This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Abandon one quality, monks, and I guarantee you non-return. Which one quality? Abandon greed as the one quality, and I guarantee you non-return.”1 This is the meaning of what the Blessed One said. So with regard to this it was said:2
The greed with which
beings go to a bad destination,3
from rightly knowing that greed,
those who see clearly
they never come to this world
This, too, was the meaning of what was said by the Blessed One, so I have heard.2
1. Non-return: The third of the four levels of awakening. On reaching this level, one will never be reborn in this world. A non-returner who does not go on to attain Arahantship in this lifetime will be reborn in the Brahma worlds called the Pure Abodes and will attain nibbāna there.
2. These two statements are repeated in each itivuttaka. To avoid monotony, they are given here only in the first and last itivuttakas.
3. The bad destinations: rebirth in hell, as a hungry ghost, as an angry demon, or as a common animal. As with the good destinations–rebirth as a human being, in heaven, or in the Brahma worlds–these states are impermanent and dependent on kamma.