Itivuttaka: The Buddha’s Sayings

The Section of the Threes

96. The Bonds

This was said by the Lord…

“Bhikkhus, one bound by the bond of sensual desire and by the bond of being is a returner, one who comes back to this state. One freed from the bond of sensual desire but still bound by the bond of being is a non-returner, one who does not come back to this state. One freed from the bond of sensual desire and freed from the bond of being is an arahant, one in whom the taints are destroyed.”

Fettered by both these bonds—
The sensual bond and the bond of being—
Living beings continue in saṃsāra,
Journeying on to birth and death.

Those who abandon sensual desires
But have not reached the taints’ destruction,
Fettered by the bondage of being,
Are declared to be non-returners.

But those who have cut off doubts,
Destroyed conceit and renewal of being,
Who reach the taints’ full destruction,
Though in the world, have gone beyond.