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Theragatha

TheragāthāThag 16.10
The Verses of Arahant Pārāsariya (920-948)

920. Flowers have blossomed throughout the forest where there was a monk with a still mind. While he was meditating in seclusion, this thought came to him:

921. The behaviour of the monks at present is different from when the protector of the world, the best of men, the Buddha, was alive.

922. Those days monks used robes as a protection from the wind, as a covering for their private parts, and to be content with whatever was available.

923. In the past, no matter what kind of food they were given, whether it was delicious or bad, little or much, monks were not greedy and did not cling to it, they ate alms just to stay alive.

924. In the past, when they were sick, rather than searching for medicine they worked hard for the abandonment of taints.

925. In forests, at the foot of trees, near waterfalls, and in caves, devoting themselves to seclusion, in the past, monks lived making seclusion their aim.

926. Those monks were obedient. They were easy to support. They were gentle. They had unstubborn minds. They weren’t involved in disputes. Their words were not scattered. They lived very meaningful lives thinking about their goal.

927. Therefore, their stride, eating, and association were pleasing. Their postures were smooth, like a stream of oil.

928. Those noble disciples practiced Jhānas, eradicated all taints and were very compassionate. Now those enlightened ones have attained final extinguishing at passing away. Now there are few such noble monks.

929. If the development of wholesome qualities and path for gaining wisdom are abandoned, this perfect path of the Buddha will disappear from the world.

930. At a time when evil things and defilements have taken over, even if one practices a secluded life, one will gain only a learning of the Dhamma.

931. Those increasing defilements will eat up all humans. As a result, nothing else will happen but those defilements will sport with people. It is something like a group of crazy people who live with demons.

932. Defilements will overcome those people. Then they will run here and there searching for objects of sensual pleasures. It will seem like a squad of soldiers who just received commands.

933. Then, true Dhamma will be abandoned. They will start quarreling with each other. They will follow after wrong views thinking that they are important.

934. Even though they become monks having given up wealth, wives and sons, they will do things that shouldn’t be done even just for the sake of food.

935. Then, they will eat food until they are overfull and sleep lying on their backs. After they have woken up, they will waste their time by talking about gossip that was condemned by the great teacher.

936. Their minds won’t be internally calm. They will eagerly learn unnecessary things. The Supreme Dhamma leading to the development of monkhood will be abandoned.

937. They will delight in getting things from people. So with the intention of getting more things in return, they will give lay people clay, oil, powder, water, seats and food.

938. They will also give tooth cleaners, fruits, flowers, deserts, mangos and myrobalans. Eventually, they will even give food that they get on alms round.

939. After that, those monks will start giving medicine to people like doctors. They will spend life like ordinary lay people. They will decorate their bodies like prostitutes. They will collect luxurious items like a king.

940. They will cheat others by telling lies. Living a cunning life, they will use other people’s things unrighteously.

941. They will promote unallowable things as allowable. Aiming at luxurious lives, they will cheat people and get things for their own benefit.

942. They will receive special treatment from lay people, not righteously, but pretending that it is a meritorious project. They will teach the Dhamma to others not to explain the meaning but to gain things in return.

943. In reality, they don’t belong to the Noble Sanga but they will quarrel to get things that are offered to the real Noble Sangha. They indeed live on others’ gains. They are not ashamed of their wrong living. They are shameless.

944. Not following the true monkhood, some fake monks will shave their heads well and wear double robes. Being intoxicated by gains and special care, they will desire to get respect from others.

945. As a result, the Dhamma path will crumble. Noble disciples who achieved Jhānas and Dhamma realization won’t be found anymore. Achieving and protecting noble qualities such as Jhānas and higher knowledges is not easy.

946. One should walk very carefully on thorny ground. In the same way, a sage should go in a village establishing strong mindfulness.

947. Therefore, one should remember the lives of the enlightened ones who lived in the past. One should recollect how they lived. At least in the final stage of one’s life, if one follows the Noble Path, he can attain Nibbāna.

948. After speaking these verses, that liberated monk, who eradicated rebirth—the true Seer, the true Brāhmin who developed spiritual faculties—attained final extinguishing at passing away in the Sāla forest.

These verses were said by Arahant Pārāsariya.

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Theragāthā 16.10: The Verses of Arahant Pārāsariya (920-948)

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