Classic and Contemporary Buddhist Works

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha - Selections

I. The Deed-Born Body

211 (1) Hell (1)
“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, one is deposited in hell as if brought there. What ten?
   (1) “Here, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.
   (2) “He takes what is not given; he steals the wealth and property of others in the village or forest.
   (3) “He engages in sexual misconduct; he has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
   (4) “He speaks falsehood. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.
   (5) “He speaks divisively. Having heard something here, he repeats it elsewhere in order to divide [those people] from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he repeats it to these people in order to divide [them] from those. Thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, one who enjoys factions, rejoices in factions, delights in factions, a speaker of words that create factions.
   (6) “He speaks harshly. He utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.
   (7) “He indulges in idle chatter. He speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline; at an improper time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial. [284]
   (8) “He is full of longing. He longs for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’
   (9) “He has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate thus: ‘May these beings be slain, slaughtered, cut off, destroyed, or annihilated!’
   (10) “He holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’
   “One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in hell as if brought there.
   “Bhikkhus, one possessing ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What ten?
   (1) “Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life. With the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings.
   (2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not steal the wealth and property of others in the village or in the forest.
   (3) “Having abandoned sexual misconduct, he abstains from sexual misconduct. He does not have sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
   (4) “Having abandoned false speech, he abstains from false speech. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see.’ Thus he does not consciously speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end. [285]
   (5) “Having abandoned divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech. Having heard something here, he does not repeat it elsewhere in order to divide [those people] from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he does not repeat it to these people in order to divide [them] from those. Thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, a promoter of unity, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.
   (6) “Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many.
   (7) “Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at a proper time, speaks truth, speaks what is beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the discipline; at a proper time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial.
   (8) “He is without longing. He does not long for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’
   (9) “He is benevolent and his intentions are free of hate thus: ‘May these beings live happily, free from enmity, affliction, and anxiety!’
   (10) “He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’
   “One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there.”

212 (2) Hell (2)
“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, one is deposited in hell as if brought there. What ten?
   (1) “Here, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. (2) He takes what is not given … (3) He engages in sexual misconduct … (4) He speaks falsehood … (5) He speaks divisively … (6) He speaks harshly [286] … (7) He indulges in idle chatter … (8) He is full of longing … (9) He has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate … (10) He holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given … there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in hell as if brought there.
   “Bhikkhus, one possessing ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What ten?
   (1) “Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings. (2) Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given … (3) Having abandoned sexual misconduct, he abstains from sexual misconduct ... (4) Having abandoned false speech, he abstains from false speech … (5) Having abandoned divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech … (6) Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech … (7) Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter … (8) He is without longing … (9) He is benevolent … (10) He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given … there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ One possessing these ten qualities is deposited in heaven as if brought there.”

213 (3) Women
“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, women are deposited in hell as if brought there. What ten? [287] (1) They destroy life … [as above] … and (10) hold wrong view. Possessing these ten qualities, women are deposited in hell as if brought there.
   “Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, women are deposited in heaven as if brought there. What ten? (1) They abstain from the destruction of life… [as above] … and (10) hold right view. Possessing these ten qualities, women are deposited in heaven as if brought there.”

214 (4) Female Lay Follower
“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, a female lay follower is deposited in hell as if brought there. What ten? (1) She destroys life … and (10) holds wrong view. Possessing these ten qualities, a female lay follower is deposited in hell as if brought there.
   “Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, a female lay follower is deposited in heaven as if brought there. What ten? (1) She abstains from the destruction of life … and (10) holds right view. Possessing these ten qualities, a female lay follower is deposited in heaven as if brought there.” [288]

215 (5) Self-Confidence
“Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, a female lay follower dwells without self-confidence at home. What ten? (1) She destroys life … and (10) holds wrong view. Possessing these ten qualities, a female lay follower dwells without self-confidence at home.
   “Bhikkhus, possessing ten qualities, a female lay follower dwells self-confident at home. What ten? (1) She abstains from the destruction of life … and (10) holds right view. Possessing these ten qualities, a female lay follower dwells self-confident at home.”

216 (6) Creeping
“Bhikkhus, I will teach you an exposition of the Dhamma on creeping. Listen and attend closely. I will speak.”
   “Yes, bhante,” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
   “And what, bhikkhus, is that exposition of the Dhamma on creeping? Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs. [289]
   (1) “Here, someone destroys life; he is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings. He creeps along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is crooked; his verbal kamma is crooked; his mental kamma is crooked. His destination is crooked; his rebirth is crooked. But for one with a crooked destination and rebirth, I say, there is one of two destinations: either the exclusively painful hells or a species of creeping animal. And what are the species of creeping animals? The snake, the scorpion, the centipede, the mongoose, the cat, the mouse, and the owl, or any other animals that creep away when they see people. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.
   (2) “Someone takes what is not given … (3) … engages in sexual misconduct … (4) … speaks falsehood … (5) … speaks divisively … (6) … speaks harshly … (7) … indulges in idle chatter … (8) He is full of longing … (9) … has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate … (10) … holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given … there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ He creeps along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is crooked ... His destination is crooked; [290] his rebirth is crooked.… Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.
   “Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs.
   (1) “Here, having abandoned the destruction of life, someone abstains from the destruction of life; with the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings. He does not creep along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is straight; his verbal kamma is straight; his mental kamma is straight. His destination is straight; his rebirth is straight. But for one with a straight destination and rebirth, I say, there is one of two destinations: either the exclusively pleasant heavens or eminent families, such as those of affluent khattiyas, affluent brahmins, or affluent householders, [families that are] rich, with great wealth and property, abundant gold and silver, abundant treasures and belongings, abundant wealth and grain. Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.
   (2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, someone abstains from taking what is not given … (3) … abstains from sexual misconduct … [291] (4) … abstains from false speech … (5) … abstains from divisive speech … (6) … abstains from harsh speech … (7) … abstains from idle chatter … (8) He is without longing … (9) He is benevolent … (10) He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given … there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’ He does not creep along by body, speech, and mind. His bodily kamma is straight ... His destination is straight; his rebirth is straight.... Thus a being is reborn from a being; one is reborn through one’s deeds. When one has been reborn, contacts affect one. It is in this way, I say, that beings are the heirs of their kamma.
   “Bhikkhus, beings are the owners of their kamma, the heirs of their kamma; they have kamma as their origin, kamma as their relative, kamma as their resort; whatever kamma they do, good or bad, they are its heirs.
   “This, bhikkhus, is that exposition of the Dhamma on creeping.” [292]

217 (7) Volitional (1)
“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.
   “As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; and a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result?
   (1) “Here, someone destroys life. He is murderous, bloody-handed, given to blows and violence, merciless to living beings.
   (2) “He takes what is not given. He steals the wealth and property of others in the village or forest.
   (3) “He engages in sexual misconduct. He has sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
   “It is in this way that there is a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result? [293]
   (4) “Here, someone speaks falsehood. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I do not know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I do not see.’ Thus he consciously speaks falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.
   (5) “He speaks divisively. Having heard something here, he repeats it elsewhere in order to divide [those people] from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he repeats it to these people in order to divide [them] from those. Thus he is one who divides those who are united, a creator of divisions, one who enjoys factions, rejoices in factions, delights in factions, a speaker of words that create factions.
   (6) “He speaks harshly. He utters such words as are rough, hard, hurtful to others, offensive to others, bordering on anger, unconducive to concentration.
   (7) “He indulges in idle chatter. He speaks at an improper time, speaks falsely, speaks what is unbeneficial, speaks contrary to the Dhamma and the discipline; at an improper time he speaks such words as are worthless, unreasonable, rambling, and unbeneficial.
   “It is in this way that there is a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result?
   (8) “Here, someone is full of longing. He longs for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’
   (9) “He has a mind of ill will and intentions of hate thus: ‘May these beings be slain, slaughtered, cut off, destroyed, or annihilated!’
   (10) “He holds wrong view and has an incorrect perspective thus: ‘There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; [294] there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’
   “It is in this way that there is a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.
   “It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; or it is because of the fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell; or it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell. Just as dice, when thrown upward, will rest firmly wherever they fall, so too, it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma … or it is because of the fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma … or it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell.
   “Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.
   “As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result; a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result; and a threefold success of mental kamma, [295] arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?
   (1) “Here, someone, having abandoned the destruction of life, abstains from the destruction of life. With the rod and weapon laid aside, conscientious and kindly, he dwells compassionate toward all living beings.
   (2) “Having abandoned the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not steal the wealth and property of others in the village or in the forest.
   (3) “Having abandoned sexual misconduct, he abstains from sexual misconduct. He does not have sexual relations with women who are protected by their mother, father, mother and father, brother, sister, or relatives; who are protected by their Dhamma; who have a husband; whose violation entails a penalty; or even with one already engaged.
   “It is in this way that there is a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?
   (4) “Here, having abandoned false speech, someone abstains from false speech. If he is summoned to a council, to an assembly, to his relatives’ presence, to his guild, or to the court, and questioned as a witness thus: ‘So, good man, tell what you know,’ then, not knowing, he says, ‘I do not know,’ or knowing, he says, ‘I know’; not seeing, he says, ‘I do not see,’ or seeing, he says, ‘I see.’ Thus he does not consciously speak falsehood for his own ends, or for another’s ends, or for some trifling worldly end.
   (5) “Having abandoned divisive speech, he abstains from divisive speech. Having heard something here, he does not repeat it elsewhere in order to divide [those people] from these; or having heard something elsewhere, he does not repeat it to these people in order to divide [them] from those. Thus he is one who reunites those who are divided, [296] a promoter of unity, who enjoys concord, rejoices in concord, delights in concord, a speaker of words that promote concord.
   (6) “Having abandoned harsh speech, he abstains from harsh speech. He speaks such words as are gentle, pleasing to the ear, and lovable, as go to the heart, are courteous, desired by many, and agreeable to many.
   (7) “Having abandoned idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks at a proper time, speaks truth, speaks what is beneficial, speaks on the Dhamma and the discipline; at a proper time he speaks such words as are worth recording, reasonable, succinct, and beneficial.
   “It is in this way that there is a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.
   “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result?
   (8) “Here, someone is without longing. He does not long for the wealth and property of others thus: ‘Oh, may what belongs to another be mine!’
   (9) “He is benevolent and his intentions are free of hate thus: ‘May these beings live happily, free from enmity, affliction, and anxiety!’
   (10) “He holds right view and has a correct perspective thus: ‘There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others.’
   “It is in this way that there is a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.
   “It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world; or it is because of the fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world; or it is because of the threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world. Just as dice, when thrown upward, will rest firmly wherever they fall, so too, it is because of the threefold success of bodily kamma … [297] … or it is because of the fourfold success of verbal kamma … or it is because of the threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.
   “Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that have been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [their results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kammas that have been done and accumulated.”

218 (8) Volitional (2)
“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.
   “As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result; and a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, having a painful outcome and result.
   (1)–(10) “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma ... a fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma … [298] ... a threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma?... [all as in 10:217] ...
   “It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold corruption and failure of bodily kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition ... or it is because of the fourfold corruption and failure of verbal kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition ... or it is because of the threefold corruption and failure of mental kamma, arisen from unwholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in the plane of misery, in a bad destination, in the lower world, in hell.
   “Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.
   “As to this, bhikkhus, there is a threefold success of bodily kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result. There is a fourfold success of verbal kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result. There is a threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, having a pleasant outcome and result.
   (1)–(10) “And how, bhikkhus, is there a threefold success of bodily kamma ... a fourfold success of verbal kamma … [299] ... a threefold success of mental kamma?... [all as in 10:217] ...
   “It is, bhikkhus, because of the threefold success of bodily kamma ... or it is because of the fourfold success of verbal kamma ... or it is because of the threefold success of mental kamma, arisen from wholesome volition, that with the breakup of the body, after death, beings are reborn in a good destination, in a heavenly world.
   “Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.”

219 (9) The Deed-Born Body
“Bhikkhus, I do not say that there is a termination of volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated so long as one has not experienced [its results], and that may be in this very life, or in the [next] rebirth, or on some subsequent occasion. But I do not say that there is making an end of suffering so long as one has not experienced [the results of] volitional kamma that has been done and accumulated.
   “This noble disciple, bhikkhus, who is thus devoid of longing, devoid of ill will, unconfused, clearly comprehending, ever mindful, dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with loving-kindness, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will. He understands thus: ‘Previously, my mind was limited and undeveloped, but now it is measureless and well developed. No measurable kamma remains or persists there.’ [300]
   “What do you think, bhikkhus, if a youth were to develop the liberation of mind by loving-kindness from his childhood on, would he do a bad deed?’”
   “No, bhante.”
   “Could suffering affect him if he does no bad deed?”
   “No, bhante. For on what account could suffering affect one who does no bad deed?”
   “A woman or a man should develop this liberation of mind by loving-kindness. A woman or a man cannot take this body with them when they go. Mortals have mind as their core.
   “[The noble disciple] understands: ‘Whatever bad deed I did here in the past with this deed-born body is all to be experienced here. It will not follow along.’ When the liberation of mind by loving-kindness has been developed in this way, it leads to non-returning for a wise bhikkhu here who does not penetrate to a further liberation.
   “This noble disciple, bhikkhus, who is thus devoid of longing, devoid of ill will, unconfused, clearly comprehending, ever mindful, dwells pervading one quarter with a mind imbued with compassion … with a mind imbued with altruistic joy … with a mind imbued with equanimity, likewise the second quarter, the third quarter, and the fourth quarter. Thus above, below, across, and everywhere, and to all as to himself, he dwells pervading the entire world with a mind imbued with equanimity, vast, exalted, measureless, without enmity, without ill will. He understands thus: ‘Previously, my mind was limited and undeveloped, but now it is measureless and well developed. No measurable [301] kamma remains or persists there.’
   “What do you think, bhikkhus, if a youth would develop the liberation of mind by equanimity, from his childhood on, would he do a bad deed?’”
   “No, bhante.”
   “Could suffering affect him if he does no bad deed?”
   “No, bhante. For on what account could suffering affect one who does no bad deed?”
   “A woman or a man should develop this liberation of mind by equanimity. A woman or a man cannot take this body with them when they go. Mortals have mind as their core.
   “[The noble disciple] understands: ‘Whatever bad deed I did here in the past with this deed-born body is all to be experienced here. It will not follow along.’ When the liberation of mind by equanimity has been developed in this way, it leads to non-returning for a wise bhikkhu here who does not penetrate to a further liberation.”

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© Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2012)

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