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Tipitaka >> Sutta Pitaka >> Samyutta Nikaya >> Nidana-Vagga >> Kassapa-samyutta >> 16.2: Anottapi Sutta - Carelessness

(Carelessness) Edit

Translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe

Thus have I heard. Once the Venerable Mahaa-Kassapa and the Venerable Saariputta were staying near Benares, at Isipatana in the Deer Park. [Saariputta said:] "It is said, friend Kassapa, that without ardor and without taking care [1] one is unable to gain enlightenment, unable to gain Nibbaana, unable to gain relief from bondage, [2] but that with ardor, with taking care, enlightenment... can be gained. [How is this?]"

"When, friend, a monk thinks: 'Evil [3] and unskilled [4] states that have not arisen would, if they were to arise, be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Evil and unskilled states that have arisen will, if they are not abandoned, be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Skilled states that have not arise, if they do not arise, this will be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor; when he thinks: 'Skilled states that have arisen, if they should cease, this will be to my detriment,' and he does not arouse ardor — this, friend, is being without ardor."

[The same is repeated for 'without taking care']

"Thus it is friend, that without ardor, without taking care, one is unable to gain enlightenment, unable to gain Nibbaana, unable to gain relief from bondage. And how, friend, is one ardent? When a monk thinks: 'Evil and unskilled states...' ... 'Skilled states...' [As before but after each thought: 'and he arouses ardor'] — this, friend, is arousing ardor. [The same repeated with: 'taking care']. Thus it is, friend, that by arousing ardor and taking care one is able to gain enlightenment, to gain Nibbaana, to gain relief from bondage."

Notes Edit

1. Anottaapii: "without moral dread (ottappa)." Ottappa is fear of wrongdoing (and its consequences). It is usually coupled with hiri "moral shame," i.e., fear of doing what one would be ashamed of. These two are known as the "guardians of the world" (Loka-paalaa), and together may be regarded as the objective and subjective aspects of what Christians call conscience. Here, anaataapii ["without ardor"] and anottaapii are linked together by rhyme. If this translation were more concerned with literary effect than with meaning, this could be to a certain extent imitated by a rendering such as "without fire and without care."

2. Yogakkhema: Yoga (etymologically related to English yoke) is sometimes used in Buddhism with positive connotations of religious discipline, etc., but more usually has the negative sense as here. Specifically the "yokes" are synonymous with the cankers (aasavaa, cf. Samyutta nikaya 12,23 n.2)

3. Paapakaa: "(objectively) evil"

4. Akusalaa: lit. "unskilled," the negated form of kusala "skillful" or "wholesome," i.e., productive of favorable karmic results. Such states are accompanied by the "wholesome roots" of non-greed (alobha), non-hate (adosa) and sometimes also non-delusion (amoha).

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