VI: Nīvaraṇa Vagga
The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
V. The Book of the Fives
Mother and Son
Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.
© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
Boston, MA 02115
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Now on that occasion a mother and a son, being respectively a bhikkhunī and a bhikkhu, had entered the rains residence at Sāvatthī.
They often wanted to see one another, the mother often wanting to see her son, and the son his mother.
Because they often saw one another, a bond was formed; because a bond formed, intimacy arose; because there was intimacy, lust found an opening.
With their minds in the grip of lust, without having given up the training and declared their weakness, they engaged in sexual intercourse.
Then a number of bhikkhus approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and reported what had happened.
 [The Blessed One said:]
"Bhikkhus, did that foolish man think:
'A mother does not fall in love with her son, or a son with his mother'?
(1) Bhikkhus, I do not see even one other form that is as tantalizing, sensuous, intoxicating, captivating, infatuating, and as much of an obstacle to achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage as the form of a woman.
Beings who are lustful for the form of a woman — ravenous, tied to it, infatuated, and blindly absorbed in it — sorrow for a long time under the control of a woman's form.
(2) I do not see even one other sound ...
(3) ... even one other odor ...
(4) ... even one other taste ...
(5) ... even one other touch that is as tantalizing, sensuous, intoxicating, captivating, infatuating, and as much of an obstacle to achieving the unsurpassed security from bondage as the touch of a woman.
Beings who are lustful for the touch of a woman — ravenous, tied to it, infatuated, and blindly absorbed in it — sorrow for a long time under the control of a woman's touch.
"Bhikkhus, while walking, a woman obsesses the mind of a man; while standing ... while sitting ... while lying down ... while laughing ... while speaking ... while singing ... while crying a woman obsesses the mind of a man.
When swollen, too, a woman obsesses the mind of a man.
Even when dead, a woman obsesses the mind of a man.
If, bhikkhus, one could rightly say of anything:
'Entirely a snare of Māra,'
it is precisely of women that one could say this."
 One might talk with a murderous foe;
one might talk with an evil spirit;
one might even approach a viper
whose bite means certain death;
but with a woman, one to one,
one should never talk.
They bind one whose mind is muddled
with a glance and a smile,
with their dress in disarray,
and with gentle speech.
It is not safe to approach such a person
though she is swollen and dead.
These five objects of sensual pleasure
are seen in a woman's body:
forms, sounds, tastes, and odors,
and also delightful touches.
Those swept up by the flood of sensuality,
who do not fully understand sense pleasures,
are plunged headlong into saɱsāra, [into] time,
destination, and existence upon existence.
But those who have fully understood sense pleasures
live without fear from any quarter.
Having attained the destruction of the taints,
while in the world, they have gone beyond.