Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
X: Asura Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours Chapter X: Asuras

Sutta 100

Potaliya Suttaṃ

Potaliya[1]

Translated from the Pali by F. L. Woodward, M.A.

Copyright The Pali Text Society
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For details see Terms of Use.

 


 

[1] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī.

Now Potaliya the Wanderer came to visit the Exalted One, and on coming to him greeted him courteously.

Having greeted him courteously he took a seat to one side.

As he [108] sat at one side the Exalted One said this to Potaliya the Wanderer:[2]

"Potaliya, these four persons are found existing in the world.

What four?

Herein, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,[ed1]
seasonably saying what is a fact and true;
but does not speak in praise
of what deserves praise
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Then again, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks in praise
of what deserves praise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
but speaks not in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Yet again, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks neither in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
nor speaks in praise
of the praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Once more, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

These, Potaliya, are the four persons found existing in the world.

Now, Potaliya, of these four,
which person in your view
is to be accounted[3] most admirable and rare?'

"Master Gotama, these four persons are found existing in the world.

What four?

Herein, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true;
but does not speak in praise
of what deserves praise
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Then again, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks in praise
of what deserves praise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
but speaks not in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Yet again, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks neither in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
nor speaks in praise
of the praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Once more, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

These, master Gotama, are the four persons found existing in the world.

Of these four persons, master Gotama,
he who speaks neither in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
nor speaks in praise
of the praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true -
this person in my view
is to be accounted most admirable and rare of these four.

Why so?

Because, master Gotama,
his indifference[4] is admirable."

"Now, Potaliya, there are these four persons found existing in the world.

What four?

Herein, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true;
but does not speak in praise
of what deserves praise
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Then again, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks in praise
of what deserves praise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
but speaks not in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Yet again, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks neither in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
nor speaks in praise
of the praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Once more, Potaliya, a certain person
speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

These, Potaliya, are the four persons found existing in the world.

Of these four persons, Potaliya,
he who speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true -
he is the most admirable and [109] rare.

Why so?

Because, Potaliya,
his discrimination of proper occasions[5] is admirable.'

"Well, master Gotama, these four persons are found existing in the world.

What four?

Herein, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true;
but does not speak in praise
of what deserves praise
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Then again, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks in praise
of what deserves praise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
but speaks not in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Yet again, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks neither in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise,
seasonably saying what is a fact and true,
nor speaks in praise
of the praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

Once more, Master Gotama, a certain person
speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true.

These, master Gotama, are the four persons found existing in the world.

Of these four, master Gotama,
he who he who speaks both in dispraise
of what deserves dispraise
seasonably saying what is a fact and true
and in praise
of what is praiseworthy,
saying seasonably what is a fact and true-
he is the most admirable and rare.

Why so?

Because, master Gotama, his discrimination of proper occasions is admirable.

It is excellent, master Gotama!

It is wonderful, master Gotama!

Just as if, master Gotama,
one should raise the fallen
or show forth the hidden,
or point the way
to him that wanders astray,
or hold up a light in the darkness
so that they who have eyes may behold objects,-
even so in divers ways
has dhamma been set forth by the worthy Gotama.

I do go for refuge to the worthy Gotama!

May the worthy Gotama accept me as a lay-disciple
from this time forth,
as long as life may last,
as one who has gone to him for refuge.'

 


[1] Cf. Pugg. 50; supra, Ī 83.

[2] Cf. M. i, 359 (Potaliya-sutta), where the householder P., evidently of a disputatious character, is indignant at being called 'householder' by the B., claiming to have given up all. At M. iii, 207 he is called Potali-putta, the Wanderer, having been such three years.

[3] Khamati = vuccati. Comy.

[4] Or impartiality, upekhā.

[5] Kālaññutā.

 


[ed1] I have edited this sutta somewhat to eliminate ambiguities in several places in Woodward's translation. I have also eliminated the two insertions made by Woodward: "(I maintain that)" (in Gotama's assertion of his view) and "(as you say)" (in Potaliya's acceptance of Gotama's view) that are not necessary and are not in the Pali.


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