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Saɱyutta Nikāya
II. Nidāna Vagga
16. Kassapa Saɱyutta

The Book of the Kindred Sayings
II. The Book Called the Nidāna-Vagga
Containing Kindred sayings on Cause
and Other Subjects
16. Kindred Sayings on Kassapa

Sutta 13

Sad'Dhamma-Patirūpaka Suttaɱ

A Counterfeit Norm

Translated by Mrs. Rhys Davids
Assisted by F. L. Woodward

Originally Published by
The Pali Text Society
Public Domain


[223] [151]

[1][than][upal][bodh] THUS have I heard: —

The Exalted One was once staying at Sāvatthī,
at the Jeta Grove,
in the Anāthapiṇḍika Park.

Now the venerable Mahā-Kassapa went into his presence,
saluted him
and sat down beside him.

So seated, the venerable Maha-Kassapa said this to the Exalted One: -

"What now, lord, are the conditions,
what is the cause
that formerly there were both fewer precepts
and more brethren were established as Arahants?[1]

What, lord, are the condi- [152] tions,
what is the cause
that now-a-days there are more precepts
and fewer brethren are established as Arahants?"

"It happens thus, Kassapa.

When members[2] decrease,
and the true doctrine disappears,
there are then more precepts,
and few brethren are established as Arahants.

There is no disappearing of the true doctrine, Kassapa,
till a counterfeit doctrine arises in the world;
but when a counterfeit doctrine does arise,
then there is a disappearance of the true doctrine.

Just as there is no disappearing of gold
so long as there is no counterfeit gold arisen in the world.

So it is with the true doctrine.

The earth-element, Kassapa, does not make the true doctrine disappear,[3]
nor does the water-element,
nor the heat-element,
nor the air-element.

But here in the Order itself futile[4] men arise,
and it is they who make the true doctrine disappear.

Take the sinking of a ship, Kassapa,
by overlading:
it is not thus that the true doctrine disappears.

There are five lowering things
that conduce to the obscuration and disappearance
of the true doctrine.

Which five?

It is when brethren and sisters,
laymen and laywomen
live in irreverence and are unruly toward the Teacher,
live in irreverence and are unruly toward the Norm,
live in irreverence and are unruly toward the Order,
live in irreverence and are unruly toward the training,
live in irreverence and are unruly toward concentrative study.

But when they live in reverence and docility toward these Five,
then do these five things conduce to the maintenance,
the clarity,
the presence of the true doctrine."


[1] Aññāya, or, in assurance of final salvation. The Comy. explains by arahatte.

[2] [Ed. this note is missing.]

[3] As in the case of physical cataclysms, such as the three cosmic 'involutions' of A. iv, 100,[AN 7.62] discussed in Visuddhi-Magga, 414 f.

[4] Mogha -tuccha (hollow, empty, vain).

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