Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Pañcaka Nipāta
8. Yodhājīva Vagga

The Numbers Bag
The Book of Fives

Sutta 74

Dutiya Dhamma-viharin Sutta

Walk'n the Talk, The Second1

Retold by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi-town, Anathapindika's Park, came-a revisiting.

A certain Bhikkhu came to pay a call,
and, after paying respect with closed palms,
he sat on a low seat to one side
at a respectful distance
and asked:

"'Walk'n the Talk' is the expression.

To what extent, Bhaggava does one
'walk the talk'
in this Dhamma?"

"In the case of the first case
we have the case of the Beggar
who has an all-round understanding of Dhamma.2.

He spends his day in the mastering of Dhamma
but that beyond,
which is attained through wisdom,
he knows not.

This beggar, beggar, is said to be big on all-round understanding,
but does not live the Dhamma.

 


 

In the case of the second case
we have the case of the Beggar
who teaches dhamma to others as he has heard and understood it.

He spends his time instructing and inciting others
but that beyond,
which is attained through wisdom,
he knows not.

This beggar, beggar, is said to be big on wisdom,
but does not live the Dhamma.

 


 

In the case of the third case
we have the case of the Beggar
who is a repeater.

He memorizes Dhamma and repeats it to others as he has heard it
and so spends his day
but that beyond,
which is attained through wisdom,
he knows not.

This beggar, beggar, is said to be big on memory,
but does not live the Dhamma.

 


 

In the case of the fourth case
we have the case of the Beggar
who is a thinker.

He thinks about Dhamma
as he has heard it and understood it.

He spends his day thinking about Dhamma
but that beyond,
which is attained through wisdom,
he knows not.

This beggar, beggar, is said to be big on thinking, but does not live the dhamma.

 


 

In the case of the fifth case
we have the case of the Beggar
who has an all-round understanding of Dhamma,
does not spend his entire day in the understanding of,
memorization of,
and thinking about Dhamma,
he does not neglect putting down interaction
and does devote himself to mental tranquillity within
and that beyond,
which is attained through wisdom,
he knows.

This beggar, beggar, is said to 'Walk the Talk'.

So, Beggar,
I have given you one who is Big on Understanding,
one who is Big on Wisdom,
one who is Big on Memory,
one who is Big on Thinking,
and one Who 'Walks the Talk'.

Beggar! What a teacher should do for his student,
looking after his well-being,
seeking his good,
out of sympathy,
such is such as I have done for you.

There are the roots of trees,
places of solitude.

Do not be negligent,
do not give yourself cause for self-recrimination later.

This is our instruction to you.

 


 

1 dhammavihaari: one who lives in the dhamma

2 I am omitting the list as it is the general belief that this was a late insertion. (the Hare translation in parenthesis)
suttas: (sayings) the interesting thing about this category is that the rest are not categorized under it;
geyyas: (psalms) PED calls this "a certain style of mixed prose and verse;
veyyakaranas: (catechisms) answer, explanation ... Commentary?;
gathas: (solemnities) verses;
udana: (speeches) uplift, inspirations ... is this what we now have as The Udana?;
itivuttaka: [also under speeches?] is this what we now have as the Itivuttaka ...? "Thus it was said";
jataka: (birth stories) the birth stories;
abbhutadhamma: (marvels) tales of Power;
vedalla: (runes) The meaning of the word itself is not clear, according to PED the work includes: "...the 2 suttas so-called in M. (43,44), the Sammaditthi, Sakkapanha, Sankharabhajaniya, Mahapunnama etc. Suttas, as catechetical;
According to the footnote at PTS page 71: "This list recurs at M.i, 133; A.ii,7; Vin.iii,8.; "... and again in this volume at sutta #155.
A couple of things to think about concerning this list: 1. This is a list (if we take it at face value) made before the Buddha's death. 2. It does not mention either the Abhidhamma or the Vinaya (this is an even more interesting omission if we take this list as having been inserted after one or another of the councils).
On the other hand this list could represent an organization of the suttas that is earlier than what we now have.

 


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