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The Sangha

Having pointed out to the five bhikkhus the truth, the Buddha

"A man that stands alone, having decided to obey the truth, may
be weak and slip back into his old ways. Therefore, stand ye
together, assist one another, and strengthen one another's

"Be like unto brothers; one in love, one in holiness, and one in
your zeal for the truth.

"Spread the truth and preach the doctrine in all quarters of the
world, so that in the end all living creatures will be citizens
of the kingdom of righteousness.

"This is the holy brotherhood; this is the church, the
congregation of the saints of the Buddha; this is the Sangha that
establishes a communion among all those who have taken their
refuge in the Buddha."

And Kondanna was the first disciple of the Buddha who had
thoroughly grasped the doctrine of the Holy One, and the
Tathagata looking into his heart said: "Truly, Kondanna has
understood the truth." Hence the venerable Kondanna received the
name "Annata-Kondanna," that is, "Kondanna who has understood the

Then the venerable Kondanna spoke to the Buddha and said: "Lord,
let us receive the ordination from the Blessed One."

And the Buddha said: "Come, O bhikkhus! Well taught is the
doctrine. Lead a holy life for the extinction of suffering."

Then Kondanna and the other bhikkhus uttered three times these
solemn vows:

"To the Buddha will I look in faith: He, the Perfect One, is holy
and supreme. The Buddha conveys to us instruction, wisdom, and
salvation; he is the Blessed One, who knows the law of being; he
is the Lord of the world, who yoketh men like oxen, the Teacher
of gods and men, the Exalted Buddha. Therefore, to the Buddha
will I look in faith.

"To the doctrine will I look in faith: well-preached is the
doctrine by the Exalted One. The doctrine has been revealed so as
to become visible; the doctrine is above time and space. The
doctrine is not based upon hearsay, it means 'Come and see'; the
doctrine leads to welfare; the doctrine is recognized by the wise
in their own hearts. Therefore to the doctrine will I look in

"To the community will I look in faith; the community of the
Buddha's disciples instructs us how to lead a life of
righteousness; the community of the Buddha's disciples teaches us
how to exercise honesty and justice; the community of the
Buddha's disciples shows us how to practise the truth. They form
a brotherhood in kindness and charity, and their saints are
worthy of reverence. The community of the Buddha's disciples is
founded as a holy brotherhood in which men bind themselves
together to teach the behests of rectitude and to do good.
Therefore, to the community will I look in faith."

And the gospel of the Blessed One increased from day to day, and
many people came to hear him and to accept the ordination to lead
thenceforth a holy life for the sake of the extinction of

And the Blessed One seeing that it was impossible to attend to
all who wanted to hear the truth and receive the ordination, sent
out from the number of his disciples such as were to preach the
Dharma and said unto them:

"The Dharma and the Vinaya proclaimed by the Tathagata shine
forth when they are displayed, and not when they are concealed.
But let not this doctrine, so full of truth and so excellent,
fall into the hands of those unworthy of it, where it would be
despised and contemned, treated shamefully, ridiculed and

"I now grant you, O bhikkhus, this permission. Confer henceforth
in the different countries the ordination upon those who are
eager to receive it, when you find them worthy.

"Go ye now, O bhikkhus, for the benefit of the many, for the
welfare of mankind, out of compassion for the world. Preach the
doctrine which is glorious in the beginning, glorious in the
middle, and glorious in the end, in the spirit as well as in the
letter. There are beings whose eyes are scarcely covered with
dust, but if the doctrine is not preached to them they cannot
attain salvation. Proclaim to them a life of holiness. They will
understand the doctrine and accept it."

And it became an established custom that the bhikkhus went out
preaching while the weather was good, but in the rainy season
they came together again and joined their master, to listen to
the exhortations of the Tathagata.

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