Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikaya
Atthakanipata

Sutta 69

Kathavatthu Sutta

Topics of Conversation

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Provenance, terms and conditons

 


 

[1][pts][bd] I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi
at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery.

Now at that time a large number of monks,
after the meal,
on returning from their alms round,
had gathered at the meeting hall
and were engaged in many kinds of bestial topics of conversation:
conversation about kings, robbers, and ministers of state;
armies, alarms, and battles;
food and drink;
clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents;
relatives;
vehicles;
villages, towns, cities, the countryside;
women and heroes;
the gossip of the street and the well;
tales of the dead;
tales of diversity,
the creation of the world and of the sea;
talk of whether things exist or not.

Then the Blessed One,
emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon,
went to the meeting hall and,
on arrival,
sat down on a seat made ready.

As he was sitting there,
he addressed the monks:

"For what topic of conversation
are you gathered together here?

In the midst of what topic of conversation
have you been interrupted?"

"Just now, lord, after the meal,
on returning from our alms round,
we gathered at the meeting hall
and got engaged in many kinds of bestial topics of conversation:
conversation about kings, robbers, and ministers of state;
armies, alarms, and battles;
food and drink;
clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents;
relatives;
vehicles;
villages, towns, cities, the countryside;
women and heroes;
the gossip of the street and the well;
tales of the dead;
tales of diversity,
the creation of the world and of the sea;
talk of whether things exist or not.

"It isn't right, monks,
that sons of good families,
on having gone forth out of faith
from home to the homeless life,
should get engaged in such topics of conversation,
i.e., conversation about kings, robbers, and ministers of state;
armies, alarms, and battles;
food and drink;
clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents;
relatives;
vehicles;
villages, towns, cities, the countryside;
women and heroes;
the gossip of the street and the well;
tales of the dead;
tales of diversity,
the creation of the world and of the sea;
talk of whether things exist or not.

"There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation.

Which ten?

Talk on modesty,
on contentment,
on seclusion,
on non-entanglement,
on arousing persistence,
on virtue,
on concentration,
on discernment,
on release,
and on the knowledge and vision of release.

These are the ten topics of conversation.

If you were to engage repeatedly
in these ten topics of conversation,
you would outshine even the sun and moon,
so mighty, so powerful —
to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects."

 


 

References:

See also:
Ud II.2;
AN 9.1.


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