Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Aṅguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
I: Sekha-Bala Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
I: The Learner's Powers

Sutta 7

Of pleasure

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[5] [4]

[1][bodh][than] 'Almost all beings find delight in pleasures,[1] monks;
and of the clansman, who has laid aside sickle and pingo[2]
and gone forth from the home to the homeless life, it is right to say:

"By faith has the clansman gone forth."

And why?

Pleasures, monks, are gotten in youth;
yea, those of all kinds.

Moreover, monks, low pleasures and the middling sort and those that are high-pitched,[3]
they are all just reckoned pleasures.

Monks,[4] suppose a foolish baby boy,
sprawling on his back, were, owing to the carelessness of his nurse, to put a piece of stick or stone in his mouth;
with what utmost haste would she at once attend to the matter and quickly remove it.
And if she could not get at it at once she would clasp him round the [5] head with her left hand,
and with her right, crooking her finger, fetch it out, even though she drew blood.

And why?

Monks, such a thing is a danger to the child;
it is not harmless, I say.

Moreover, monks, such an act ought to be done by the nurse out of love,
seeking the child's good,
from pity and compassion.

But when that boy is older and sensible,
then, monks, she no longer looks after him, knowing:

"The lad is now self-warded,
has done with remissness."

In just the same way, monks, so long as right things are not done by a monk by faith, conscientiousness, fear of blame, energy and insight,
that monk must be watched over by me;
but when right things are so done,
then I no longer look after him, knowing:
"The monk is now self-warded,[5] has done with remissness.


[1] Kāmesu palāḷitā, so Sinh. edit. and Comy., explaining: vatthukāma-kilesakāmesu abhiratā; see DhS. trsl. 43 n.

[2] Comy. The sickle to cut grass and the pingo to carry it away.

[3] Comy. apportions these pleasures to low-class people, middle-class and rajahs, respectively.

[4] This simile recurs at M. i, 395; the opening phrase is stock. cf. M. i, 324, ii, 24; Mil. 40.

[5] Attagutto. Dhp. 379.

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