Aŋguttara Nikāya


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Aŋguttara Nikāya
Sattaka Nipāta
Mahāyañña-Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Sevens
Chapter V: The Great Sacrifice

Sutta 47

Methuna Suttaɱ

Intercourse[1]

Translated from the Pali by E.M. Hare.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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[30]

[1][olds] Now brāhman Jānussoṇi visited the Exalted One, saluted him and sat down at one side.

And seated thus, said to him:

"Does Master Gotama profess to live the godly life?"[2]

"Brāhman, of whomsoever speaking rightly one may say:
'He lives the godly life unbroken,[3]
without rent,
untarnished,
[31] without blemish,
whole and pure'
— of me, verily, speaking rightly may he say it;
for I, indeed, live the godly life
unbroken,
without rent,
untarnished,
without blemish,
whole and pure."

 

§

 

"But what, Master Gotama, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life?"

"Consider, brahman, some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far
as to couple with womenfolk,
yet enjoys being rubbed, massaged, bathed, shampooed[4] by a woman;
relishes it,
longs for it,
and is entranced[5] thereby
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.[6]

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
yet jokes,
jests,
makes merry with them
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
yet eye on eye burns[7] for them,
stares after them
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
nor, eye on eye burns for them, stares after them
yet listens to them as they laugh,
talk,
sing
or weep beyond the wall,
beyond the fence
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
nor, eye on eye burns for them, stares after them
nor listens to them as they laugh, talk, sing or weep beyond the wall, beyond the fence
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
nor, eye on eye burns for them, stares after them
nor listens to them as they laugh, talk, sing or weep beyond the wall, beyond the fence
yet remembers the laughs,
talks,
jests
he had with them of yore.[8]
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
nor, eye on eye burns for them, stares after them
nor listens to them as they laugh, talk, sing or weep beyond the wall, beyond the fence
nor remembers the laughs, talks, jests he had with them of yore
yet watches some yeoman or yeoman's son
bent on,
engrossed in,
revelling in the five pleasure-strands[9]
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

Again, consider some recluse or godly man
professing to live the godly life in full,
who in sooth falls not so far as to couple with womenfolk
nor enjoys being rubbed, massaged, massaged, bathed, shampooed by a woman;
nor jokes, jests, makes merry with them
nor, eye on eye burns for them, stares after them
nor listens to them as they laugh, talk, sing or weep beyond the wall, beyond the fence
nor remembers the laughs, talks, jests he had with them of yore
nor watches some yeoman or yeoman's son bent on, engrossed in, revelling in the five pleasure-strands
yet lives the godly life in hope of a deva-body, thinking:

"By this virtue,
vow,
penance,
godly life,
I shall become a deva
or one of the deva- [32] host,"[10]

relishes it,
longs for it,
is entranced thereby
— this indeed, brāhman, is the breaking,
rending,
tarnishing,
blemish of the godly life;
this man, brāhman,
is said to live the godly life impurely,
bound by the bond of sex;
nor is he freed from birth, old age, death,
from sorrows, griefs,
ills, woes,
tribulations;
he is not freed from ill,
I say.

And so long, brāhman, as I continued to see
one or the other
of these seven sex-bonds in myself
not got rid of,
I professed not to be wholly awakened
to the highest and full awakening,
unsurpassed in the world
with its devas,
Maras,
Brahmās,
on earth with its recluses,
godly men,
devas and men;
but when I saw no bond of sex not got rid of,
then I professed to be wholly awakened
to the highest and full awakening,
unsurrpassed in the world
with its devas,
Maras,
Brahmās,
on earth with its recluses,
godly men,
devas and men.

Then to me gnosis,
insight arose:

The "(here)" here is a declaration of a point of view, not a translation. 'Becoming' is 'bhava' = 'existing' and not existing is the goal.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

'Immovable is my mind-emancipation,
this is my last birth,
there is no becoming (here) again!'"[11]

And when he had thus spoken, brāhman Jānussoṇi said to the Exalted One:

"It's amazing, Master Gotama,

amazing, Master Gotama.

It is as if, good Gotama,
one might set upright what had been upset,
or might disclose what was covered,
or point out the way
to one who had gone astray,
or might bring an oil-lamp into the darkness
so that those with vision might see material shapes -
even so is dhamma made clear
in many a figure by the good Gotama.

I am going to the revered Gotama for refuge,
and to dhamma
and to the Order of monks.

May the good Gotama accept me
as a lay-disciple,
one gone for refuge from today forth
for as long as life lasts."

 


[1] This Sutta is quoted at Vism. 51; see Bu's comments there.

[2] See D. i, 235; K.S. ii, 52; Mp. 337 on A. i,56.

[3] Comy. observes that in so questioning him, the brāhman had in mind that the Exalted One in his youth lived the married life of a householder.
This is stock; cf. D. ii, 80; A. iii, 36; M. i, 322; S. iv, 272.

[4] D. i, 7; A. i, 62; Mil. 241.

[5] Vittiŋ āpajjati.

[6] This is stock; M. i, 8; S. ii, 24; A. i, 144; below, p. 39.

Peter ii, 1, 14: Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices;

Matthew v, 28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

p.p. explains it all — p.p.

[7] Upanijjhāyati, see Dial. i, 33 n.; cf. Vin. iii, 118; 2 Peter ii, 14; for the sentiment, Matthew v, 28.

[8] Vin. iii, 25.

[9] Vin. i, 15; D. i, 36; M. i, 505; A. ii, 125; below, p. 289.

[10] Devo vā devaññataro. Comy. deva-rājā and deva-putto. The whole passage is stock, see D. iii, 239; M. i, 102; S. iv, 180; A. v, 18; below, p.303.

[11] Vin. i, 11; S. ii, 171; A. i, 259, etc.

 


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