I'm trying to find a specific story in where the Buddha spoke about the attainment of one Anagami lay person with a group of monks while praising his good qualities. Later, when those monks went for alms at his place, they informed him that the Buddha had spoken about his attainment. Then he asked the monks, if there were any lay persons present when the Buddha revealed it. The monks reported this back to the Buddha when they returned to the temple. Then the Buddha praised him again and said that is also another good quality of him.

I've heard this story several times in sermons, when the question comes up, whether an enlightened being would reveal his attainment to others.

  • 1
    I suppose this virtue is called 'adhigama appiccatha'?
    – dmsp
    Commented Sep 14, 2014 at 12:05

2 Answers 2


"I hope, sir, that there were no white-clad householders there."

"No, friend, there were no white-clad householders there."

"It's good, sir, that there were no white-clad householders there."


  • Good to see you @Kavenga in the site. Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 13:36
  • And you too Suminda _/_ Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 1:20
  • The Sappurisa Sutta also says,"Then again, a person of integrity, when asked, does not reveal his own good points, to say nothing of when unasked. Furthermore, when asked, when pressed with questions, he is one who speaks of his own good points not in full, not in detail, with omissions, holding back. Of this person you may know, 'This venerable one is a person of integrity.' Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 1:21

This story seems similar to the one for which you search http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/disciples14.htm

  1. Modesty, in particular, was evident in Hatthaka's character. While some take great pride in their wealth or are motivated by self-aggrandisement to convert others to the Dharma, Hatthaka was always quiet and unassuming. He did all he could to interest people in the Dharma purely out of concern for them, not to make a name for himself. On another occasion, when the monks told Hatthaka that the Buddha had praised his many good qualities, he said, "I hope there were no lay people present when the Lord did this." The monks assured him that there were none and later when they told this to the Buddha, he said, "Well done, well done. That man is genuinely modest. He does not like his good qualities to be known by others. Modesty is another of Hatthaka's good qualities."[ N10 ]

As background the following are present on the same page.

  1. Another eminent lay disciple was Hatthaka of Alavi, a son of the ruler of Alavi. Hatthaka first met the Buddha as he was walking one winter evening. Surprised to see this lone ascetic in just one thin robe and sleeping on the hard ground, Hatthaka asked the Buddha, "Are you happy?" The Buddha replied, "Yes, I am happy." "But sir," Hatthaka asked, "the ground is hard and the wind is cold, how can you be happy?" The Buddha asked: "Despite living in a cosy, well-thatched house, with a comfortable bed and two wives to look after him, is it possible that due to greed, anger, fear or ambition that a man might feel unhappy?" "Yes," answered Hatthaka, "that is quite possible." "Well," said the Buddha, "I have got rid of all greed, anger, fear and ambition, so whether I sleep here or in a cosy house, I am always happy, always very happy.[ N8 ]
  1. Hatthaka was famous not so much for his generosity or his knowledge of Dharma, but for his ability to attract people to the Dharma. Once he brought five hundred people, all obviously keen to practise the Dharma, to see the Buddha who asked him: "How do you manage to interest so many people in the Dharma?" Hatthaka answered: "Lord, I do it by using the four bases of sympathy, which you yourself taught me. When I know that someone can be attracted by generosity, I am generous. When I know that they can be attracted by kind words, I speak to them with kindness. When I know that they can be attracted by doing them a good turn, I do them a good turn, and when I know they can be attracted by treating them equally, I treat them with equality." Obviously, when people attended talks on Dharma organised by Hatthaka, they always received a warm personal welcome that made them feel liked and respected, and so they would come again, gradually getting interested in the Dharma. The Buddha praised Hatthaka for his skill. "Well done, Hatthaka, well done, this is the way to attract people." After Hatthaka had left, the Buddha said to the monks: "Consider it true that Hatthaka of Alavi is possessed of these eight marvellous and wonderful qualities. He has faith, virtue, conscientiousness and fear of blame, he is learned, generous, wise and modest."[ N9 ]

Thank you for the question.

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