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Schism in the Saṅgha —Bhikkhu Sujato

Numbered Discourses 4

25. Perils of Offenses

243. Schism in the Saṅgha

1.1At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambi, in Ghosita’s Monastery. 1.2Then Venerable Ānanda went up to the Buddha, bowed, and sat down to one side. The Buddha said to him, 1.3“Well, Ānanda, has that disciplinary issue been settled yet?”

1.4“How could it be, sir? 1.5Venerable Anuruddha’s pupil Bāhiya remains entirely committed to creating a schism in the Saṅgha. 1.6But Anuruddha doesn’t think to say a single word about it.”

2.1“But Ānanda, since when has Anuruddha been involved in disciplinary issues in the midst of the Saṅgha? 2.2Shouldn’t you, together with Sāriputta and Moggallāna, settle all disciplinary issues that come up?

3.1A bad monk sees four reasons to relish schism in the Saṅgha. 3.2What four? 3.3Take an unethical monk, of bad qualities, filthy, with suspicious behavior, underhand, no true ascetic or spiritual practitioner—though claiming to be one—rotten inside, corrupt, and depraved. 3.4He thinks: 3.5‘Suppose the monks know that I’m a bad monk … 3.6If they’re in harmony, they’ll expel me, 3.7but if they’re divided they won’t.’ 3.8A bad monk sees this as the first reason to relish schism in the Saṅgha.

4.1Furthermore, a bad monk has wrong view, he’s attached to an extremist view. 4.2He thinks: 4.3‘Suppose the monks know that I have wrong view … 4.4If they’re in harmony they’ll expel me, 4.5but if they’re divided they won’t.’ 4.6A bad monk sees this as the second reason to relish schism in the Saṅgha.

5.1Furthermore, a bad monk has wrong livelihood and earns a living by wrong livelihood. 5.2He thinks: 5.3‘Suppose the monks know that I have wrong livelihood … 5.4If they’re in harmony they’ll expel me, 5.5but if they’re divided they won’t.’ 5.6A bad monk sees this as the third reason to relish schism in the Saṅgha.

6.1Furthermore, a bad monk desires material possessions, honor, and admiration. 6.2He thinks: 6.3‘Suppose the monks know that I desire material possessions, honor, and admiration. 6.4If they’re in harmony they won’t honor, respect, revere, or venerate me, 6.5but if they’re divided they will.’ 6.6A bad monk sees this as the fourth reason to relish schism in the Saṅgha.

6.7A bad monk sees these four reasons to relish schism in the Saṅgha.”