Anguttara Nikaya


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Aŋguttaranikāyo
Catukkanipāto
XI: Valāhaka Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours Chapter XI: Rain-Cloud

Sutta 110

Āsivisa Suttaɱ

Snakes[1]

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

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[1] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One was staying near Sāvatthī at Jeta Grove in Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Then the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:

"Monks."

"Yes, lord," replied those monks to the Exalted ONe.

The Exalted One said this:

"Monks, there are these four snakes.

What four?

The venomous but not fierce,[2]
the fierce but not venomous,
the one that is both venomous and fierce,
the one that is neither venomous and fierce.

Just in the same way, monks, these four persons resembling snakes are found existing in the world.

What four?

The venomous but not fierce,
the fierce but not venomous,
the one that is both venomous and fierce,
the one that is neither venomous and fierce.

And how is a person venomous but not fierce?

In this case, monks, a certain person is quick to anger,
but his anger lasts not long.

Thus a person is venomous but not fierce.

Just as is that snake that is venomous but not fierce,
so using this figure do I speak of this person.

And how, monks, is a person fierce but not venomous?

In this case a certain person is not quick to anger,
but his anger lasts long.

Thus a person is fierce but not venomous.

Just as is that snake that is fierce but not venomous,
so using this figure do I speak of this person.

[116] And how, monks, is a person both fierce and venomous?

In this case a certain person is quick to anger and his anger lasts long.

Thus a person is both fierce and venomous.

And how, monks, is a person neither fierce nor venomous?

In this case a certain person is neither quick to anger nor does his anger last long.

Thus a person is neither fierce nor venomous

Just as is that snake that is neither fierce nor venomous,
so using this figure do I speak of this person.

So these, monks, are the four persons resembling snake that are found existing in the world.'

 


[1] Cf. Pugg. 48; K.S. iv, 107 n.\ SnA. 458; Expos. ii, 395.

[2] Cf. Lit. 'possessed of poison but not fiercely poisonous.'


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