Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikaya
Catukka Nipāta

Sutta 199

Taṇhājalini

Appetite's Net

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][ati] I will delineate for you, beggars,
appetite's net, it's casting, spread and settling,
a tangled web of reeds [212] wrapped up in pestilence,
a way to the downfall, woe and ruin
that does not pass past this run'n-round.
Listen carefully and apply your minds!
I will speak.

Even so bhante the beggars said in response.

And the Lucky Man said:

[2][pts][ati] What, beggars, is appetite's net,
it's casting, spread and settling,
a tangled web of reeds wrapped up in pestilence,
a way to the downfall, woe and ruin
that does not pass past this run'n-round?

Eighteen, bhikkhus are the meanderings
arising from internal appetites;
Eighteen the meanderings
arising from external appetites.

[3][pts][ati] What are the eighteen meanderings
arising from internal appetites?

There being, beggars, the thought: 'I am',
there is had the thought: 'I am at',
there is had the thought: 'I am thus',
there is had the thought: 'I am otherwise',

there is had the thought: 'I am not happy',[1]
there is had the thought: 'I am happy',

there is had the thought: 'I could be',
there is had the thought: 'I could be at',
there is had the thought: 'I could be thus',
there is had the thought: 'I could be otherwise',

there is had the thought: 'If I could be',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be at',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be thus',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be otherwise',

there is had the thought: 'I could become',
there is had the thought: 'I could become at',
there is had the thought: 'I could become thus',
there is had the thought: 'I could become otherwise',

These are the eighteen meanderings
arising from internal appetites.

[4][pts][ati] What are the eighteen meanderings
arising from external appetites?

There being, beggars, the thought: 'I am because of such.'
there is had the thought: 'I am at because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I am thus because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I am otherwise because of such',

there is had the thought: 'I am not happy because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I am happy because of such',

there is had the thought: 'I could be because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could be at because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could be thus because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could be otherwise because of such',

there is had the thought: 'If I could be because of such',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be at because of such',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be thus because of such',
there is had the thought: 'If I could be otherwise because of such',

there is had the thought: 'I could become because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could become at because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could become thus because of such',
there is had the thought: 'I could become otherwise because of such',

These are the eighteen meanderings
arising from external appetites.

[5][pts][ati] Thus there are eighteen meanderings arising from internal appetites;
eighteen meanderings arising from external appetites.

These are called the six-and-thirty meanderings arising from appetites.

So there are six-and-thirty forms of appetite-meanderings of the past,
six-and-thirty appetite-meanderings [213] of the future,
six-and-thirty appetite-meanderings of the present,
thus are had eight-and-a-hundred appetite-meanderings.

[6][pts][ati] This then, beggars, is that appetite's net,
it's casting, spread and settling,
a tangled web of reeds wrapped up in pestilence,
a way to the downfall, woe and ruin
that does not pass past this run'n-round.

 


[1] See Woodward, n9; Bhk. Thanissaro, 'bad'. To my ear neither 'good/bad' nor 'eternal/not-eternal' are obvious, but neither is 'happy'. I can figure a way to work either: If 'happy' the two thoughts should be at the end and apply to the whole sequence: 'At the thought, I will be, he is happy.' or they should again go at the end and be some kind of conclusion: 'I will be eternal.' All three possibilities appear to me to be present where there is the thought 'I am'.

 


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