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Sutta Nipata

Sutta Nipāta
1.6 Parābhava Sutta
Discourse on Downfall

A collection of bad actions and bad results.

Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Blessed One was living in Sāvatthi, at Jeta’s Grove, at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jeta’s Grove, came to the presence of the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus, he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

Deva:

“About the declining man we question you, Gotama, the great teacher we have come to ask the Blessed One: What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“Easily known is the progressing one. Easily known is the declining one. The lover of Dhamma prospers. The hater of Dhamma declines.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the first cause of his downfall. Tell us the second, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“The vicious are dear to him. He likes not the virtuous. He approves the teachings of the ill taught. This is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the second cause of his downfall. Tell us the third, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“The fondness of sleep and company, being inactive and lazy, and displaying anger this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the third cause of his downfall. Tell us the fourth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If someone being affluent, does not support his mother and father who are old and past their prime this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the fourth cause of his downfall. Tell us the fifth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If one by falsehood deceives either a brāhmana, or a recluse, or any other homeless one this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the fifth cause of his downfall. Tell us the sixth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If someone who is possessed of much wealth, who has gold and abundance of food, but enjoys these delicacies by himself this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the sixth cause of his downfall. Tell us the seventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If one, proud of his birth, of his wealth, and of his clan, despises his relations this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the seventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the eighth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If one is addicted to women, is a drunkard, a gambler, and wastes all of his earnings this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the eighth cause of his downfall. Tell us the ninth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“Not satisfied with his own wife, he is seen among prostitutes and the wives of others. This is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the ninth cause of his downfall. Tell us the tenth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“A person past his youth takes as wife, a girl in her teens, and sleeps not, being jealous of her. This is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the tenth cause of his downfall. Tell us the eleventh, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“If one appoints authority to a woman or a man who is a drunkard and spends carelessly, this is the cause of his downfall.”

Deva:

“We understand this as explained by you; this is the eleventh cause of his downfall. Tell us the twelfth, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?”

Supreme Buddha:

“One is born in the kings’ cast but having little wealth and great ambitions, wishes selfishly to become the king. This is the cause of his downfall.

“Fully realizing these twelve causes of downfall in the world, the sage, endowed with noble insight, enters the realm of Nibbāna.”

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Sutta Nipāta 1.6 Parābhava Sutta: Discourse on Downfall

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