Anguttara Nikaya

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A'nguttara Nikaaya
4. Catukka Nipaata
V. Rohitassa Vagga

The Book of the Gradual Sayings
The Book of the Fours
V. Rohitassa

Sutta 42

Samaadhibhaavanaa Sutta.m


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

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[1][than] Thus have I heard:

On a certain occasion the Exalted One addressed the monks, saying:


'Yes, lord,' replied those monks to the Exalted One.

The Exalted One said:

'Monks, there are these four ways of answering a question.

What four?

[54] There is the question
which requires a categorical reply;
there is the question
which requires a counter-question;
there is the question
which requires to be waived;
and there is the question
which requires a discriminating reply.

These are the four.

The downright answer first, then qualified;[2]
The third he'll counter, set the fourth aside.
"Skilled in the questions four" they call a monk
Who knows to answer fitly thus and thus.
Hard to o'ercome, to vanquish hard, profound,
Invincible is such an one, and skilled
To see the meaning, be it true or false;
Wise to reject the false, he grasps the true.
"Sage in the grasp of truth"[3] that wise one's called.'


[1] Cf. Dial. iii, 221 n.; A. i, 197 (G.S. i, 178 ff.) in the Mahaavagga (which may be what Comy. on D. iii refers to under the name Mahaa-padesa-kathaa), but in a different order, followed by the gaathas infra.

[2] Reading with Sinh. text vacanaapara.m.

[3] Atthaabhisamayaa = attha-samaagamena. Comy.

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