The Conditions Of Welfare





When the Blessed One was residing on the mount called Vulture's

Peak, near Rajagaha, Ajatasattu the king of Magadha, who reigned

in the place of Bimbisara, planned an attack on the Vajjis, and

he said to Vassakara, his prime minister: "I will root out the

Vajjis, mighty though they be. I will destroy the Vajjis; I will

bring them to utter ruin! Come now, O Brahman, and go to the

Blessed One; inquire in my name for his health, and tell him my

purpose. Bear carefully in mind what the Blessed One may say, and

repeat it to me, for the Buddhas speak nothing untrue."



When Vassakara, the prime minister, had greeted the Blessed One

and delivered his message, the venerable Ananda stood behind the

Blessed One and fanned him, and the Blessed One said to him:

"Hast thou heard, Ananda, that the Vajjis hold full and frequent

public assemblies?"



"Lord, so I have heard," replied he.



"So long, Ananda," said the Blessed One, "as the Vajjis hold

these full and frequent public assemblies, they may be expected

not to decline, but to prosper. So long as they meet together in

concord, so long as they honor their elders, so long as they

respect womanhood, so long as they remain religious, performing

all proper rites, so long as they extend the rightful protection,

defence and support to the holy ones, the Vajjis may be expected

not to decline, but to prosper."



Then the Blessed One addressed Vassakara and said: "When I

stayed, O Brahman, at Vesali, I taught the Vajjis these

conditions of welfare, that so long as they should remain well

instructed, so long as they will continue in the right path, so

long as they live up to the precepts of righteousness, we could

expect them not to decline, but to prosper."



As soon as the king's messenger had gone, the Blessed One had the

brethren, that were in the neighborhood of Rajagaha, assembled in

the service-hall, and addressed them, saying:



"I will teach you, O bhikkhus, the conditions of the welfare of a

community. Listen well, and I will speak.



"So lone, O bhikkhus, as the brethren hold full and frequent

assemblies, meeting in concord, rising in concord, and attending

in concord to the affairs of the Sangha; so long as they, O

bhikkhus, do not abrogate that which experience has proved to be

good, and introduce nothing except such things as have been

carefully tested; so long as their elders practise justice; so

long as the brethren esteem, revere, and support their elders,

and hearken unto their words; so long as the brethren are not

under the influence of craving, but delight in the blessings of

religion, so that good and holy men shall come to them and dwell

among them in quiet; so long as the brethren shall not be

addicted to sloth and idleness; so long as the brethren shall

exercise themselves in the sevenfold higher wisdom of mental

activity, search after truth, energy, joy, modesty, self-control,

earnest contemplation, and equanimity of mind,--so long the

Sangha may be expected not to decline, but to prosper.



"Therefore, O bhikkhus, be full of faith, modest in heart, afraid

of sin, anxious to learn, strong in energy, active in mind, and

full of wisdom."





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