Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
VII. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
or
More-Numbered Suttas

III. The Book of the Threes
VII. The Great Chapter

Sutta 69

Akusalamūla (Mūla) Suttaɱ

Roots of Demerit[1]

Translated from the Pali by
F.L. Woodward, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[182]

[1][than] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

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

The Exalted One said this:

"Monks, there are these three roots of demerit.

What three?

Greed,
is a root of demerit,
malice,
is a root of demerit,
delusion,[2]
is a root of demerit.

2. Greed is a root of demerit.

Whatsoever the greedy one performs[3]
with body, speech and thought,
that is demerit.

What the greedy one,
overwhelmed by greed,
whose mind is uncontrolled,
does to another
by unjustly causing him suffering[4]
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right,"[5] -
that [183] also is demerit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of greed,
conjoined with greed,
arising from greed,
resulting from greed,
are assembled together in him.

3. Malice, monks, is a root of demerit.

Whatsoever the malicious one performs
with body, speech and thought,
that is demerit.

What the malicious one,
overwhelmed by malice,
whose mind is uncontrolled,
does to another
by unjustly causing him suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right," -
that also is demerit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of malice,
conjoined with malice,
arising from malice,
resulting from malice,
are assembled together in him.

4. Delusion, monks, is a root of demerit.

Whatsoever the deluded one performs
with body, speech and thought,
that is demerit.

What the deluded one,
overwhelmed by delusion,
whose mind is uncontrolled,
does to another
by unjustly causing him suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right," -
that also is demerit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of delusion,
conjoined with delusion,
arising from delusion,
resulting from delusion,
are assembled together in him.

5. Moreover, monks,
such a person as this
is called, as a speaker,
"inopportune,"
"untruthful,"
"irrelevant,"
"one who speaks contrary to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks contrary to the Discipline."[6]

And why is such a person as this
called, as a speaker,
"inopportune,"
"untruthful,"
"irrelevant,"
"one who speaks contrary to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks contrary to the Discipline?

Because of unjustly causing suffering to another
by punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse
and banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right."

When confronted with the truth
he denies it,
does not understand it.

When confronted with a lie
he makes no effort to untangle it, saying,

"This is baseless.

This is false."

Therefore is he called
"inopportune,"
"untruthful"
"irrelevant,"
"one who speaks contrary to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks contrary to the Discipline."

Such a person,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of greed,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.[7]

Such a person,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of malice,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.

Such a person,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of delusion,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.

6. Just as, monks,
a sāl tree[8]
or a dhava[9]
or aspen,[10]
if [184] attacked[11] and overspread
by three parasitic creepers,
comes to grief,
comes to destruction,
comes to a miserable end.

Even so such a person as this,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of greed,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.

Even so such a person as this,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of malice,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.

Even so such a person as this,
overwhelmed by evil, demeritorious conditions
born of delusion,
being uncontrolled in mind,
in this very life
lives in sorrow,
harassed,
unfreed from life's fret and fever,
and when body breaks up after death
one may look for the Way of Woe for him.

These, monks, are the three roots of demerit.

 


 

6. There are three roots of merit.

What three?

Absence of greed,
is a root of merit,
absence of malice,
is a root of merit,
absence of delusion,
is a root of merit.

7. Absence of greed is a root of merit.

Whatsoever the non-greedy one performs
with body, speech and thought,
that is merit.

What the non-greedy one,
not overwhelmed by greed,
whose mind is controlled,
does to another
by not unjustly causing him suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right," -
that also is merit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of greed,
conjoined with greed,
arising from greed,
resulting from greed,
are not assembled together in him.

8. Absence of malice, monks, is a root of merit.

Whatsoever the non-malicious one performs
with body, speech and thought,
that is merit.

What the non-malicious one,
not overwhelmed by malice,
whose mind is controlled,
does to another
by not unjustly causing him suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right," -
that also is merit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of malice,
conjoined with malice,
arising from malice,
resulting from malice,
are not assembled together in him.

9. Absence of delusion, monks, is a root of merit.

Whatsoever the non-deluded one performs
with body, speech and thought,
that is merit.

What the non-deluded one,
not overwhelmed by delusion,
whose mind is controlled,
does to another
by not unjustly causing him suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds that "might is right," -
that also is merit.

Thus these evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of delusion,
conjoined with delusion,
arising from delusion,
resulting from delusion,
are not assembled together in him.

10. Moreover, monks,
such a person as this
is called, as a speaker,
"opportune,"
"truthful,"
"relevant,"
"one who speaks according to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks according to the Discipline."

And why is such a person as this
called, as a speaker,
"opportune,"
"truthful,"
"relevant,"
"one who speaks according to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks according to the Discipline?

Because of his not unjustly causing suffering
through punishment,
imprisonment,
loss of wealth,
abuse,
banishment,
on the grounds of "might is right."

When confronted with the truth
he understands it,
does not deny it.

When confronted with a lie
he makes an effort to untangle it, saying:

"This is baseless.

This is false."

Therefore, monks,
such a person as this
is called, as a speaker,
"opportune,"
"truthful,"
"relevant,"
"one who speaks according to Dhamma,"
"one who speaks according to the Discipline."

11. In such a person
evil, demeritorious conditions
born of greed
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

In such a person
evil, demeritorious conditions
born of malice
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

In such a person
evil, demeritorious conditions
born of delusion
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

12. Suppose, monks, a sāl tree
or dhava
or aspen
is attacked and overspread
by parasitic creepers.

Then comes a man
with hoe and basket,
and cuts down that parasitic creeper
at the root.

Cutting it at the root
he digs a trench[12] round it.

Having dug a trench round it
he pulls out the roots,
even those as small as usīra-fibres.[13]

Then he chops up that parasitic [185] creeper
into bits.

These he splits up
and makes into splinters.

He dries them in wind and sun,
then burns them with fire
and makes a heap of the ashes.

Having done so
he winnows the ashes
in a strong wind
or launches them on a swiftly flowing stream.

Verily, monks, that parasitic creeper,
thus cut down at the root,
is made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to rise up again in future time.

Just so, monks,
in such a person the evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of greed
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

In such a person the evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of malice
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

In such a person the evil,
demeritorious conditions
born of delusion
are abandoned,
cut down at the root,
made like a palm-tree stump,
made unable to become again,
made of a sort
not to spring up again in future time.

In this very life he lives happily,
unharassed,
freed from life's fret and fever.

In this very life he is released.

These, monks, are the three bases of merit.'

 


[1] Akusalaɱ, 'wrong,' but to the Buddhist 'unprofitable, demeritorious,' as leading to loss of merit and unhappiness.

[2] Cf. M. 1, 47, 489; Netti, 183.

[3] Sankharoti = āyūhati, sampindeti, rāsaɱ karoti. Comy.

[4] Asatā dukkhaɱ upadahati, by false accusations. Comy.

[5] Balav'amhi = ahaɱ asmi balavā. Bal'attho iti pi = balena me attho iti pi, bale va ṭhito'mhī ti. Comy.

[6] Cf. D. i, 4, dhamma-vādī, vinaya-vadī; or, 'truthfully and with restraint.'

[7] Cf. S. iii, 8.

[8] Shorea robusta.

[9] Grislea tomentosa; Sinh. kihiri.

[10] Adina cardifolia (?) dalbergia. The name phandana (quivering) signifies an aspen, poplar or bo-tree. Sinh. kolon.

[11] Text uddhasetā {?). Comy. uddhasto, = upari dhaŋsito. Cf. Dhp. 162; Netti, 183.

[12] Palihhaṇeyya, cf. S. ii, 88 (paliɱ khaṇ.).

[13] A scented root much used for perfumes. Cf. Dhp. 337.


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