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982Re: Slandering the Virtuous

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  • Bhikkhu Pesala
    Jul 19, 2006
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      The result of any kamma depends on the virtue of the person it is aimed
      at. In the matter of wholesome kamma:

      Offering alms to a Buddha gives greater fruit that offering alms to an
      Arahant disciple of the Buddha.

      Offering alms to an Arahant gives greater fruit than offering alms to a

      Offering alms to a virtuous monk who is striving for the realisation of
      Stream-winning gives greater fruit than offering alms to an ordinary
      person who is striving for sensual pleasures. For details, please the
      Dakkhinavibhanga Sutta of the Majjhimanikaya.

      In the matter of unwholesome kamma (immoral deeds such as slander), it
      is the same. The results in terms of suffering are far greater if
      slandering a virtuous monk than slandering an ordinary person. However,
      if a lay person is a Noble One, the consequences are still very serious,
      more serious than slandering an ordinary monk who is not virtuous, and
      who has genuine defects.

      In speaking true words that lead others to look down on someone, "He is
      a thief," "She is a liar," etc., the result will also be bad, unless the
      intention was wholesome, for example, to warn others about a person's bad
      character. True speech is not slander, but it can still be unwholesome
      kamma if spoken out of malice, pride, or contempt.

      To slander the Buddha is a very serious error, as the Buddha had no
      defects at all. It is like throwing away cool drinking water in the
      desert. One who says that he taught what he did not teach, or that he
      practised what he did not practise, slanders the Buddha. See the Abhasita


      A virtuous monk tries his utmost to uphold the 227 Vinaya rules as
      prescribed by the Buddha. He is therefore possessed of moral shame and
      fear of wrong doing. Even if he is not a Noble One, he respects the
      Buddha's instructions, and works for the preservation and propagation of
      the Dhamma. Whatever faults he might have, he is still praiseworthy.
      These days it is hard to find virtuous monks who try to follow the
      training rules. Why should anyone slander such a monk?

      As for ordinary persons, they are usually striving only for the enjoyment
      of sensual pleasures. However, if they are virtuous persons who observe
      the five precepts, slandering them with untrue words will also have
      serious effects.

      "A normal person" these days does not observe the five precepts. They
      will do many blameworthy deeds, and will fail to do many praiseworthy
      deeds. One should blame the blameworthy, and praise the praiseworthy.
      Slander of immoral persons with untrue words is still the unwholesome
      kamma of pisunavaca. However, its consequences are less severe than
      slandering the virtuous due to the weak moral character of the person

      A virtuous monk is like a village well where anyone can come to refresh
      their thirst and get clean water for cooking, washing, or bathing.
      Polluting a public well with foul things is an unwholesome action with
      serious consequences for the entire village.

      A normal person is like a water pot kept in someone's home. Polluting a
      water pot with foul things is an unwholesome action that may harm only
      one person or his family if they drink that polluted water. If they are
      wise, they will not drink it, but they will just go to the well and fetch
      some clean water.

      The teachings of the Buddha preserved by the monks are like a huge
      mountain reservoir from which all of the wells in the country are
      replenished. If one pollutes that mountain reservoir with heretical
      teachings, everyone in the country will suffer. Either they will be
      thirsty, or they will get sick. That is why slandering the Buddha by
      teaching what is not Dhamma is such a serious crime.

      As for polluting the water in a toilet. It is no crime at all. The toilet
      is full of foul things already. The only consequence is that one will get
      a bad smell for a moment, and have to flush the toilet with clean water.

      --- In SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com, "Jose M." <joe_lop_neo@...> wrote:

      > What is the difference between slandering the Buddha or a virtuous monk
      and slandering a normal person?
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