Monday, February 9, 2009

According to the Dharma

Those things that lead to passion, not to dispassion; to attachment, not to detachment; to amassing, not to dispersal; to ambition, not to modesty; to discontentment, not to contentment; to association, not to seclusion; to idleness, not to energy; to luxury, not to frugality, of them you can quite certainly decide: This is not the Dharma, this is not the Discipline, this is not the Master’s teaching.

(The Buddha, Vinaya Pitaka, Tripitaka)


The above list attributed to the Awakened One is an interesting one. It is interesting because it challenges us to examine our practice of Buddhism in light of the Blessed One’s standards, seeing if we are up to the task of Awakening to the Truth taught by him. In worldly life, passion, attachment, amassing, ambition and several of the other states referred to as negative are viewed as worthy qualities to cultivate. We Buddhists, then, need to make a choice: to live according to society’s standards or according to the Dharma. Which is it to be?


Barry said...

This is a great passage, Gary. Do you know where this can be found in the Vinaya?

I particularly respond to the phrase, "to amassing, not to dispersal." This certainly applies to Buddhist practice (at least for some of us, me) - learning the chants, passing koans, memorizing passages of sutras, taking refuges and precepts - all the outer forms of Buddhism.

But to disperse these . . . what does this mean?

JD said...


This is one of my favorite passages in the Canon and one that can serve as a reminder to us all just how well we are following in the Buddha's footsteps or not.

G said...

Hi Barry.

No, I don't know where it is in the Vinaya Pitaka as I can't remember where I took it from - perhaps Justin (Dhamma81) can help here?

As to dispersal, the Buddha appears to be pointing at attachemnts, both physical & psychological ones. Rather than ammassing wealth, beliefs, etc., we can let go of them mindfully.

And yes, Justin, that's exactly why it was posted here, so both author and readers of this blog might reflect upon how deeply we follow the way of the Buddha...

Be well in the Dharma,

JD said...

AN 8.53 in the "Gotami Sutta" I think it was addressed to his aunt. I think this is a bout as good as it gets in terms of guidelines for judging what is the Dhamma and what is not. Be well guys.

G said...

Ah, well done, Justin.

Yes, the words are found at Anguttara Nikaya 8.53, and at Vinaya Cullavagga 10.5. (It's one of those segments of Dharma found in both the Vinaya Pitaka & Sutta Pitaka, perhaps because it is so important.)

Thanks for the input,