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Theragatha X

(Selected suttas)

X.5 -- Kappa

Full of the many clans of impurities,
the great manufacturer of excrement,
like a stagnant pool,
    a great tumor,
    great wound,
full of blood & lymph,
immersed in a cesspool,
trickling liquids,         the body
is oozing foulness -- always.
Bound together with sixty sinews,
plastered with a stucco of muscle,
wrapped in a jacket of skin,
this foul body is of no worth at all.
Linked together with a chain of bones,
stitched together with tendon-threads,
it produces its various postures,
from being hitched up together.
Headed surely to death,
in the presence of the King of Mortality,
the man who learns to discard it right here,
    goes wherever he wants.

Covered with ignorance,
the body's tied down with a four-fold tie,[1]
    sunk in the floods,[2]
    caught in the net of latencies,[3]
    conjoined with five hindrances,[4]
    given over to thought,
    accompanied with the root of craving,
    roofed with delusion's roofing.
That's how the body functions,
compelled by the compulsion of kamma,
    but its attainment ends
        in ruin.
    Its many becomings go
        to ruin.

These who hold to this body as mine
-- blind fools, people run-of-the-mill --
fill the horrific cemetery,
taking on further becoming.
Those who stay uninvolved with this body
-- as they would with a serpent
    smeared with dung --
disgorging the root of becoming,[5]
from lack of effluent,
    will be totally Unbound.


1. The four-fold tie: greed, ill will, attachment to precepts & practice, and dogmatic obsession with views. [Go back]

2. Floods: passion for sensuality, becoming, views, and ignorance. [Go back]

3. Latencies: pride, ignorance, lust, aversion, uncertainty, delusion, and craving for becoming. [Go back]

4. Hindrances: sensual desire, ill will, sloth & torpor, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty. [Go back]

5. The root of becoming: craving. [Go back]

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Self-transformation by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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