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DN 12 Lohicca Sutta: About Lohicca; Good and Bad Teachers

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1. THUS HAVE I HEARD. Once the Lord was touring Kosala with a large company of some five hundred monks, and , coming to Sālavatikā, he stayed there. And at that time the Brahmin Lohicca was living at Sālavatikā, a populous place, full of grass, timber, water and corn, which had been given to him by King Pasenadi of Kosala as a royal gift and with royal powers.

2. Just then this evil line of reasoning occurred to Lohicca: “Suppose an ascetic or Brahmin were to discover some good doctrine, having done so, he ought not to declare it to anyone else; for what can one man do for another? It is just as if a man, having cut through old fetter, were to make a new one. I declare that such a thing is an evil deed rooted in attachment, for what can one man do for another?”

3. Then Lohicca heard it said that the ascetic Gotama had arrived at Sālavatikā, and that concerning the Blessed Lord Gotama a good report had been spread about… (as Sutta 4, verse 2). ‘And indeed it is good to see such Arahants.’

4. And Lohicca said to Bhesika the barber: ‘Friend Bhesika, go to the ascetic Gotama, ask in my name after his health and then say: “May the Reverend Gotama consent to take tomorrow’s meal, with his order of monks, from the Brahmin Lohicca!”’

5. ‘Very good, sir’, said Bhesika, and carried out the errand. The Lord signified his acceptance by silence.

6. Then Bhesika, understanding the Lord’s acceptance, rose from his seat and passed by with his right side to the Lord. He returned to Lohicca and told him of the Lord’s acceptance.

7. And Lohicca, as the night was ending, had choice hard and soft foods prepared at his own home. Then he sent Bhesika to tell the Lord that the meal was ready. And the Lord, having risen early and taken his robe and bowl, went with his order of monks to Sālavatikā.

8. And Bhesika the barber followed the Lord close at hand. And he said: ‘Lord, this evil thought has occurred to the Brahmin Lohicca… Truly, Lord, this is what the Brahmin Lohicca has been thinking.’ ‘It may well be so, Bhesika, it may well be so.’

9. So the Lord came to Lohicca’s dwelling, and sat down on the prepared seat. Lohicca personally served the Buddha and his order of monks with choice hard and soft food till they were contented and satisfied. When the Lord had taken his hand from the bowl, Lohicca took a low stool and sat down on one side. Then the Lord said to him: ‘Lohicca, is it true that an evil line of reasoning has occurred to you…(as verse 2)?’ ‘Yes, Reverend Gotama.’

10. ‘What do you think, Lohicca? Don’t you reside at Sālavatikā?’ ‘Yes, Reverend Gotama.’ ‘Well now, if anyone should say: “The Brahmin Lohicca resides at Sālavatikā, and he should enjoy the entire fruits and revenues of Sālavatikā, not giving anything away to others” –would not anyone who spoke like that be a source of danger to your tenants?’ ‘He would be a source of danger, Reverend Gotama.’

‘And as such, would he be solicitous for their welfare or not?’ ‘He would not, Reverend Gotama.’

‘And, by not being solicitous for their welfare, would he have a heart full of love for them, or of hatred?’ ‘Of hatred, Reverend Gotama.’

‘And in a heart full of hatred, is there wrong view or right view?’ ‘Wrong view, Reverend Gotama.’

‘But Lohicca, I declare that wrong views leads to one of two destinies – hell or animal rebirth.

11. ‘What do you think, Lohicca? Does King Pasenadi of Kosala reside at Kāsi-Kosala?’ ‘He does, Reverend Gotama.’ ‘Well, if anyone should say: “King Pasenadi of Kosala resides at Kāsi-Kosala, and he should enjoy the entire fruits and revenues of Kosala, not giving anything away to others” – would not anyone that spoke like that be a source of danger to his tenants? ... Would he not have a heart full of hatred… and would that not be wrong view?’ ‘It would, Reverend Gotama.’

12. ‘Then surely, if anyone were to say the same of the Brahmin Lohicca… that would be wrong view.

13. ‘In the same way, Lohicca, if anyone should say: “Suppose an ascetic or Brahmin were to discover some good doctrine and thought he ought not to declare it to anyone else, for what can one man do for another?” he would be a source of danger to those good men of good family who, following the Dhamma and discipline taught by the Tathāgata, attain to such excellent distinction as to realize the fruit of Stream-Entry, of Once-Returning, of Non-Returning, of Arahantship – and to all who ripen the seeds of a rebirth in the deva-world. Being a source of danger to them, he is uncompassionate, and his heart is grounded in hostility, and that constitutes wrong view, which leads to… hell or an animal rebirth.

14. ‘And if anyone were to speak thus of King Pasenadi, he would be a source of danger to the King’s tenants, yourself and others…

15. (as Verse 13)

16. ‘Lohicca, these three kinds of teachers in the world are blameworthy, and if anyone blames such teachers, his blame is proper, true, in accordance with reality and faultless. Which three? Here, Lohicca, is a teacher who has gone forth from the household life into homelessness, but who has not gained the goal of asceticism. And without having gained this goal, he teaches his disciples a doctrine, saying: “This if for your good, this is for your happiness.” But his pupils don’t wish to hear, they don’t listen, they don’t arouse the thought of enlightenment, and the teacher’s instructions are flouted. He should be blamed, saying: “This venerable one has gone forth…, his instructions are flouted. It is just as if a man were to persist in making advances to a woman who rejected him, and to embrace her though she turned away.” This I declare to be an evil doctrine based on attachment, for what can one man do for another? This is the first teacher who is blameworthy…

17. ‘Again, there is a teacher who has gone forth… but who has not gained the goal of asceticism. Without having gained this goal, he teaches his disciples a doctrine, saying: “This is for your good, this is for your happiness.” His pupils wish to hear, they listen, they rouse the thought of enlightenment, and the teacher’s instructions are not flouted. He should be blamed, saying: “This venerable one has gone forth…” It is as if, leaving his own field, he should think another’s field in need of weeding. I declare this to be an evil doctrine rooted in attachment… This is the second teacher who is blameworthy…

18. ‘Again, there is a teacher who has gone forth… and who has gained the goal of asceticism. Having gone forth, he teaches… But his pupils don’t wish to hear him, …his instructions are flouted. He too should be blamed… Just as if, having cut through an old fetter, one were to make a new one, I declare that this is an evil doctrine rooted in attachment, for what can one man do for another? This is the third teacher who is blameworthy… And these are the three kinds of teacher that I spoke of as blamesworthy.’

19. ‘Then Lohicca said: “Reverend Gotama, are there any teachers in the world that are not blamesworthy?’

20-55. ‘Here, Lohicca, a Tathāgata arises in the world, an Arahant, fully-enlightened Buddha, endowed with wisdom and conduct, Well-Farer, Knower of the worlds, incomparable Trainer of men to be tamed, Teacher of gods and humans, enlightened and blessed. He, having realized it by his own super-knowledge, proclaims this world with its devas, its māras and Brahmās, its princes and people. He preaches the Dhamma that is lovely in the beginning, lovely in its middle, lovely in its ending, in the spirit and in the letter, and displays the fully-perfected and purified holy life. A disciple goes forth and practices the moralities, guards the sense-doors, attains the first jhāna (Sutta 2, verses 41-76). And whenever the pupil of a teacher attains to such excellent distinction, that is a teacher who is not blamed in the world. And if anyone blames that teacher, his blame is improper, untrue, not in accordance with reality, and faulty.

56-62. ‘He attains the other three jhānas (as Sutta 2, verses 77-82) and various insights (Sutta 2, verses 83-84). Whenever the pupil of a teacher attains such excellent distinction, that is a teacher who is not to be blamed in the world…

63-77. ‘He realizes the Four Noble Truths, the path, and the cessation of the corruptions … (as Sutta 2, verses 85-97).

‘Whenever the pupil of a teacher attains to such excellent distinction, that is a teacher who is not to be blamed in the world. And if anyone blames that teacher, his blame is improper, untrue, not in accordance with reality, and faulty.’

78. At this the Brahmin Lohicca said to the Lord: “Reverend Gotama, it is as if a man was to cease someone from the hair who had stumbled and was falling into a pit, and to set him on firm ground – just so I, who was falling into the pit, have been saved by the Reverend Gotama! Excellent, Reverend Gotama, excellent! It is as if someone were to set up what had been knocked down, or to point out the way to one who had got lost, or to bring an oil-lamp into a dark place, so that those with eyes could see what was there. Just so the Reverend Gotama has expounded the Dhamma in various ways.’

‘I go for refuge to the Lord Gotama, the Dhamma and the Sangha. May the Reverend Gotama accept me as a lay-follower who has taken refuge from this day forth for as long as life shall last!’


Dīgha Nikāya 12
Division One – The Moralities
Translated by Maurice Walshe
Contributed by Alonso Martinez

 

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