AN 10.69 ( A v 128)
Kathāvatthu Sutta
— Topics of conversation —

The Buddha reminds the bhikkhus what they should not talk about and what they should talk about.

Note: plain texts





Na kho panetaṃ, bhikkhave, tumhākaṃ patirūpaṃ kulaputtānaṃ saddhāya agārasmā anagāriyaṃ pabbajitānaṃ, yaṃ tumhe anekavihitaṃ tiracchānakathaṃ anuyuttā vihareyyātha, seyyathidaṃ – rājakathaṃ corakathaṃ mahāmattakathaṃ senākathaṃ bhayakathaṃ yuddhakathaṃ annakathaṃ pānakathaṃ vatthakathaṃ sayanakathaṃ mālākathaṃ gandhakathaṃ ñātikathaṃ yānakathaṃ gāmakathaṃ nigamakathaṃ nagarakathaṃ janapadakathaṃ itthikathaṃ sūrakathaṃ visikhākathaṃ kumbhaṭṭhānakathaṃ pubbapetakathaṃ nānattakathaṃ lokakkhāyikaṃ samuddakkhāyikaṃ itibhavābhavakathaṃ iti vāti.

It isn't right, monks, that sons of good families, on having gone forth out of faith from home to the homeless life, should dwell engaged in various low conversations, i.e., conversation about kings, robbers, & ministers of state; armies, alarms, & battles; food & drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, & scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women & heroes; the gossip of the street & the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity, the creation of the world & of the sea; talk of whether things exist or not.

Dasayimāni, bhikkhave, kathāvatthūni. Katamāni dasa? Appicchakathā, santuṭṭhikathā, pavivekakathā, asaṃsaggakathā, vīriyārambhakathā, sīlakathā, samādhikathā, paññākathā, vimuttikathā, vimuttiñāṇadassanakathāti – imāni kho, bhikkhave, dasa kathāvatthūni. Imesaṃ ce tumhe, bhikkhave, dasannaṃ kathāvatthūnaṃ upādāyupādāya kathaṃ katheyyātha, imesampi candimasūriyānaṃ evaṃmahiddhikānaṃ evaṃmahānubhāvānaṃ tejasā tejaṃ pariyādiyeyyātha, ko pana vādo aññatitthiyānaṃ paribbājakāna’’nti!

There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation. Which ten? Talk on modesty, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. These are the ten topics of conversation. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, you would outshine even the sun & moon, so mighty, so powerful — to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects.

Bodhi leaf

Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
Access to Insight, 4 July 2010.

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