Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋiguttara Nikāya
Dasaka-Nipāta

7. Yamaka-vaggo

Sutta 69

Paṭhama Kathāvatthu Suttaṃ

Topics of Talk

Translated from the Pali by Michael Olds

 


 

[1][pts][ati] I HEAR TELL:

Once upon a time Bhagava, Savatthi, Jeta Grove, Anathapindika's Park revisiting.

Then at that time a large number of beggars
after eating their meal
having returned from their beggar's rounds,
having gathered together
and taken seats in the meeting-hall
were abiding given over to various sorts of off-course[1] talk,
such as of
kings and ministers of state,
robbers and thieves,
the horrors of war and battle;
talk of food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands and perfumes;
talk of cities, towns, villages,
relationships, men and women,
heroes and villains;
gossip at the corner,
over the back fence,
or at the well
talk of those alive or of those who are departed;
talk comparing differences between this and that;
speculative talk about creation,
existence or non-existence.

2. There then rising up at evening time
The Lucky Man approached the meeting hall and drew near.

Having drawn near he sat down on the designated seat.

So seated then The Lucky Man said this to the beggars:

Now what was it, beggars,
that was the jist of the current talk
of this body gathered together here?

What then the talk
that has been ended interrupted?

Here, bhante, after eating our meal
having returned from our beggar's rounds,
having gathered together
and taken seats in the meeting-hall
we were abiding given over to making various sorts of off-course talk,
such as of
kings and ministers of state,
robbers and thieves,
the horrors of war and battle;
talk of food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands and perfumes;
talk of cities, towns, villages,
relationships, men and women,
heroes and villains;
gossip at the corner,
over the back fence,
or at the well
talk of those alive or of those who are departed;
talk comparing differences between this and that;
speculative talk about creation,
existence or non-existence.

It does not, beggars,
reflect the form of such as you,
sons of good families,
gone from home into homelessness out of faith,
for you to live engaging in various sorts of off-course talk,
such as of
kings and ministers of state,
robbers and thieves,
the horrors of war and battle;
talk of food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands and perfumes;
talk of cities, towns, villages,
relationships, men and women,
heroes and villains;
gossip at the corner,
over the back fence,
or at the well
talk of those alive or of those who are departed;
talk comparing differences between this and that;
speculative talk about creation,
existence or non-existence.

There are, beggars, these ten topics of talk.

What ten?

3. Talk about wanting little,
talk about contentment,
talk about impassivity,
talk about living in solitude,
talk about putting forth energy,
talk about ethical conduct,
talk about serenity,
talk about wisdom,
talk about freedom,
talk about the knowledge and vision of freedom.

These, beggars, are the ten topics of talk.

4. Should you, beggars,
take up taking up
only talking talk
about these ten topics of talk —
even these, the moon and sun,
so powerful,
become so great,
would you out-shine,
whatsoever the shine thereof,
not to speak of wanderers holding other positions.

 


[1] Tiracchāna. Usually translated 'animal' it means 'going horizontally, obliquely' deviating, off track. Low, not upright, creepy. The point here is that it does not conduce to progress in The Way.


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