Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens

Sutta 27

Decline

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

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[1] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park;
and there he addressed the monks, saying:

'Monks.'

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

'Monks, these seven things lead to a lay-disciple's decline.

What seven?

He fails to see the monks;

neglects to hear Saddhamma;

trains not in more-virtue;

puts little trust in elder,
novice
or mid-term monk;

with critical mind,
seeking faults,
hears Dhamma;

seeks a gift-worthy outside the Order
and there first serves.

Verily, monks, these seven things
lead to a lay-disciple's decline.

'Monks, these seven things lead to a lay-disciple's growth, not decline.

What seven?

He does not fail to see the monks;

he does not neglect to hear Saddhamma;

he trains in more-virtue;

he puts trust in elder,
novice
or mid-term monk;

not with critical mind,
seeking faults,
he hears Dhamma;

he seeks a gift-worthy inside the Order
and there first serves.

Verily, monks, these seven things
lead to a lay-disciple's growth, not decline.

Who fails to see the man in whom the self
Is made-become,[1] nor Ariyan Dhamma hears,'
Nor in more-virtue[2] trains, whose trust in monks
Groweth not more and more, who fain would list
With carping mind to Saddhamma, who seeks
Outside some gift-worthy and even there
As lay-disciple his first service doing:
These seven well taught things that cause decline
Who practises in Saddhamma declines.

Whoso ne'er fails to see self-cultured[3] men,
Hears Ariyan Dhamma, in more-virtue trains,
Whose trust in monks grows ever more and more,
Who lists not to Saddhamma carpingly,
Nor seeks outside one gift-worthy, but those
Within as lay-disciple firstly serves:
These seven taught things that never cause declir
Who follows in Saddhamma ne'er declines.'

 


[1] Bhāvitattānaɱ: whose attan is bhāvita, cf. Dhp. 106.

[2] Adhisīla. Comy, pañcasīla-dasasīla-saṁkhāte uttamasīle.

[3] Lit. 'who have the self made-to-become.'


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