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Rāsiya Sutta

The headman Rāsiya visits the Buddha and ask if it was true that he criticised all asceticism.

The Buddha replied that the reports were untrue, and that he did not and that he taught the Noble Eightfold Path avoiding the two extremes of the pursuit of sensual pleasures and self-mortification.

He then explains the modes in which someone may enjoy sensual pleasures with wealth acquired unlawfully or unlawfully, making himself happy or not, doing meritorious deeds or not, attached to it or not.  A person may be legitimately criticised for acquiring wealth unlawfully, for not making himself happy, or for not doing meritorious deeds.

The Buddha then explains the modes of practising asceticism: by torturing himself or not, gaining wholesome states or not, gaining knowledge worthy of the Noble Ones or not,  He then explains the legitimate grounds on which they may be criticised, and the right way of practice.

The headman shows his appreciation, declares himself to be a lay-follower for life and takes refuge. S.iv.330.

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