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Cūḷapuṇṇama Suttaṃ

(M.iii.20)

The Lesser Discourse on the Full Moon

Thus have I have — on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Sāvatthi in the Eastern Monastery, in the palace of Migāra’s mother. On that occasion — the Uposatha of the fifteenth, the night of a full moon — he was sitting in the open with the community of monks. Then, having surveyed the silent community of monks, he addressed them: “Monks, could a bad man know of a bad man: ‘This is a bad man’?”

“No, venerable sir.“

“Good, monks. It is impossible, there is no chance, that a bad man would know of a bad man: ‘This is a bad man.’

“Monks, could a bad man (asappurisa) know of a good man (sappurisa): ‘This is a good man’?”

“No, venerable sir.”

“Good, monks. It is impossible, there is no chance, that a bad man would know of a good man: ‘This is a good man.’

“A bad man is endowed with bad qualities; he has bad friends, he thinks the thoughts of a bad man, he gives the advice of a bad man, he speaks the words of a bad man, he performs the actions of a bad man, he holds the views of a bad man, and he gives the gifts of a bad man.

“And how, monks, is a bad man endowed with bad qualities? Here a bad man is without faith, without shame, without fear of wrong-doing; he is unlearned, he is lazy, he is of confused mindfulness, and unwise. This is how a bad man is endowed with bad qualities.

“And how, monks, does a bad man have bad friends? Here, monks, a bad man has for friends those brahmins and recluses who are without faith, without shame, without fear of wrong-doing, unlearned, lazy, of confused mindfulness, and unwise. Thus, monks, a bad man has bad friends.

“And how, monks, does a bad man think the thoughts of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man thinks for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, and for the affliction of both. Thus, monks, a bad man thinks the thoughts of a bad man.

“And how, monks, does a bad man give the advice of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man gives advice for his own affliction, for the affliction of others, and for the affliction of both. Thus, monks, a bad man gives the advice of a bad man.

“And how, monks, does a bad man speak the words of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man tells lies, speaks divisive speech, speaks harsh speech, speaks idle chatter. Thus, monks, a bad man speaks the words of a bad man.

“And how, monks, does a bad man perform the actions of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man takes life, steals, commits sexual misconduct. Thus, monks, a bad man performs the actions of a bad man.

“And how, monks, does a bad man hold the views of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man holds views like this: ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good and bad actions. There is no this world nor the other world, no mother or father, no spontaneously arisen beings; no brahmins and recluses who, faring rightly and practising rightly, proclaim this world and the other world, having realised it by direct knowledge for themselves.’ Thus, monks, a bad man holds the views of a bad man.

“And how, monks, does a bad man give the gifts of a bad man? Here, monks, a bad man gives a gift inattentively, not with his own hand, disrespectfully, as if discarding it, holding the view that no result will come from it. Thus, monks, a bad man gives the gifts of a bad man.

“This bad man, endowed with bad qualities; having bad friends, thinking the thoughts of a bad man, giving the advice of a bad man, speaking the words of a bad man, performing the actions of a bad man, holding the views of a bad man, and giving the gifts of a bad man; on the break-up of the body after death, reappears in the destination of bad men. And what, monks, is the destination of bad men? Hell or the animal womb.

“Monks, could a good man know of a bad man: ‘This is a bad man’?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Good, monks. It is possible, there is a chance, that a good man would know of a bad man: ‘This is a bad man.’

“Could a good man know of a good man: ‘This is a good man’?”

“Yes, venerable sir.”

“Good, monks. It is possible that a good man would know of a good man: ‘This is a good man.’

“A good man is endowed with good qualities; he has good friends, he thinks the thoughts of a good man, he gives the advice of a good man, he speaks the words of a good man, he performs the actions of a good man, he holds the views of a good man, and he gives the gifts of a good man.

“And how is a good man endowed with good qualities? Here a good man is endowed with faith, he has shame, he has fear of wrong-doing; he is learned, he is energetic, he is of unconfused mindfulness, and wise. Thus, monks, a good man is endowed with good qualities.”

“And how, monks, does a good man have good friends? Here, monks, a good man has for friends those brahmins and recluses who are endowed with faith, who have shame, who are fearful of wrong-doing; who are learned, energetic, of unconfused mindfulness, and wise. Thus, monks, a good man has good friends.

“And how, monks, does a good man think the thoughts of a good man? Here, monks, a good man does not think for his own affliction, nor for the affliction of others, nor for the affliction of both. Thus, monks, a good man thinks the thoughts of a good man.

“And how, monks, does a good man give the advice of a good man? Here, monks, a good man does not give advice for his own affliction, nor for the affliction of others, nor for the affliction of both. Thus, monks, a good man gives the advice of a good man.

“And how, monks, does a good man speak the words of a good man? Here, monks, a good man refrains from telling lies, refrains from divisive speech, refrains from harsh speech, refrains from idle chatter. Thus, monks, a good man speaks the words of a good man.

“And how, monks, does a good man perform the actions of a good man? Here, monks, a good man refrains from taking life, refrains from stealing, refrains from sexual misconduct. Thus, monks, a good man performs the actions of a good man.

“And how, monks, does a good man hold the views of a good man? Here, monks, a good man holds views like this: ‘There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits and results of good and bad actions. There is this world and the other world. There is mother and father. There are spontaneously arisen beings; there are brahmins and recluses who, faring rightly and practising rightly, proclaim this world and the other world, having realised it by direct knowledge for themselves.’ Thus, monks, a good man holds the views of a good man.

“And how, monks, does a good man give the gifts of a good man? Here, monks, a good man gives a gift attentively, with his own hand, respectfully, not as if discarding it, holding the view that a result will come of it. Thus, monks, a good man gives the gifts of a good man.

“This good man, endowed with good qualities; having good friends, thinking the thoughts of a good man, giving the advice of a good man, speaking the words of a good man, performing the actions of a good man, holding the views of a good man, and giving the gifts of a good man; on the break-up of the body after death, reappears in the destination of good men. And what, monks, is the destination of good men? Greatness among deities or human beings.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Satisfied, the monks delighted in what the Blessed One had said.


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