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Associates—Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 3

3. Persons

26. Associates

1.1“These three people are found in the world. 1.2What three? 1.3There is a person you shouldn’t associate with, accompany, or attend. 1.4There is a person you should associate with, accompany, and attend. 1.5There is a person you should associate with, accompany, and attend with honor and respect. 1.6Who is the person you shouldn’t associate with, accompany, or attend? 1.7It’s someone who is inferior in terms of ethics, immersion, and wisdom. 1.8You shouldn’t associate with, accompany, or attend such a person, except out of kindness and compassion.

2.1Who is the person you should associate with, accompany, and attend? 2.2It’s someone who is similar in terms of ethics, immersion, and wisdom. 2.3You should associate with, accompany, and attend such a person. 2.4Why is that? 2.5Thinking, ‘Since our ethical conduct is similar, we can discuss ethics, the conversation will flow, and we’ll both be at ease. 2.6Since our immersion is similar, we can discuss immersion, the conversation will flow, and we’ll both be at ease. 2.7Since our wisdom is similar, we can discuss wisdom, the conversation will flow, and we’ll both be at ease.’ 2.8That’s why you should associate with, accompany, and attend such a person.

3.1Who is the person you should associate with, accompany, and attend with honor and respect? 3.2It’s someone who is superior in terms of ethics, immersion, and wisdom. 3.3You should associate with, accompany, and attend such a person with honor and respect. 3.4Why is that? 3.5Thinking, ‘I’ll fulfill the entire spectrum of ethical conduct I haven’t yet fulfilled, or support with wisdom in every situation the ethical conduct I’ve already fulfilled. 3.6I’ll fulfill the entire spectrum of immersion I haven’t yet fulfilled, or support with wisdom in every situation the immersion I’ve already fulfilled. 3.7I’ll fulfill the entire spectrum of wisdom I haven’t yet fulfilled, or support with wisdom in every situation the wisdom I’ve already fulfilled.’ 3.8That’s why you should associate with, accompany, and attend this person with honor and respect. 3.9These are the three people found in the world.

4.1A man who associates with an inferior goes downhill,
4.2but associating with an equal, you’ll never decline;
4.3following the best, you’ll quickly rise up,
4.4so you should keep company with people better than you.”