Sn 4.3
Dutthatthaka Sutta: Corrupted
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
There are some who dispute corrupted at heart, and those who dispute their hearts set on truth, but a sage doesn't enter a dispute that's arisen, which is why he is nowhere constrained. Now, how would one led on by desire, entrenched in his likes, forming his own conclusions, overcome his own views? He'd dispute in line with the way that he knows. Whoever boasts to others, unasked, of his practices, precepts, is, say the skilled, ignoble by nature — he who speaks of himself of his own accord. But a monk at peace, fully unbound in himself, who doesn't boast of his precepts — "That's how I am" — he, say the skilled, is noble by nature — he with no vanity with regard to the world. One whose doctrines aren't clean — fabricated, formed, given preference when he sees it to his own advantage — relies on a peace dependent on what can be shaken. Because entrenchments[1] in views aren't easily overcome when considering what's grasped among doctrines, that's why a person embraces or rejects a doctrine — in light of these very entrenchments. Now, one who is cleansed[2] has no preconceived view about states of becoming or not- anywhere in the world. Having abandoned conceit[3] & illusion, by what means would he go?[4] He isn't involved. For one who's involved gets into disputes over doctrines, but how — in connection with what — [5] would you argue with one uninvolved? He has nothing embraced or rejected,[6] has sloughed off every view right here — every one.


Entrenchments: a rendering of the Pali term, nivesana, which can also be rendered as abode, situation, home, or establishment.
Nd.I: Cleansed through discernment.
Nd.I explains a variety of ways of understanding the word "conceit," the most comprehensive being a list of nine kinds of conceit: viewing people better than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people on a par with oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself; viewing people worse than oneself as worse than oneself, on a par with oneself, or better than oneself. In other words, the truth of the view is not the issue here; the issue is the tendency to compare oneself with others.
Nd.I: "By what means would he go" to any destination in any state of becoming.
In connection with what: a rendering of the instrumental case that attempts to cover several of its meanings, in particular "by what means" and "in terms of what." For a discussion of the use of the instrumental case in the Atthaka Vagga, see note 1 to Sn 4.9.
This reading follows the Thai, Sri Lankan, and PTS editions: atta,m niratta,m. The Burmese edition reads, attaa nirattaa: "He has no self, nor what's opposed to self." As K. R. Norman points out in the notes to his translation of this verse, the first reading is probably the correct one, as it relates to the poem's earlier reference to the unawakened person embracing or rejecting a doctrine. The fact that an awakened person is free from both embracing and rejecting is a recurring theme in this vagga and the next; the confusion in the various recensions as to whether similar lines should read atta,m/niratta,m or attaa/nirattaa is a recurring theme as well. (See Sn 4.4, note 4; Sn 4.10, note 7; Sn 4.14, note 2.)