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Nidana Sutta

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Title: Nidana Sutta: Causes

Summary: An action (kamma) performed by an arahant bears no kammic fruit. This sutta explains why.

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AN 3.33

PTS: A i 134

Thai 3.34; BJT 3.34

Nidana Sutta: Causes

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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<!– jtb 020513: AG calls this sutta III.34; I follow PTS numbering and call it III.33. –> <p>“Monks, these three are causes for the origination of actions. Which three? Greed is a cause for the origination of actions. Aversion is a cause for the origination of actions. Delusion is a cause for the origination of actions.

“Any action performed with greed — born of greed, caused by greed, originating from greed: wherever one's selfhood turns up, there that action will ripen. Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence.

“Any action performed with aversion — born of aversion, caused by aversion, originating from aversion: wherever one's selfhood turns up, there that action will ripen. Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence.

“Any action performed with delusion — born of delusion, caused by delusion, originating from delusion: wherever one's selfhood turns up, there that action will ripen. Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence.

Just as when seeds are not broken, not rotten, not damaged by wind & heat, capable of sprouting, well-buried, planted in well-prepared soil, and the rain-god would offer good streams of rain. Those seeds would thus come to growth, increase, & abundance. In the same way, any action performed with greed… performed with aversion… performed with delusion — born of delusion, caused by delusion, originating from delusion: wherever one's selfhood turns up, there that action will ripen. Where that action ripens, there one will experience its fruit, either in this very life that has arisen or further along in the sequence.

“These are three causes for the origination of actions.

“Now, these three are [further] causes for the origination of actions. Which three? Non-greed is a cause for the origination of actions. Non-aversion is a cause for the origination of actions. Non-delusion is a cause for the origination of actions.

“Any action performed with non-greed — born of non-greed, caused by non-greed, originating from non-greed: When greed is gone, that action is thus abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“Any action performed with non-aversion — born of non-aversion, caused by non-aversion, originating from non-aversion: When aversion is gone, that action is thus abandoned, destroyed at the root, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“Any action performed with non-delusion — born of non-delusion, caused by non-delusion, originating from non-delusion: When delusion is gone, that action is thus abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“Just as when seeds are not broken, not rotten, not damaged by wind & heat, capable of sprouting, well-buried, planted in well-prepared soil, and a man would burn them with fire and, burning them with fire, would make them into fine ashes. Having made them into fine ashes, he would winnow them before a high wind or wash them away in a swift-flowing stream. Those seeds would thus be destroyed at the root, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“In the same way, any action performed with non-greed… performed with non-aversion… performed with non-delusion — born of non-delusion, caused by non-delusion, originating from non-delusion: When delusion is gone, that action is thus abandoned, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising.

“These, monks, are three causes for the origination of action.”</p>

A person unknowing: the actions performed by him, born of greed, born of aversion, & born of delusion, whether many or few, are experienced right here:

no other ground is found.<span notetag #fnt-1>([[#fn-1|1]])</span> 

So a monk, knowing,

sheds

greed, aversion, & delusion; giving rise to clear knowledge, he

sheds

all bad destinations.(2)

<h1>Notes</h1> <dl>

1.

According to the Commentary, “right here” means within the stream of one's own “selfhood” (attabhava), i.e., one's own chain of rebirth. “No other ground is found” means that the fruit of the action is not experienced by any other person's chain of rebirth.

2.

<p>The Commentary notes that this verse refers to the attainment of arahantship, and that an arahant — in reaching nibbana — sheds not only bad destinations, but also good ones.

The word “sheds” acts as a “lamp” in this verse — it appears only once, but functions in two phrases, as I have rendered it in the translation. On the use of the lamp as a literary figure of speech, see the <a href=”../../kn/dhp/dhp.intro.than_en.html#intro”>Introduction to <i>Dhammapada: A Translation.</i></a></p>

</dl>

<p>See also: [[en:tipitaka:sut:sn:sn42:sn42.008.than|SN 42.8]]; [[en:tipitaka:sut:an:an03:an03.099.than|AN 3.99]].</p>

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	<div id="F_sourceCopy">The source of this work is the gift within Access to Insight "Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14", last replication 12. March 2013, generously given by John Bullitt and mentioned as: ©2001 Thanissaro Bhikkhu.</div>
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<div id="F_citation"><b>How to cite this document</b> (one suggested style): "Nidana Sutta: Causes" (AN 3.33), translated from the Pali by  Thanissaro Bhikkhu. <i>Access to Insight</i>, 10 December 2011, [[http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.033.than.html|http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.033.than.html]] . Retrieved on 10 September 2012 (Offline Edition 2012.09.10.14), republished by <i>Zugang zur Einsicht</i> on &nbsp;

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en/tipitaka/sut/an/an03/an03.033.than.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/14 04:26 by Johann