Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Threes

93. The Fires

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, there are these three fires. What three? The fire of lust, the fire of hate, and the fire of delusion. These, bhikkhus, are the three fires.”

The fire of lust burns mortals
Infatuated by sensual pleasures;
The fire of hate burns malevolent people
Who kill other living beings;

The fire of delusion burns the bewildered,
Ignorant of the Noble One’s Dhamma.
Being unaware of these three fires,
Humankind delights in personal existence.

Unfree from the bonds of Māra
They swell the ranks of hell,
Existence in the animal realm,
Asura-demons and the sphere of ghosts.

But those engaged in practising
The Buddha’s teaching day and night
Ever perceiving the body’s foulness,
Extinguish the fire of lust.

Those best of humans by loving-kindness
Extinguish the fire of hate,
And they extinguish the fire of delusion
By wisdom that leads to penetration.

Having extinguished these fires,
Unwearied night and day,
Those discerning ones attain Nibbāna
And overcome all suffering.

The noble seers, masters of knowledge,
Wise ones with perfect understanding,
By directly knowing the end of birth
Come no more to renewal of being.