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Muṇi Sutta

The twelfth sutta of the Uraga Vagga of the Suttanipāta.

It defines the sage (muṇi) as one who lives the homeless life, free of encumbrances, devoid of strife and covetousness, firm, self restrained, thoughtful, and delighting in meditation. He has overcome all obstacles and knows all things. He is as different from a householder as a peacock from a fast flying swan. According to the Commentary (SNA.i.254 f) the sutta is a composite one made up of stanzas taught on various occasions; thus, the first four verses had reference to a mother and a son who joined the Order, met frequently, and, owing to their affection for each other, fell into sin (cp. Mātuputtika Sutta). The fifth was in reference to Upaka’s attainment of Non-returning; the sixth was taught to Khadiravaniya Revata; the seventh was taught to Suddhodana to explain why the Buddha had renounced his luxuries. The ninth was in reference to Ciñcā’s attempt to malign the Buddha; the tenth was taught the daughter of a millionaire of Sāvatthi. Seeing a weaver’s spindle and reflecting on it, she realised the crookedness of beings and was disgusted with the worldly life. The Buddha, reading her thoughts, appeared before her in a ray of light and taught her. The eleventh was taught to the daughter of a weaver of Āḷavi, who became a Stream-winner and died soon after (See Pesakāradhītuvatthu DhA.iii.170 ff). The twelfth was taught to the brahmin Pañcaggadāyaka; and the thirteenth was in reference to a treasurer of Sāvatthi who joined the Order and left it three times, on the fourth time of joining he became an Arahant. The fourteenth was in reference to the Buddha’s cousin Nanda, who was being teased by the monks even after he had attained Arahantship. The last was in defence of a monk for whom a hunter conceived a friendship, providing him with alms; the monk was a forest-dweller, and men blamed him saying that he told the hunter of the animals’ haunts.

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