pages describe only a few of the ways people have found their lives,
their minds, and their hearts affected by their encounters with the
Sanghāta. To share your own experiences, or
read about others' encounters with
the text, visit the discussion forum in our Community Center
In the Words of the Sanghāta:
Wild animals who had done no harm,
with arrows I struck and killed.
Because I did not know of future lives,
I committed wicked acts like these.
I ate the flesh of other beings,
and thus this suffering of mine
will become unbearable.
But I did not understand death.
I was of a childish mind,
and so I nourished my body.
Now that death has come to me today,
I have no one at all as a protector.
- Ārya Sanghāta Sūtra
Website of the Arya Sanghata
Stories and Experiences
Transformative Vision After Reciting
Leads One Student to Become Vegetarian
An American doctor recounts his recent
experiences with the Sanghāta
My friend and I have to travel four hours to receive
Dharma teachings, and on the drive we usually discuss the Dharma, read
out loud, recite mantras, or otherwise focus on the Dharma as we head
down for teachings. Because of a request by Lama Zopa Rinpoche that the
students recite it, we read the Sanghāta
Sūtra out loud during one of those trips.
While reading the sutra, a butterfly smashed into the windshield, and
that made us sad. There are places in the Sanghāta Sūtra that
were so vivid that we both felt we were in front of the Blessed One. It
did not seem like a four-hour drive and we completed the reading of the
Sanghāta just as we were nearing the Dharma center.
Before going to the center, we stopped at the Outback Steakhouse for a
meal. We were discussing the Sanghāta
Sūtra, and talking about the examples in the sutra and how
we should apply this teaching. Our trip had started from the health
care facility where we worked,
and we had earlier been discussing how to pacify the staff. We have
been having some
stressful changes, and my friend was saying that she would like to sit
everyone down for a three-hour period to listen to the sutra! In the
course of the discussion we ordered the steak salad for our
meal. The meal arrived and we each took a helping. I cut and
ate a piece of the meat. When the meat touched my tongue, I shuddered
and stared. My friend reached over to me, because she could see I was
visibly shaken and overwhelmed. This most sudden and abrupt change in
me caused her to fear that I was having a heart attack.
In that moment, without any other thought, I was this very cow, white
faced, horn on the right turned, surrounded by other cattle, jammed
together, standing in a shadowed area of a pen. Multiple pens extending
to my left, into a bright sun. Harsh bellows, the clop of hoofs up
ramps. Wild eyed, this poor beast that I now had become, prodded into a
place where my forehead was slammed with a force that released such
pain, I collapsed upon the floor, hoofs gathered by heavy chains - the
suffering so profound that I was deeply moved to tears and still am,
even in this simple recollection that cannot capture the depth or
profound nature of the experience.
In that instant, I vowed to eat no being ever again. The choices I make
for all nourishment are now very closely guarded. The torment and
suffering recollected in that moment continues to bury more deeply into
The sufferings truly are all too unimaginable and extremely unbearable.
This is a most powerful sutra.
For tips on how to make your own recitation most powerful,