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 26

Sevitabba Suttaɱ

To Be Associated With

Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi.

© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi
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[1][pts][upal] "Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world.

What three?

(1) There is a person who is not to be associated with, followed, and served;

(2) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served; and

(3) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

(1) "And what kind of person, bhikkhus, is not to be associated with, followed, and served?

Here, some person is inferior [to oneself] in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom.

Such a person is not to be associated with, followed, and served except out of sympathy and compassion.

(2) "And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served?

Here, some person is similar [to oneself] in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served.

For what reason?

[Because one considers:]

'Since we are similar with regard to virtuous behavior, we will have a discussion on virtuous behavior, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease.

Since we are similar with regard to concentration, we will have a discussion on concentration, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease.

Since we are similar with regard to wisdom, we will have a discussion on wisdom, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease.'

Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served.

(3) "And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect?

Here, some person is superior [to oneself] in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom.

Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

For what reason?

[Because one considers:]

'In such a way I will fulfill the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have fulfilled.

I will fulfill the aggregate of concentration that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of concentration that I have fulfilled.

I will fulfill the aggregate of wisdom that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of wisdom that I have fulfilled.'

Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

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

One who associates with an inferior person declines;
one who associates with an equal does not decline;
attending on a superior person one develops quickly;
therefore you should follow one superior to yourself.


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