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Sutta Nipata IV.8

Pasura Sutta

To Pasura


"Only here is there purity"
    -- that's what they say --
"No other doctrines are pure"
    -- so they say.
Insisting that what they depend on is good,
they are deeply entrenched in their personal truths.

Seeking controversy, they plunge into an assembly,
regarding one another as fools.
Relying on others' authority,
they speak in debate.
Desiring praise, they claim to be skilled.

Engaged in disputes in the midst of the assembly,
    -- anxious, desiring praise --
the one defeated is
    chagrined.
Shaken with criticism, he seeks for an opening.

He whose doctrine is [judged as] demolished,
    defeated, by those judging the issue:
He laments, he grieves -- the inferior exponent.
    "He beat me," he mourns.

These disputes have arisen among contemplatives.
    In them are         elation,
                dejection.
Seeing this, one should abstain from disputes,
    for they have no other goal
    than the gaining of praise.

He who is praised there
    for expounding his doctrine
    in the midst of the assembly,
laughs on that account & grows haughty,
    attaining his heart's desire.

That haughtiness will be his grounds for vexation,
    for he'll speak in pride & conceit.
Seeing this, one should abstain from debates.
No purity is attained by them, say the skilled.

Like a strong man nourished on royal food,
you go about, roaring, searching out an opponent.
Wherever the battle is,
    go there, strong man.
As before, there's none here.

Those who dispute, taking hold of a view,
saying, "This, and this only, is true,"
    those you can talk to.
Here there is nothing --
    no confrontation
    at the birth of disputes.

Among those who live above confrontation
    not pitting view against view,
    whom would you gain as opponent, Pasura,
among those here
who are grasping no more?

So here you come,
    conjecturing,
your mind conjuring
    viewpoints.
You're paired off with a pure one
    and so cannot proceed.


See also: DN 16 (the Buddha's answer to Subhadda's question); MN 18; AN III.73; AN V.159
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Message for a Globalized World by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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