Then Venerable Puṇṇiya went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:
“Sir, what is the cause, what is the reason why sometimes the Realized One feels inspired to teach, and other times not?”
“Puṇṇiya, when a mendicant has faith but doesn’t approach, the Realized One doesn’t feel inspired to teach. But when a mendicant has faith and approaches, the Realized One feels inspired to teach.
When a mendicant has faith and approaches, but doesn’t pay homage … they pay homage, but don’t ask questions … they ask questions, but don’t lend an ear … they lend an ear, but don’t remember the teaching they’ve heard … they remember the teaching they’ve heard, but don’t reflect on the meaning of the teachings they’ve remembered … they reflect on the meaning of the teachings they’ve remembered, but, having understood the meaning and the teaching, they don’t practice accordingly … they practice accordingly, but they’re not a good speaker. Their voice is not polished, clear, articulate, and doesn’t express the meaning … They’re a good speaker, but they don’t educate, encourage, fire up, and inspire their spiritual companions. The Realized One doesn’t feel inspired to teach.
But when a mendicant
- has faith,
- pays homage,
- asks questions,
- lends an ear,
- remembers the teachings,
- reflects on the meaning,
- practices accordingly,
- has a good voice, and
- encourages their spiritual companions,
the Realized One feels inspired to teach. When someone has these ten qualities, the Realized One feels totally inspired to teach.”
Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.83 Puṇṇiyasutta: With Puṇṇiya by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net.