Con người sinh ra trần trụi và chết đi cũng không mang theo được gì. Tất cả những giá trị chân thật mà chúng ta có thể có được luôn nằm ngay trong cách mà chúng ta sử dụng thời gian của đời mình.Tủ sách Rộng Mở Tâm Hồn
Ngủ dậy muộn là hoang phí một ngày;tuổi trẻ không nỗ lực học tập là hoang phí một đời.Sưu tầm
Ai sống quán bất tịnh, khéo hộ trì các căn, ăn uống có tiết độ, có lòng tin, tinh cần, ma không uy hiếp được, như núi đá, trước gió.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 8)
Khi bạn dấn thân hoàn thiện các nhu cầu của tha nhân, các nhu cầu của bạn cũng được hoàn thiện như một hệ quả.Đức Đạt-lai Lạt-ma XIV
Như ngôi nhà khéo lợp, mưa không xâm nhập vào. Cũng vậy tâm khéo tu, tham dục không xâm nhập.Kinh Pháp cú (Kệ số 14)
Cho dù không ai có thể quay lại quá khứ để khởi sự khác hơn, nhưng bất cứ ai cũng có thể bắt đầu từ hôm nay để tạo ra một kết cuộc hoàn toàn mới. (Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. )Carl Bard
Kẻ thù hại kẻ thù, oan gia hại oan gia, không bằng tâm hướng tà, gây ác cho tự thân.Kinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 42)
Thiên tài là khả năng hiện thực hóa những điều bạn nghĩ. (Genius is the ability to put into effect what is on your mind. )F. Scott Fitzgerald
Con tôi, tài sản tôi; người ngu sinh ưu não. Tự ta ta không có, con đâu tài sản đâu?Kinh Pháp Cú (Kệ số 62)
Khởi đầu của mọi thành tựu chính là khát vọng. (The starting point of all achievement is desire.)Napoleon Hill

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Lời Phật dạy về sự hòa hợp trong cộng đồng và xã hội - IX. Giải quyết tranh chấp

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Introduction

Where the previous chapter was devoted to the origins of disputes, Part IX is devoted to the resolution of disputes. The easiest type of dispute to resolve is that between two people of good intentions. In monastic life such disputes often revolve around the rules of discipline. Thus Text IX,1 shows that such a dispute can be nipped in the bud when the party at fault acknowledges his transgression as such, and the accuser accepts his apology and pardons him.

Following this comes a pair of suttas that were apparently spoken by the Buddha in his old age, perhaps toward the very end of his life. In Text IX,2, he lays down guidelines for settling differences of opinion over the interpretation of the Dhamma. It is significant that he here emphasizes the meaning of the doctrine above the letter, which he calls “trifling.” In the same discourse he also offers advice about dealing with a transgressor. He insists that, even though the reproachful monk may find it troublesome to correct the offender, and though the offender may be hurt by the criticism, as long as one has any chance of changing the offender’s conduct and helping him “emerge from the unwholesome and be established in the wholesome,” one should speak to him. But, the Buddha says, when there is no chance of changing the offender’s ways, and attempting to correct him might just make the situation worse, “one should not underrate equanimity toward such a person.”

Text IX,3, according to its preamble, originated shortly after the death of Mahāvīra, the leader of the Jain community, known in the Pāli Canon as Nātaputta. After his death his followers split into two camps that bitterly attacked each other. The discourse here was spoken by the Buddha to prevent a similar fate from befalling his own community. The Buddha defines the primary threat to the success of his teaching to be disagreements over the thirty-seven aids to enlightenment. Disagreements about livelihood and the rules of training, he says, are of secondary importance. In this same discourse he explains how to settle disputes about the Dhamma and the Vinaya. The first two methods are to settle the disagreement among the disputants and to bring the disagreement to a larger community and abide by the decision of the majority. The last method, to be used when the others fail, is a procedure called “covering over with grass.” This permits a representative monk on each side of the conflict to confess transgressions on behalf of the entire group — with exception made for major violations — without dwelling on the details. This method, which lets the past be past, circumvents the need to review the entire background to the conflict, which might only rekindle old resentments.

Text IX,4(1) stresses that to prevent disciplinary problems from flaring up and generating divisions, the monks involved — both the one who committed the transgression and the one who reproves him — should reflect on themselves, quell their antagonism toward each other, and achieve reconciliation. Text IX,4(2) insists that disciplinary issues should first be “settled internally,” within one’s own circle of followers, so that the dissension does not spread outward and embroil others.

The Buddha often insisted that for the Sangha to flourish, the monks and nuns must repeatedly correct, admonish, and encourage one another. The ideal attitude, according to Text IX,5, is threefold: to be open to receiving correction from others; to be willing to correct offenders, even one’s elders, when the need arises; and to be ready to make amends for one’s offenses. Receiving criticism from others, however, can sting the ego, provoking resistance and resentment. To address this problem, in the Discourse on Inference — included here as Text IX,6 — the Venerable Moggallāna enumerates the qualities that make a monk resistant to correction and drives home the need for self-examination in order to remove those qualities.

Conflicts occasionally broke out between members of the lay community and the monastic order. In some instances the Buddha recognized that the behavior of a layperson called for an expression of disapproval from the Sangha; he thus allowed the monks to “overturn the almsbowl,” that is, to refuse to accept offerings from an offensive lay follower.1 The conditions under which such an action are permitted are stated in Text IX,7(1). It was also recognized that lay followers might have justified complaints against a monk who was not living up to the standards of discipline expected of him. In response, laypeople are allowed to officially proclaim a “loss of confidence” in that monk, the conditions for which are explained in Text IX,7(2). To facilitate reconciliation between the monk and the lay disciple, the Sangha could decide that a wayward monk must approach the layperson he had offended and apologize for his misbehavior, as shown in Text IX,7(3).

Four rules for monks laid down in the Pātimokkha are called Pārājika, “expulsion offenses.” These are sexual intercourse; theft (of an item above a certain threshold value); the taking of human life; and putting forth false claims to attainment of a “superhuman state,” a psychic power or state of higher realization. A monk who transgresses these is no longer in communion with the monks and must be expelled from the Sangha.2 Usually, monks or nuns who fall into these offenses will confess their transgression and voluntarily leave the monastic order. But there are cases when the offender conceals the transgression and tries to pass off as a legitimate member of the order. In such cases the Buddha does not hesitate to instruct the monks to expel the miscreant.

Texts IX,8(1)–(2) deal with just such a situation. In the first, the Buddha lays down the general principle that the wrongdoer who is posing as a regular monk must be expelled. He is just like chaff amid the barley. The second describes an incident when the Buddha refused to recite the Pātimokkha because a miscreant, “inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved,” was sitting in the midst of the assembly. Moggallāna, discovering the evildoer with his psychic powers, forcefully expelled him from the hall and bolted the door behind him.

IX. Settling Disputes

1. CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS

Once two monks had a quarrel and one monk had transgressed against the other. Then the former monk confessed his transgression to the other monk, but the latter would not pardon him. Then a number of monks approached the Blessed One and reported what had happened. [The Blessed One said:]

“Monks, there are two kinds of fools: one who does not see a transgression as a transgression; and one who, when another is confessing a transgression, does not pardon him. These are the two kinds of fools. There are two kinds of wise people: one who sees a transgression as a transgression; and one who, when another is confessing a transgression, pardons him. These are the two kinds of wise people.”

(SN 11:24, CDB 339)

2. RESOLVING DIFFERENCES IN OPINION

“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, two monks might make different assertions concerning the Dhamma.3

“Now if you should think thus: ‘These venerable ones differ about both the meaning and the phrasing,’ then whichever monk you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones differ about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning and difference about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’ Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones differ about the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning and difference about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’ So what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is discipline should be expounded.

“Now if you should think thus: ‘These venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing,’ then whichever monk you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning but agreement about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’ Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones differ about the meaning but agree about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is difference about the meaning but agreement about the phrasing; let them not fall into a dispute.’ So what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped and what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, and bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is discipline should be expounded.

“Now if you think thus: ‘These venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing,’ then whichever monk you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about the meaning but difference about the phrasing. But the phrasing is a mere trifle. Let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute over a mere trifle.’ Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones agree about the meaning but differ about the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about the meaning but difference about the phrasing. But the phrasing is a mere trifle. Let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute over a mere trifle.’ So what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped and what has been wrongly grasped should be borne in mind as wrongly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, and bearing in mind what has been wrongly grasped as wrongly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is discipline should be expounded.

“Now if you should think thus: ‘These venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing,’ then whichever monk you think is the more reasonable should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about both the meaning and the phrasing; let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute.’ Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘The venerable ones agree about both the meaning and the phrasing. The venerable ones should know that it is for this reason that there is agreement about both the meaning and the phrasing; let the venerable ones not fall into a dispute.’ So what has been rightly grasped should be borne in mind as rightly grasped. Bearing in mind what has been rightly grasped as rightly grasped, what is Dhamma and what is discipline should be expounded.

“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, some monk might commit an offense or a transgression. Now, monks, you should not hurry to reprove him; rather, the person should be examined thus: ‘I shall not be troubled and the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, monks, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, monks: ‘I shall not be troubled, but the other person will be hurt, for the other person is given to anger and resentment. However, he is not firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes easily, and I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that the other person will be hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, monks, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, monks: ‘I shall be troubled, but the other person will not be hurt; for the other person is not given to anger and resentment, though he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, monks, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, monks: ‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; yet I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome. It is a mere trifle that I shall be troubled and the other person hurt, but it is a much greater thing that I can make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ If such occurs to you, monks, it is proper to speak.

“Then it may occur to you, monks: ‘I shall be troubled and the other person will be hurt; for the other person is given to anger and resentment, and he is firmly attached to his view and he relinquishes with difficulty; and I cannot make that person emerge from the unwholesome and establish him in the wholesome.’ One should not underrate equanimity toward such a person.

“While you are training in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there might arise mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the one part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Master knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the monk would answer thus: ‘If the Master knew, he would censure that.’

“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realize nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the monk would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realize nibbāna.’

“Then whichever monk you think is the most reasonable of those who side together on the opposite part should be approached and addressed thus: ‘While we were training in concord, friend, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, there arose mutual verbal friction, insolence in views, mental annoyance, bitterness, and dejection. If the Master knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the monk would answer thus: ‘If the Master knew, he would censure that.’

“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realize nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the monk would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realize nibbāna.’

“If others should ask that monk thus: ‘Was it the venerable one who made those monks emerge from the unwholesome and established them in the wholesome?’ answering rightly, the monk would say: ‘Here, friends, I went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One taught me the Dhamma. Having heard that Dhamma, I spoke to those monks. The monks heard that Dhamma, and they emerged from the unwholesome and became established in the wholesome.’ Answering thus, the monk neither exalts himself nor disparages others; he answers in accordance with the Dhamma in such a way that nothing which provides a ground for censure can be legitimately deduced from his assertion.”

That is what the Blessed One said. The monks were satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

(from MN 103, MLDB 848–52)

3. SETTLING DISPUTES IN THE SANGHA

The Venerable Ānanda and the novice Cunda went together to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, they sat down to one side, and the Venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One:

“This novice Cunda, Bhante, says that the Jain teacher Nātaputta has just died.4 On his death the Jains are divided, split into two, left without a refuge. I thought: ‘Let no dispute arise in the Sangha when the Blessed One has gone. For such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.’”

“What do you think, Ānanda? These things that I have taught you after directly knowing them — that is, the four establishments of mindfulness, the four right kinds of striving, the four bases for spiritual power, the five faculties, the five powers, the seven enlightenment factors, the noble eightfold path — do you see, Ānanda, even two monks who make differing assertions about these things?”

“No, Bhante, I do not see even two monks who make differing assertions about these things. But, Bhante, there are people who live deferential toward the Blessed One who might, when he has gone, create a dispute in the Sangha about livelihood and about the Pātimokkha. Such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.”

“A dispute about livelihood or about the Pātimokkha would be trifling, Ānanda. But should a dispute arise in the Sangha about the path or the way, such a dispute would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans.

“There are, Ānanda, these six roots of disputes. What six? Here, Ānanda, a monk is angry and hostile . . . [as in Text VIII,8] . . . one adheres to his own views, holds to them tenaciously, and relinquishes them with difficulty. Such a monk dwells without respect and deference toward the Teacher, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, and he does not fulfill the training. He creates a dispute in the Sangha that leads to the harm of many people, to the unhappiness of many people, to the ruin, harm, and suffering of devas and humans. If, monks, you perceive any such root of dispute either in yourselves or in others, you should strive to abandon this evil root of dispute. And if you do not perceive any such root of dispute either in yourselves or others, you should practice so that this evil root of dispute does not emerge in the future. In such a way this evil root of dispute is abandoned and does not emerge in the future. . . .

“And how is there removal [of a disciplinary issue] by presence? Here monks are disputing: ‘It is Dhamma,’ or ‘It is not Dhamma,’ or ‘It is discipline,’ or ‘It is not discipline.’ Those monks should all meet together in concord. Then, having met together, the guideline of the Dhamma should be drawn out. Once the guideline of the Dhamma has been drawn out, that disciplinary issue should be settled in a way that accords with it. Such is the removal of a disciplinary issue by presence. And so there comes to be the settlement of some disciplinary issues here in this way, through removal by presence.5

“And how is there the opinion of a majority? If those monks cannot settle that disciplinary issue in that dwelling place, they should go to a dwelling place where there is a greater number of monks. There they should all meet together in concord. Then, having met together, the guideline of the Dhamma should be drawn out.6 Once the guideline of the Dhamma has been drawn out, that disciplinary issue should be settled in a way that accords with it. Such is the opinion of a majority. And so there comes to be the settlement of some disciplinary issues here by the opinion of a majority. . . .

“And how is there covering over with grass? Here when monks have taken to quarreling and brawling and are deep in disputes, they may have said and done many things improper for an ascetic. Those monks should all meet together in concord. When they have met together, a wise monk among the monks who side together on the one side should rise from his seat, and after arranging his robe on one shoulder, he should raise his hands, palms together, and call for an enactment of the Sangha thus: ‘Let the venerable Sangha hear me. When we took to quarreling and brawling and were deep in disputes, we said and did many things improper for an ascetic. If it is approved by the Sangha, then for the good of these venerable ones and for my own good, in the midst of the Sangha I shall confess, by the method called ‘covering over with grass,’ any offenses of these venerable ones and any offenses of my own, except for those which call for serious censure and those connected with the laity.’

“Then a wise monk among the monks who side together on the other part should rise from his seat, and after arranging his robe on one shoulder, he should raise his hands, palms together, and call for an enactment of the Sangha thus: ‘Let the venerable Sangha hear me. When we took to quarreling and brawling and were deep in disputes, we said and did many things improper for an ascetic. If it is approved by the Sangha, then for the good of these venerable ones and for my own good, in the midst of the Sangha I shall confess, by the method called ‘covering over with grass,’ any offenses of these venerable ones and any offenses of my own, except for those which call for serious censure and those connected with the laity.’

Such is the covering over with grass. And so there comes to be the settlement of some disciplinary issues here by the covering over with grass.”

(MN 104, MLDB 855–59)

4. DISPUTES OVER DISCIPLINE

(1) The Need for Self-Reflection

“Monks, if, in regard to a particular disciplinary issue, the monk who has committed an offense and the monk who reproves him do not thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the monks will not dwell at ease. But if the monk who has committed an offense and the monk who reproves him thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will not lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the monks will dwell at ease.

“And how does the monk who has committed an offense thoroughly reflect upon himself? Here, the monk who has committed an offense reflects thus: ‘I have committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body. That monk saw me doing so. If I had not committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, he would not have seen me doing so. But because I committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, he saw me doing so. When he saw me committing a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, he became displeased. Being displeased, he expressed his displeasure to me. Because he expressed his displeasure to me, I became displeased. Being displeased, I informed others. Thus in this case I was the one who incurred a transgression, just as a traveler does when he evades the customs duty on his goods.’ It is in this way that the monk who has committed an offense thoroughly reflects upon himself.

“And how does the reproving monk thoroughly reflect upon himself? Here, the reproving monk reflects thus: ‘This monk has committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body. I saw him doing so. If this monk had not committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, I would not have seen him doing so. But because he committed a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, I saw him doing so. When I saw him committing a particular unwholesome misdeed with the body, I became displeased. Being displeased, I expressed my displeasure to him. Because I expressed my displeasure to him, he became displeased. Being displeased, he informed others. Thus in this case I was the one who incurred a transgression, just as a traveler does when he evades the customs duty on his goods.’ It is in this way that the reproving monk thoroughly reflects upon himself.

“If, monks, in regard to a particular disciplinary issue, the monk who has committed an offense and the monk who reproves him do not each thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the monks will not dwell at ease. But if the monk who has committed an offense and the monk who reproves him each thoroughly reflect upon themselves, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will not lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time and the monks will dwell at ease.”

(AN 2:15, NDB 145–47)

(2) Avoiding Acrimony

“Monks, when, in regard to a disciplinary issue, the exchange of words between both parties, the insolence about views, and the resentment, bitterness, and exasperation are not settled internally,7 it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time, and the monks will not dwell at ease.

“Monks, when, in regard to a disciplinary issue, the exchange of words between both parties, the insolence about views, and the resentment, bitterness, and exasperation are well settled internally, it can be expected that this disciplinary issue will not lead to acrimony and animosity for a long time, and the monks will dwell at ease.”

(AN 2:63, NDB 170)

5. MUTUAL CORRECTION

“Monks, I will teach you about co-residency among the bad and about co-residency among the good. Listen and attend closely. I will speak.”

“Yes, Bhante,” those monks replied. The Blessed One said this:

“And how is there co-residency among the bad, and how do the bad live together? Here, it occurs to an elder monk: ‘An elder — or one of middle standing or a junior — should not correct me. I should not correct an elder, or one of middle standing or a junior. If an elder corrects me, he might do so without sympathy, not sympathetically. I would then say “No!” to him and would trouble him, and even seeing [my offense] I would not make amends for it. If one of middle standing corrects me . . . If a junior corrects me, he might do so without sympathy, not sympathetically. I would then say “No!” to him and would trouble him, and even seeing [my offense] I would not make amends for it.’

“It occurs, too, to one of middle standing . . . to a junior: ‘An elder — or one of middle standing or a junior — should not correct me. I should not correct an elder . . . and even seeing [my offense] I would not make amends for it.’ It is in this way that there is co-residency among the bad, and it is in this way that the bad live together.

“And how, monks, is there co-residency among the good, and how do the good live together? Here, it occurs to an elder monk: ‘An elder — and one of middle standing and a junior — should correct me. I should correct an elder, one of middle standing, and a junior. If an elder corrects me, he might do so sympathetically, not without sympathy. I would then say “Good!” to him and would not trouble him, and seeing [my offense] I would make amends for it. If one of middle standing corrects me . . . If a junior corrects me, he might do so sympathetically, not without sympathy. I would then say “Good!” to him and would not trouble him, and seeing [my offense] I would make amends for it.’

“It occurs, too, to one of middle standing . . . to a junior: ‘An elder — and one of middle standing and a junior — should correct me. I should correct an elder . . . and seeing [my offense] I would make amends for it.’ It is in this way that there is co-residency among the good, and it is in this way that the good live together.”

(AN 2:62, NDB 168–70)

6. ACCEPTING CORRECTION FROM OTHERS

[Venerable Mahāmoggallāna is addressing the monks:]

“Friends, though a monk asks thus: ‘Let the venerable ones correct me, I need to be corrected by the venerable ones,’ yet if he is difficult to correct and possesses qualities that make him difficult to correct, if he is impatient and does not take instruction rightly, then his fellow monks think that he should not be corrected or instructed, and they think of him as a person not to be trusted.

“What qualities make him difficult to correct? (1) Here a monk has evil desires and is dominated by evil desires; this is a quality that makes him difficult to correct. (2) Again, a monk lauds himself and disparages others; this is a quality that makes him difficult to correct. (3) Again, a monk is angry and is overcome by anger . . . (4) . . . angry and resentful because of anger . . . (5) . . . angry and stubborn because of anger . . . (6) . . . angry, and he utters words bordering on anger . . . (7) Again, when reproved, he resists the reprover . . . (8) . . . when reproved, he denigrates the reprover . . . (9) . . . when reproved, he counter-reproves the reprover . . . (10) . . . when reproved, he prevaricates, leads the talk aside, and shows anger, hate, and bitterness . . . (11) . . . when reproved, he fails to account for his conduct. . . . (12) Again, a monk is contemptuous and insolent . . . (13) . . . envious and miserly . . . (14) . . . fraudulent and deceitful . . . (15) . . . obstinate and arrogant. . . . (16) Again, a monk adheres to his own views, holds to them tenaciously, and relinquishes them with difficulty; this is a quality that makes him difficult to correct. These are called the qualities that make him difficult to correct.

“Friends, though a monk does not ask thus: ‘Let the venerable ones correct me; I need to be corrected by the venerable ones,’ yet if he is easy to correct and possesses qualities that make him easy to correct, if he is patient and takes instruction rightly, then his fellow monks think that he should be corrected and instructed, and they think of him as a person to be trusted.

“What qualities make him easy to correct? (1) Here a monk has no evil desires and is not dominated by evil desires; this is a quality that makes him easy to correct. (2) Again, a monk does not laud himself or disparage others; this is a quality. . . . (3) Again, a monk is not angry and overcome by anger . . . (4) . . . is not angry and resentful because of anger . . . (5) . . . is not angry and stubborn because of anger . . . (6) . . . is not angry, and he does not utter words bordering on anger . . . (7) Again, when reproved, he does not resist the reprover . . . (8) . . . when reproved, he does not denigrate the reprover . . . (9) . . . when reproved, he does not counter-reprove the reprover . . . (10) . . . when reproved, he does not prevaricate, lead the talk aside, and show anger, hate, and bitterness . . . (11) . . . when reproved, he accounts for his conduct . . . (12) Again, a monk is not contemptuous and insolent . . . (13) . . . not envious and miserly . . . (14) . . . not fraudulent and deceitful . . . (15) . . . not obstinate and arrogant . . . (16) Again, a monk does not adhere to his own views and hold to them tenaciously, but relinquishes them easily; this is a quality that makes him easy to correct. Friends, these are called the qualities that make him easy to correct.

“Now, friends, a monk ought to infer about himself in the following way:

(1) ‘A person with evil desires and dominated by evil desires is displeasing and disagreeable to me. If I were to have evil desires and be dominated by evil desires, I would be displeasing and disagreeable to others.’ A monk who knows this should arouse his mind thus: ‘I shall not have evil desires and be dominated by evil desires.’

(2) “‘A person who lauds himself and disparages others . . . (16) ‘A person who adheres to his own views, holds to them tenaciously, and relinquishes them with difficulty is displeasing and disagreeable to me. If I were to adhere to my own views, hold to them tenaciously, and relinquish them with difficulty, I would be displeasing and disagreeable to others.’ A monk who knows this should arouse his mind thus: ‘I shall not adhere to my own views, hold on to them tenaciously, but I shall relinquish them easily.’

“Now, friends, a monk should review himself thus: (1) ‘Do I have evil desires and am I dominated by evil desires?’ If, when he reviews himself, he knows: ‘I have evil desires, I am dominated by evil desires,’ then he should make an effort to abandon those evil unwholesome qualities. But if, when he reviews himself, he knows: ‘I have no evil desires, I am not dominated by evil desires,’ then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome qualities.

(2) “Again, a monk should review himself thus: ‘Do I praise myself and disparage others?’ . . . (16) ’Do I adhere to my own views, hold on to them tenaciously, and relinquish them with difficulty?’ If, when he reviews himself, he knows: ‘I adhere to my own views . . . ,’ then he should make an effort to abandon those evil unwholesome qualities. But if, when he reviews himself, he knows: ‘I do not adhere to my own views . . . ,’ then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome qualities.

“Friends, when a monk reviews himself thus, if he sees that these evil unwholesome qualities are not all abandoned in himself, then he should make an effort to abandon them all. But if, when he reviews himself thus, he sees that they are all abandoned in himself, then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome qualities. Just as when a young woman, fond of ornaments, on viewing the image of her own face in a clear bright mirror or in a basin of clear water, sees a smudge or a blemish on it, she makes an effort to remove it, but if she sees no smudge or blemish on it, she becomes glad thus: ‘It is a gain for me that it is clean’; so too when a monk reviews himself thus . . . then he can abide happy and glad, training day and night in wholesome qualities.”

(MN 15, MLDB 190–93)

7. SETTLING DISPUTES BETWEEN LAITY AND SANGHA

(1) Overturning the Almsbowl

“Monks, when a lay follower possesses eight qualities, the Sangha, if it so wishes, may overturn the almsbowl on him. What eight?

(1) He tries to prevent monks from acquiring gains; (2) he tries to bring harm to monks; (3) he tries to prevent monks from residing [nearby]; (4) he insults and reviles monks; (5) he divides monks from each other; (6) he speaks dispraise of the Buddha; (7) he speaks dispraise of the Dhamma; (8) he speaks dispraise of the Sangha. When a lay follower possesses these eight qualities, the Sangha, if it so wishes, may overturn the almsbowl on him.

“Monks, when a lay follower possesses eight qualities, the Sangha, if it so wishes, may turn the almsbowl upright on him. What eight?

(1) He does not try to prevent monks from acquiring gains; (2) he does not try to bring harm to monks; (3) he does not try to prevent monks from residing [nearby]; (4) he does not insult and revile monks; (5) he does not divide monks from each other; (6) he speaks praise of the Buddha; (7) he speaks praise of the Dhamma; (8) he speaks praise of the Sangha. When a lay follower possesses these eight qualities, the Sangha, if it so wishes, may turn the almsbowl upright on him.”

(AN 8:87, NDB 1235)

(2) Loss of Confidence

“Monks, when a monk possesses eight qualities, lay followers, if they wish, may proclaim their loss of confidence in him.8 What eight?

(1) He tries to prevent laypeople from acquiring gains; (2) he tries to bring harm to laypeople; (3) he insults and reviles laypeople; (4) he divides laypeople from each other; (5) he speaks dispraise of the Buddha; (6) he speaks dispraise of the Dhamma; (7) he speaks dispraise of the Sangha; (8) they see him at an improper resort. When a monk possesses these eight qualities, lay followers, if they wish, may proclaim their loss of confidence in him.

“Monks, when a monk possesses eight qualities, lay followers, if they wish, may restore their confidence in him. What eight?

(1) He does not try to prevent laypeople from acquiring gains; (2) he does not try to bring harm to laypeople; (3) he does not insult and revile laypeople; (4) he does not divide laypeople from each other; (5) he speaks praise of the Buddha; (6) he speaks praise of the Dhamma; (7) he speaks praise of the Sangha; (8) they see him at a [proper] resort. When a monk possesses these eight qualities, lay followers, if they wish, may restore their confidence in him.”

(AN 8:88, NDB 1236)

(3) Reconciliation

“Monks, when a monk possesses eight qualities, the Sangha, if it wishes, may enjoin an act of reconciliation on him.9 What eight?

(1) He tries to prevent laypeople from acquiring gains; (2) he tries to bring harm to laypeople; (3) he insults and reviles laypeople; (4) he divides laypeople from each other; (5) he speaks dispraise of the Buddha; (6) he speaks dispraise of the Dhamma; (7) he speaks dispraise of the Sangha; (8) he does not fulfill a legitimate promise to laypeople. When a monk possesses these eight qualities, the Sangha, if it wishes, may enjoin an act of reconciliation on him.

“Monks, when a monk possesses eight qualities, the Sangha, if it wishes, may revoke an act of reconciliation [previously imposed on him]. What eight?

(1) He does not try to prevent laypeople from acquiring gains; (2) he does not try to bring harm to laypeople; (3) he does not insult and revile laypeople; (4) he does not divide laypeople from each other; (5) he speaks praise of the Buddha; (6) he speaks praise of the Dhamma; (7) he speaks praise of the Sangha; (8) he fulfills a legitimate promise to laypeople. When a monk possesses these eight qualities, the Sangha, if it wishes, may revoke an act of reconciliation [previously imposed on him].”

(AN 8:89, NDB 1236–37)

8. EXPELLING MISCREANTS

(1) Sweep the Chaff Away!

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Campā on a bank of the Gaggārā Lotus Pond. Now on that occasion monks were reproving a monk for an offense. When being reproved, that monk answered evasively, diverted the discussion to an irrelevant subject, and displayed anger, hatred, and resentment. Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Monks, eject this person! Monks, eject this person! This person should be banished. Why should another’s son vex you?10

“Here, monks, so long as the monks do not see his offense, a certain person has the same deportment as the good monks. When, however, they see his offense, they know him as a corruption among ascetics, just chaff and trash among ascetics. Then they expel him. For what reason? So that he doesn’t corrupt the good monks.

“Suppose that when a field of barley is growing, some blighted barley would appear that would be just chaff and trash among the barley. As long as its head has not come forth, its roots would be just like that of the good barley; its stem would be just like that of the good barley; its leaves would be just like those of the good barley. When, however, its head comes forth, they know it as blighted barley, just chaff and trash among the barley. Then they pull it up by the root and cast it out from the barley field. For what reason? So that it doesn’t spoil the good barley.

“So too, so long as the monks do not see his offense, a certain person here has the same deportment as the good monks. When, however, they see his offense, they know him as a corruption among ascetics, just chaff and trash among ascetics. Then they expel him. For what reason? So that he doesn’t corrupt the good monks.”

By living together with him, know him as
an angry person with evil desires;
a denigrator, obstinate, and insolent,
envious, miserly, and deceptive.

He speaks to people just like an ascetic,
[addressing them] with a calm voice;
but secretly he does evil deeds,
holds pernicious views, and lacks respect.

Though he is devious, a speaker of lies,
you should know him as he truly is;
then you should all meet in harmony
and firmly drive him away.

Get rid of the trash!
Remove the depraved fellows!
Sweep the chaff away, non-ascetics
who think themselves ascetics!

Having banished those of evil desires,
of bad conduct and resort,
dwell in communion, ever mindful,
the pure with the pure;
then, in harmony, alert,
you will make an end of suffering.

(AN 8:10, NDB 1122–24)

(2) Forced Eviction

On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Sāvatthī in Migāramātā’s Mansion in the Eastern Park. Now on that occasion, on the day of the uposatha, the Blessed One was sitting surrounded by the Sangha of monks. Then, as the night advanced, when the first watch passed, the Venerable Ānanda rose from his seat, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, reverently saluted the Blessed One, and said to him: “Bhante, the night has advanced; the first watch has passed; the Sangha has been sitting for a long time. Let the Blessed One recite the Pātimokkha to the monks.” When this was said, the Blessed One was silent.

As the night advanced [still further], when the middle watch passed, the Venerable Ānanda rose from his seat a second time, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, reverently saluted the Blessed One, and said to him: “Bhante, the night has advanced [still further]; the middle watch has passed; the Sangha has been sitting for a long time. Bhante, let the Blessed One recite the Pātimokkha to the monks.” A second time the Blessed One was silent.

As the night advanced [still further], when the last watch passed, when dawn arrived and a rosy tint appeared on the horizon, the Venerable Ānanda rose from his seat a third time, arranged his upper robe over one shoulder, reverently saluted the Blessed One, and said to him: “Bhante, the night has advanced [still further]; the last watch has passed; dawn has arrived and a rosy tint has appeared on the horizon; the Sangha has been sitting for a long time. Let the Blessed One recite the Pātimokkha to the monks.”

“This assembly, Ānanda, is impure.”

Then it occurred to the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna: “What person was the Blessed One referring to when he said: ‘This assembly is impure’?” Then the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna fixed his attention on the entire Sangha of monks, encompassing their minds with his own mind. He then saw that person sitting in the midst of the Sangha: one who was immoral, of bad character, impure, of suspect behavior, secretive in his actions, not an ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. Having seen him, he rose from his seat, went up to that person, and said to him: “Get up, friend. The Blessed One has seen you. You cannot live in communion with the monks.” When this was said, that person remained silent.

A second time . . . A third time the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna said to that person: “Get up, friend. The Blessed One has seen you. You cannot live in communion with the monks.” A third time that person remained silent.

Then the Venerable Mahāmoggallāna grabbed that person by the arm, evicted him through the outer gatehouse, and bolted the door. Then he returned to the Blessed One and said to him: “I have evicted that person, Bhante. The assembly is pure. Let the Blessed One recite the Pātimokkha to the monks.”

“It’s astounding and amazing, Moggallāna, how that hollow man waited until he was grabbed by the arm.” Then the Blessed One addressed the monks: “Now, monks, you yourselves should conduct the uposatha and recite the Pātimokkha. From today onward, I will no longer do so. It is impossible and inconceivable that the Tathāgata could conduct the uposatha and recite the Pātimokkha in an impure assembly.”

(from AN 8:20, NDB 1145–46; Ud 5.5)


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