Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 9: The Only Son

8. A Woman’s Perception

1. Thus I have heard:[1] One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park in Jeta’s Grove of Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks, “I don’t see a single thing in this assembly so supreme and sublime that prevents the benighted worldly person from reaching eternal peace and chains them in a prison where they have no freedom. That is, when a woman sees a man’s form, she becomes attached to the perceptions it produces. A woman’s mind craves and esteems it so much that it prevents her from reaching eternal peace and chains her in a prison where she has no freedom. Her mind won’t abandon it, and then she goes round and round being reborn. In this world and the next, she circulates among the five destinies for numerous eons.”

3. The Bhagavān then spoke in verse:

4. “Therefore, monks, one should abandon forms. Don’t become attached to the perceptions they produce. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

5. When the monks heard what the Buddha taught, they rejoiced and approved.


  1. This sūtra is parallel to AN 1.6-10 and the second half of T792. A discussion of these parallel texts can be found in a note to EĀ 9.7. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 3 March 2023