1:5  Cunda

Cunda the smith:

I ask the sage of abundant discernment,

awakened, lord of the Dhamma, free

of craving,


among two-legged beings,


of charioteers:

How many contemplatives

are there in the world?

Please tell me.

The Buddha:

Four contemplatives, there is no fifth.

Being asked in person, I disclose them to you:

the path-victor, the path-explainer,

one who lives by the path,

and the path-corrupter.


Whom do the awakened call

the path-victor?

How is one unequaled

in pointing out the path?

When asked, tell me about

the one who lives by the path.

Then disclose the path-corrupter to me.

The Buddha:

Whoever, de-arrowed,

has crossed over doubt,

is refreshed in unbinding,

devoid of greed,

a guide to the world along with its devas:

The awakened call such a person


Whoever here knowing

the foremost as foremost,

who points out,

who analyzes the Dhamma right here,

he, the cutter of doubt, the sage unperturbed,

is called the second of monks:


Whoever lives by the path,

the Dhamma-way well-explained,

restrained, mindful,

partaking of blameless ways,

is called the third of monks:

with the path as his life.

Making a façade of good practices,

brash, reckless, a corrupter of families,1

idle, deceitful, unrestrained,

& going about as a counterfeit:

He is a path-corrupter.

And when any householder

—an instructed disciple of the noble ones,


understands these,

knowing, “Not all are like that one,”2

seeing one like that

doesn’t kill his conviction.

For how would one equate

the corrupt     with the uncorrupt,

the impure     with the pure?

vv. 83–90


1. A corrupter of families is a monk who ingratiates himself into a family’s affections by performing services for them that are inappropriate for a monk to do, thus diverting their faith away from those who live by the Dhamma and Vinaya. For more on this term, see The Buddhist Monastic Code, Saṅghādisesa 13.

2. “That one” = the path-corrupter.

See also: DN 16; AN 10:176