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  1. Friendly Queries
  2. Ill Ones
  3. Some Cook Troubles
  4. These Have Done Much
  5. Like a Diamond
  6. Be With Such Ones
  7. Some Should Be Loathed
  8. Foul Speech
  9. Andhasutta
  10. Upside Down

Buddha's Great Teachings

- from the Anguttara Nikaya (The "Further-factored" Discourses): Tika-Nipata - 3. Puggalavaggo.

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1. Friendly Queries

Three friends asked one another: "There are three kinds of persons in the world. The body witness; the one come to righteous view; and the one released through faith. Of these, which is more pleasing to you?"

One said, "Friend, the one released through faith is more pleasing to me as his faculty of faith is much developed."

The other said, "Friend, the body witness is more pleasing to me as his faculty of concentration is much developed."

The third said, "Friend, the one come to righteous view is more pleasing to me as his faculty of wisdom is much developed."

And therefore they agreed to approach Buddha and ask which was best and most pleasing.

Buddha said: "It cannot be stated easily." [1. Savinnhasutta 21]

2. Ill Ones

There are three sorts of ill persons in the world:

The first of them does not recover from his illness whether he gains or does not gain suitable food, medicine and a suitable attendant.

The second recovers whether he gains or does not gain suitable food, medicine and a suitable attendant.

The third also recovers. He gains suitable food, medicine and a suitable attendant. And on account of this third one I grant suitable food, medicine and a suitable attendant for the ill. On account of this ill person other ill persons should be attended to.

In the same way there are three persons in the world comparable to these three ill ones.

The first does not enter the right path to become proficient in meritorious thoughts - whether he gains sight of Buddha or does not gain sight of Buddha, whether he hears the Teaching and Discipline of Buddha or does not hear it.

The second enters the right path to become proficient in meritorious thoughts whether he gains sight of Buddha or does not gain sight of Buddha, whether he hears the Teaching and Discipline of Buddha or does not hear it from him directly.

The third one enters the right path to become proficient in meritorious thoughts - he gains sight of Buddha. He hears the Teaching and Discipline of Buddha. Because of this one I grant the Teaching should be given, and others too should be taught. They are all three in the world. [2. Gilanasutta 22]

3. Some Cook Troubles

There are three sorts of persons in the world:

The first of them cooks up troublesome bodily, verbal and mental dispositions and is born in a troublesome world and there, touched by troublesome feelings, feels only unpleasant, like beings born in hell.

The second cooks up non-troublesome bodily, verbal and mental dispositions and is born in a non-troublesome world and there, touched by non-troublesome feelings, feels only pleasant, like beings born in heaven.

The third cooks up troublesome and non-troublesome bodily, verbal and mental dispositions and is born in a troublesome and non-troublesome world and there, touched by troublesome and non-troublesome feelings, feels unpleasant and pleasant, like humans, sometimes heavenly and sometimes hellish. [23 - 3.Sankhaarasutta. Emphasis added]

4. These Have Done Much

Three persons have done much for another:

The one the other has gone to and so takes refuge in the Enlightenment, in the Teaching and the Community of mendicants (monks).

The one the other has gone to and so knows as it really is: that "this is unpleasant, this is the arising of unpleasantness, this is the cessation of unpleasantness and this is the path leading to the cessation of unpleasantness."

The one the other has gone to so that the destroys desires, releases the mind and released through wisdom, dwells in the here-and-now, having realized.

These three have done much for this person. They cannot be adequately repaid by gratitude, even when the helped one reveres them, attends on them, clasps hands towards them and honours them with robes, morsel food, dwellings and medicinal requisites. [4. Bahukarasutta. 24]

5. Like a Diamond

These three are in the world:

The one whose mind is like a sore, the one whose mind is like a lightning, and the one whose mind is like a diamond.

The one whose mind is like a sore, is angry and has grudges. When a few words are told he becomes angry, swears and retorts angrily, showing anger and displeasure like a festered sore touched by a clod or stone would ooze much pus. Thus, a mind like a sore is angry and has grudges. When a few words are spoken he becomes angry, swears and retorts angrily, showing anger and displeasure.

A lightning mind knows as things really are: that "this is unpleasant, this is the arising of unpleasantness, this is its cessation and this is the path leading to the cessation of unpleasantness." He discerns (sees) well, just as a man would see forms in pitch darkness when there is lightning.

A diamond mind has destroyed desires and got mind release through inner wisdom. Such a mind abides here-and-now by realizing. Just as there is almost nothing that a diamond would not cut, gem or stone, such a thoroughly released mind through wisdom abides here and now, realizing by himself. [5. Vajrapamasutta 25]

6. Be With Such Ones

In this world some should not be associated with, some should be associated with and some should be honoured and revered and associated with.

Who should not be associated with? It is those (much) below average in virtues, concentration and wisdom. They should not be associated with unless out of sympathy and compassion.

Those to associate with are of acceptable standards in virtues, concentration and wisdom. Because they are up to it, they may converse about and take pleasure in virtues, concentration, and wisdom. One does very well to associate with such ones.

The one to honour, revere and associate with is much above in virtues, concentration and wisdom. He is to be honoured, revered and associated with. Why? Association with him should advance virtues, wisdom, and the discerning mind.

  • Being with someone low brings on deterioration,
  • In being with an equal there does not have to be any deterioration.
  • Respecting a true superior favours quick growth. [6. Sevitabbasutta 26]

7. Some Should Be Loathed

Some should be loathed and not associated with. Others should be looked after but not associated with, and some should be associated with.

This should be loathed and not associated with: an unvirtuous one who excretes evil thoughts like rubbish, who acts in secret (when there is no need for it), and only promises to be a recluse. He is festering inside, oozing filth. It is (probably) well not to associate with him so as to avoid that ill fame spreads - for an evil friend is an associate of evil, and as such should be loathed and should not be associated with.

What kind of person should be carefully watched, and not associated with? It is the one who is angry and carries grudges. When a few words are told, he becomes angry, swears and retorts angrily, showing anger and displeasure like a festered sore touched by a clod or stone would ooze much pus. Or like a heap of rotting food in a monastery when hit with a clod or stone would give a hissing sound. Or like a heap of dung when hit with a clod or stone would give an evil smell. This one should be carefully watched, not associated with, because he may scold, rebuke and do marked harm.

The one to associate with closely is virtuous and behaves very well. Associate with this one, for if this person is imitated for some reason, good fame spreads. And further, he is a good friend who behaves well. [7. Jigucchitabbasutta 27]

8. Foul Speech

These three are in the world: The one of foul speech, the one who speaks the truth, and the person who speaks pleasantly.

The one with foul speech, when asked to witness in a gathering, in the middle of relations, associates, or in the presence of an eminent person, acts like this: Not knowing he says, "I know," and knowing he says, "I don't know." Not having seen, he says, "I saw [witnessed]," and having seen he says, "I didn't see." Aware that he is lying he tells lies for some small gain, for another's cause or some material gain.

When likewise asked to witness, the one who speaks the truth does it the other way round. If he does not know, he says "I don't know." If he knows, he says "I know." Of what he did ot see he says, "I didn't see." Of what he saw, he says, "I saw it." He will not tell lies for some small gain, for another's cause or some material gain.

The one who speaks pleasantly has given up rough speech, and abstains from it. He speaks words that are polite and pleasing [enough], words that are entertained by the populace at large. [8. Gatabhanisutta 28]

9. Andhasutta

These three persons are in the world: The blind man, the man with one healthy eye and the man with two healthy eyes.

The blind man is not clever to acquire wealth and to prosper on wealth already acquired; he is blind to it. He has not the eye to know merit and demerit, the fault and non fault, the non-exalted and exalted and the counterparts of purity and impurity.

The man with one unimpaired eye, so to speak, is clever to acquire wealth and to prosper on wealth gained. He is not blind to it. But he has not the eye to know merit and demerit, the fault and non fault, the non-exalted and exalted and the counterparts of purity and impurity.

The man with unimpaired eyes is clever to acquire wealth and to prosper on wealth already gained. He is not blind to it. And he has the eye to know merit and demerit, the fault and non-fault, the non-exalted and exalted and the counterparts of purity and impurity.

The blind do not have wealth and do not accrue merit.

The half-seeing man begets wealth righteously or unrighteously: by theft, telling lies or cheating, a clever young man accumulates wealth. Partaking in sensual pleasures he winds up in unpleasantness, goes to hell and wails.

To have two whole, healthy eyes is best: That is, with wealth rightfully acquired, such a one rises with the Teaching - He gives rightfully, and also attains the non-grieving state.

Keep away from the blind and those with one eye impaired.

Associate with the man with two healthy eyes. Of the three he is the best. [9 Andhasutta 29]

10. Upside down

Who is the one with wisdom turned upside down? He who does not attend to the beginning, the middle or the end of the complete and pure good Teaching when it is taught him. Nor does he recall it; like a vessel turned upside down would not hold any water poured to it.

Who is the person with wisdom on the lap? It is he who attends to the beginning, the middle and the end of the complete and pure good Teaching when taught him. But he does not recall it. Like a person's lap, where various kinds of eatables are amassed, such as sesame, rice, sweet meats and jujube fruit. Getting up from his seat without mindfulness, he throws that food here and there. This is the person with wisdom on the lap.

Who, then, is the person with wide wisdom? It is he who often attends to the complete and pure good Teaching that is full of meaning. He recalls it all. He is like a vessel turned upright; it would hold any water poured to it.

They are in the world:

  1. The foolish one does not learn anything of much worth, or maybe he cannot.
  2. The one who learns but recalls amiss at best, becomes confused and forgets.
  3. The one who is taught well and recalls it is the best of the three taught ones. He bears the Teaching in mind unconfused, and walking in the path of the Teaching, he can end unpleasantness. [10. Avakujjasutta 30. Mod.]

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