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Vassakāra Sutta

1. Vassakāra Sutta.– Vassakāra visits the Buddha at Veḷuvana and tells him that, among brahmins, a man is considered great and wise if:–

  1. he understands a thing as soon as uttered,
  2. has a good memory,
  3. is skilled and diligent in business,
  4. and resourceful and capable in investigation.

The Buddha mentions four other qualities of greatness:

  1. to be given up to the welfare of many,
  2. to be master of the mind in the domain of thought (cetovasippatta),
  3. to be able to enter into the four jhānas at will,
  4. to have comprehended nibbāna by the destruction of the corruptions (āsava).

The Buddha acknowledges, in answer to Vassakāra’s question, that he himself possesses these four qualities. A.ii.35 f.

2. Vassakāra Sutta.– Vassakāra visits the Buddha at Veḷuvana and asks him a series of questions. The Buddha, in answer, says that a bad man cannot, as a good man can, recognise either a good man or a bad man as such. Vassakāra then relates how, once, the followers of the brahmin Todeyya spoke ill of Eleyya and his retinue for showing homage to Uddaka-Rāmaputta; he now understands why they honour Rāmaputta; it is because he is wiser than they. A.ii.179 f.

3. Vassakāra Sutta.– Vassakāra visits the Buddha at Gijjhakūṭa, at the request of Ajātasattu, and tells him of the latter’s desire to destroy the Vajjī. The Buddha tells him that as long as the Vajjī practise the seven conditions of welfare, taught by him at Sārandada-cetiya they will not decline, but rather prosper. Ajātasattu can achieve victory, not by battle, but by causing disunity. A.iv.17 ff; cf. D.ii.72 f.

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