Aṅguttara Nikāya

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IV. Sumanā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fives
IV: Sumanā

Sutta 39

Putta Suttaɱ

They Desire a Son

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[43] [35]

[1][bodh] Thus have I heard:

Once the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:


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

'Seeing[1] five things, monks,
parents desire a son born in the family.

What five?

He that is holpen
he will help us;
for us he will do what must be done;
long will he keep up traditions;
worthily possess his heritage;
and make offerings to the petas when we are dead.

Monks, seeing these five things,
parents desire a son born in the family.

Wise folk who see these five desire a son:
Whoso is holpen, he will help; for us
He'll work, long the traditions keep,[2] fulfil
His heritage and peta offerings make —
Seeing these things the wise desire a son.
And the good and prudent, grateful and beholden,[3]
[36] Cherish their parents, mindful[4] of the past;
They work for them as tho' it were a favour.
Who hearkens to instruction, holpen, helps,[5]
A son like that is praiseworthy indeed.'


[1] This sutta is quoted at Pts. of Contr. (the gāthā trsl. there is somewhat expanded). The five also recur at D. iii, 189 (trsl. omits fifth item).

[2] Tiṭṭhe. S.e. ṭhassati.

[3] Kataññū katavedino; see G.8. i, 78.

[4] Anussaraɱ. Comy. explains: ... anussarantā.

[5] Bhata-posī. Comy. yehi bhato tesaɱ posako.

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