069 Gulissani Sutta

Listen to the Exposition by Bhikku Bodhi

069 Etiquette For Bhikkus691

Listen to Ajahn Brahms’s Sutta Exposition above

[691: In the begining there were no different schools of monks in the sasana. All bhikkus were expected to live as one unity (Bhikku Sangha) But after about five years under direct supervision and training under his preceptor, every bhikku was expected to spend time enough for them to develop their meditation and reach a noble stage in the forest . Those who are in the forest were called “Forest Dwellers” and the others in village temples as “Grama vasi” though there was no difference in the teaching under they learn . Nowadays you see forest sangha behave and show that they are of a “different” type of sect and are much noble than the city dwelling monks. It has been their from the time of Buddha and this sutta defines its not to be taken like that. also this sutta dictates some civil behaviors of a bhikku visiting a new place. These are social etiquette that a forest dweller visiting a village temple should observe. But Ven Sariputta clarifies at the end of the sutta that these are to be observed even by a village monk.]

§ 1. THUS HAVE I HEARD.
On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Rājagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels’ Sanctuary.

§ 2. Now on that occasion a bhikkhu named Gulissāni, a forest-dweller of lax behaviour692 , had come on a visit to stay in the midst of the Sangha for some business or other. The venerable Sāriputta addressed the bhikkhus with reference to the bhikkhu Gulissāni thus:

[692: When living alone in the forest a monk may behave as he wishes as there is no supervision or observation by any other bhikku, This may result is him behaving unsociably and not observing correct protocol as dictated in Vinaya.]

§3 . “Friends,
when a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should be respectful and deferential towards his companions in the holy life. If he is disrespectful and undeferential towards his companions in the holy life, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is disrespectful and undeferential towards his companions in the holy life? 693

[693: irrespective of the fact what is achievement in holy life, like Jhana and noble status a bhikku always venerate his seniors according to the day of ordination]

Since there would be those who would say this of him,
a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha …

..should be respectful and deferential towards his companions in the holy life.

§ 4. “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should be skilled in good behaviour regarding seats thus:

I shall sit down in such a way that I do not encroach upon elder bhikkhus694 and do not deny new bhikkhus a seat.’

[694: Bhikkus should walk and sit in accordance to seniority in the Sasana not their date of birth, seniority means the seniority in sasana]

If he is not skilled in good behaviour regarding seats, there will be those who would say of him:

What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he does not even know what pertains to good behaviour?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha

should be skilled in good behaviour regarding seats.

§5. “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should not enter the village too early or return late in the day. If he enters the village too early and returns late in the day, there will be those who would say of him:

What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he enters the village too early and returns late in the day?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha ….

..should not enter the village too early or return late in the day.

§ 6. “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, [470] he should not go before the meal or after the meal to visit families.695

[695: This is prohibited by Pāc 46 (Vin iv.98–101). A bhikkhu may visit families at these times only if he has informed another bhikkhu in the monastery of his intentions, except during the season for making and giving robes]

If he goes before the meal or after the meal to visit families, there will be those who would say of him:
‘Surely this venerable forest-dweller, while dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, must be used to making untimely visits, since he behaves thus when he has come to the Sangha.’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha

… should not go before the meal or after the meal to visit families. .”

§7. “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should not be haughty and personally vain. If he is haughty and personally vain, there will be those who would say of him:
Surely this venerable forest-dweller, while dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, must generally be haughty and personally vain, since he behaves thus when he has come to the Sangha.’

[696: As mentioned in 691 no bhikku should consider he is better than another, nobler than another bhikku and behave in such a way]

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha ….

..should not be haughty and personally vain. .”

§ 8. “ “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should not be rough-tongued and loose-spoken.

If he is rough tongued and loose-spoken, there will be those who would say of him:
‘What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is rough-tongued and loose-spoken?

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha…

should not be rough-tongued and loose spoken.

§ 9. “When a forest-dwelling bhikkhu comes to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha, he should be easy to correct and should associate with good friends.

If he is difficult to correct and associates with bad friends, there will be those who would say of him:

What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is difficult to correct and associates with bad friends?

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu who has come to the Sangha and is living in the Sangha…

..should be easy to correct and should associate with good friends.”

Also, this circumstance was not recognised by you:

§ 10. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should guard the doors of his sense faculties.

If he does not guard the doors of his sense faculties, there will be those who would say of him: ‘What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since [471] he does not guard the doors of his sense faculties?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu ..

should guard the doors of his sense faculties. “

§ 11 . “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be moderate in eating. 696
If he is not moderate in eating, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he
likes, since he is not moderate in eating?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu…

[696:- See n.671. In agreement with MN 66.6, MA explains that the Buddha had first prohibited the afternoon meal and then at a later time prohibited the night meal. He did this out of concern for the delicate bhikkhus in the Order, since they might have become fatigued too quickly if both late meals were prohibited simultaneously.]

.. should be moderate in eating

§ 12. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be devoted to wakefulness. If he is not devoted to wakefulness, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is not devoted to wakefulness?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu..

.. should be devoted to wakefulness.

§ 13 . ““A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be energetic. If he is not energetic, there will be those who would say of him:
‘What has this venerable forest dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is lazy?

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

should be energetic.

§ 14. “ A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be established in mindfulness. If he is unmindful, there will be those who would say of him:
‘What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is unmindful? ’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

should be established in mindfulness.

. § 15. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be concentrated. If he is not concentrated, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he
likes, since he is not concentrated
?’

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu …..

should be concentrated.

§ 16. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should be wise.
If he is not wise, there will be [472] those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he is not wise?

Since there would be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

…..should be wise.

§ 17. “ “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should apply himself to the higher Dhamma and the higher Discipline.697 There are those who ask a forest-dwelling bhikkhu a question about the higher Dhamma and the higher Discipline. If, when so asked, he fails to reply, there will be those who would say of him:

[697: Abhidhamma and Abhivinaya. MA says that he should apply himself to learning the text and commentary to the Abhidhamma Piṭaka and the Vinaya Piṭaka. This is clearly anachronistic. On Abhidhamma in the context of the suttas, see n.362.

Abhidhamma. Though the word cannot refer here to the Piṭaka of that name —obviously the product of a phase of Buddhist thought later than the Nikāyas— it may well indicate a systematic and analytical approach to the doctrine that
served as the original nucleus of the Abhidhamma Piṭaka. In a careful study of the contexts in which the word “Abhidhamma” occurs in the Sutta Piṭakas of several early recensions, the Japanese Pali scholar Fumimaro Watanabe concludes that the Buddha’s own disciples formed the conception of Abhidhamma as an elementary philosophical study that attempted to define, analyse, and classify dhammas and to explore their mutual relations. See his Philosophy and its Development in the Nikāyas and Abhidhamma, pp. 34–36.
Although there is no corresponding body of literature called “Abhivinaya,” it seems probable the word refers to a systematic and analytical approach to the study of the Vinaya, perhaps that embedded in the Suttavibhanga of the Vinaya
Piṭaka.]

What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since when he is asked a question about the higher Dhamma 698 and the higher Discipline he fails to reply?

Since there will be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

[698: Higher Dhamma = Abhidhamma as said in the Sutta is not the “abhidhamma” the third volume of tipitaka taken as the Buddha’s word currently bu the School of Theravada bhikkus in Sri Lanka and Myanmar. It is the past of Sutta pitaka where teacings are given in the persuit of the noble goals]

should apply himself to the higher Dhamma and the higher Discipline.

§ 18. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should apply himself to those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms.699

[699: MA: This refers to the eight meditative attainments. As a minimum he should become proficient in the preliminary work of one meditation subject, such as a kasi˚a.]

There are those who ask a forest-dwelling bhikkhu a question on the liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms.

If, when so asked, he fails to reply, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since when he is asked a question about those liberations that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms, he fails to reply?

Since there will be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

should apply himself to those liberations
that are peaceful and immaterial, transcending forms.

. § 19. “A forest-dwelling bhikkhu should apply himself to the superhuman state.
There are those who ask a forest-dwelling bhikkhu a question on the superhuman state.700

[700 : MA: This refers to all the supramundane states. As a minimum he should become proficient in one approach to developing insight up to arahantship ]

If, when so asked, he fails to reply, there will be those who would say of him:
What has this venerable forest-dweller gained by his dwelling alone in the forest, doing as he likes, since he does not even know the purpose for the sake of which he went forth?

Since there will be those who would say this of him, a forest-dwelling bhikkhu

should apply himself to the superhuman state.”

§ 20. “When this was said, the venerable Mahā Moggallāna asked the venerable Sāriputta: “Friend Sāriputta, should these things be undertaken and practised only by a forest-dwelling bhikkhu or [473] by one who dwells near a village as well?”

“Friend Moggallāna, these things should be undertaken and practised even by a forest-dwelling bhikkhu, how much more then by one who dwells near a village.”

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