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Faults —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 2

1. Punishments

1. Faults

1.1.1So I have heard. 1.1.2At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. 1.1.3There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, 1.1.4“Mendicants!”

1.1.5“Venerable sir,” they replied. 1.1.6The Buddha said this:

1.2.1“There are, mendicants, these two faults. 1.2.2What two? 1.2.3The fault apparent in the present life, and the fault to do with lives to come.

1.2.4What is the fault apparent in the present life? 1.2.5It’s when someone sees that kings have arrested a bandit, a criminal, and subjected them to various punishments—1.2.6whipping, caning, and clubbing; cutting off hands or feet, or both; cutting off ears or nose, or both; the ‘porridge pot’, the ‘shell-shave’, the ‘demon’s mouth’, the ‘garland of fire’, the ‘burning hand’, the ‘grass blades’, the ‘bark dress’, the ‘antelope’, the ‘meat hook’, the ‘coins’, the ‘acid pickle’, the ‘twisting bar’, the ‘straw mat’; being splashed with hot oil, being fed to the dogs, being impaled alive, and being beheaded.

1.3.1It occurs to them: 1.3.2‘If I were to commit the kinds of bad deeds for which the kings arrested that bandit, that criminal, 1.3.3 1.3.4the rulers would arrest me and subject me to the same punishments. 1.3.5 1.3.6Afraid of the fault apparent in the present life, they do not steal the belongings of others. 1.3.7This is called the fault apparent in the present life.

1.4.1What is the fault to do with lives to come? 1.4.2It’s when someone reflects: 1.4.3‘Bad conduct of body, speech, or mind has a bad, painful result in the next life. 1.4.4If I conduct myself badly, 1.4.5then, when my body breaks up, after death, won’t I be reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell?’ 1.4.6Afraid of the fault to do with lives to come, they give up bad conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, and develop good conduct by way of body, speech, and mind, keeping themselves pure. 1.4.7This is called the fault to do with lives to come.

1.4.8These are the two faults.

1.4.9So you should train like this: 1.4.10‘We will fear the fault apparent in the present life, and we will fear the fault to do with lives to come. We will fear faults, seeing the danger in faults.’ 1.4.11That’s how you should train. 1.4.12If you fear faults, seeing the danger in faults, you can expect to be freed from all faults.”

1.4.13

1.4.142. Endeavor

2.1.1“These two endeavors are challenging in the world. 2.1.2What two? 2.1.3The endeavor of laypeople staying in a home to provide robes, alms-food, lodgings, and medicines and supplies for the sick. And the endeavor of those gone forth from the lay life to homelessness to let go of all attachments. 2.1.4These are the two endeavors that are challenging in the world.

2.2.1The better of these two endeavors is the effort to let go of all attachments.

2.2.2So you should train like this: 2.2.3‘We shall endeavor to let go of all attachments.’ 2.2.4That’s how you should train.”

2.2.5

2.2.63. Mortifying

3.1.1“These two things, mendicants, are mortifying. 3.1.2What two? 3.1.3It’s when someone has done bad things and not done good things, by way of body, speech, and mind. 3.1.4 3.1.5 3.1.6Thinking, ‘I’ve done bad things by way of body, speech, and mind’, they’re mortified. Thinking, ‘I haven’t done good things by way of body, speech, and mind’, they’re mortified. 3.1.7 3.1.8 3.1.9These are the two things that are mortifying.”

3.1.10

3.1.114. Not Mortifying

4.1.1“These two things, mendicants, are not mortifying. 4.1.2What two? 4.1.3It’s when someone has done good things and not done bad things, by way of body, speech, and mind. 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6Thinking, ‘I’ve done good things by way of body, speech, and mind’, they’re not mortified. Thinking, ‘I haven’t done bad things by way of body, speech, and mind’, they’re not mortified. 4.1.7 4.1.8 4.1.9These are the two things that are not mortifying.”

4.1.10

4.1.115. Learned for Myself

5.1.1“Mendicants, I have learned these two things for myself—5.1.2to never be content with skillful qualities, and to never stop trying.

5.1.3I never stopped trying, thinking: 5.1.4‘Gladly, let only skin, sinews, and bones remain! Let the flesh and blood waste away in my body! I will not stop trying until I have achieved what is possible by manly strength, energy, and vigor.’

5.1.5It was by diligence that I achieved awakening, and by diligence that I achieved the supreme sanctuary.

5.1.6If you too never stop trying, thinking: 5.1.7‘Gladly, let only skin, sinews, and bones remain! Let the flesh and blood waste away in my body! I will not stop trying until I have achieved what is possible by manly strength, energy, and vigor.’ 5.1.8You will soon realize the supreme culmination of the spiritual path in this very life. You will live having achieved with your own insight the goal for which gentlemen rightly go forth from the lay life to homelessness.

5.1.9So you should train like this: 5.1.10‘We will never stop trying, thinking: 5.1.11“Gladly, let only skin, sinews, and bones remain! Let the flesh and blood waste away in my body! I will not stop trying until I have achieved what is possible by manly strength, energy, and vigor.”’ 5.1.12That’s how you should train.”

5.1.13

5.1.146. Fetters

6.1.1“There are, mendicants, these two things. 6.1.2What two? 6.1.3Seeing things that are prone to being fettered as gratifying, and seeing things that are prone to being fettered as boring. 6.1.4When you keep seeing things that are prone to being fettered as gratifying, you don’t give up greed, hate, and delusion. 6.1.5When these are not given up, you’re not freed from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. 6.1.6You’re not freed from suffering, I say.

6.2.1When you keep seeing things that are prone to being fettered as boring, you give up greed, hate, and delusion. 6.2.2When these are given up, you’re freed from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. 6.2.3You’re freed from suffering, I say. 6.2.4These are the two things.”

6.2.5

6.2.67. Dark

7.1.1“These two things, mendicants, are dark. 7.1.2What two? 7.1.3Lack of conscience and prudence. 7.1.4These are the two things that are dark.”

7.1.5

7.1.68. Bright

8.1.1“These two things, mendicants, are bright. 8.1.2What two? 8.1.3Conscience and prudence. 8.1.4These are the two things that are bright.”

8.1.5

8.1.69. Conduct

9.1.1“These two bright things, mendicants, protect the world. 9.1.2What two? 9.1.3Conscience and prudence. 9.1.4If these two bright things did not protect the world, there would be no recognition of the status of mother, aunts, or wives and partners of teachers and respected people. 9.1.5The world would become promiscuous, like goats and sheep, chickens and pigs, and dogs and jackals. 9.1.6But because the two bright things protect the world, there is recognition of the status of mother, aunts, and wives and partners of teachers and respected people.”

9.1.7