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Sutta Nipata IV.14

Tuvataka Sutta


For free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma

"I ask the kinsman of the Sun, the great seer,
about seclusion & the state of peace.
Seeing in what way is a monk unbound,
clinging to nothing in the world?"

"He should put an entire stop
to the root of complication-classifications:
    'I am the thinker.'[1]
He should train, always mindful,
to subdue any craving inside him.
Whatever truth he may know,
    within or without,
he shouldn't get entrenched
in connection with it,
    for that isn't called
    Unbinding by the good.
He shouldn't, because of it, think himself
            lower, or
Touched by contact in various ways,
he shouldn't keep conjuring self.
Stilled right within,
a monk shouldn't seek peace from another
            from anything else.
For one stilled right within,
there's nothing embraced,
    so how rejected?
    Nothing that's self,
        so from whence would there be

As in the middle of the sea
    it is still,
with no waves upwelling,
so the monk -- unperturbed, still --
should not swell himself

"He whose eyes are open has described
the Dhamma he's witnessed,
subduing danger.
Now tell us, sir, the practice:
the code of discipline & concentration."

"One shouldn't be careless with his eyes,
should close his ears to village-talk,
shouldn't hunger for flavors,
or view anything in the world
    as mine.
When touched by contact
he shouldn't lament,
shouldn't covet anywhere any
    states of becoming,
or tremble at terrors.
When gaining food & drink,
        staples & cloth,
    he should not make a hoard.
Nor should he be upset
when receiving no gains.
Absorbed, not     foot-loose,
he should refrain    from restlessness,
shouldn't be        heedless,
should live         in a noise-less abode.
Not making much of sleep,
ardent, given to wakefulness,
he should abandon sloth, deception,
    laughter, sports,
    fornication, & all that goes with it;
should not practice charms,
    interpret physical marks, dreams,
    the stars, animal cries;
should not be devoted to
    practicing medicine or inducing fertility.

A monk shouldn't tremble at blame
or grow haughty with praise;
should thrust aside selfishness, greed,
divisive speech, anger;
shouldn't buy or sell
or revile anyone anywhere;
shouldn't linger in villages,
or flatter people in hopes of gains.

A monk shouldn't boast
or speak with ulterior motive,
shouldn't train in insolence
or speak quarrelsome words;
shouldn't engage in deception
or knowingly cheat;
shouldn't despise others for their
    or practices.
Provoked with many words
from contemplatives
or ordinary people,
he shouldn't respond harshly,
for those who retaliate
    aren't calm.

Knowing this teaching,
a monk inquiring
should always
train in it mindfully.
Knowing Unbinding as peace,
he shouldn't be heedless
of Gotama's message --
for he, the Conqueror unconquered,
witnessed the Dhamma,
    not by hearsay,
    but directly, himself.
So, heedful, you
should always train
in line with that Blessed One's message,"

                    the Blessed One said.


1. On complication-classifications and their role in leading to conflict, see Sn IV.11 and the introduction to MN 18. The perception, "I am the thinker" lies at the root of these classifications in that it reads into the immediate present a set of distinctions -- I/not-I; being/not-being; thinker/thought; identity/non-identity -- that then can proliferate into mental and physical conflict. The conceit inherent in this perception thus forms a fetter on the mind. To become unbound, one must learn to examine these distinctions -- which we all take for granted -- to see that they are simply assumptions that are not inherent in experience, and that we would be better off to be able to drop them. [Go back]

2. "Embraced/rejected, self/ against-self" -- a pun on the pair of Pali words, atta/nirattam. [Go back]

See also: DN 2; AN IV.37
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

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