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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
20. Opamma-Saɱuttaɱ

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
20. Kindred Sayings on Parables

Sutta 10

Bilāra (Biḷāla) Suttaɱ

The Cat


Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain



[1] Thus have I heard:

The Exalted One was once staying near Sāvatthi at the Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Now at that time a certain brother
spent too much time among the clansmen's houses.

And the brethren admonished him
not to spend too much time
over such intercourse.

That brother being spoken to by them
did not desist.

Then many of them went and told the Exalted One.

"Once upon a time, brethren,
a cat was standing
on the refuse-heap of a house-sewer,[1]
watching for a mouse,

'When this mouse will come out of her home,
I shall then [182] and there catch and eat her.'

And that mouse did come out of her home,
and the cat pounced violently on her,
disposed of her,
swallowed her.

But the mouse gnawed his guts,
gnawed his bowels,
thence he came to death
or to mortal pain.

Even so, brethren, with us
when a brother rising betimes
and taking bowl and robe
enters the village or township for alms,
unguarded in deed,
and thought,
without calling up self-possession,
without self-restraint,
it happens that there he sees womenfolk
thinly clad
or slightly clad.

And seeing them
lust begins to assail his heart.

Whereby he comes to death
or to mortal pain.

For this, brethren,
is death in the discipline of the Ariyan ­
that a man reject the training
and turn away to the low things.

This, brethren,
is mortal pain -
that he incur some dire offence,
an offence, that is,
whence recovery is declared possible.

Wherefore, brethren,
thus must ye train yourselves:­

'Only with guarded deed,
and thought,
calling up self-possession,
and self-restraint
will we enter village or township for alms'
—even thus."


[1] Sandhi-samala-sankaṭīra.

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