The Sangha





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

said:



"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

efforts.



"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

doctrine."



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

faith.



"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

suffering.



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

censured.



"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.





The Re-establishment Of Concord The Schism facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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