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Tamonata Sutta

Darkness

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

"There are these four types of people to be found existing in the world. Which four? One in darkness who is headed for darkness, one in darkness who is headed for light, one in light who is headed for darkness, and one in light who is headed for light.

"And how is one the type of person in darkness who is headed for darkness? There is the case where a person is born into a lowly family -- the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper -- a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn't receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. Having engaged in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct, he -- on the break-up of the body, after death -- reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for darkness.

"And how is one the type of person in darkness who is headed for light? There is the case where a person is born into a lower class family -- the family of a scavenger, a hunter, a basket-weaver, a wheelwright, or a sweeper -- a family that is poor, with little food or drink, living in hardship, where food and clothing are hard to come by. And he is ugly, misshapen, stunted, and sickly: half-blind or deformed or lame or crippled. He doesn't receive any [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, or vehicles; garlands, perfumes, or ointments; bedding, shelter, or lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. Having engaged in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct, he -- on the break-up of the body, after death -- reappears in the good destination, the heavenly world. This is the type of person in darkness who is headed for light.

"And how is one the type of person in light who is headed for darkness? There is the case where a person is born into an upper class family -- a noble warrior family, a priestly family, a prosperous householder family -- a family that is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion. He receives [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and ointments; bedding, shelter, and lamps. He engages in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct. Having engaged in bodily misconduct, verbal misconduct, and mental misconduct, he -- on the break-up of the body, after death -- reappears in the plane of deprivation, the bad destination, the lower realms, in hell. This is the type of person in light who is headed for darkness.

"And how is one the type of person in light who is headed for light? There is the case where a person is born into an upper class family -- a noble warrior family, a priestly family, a prosperous householder family -- a family that is rich, with much wealth, with many possessions, with a great deal of money, a great many accoutrements of wealth, a great many commodities. And he is well-built, handsome, extremely inspiring, endowed with a lotus-like complexion. He receives [gifts of] food, drink, clothing, and vehicles; garlands, perfumes, and ointments; bedding, shelter, and lamps. He engages in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct. Having engaged in good bodily conduct, good verbal conduct, and good mental conduct, he -- on the break-up of the body, after death -- reappears in the good destination, the heavenly world. This is the type of person in light who is headed for light.

"These are the four types of people to be found existing in the world."



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