Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tikanipāta
VII. Mahā Vagga

The Book of the
Gradual Sayings

The Book of the Threes

Sutta 67

Kathāvatthu Suttaṃ

Boundries of Debate

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 

[1][pts][ati] Three, me beggars, are the fields of debate.
What three?

How it was in a period of time in the past may be debated, saying:
"Thus it was in a period of time in the past."
How it will be in a period of time in the future may be debated, saying:
"Thus it will be in a period of time in the future."
How it is in a period of time in the present may be debated, saying:
"Thus it is in a period of time in the present."

[2][pts][ati] It may be determined from debating experience, beggars,
whether or not a man is say'n something or just talking.[1]

If, beggars, a man,
asked a direct question
does not answer similarly
with a direct answer;
asked an analytical question
does not answer analytically;
asked a counter-question question,
does not answer with a counter-question;
and does not stand aside from a question
that should be stood aside;
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has just been talking.

If, beggars, a man,
asked a direct question
answers similarly
with a direct answer;
asked an analytical question
answers analytically;
asked a counter-question question,
answers with a counter-question;
and stands aside from a question
that should be stood aside;
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has been say'n something.

[3][pts][ati] It may be determined from debating experience, beggars,
whether or not a man is say'n something or just talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
does not stick to set conditions,
does not stick to conclusions,
does not stick to known experience,
does not stick to the point,
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has just been talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
sticks to set conditions,
sticks to conclusions,
sticks to known experience,
sticks to the point,
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has been say'n something.

[4][pts][ati] It may be determined from debating experience, beggars,
whether or not a man is say'n something or just talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
retorts with another on another[2]
turns the discussion to externals
gets upset, angry and unresponsive
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has just been talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
does not retort with another on another
does not turn the discussion to externals
does not get upset, angry and unresponsive
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has been say'n something.

[5][pts][ati] It may be determined from debating experience, beggars,
whether or not a man is say'n something or just talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
berates,
crushes,
derides,
and fault-finds,
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has just been talking.

If beggars, a man
asked a reasonable question,
does not berate,
does not crush,
does not deride,
and does not fault-find,
in this case, beggars,
it can be said that that man
has been say'n something.

[6][pts][ati] It may be determined from debating experience, beggars,
whether or not a man is well-grounded or not well-grounded.

He who does not lend ear, beggars
is not well-grounded;
he who lends ear
is well-grounded.

He who is well-grounded
is cognizant of one thing,[3]
comprehends one thing,
lets go one thing,
is eye-witness to one thing.

He who is cognizant of one thing,
comprehends one thing,
lets go one thing,
is eye-witness to one thing,
touches the highest freedom.

This is the point, beggars, of talk,
this is the point of meditation,
this is the point of being well-grounded,
this is the point of listening to the experienced,
that is to say the hearts release from getting involved.

[199] [7][pts][ati]When reasoned talk by arrogance is blocked,
by ignoble bias, carelessness, and bickering back and forth,
And each in the others confusion, errors, and perplexity takes delight,
not then does the Aristocrat debate.
If he would talk, the wise man knows the time
and speaks directly to the Dhamma goal
talking talk, well-grounded, unfaultering, and modest,
uninvolved, unhesitant, and without injury.
Contributing without complaint as best he knows,
not glad to catch up one who slips,
not seeking to reprove nor finding fault
not berating, not crushing, not speaking misdirected thoughts.
Knowing, attained to vision, recollected
Thus the Aristocrat counsels and such the way he speaks.
Thus the clever speak without hypocracy.

 


[1] Kaccha and akaccha. Woodward [n2] has 'competent'. Lit. 'speaking' and 'not-speaking' which I take as similar to our expression: "Now you're talking!" or "Now you're saying something!"

[2] Aññenaññaṃ paṭicarati. Another, off topic retort.

[3] What one thing is not revealed. Woodward quotes comy. [n.10] "Dhamma, the Ariyan truth of Ill, evil and arahantship"

 


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