VIII: Apaṇṇaka Vagga
The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
Chapter VIII: The Sure
Essence of the Deed
Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.
On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying at Kosambī
in Ghosita Park.
Then the venerable Ānanda came to the Exalted One,
and on coming to him
and sat down at one side.
As he sat at one side
the venerable Ānanda said this
to the Exalted One:
'Pray, lord, what is the reason,
what is the cause
why womenfolk neither sit in a court (of justice),
nor embark on business,
nor reach the essence of the deed?
"Womenfolk are uncontrolled, Ānanda.
Womenfolk are envious, Ānanda.
Womenfolk are greedy, Ānanda.
Womenfolk are weak in wisdom, Ānanda.
That is the reason,
that is the cause
why womenfolk do not sit in a court of justice,
do not embark on business,
do not reach the essence of the deed."
 Text kamm'ojaṃ (so also MSS. Adyar), the only instance of the word I have found; but Sinn. text and Comy. Kambojaṃ (?), the country in N.W. India next to Afghanistan. I follow our text's reading as there seems no reason for thus naming this country as a goal for woman's ambition. At JA. vi, 208 its natives are accounted barbarians. It may, however, have been on one of the great caravan routes. Comy. adds 'in search of wealth.' Cf. Dhamm'oja, 'essence of dhamma.' I think my rendering (pith of the matter) suits better with the fourth quality, duppañño, given for their shortcomings. (Oja is generally named in the series of dhātuyo; vaṇṇa, gandha, rasa, oja.) It is named as something extra - e.g., as when devas put oja into the milk-rice of Sujātā or the truffles of Cunda, etc. (cf. SnA. ii, 154) - whereas certain yakkhas called ojohārā take it away.