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Dhammadayada Sutta

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Thus Have I Heard:

On one occasion the Blessed One was living in Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove. There he addressed the monks thus: "Monks, be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things. Out of compassion for you I have thought: how shall my disciples be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things? If you are my heirs in material things, not my heirs in Dhamma; you will be reproached thus: ‘the Teachers disciples live as his heirs in material things, not as heirs in Dhamma;’ and I will be reproached thus: ‘the Teachers disciples live as his heirs in material things, not as his heirs in Dhamma.’

If you are my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things, you will not be reproached, as it will be said of you, ‘the Teachers disciples live as his heirs in Dhamma, not as his heirs in material things.’ Therefore, monks, be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things. Out of compassion for you I have thought: ‘how shall my disciples be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things?’

Now, monks, suppose that I had eaten, refused more food, had my fill, finished, had enough, had what I needed, and some alms-food was left over to be thrown away. Then two monks arrived hungry and weak, and I told them: ‘monks, I have eaten and have had all I needed, but there is this alms-food of mine left over to be thrown away. Eat it if you like; if you do not eat it then I shall throw it away where there is no greenery or drop it into water where there is no life.’ Then one monk thought: ‘the Blessed One has eaten and had what he needed, but there is this alms-food of the Blessed One left over to be thrown away; if we do not eat it the Blessed One will throw it away, but this has been said by the Blessed One: ‘monks, be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things.’ Now this alms-food is one of the material things. Suppose that instead of eating this alms-food I pass the night and day hungry and weak.’

And instead of eating that alms-food he passed that night and day hungry and weak. Then the second monk thought: ‘the Blessed One has eaten and he has had all that he required, but there is this alms-food of the Blessed One left over to be thrown away. Suppose that I eat this alms-food and pass the night and day neither hungry nor weak.’ And after eating that alms-food he passed the night and day neither hungry nor weak. Now although that monk by eating that alms-food passed the night and day neither hungry nor weak, yet the first monk is more to respected and commended by me. Why, because the will power that he has demonstrated shall contribute to the fewness of his wishes, contentment, effacement, easy support and arousal of energy. Therefore, monks, be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things. Out of compassion for you I have thought: ‘how shall my disciples be my heirs in Dhamma, not my heirs in material things?’"

That is what the Blessed One said. Having said this, the Sublime One rose from his seat and went into his dwelling. Soon after he had left, the venerable Shariputra addressed the monks thus: "Friends, in what way do disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded not train in seclusion?"

"Indeed, friend, we have come from far away to learn from the venerable Shariputra the meaning of this very statement. It would be good if the venerable Shariputra would explain the meaning of this statement. Having heard it from him these monks will not forget it!"

"Then friends, listen and attend closely to what I shall say." The venerable Shariputra continued: "friends, in what way do the disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded not train in seclusion? Here disciples of the teacher who lives secluded do not train in seclusion; they do not abandon what the Teacher tells them to abandon; they become luxurious and lack mindfulness, they become leaders in backsliding and neglectful of seclusion.

In this case the older monks are to blamed for three reasons. As disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded they do not train themselves to do likewise, and this the first reason that they are blamed.

They do not abandon what the Teacher tells them to abandon and this is the second reason that they are to be blamed. They are luxurious and do not live mindfully in the present moment, they become leaders in backsliding and become neglectful of seclusion.

The monks of middle rank and even the newest member of the Sangha are also to be blamed for the same reasons. It is in this way that disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded do not train in seclusion."

"In what way, friends, do disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded train in seclusion? Here, disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded train themselves in seclusion; they abandon what the Teacher tells them to abandon; they are not luxurious and they live mindfully in the present moment, they are keen to avoid backsliding and thus become leaders in seclusion.

In this case the elder monks, as well as those of the middle rank and even the newest brethren are to be commended for three reasons. As disciples of the Teacher who lives secluded they train themselves in seclusion so they are to be commended for this, the first reason.

They abandon what the Teacher tells them to abandon so they should be commended for this, the second reason. They are not luxurious and they always dwell mindfully in the present moment, they are keen to avoid backsliding and thus become leaders in seclusion. This is the third reason they should be commended."

"Friends, the evil within is greed and hate. There is a Middle Way for the abandoning of these sicknesses. This Middle Way gives vision and knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment and Nibbána. What is that Middle Way? It is the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. This the Middle Way giving vision, giving knowledge, which leads to peace, to direct realization, to enlightenment, to Nibbána.

The evil within is anger, revenge, contempt and the desire to dominate others; it is envy, cupidity, deceit, stubbornness, vanity and ignorance.

This very same Middle Way will free you from these afflictions as well!"

This is what the venerable Shariputra said and the monks were satisfied and delighted in the wisdom of his words.

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