Ekottara Agama 20.9

 

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[i]‘Thus have I heard.

At one time the Buddha was staying in Śrāvastī, at Jetṛ’s Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. Then the Exalted One said to the bhikṣus:

There are two persons who are not fit (asamartha) for enunciating Dharma words. Who are the two persons? 

a) The person who gives teachings on trust (śraddhā) without himself having trust – a most problematic situation;

b) the person who gives teachings on generosity (dāna), himself being in the grip of avarice (mātsarya) and lust (raga) – also a most problematic [situation].

Moreover, bhikṣus, if a person gives teachings on trust without himself having trust, in his mind there will arise aversion (dveṣa), aggressiveness (pratigha) and [a proneness to] hurting (upaghāta). O bhikṣus, a person giving teachings on trust without himself having trust, with aversion, aggressiveness and [a proneness to] hurting arising in his mind, is comparable to a [fierce] dog whose fierceness increases and which becomes more and more angry and aggressive after injuring its muzzle.

Moreover, bhikṣus, if a person who gives teachings on generosity, himself being in a grip of avarice and lust, in his mind there will arise aversion, aggressiveness and [a proneness to] hurting. A person’s giving teachings on generosity, his being in the grip of avarice and lust and his mind being increasingly filled with aversion, aggressiveness and [a proneness to] hurting are comparable to an abscess which, not yet being fully developed,[ii] is becoming unbearably painful [because of] its being cut open with a lancet.

These, O bhikṣus, are the two persons whose setting forth the Dharma is [most] problematic.

Then, bhikṣus, there are two persons whose setting forth the Dharma is not at all problematic. Who are the two [persons]?

a) The person who gives teachings on trust, himself having trust, and

b) [the person] who gives teachings on generosity without himself [being in the grip of] avarice and lust.

If, bhikṣus, a person gives teachings on trust, himself having trust, in his mind there will arise joy (prīti), and he will be free from perturbation (vikāra) and remorse (kaukṛtya). A person’s giving teachings on trust, having trust himself and a mind full of joy, free from confusion (vyabhicāra) and perturbation, are comparable to prescribing a sick person a medicine which cures his illness and makes him healthy again.

Moreover, if a person who gives teachings on generosity, without himself being in the grip of [avarice and] lust, in his mind there will arise joy, and he will be free from remorse. A person’s giving teachings on generosity, his being free from avarice and lust, full of joy and without remorse, are comparable to a decent, well-groomed[iii] man or woman of a cheerful disposition [whom] someone approaches with a beautiful flower which is offered [to him or her] and which makes [them] look much more colourful. Furthermore, [that virtuous person’s teaching generosity is comparable to someone’s] offering that [decent] man [or woman] fine clothes and ornaments whose recipient then becomes all the happier.

These, bhikṣus, are the two persons whose setting forth the Dharma is not at all problematic. So, bhikṣus, one should aim at having trust, at being generous and at being free from avarice and lust. Thus, O bhikṣus, you should train.

After listening to the Buddha’s words, the bhikṣus were pleased and respectfully applied themselves to practice.’



[i] CBETA, T02, no. 125, p. 600, c3-28. This translation originally published as Ekottarāgama XXVIII, Buddhist Studies Review 18.2, 2001, p 227-228. Translated from the Chinese version by Thích Huyên-Vi and Bhikkhu Pāsādika in collaboration with Sara Boin-Webb.

[ii] Lit.: ‘hot’.

[iii] Lit.: ‘[with] bathed hands and faces’.