The Book of Protection

by Venerable Piyadassi Thera

Questions to be Answered by a Novice Monk

(Samanera pañha) (1)

  • One is what? All beings subsist on food
  • Two is what? Name and form (mind and matter).
  • Three is what?Three kinds of feeling.
  • Four is what?Four Noble Truths.
  • Five is what? Five aggregates subject to grasping.
  • Six is what?Internal six-fold base.
  • Seven is what?Seven Factors of Enlightenment.
  • Eight is what?The Noble Eightfold Path
  • Nine is what?Nine abodes of beings.
  • Ten is what?He/she that is endowed with ten attributes is called an Arahant.
The novice referred to here is the seven-year old Sopaka. He was questioned by the Buddha. It is not a matter for surprise that a child of such tender years can give profound answers to these questions. One has heard of infant prodigies. (3)
1. Also known as ‘Kumaro Panha’, Questions to be answered by the Young One. Khp. 2; cf. A. v. 50 ff; 55 ff.
2. See notes at the end of the book.
3. Vide Encyclopaedia Britannica. Inc., 1955, II. p. 389. Also read The Case for Rebirth. Francis Story. Wheel 12-13. Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.