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Anguttara Nikaya IV.42

Pañha Sutta


"There are these four ways of answering questions. Which four? There are questions that should be answered categorically [straightforwardly yes, no, this, that]. There are questions that should be answered with an analytical (qualified) answer [defining or redefining the terms]. There are questions that should be answered with a counter-question. There are questions that should be put aside. These are the four ways of answering questions."
First the categorical answer,
then the qualified,
third, the type to be counter-questioned,
& fourth, the one to be set aside.
Any monk who knows which is which,
    in line with the Dhamma,
is said to be skilled
in the four types of questions:
    hard to overcome, hard to beat,
    profound, hard to defeat.
He knows what's worthwhile
    & what's not,
proficient in (recognizing) both,
he rejects the worthless,
    grasps the worthwhile.
He's called     one who has broken through
    to what's worthwhile,

See also: MN 58; MN 72; SN XLIV.10; AN X.96.
Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
Purification of Mind by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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