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MN 65 From… Bhaddālisutta: With Bhaddāli

…When he said this, Venerable Bhaddāli said to the Buddha, “What is the cause, sir, what is the reason why they punish some monk, repeatedly pressuring him? And what is the cause, what is the reason why they don’t similarly punish another monk, repeatedly pressuring him?”

“Take a monk who is a frequent offender with many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he dodges the issue, distracting the discussion with irrelevant points. He displays annoyance, hate, and bitterness. He doesn’t proceed properly, he doesn’t fall in line, he doesn’t proceed to get past it, and he doesn’t say: ‘I’ll do what pleases the Saṅgha.’ In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk is a frequent offender, with many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he dodges the issue, distracting the discussion with irrelevant points. He displays annoyance, hate, and bitterness. He doesn’t proceed properly, he doesn’t fall in line, he doesn’t proceed to get past it, and he doesn’t say: “I’ll do what pleases the Saṅgha.” It’d be good for the venerables to examine this monk in such a way that this disciplinary issue is not quickly settled.’ And that’s what they do.

Take some other monk who is a frequent offender with many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he doesn’t dodge the issue, distracting the discussion with irrelevant points. He doesn’t display annoyance, hate, and bitterness. He proceeds properly, he falls in line, he proceeds to get past it, and he says: ‘I’ll do what pleases the Saṅgha.’ In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk is a frequent offender, with many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he doesn’t dodge the issue, distracting the discussion with irrelevant points. He doesn’t display annoyance, hate, and bitterness. He proceeds properly, he falls in line, he proceeds to get past it, and he says: ‘I’ll do what pleases the Saṅgha.’ It’d be good for the venerables to examine this monk in such a way that this disciplinary issue is quickly settled.’ And that’s what they do.

Take some other monk who is an occasional offender without many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he dodges the issue … In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk is an occasional offender without many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he dodges the issue … It’d be good for the venerables to examine this monk in such a way that this disciplinary issue is not quickly settled.’ And that’s what they do.

Take some other monk who is an occasional offender without many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he doesn’t dodge the issue … In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk is an occasional offender without many offenses. When admonished by the monks, he doesn’t dodge the issue … It’d be good for the venerables to examine this monk in such a way that this disciplinary issue is quickly settled.’ And that’s what they do.

Take some other monk who gets by with mere faith and love. In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk gets by with mere faith and love. If we punish him, repeatedly pressuring him—no, let him not lose what little faith and love he has!’

Suppose there was a person with one eye. Their friends and colleagues, relatives and kin would protect that one eye: ‘Let them not lose the one eye that they have!’ In the same way, some monk gets by with mere faith and love. In such a case, the monks say: ‘Reverends, this monk gets by with mere faith and love. If we punish him, repeatedly pressuring him—no, let him not lose what little faith and love he has!’ This is the cause, this is the reason why they punish some monk, repeatedly pressuring him. And this is the cause, this is the reason why they don’t similarly punish another monk, repeatedly pressuring him.”

What is the cause, sir, what is the reason why there used to be fewer training rules but more enlightened mendicants? And what is the cause, what is the reason why these days there are more training rules and fewer enlightened mendicants?”

“That’s how it is, Bhaddāli. When sentient beings are in decline and the true teaching is disappearing there are more training rules and fewer enlightened mendicants. The Teacher doesn’t lay down training rules for disciples as long as certain defiling influences have not appeared in the Saṅgha. But when such defiling influences appear in the Saṅgha, the Teacher lays down training rules for disciples to protect against them.

And they don’t appear until the Saṅgha has attained a great size, an abundance of material support and fame, learning, and seniority. But when the Saṅgha has attained these things, then such defiling influences appear in the Saṅgha, and the Teacher lays down training rules for disciples to protect against them.…



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