Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa


Introduction to 3.4.6
Cundasuttaṃ
About Speech that should be Avoided and that should be Performed


This sutta was delivered at the silversmith, Cunda Kammāraputta's Mango grove near Pāvā. Cunda later was to be the one to prepare the last meal of the Buddha. Buddha enquired with Cunda about his practise of purifying rites. Cunda informed him that he was practicing exactly as the Brāhmins had told him and gave some examples i.e. the habit of touching the ground, green grass, worshipping fire etc. Buddha but told Cunda in reply that in spite of whatever rites one may perform there were ten kinds of unwholesome ways of action that had the perspective of negative kammic results: - “Imesaṃ pana, cunda, dasannaṃ akusalānaṃ kammapathānaṃ samannāgamanahetu1 nirayo paññāyati, tiracchānayoni paññāyati, pettivisayo paññāyati, yā vā panaññāpi kāci duggatiyo.” – “On account of getting engaged in these ten ways of unwholesome action, Cunda, one is bound for hell, for the animal world, the world of a peta2 or any other unhappy realm.3

Buddha then continued, that it was the avoidance of these courses of action and the performance of wholesomeness in ten ways that would lead to real purification: “Imesaṃ pana, cunda, dasannaṃ kusalānaṃ kammapathānaṃ samannāgamanahetu devā paññāyanti, manussā paññāyanti, yā vā panaññāpi kāci sugatiyo”ti” – “On account of getting engaged in these ten ways being distinguished by wholesome action, Cunda, one is bound for devahood, for mankind or any other happy realm.“

ETP here splits the Cundasuttaṃ and these ten courses of wrong and right action4 in its respective three parts: “Tividhaṃ kho, cunda, kāyena asoceyyaṃ hoti; catubbidhaṃ vācāya asoceyyaṃ hoti; tividhaṃ manasā asoceyyaṃ hoti.” – “Threefold is impure bodily action, fourfold that of speech and threefold is impure action of mind”


[1] samannāgamanahetu: samannāgamana + hetu: the manner of getting engaged in + cause, reason

[2] pettivisaya literally means “the realm of the unhappy ghosts (peta).” Petas can be encountered in the world of man in forests, on mountains, on islands, or in cemeteries, but remain usually invisible to the human eye. Refer also to the encounter of a peta with the merchant Aṅkura in Aṅkurapetavatthu 3.5.8 and 4.2.3.

[3] This refers to the asuraloka, the realm of the ghosts, demons and titans.

[4] For those actions of body refer to 3.5.3, for those of the mind see 3.7.7
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Pāli lesson (with audio) 3.4.6

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Last modified: Tuesday, 21 February 2017, 7:26 PM