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Virecana Sutta

(Tikicchaka Sutta)

A Purgative

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
For free distribution only

"Monks, doctors give a purgative for warding off diseases caused by bile, diseases caused by phlegm, diseases caused by the internal wind property. There is a purging there; I don't say that there's not, but it sometimes succeeds and sometimes fails. So I will teach you the noble purgative that always succeeds and never fails, a purgative whereby beings subject to birth are freed from birth; beings subject to aging are freed from aging; beings subject to death are freed from death; beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair. Listen and pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "Now, what is the noble purgative that always succeeds and never fails, a purgative whereby beings subject to birth are freed from birth; beings subject to aging are freed from aging; beings subject to death are freed from death; beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair?

"In one who has right view, wrong view is purged away, and the many evil, unskillful mental qualities that come into play in dependence on wrong view are purged away as well, while the many skillful mental qualities that depend on right view go to the culmination of their development.

"In one who has right resolve, wrong resolve is purged away...

"In one who has right speech, wrong speech is purged away...

"In one who has right action, wrong action is purged away...

"In one who has right livelihood, wrong livelihood is purged away...

"In one who has right effort, wrong effort is purged away...

"In one who has right mindfulness, wrong mindfulness is purged away...

"In one who has right concentration, wrong concentration is purged away...

"In one who has right knowledge, wrong knowledge is purged away...

"In one who has right release, wrong release is purged away, and the many evil, unskillful mental qualities that come into play in dependence on wrong release are purged away as well, while the many skillful mental qualities that depend on right release go to the culmination of their development.

"This, monks, is the noble purgative that always succeeds and never fails, a purgative whereby beings subject to birth are freed from birth; beings subject to aging are freed from aging; beings subject to death are freed from death; beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair are freed from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress and despair."



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