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Muni Sutta: The Sage

1. As long as there is sensual desire, there is still fear. As long as there is attachment to worldly life, desires continue to arise. Leaving the household to ordain in order to live with freedom is the insight and action of a muni, a monastic practitioner. (Sn. 207)

 2. The seed of desire was born and now is terminated. There is no more planting and nourishing it. That is the practice of the monastic practitioner. Someone like that is called a muni - a sage. He has attained true peace. (Sn. 208)

 3. Having examined the ground, determined to eliminate the unwholesome seeds and not provide water for these seeds to grow, the muni has ceased metaphysical discussion and attained no birth. No one can measure the sage anymore. (Sn. 209)

 4. That person has seen and known all the paths of coming and going, and she no longer wants to enter any of these paths. She has extinguished craving and desire, not pursuing anything anymore, because she has crossed to the other shore. (Sn. 210)

 5. That person has overcome all, understood all, gained wisdom, become unattached, released all ambitions, attained freedom as a result of having abandoned all craving and desire. The enlightened call him a sage. (Sn. 211)

 6. That person has the power of understanding. She has been born from precepts and right actions, preferring tranquility, rejoicing in meditation, dwelling in mindfulness day and night, and free from the control of habit energies. The enlightened call her a sage. (Sn. 212)

 7. That person walks forward alone, diligent, awake, undisturbed by praise or criticism – unstartled like a lion at sounds, unsnared like the wind in a net, transparent like the limpid water, pure like the lotus flower, leading others but led by none. The enlightened call him a sage. (Sn. 213)

 8. Stable like a pillar at a bathing ford, she is unmoved or swayed by anyone. Without passion, her senses are calm. The enlightened call her a sage. (Sn. 214)

 9. Solid and straightforward as the shuttle of a loom, clearly discerning right and wrong, he has a strong aversion to evil and cowardly actions. The enlightened call him a sage. (Sn. 215)

 10. Self-restrained, she does not do anything unwholesome. Whether young or old, she already knows that she has enough. She is not challenged or tempted by anyone, and neither does she challenge or tempt anyone. The enlightened call her a sage. (Sn. 216)

 11. Whether the food is given early or late, sumptuous or meager, he calmly receives it without discrimination, not praising or preferring one over the other. The enlightened call him a sage. (Sn. 217)

 12. Practicing celibacy, although she is still young, she is not attached to anyone. Free from arrogance, sloth and torpor, she walks alone in freedom. The enlightened call her a sage. (Sn. 218)

 13. He has seen the true nature of the world, attained the highest understanding, crossed the current of birth and death, attained no birth, and terminated all attachments and afflictions. The enlightened call him a sage. (Sn. 219)

14. Householders are attached to their spouses and children; they have to take care of their families and worry about them. They lack the conditions to protect the life of all beings and to live a simple life with self-restraint. On the contrary, monastic practitioners, thanks to the practice of letting go of desire and attachment, live in freedom and have many opportunities to protect life and help all living beings. They can easily live a simple life with self-restraint and moderation. (Sn. 220)

 15. The crested, blue-necked peacock, when flying, can never match the swan. A worldly person, caught in household responsibilities, cannot be compared to a monastic practitioner, who sits stably in meditation on the mountain. (Sn. 221)

(Sutta Nipàta, Uragavagga 12 (Sn. 207-221)