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Defilements —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 6

6. The Great Chapter

58. Defilements

1.1“Mendicants, a mendicant with six factors is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a religious donation, worthy of veneration with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world. 2.1What six?

2.2It’s a mendicant who, by restraint, has given up the defilements that should be given up by restraint. 2.3By using, they’ve given up the defilements that should be given up by using. 2.4By enduring, they’ve given up the defilements that should be given up by enduring. 2.5By avoiding, they’ve given up the defilements that should be given up by avoiding. 2.6By getting rid, they’ve given up the defilements that should be given up by getting rid. 2.7By developing, they’ve given up the defilements that should be given up by developing.

3.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by restraint? 3.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, lives restraining the eye faculty. 3.3For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without restraint of the eye faculty do not arise when there is such restraint. 3.4Reflecting properly, they live restraining the ear faculty … 3.5the nose faculty … 3.6the tongue faculty … 3.7the body faculty … 3.8the mind faculty. 3.9For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without restraint of the mind faculty do not arise when there is such restraint. 3.10These are called the defilements that should be given up by restraint.

4.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by using? 4.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, makes use of robes: 4.3‘Only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; and for covering up the private parts.’ 4.4Reflecting properly, they make use of almsfood: 4.5‘Not for fun, indulgence, adornment, or decoration, but only to sustain this body, to avoid harm, and to support spiritual practice. In this way, I shall put an end to old discomfort and not give rise to new discomfort, and I will live blamelessly and at ease.’ 4.6Reflecting properly, they make use of lodgings: 4.7‘Only for the sake of warding off cold and heat; for warding off the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles; to shelter from harsh weather and to enjoy retreat.’ 4.8Reflecting properly, they make use of medicines and supplies for the sick: 4.9‘Only for the sake of warding off the pains of illness and to promote good health.’ 4.10For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without using these things do not arise when they are used. 4.11These are called the defilements that should be given up by using.

5.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by enduring? 5.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, endures cold, heat, hunger, and thirst. They endure the touch of flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, and reptiles. They endure rude and unwelcome criticism. And they put up with physical pain—sharp, severe, acute, unpleasant, disagreeable, and life-threatening. 5.3For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without enduring these things do not arise when they are endured. 5.4These are called the defilements that should be given up by enduring.

6.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by avoiding? 6.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, avoids a wild elephant, a wild horse, a wild ox, a wild dog, a snake, a stump, thorny ground, a pit, a cliff, a swamp, and a sewer. Reflecting properly, they avoid sitting on inappropriate seats, walking in inappropriate neighborhoods, and mixing with bad friends—whatever sensible spiritual companions would believe to be a bad setting. 6.3For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without avoiding these things do not arise when they are avoided. 6.4These are called the defilements that should be given up by avoiding.

7.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by getting rid? 7.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, doesn’t tolerate a sensual, malicious, or cruel thought that has arisen. They don’t tolerate any bad, unskillful qualities that have arisen, but give them up, get rid of them, eliminate them, and obliterate them. 7.3For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without getting rid of these things do not arise when they are gotten rid of. 7.4These are called the defilements that should be given up by getting rid.

8.1And what are the defilements that should be given up by developing? 8.2Take a mendicant who, reflecting properly, develops the awakening factors of mindfulness, investigation of principles, energy, rapture, tranquility, immersion, and equanimity, which rely on seclusion, fading away, and cessation, and ripen as letting go. 8.3For the distressing and feverish defilements that might arise in someone who lives without developing these things do not arise when they are developed. 8.4These are called the defilements that should be given up by developing.

9.1A mendicant with these six factors is worthy of offerings dedicated to the gods, worthy of hospitality, worthy of a religious donation, worthy of veneration with joined palms, and is the supreme field of merit for the world.”