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Saɱyutta Nikāya
5. Mahā-Vagga
45. Magga Saɱyutta
1. Avijjā Vagga

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
5. The Great Chapter
45. Kindred Sayings on the Way
1. On Ignorance

Honour to him, the Exalted One, Arahant, Buddha Supreme

Sutta 1

Avijjā Suttaɱ


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

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[1][than][bodh] THUS have I heard:

Once the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī,
at Jeta Grove,
in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks,


"Yes, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

"When ignorance leads the way,[2]
by the reaching of states unprofitable,
shamelessness and recklessness follow in its train.

In one who is swayed by ignorance
and is void of sense,
wrong view has scope.[3]

Wrong view gives scope for wrong aim,
[2] wrong aim for wrong speech,
wrong speech for wrong action,
wrong action for wrong living,
wrong living for wrong effort,
wrong effort for wrong mindfulness,
and wrong mindfulness gives scope for wrong concentration.




But, monks, when knowledge leads the way,
by the attainment of profitable states,
the sense of shame and self-restraint follow in its train.

In one who is swayed by knowledge
and has good sense,
right view has scope.

Right view gives scope for right aim,
right aim for right speech,
right speech for right action,
right action for right living,
right living for right effort,
right effort for right mindfulness,
and right mindfulness gives scope for right concentration."


[1] In this volume I revert to the use of the word 'monks' (bhikkhū) in preference to 'brethren,' as being less misleading. See Mrs. Rhys Davids's remarks on the subject in the Introduction to Vol. IV of this series.

[2] Lit. 'goes before.'

[3] Pahoti = uppajjati. Comy.

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