AN 2.46 Ukkacita Sutta

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Ukkacita Sutta: Bombast

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

"Monks, there are these two assemblies. Which two? The assembly trained in bombast and not in cross-questioning, and the assembly trained in cross-questioning and not in bombast.

"And which is the assembly trained in bombast and not in cross-questioning?

"There is the case where in any assembly when the discourses of the Tathagata deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness are recited, the monks don't listen, don't lend ear, don't set their hearts on knowing them; don't regard them as worth grasping or mastering. But when discourses that are literary works the works of poets, artful in sound, artful in expression, the work of outsiders, words of disciples are recited, they listen, they lend ear, they set their hearts on knowing them; they regard them as worth grasping & mastering. Yet when they have mastered that Dhamma, they don't cross-question one another about it, don't dissect: 'How is this? What is the meaning of this?' They don't make open what isn't open, don't make plain what isn't plain, don't dispel doubt on its various doubtful points. This is called an assembly trained in bombast, not in cross-questioning.

"And which is the assembly trained in cross-questioning and not in bombast?

"There is the case where in any assembly when discourses that are literary works the works of poets, artful in sound, artful in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples are recited, the monks don't listen, don't lend ear, don't set their hearts on knowing them; don't regard them as worth grasping or mastering. But when the discourses of the Tathagata deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness are recited, they listen, they lend ear, they set their hearts on knowing them; they regard them as worth grasping & mastering. And when they have mastered that Dhamma, they cross-question one another about it and dissect it: 'How is this? What is the meaning of this?' They make open what isn't open, make plain what isn't plain, dispel doubt on its various doubtful points. This is called an assembly trained in cross-questioning and not in bombast."