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Aṅguttara Nikāya - The Numerical Discourses

6: The Book of the Sixes

45. Debt

1(1) "Bhikkhus, isn’t poverty suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."


2(2) "If a poor, destitute, indigent person gets into debt, isn’t his indebtedness, too, suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."

3(3) "If a poor, destitute, indigent person who has gotten into debt promises to pay interest, isn’t the interest, too, suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."

4(4) "If a poor, destitute, indigent person who has promised to pay interest cannot pay it when it falls due, they reprove him. Isn’t being reproved, too, suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."

5(5) "If a poor, destitute, indigent person who is reproved does not pay, they prosecute him. Isn’t prosecution, too, suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."

6(6) "If a poor, destitute, indigent person who is prosecuted does not pay, they imprison him. Isn’t imprisonment, too, suffering in the world for one who enjoys sensual pleasures?"

"Yes, Bhante."

7"So, bhikkhus, for one who enjoys sensual pleasures, poverty is suffering in the world; getting into debt is suffering in the world; having to pay interest is suffering in the world; being reproved is suffering in the world; prosecution is suffering in the world; and imprisonment is suffering in the world.

(1) "So too, bhikkhus, when one does not have faith in cultivating wholesome qualities, when one does not have a sense of moral shame in cultivating wholesome qualities, when one does not have moral dread in cultivating wholesome qualities, when one does not have energy in cultivating wholesome qualities, when one does not have wisdom in cultivating wholesome qualities, in the Noble One's discipline one is called a poor, destitute, indigent person.

8(2) "Having no faith, no sense of moral shame, no moral dread, no energy, no wisdom in cultivating wholesome qualities, that poor, destitute, indigent person engages in misconduct by body, speech, and mind. This, I say, is his getting into debt.


9(3) "To conceal his bodily misconduct, he nurtures an evil desire. He wishes: ‘Let no one know me’; he intends with the aim: ‘Let no one know me’; he utters statements with the aim: ‘Let no one know me’; he makes bodily endeavors with the aim: ‘Let no one know me.’

"To conceal his verbal misconduct … To conceal his mental misconduct, he nurtures an evil desire. He wishes: ‘Let no one know me’; he intends with the aim: ‘Let no one know me’; he utters statements with the aim: ‘Let no one know me’; he makes bodily endeavors with the aim: ‘Let no one know me.’ This, I say, is the interest he must pay.

10(4) "Well-behaved fellow monks speak thus about him: ‘This venerable one acts in such a way, behaves in such a way.’ This, I say, is his being reproved.

11(5) "When he has gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling, bad unwholesome thoughts accompanied by remorse assail him. This, I say, is his prosecution.

12(6) "Then, with the breakup of the body, after death, that poor, destitute, indigent person who engaged in misconduct by body, speech, and mind is bound in the prison of hell or the prison of the animal realm. I do not see, bhikkhus, any other prison that is as terrible and harsh, and such an obstacle to attaining the unsurpassed security from bondage, as the prison of hell or the prison of the animal realm."


13Poverty is called suffering in the world;
so too is getting into debt.
A poor person who becomes indebted
is troubled while enjoying himself.

14Then they prosecute him
and he also incurs imprisonment.
This imprisonment is indeed suffering
for one yearning for gain and sensual pleasures.

15Just so in the Noble One's discipline,
one in whom faith is lacking,
who is shameless and brash,
heaps up a mass of evil kamma.

16Having engaged in misconduct
by body, speech, and mind,
he forms the wish:
"May no one find out about me."

17He twists around with his body,
twists around by speech or mind;
he piles up his evil deeds,
in one way or another, repeatedly.

18This foolish evildoer, knowing
his own misdeeds, is a poor person
who falls into debt,
troubled while enjoying himself.

19His thoughts then prosecute him;
painful mental states born of remorse
follow him wherever he goes
whether in the village or the forest.

20This foolish evildoer,
knowing his own misdeeds,
goes to a certain animal realm
or is even bound in hell.

21This indeed is the suffering of bondage[n.1341] I have divided the stanzas as is done in Be, which I find more satisfactory than Ce. In Ee the lines of verse are not grouped into separate stanzas.
from which the wise person is freed,
giving gifts with wealth righteously gained,
settling his mind in confidence.

22The householder endowed with faith
has made a lucky throw in both cases:
for his welfare in this present life
and happiness in future lives.
Thus it is that for home-dwellers
this merit increases through generosity.[n.1342] All three editions read evam etaṁ gahaṭṭhānaṁ cāgo puññaṁ pavaḍḍhati. The syntax is not satisfactory yet no variants are noted. Mp attempts to resolve the problem with its gloss, cāgoti saṅkhaṁ gataṁ puññaṁ vaḍḍhati, "merit which is designated ‘generosity’ increases," but this is implausible. Could there have originally been an ablative cāgā here, or an instrumental cāgena (with the verb vaḍḍhati, to support the meter), which was changed to cāgo by error? The Chinese parallel, 125, lends some support to this hypothesis at T I 614c20: , "because of generosity merit increases."

23Just so, in the Noble One's discipline,
one whose faith is firm,
who is endowed with shame, dreading wrong,
wise and restrained by virtuous behavior,

24is said to live happily
in the Noble One's discipline.
Having gained spiritual happiness,
one then resolves on equanimity.

25Having abandoned the five hindrances,
always arousing energy,
he enters upon the jhānas,
unified, alert, and mindful.

26Having known things thus as they really are,
through complete non-clinging
the mind is rightly liberated
with the destruction of all fetters.

27With the destruction of the fetters of existence,
for the stable one, rightly liberated,
the knowledge occurs:
"My liberation is unshakable."

28This is the supreme knowledge;
this is unsurpassed happiness.
Sorrowless, dust-free, and secure,
this is the highest freedom from debt.

1"Dāliddiyaṁ, bhikkhave, dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (1)


2"Yampi, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko iṇaṁ ādiyati, iṇādānampi, bhikkhave, dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (2)

3"Yampi, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko iṇaṁ ādiyitvā vaḍḍhiṁ paṭissuṇāti, vaḍḍhipi, bhikkhave, dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (3)

4"Yampi, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko vaḍḍhiṁ paṭissuṇitvā kālābhataṁ vaḍḍhiṁ na deti, codentipi naṁ; codanāpi, bhikkhave, dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (4)

5"Yampi, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko codiyamāno na deti, anucarantipi naṁ; anucariyāpi, bhikkhave, dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (5)

6"Yampi, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko anucariyamāno na deti, bandhantipi naṁ; bandhanampi, bhikkhave, dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino"ti?

"Evaṁ, bhante". (6)

7"Iti kho, bhikkhave, dāliddiyampi dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino, iṇādānampi dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino, vaḍḍhipi dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino, codanāpi dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino, anucariyāpi dukkhā lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino, bandhanampi dukkhaṁ lokasmiṁ kāmabhogino;

evamevaṁ kho, bhikkhave, yassa kassaci saddhā natthi kusalesu dhammesu, hirī natthi kusalesu dhammesu, ottappaṁ natthi kusalesu dhammesu, vīriyaṁ natthi kusalesu dhammesu, paññā natthi kusalesu dhammesu – ayaṁ vuccati, bhikkhave, ariyassa vinaye daliddo assako anāḷhiko.

8Sa kho so, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko saddhāya asati kusalesu dhammesu, hiriyā asati kusalesu dhammesu, ottappe asati kusalesu dhammesu, vīriye asati kusalesu dhammesu, paññāya asati kusalesu dhammesu, kāyena duccaritaṁ carati, vācāya duccaritaṁ carati, manasā duccaritaṁ carati. Idamassa iṇādānasmiṁ vadāmi.


9So tassa kāyaduccaritassa paṭicchādanahetu pāpikaṁ icchaṁ paṇidahati. ‘Mā maṁ jaññū’ti icchati, ‘mā maṁ jaññū’ti saṅkappati, ‘mā maṁ jaññū’ti vācaṁ bhāsati, ‘mā maṁ jaññū’ti kāyena parakkamati. So tassa vacīduccaritassa paṭicchādanahetu … pe … so tassa manoduccaritassa paṭicchādanahetu … pe … ‘mā maṁ jaññū’ti kāyena parakkamati. Idamassa vaḍḍhiyā vadāmi.

10Tamenaṁ pesalā sabrahmacārī evamāhaṁsu:  ‘ayañca so āyasmā evaṅkārī evaṁsamācāro’ti. Idamassa codanāya vadāmi.

11Tamenaṁ araññagataṁ vā rukkhamūlagataṁ vā suññāgāragataṁ vā vippaṭisārasahagatā pāpakā akusalavitakkā samudācaranti. Idamassa anucariyāya vadāmi.

12Sa kho so, bhikkhave, daliddo assako anāḷhiko kāyena duccaritaṁ caritvā vācāya duccaritaṁ caritvā manasā duccaritaṁ caritvā kāyassa bhedā paraṁ maraṇā nirayabandhane vā bajjhati tiracchānayonibandhane vā. Nāhaṁ, bhikkhave, aññaṁ ekabandhanampi samanupassāmi evaṁdāruṇaṁ evaṅkaṭukaṁ evaṁantarāyakaraṁ anuttarassa yogakkhemassa adhigamāya, yathayidaṁ, bhikkhave, nirayabandhanaṁ vā tiracchānayonibandhanaṁ vāti.


13Dāliddiyaṁ dukkhaṁ loke,
iṇādānañca vuccati;
Daliddo iṇamādāya,
bhuñjamāno vihaññati.

14Tato anucaranti naṁ,
bandhanampi nigacchati;
Etañhi bandhanaṁ dukkhaṁ,
kāmalābhābhijappinaṁ.

15Tatheva ariyavinaye,
saddhā yassa na vijjati;
Ahirīko anottappī,
pāpakammavinibbayo.

16Kāyaduccaritaṁ katvā,
vacīduccaritāni ca;
Manoduccaritaṁ katvā,
mā maṁ jaññū’ti icchati.

17So saṁsappati kāyena,
vācāya uda cetasā;
Pāpakammaṁ pavaḍḍhento,
tattha tattha punappunaṁ.

18So pāpakammo dummedho,
jānaṁ dukkaṭamattano;
Daliddo iṇamādāya,
bhuñjamāno vihaññati.

19Tato anucaranti naṁ,
saṅkappā mānasā dukhā;
Gāme vā yadi vāraññe,
yassa vippaṭisārajā.

20So pāpakammo dummedho,
jānaṁ dukkaṭamattano;
Yonimaññataraṁ gantvā,
niraye vāpi bajjhati.

21Etañhi bandhanaṁ dukkhaṁ,
yamhā dhīro pamuccati;
Dhammaladdhehi bhogehi,
dadaṁ cittaṁ pasādayaṁ.

22Ubhayattha kaṭaggāho,
saddhassa gharamesino;
Diṭṭhadhammahitatthāya,
samparāyasukhāya ca;
Evametaṁ gahaṭṭhānaṁ,
cāgo puññaṁ pavaḍḍhati.

23Tatheva ariyavinaye,
saddhā yassa patiṭṭhitā;
Hirīmano ca ottappī,
paññavā sīlasaṁvuto.

24Eso kho ariyavinaye,
sukhajīvī’ti vuccati;
Nirāmisaṁ sukhaṁ laddhā,
upekkhaṁ adhitiṭṭhati.

25Pañca nīvaraṇe hitvā,
niccaṁ āraddhavīriyo;
Jhānāni upasampajja,
ekodi nipako sato.

26Evaṁ ñatvā yathābhūtaṁ,
sabbasaṁyojanakkhaye;
Sabbaso anupādāya,
sammā cittaṁ vimuccati.

27Tassa sammā vimuttassa,
ñāṇañce hoti tādino;
Akuppā me vimuttī’ti,
bhavasaṁyojanakkhaye.

28Etaṁ kho paramaṁ ñāṇaṁ,
etaṁ sukhamanuttaraṁ;
Asokaṁ virajaṁ khemaṁ,
etaṁ ānaṇyamuttaman"ti.

Tatiyaṁ.