Majjhima Nikaya


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Majjhima Nikāya
III. Upari-Paṇṇāsa
1. Devadaha Vagga

Sacred Books of the Buddhists
Volume VI
Dialogues of the Buddha
Part V

Further Dialogues of the Buddha
Volume II

Translated from the Pali
by Lord Chalmers, G.C.B.
Sometime Governor of Ceylon

London
Humphrey Milford
Oxford University Press
1927
Public Domain

Sutta 104

Sāmagāma Suttaɱ

Unity and Concord

 


[243] [139]

[1][pts][ntbb][upal] THUS have I heard:

Once while the Lord was staying among the Sakyans at Sāmagāma,
Nātaputta the Nigaṇṭha had died recently at Pāvā.

At his death the Nigaṇṭhas were broken up;
they split into two,
and led lives of quarrels,
strife and contentions,
assailing one another with shafts of wounding speech,
such as -

You know nothing of this Doctrine and Rule;
I do, though you never will.
You walk in error,
but I aright.
There is sense in what I say;
none in what you say.
You end just where you should begin
[244] and begin where you should end.
Your elaborate thesis is knocked endwise;
your argument is floored;
and you are beaten.
Go and learn better,
or else at once get out of your tangle -
if you can.

Wholesale slaughter, methinks,
was afoot among Nstaputta's Nigaṇṭhas!

Even the white-clad laity who followed Nātaputta
evinced the disgust and displeasure and [140] repugnance,
that must result from a Doctrine and Rule
so inadequately set forth and expounded,
so lacking in efficacy
and prospect of peace for the heart,
a Doctrine and Rule without an All-enlightened founder,
and now reft of foundations
and void of consolation.

Now Cunda, the novice,
who had spent the rainy months at Pāvā,
came to the reverend Ānanda at Sāmagāma
and reported the foregoing to him.

Ānanda said the story
was one to bring before the Lord, -
to whom, in company with Cunda,
he proceeded and to whom, after salutations,
[245] he related what he had heard from Cunda, -
adding his hope that,
when the Lord died,
no quarrels would arise in the Confraternity,
to the general grief
and sorrow and hurt of many folk
and to the grief and pain alike of gods and men.

What think you, Ānanda?

Do you observe even a couple of Almsmen
at variance about the higher lore I have taught you,
to wit the four Themes,
the four Bases of psychic power,
the fivefold Sphere of sense,
the five Forces,
the seven Factors of Enlightenment,
and the Noble Eightfold Path?

No.

But those who are about the Lord might,
at his death,
stir up quarrels in the Confraternity
respecting rigours of the regimen
or of the Code (pāṭimokkha).

Such quarrels would make for the general grief
and sorrow and hurt of many folk,
and the grief and pain alike of gods and men.

Of little concern, Ānanda,
are quarrels respecting rigours of regimen
or of the Code;
it is possible quarrels in the Confraternity
about the Path
or the course of training
which really matter.

There are six roots
from which disputes grow, Ānanda. -

Take, first, a man of wrath and nasty temper,
who shows no respect or obedience to the Master
or the Doctrine
or the Confraternity,
and does not carry out his course of training to the full.

This is the kind of man
who [246] breeds disputes,
to the general grief
and sorrow and hurt of many folk,
and the grief and pain alike of gods and men;
and if you detect -
[141] within yourself or without -
such a root of quarrels,
then strive to extirpate the evil thing;
for, if you succeed in detecting it,
that particular root of disputes
will not sprout into anything
to trouble your lives thereafter.

And the same applies
to the five other roots of disputes,
in men that are hypocritical and fraudulent;
envious and jealous;
guileful and deceitful;
full of evil desires and wrong views;
or absorbed in temporal ideas
which they hug tightly
and will not loose their hold. -

[247] These are the six roots from which disputes grow.

There are four Adjudications (adhikaraṇa),
relating severally to disputes,
censure,
transgressions and obligations;
and there are seven settlements of Adjudications,
for settling and deciding Adjudications,
as they arise from time to time.

A summary verdict
with parties present
may be given;
or an innocence verdict;
or a verdict of past insanity;
confession may be admitted;
a Chapter's decision may be taken;
also there is specific wickedness;
and there is covering up.

How does a summary hearing
come into play? -

Suppose there is a dispute between Almsmen
as to what is and what is not the Doctrine or Rule.

The whole body of Almsmen is to meet
and thresh the matter out
in the light of the Doctrine,
till there is agreement,
and then to settle it conformably with such agreement.

This is how a summary hearing comes about
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by summary hearing.

How does a Chapter's decision come into play? -

If the local Almsmen cannot settle the matter locally,
they are to go where there are a larger number of Almsmen in residence;
and there the whole conjoint body is to assemble
and thresh the matter out
in the light of the Doctrine,
till there is agreement
and then to settle it conformably with such agreement.

This is how a majority agreement comes about
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by a Chapter's decision.

[142] How does innocence come into play? -

Suppose Almsmen charge an Almsman
with this or that grave transgression
or offence meriting expulsion
or bordering on it.

If when they ask him to remember
whether he has been guilty of this,
he says he has no remembrance of it,
[248] he may be given a verdict of innocence.

This is how a protestation of innocence comes into play,
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by a verdict of innocence of conscience.

How does a verdict of past insanity come about? -

Suppose Almsmen charge an Almsman
with this or that grave transgression
or offence meriting expulsion
or bordering on it.

If when they ask him to remember
whether he has been guilty of this,
he says he has no remembrance of it;
and suppose that,
when he denies it,
the spokesman presses him to say
whether he is quite sure
he has no remembrance of it,
he replies that,
being distraught,
he had perpetrated much
in act and speech which did not beseem a recluse,
but that he has no remembrance of it
and that this particular thing
was done when he was out of his mind.

In that event
he must be given a verdict of past insanity.

This is how a verdict of past insanity comes about
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by a verdict of past insanity.

How does confession come into play? -

Suppose an Almsman,
whether reproved or not,
remembers his offence,
discloses it
and lays it bare.

He must go,
with his robe over one shoulder only,
to a senior Almsman,
bow down at his feet and then,
squatting humbly down on his heels
and with folded palms outstretched,
say that he has been guilty of a specified offence
and that he acknowledges it.

The senior will then ask him
if he is fully alive to his guilt;
and, on his replying that he is,
will ask whether he will keep watch and ward over himself in future,
and shall receive an assurance that he will.

This is how confession comes about,
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by confession.

[219] How does specific wickedness come into play? -

Suppose Almsmen charge an Almsman with this or that grave transgression
or offence meriting expulsion
or bordering on it,
and ask him to remember [143] whether he has been guilty of this;
and suppose he says he has no remembrance of it but,
being pressed by the spokesman
to say whether he is quite sure he has no remembrance of it,
replies that,
without being asked,
he will acknowledge having committed
this or that trivial offence;
and therefore could not conceivably,
when specifically asked,
fail to acknowledge so grave a transgression or offence,
meriting expulsion
or bordering on it.

Suppose the spokesman,
taking note of his acknowledgment of the trivial offence
and repudiation of the major charge,
still presses him to remember
whether he is quite sure
he has no remembrance of the major charge,
and now elicits the answer
that he does remember being guilty of it
and that his former denials
were hasty and did not express his meaning.

This is how recalcitrancy comes about
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by extracting admissions from the recalcitrant.

[250] How does covering up come into play? -

Suppose that Almsmen
living in contentions and strife and disputes
collectively perpetrate much in act and speech
which does not beseem recluses.

The whole body is to meet
and a sage Almsman from among one of the two factions
is to rise up,
with robe over one shoulder
and with folded palms extended,
and to make known to the Confraternity as follows: -

I ask to be heard by the Confraternity.

Living here in contentions and strife and disputes,
we have perpetrated much in act and speech
which does not beseem recluses.

If the assembly deems it proper for adoption,
I, by a covering up motion,
will, in full conclave,
set forth,
both for the others here and for myself,
their offences and my own, -
gross sins and mundane offences always excepted.

Then a sage Almsman from the opposite faction
is to second the motion in like terms.

This is how the motion for covering-up comes into play
and this is how some Adjudications are settled,
namely by covering up (collective shortcomings as with heaped up bracken).

Six in number, Ānanda,
are the things, in them- [144] selves conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduce to accord,
harmony,
concord and unity.

Firstly,
an Almsman is instant in acts of love,
both overtly and in secret,
to his fellows in the higher life;
this is a thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and unity.

Secondly,
an Almsmen is instant in words of love,
both overtly and in secret,
to his fellows in the higher life;
this is a thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and unity.

Thirdly,
an Almsman is instant in thoughts of love,
both overtly and in secret,
to his fellows in the higher life;
this is a thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and [251] unity.

Fourthly,
whatsoever an Almsman receives
that is lawful and lawfully received,
this, even to the last crumb in his bowl,
he shares equally
and without favour
among all his virtuous fellows in the higher life;
this is another thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and unity.

Fifthly,
an Almsman lives,
both overtly and in secret,
in virtue among his fellows
in the exercise of those virtues
in their unbroken entirety
without flaw or blemish,
which mark the freed man,
which have been lauded by the wise,
which are embraced for their own sake
and lead to rapt concentration; -
this is another thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and unity.

Sixth,
an Almsman lives among his fellows,
both overtly and in secret,
in the exercise of those Noble views
which make for salvation
and lead the man who acts accordingly
unto the utter destruction of all Ill.

This is the sixth and last thing,
in itself conciliatory
friendly and respectful,
which conduces to accord
harmony concord and unity.

If, Ānanda,
you embrace and practise
these six conciliatory things,
do you find therein
anything either small or great
with which you would not agree?

No, sir.

Therefore, Ānanda,
embrace and practise
these six conciliatory things;
and it will be to your lasting weal and welfare.

Thus spoke the Lord.

Glad at heart,
the reverendĀnanda rejoiced in what the Lord had said.


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