Anguttara Nikaya


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Anguttara Nikāya
Atthaka Nipāta
Gahapati Vagga

Sutta 27

Bala Suttaɱ

Tools[1]

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts] Cast in Savatthi:

Eight, me beggars, are tools.
What eight?

Crying, beggars, is the tool of children;
anger, the tool of mother-folk;
weaponry, the tool of crooks;
might, the tool of kings;
outrage[2], the tool of fools;
understanding, the tool of the wise;
reflection, the tool of the learned;
forbearance, the tool of the shaman and brāhman.

These, beggars, are the eight tools.

 


[1] Bala. The distinction between 'bala' and 'indriya' is that bala is the thing (power or force) as employed or employable where indriya is the thing itself. I have usually used 'power', sometimes 'ability', enabler, and 'ally', but 'tool' seems to me to be clear in it's distinction from Indriyana (as 'force'). The Indriyana of crying for a child is the effect it has on people. The bala of crying is the power to create that effect by crying. In SN 5.48.43 it is shown that bala and indriyana are two sides of the same coin.

[2] Ujjhattibalā. Lit. 'up-burning'; 'That really burns me up!'; uproar; flare-up.


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