Verse 77. The Virtuous Cherish Good Advice

Let him exhort, let him instruct,
and check one from abasement.
Dear indeed is he to the true,
not dear is he to the false.

Explanation: The wise and good person who reproaches and warns, and prevents a person from getting into anti-social behaviour, is liked by virtuous individuals – and disliked by those who are evil.

The Story of Venerables Assaji & Punabbasuka (Verse 77)

While residing at the Jetavana Monastery, the Buddha spoke this verse, with reference to Venerables Assaji and Punabbasuka.

These monks, we are told, were two pupils of the chief disciples, but in spite of that fact were shameless and wicked. While they were in residence at Kitagiri with their retinues of many monks, they planted and caused to be planted flowering trees and were guilty of all manner of misconduct besides. They violated homes and procured thence the monastic requisites on which they lived. They rendered the monastery uninhabitable for the amiable monks.

Hearing of their doings, the Buddha was determined to expel them from the Sangha. For this purpose he summoned the two chief disciples, together with their retinues, and said to them, “Expel those who will not obey your commands, but admonish and instruct those who will obey. He who admonishes and instructs is hated by those that lack wisdom, but is loved and cherished by the wise.” And joining the connection and instructed them in the Dhamma.

Sariputta and Moggallana went there and admonished and instructed those monks. Some of them received the admonitions of the Venerables and corrected their behaviour, others returned to the house-life while still others were expelled from the Sangha.


Treasury of Truth: Illustrated Dhammapada – 423 Verses

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