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AN 6.12 Dutiyasāraṇīyasutta: Warm-hearted (2nd)

“Mendicants, these six warm-hearted qualities make for fondness and respect, conducing to inclusion, harmony, and unity, without quarreling. What six?

Firstly, a mendicant consistently treats their spiritual companions with bodily kindness, both in public and in private. This warm-hearted quality makes for fondness and respect, conducing to inclusion, harmony, and unity, without quarreling.

Furthermore, a mendicant consistently treats their spiritual companions with verbal kindness …

Furthermore, a mendicant consistently treats their spiritual companions with mental kindness …

Furthermore, a mendicant shares without reservation any material possessions they have gained by legitimate means, even the food placed in the alms-bowl, using them in common with their ethical spiritual companions. This too is a warm-hearted quality.

Furthermore, a mendicant lives according to the precepts shared with their spiritual companions, both in public and in private. Those precepts are unbroken, impeccable, spotless, and unmarred, liberating, praised by sensible people, not mistaken, and leading to immersion. This too is a warm-hearted quality.

Furthermore, a mendicant lives according to the view shared with their spiritual companions, both in public and in private. That view is noble and emancipating, and leads one who practices it to the complete ending of suffering. This warm-hearted quality makes for fondness and respect, conducing to inclusion, harmony, and unity, without quarreling.

These six warm-hearted qualities make for fondness and respect, conducing to inclusion, harmony, and unity, without quarreling.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 6.12 Dutiyasāraṇīyasutta: Warm-hearted (2nd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Snp 4.11 Kalahavivādasutta: Quarrels and Disputes

[Note: In this very deep and profound sutta the Buddha ties disputes to the process of dependent origination. Three other translations are linked to below.]

“Where do quarrels and disputes come from?
And lamentation and sorrow, and stinginess?
What of conceit and arrogance, and slander too—
tell me please, where do they come from?”

“Quarrels and disputes come from what we hold dear,
as do lamentation and sorrow, stinginess,
conceit and arrogance.
Quarrels and disputes are linked to stinginess,
and when disputes have arisen there is slander.”

“So where do things held dear in the world spring from?
And the lusts that are loose in the world?
Where spring the hopes and aims
a man has for the next life?”

“What we hold dear in the world spring from desire,
as do the lusts that are loose in the world.
From there spring the hopes and aims
a man has for the next life.”

“So where does desire in the world spring from?
And judgments, too, where do they come from?
And anger, lies, and doubt,
and other things spoken of by the Ascetic?”

“What they call pleasure and pain in the world—
based on that, desire comes about.
Seeing the appearance and disappearance of forms,
a person forms judgments in the world.

Anger, lies, and doubt—
these things are, too, when that pair is present.
One who has doubts should train in the path of knowledge;
it is from knowledge that the Ascetic speaks of these things.”

“Where do pleasure and pain spring from?
When what is absent do these things not occur?
And also, on the topic of appearance and disappearance—
tell me where they spring from.”

“Pleasure and pain spring from contact;
when contact is absent they do not occur.
And on the topic of appearance and disappearance—
I tell you they spring from there.”

“So where does contact in the world spring from?
And possessions, too, where do they come from?
When what is absent is there no possessiveness?
When what disappears do contacts not strike?”

“Name and form cause contact;
possessions spring from wishing;
when wishing is absent there is no possessiveness;
when form disappears, contacts don’t strike.”

“Form disappears for one proceeding how?
And how do happiness and suffering disappear?
Tell me how they disappear;
I think we ought to know these things.”

“Without normal perception or distorted perception;
not lacking perception, nor perceiving what has disappeared.
Form disappears for one proceeding thus;
for concepts of identity due to proliferation spring from perception.”

“Whatever I asked you have explained to me.
I ask you once more, please tell me this:
Do some astute folk here say that this is the highest extent
of purification of the spirit?
Or do they say it is something else?”

“Some astute folk do say that this is the highest extent
of purification of the spirit.
But some of them, claiming to be experts,
speak of a time when nothing remains.

Knowing that these states are dependent,
and knowing what they depend on, the inquiring sage,
having understood, is freed, and enters no dispute.
The wise do not proceed to life after life.”



Read this translation of Snp 4.11 Kalahavivādasutta: Quarrels and Disputes by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, DhammaTalks.org or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 8.40 From… Duccaritavipākasutta: The Results of Misconduct

…Divisive speech, when cultivated, developed, and practiced, leads to hell, the animal realm, or the ghost realm. The minimum result it leads to for a human being is being divided against friends.…


Note: Except for divisive speech that leads to a schism in the monastic Saṅgha, rebirth in hell is not an automatic result of divisive speech. Karma and results are very complicated, so the meaning to be taken from this suttas is that there are a range of results that can come from bad actions.

Read the entire translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.40 Duccaritavipākasutta: The Results of Misconduct by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

DN 30 From… Lakkhaṇasutta: The Marks of a Great Man—Forty Gapless Teeth

[Note: The Lakkhana Sutta explains the actions that the Bodhisatta did in the past to have all the physical characteristics belonging to Buddhas and universal monarchs. It then explains the marks and the non-physical results of the actions.]

…“Mendicants, in some past lives the Realized One was reborn as a human being. He refrained from divisive speech. He didn’t repeat in one place what he heard in another so as to divide people against each other. Instead, he reconciled those who were divided, supporting unity, delighting in harmony, loving harmony, speaking words that promote harmony. Due to performing those deeds he was reborn in a heavenly realm. When he came back to this state of existence he obtained these two marks: he has forty teeth, and his teeth have no gaps.

Possessing these marks, if he stays at home he becomes a wheel-turning monarch. And what does he obtain as king? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes brahmins and householders, people of town and country, treasury officials, military officers, guardsmen, ministers, counselors, rulers, tax beneficiaries, and princes. That’s what he obtains as king. And what does he obtain as Buddha? His retinue cannot be divided. This includes monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, gods, humans, demons, dragons, and centaurs. That’s what he obtains as Buddha.” The Buddha spoke this matter.

On this it is said:

“He spoke no words divisive causing friends to split,
creating disputes that foster division,
acting improperly by fostering quarrels,
creating division among friends.

He spoke kind words to foster harmony,
uniting those who are divided.
He eliminated quarrels among the people,
rejoicing together with the united.

In good rebirths he enjoyed the fruit
and result, rejoicing there.
Here his teeth are gapless, close together,
forty standing upright in his mouth.

If he becomes an aristocrat, ruler of the land,
his assembly will be indivisible.
And as an ascetic, stainless, immaculate,
his assembly will follow him, unshakable.”…


Note: “Demons, dragons, and centaurs” is a translation of “asurā nāgā gandhabbā.

Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 30 Lakkhaṇasutta: The Marks of a Great Man Lakkhaṇasutta by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 3.26 Sevitabbasutta: To be Associated With

“Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of persons found existing in the world. What three? (1) There is a person who is not to be associated with, followed, and served; (2) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served; and (3) a person who is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

(1) “And what kind of person, bhikkhus, is not to be associated with, followed, and served? Here, some person is inferior to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is not to be associated with, followed, and served except out of sympathy and compassion.

(2) “And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served? Here, some person is similar to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served. For what reason? Because one considers: ‘Since we are similar with regard to virtuous behavior, we will have a discussion on virtuous behavior, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease. Since we are similar with regard to concentration, we will have a discussion on concentration, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease. Since we are similar with regard to wisdom, we will have a discussion on wisdom, and it will flow on smoothly between us, and we will feel at ease.’ Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served.

(3) “And what kind of person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect? Here, some person is superior to oneself in virtuous behavior, concentration, and wisdom. Such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect. For what reason? Because one considers: ‘In such a way I will fulfill the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of virtuous behavior that I have fulfilled. I will fulfill the aggregate of concentration that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of concentration that I have fulfilled. I will fulfill the aggregate of wisdom that I have not yet fulfilled or assist with wisdom in various respects the aggregate of wisdom that I have fulfilled.’ Therefore such a person is to be associated with, followed, and served with honor and respect.

“These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world.”

One who associates with an inferior person declines;
one who associates with an equal does not decline;
attending on a superior person one develops quickly;
therefore you should follow one superior to yourself.



Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.26 Sevitabbasutta: To be Associated With by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net.

Iti 76 Sukhapatthanāsutta: Wishing for Happiness

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “Aspiring to these three forms of bliss, monks, a wise person should guard his virtue. Which three? Thinking, ‘May praise come to me,’ a wise person should guard his virtue. Thinking, ‘May wealth come to me,’ a wise person should guard his virtue. Thinking, ‘At the break-up of the body, after death, may I reappear in a good destination, a heavenly world,’ a wise person should guard his virtue. Aspiring to these three forms of bliss, a wise person should guard his virtue.”

Intelligent,
you should guard your virtue,
aspiring to three forms of bliss:
praise;
the obtaining of wealth;
and, after death, rejoicing
in heaven.

Even if you do no evil
but seek out one who does,
you’re suspected of evil.
Your bad reputation
grows.

The sort of person you make a friend,
the sort you seek out,
that’s the sort you yourself become–
for your living together is of
that sort.

The one associated with,
the one who associates,
the one who’s touched,
the one who touches another
–like an arrow smeared with poison–
contaminates the quiver.
So, fearing contamination, the enlightened
should not be comrades
with evil people.

A man who wraps rotting fish
in a blade of kusa grass
makes the grass smelly:
so it is
if you seek out fools.

But a man who wraps powdered incense
in the leaf of a tree
makes the leaf fragrant:
so it is
if you seek out
the enlightened.

So,
knowing your own outcome
as like the leaf-wrapper’s,
you shouldn’t seek out
those who aren’t good.

The wise would associate
with those who are.
Those who aren’t good
lead you to hell.
The good help you reach
a good destination.


Read this translation of 76 Itivuttakavuttaka by Bhikkhu Ṭhanissaro on DhammaTalks.org. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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DN 16 From… Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment—Decline

[Note: We often see the Buddha criticizing the love of company. We also see him praising good spiritual companionship. These two things are not a contradiction. We should seek out wise companionship and avoid useless socializing.]

…I will teach you seven more principles that prevent decline. …

  1. As long as the mendicants don’t relish work, loving it and liking to relish it, they can expect growth, not decline.
  2. As long as they don’t relish talk …
  3. sleep …
  4. company …
  5. they don’t have corrupt wishes, falling under the sway of corrupt wishes …
  6. they don’t have bad friends, companions, and associates …
  7. they don’t stop half-way after achieving some insignificant distinction, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as these seven principles that prevent decline last among the mendicants, and as long as the mendicants are seen following them, they can expect growth, not decline.


Read the entire translation of Dīgha Nikāya 16 Mahāparinibbānasutta: The Great Discourse on the Buddha’s Extinguishment by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on DhammaTalks.org, Ancient-Buddhist-Texts.net or AccessToInsight.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 8.2 Paññāsutta: Wisdom

“Mendicants, there are eight causes and reasons that lead to acquiring the wisdom fundamental to the spiritual life, and to its increase, growth, and full development once it has been acquired. What eight?

1. It’s when a mendicant lives relying on the Teacher or a spiritual companion in a teacher’s role. And they set up a keen sense of conscience and prudence for them, with warmth and respect. This is the first cause.

2. When a mendicant lives relying on the Teacher or a spiritual companion in a teacher’s role—with a keen sense of conscience and prudence for them, with warmth and respect—from time to time they go and ask them questions: ‘Why, sir, does it say this? What does that mean?’ Those venerables clarify what is unclear, reveal what is obscure, and dispel doubt regarding the many doubtful matters. This is the second cause.

3. After hearing that teaching they perfect withdrawal of both body and mind. This is the third cause.

4. A mendicant is ethical, restrained in the monastic code, conducting themselves well and seeking alms in suitable places. Seeing danger in the slightest fault, they keep the rules they’ve undertaken. This is the fourth cause.

5. They’re very learned, remembering and keeping what they’ve learned. These teachings are good in the beginning, good in the middle, and good in the end, meaningful and well-phrased, describing a spiritual practice that’s entirely full and pure. They are very learned in such teachings, remembering them, reinforcing them by recitation, mentally scrutinizing them, and comprehending them theoretically. This is the fifth cause.

6. They live with energy roused up for giving up unskillful qualities and embracing skillful qualities. They’re strong, staunchly vigorous, not slacking off when it comes to developing skillful qualities. This is the sixth cause.

7. When in the Saṅgha they don’t engage in motley talk or low talk. Either they talk on Dhamma, or they invite someone else to do so, or they respect noble silence. This is the seventh cause.

8. They meditate observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates. ‘Such is form, such is the origin of form, such is the ending of form. Such is feeling, such is the origin of feeling, such is the ending of feeling. Such is perception, such is the origin of perception, such is the ending of perception. Such are choices, such is the origin of choices, such is the ending of choices. Such is consciousness, such is the origin of consciousness, such is the ending of consciousness.’ This is the eighth cause.

Their spiritual companions esteem them: ‘This venerable lives relying on the Teacher or a spiritual companion in a teacher’s role. They set up a keen sense of conscience and prudence for them, with warmth and respect. Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘This venerable lives relying on the Teacher or a spiritual companion in a teacher’s role, and from time to time they go and ask them questions … Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘After hearing that teaching they perfect withdrawal of both body and mind. Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘This venerable is ethical … Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘This venerable is very learned, remembering and keeping what they’ve learned. … Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘This venerable lives with energy roused up … Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘When in the Saṅgha they don’t engage in motley talk or low talk. Either they talk on Dhamma, or they invite someone else to do so, or they respect noble silence. Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

‘They meditate observing rise and fall in the five grasping aggregates. … Clearly this venerable knows and sees.’ This quality also leads to fondness, respect, esteem, harmony, and unity.

These are the eight causes and reasons that lead to acquiring the wisdom fundamental to the spiritual life, and to its increase, growth, and full development once it has been acquired.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 8.2 Paññāsutta: Wisdom by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 5.156 Tatiyasaddhammasammosasutta: The Decline of the True Teaching (3rd)

[Note: A schism in the Saṅgha occurs when two groups of monastics living in the same place hold separate meetings where official Saṅgha actions are taken, such as the twice monthly recitation of the Vinaya rules. It is not simply a situation where different groups of monastics exist independently.]

“Mendicants, these five things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching. What five?

It’s when the mendicants memorize discourses that they learned incorrectly, with misplaced words and phrases. When the words and phrases are misplaced, the meaning is misinterpreted. This is the first thing that leads to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

Furthermore, the mendicants are hard to admonish, having qualities that make them hard to admonish. They’re impatient, and don’t take instruction respectfully. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, the mendicants who are very learned—inheritors of the heritage, who have memorized the teachings, the monastic law, and the outlines—don’t carefully make others recite the discourses. When they pass away, the discourses are cut off at the root, with no-one to preserve them. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, the senior mendicants are indulgent and slack, leaders in backsliding, neglecting seclusion, not rousing energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. Those who come after them follow their example. They too are indulgent and slack … This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, there’s a schism in the Saṅgha. When the Saṅgha is split, they abuse, insult, block, and reject each other. This doesn’t inspire confidence in those without it, and it causes some with confidence to change their minds. This is the fifth thing that leads to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching. What five?

It’s when the mendicants memorize discourses that have been learned correctly, with well placed words and phrases. When the words and phrases are well organized, the meaning is correctly interpreted. This is the first thing that leads to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.

Furthermore, the mendicants are easy to admonish, having qualities that make them easy to admonish. They’re patient, and take instruction respectfully. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, the mendicants who are very learned—inheritors of the heritage, who have memorized the teachings, the monastic law, and the outlines—carefully make others recite the discourses. When they pass away, the discourses aren’t cut off at the root, and they have someone to preserve them. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, the senior mendicants are not indulgent and slack, leaders in backsliding, neglecting seclusion. They rouse energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. Those who come after them follow their example. They too are not indulgent or slack … This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, the Saṅgha lives comfortably, in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, with one recitation. When the Saṅgha is in harmony, they don’t abuse, insult, block, or reject each other. This inspires confidence in those without it, and increases confidence in those who have it. This is the fifth thing that leads to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.156 Tatiyasaddhammasammosasutta: The Decline of the True Teaching (3rd) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Iti 17 Dutiyasekhasutta: The Good Friend

This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

“Bhikkhus, in regard to external factors, I do not perceive another single factor so helpful as good friendship for a bhikkhu who is a learner, who has not attained perfection but lives aspiring for the supreme security from bondage. Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who has a good friend abandons what is unwholesome and develops what is wholesome.”

This is the meaning of what the Lord said. So in regard to this it was said:

When a bhikkhu has good friends,
And is reverential and respectful,
Doing what his friends advise,
Clearly comprehending and mindful,
He may progressively attain
The destruction of all fetters.

This too is the meaning of what was said by the Lord, so I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 17 Dutiyasekhasutta: The Good Friend by John D. Ireland on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 10.99 Upālisutta: With Upāli

[Note: Ven. Upāli was declared by the Buddha to be foremost of all the monks in regards to the Vinaya, the monastic code.]

Then Venerable Upāli went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him, “Sir, I wish to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.”

“Upāli, remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest are challenging. It’s hard to maintain seclusion and hard to find joy in it. Staying alone, the forests seem to rob the mind of a mendicant who isn’t immersed in samādhi. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.

Suppose there was a large lake, and along comes a bull elephant with a height of seven or eight cubits. He’d think, ‘Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and drunk, I’ll emerge from the water and go wherever I want.’ And that’s just what he does. Why is that? Because his large life-form finds a footing in the depths.

Then along comes a rabbit or a cat. They’d think, ‘What difference is there between me and a bull elephant? Why don’t I plunge into this lake and play around while washing my ears and back? When I’ve bathed and drunk, I’ll emerge from the water and go wherever I want.’ They jump into the lake rashly, without thinking. You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away. Why is that? Because their little life-form finds no footing in the depths. If someone should say this, ‘Though I don’t have immersion, I’m going to frequent remote lodgings in the wilderness and the forest.’ You can expect that they’ll sink down or float away.…


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.99 Upālisutta: With Upāli by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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AN 5.205 Cetokhilasutta: Emotional Barrenness

“Mendicants, there are these five kinds of emotional barrenness. What five? Firstly, a mendicant has doubts about the Teacher. They’re uncertain, undecided, and lacking confidence. This being so, their mind doesn’t incline toward keenness, commitment, persistence, and striving. This is the first kind of emotional barrenness.

Furthermore, a mendicant has doubts about the teaching … the Saṅgha … the training … A mendicant is angry and upset with their spiritual companions, resentful and closed off. This being so, their mind doesn’t incline toward keenness, commitment, persistence, and striving. This is the fifth kind of emotional barrenness. These are the five kinds of emotional barrenness.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.205 Cetokhilasutta: Emotional Barrenness by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

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Dhp 6 From… Yamakavagga: Pairs

6. There are those who do not realize
that one day we all must die.
But those who do realize this
settle their quarrels.


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SN 56.9 Viggāhikakathāsutta: Arguments

“Mendicants, don’t get into arguments, such as:

  • ‘You don’t understand this teaching and training. I understand this teaching and training.
  • What, you understand this teaching and training?
  • You’re practicing wrong. I’m practicing right.
  • I stay on topic, you don’t.
  • You said last what you should have said first. You said first what you should have said last.
  • What you’ve thought so much about has been disproved.
  • Your doctrine is refuted. Go on, save your doctrine!
  • You’re trapped; get yourself out of this—if you can!’

Why is that? Because those discussions aren’t beneficial or relevant to the fundamentals of the spiritual life. They don’t lead to disillusionment, dispassion, cessation, peace, insight, awakening, and extinguishment.

When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is suffering’ When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is the origin of suffering’ When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ When you discuss, you should discuss: ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. …

That’s why you should practice meditation to understand: ‘This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’.”


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MN 103 From… Kintisutta: What Do You Think About Me?

[Note: The entire sutta is worth reading if you have time. “The Recluse” mentioned below refers to the Buddha.]

“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 bhikkhu 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 Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’ “‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“Then whichever bhikkhu 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 Recluse knew, would he censure that?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘While we were training…If the Recluse knew, he would censure that.’

“‘But, friend, without abandoning that thing, can one realise Nibbāna?’ Answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Friend, without abandoning that thing, one cannot realise Nibbāna.’

“If others should ask that bhikkhu thus: ‘Was it the venerable one who made those bhikkhus emerge from the unwholesome and established them in the wholesome?’ answering rightly, the bhikkhu would answer thus: ‘Here, friends, I went to the Blessed One. The Blessed One taught me the Dhamma. Having heard that Dhamma, I spoke to those bhikkhus. The bhikkhus heard that Dhamma, and they emerged from the unwholesome and became established in the wholesome.’ Answering thus, the bhikkhu 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.”


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AN 5.156 Tatiyasaddhammasammosasutta: The Decline of the True Teaching (3rd)

“Mendicants, these five things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching. What five?

It’s when the mendicants memorize discourses that they learned incorrectly, with misplaced words and phrases. When the words and phrases are misplaced, the meaning is misinterpreted. This is the first thing that leads to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

Furthermore, the mendicants are hard to admonish, having qualities that make them hard to admonish. They’re impatient, and don’t take instruction respectfully. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, the mendicants who are very learned—inheritors of the heritage, who have memorized the teachings, the monastic law, and the outlines—don’t carefully make others recite the discourses. When they pass away, the discourses are cut off at the root, with no-one to preserve them. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, the senior mendicants are indulgent and slack, leaders in backsliding, neglecting seclusion, not rousing energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. Those who come after them follow their example. They too are indulgent and slack … This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, there’s a schism in the Saṅgha. When the Saṅgha is split, they abuse, insult, block, and reject each other. This doesn’t inspire confidence in those without it, and it causes some with confidence to change their minds. This is the fifth thing that leads to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching. What five? It’s when the mendicants memorize discourses that have been learned correctly, with well placed words and phrases. When the words and phrases are well organized, the meaning is correctly interpreted. This is the first thing that leads to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.

Furthermore, the mendicants are easy to admonish, having qualities that make them easy to admonish. They’re patient, and take instruction respectfully. This is the second thing …

Furthermore, the mendicants who are very learned—inheritors of the heritage, who have memorized the teachings, the monastic law, and the outlines—carefully make others recite the discourses. When they pass away, the discourses aren’t cut off at the root, and they have someone to preserve them. This is the third thing …

Furthermore, the senior mendicants are not indulgent and slack, leaders in backsliding, neglecting seclusion. They rouse energy for attaining the unattained, achieving the unachieved, and realizing the unrealized. Those who come after them follow their example. They too are not indulgent or slack … This is the fourth thing …

Furthermore, the Saṅgha lives comfortably, in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, with one recitation. When the Saṅgha is in harmony, they don’t abuse, insult, block, or reject each other. This inspires confidence in those without it, and increases confidence in those who have it. This is the fifth thing that leads to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.

These five things lead to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.”


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AN 8.16 Dūteyyasutta: Going on a Mission

“Mendicants, a mendicant with eight qualities is worthy of going on a mission. What eight? It’s a mendicant who learns and educates others. They memorize and remember. They understand and help others understand. They’re skilled at knowing what’s on topic and what isn’t. And they don’t cause quarrels. A mendicant with these eight qualities is worthy of going on a mission.

Having eight qualities Sāriputta is worthy of going on a mission. What eight? He learns and educates others. He memorizes and remembers. He understands and helps others understand. He’s skilled at knowing what’s on topic and what isn’t. And he doesn’t cause quarrels. Having these eight qualities Sāriputta is worthy of going on a mission.

They don’t tremble when arriving
at an assembly of fierce debaters.
They don’t miss out any words,
or conceal the instructions.

Their words aren’t poisoned,
and they don’t tremble when questioned.
Such a mendicant
is worthy of going on a mission.”



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MN 115 From… Bahudhātukasutta: Many Elements

“But sir, how is a mendicant qualified to be called ‘skilled in the possible and impossible’?”

…They understand: ‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to murder their mother. But it’s possible for an ordinary person to murder their mother.’ They understand: ‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to murder their father … or murder a perfected one. But it’s possible for an ordinary person to murder their father … or a perfected one.’ They understand: ‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to injure a Realized One with malicious intent. But it’s possible for an ordinary person to injure a Realized One with malicious intent.’ They understand: ‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to cause a schism in the Saṅgha. But it’s possible for an ordinary person to cause a schism in the Saṅgha.’ They understand: ‘It’s impossible for a person accomplished in view to dedicate themselves to another teacher. But it’s possible for an ordinary person to dedicate themselves to another teacher.’…


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AN 7.61 From… Pacalāyamānasutta: Nodding Off

[Note: This excerpt is from the famous sutta where the Buddha gives advice to a sleepy Maha Moggallāna before his enlightenment.]

…So you should train like this: ‘I won’t get into arguments.’ That’s how you should train. When there’s an argument, you can expect there’ll be lots of talking. When there’s lots of talking, people become restless. Being restless, they lose restraint. And without restraint the mind is far from immersion. Moggallāna, I don’t praise all kinds of closeness. Nor do I criticize all kinds of closeness. I don’t praise closeness with laypeople and renunciates. I do praise closeness with those lodgings that are quiet and still, far from the madding crowd, remote from human settlements, and fit for retreat.”…


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AN 8.87 Pattanikujjanasutta: Turning the Bowl Upside Down

“Mendicants, the Saṅgha may, if it wishes, turn the bowl upside down for a lay follower on eight grounds. What eight? They try to prevent the mendicants from getting material possessions. They try to harm mendicants. They try to drive mendicants from a monastery. They insult and abuse mendicants. They divide mendicants against each other. They criticize the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. The Saṅgha may, if it wishes, turn the bowl upside down for a lay follower on these eight grounds.

The Saṅgha may, if it wishes, turn the bowl upright for a lay follower on eight grounds. What eight? They don’t try to prevent the mendicants from getting material possessions. They don’t try to harm mendicants. They don’t try to drive mendicants from a monastery. They don’t insult and abuse mendicants. They don’t divide mendicants against each other. They don’t criticize the Buddha, the teaching, and the Saṅgha. The Saṅgha may, if it wishes, turn the bowl upright for a lay follower on these eight grounds.”


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AN 3.124 Bhaṇḍanasutta: Arguments

“Mendicants, I’m not even comfortable thinking about a place where mendicants argue—quarreling and disputing, continually wounding each other with barbed words—let alone going there. I come to a conclusion about them: ‘Clearly those venerables have given up three things and cultivated three things.’ What three things have they given up? Thoughts of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness. What three things have they cultivated? Sensual, malicious, and cruel thoughts. … I come to a conclusion about them: ‘Clearly those venerables have given up three things and cultivated three things.’

I feel comfortable going to a place where the mendicants live in harmony—appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes—let alone thinking about it. I come to a conclusion about them: ‘Clearly those venerables have given up three things and cultivated three things.’ What three things have they given up? Sensual, malicious, and cruel thoughts. What three things have they cultivated? Thoughts of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness. … I come to a conclusion about them: ‘Clearly those venerables have given up three things and cultivated three things.’”


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AN 7.21 Sārandadasutta: At Sārandada

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Vesālī, at the Sārandada Tree-shrine. Then several Licchavis went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and the Buddha said to these Licchavis:

“Licchavis, I will teach you these seven principles that prevent decline. Listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

“Yes, sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“And what are the seven principles that prevent decline? As long as the Vajjis meet frequently and have many meetings, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis meet in harmony, leave in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis don’t make new decrees or abolish existing decrees, but undertake and follow the ancient Vajjian traditions as they have been decreed, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis honor, respect, esteem, and venerate Vajjian elders, and think them worth listening to, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis don’t forcibly abduct the women or girls of the clans and make them live with them, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis honor, respect, esteem, and venerate the Vajjian shrines, whether inner or outer, not neglecting the proper spirit-offerings that were given and made in the past, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as the Vajjis organize proper protection, shelter, and security for perfected ones, so that more perfected ones might come to the realm and those already here may live in comfort, they can expect growth, not decline.

As long as these seven principles that prevent decline last among the Vajjis, and as long as the Vajjis are seen following them, they can expect growth, not decline.”


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MN 128 From… Upakkilesasutta: Corruptions

[Note: This is the first half of the sutta. After the section below, the Buddha goes on to give the harmonious monks help with their meditation.]

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambī, in Ghosita’s Monastery.

Now at that time the mendicants of Kosambī were arguing, quarreling, and disputing, continually wounding each other with barbed words.

Then a mendicant went up to the Buddha, bowed, stood to one side, and told him what was happening, adding: “Please, sir go to those mendicants out of compassion.” The Buddha consented with silence.

Then the Buddha went up to those mendicants and said, “Enough, mendicants! Stop arguing, quarreling, and disputing.”

When he said this, one of the mendicants said to the Buddha, “Wait, sir! Let the Buddha, the Lord of the Dhamma, remain passive, dwelling in blissful meditation in the present life. We will be known for this arguing, quarreling, and disputing.”

For a second time … and a third time the Buddha said to those mendicants, “Enough, mendicants! Stop arguing, quarreling, and disputing.”

For a third time that mendicant said to the Buddha, “Wait, sir! Let the Buddha, the Lord of the Dhamma, remain passive, dwelling in blissful meditation in the present life. We will be known for this arguing, quarreling, and disputing.”

Then the Buddha robed up in the morning and, taking his bowl and robe, entered Kosambī for alms. After the meal, on his return from almsround, he set his lodgings in order. Taking his bowl and robe, he recited these verses while standing right there:

“When many voices shout at once,
no-one thinks that they’re a fool!
While the Saṅgha’s being split,
none thought another to be better.

Dolts pretending to be astute,
they talk, their words right out of bounds.
They blab at will, their mouths agape,
and no-one knows what leads them on.

“They abused me, they hit me!
They beat me, they robbed me!”
For those who bear such a grudge,
hatred never ends.

“They abused me, they hit me!
They beat me, they robbed me!”
For those who bear no such grudge,
hatred has an end.

For never is hatred
settled by hate,
it’s only settled by love:
this is an eternal truth.

Others don’t understand
that here we need to be restrained.
But those who do understand this,
being clever, settle their conflicts.

Breakers of bones and takers of life,
thieves of cattle, horses, wealth,
those who plunder the nation:
even they can come together,
so why on earth can’t you?

If you find an alert companion,
a wise and virtuous friend,
then, overcoming all adversities,
wander with them, joyful and mindful.

If you find no alert companion,
no wise and virtuous friend,
then, like a king who flees his conquered realm,
wander alone like a tusker in the wilds.

It’s better to wander alone,
there’s no fellowship with fools.
Wander alone and do no wrong,
at ease like a tusker in the wilds.”

After speaking these verses while standing, the Buddha went to the village of the child salt-miners, where Venerable Bhagu was staying at the time. Bhagu saw the Buddha coming off in the distance, so he spread out a seat and placed water for washing the feet. The Buddha sat on the seat spread out, and washed his feet. Bhagu bowed to the Buddha and sat down to one side.

The Buddha said to him, “I hope you’re keeping well, mendicant; I hope you’re all right. And I hope you’re having no trouble getting almsfood.”

“I’m keeping well, sir; I’m all right. And I’m having no trouble getting almsfood.”

Then the Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired Bhagu with a Dhamma talk, after which he got up from his seat and set out for the Eastern Bamboo Park.

Now at that time the venerables Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila were staying in the Eastern Bamboo Park. The park keeper saw the Buddha coming off in the distance and said to the Buddha, “Don’t come into this park, ascetic. There are three gentlemen who love themselves staying here. Don’t disturb them.”

Anuruddha heard the park keeper conversing with the Buddha, and said to him, “Don’t keep the Buddha out, good park keeper! Our Teacher, the Blessed One, has arrived.”

Then Anuruddha went to Nandiya and Kimbila, and said to them, “Come forth, venerables, come forth! Our Teacher, the Blessed One, has arrived!”

Then Anuruddha, Nandiya, and Kimbila came out to greet the Buddha. One received his bowl and robe, one spread out a seat, and one set out water for washing his feet. The Buddha sat on the seat spread out and washed his feet. Those venerables bowed and sat down to one side.

The Buddha said to Anuruddha, “I hope you’re keeping well, Anuruddha and friends; I hope you’re all right. And I hope you’re having no trouble getting almsfood.”

“We’re keeping well, sir; we’re all right. And we’re having no trouble getting almsfood.”

“I hope you’re living in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes?”

“Indeed, sir, we live in harmony as you say.”

“But how do you live this way?”

“In this case, sir, I think: ‘I’m fortunate, so very fortunate, to live together with spiritual companions such as these.’ I consistently treat these venerables with kindness by way of body, speech, and mind, both in public and in private. I think: ‘Why don’t I set aside my own ideas and just go along with these venerables’ ideas?’ And that’s what I do. Though we’re different in body, sir, we’re one in mind, it seems to me.”

And the venerables Nandiya and Kimbila spoke likewise, and they added: “That’s how we live in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes.”

“Good, good, Anuruddha and friends! But I hope you’re living diligently, keen, and resolute?”

“Indeed, sir, we live diligently.”

“But how do you live this way?”

“In this case, sir, whoever returns first from almsround prepares the seats, and puts out the drinking water and the rubbish bin. If there’s anything left over, whoever returns last eats it if they like. Otherwise they throw it out where there is little that grows, or drop it into water that has no living creatures. Then they put away the seats, drinking water, and rubbish bin, and sweep the refectory. If someone sees that the pot of water for washing, drinking, or the toilet is empty they set it up. If he can’t do it, he summons another with a wave of the hand, and they set it up by lifting it with their hands. But we don’t break into speech for that reason. And every five days we sit together for the whole night and discuss the teachings. That’s how we live diligently, keen, and resolute.…”


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AN 7.1 Paṭhamapiyasutta: Pleasing (1st)

[Note: Although many of the suttas this month speak directly about monastics in community, we know that these things also apply to lay people. As well, lay people need to learn to appreciate the qualities of the Noble Sangha and how much the Buddha valued harmony in community through respect of good qualities.]

So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Sāvatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery. There the Buddha addressed the mendicants, “Mendicants!”

“Venerable sir,” they replied. The Buddha said this:

“Mendicants, a mendicant with seven qualities is disliked and disapproved by their spiritual companions, not respected or admired. What seven?

  1. It’s when a mendicant desires material possessions,
  2. honor,
  3. and to be looked up to.
  4. They lack conscience
  5. and prudence.
  6. They have corrupt wishes
  7. and wrong view.

A mendicant with these seven qualities is disliked and disapproved by their spiritual companions, not respected or admired.

A mendicant with seven qualities is liked and approved by their spiritual companions, respected and admired. What seven? It’s when a mendicant doesn’t desire material possessions, honor, and to be looked up to. They have conscience and prudence. They have few desires and right view. A mendicant with these seven qualities is liked and approved by their spiritual companions, respected and admired.”


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MN 108 From… Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Moggallāna the Guardian

[Note: Below is just a small part of a very interesting and important sutta that is worth the time to read if you can. The sabbath referred to is the uposatha day.]

…Moggallāna the Guardian saw Ānanda coming off in the distance and said to him, “Come, Master Ānanda! Welcome, Master Ānanda! It’s been a long time since you took the opportunity to come here. Please, sir, sit down, this seat is ready.”

Ānanda sat down on the seat spread out, while Moggallāna the Guardian took a low seat and sat to one side. Then he said to Ānanda, “Master Ānanda, is there even a single mendicant who has all the same qualities in each and every way as possessed by Master Gotama, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha?”

“No, brahmin, there is not. For the Blessed One gave rise to the unarisen path, gave birth to the unborn path, and explained the unexplained path. He is the knower of the path, the discoverer of the path, the expert on the path. And now the disciples live following the path; they acquire it later.”

But this conversation between Ānanda and Moggallāna the Guardian was left unfinished.

For just then the brahmin Vassakāra, a minister of Magadha, while supervising the work at Rājagaha, approached Ānanda at Moggallāna the Guardian’s place of work and exchanged greetings with him. When the greetings and polite conversation were over, he sat down to one side and said to Ānanda, “Master Ānanda, what were you sitting talking about just now? What conversation was left unfinished?”

So Ānanda told him of the conversation that they were having when Vassakāra arrived. Vassakāra said:

“Master Ānanda, is there even a single mendicant who was appointed by Master Gotama, saying: ‘This one will be your refuge when I have passed away,’ to whom you now turn?”

“No, there is not.”

“But is there even a single mendicant who has been elected to such a position by the Saṅgha and appointed by several senior mendicants?”

“No, there is not.”

“But since you lack a refuge, Master Ānanda, what’s the reason for your harmony?”

“We don’t lack a refuge, brahmin, we have a refuge. The teaching is our refuge.”

“But Master Ānanda, when asked whether there was even a single mendicant—either appointed by the Buddha, or elected by the Saṅgha and appointed by several senior mendicants—who serves as your refuge after the Buddha passed away, to whom you now turn, you replied, ‘No, there is not.’ But you say that the reason for your harmony is that you have the teaching as a refuge. How should I see the meaning of this statement?”

“The Blessed One, who knows and sees, the perfected one, the fully awakened Buddha laid down training rules and recited the monastic code for the mendicants. On the day of the sabbath all of us who live in dependence on one village district gather together as one. We invite one who has freshly rehearsed the code to recite it. If anyone remembers an offense or transgression while they’re reciting, we make them act in line with the teachings and in line with the instructions. It’s not the venerables that make us act, it’s the teaching that makes us act.”…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 108 Gopakamoggallānasutta: With Moggallāna the Guardian by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 10.42 Paṭhamavivādamūlasutta: Roots of Arguments (1st)

Then Venerable Upāli went up to the Buddha, bowed, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Sir, how many roots of arguments are there?”

“Upāli, there are ten roots of arguments. What ten?

  • It’s when a mendicant explains what is not the teaching as the teaching, and what is the teaching as not the teaching.
  • They explain what is not the training as the training, and what is the training as not the training.
  • They explain what was not spoken and stated by the Realized One as spoken and stated by the Realized One, and what was spoken and stated by the Realized One as not spoken and stated by the Realized One.
  • They explain what was not practiced by the Realized One as practiced by the Realized One, and what was practiced by the Realized One as not practiced by the Realized One.
  • They explain what was not prescribed by the Realized One as prescribed by the Realized One, and what was prescribed by the Realized One as not prescribed by the Realized One.

These are the ten roots of arguments.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 10.42 Paṭhamavivādamūlasutta: Roots of Arguments (1st) by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

MN 89 From… Dhammacetiyasutta: Shrines to the Teaching

…Then the king approached the Buddha’s dwelling and knocked, and the Buddha opened the door.

King Pasenadi entered the dwelling, and bowed with his head at the Buddha’s feet, caressing them and covering them with kisses, and pronounced his name: “Sir, I am Pasenadi, king of Kosala! I am Pasenadi, king of Kosala!”

“But great king, for what reason do you demonstrate such utmost devotion for this body, conveying your manifest love?”

“Sir, I infer about the Buddha from the teaching: ‘The Blessed One is a fully awakened Buddha. The teaching is well explained. The Saṅgha is practicing well.’ …

Furthermore, kings fight with kings, aristocrats fight with aristocrats, brahmins fight with brahmins, householders fight with householders. A mother fights with her child, child with mother, father with child, and child with father. Brother fights with brother, brother with sister, sister with brother, and friend fights with friend. But here I see the mendicants living in harmony, appreciating each other, without quarreling, blending like milk and water, and regarding each other with kindly eyes. I don’t see any other assembly elsewhere so harmonious. So I infer this about the Buddha from the teaching: ‘The Blessed One is a fully awakened Buddha. The teaching is well explained. The Saṅgha is practicing well.’…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 89 Dhammacetiyasutta: Shrines to the Teaching by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaFriends.org. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

AN 5.212 Bhaṇḍanakārakasutta: Starting Arguments

“Mendicants, a mendicant who starts arguments, quarrels, disputes, debates, and disciplinary issues in the Saṅgha can expect five drawbacks. What five?

  1. They don’t achieve the unachieved.
  2. What they have achieved falls away.
  3. They get a bad reputation.
  4. They feel lost when they die.
  5. And when their body breaks up, after death, they are reborn in a place of loss, a bad place, the underworld, hell.

A mendicant who starts arguments, quarrels, disputes, debates, and disciplinary issues in the Saṅgha can expect these five drawbacks.”


Read this translation of Aṅguttara Nikāya 5.212 Bhaṇḍanakārakasutta: Starting Arguments by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net.

MN 104 From… Sāmagāmasutta: At Sāmagāma

[Note: This is a slightly longer selection for the weekend. The entire sutta is good to read if you have time.]

Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living in the Sakyan country at Sāmagāma.

Now on that occasion the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta had just died at Pāvā. On his death the Nigaṇṭhas divided, split into two; and they had taken to quarrelling and brawling and were deep in disputes, stabbing each other with verbal daggers: “You do not understand this Dhamma and Discipline. I understand this Dhamma and Discipline. How could you understand this Dhamma and Discipline? Your way is wrong. My way is right. I am consistent. You are inconsistent. What should have been said first you said last. What should have been said last you said first. What you had so carefully thought up has been turned inside out. Your assertion has been shown up. You are refuted. Go and learn better, or disentangle yourself if you can!” It seemed as if there were nothing but slaughter among the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta’s pupils. And his white-clothed lay disciples were disgusted, dismayed, and disappointed with the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta’s pupils, as they were with his badly proclaimed and badly expounded Dhamma and Discipline, which was unemancipating, unconducive to peace, expounded by one not fully enlightened, and was now with its shrine broken, left without a refuge.

Then the novice Cunda, who had spent the Rains at Pāvā, went to the venerable Ānanda, and after paying homage to him, he sat down at one side and told him what was taking place.

The venerable Ānanda then said to the novice Cunda: “Friend Cunda, this is news that should be told to the Blessed One. Come, let us approach the Blessed One and tell him this.”

“Yes, venerable sir,” the novice Cunda replied.

Then the venerable Ānanda and the novice Cunda went together to the Blessed One. After paying homage to him, they sat down at one side, and the venerable Ānanda said to the Blessed One: “This novice Cunda, venerable sir, says thus: ‘Venerable sir, the Nigaṇṭha Nātaputta has just died. On his death the Nigaṇṭhas divided, split into two…and is now with its shrine broken, left without a refuge.’ I thought, venerable sir: ‘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 foundations 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 bhikkhus who make differing assertions about these things?”

“No, venerable sir, I do not see even two bhikkhus who make differing assertions about these things. But, venerable sir, there are people who live deferential towards 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 bhikkhu is angry and resentful. Such a bhikkhu dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and he does not fulfil the training. A bhikkhu who dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and who does not fulfil the training, creates a dispute in the Sangha, which would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans. Now if you see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should strive to abandon that same evil root of dispute. And if you do not see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should practise in such a way that that same evil root of dispute does not erupt in the future. Thus there is the abandoning of that evil root of dispute; thus there is the non-eruption of that evil root of dispute in the future.

“Again, a bhikkhu is contemptuous and insolent…

envious and avaricious…

fraudulent and deceitful…

has evil wishes and wrong view…

adheres to his own views, holds on to them tenaciously, and relinquishes them with difficulty. Such a bhikkhu dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and he does not fulfil the training. A bhikkhu who dwells disrespectful and undeferential towards the Teacher, towards the Dhamma, and towards the Sangha, and who does not fulfil the training, creates a dispute in the Sangha, which would be for the harm and unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of gods and humans. Now if you see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should strive to abandon that same evil root of dispute. And if you do not see any such root of dispute either in yourselves or externally, you should practise in such a way that that same evil root of dispute does not erupt in the future. Thus there is the abandoning of that evil root of dispute; thus there is the non-eruption of that evil root of dispute in the future. These are the six roots of dispute.…


Read the entire translation of Majjhima Nikāya 104 Sāmagāmasutta: At Sāmagāma by Bhikkhu Bodhi on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net. Or listen on PaliAudio.com or Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.

Iti 19 Saṁghasāmaggīsutta: Harmony in the Saṅgha

This was said by the Buddha, the Perfected One: that is what I heard.

“One thing, mendicants, arises in the world for the welfare and happiness of the people, for the benefit, welfare, and happiness of gods and humans. What one thing? Harmony in the Saṅgha. When the Saṅgha is in harmony, they don’t argue, insult, block, or reject each other. This inspires confidence in those without it, and increases confidence in those who have it.”

The Buddha spoke this matter. On this it is said:

“A Saṅgha in harmony is happy,
as is support for those in harmony.
Taking a stand on the teaching,
favoring harmony, they ruin no sanctuary.
After creating harmony in the Saṅgha,
they rejoice in heaven for an eon.”

This too is a matter that was spoken by the Blessed One: that is what I heard.


Read this translation of Itivuttaka 19 Saṁghasāmaggīsutta: Harmony in the Saṅgha by Bhikkhu Sujato on SuttaCentral.net. Or read a different translation on SuttaCentral.net, SuttaFriends.org or DhammaTalks.org. Or listen on Voice.SuttaCentral.net. Or explore the Pali on DigitalPaliReader.online.