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Assaddha Suttaṃ

(A.i.218)

One Without Faith

“I will teach you about the bad man, monks, and about one inferior to the bad man; about the good man, and about one superior to the good man. Listen and pay careful attention. I will speak.”

“Very good, venerable sir.”

“And what, monks, is the bad man? Herein, monks, one is without faith (assaddho), shameless (ahiriko), reckless (anottappī),¹ is unlearned (appassuto),² is lazy (kusīto), is of confused mindfulness (muṭṭhassati), of weak wisdom (dupañño).³ This, monks, is called a bad man.

“And what, monks, is one inferior to a bad man? Herein, monks, one is without faith himself and encourages lack of faith in others, one is shameless himself and encourages shamelessness in others, one is reckless himself and encourages recklessness in others, one is unlearned himself and encourages unlearnedness in others, one is lazy himself and encourages laziness in others, one is of confused mindfulness himself and encourages confused mindfulness in others, one is of weak wisdom himself and encourages wick wisdom in others. This, monks, is called one inferior to a bad man.

“And what, monks, is a good man? Herein, monks, one has faith, shame, dread, great learning, vigorous energy, is mindful, is wise. This, monks, is called a good man.

“And what, monks, is one superior to the good man? Herein, monks, one has faith himself and encourages faith in others, one has shame himself and encourages shame in others, one has dread himself and encourages dread in others, one is of great learning himself and encourages great learning in others, one has vigorous energy himself and encourages vigorous energy in others, one is mindful himself and encourages mindfulness in others, one is wise himself and encourages wisdom in others. This, monks, is called one superior to a good man.”

Notes

1. Lack of moral shame or conscience is called shamelessness (ahirika) and lack of fear in regard to wrong-doing is called recklessness (anottappa). See A Discourse on the Sallekha Sutta.

2. The term means literally “Having heard little.” Young people may not have heard much, but this moral defect is about lack of intelligence and inquisitiveness, rather than learning to pass exams.

3. Wisdom is the ability to differentiate between what is wholesome and unwholesome. The essence of wisdom is moral conduct, so one who is immoral is of weak wisdom.