culaavuso wrote:It doesn't seem that it's the content of the questions being asked that Ven. Thanissaro is referring to when he says "He can't phrase his questions properly", but the actual phrasing and the fact that Pasenadi seems to have difficulty asking what he actually means the first time....
I see your point. There is a tendency in the Suttas to deflate figures of authority, be they gods or men. But King Pasenadi is depicted in such positive light that I think "dense" is too harsh a description for him. To me he is meant to represent the best qualities of a puthujjana
with the sort of faith and piety in the Dhamma that inspires those of us who have yet to enter the stream.
Regarding AN10.30, there is a sutta in the Majjhima Nikaya (quoted by boris) that more or less parallels it -- the Dhammacetiyasutta
MN89 -- that closes:
Atha kho bhagavā acirapakkantassa rañño pasenadissa kosalassa bhikkhū āmantesi: “eso, bhikkhave, rājā pasenadi kosalo dhammacetiyāni bhāsitvā uṭṭhāyāsanā pakkanto. Uggaṇhatha, bhikkhave, dhammacetiyāni; pariyāpuṇātha, bhikkhave, dhammacetiyāni; dhāretha, bhikkhave, dhammacetiyāni. Atthasaṃhitāni, bhikkhave, dhammacetiyāni ādibrahmacariyakānī”ti.
Then, soon after he had left, the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus: “Bhikkhus, before rising from his seat and departing, this King Pasenadi uttered monuments to the Dhamma. Learn the monuments to the Dhamma, bhikkhus; master the monuments to the Dhamma; remember the monuments to the Dhamma. The monuments to the Dhamma are beneficial, bhikkhus, and they belong to the fundamentals of the holy life.
So I don't take the Anguttara sutta to be an underhanded slight.