Points of Controversy

5.6. Of Popular Knowledge

Controverted Point: That it is wrong to say: Popular knowledge has only truth as its object and nothing else.

Andhaka: You admit, do you not, that one who attains jhāna by way of the earth-artifice, has knowledge? Does not that earth-artifice come under popular truth?

Theravādin: Yes.

Andhaka: Then why exempt popular knowledge from the search for truth?

The same argument applies to the other artifices, and to gifts as stated above (V. 5).

Theravādin: Then according to you, popular knowledge has only Truth as its object. But is it the object of popular knowledge to understand the fact and nature of Suffering, to put away the Cause, to realize the Cessation, to develop the Path thereto? You must deny. (Hence the need for a distinction between truths.)