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Sutavā Suttaṃ

(A.iv.369)

A Discourse to Sutavā

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Rājagaha on Vultures’ Peak. Then the wanderer Sutavā approached the Blessed One, and have approached, exchanged friendly greetings with him. Have engaged in polite conversation he sat down at one side. Sitting at one side, the wanderer Sutavā said to the Blessed One:–

“At one time, venerable sir, the Blessed One was dwelling here at the mountain fort of Rājagaha. Then, venerable sir, I learned from the mouth of Blessed One: “Whatever monk, Sutavā, is an Arahant who has destroyed the outflows, lived the holy life, done what should be done, put down [370] the burden, attained the goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, and is liberated by perfect knowledge, cannot possibly do five things — it is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to intentionally deprive a living being of life, to take by theft what is not given, to engage in sexual intercourse, to tell a deliberate lie, to store up anything to partake of sensual pleasures as he did formerly as a householder. Did I, venerable sir, hear that correctly from the Blessed One, understand it correctly, attend to it and remember it well?”

“Surely, Sutavā, you did hear that correctly, understand it correctly, attend to it and remember it well. Formerly, Sutavā, I declared thus: “Whatever monk is an Arahant who has destroyed the outflows, lived the holy life, done what should be done, put down the burden, attained the goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, and is liberated by perfect knowledge, cannot possibly do nine things:–

  1. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to intentionally deprive a living being of life.
  2. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to take by theft what is not given,
  3. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to engage in sexual intercourse
  4. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to tell a deliberate lie.
  5. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to store up anything to partake of sensual pleasures as he did formerly as a householder.
  6. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to take a wrong course through desire
  7. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to take a wrong course through ill-will.
  8. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to take a wrong course through delusion.
  9. It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to take a wrong course through fear.

[371] Formerly, Sutavā, I declared thus: “Whatever monk is an Arahant who has destroyed the outflows, lived the holy life, done what should be done, put down the burden, attained the goal, utterly destroyed the fetters of existence, and is liberated by perfect knowledge, cannot possibly do these nine things.”

Notes:

1. The following discourse — the Sajjha Suttaṃ — has four different items here: 6) It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to abandon the Buddha, 7) It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to abandon the Dhamma, 8) It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to abandon the Saṅgha, 9) It is impossible for a monk who has destroyed the outflows to abandon the training.

Bhikkhu Bodhi follows the Sinhala Script edition of the text, giving these four in the Sutavā Suttaṃ and the four about taking a wrong course through desire, ill-will, delusion, or fear, in the following Sajjha Suttaṃ. The Burmese and Roman editions of the Pāḷi text both follow the order given. Ajahn Thanissaro also follows the Burmese Script edition of the Sutavā Suttaṃ.

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