Parabhava Sutta: Discourse on Downfall

Buddha on lotus - Ariyamagga

Thus have I heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living near Savatthi, at Jetavana, at Anathapindika’s monastery. Now when the night was far advanced, a certain deity, whose surpassing radiance illuminated the whole of Jetavana, came to the presence of the Blessed One, respectfully saluted him, and stood beside him. Standing thus he addressed the Blessed One in verse:

[The Deity:]

1. About the declining man we question thee, Gotama. We have come to ask the Blessed One: What is the cause of his downfall?

[The Buddha:]

2. Easily known is the progressive one, easily known is the declining one. The lover of the Dhamma prospers. The hater of the Dhamma declines.

3. We understand this as explained (by thee); this is the first cause of his downfall. Tell us the second, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

4. The vicious are dear to him. He likes not the virtuous; he approves the teachings of the ill-natured — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

6. The man who is fond of sleep and company, inactive and lazy, and manifesting anger —this is the cause of his downfall.

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

8. Whoever being affluent, does not support his mother and father who are old, and past their prime — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

10. Whoever by falsehood deceives either a brahmana, or a samana (a holy man), or any other mendicant — this is the cause of his downfall.

11. We understand this as explained by thee; this is the fifth cause of his downfall. Tell us the six, O Blessed One. What is the cause of his downfall?

12. The person who is possessed of much wealth, who has gold, and who has an abundance of food, but enjoys his delicacies all by himself — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

14. The man who, proud of his birth, of his wealth, and of his clan, despises his relations — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

16. The man who is addicted to women (given to a life of debauchery), is a drunkard, a gambler, and a squanderer of his earnings — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

18. Not satisfied with one’s own wives,[2] he is seen among the whores and the wives of others — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

20. A person past his youth takes as wife, a girl in her teens, and sleeps not being jealous of her[3] — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

22. He who places in authority a woman given to drink and squandering, or a man of similar nature — this is the cause of his downfall.

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

24. He who having but little possessions but great ambition (greed), is of warrior birth and aspires selfishly to (an unattainable) sovereignty — this is the cause of his downfall.

25. Fully realizing these (twelve) causes of downfall in the world, the sage, endowed with ariyan insight, shares a realm of security (Nibbana).
Parabhava Sutta: Discourse on Downfall
translated from the Pali by
Piyadassi Thera
© 1999
Alternate translation: Narada
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Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

The Tipitaka or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The three divisions of the Tipitaka are: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka. ព្រះត្រៃបិដក ប្រែថា កញ្រ្ចែង ឬ ល្អី​ ៣ សម្រាប់ដាក់ផ្ទុកពាក្យពេចន៍នៃព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ

Listen to Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.

Jendhamuni

As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise. As a deep lake is clear and calm, so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth... Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them. Good people do not babble on about their desires. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, the wise never appear elated or depressed… ~The Dhammapada

Should anyone wish to ridicule me and make me an object of jest and scorn why should I possibly care if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me so long as it does not harm them. May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet respond towards me with anger or faith, may the mere fact of our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm and all forms of abuse that anyone should direct towards me act as a cause of their enlightenment.

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