Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Numerical Discourses

Chapter 12: The Single Entry Path

9. Skin

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 Bhagavān addressed the monks, “Someone taking profit is a serious thing, not an easy thing, for it prevents a person from reaching the unconditioned abode. Why is that? The reward of profit cuts into a person’s skin. Cutting through skin, it cuts into their flesh. Cutting into their flesh, it cuts into their bones. Cutting into bone, it cuts into their marrow.

3. “Therefore, monks, in this way, you should know that profit is a very serious thing. If thoughts of profit have yet to arise, then don’t produce them. If they’ve already arisen, then work to stop them. Thus, monks, you should train yourselves.”

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


  1. This sūtra is similar to SN 17.28. [back]

Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 30 June 2023