4.186 (6) Acumen

 Dhamma Talk by Bhikkhu Dhammasena

October 20, 2018

 

  • The world is led by the mind
  • If, after learning the meaning and Dhamma of even a four-line verse, one practices in accordance with the Dhamma, that is enough for one to be called ‘a learned expert on the Dhamma.’
  • One is learned, of penetrative wisdom when he/she understands the meaning of suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the way leading to the cessation of suffering.
  • A wise person of great wisdom does not intend for his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both. Rather, he thinks only of his own welfare, the welfare of others, the welfare of both, and the welfare of the whole world.

 

The Sutta:

Then a certain bhikkhu approached the Blessed One … and said to him:

(1) “Bhante, by what is the world led? By what is the world dragged around? When what has arisen does [the world] go under its control?” 898

“Good, good , bhikkhu! Your acumen is excellent. Your discernment is excellent. 899 Your inquiry is a good one. For you have asked thus: ‘Bhante, by what is the world led? By what is the world dragged around? When what has arisen does [the world] go under its control?”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“The world, bhikkhu, is led by the mind; it is dragged around by the mind; when the mind has arisen, [the world] goes under its control.” [178]

Saying, “Good, Bhante,” that bhikkhu delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement. Then he asked the Blessed One a further question:

(2) “It is said, Bhante, ‘a learned expert on the Dhamma, a learned expert on the Dhamma.’ In what way is one a learned expert on the Dhamma?”

“Good, good , bhikkhu! Your acumen is excellent. Your discernment is excellent. Your inquiry is a good one. For you have asked thus: ‘It is said, Bhante, “a learned expert on the Dhamma, a learned expert on the Dhamma.” In what way is one a learned expert on the Dhamma?’”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“I have taught many teachings, bhikkhu: discourses, mixed prose and verse, expositions, verses, inspired utterances, quotations, birth stories, amazing accounts, and questions-and answers. If, after learning the meaning and Dhamma of even a four-line verse, one practices in accordance with the Dhamma, that is enough for one to be called ‘a learned expert on the Dhamma.’”

Saying, “Good, Bhante,” that bhikkhu delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement. Then he asked the Blessed One a further question:

(3) “It is said, Bhante, ‘learned, of penetrative wisdom; learned, of penetrative wisdom.’ In what way is one learned, of penetrative wisdom?”

“Good, good , bhikkhu! Your acumen is excellent. Your discernment is excellent. Your inquiry is a good one. For you have asked thus: ‘It is said, Bhante, “learned, of penetrative wisdom; learned, of penetrative wisdom.” In what way is one learned, of penetrative wisdom?’”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“Here, bhikkhu, a bhikkhu has heard: ‘This is suffering,’ and he sees the meaning of this, having pierced through it with wisdom. He has heard: ‘This is the origin of suffering,’ and he sees the meaning of this, having pierced through it with wisdom. He has heard: ‘This is the cessation of suffering,’ and he sees the meaning of this, having pierced through it with wisdom. He has heard: ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering,’ and he sees the meaning of this, having pierced through it with wisdom. It is in this way that one is learned, of penetrative wisdom.”

Saying, “Good, Bhante,” that bhikkhu delighted and rejoiced in the Blessed One’s statement. Then he asked the Blessed One a further question:

(4) “It is said, Bhante, ‘a wise person of great wisdom, a wise person of great wisdom.’ In what way is one a wise person of great wisdom?” [179]

“Good, good , bhikkhu! Your acumen is excellent. Your discernment is excellent. Your inquiry is a good one. For you have asked thus: ‘It is said, Bhante, “a wise person of great wisdom, a wise person of great wisdom.” In what way is one a wise person of great wisdom?’”

“Yes, Bhante.”

“Here, bhikkhu, a wise person of great wisdom does not intend for his own affliction, or for the affliction of others, or for the affliction of both. Rather, when he thinks, he thinks only of his own welfare, the welfare of others, the welfare of both, and the welfare of the whole world. 900 It is in this way that one is a wise person of great wisdom.”

(Source: The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha: A Complete Translation of the Anguttara Nikaya by Bhikkhu Bodhi)