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Upakkilesa Suttaṃ

(A.ii.53)

Defilements

“These four, monks, are defilements of the sun and moon, when defiled by these defilements the sun and moon do not illuminate (tapanti), do not shine (bhāsanti), do not radiate (virocanti). What four?

“Storm clouds (abbhā) are a defilement of the sun and moon, when defiled by this defilement the sun and moon do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“Fog (mahikā) is a defilement of the sun and moon, when defiled by this defilement the sun and moon do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“Smoke and dust are a defilement of the sun and moon, when defiled by this defilement the sun and moon do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

Eclipse (Rāhu asurindo) ¹ is a defilement of the sun and moon, when defiled by this defilement the sun and moon do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“In the same way, monks, there are four defilements of recluses and priests, when defiled by these defilements recluses and priests do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate. What four?

“There are, monks, some recluses and priests who drink spirits (surā) and wine (meraya),² they do not abstain from drinking spirits and wine. This, monks, is the first defilement of recluses and priests, when defiled by this defilement some recluses and priests do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“There are, monks, some recluses and priests who indulge in sexual relations,³ they do not abstain from sexual relations. This, monks, is the second defilement of recluses and priests, when defiled by this defilement some recluses and priests do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“There are, monks, some recluses and priests who consent to using money,⁴ they do not abstain from accepting money. This, monks, is the third defilement of recluses and priests, when defiled by this defilement some recluses and priests do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“There are, monks, some recluses and priests who make a living by a wrong-livelihood,⁵ they do not abstain from wrong-livelihood. This, monks, is the fourth defilement of recluses and priests, when defiled by this defilement some recluses and priests do not illuminate, do not shine, do not radiate.

“Some recluses and priests are fenced in by lust and anger,
Surrounded by ignorance, these men delight in pleasurable forms.

“Drinking wine and spirits, indulging in sexual relations
Consenting to silver and gold, these foolish men,
Some reculses and priests, live by a wrong-livelihood.

“These defilements have been spoken about by the Buddha, kinsman of the sun
Due to these defilements, some recluses and priests,
The impure, defiled, stupid ones neither illuminate nor shine.

“Covered by darkness, these slaves of craving are dragged along
They fill the dreadful cemeteries by being reborn repeatedly.”

Notes:

1. The ancient myth of Rāhu the Asura being the cause of eclipses.

2. Spirits (surā) refers to all distilled intoxicants, and wine (meraya) refers to all fermented intoxicants including beer.

3. Sexual relations (methunaṃ dhammaṃ) covers all kinds of sexual relations. The word methuna derives from Vedic mithuna = pair.

4. Gold (jātarūpa), silver (rajataṃ), they consent to it (sādiyanti), they do not refrain from (appaṭiviratā) accepting it (paṭiggahaṇā). Whether it is gold, silver, bronze, copper, plastic, paper, or Bitcoins, if it is money used as a medium for exchange then it is not allowable for recluses.

5. For details, see the appendix to the Venerable Ledi Sayādaw’s Maggaṅga Dīpanī.