Aŋguttara Nikāya


 

Aŋguttara-Nikāya
III. Tika Nipāta
III. Puggala Vagga

The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha
III. The Book of the Threes
III. Persons

Sutta 21

Kāya-Sakkhī Suttaɱ aka Saviṭṭha Suttaɱ

Saviṭṭha

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[1][pts][olds][upal] Thus have I heard.

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Jeta's Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika's Park.

Then the Venerable Saviṭṭha and the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita approached the Venerable Sāriputta and exchanged greetings with him.

When they had concluded their greetings and cordial talk, they sat down to one side.

The Venerable Sāriputta then said to the Venerable Saviṭṭha:

"Friend Saviṭṭha, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world.

What three?

The body witness, the one attained to view, and the one liberated by faith.

These are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.

Which of these three kinds of persons do you consider the most excellent and sublime?"

"Friend Sāriputta, of those three kinds of persons, I consider the one liberated by faith to be the most excellent and sublime.

For what reason?

Because this person's faculty of faith is predominant."

Then the Venerable Sāriputta said to the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita:

"Friend Koṭṭhita, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world....

Which of these three kinds of persons do you consider the most excellent and sublime?"

"Friend Sāriputta, of those three kinds of persons, I consider the body witness to be the most excellent and sublime.

For what reason?

Because this person's faculty of concentration is predominant."

Then the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita said to the Venerable Sāriputta:

"Friend Sāriputta, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world....

Which of these three kinds of persons do you consider the most excellent and sublime?"

"Friend Koṭṭhita, of those three kinds of persons, I consider the one attained to view to be the most excellent and sublime.

For what reason?

Because this person's faculty of wisdom is predominant."

Then the Venerable Sāriputta said to the Venerable Saviṭṭha and the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita:

"Friends, we have each explained according to our own ideal.

Come, let's approach the Blessed One and report this matter to him.

We will retain it in mind as he explains it to us."

"Yes, friend," the Venerable Saviṭṭha and the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita replied.

Then the Venerable Sāriputta, the Venerable Saviṭṭha, and the Venerable Mahā Koṭṭhita approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side.

The Venerable Sāriputta then reported to him the entire conversation that had taken place.

[The Blessed One said:]

"It isn't easy, Sāriputta, to make a definitive declaration about this matter and say:

'Of these three kinds of persons, this one is the most excellent and sublime.'

(1) "For it is possible that a person liberated by faith is practicing for arahantship, while a body witness and one attained to view are once-returners or non-returners.

It isn't easy, Sāriputta, to make a definitive declaration about this matter and say:

'Of these three kinds of persons, this one is the most excellent and sublime.'

(2) "It is possible that a person who is a body witness is practicing for arahantship, while one liberated by faith and one attained to view are once-returners or non-returners.

It isn't easy, Sāriputta, to make a definitive declaration about this matter and say:

'Of these three kinds of persons, this one is the most excellent and sublime.'

(3) "It is possible that a person attained to view is practicing for arahantship, while one liberated by faith and a body witness are once-returners or non-returners.

It isn't easy, Sāriputta, to make a definitive declaration about this matter and say:

'Of these three kinds of persons, this one is the most excellent and sublime."


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