Itivuttaka 40

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Monks, ignorance1 precedes the arrival of unskillful qualities; lack of shame & lack of compunction2 follow after. Clear knowing precedes the arrival of skillful qualities; shame & compunction follow after.”

Any bad destinations

in this world, in the next,

are rooted in ignorance–all–


of desire & greed.

And when a person of evil desires

lacks shame & respect,

evil comes from that,

and by that he goes

to deprivation.

So cleansing away

ignorance, desire, & greed,

a monk giving rise to clear knowing

would abandon all bad destinations.


1. Ignorance (avijjā) means ignorance of stress, its origination, its cessation, and the way leading to its cessation.

2. Shame (hiri) means a healthy sense of shame–derived from self-esteem–at the idea of doing evil. Compunction (ottappa) means fear of the consequences of doing evil.