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Guhatthaka Sutta

The second sutta of the Aṭṭhakavagga of the Suttanipāta. It was taught to Piṇḍola-Bhāradvāja. He once went to Udakavana in Kosambī, and there the women of King Udena’s palace, who had come to the park with the king, left the king while he slept, and, finding the elder, sat down and listened to his teaching. The king, awakening, went in search of them, and was angry when he discovered their whereabouts. He questioned Piṇḍola as to the solitude which he professed to seek in the park, but Piṇḍola refusing to answer, the king threatened to set red ants at him. Thereupon Piṇḍola went through the air to the Buddha’s Gandhakuṭi and related the story. The Buddha was reclining on his bed and, in that position, taught this sutta to the elder.

A man who clings to the body and to the pleasures of the senses, lives in constant fear. One should therefore cast off greed and cross the flood, unstained by the world (SN.vv.772‑9; SNA.ii.514 ff).

The sutta probably derives its name from the fact that, in the first verse, the body is spoken of as a cave (guhā).

It is commented on in the Mahā Niddesa pp.23 ff.

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