TheragāthāThag 17.1
The Verses of Arahant Phussa (949-980)

949. There was an ascetic called Paṇḍaragotta. He saw many monks who were pleasing to see. Their senses were very calm. They had developed minds. The Ascetic Paṇḍaragotta asked the Arahant Phussa about them.

950. [Paṇḍaragotta:] Please answer my question. What are the desires going to be for the monks in the future? What would be their goal? What would be their attitude?

951. [Phussa Bhante:] Ascetic Paṇḍara, then listen to me. I will tell you what is going to happen in the future. Memorize it well.

952. In the future, the monks will often get angry and will be full of hatred. They will take revenge and destroy others’ good qualities. Swollen with conceit, they will boast about qualities that are not present in themselves. They will envy others and argue with them.

953. With a conceited mind, they will mistakenly think that they know the deep Dhamma. They will just brag. But in reality they have no idea about the Dhamma. They are fickle. They won’t have any respect towards the Supreme Dhamma nor will they have any respect towards each other.

954. Like this, many dangers will appear in the future world. These people will defile the well taught Supreme Dhamma with various wrong views.

955. In the future these monks will be powerful. They will be the leaders of the community of monks. But they will be devoid of virtuous qualities. They will be incompetent in the Dhamma. The truth is that they won’t know the teaching of the Buddha but will only just talk.

956. In the community of the monks there will be monks with good qualities who have a good understanding of the Dhamma and who fear to do wrong. But those virtuous monks will not stand out and will be powerless.

957. What will those evil monks devoid of wisdom do? They will accept silver and gold, fields, properties, goats and sheep, and male and female servants.

958. They won’t have any wisdom, virtue or stillness of mind. Being conceited they will just boast. They will wander about like animals looking for quarrels to pick.

959. Wearing blue robes, monks in the future will lead conceited, deceitful, and stubborn lives. Living playfully, they will pretend to be noble ones.

960. In the future monks will wear white robes too. They will slick their hair back with oil. They will travel on roads, eyes painted with makeup.

961. They will desire the white robe and will dislike the dyed robes known as the Banner of the enlightened ones, the robes that were worn and praised by liberated ones.

962. They will be desirers of gain. They will be lazy and devoid of energy. They will give up living in faraway forests and meditating in secluded places. Instead they will stay close to villages.

963. They will live by wrong livelihood. Without training their students for a restrained life, while obtaining gains, they will train their pupils for a lifestyle dedicated to gaining things.

964. Those monks who won’t obtain gains, honor, fame and praise will be forgotten without having any recognition. Even though there will be some virtuous and wise monks, without having any gains, no one will associate with them.

965. The Noble monk’s banner is the robe which is dyed by the stain of the bark of the black banyan tree. But future monks will despise that robe and wear white clothes, the symbol of other religious people.

966. Once they have no reverence for the dyed robe, they will also give up the reflection on using the robe.

967. Having got hit with a poisoned spear, even though that elephant king Chaddanta was feeling terrible, unbearable pain, he respected this sacred dyed robe.

968. That day the elephant king Chaddanta, seeing the dyed robe, the banner of liberated ones, immediately said these meaningful verses:

969. Even though a person who hasn’t completely removed defilements and is devoid of sense restraint and truth wears a dyed robe, surely he doesn’t deserve that robe.

970. If a monk who has completely removed defilements, is virtuous, still minded, with self-restraint and truth, and wears a dyed robe, indeed he is the one who deserves this robe.

971. Devoid of virtue, foolish, acting impulsively, with a confused mind, and without wholesome qualities, such a person does not deserve this dyed robe.

972. But the one who is virtuous, desireless, still minded and with pure intentions deserves this dyed robe.

973. If one is stubborn, swollen with conceit, devoid of any knowledge and virtue, he truly deserves white clothes. What good will the dyed robe do for him?

974. In the future both monks and nuns will live with corrupt and disrespectful minds. They will insult even the enlightened ones whose minds are unshaken and full of loving kindness.

975. Even though virtuous monks will try to train those foolish people who are devoid of virtue and wisdom, unrestrained, and who act emotionally, they will still be ignored.

976. That is how they will live, without respecting each other or their teachers, as a disobedient horse to its rider.

977. When the period of disciplined monks and nuns comes to an end, these behaviours will appear in the future.

978. Before this very fearful future comes, be obedient to the Dhamma and have soft and unconceited hearts. Live respecting others!

979. Develop a mind of loving kindness and live a compassionate life. Restrained with virtue, putting forth energy, and giving top priority to the Dhamma practice, live with strong effort!

980. Negligence in regard to the Dhamma should be seen as a fearful thing. Diligence in the practice should be seen as a safe land. Develop the Noble Eightfold Path wishing to attain the deathless Nibbāna!

These verses were said by Arahant Phussa.

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Theragāthā 17.1: The Verses of Arahant Phussa (949-980)

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