Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
VI: Nīvaraṇa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
VI: The Hindrances

Sutta 55

Mātā-Putta Suttaɱ

Mother and Son

Translated by E. M. Hare

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[67] [55]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once when the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī;
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park,
a mother and son[1]
were both spending the rainy season in Sāvatthī,
as monk and nun.

They longed to see one another often;
the mother often wished for her son,
the son his mother.

And from seeing each other often,
companionship arose;
from companionship,
intimacy;
from intimacy,
amorousness;[2]
and without giving up the training[3]
and making their weakness manifest,
with their hearts inflamed,
they gave themselves over
to incestuous intercourse.

And a company of monks went to the Exalted One,
saluted him
and sat down at one side;
and, so seated,
they said this to the Exalted:

Herein, Lord, a mother and son
were both spending the rainy season in Sāvatthī,
as monk and nun.

They longed to see one another often;
the mother often wished for her son,
the son his mother.

And from seeing each other often,
companionship arose;
from companionship,
intimacy;
from intimacy,
amorousness;
and without giving up the training
and making their weakness manifest,
with their hearts inflamed,
they gave themselves over
to incestuous intercourse.

'What, monks,
knows not this foolish man
that a mother shall not lust after her son,
nor son, verily, after his mother?

[56] Monks, I see no other single form so enticing,
so desirable,
so intoxicating,
so binding,
so distracting,[4]
such a hindrance to winning
the unsurpassed peace from effort —
that is to say, monks,
as a woman's form.

Monks, whosoever clings to a woman's form —
infatuated,
greedy,
fettered,
enslaved,
enthralled[5]
for many a long day shall grieve,
snared by the charms
of a woman's form.

Monks, I know no other single sound so enticing,
so desirable,
so intoxicating,
so binding,
so distracting,
such a hindrance to winning
the unsurpassed peace from effort —
that is to say, monks,
as a woman's sound.

Monks, whosoever clings to a woman's sound —
infatuated,
greedy,
fettered,
enslaved,
enthralled —
for many a long day shall grieve,
snared by the charms
of a woman's sound.

Monks, I know no other single perfume so enticing,
so desirable,
so intoxicating,
so binding,
so distracting,
such a hindrance to winning
the unsurpassed peace from effort —
that is to say, monks,
as a woman's perfume.

Monks, whosoever clings to a woman's perfume —
infatuated,
greedy,
fettered,
enslaved,
enthralled —
for many a long day shall grieve,
snared by the charms
of a woman's perfume.

Monks, I know no other single taste so enticing,
so desirable,
so intoxicating,
so binding,
so distracting,
such a hindrance to winning
the unsurpassed peace from effort —
that is to say, monks,
as a woman's taste.

Monks, whosoever clings to a woman's taste —
infatuated,
greedy,
fettered,
enslaved,
enthralled —
for many a long day shall grieve,
snared by the charms
of a woman's taste.

Monks, I know no other single touch so enticing,
so desirable,
so intoxicating,
so binding,
so distracting,
such a hindrance to winning
the unsurpassed peace from effort —
that is to say, monks,
as a woman's touch.

Monks, whosoever clings to a woman's touch —
infatuated,
greedy,
fettered,
enslaved,
enthralled —
for many a long day shall grieve,
snared by the charms
of a woman's touch.

Monks, a woman, even when going along, will stop
to ensnare the heart of a man;
whether standing,
sitting
or lying down,
laughing,
talking
or singing,
weeping,
stricken[6]
or dying,
a woman will stop
to ensnare the heart of a man.

Monks, if ever one would rightly say;

"It is wholly a snare of Mara", —

verily, speaking rightly,
one may say of womanhood:

"It is wholly a snare of Māra."[7]

Go parley with a man with sword in hand;[8]
Use question with a goblin;[9] sit ye close[10]
Beside th'envenomed snake, whose bite is death;
But never alone with a lone female talk!

Who mindfulness forgets, they fetter him
With gaze and smile, with sweet disordered dress,[11]
[57] Coy blandishments — ne'er cool,[12] content, that man
Aye stricken, dead. These five lust-linking strands
Are seen in womanhood: her form, her sound,
Taste, perfume, touch — for each delights the mind;
And borne by flood of lusts, not seeing lust
In foll, men, faring on, by deeds of old[13]
Induce in destined time this or that life
In worlds,[14] But they who lust have understood
Pursue their ways free of the thought; "Whence fear?"
Crossed over, yea, on earth with sainthood[15] won.'

 


[1] In the Pali we have mātāputtā, hut bhikkhu ca bhikkhunī ca; and I keep this order.

[2] Otāra, proneness; Cf. below V, Ī 226, where the passage recurs.

[3] It was a grave offence (pārājika) not to do so; see Vin. iii, 23-4.

[4] Cf. D. ii, 337.

[5] Ud. 75; UdA. 364.

[6] Ugghātitā. Comy. uddhumātā, 'puffy,' but this word is generally used of corpses.

[7] Māra here is the Evil One; Cf. S. i, 105; It. 56: 'the destroyer.'

[8] Comy. to cut off one's head with.

[9] Pisāca. Comy. a yakkha come to eat one.

[10] Asīde. Comy. ghaĀĀeyya.

[11] Dunnivatthena.

[12] The text reads svāsisaddo, with v.l. svāsaddo, savāsido; S.e. yavāsīdo; the Comy. is silent. I do not know the meaning. Nyanatiloka slips past, omitting the whole line!

[13] Purakkhatā. Comy. pure cārikā purato katā yeva; the word in this meaning is somewhat unusual.

[14] Bhavābhavaɱ.

[15] Āsavakkhayaɱ. Comy. arahattaɱ.


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