4:7  To Tissa-metteyya


“Tell the damage, dear sir,

for one given over

to sexual intercourse.

Having heard your teaching,

we’ll train in seclusion.”

The Buddha:

“In one given over

to sexual intercourse,

the teaching is muddled

and he practices wrongly:

This is ignoble

in him.

Whoever once went alone,

but then resorts

to sexual intercourse

—like a carriage out of control—

is called vile in the world,

a person run-of-the-mill.

His earlier honor & dignity:


Seeing this,

he should train himself

to abandon sexual intercourse.

Overcome by resolves,

he broods

like a miserable wretch.

Hearing the scorn of others,

he’s chagrined.

He makes weapons,

attacked by the words of others.

This, for him, is a great entanglement.



into lies.

They thought him wise

when he committed himself

to the life alone,

but now that he’s given

to sexual intercourse

they declare him a dullard.

Knowing these drawbacks, the sage

here—before & after—

stays firm in the life alone;

doesn’t resort to sexual intercourse;

would train himself

in seclusion—

this, for the noble,

is highest.

He wouldn’t, because of that,

suppose himself

to be better than others:

He’s on the verge

of unbinding.

People enmeshed

in sensual pleasures,

envy him:

a sage remote,

leading his life

unconcerned for sensual pleasures

—one who’s crossed over the flood.”

vv. 814–823

See also: MN 22; SN 1:20; AN 4:159; AN 5:75–76; AN 7:48; Ud 3:2