answer,soon I will accept it
    – user13064
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 12:03
  • Although I upvoted this answer, I disagree with your interpretation of this quote as a teaching about anatta. To me this clearly looks like a teaching on tathata, transcending the semiotic process of perception with its tendency for reinforcing the reifications it relies on.
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 13:36

Since you have not tagged your question as theravada-only, I assume you accept answers from all traditions.

In Mahayana, we have a notion of different paths suitable for people of different predilections. The Tibetan tradition has developed two methods, somewhat similar to each other, that are said to allow a serious practitioner to achieve Enlightenment in one lifetime, or even faster.

These methods are known as Mahamudra and Dzogchen. In my understanding, both work by approximating the target state of Nirvana or suchness that Buddha's teaching culminates in. Here I will boil them down to their essential point, hoping to make them available to Internet-age students. If my presentation looks misleading or incomplete, feel free to study traditional literature or practice under the guidance of a qualified teacher.

Basically, the fastest way to Enlightenment consists in "leaving everything as is" and attaining an unwavering conviction and confidence that the regular unmodified state of things is already the "Great Perfection".

Of course, this method assumes one does not have coarse mental and emotional obscurations. In other words, this method assumes that the student is already pretty close to Enlightenment.

There is also a huge difference between taking this "view" as an operative basis of one's emotional mind versus simply thinking that "everything is perfect" when it's not -- on one hand, or simply giving up and staying a fool -- on the other.

When taken correctly, this view results in an effortless state of no attachment, no craving, no aversion, no side-taking, complete non-judgmental acceptance of "oneself" and "the world", dissolution of subject/object duality, perfect realization of metta, karuna, mudita and upekkha, cessation of all suffering, feeling of liberation or spontaneity, and absolute unconditional love.

  • this is a really interesting answer,would you mind adding some information on dzongchen
    – user13064
    Commented May 20, 2018 at 11:59
  • You can Google it!
    – Andriy Volkov
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 4:26
  • I can't attest that Andrei's description of Mahamudra and Dzogchen is correct, because I really don't know either of them, but his description doesn't seem obviously at odds with what I've heard other people I respect say. Plus, Andrei is an actual practitioner of these IIRC.
    – user13375
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 15:34
  • I've been thinking to read a bit more about Mahamudra although some teachers advise against reading about Tantra until one has had the initiation... I remember that book you recommended me with Mahamudra in the title, but I also saw this: wisdompubs.org/book/mahamudra-0
    – user13375
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 15:35
  • Have you heard of that one or would recommend it?
    – user13375
    Commented Aug 20, 2018 at 15:35

Correct way to enlightenment is arya ashtangika marga i.e. the "Noble Eightfold Path".

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