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Is there like this in Pali Canon? (SN44.10)

I saw this quote by Fa-Tsang (643-712)

A naked ascetic [166a] asked the Buddha, “Is suffering made by self?” The Buddha was silent and did not answer. (The naked ascetic then continued,) “World Honored One, if it is the case that suffering is not made by self, is it not made by other?” Again the Buddha did not answer. (So the naked ascetic continued,) “World Honored One, if such is the case then is it not so that suffering is made by self and made by other?” Again the Buddha did not answer. (So the naked ascetic continued,) “World Honored one, if such is the case then is it not so that suffering is made without causes and without conditions?” Again the Buddha did not answer.

I found the parallel but his it’s seems made deeper by himself. Saying Buddha did not answer to teach how empty those questions are. But typical of Mahayana commentary but I was still wondering do we actually have one where he doesn’t answer?

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My search for silence failed. However, I did find this oddly relevant quote:

AN7.54:3.1: An educated noble disciple does understand views, their origin, their cessation, and the practice that leads to their cessation. And so their views cease. They’re freed from rebirth, old age, and death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, sadness, and distress. They’re freed from suffering, I say. Knowing and seeing this, an educated noble disciple does not answer: ‘A Realized One exists after death’, ‘a Realized One doesn’t exist after death’, ‘a Realized One both exists and doesn’t exist after death’, ‘a Realized One neither exists nor doesn’t exist after death.’

Knowing and seeing this, an educated noble disciple does not declare the undeclared points.

Note the “does not answer” and “does not declare”. However, the manner of not answering is also not declared. What is declared is what NOT to answer. Silence would be preferable, if not particularly instructive. I personally find the Buddha’s instruction in SN12.17 more useful in its precise declaration.

SN12.17:3.2: “Not so, Kassapa,” said the Buddha.

Thank you so much for the effort. I just thinking maybe in suttanipata?

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The other place for “not answer” is here:

DN21:2.7.10: “Sir, I approached those who I imagined were ascetics and brahmins living in the wilderness, in remote lodgings. But they could not answer, and they even questioned me in return:

There may be others, but I only searched what Bhante Sujato has translated.

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I actually found this one with that reaction. Buddhas do it only if the person might become confused after by reading how weak they are. This sutta I think is the only one he remains silent.

“Master Gotama, does the self exist absolutely?” But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.

“Then does the self not exist absolutely?” But for a second time the Buddha kept silent. Then the wanderer Vacchagotta got up from his seat and left.

He did it out of compassion. Sadly not everyone was ready to understand his teaching. Better let a person in spiritual life then become confused.

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Ah! Indeed. You found the magic phrase, “kept silent”.

SN44.10:1.4: But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.
SN44.10:1.6: But for a second time the Buddha kept silent.
AN8.20:2.1: But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.
AN8.20:2.5: But for a second time the Buddha kept silent.
SN7.3:1.4: But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.
AN10.95:8.2: But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.
MN85:7.8: But when he said this, the Buddha kept silent.

Thank you. I will add this phrase to Voice examples.

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Then the Buddha glanced at Venerable Ānanda. So Ānanda said to Prince Bodhi, “Fold up the cloth, Prince. The Buddha will not step upon white cloth. The Realized One has compassion for future generations.”

One of my favorite sutta :joy: :heart:

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