Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Fours

8 Self-Confidence

“Bhikkhus, there are these four kinds of self-confidence that the Tathāgata has, possessing which he claims the place of the chief bull, roars his lion’s roar in the assemblies, and sets in motion the brahma wheel. What four?

(1) “I do not see any ground on the basis of which an ascetic or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world might reasonably reprove me, saying: ‘Though you claim to be perfectly enlightened, you are not fully enlightened about these things.’ Since I do not see any such ground, I dwell secure, fearless, and self-confident.

(2) “I do not see any ground on the basis of which an ascetic or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world might reasonably reprove me, saying: ‘Though you claim to be one whose taints are destroyed, you have not fully destroyed these taints.’ Since I do not see any such ground, I dwell secure, fearless, and self-confident.

(3) “I do not see any ground on the basis of which an ascetic or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world might reasonably reprove me, saying: ‘These things that you have said to be obstructive are not able to obstruct one who engages in them.’ Since I do not see any such ground, I dwell secure, fearless, and self-confident.

(4) “I do not see any ground on the basis of which an ascetic or brahmin or deva or Māra or Brahmā or anyone in the world might reasonably reprove me, saying: ‘The Dhamma does not lead one who practices it to the complete destruction of suffering, the goal for the sake of which you teach it.’ Since I do not see any such ground, I dwell secure, fearless, and self-confident.

“These, bhikkhus, are the four kinds of self-confidence that the Tathāgata has, possessing which he claims the place of the chief bull, roars his lion’s roar in the assemblies, and sets in motion the wheel of Brahmā.”

These pathways of doctrine,
formulated in diverse ways,
relied upon by ascetics and brahmins,
do not reach the Tathāgata,
the self-confident one who has passed
beyond the pathways of doctrine.

Consummate, having overcome everything,
he set in motion the wheel of Dhamma
out of compassion for all beings.
Beings pay homage to such a one,
the best among devas and humans,
who has gone beyond existence.

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