Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara-Nikaya
Pancaka-Nipata
23. Dighacarika Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
Chapter XXIII: Wandering Afield

Suttas 229-230

Kanhasappa Suttam

The Snake

Translated by E. M. Hare

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Sutta 229

The Snake (a)

[229.1][olds] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Savatthi;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' they replied; and the Exalted One said:

'Monks, there are these five disadvantages
in a black snake.[1]

What five?

It is unclean,
evil-smelling,
timid,[2]
fearful
and betrays Iriends.

These, monks, are the five disadvantages
in a black snake.

Even so, monks, there are these five disadvantages
in a woman.

What five?

She is unclean,
evil-smelling,
timid,
fearful
and betrays friends.

 


 

Sutta 230

The Snake (b)

[230.1][olds] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One dwelt near Savatthi;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

'Yes, lord,' they replied;

and the Exalted One said:

'There are these five disadvantages in a black snake.

It is full of anger,
ill-will,
it is deadly poisonous,[3]
forked tongued
and betrays friends.[4]

These, monks, are the five disadvantages
in a black snake.

Even so, monks, there are these five disadvantages
in a woman.

What five?

She is full of anger,
ill-will,
she is deadly poisonous,
is forked tongued
and betrays friends.

Now the deadly poison of a woman is this:
she is almost always very passionate.

The forked tongue is this:
she is almost always slanderous in speech.

And the betrayal of friends is this:
she almost always commits adultery.

Verily, monks, these are the five disadvantages in a woman.'

 


[1] Cf. Vism. trsl. 797, where a water snake simile is given and is called kanha-sappa at 812.

[2] Sabhiru Comy. 'saniddo mahaniddam niddayati.' It is not clear how soch an explanation arose.

[3] Ghora-visata. P.E.D. omits this derivative of visa.

[4] At J. v, 447 these five are given in Comy. in explanation of kanha-sappasirupama and the sub-comment on the three last terms is the same as given here; for this simile Cf. above, I 76.


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