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Itivuttaka

ItivuttakaItv 74 Putta Sutta
Sons and Daughters

The Buddha explains the three kinds of sons and daughters in the world.

This discourse was taught by the Blessed One, taught by the Arahant, the fully enlightened Supreme Buddha. This is as I heard,

“Monks, there are these three kinds of sons and daughters in the world. What three? The higher kind, the similar kind, and the lower kind.

Now, what, monks, is the higher kind of son or daughter? Monks, in this instance, a son or daughter’s parents have not gone for refuge to the Buddha, have not gone for refuge to the Dhamma and have not gone for refuge to the Sangha. They do not abstain from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. They are unvirtuous and have bad conduct. However, their son or daughter has gone for refuge to the Buddha, has gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and has gone for refuge to the Sangha. He or she abstains from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. This, Monks, is the higher kind of son or daughter.

Now, what, monks, is the similar kind of son or daughter? Monks, in this instance, a son or daughter’s parents have gone for refuge to the Buddha, have gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and have gone for refuge to the Sangha. They abstain from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. They are virtuous and have good conduct. Their son or daughter has also gone for refuge to the Buddha, has gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and has gone for refuge to the Sangha. He or she abstains from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. This, Monks, is the similar kind of son or daughter.

Now, what, monks, is the lower kind of son or daughter? Monks, in this instance, a son or daughter’s parents have gone for refuge to the Buddha, have gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and have gone for refuge to the Sangha. They abstain from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. They are virtuous and have good conduct. However, their son or daughter has not gone for refuge to the Buddha, has not gone for refuge to the Dhamma, and has not gone for refuge to the Sangha. He or she does not abstain from killing beings, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from drinking liquors that cause intoxication and negligence. This, Monks, is the lower kind of son or daughter.”

This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So, with regard to this, it was said:

The wise parents hope for a child of higher kind or similar kind. Parents do not hope for a lower kind of child who destroys the family.

But higher kind and similar kind of children are the blessed children in the world. They are lay followers of the Buddha. They possess confidence in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha. They are virtuous and generous. They are always ready to help those in need. They shine forth in any group of people like the moon freed from clouds.

This, too, is the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One. This is exactly as I heard.

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Itivuttaka 74 Putta Sutta: Sons and Daughters

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