Aṅguttara Nikāya


Aṅguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
I: Sekha-Bala Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
V. The Book of the Fives
I. The Trainee's Powers

Sutta 7

Kāmesu-Palāḷita Suttaɱ

Sensual Pleasures

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[5] [633]

[1][pts][than] "Bhikkhus, beings for the most part are captivated by sensual pleasures.

When a clansman has forsaken the sickle and carrying-pole and gone forth from the household life into homelessness, he can be described as a clansman who has gone forth out of faith.

For what reason?

Sensual pleasures, whether of this or that kind, can be obtained by a youth.

Inferior sensual pleasures, middling sensual pleasures, and superior sensual pleasures are all reckoned simply as sensual pleasures.

[6] "Suppose a young infant boy, ignorant, lying on his back, were to put a stick or pebble in his mouth because of his nurse's heedlessness.

His nurse would quickly attend to him and try to take it out.

If she could not quickly take it out, she would brace the boy's head with her left hand and, hooking a finger of her right hand, she would take it out even if she had to draw blood.

For what reason?

There would be some distress for the boy — this I don't deny — but the nurse has to do so for his good and welfare, out of compassion for him.

However, when the boy has grown up and has enough sense, the nurse would be unconcerned about him, thinking:

'The boy can now look after himself.

He won't be heedless.'

"So too, so long as a bhikkhu is still not accomplished in faith in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, in a sense of shame in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, in moral dread in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, in energy in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, and in wisdom in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, I must still look after him.

But when that bhikkhu is accomplished in faith in [cultivating] wholesome qualities ... accomplished in wisdom in [cultivating] wholesome qualities, then I am unconcerned about him, thinking:

'The bhikkhu can now look after himself.

He won't be heedless.'"

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