>

About Soṇakāyana —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 4

24. Deeds

234. About Soṇakāyana

1.1Then Sikhāmoggallāna the brahmin went up to the Buddha, and exchanged greetings with him. 1.2When the greetings and polite conversation were over, Sikhāmoggallāna sat down to one side, and said to the Buddha:

2.1“Master Gotama, a few days ago the student Soṇakāyana came to me and said: 2.2‘The ascetic Gotama advocates not doing any deeds. So he teaches the annihilation of the world!’ 2.3The world exists through deeds, and it remains because deeds are undertaken.”

3.1“Brahmin, I can’t recall even seeing the student Soṇakāyana, 3.2so how could we possibly have had such a discussion? 3.3I declare these four kinds of deeds, having realized them with my own insight. 3.4What four?

  1. 3.5There are dark deeds with dark results;
  2. 3.6bright deeds with bright results;
  3. 3.7dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results; and
  4. 3.8neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds.

4.1And what are the dark deeds with dark results? 4.2It’s when someone makes hurtful choices by way of body, speech, and mind. … 4.3 4.4 4.5Touched by hurtful contacts, they experience hurtful feelings that are exclusively painful—like the beings in hell. 4.6These are called dark deeds with dark results.

5.1And what are bright deeds with bright results? 5.2It’s when someone makes pleasing choices by way of body, speech, and mind. … 5.3 5.4 5.5Touched by pleasing contacts, they experience pleasing feelings that are exclusively happy—like the gods replete with glory. 5.6These are called bright deeds with bright results.

6.1And what are dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results? 6.2It’s when someone makes both hurtful and pleasing choices by way of body, speech, and mind. … 6.3 6.4 6.5Touched by both hurtful and pleasing contacts, they experience both hurtful and pleasing feelings that are a mixture of pleasure and pain—like humans, some gods, and some beings in the underworld. 6.6These are called dark and bright deeds with dark and bright results.

7.1And what are neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds? 7.2It’s the intention to give up dark deeds with dark results, bright deeds with bright results, and both dark and bright deeds with both dark and bright results. 7.3These are called neither dark nor bright deeds with neither dark nor bright results, which lead to the ending of deeds.

7.4These are the four kinds of deeds that I declare, having realized them with my own insight.”