Aṅguttara Nikāya

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Aṅguttara Nikāya
XVII. Āghāta Vaggo

Sutta 169

Khippa-Nisanti Suttaɱ

Coming to Know

Translated by E. M. Hare

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[1] Thus have I heard:

At Sāvatthī.

Now the venerable Ānanda went up to the venerable Sāriputta and greeted him and,
after exchanging the words of customary greetings,
sat down at one side.

So seated,
the venerable Ānanda said to the venerable Sāriputta:

'How far, reverend Sāriputta,
does a monk come speedily to [148] know[1] aptness in things[2]
so that his grasp is a good grasp;
so that he grasps much
and forgets not what he has grasped?'

'I know[3] the venerable Ānanda has heard much;
let the venerable Ānanda throw light upon the matter.'

'Well then, reverend Sāriputta,
hearken and give heed
and I will speak."

'Very well, reverend sir,' replied the venerable Sāriputta;
and the venerable Ānanda said:

'Take the case, reverend Sāriputta,
of a monk who is apt at meanings,
apt at Dhamma,
apt at letters,[4]
apt at language,[4]
apt at orderly sequence[5] -
thus far, reverend Sāriputta,
a monk comes speedily to know aptness in things
and his grasp is a good grasp,
he grasps much
and forgets not what he has grasped.'

'It is marvellous, sir, it is wonderful,
how well this has been put by the venerable Ānanda!

We hold the venerable Ānanda is possessed of these five things:
the venerable Ānanda is apt at meanings,
apt at Dhamma,
apt at letters,
apt at language
and apt at orderly sequence.'[6]


[1] Khippa-nisanti. Comy. Khippaɱ nisāmayati, upadhāreti.

[2] Kusalesu dhammesu. Dict. meanings of kusala are: fitting, healthy, well, skilful, expert; it is used both adjectivally and as a noun; see Mrs. Rhys Davids' remarks, DhS. trsl. lxxxii. Comy. cheko; ad A. iv, 206, of dhammesu: the skandhas, elements, spheres, etc.

[3] Kho.

[4] Vyañjana and nirutti. There is a suggestion in these five terms of literary preoccupation; an attention to the formulated mandates, rather than to their meaning, that argues a later compilation.

[5] Pubbāpara-. Comy. of attha, of Dhamma, of pada, of akkhara, and of anusandhi.

[6] Quoted at UdA. 11.

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