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[ Sitting Practice ]

Walk'n the Talk[1]

I HEAR TELL:

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 he asked:

"'Walk'n the Talk'[2] 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.[3] He spends his day in the mastering of Dhamma. But he neglects putting down interaction and does not devote himself to mental tranquillity within. 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 he neglects putting down interaction and does not devote himself to mental tranquillity within. 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 he neglects putting down interaction and does not devote himself to mental tranquillity within. 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 he neglects putting down interaction and does not devote himself to mental tranquillity within. 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, but he does not spend his day in the mastery of Dhamma, he does not neglect putting down interaction and does devote himself to mental tranquillity within. 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 their well-being, seeking their 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] Anguttara Nikaya III, V, viii, 73

[2] Dhammavihāri: one who lives in the dhamma

[3] I am omitting the list (in the translation) as it is my belief that it 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) things 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).

 


 

References:

[AN 5.73] Anguttara Nikaya III, V, viii, 73
PTS: The Book of the Gradual Sayings, III: The Book of the Fives: VIII: The Warrior: 3: Living by Dhamma, pp70


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