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Byasana Suttaṃ

(A.iii.147)

Losses

“Monks, there are these five losses. What five? The loss of relatives, the loss of wealth, the loss of health,¹ the loss of morality, the loss of right-view.² Monks, due to the loss of relatives, wealth, or health, living beings on the break-up of the body after death do not arise in states of loss (apāyaṃ), in an unfortunate destination (duggatiṃ), in a state of punishment (vinipātaṃ),³ or in hell (nirayaṃ). Due to the loss of morality, monks, or the loss of right-view, living beings on the break-up of the body after death arise in states of loss, in an unfortunate destination, in perdition, or in hell. These, monks, are the five losses.

“Monks, there are these five gains.³ What five? The gain of relatives, the gain of wealth, the gain of health, the gain of morality, the gain of right-view. Monks, due to the gain of relatives, wealth, or health, living beings on the break-up of the body after death do not arise in a fortunate destination, or in heaven. Due to the gain of morality, monks, or the gain of right-view, living beings on the break-up of the body after death arise in a fortunate destination, or in heaven. These, monks, are the five gains.

Notes:

1. Literally, the loss (or misfortune) of disease (rogabyasanaṃ). Getting sick means the loss of health.

2. Literally, the loss of view (diṭṭhibyasanaṃ), but diṭṭhi alone refers to wrong-view. By the loss of view the misfortune of the loss of right-view is meant.

3. These terms — apāya, duggati, and vinipāta — are almost synonymous. They may refer to the four lower realms of animals (tiracchāna), hungry ghosts (peta) , jealous gods, and hell (niraya). The animal realm includes all kinds of mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, insects, fish, whales, etc. They are considered to be states of loss due to the lack of opportunity for learning or practising the Dhamma.

4. Blessings, good fortune, achievement, gain (sampadā).

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