Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dhamma

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puppha
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Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dhamma

Post by puppha » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:07 pm

Dear All,

I heard a nun who recently said that the Buddha forbade monks and nuns to talk about Dhamma with someone, unless that person asks a question or the monk/nun knows that the person is interested.
Is that true? If yes, could you please point me to the Sutta reference? I did a quick search myself, but couldn't find anything about it...

Thank you very much!

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Cittasanto
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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:13 pm

Hi,
Try the patimokkha sekhiyavata rules of training.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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puppha
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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by puppha » Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:13 pm

Hi Cittasanto,
Cittasanto wrote:Try the patimokkha sekhiyavata rules of training.
Thanks for the pointer.
I already had a look at those, however, and I can't find anything prohibiting a monk/nun to talk about Dhamma unsolicited...

Metta

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Aug 19, 2014 5:42 pm

I have no Idea where it could be then sorry. Maybe someone knows the exact location, but I am under the same information you heard.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:38 pm

The Sekhiya rules are about not teaching the Dhamma to one who is not showing due respect.

There's also a Pācittiya rule about not teaching the Dhamma to a women unless a male person is present. However, if a woman asks a question, the monk can explain the Dhamma at length.

I don't know of any rule about teaching the Dhamma only to those who are interested. When we give public talks, it seems quite obvious that at least some in the audience are not interested, but how could we know for sure? If we try harder, perhaps they will become interested.

It just doesn't seem like a practical rule at all, but it's not wise to just approach any stranger and try to teach them the Dhamma. One has to assume that anyone who greets a monk or visits a Buddhist Internet forum, a monastery or public talk, is at least slightly interested in the Dhamma, or might become interested.

Anāthapindika's son was not the least bit interested in the Dhamma, so his father promised him some money if he could learn one verse. The Buddha contrived that the young man would not be able to remember it easily, so he had to go repeatedly. Eventually, he understood and became a Stream-winner. Then he was too embarrassed to accept the money from his father.
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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:14 pm

I had the impression that what the OP mentions is that monks and nuns should wait for someone to ask them to teach the Dhamma, with reference to the request by Brahma Sahampati that the Buddha should teach the Dhamma:
"Then the thought occurred to me, 'This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise.
...
"As I reflected thus, my mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.

"Then Brahma Sahampati, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in my awareness, thought: 'The world is lost! The world is destroyed! The mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One inclines to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma!' Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of me. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted me with his hands before his heart, and said to me: 'Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:34 pm

Fortunately, the Buddha considered that some might understand so he taught it anyway.

That's the approach that I take if an opportunity arises to teach the Dhamma. If the listener is not interested, I lost nothing. If they are not interested at the moment, it might ring true for them later. Merely by making the effort, I can make wholesome kamma. If some like Māgandiyā got annoyed by the Dhamma the Buddha still taught for the benefit of those who could understand.

I don't know of any rule forbidding monks and nuns from teaching the Dhamma, apart from those rules that I already mentioned. Even then, if one person is being disrespectful, one can focus on another person and teach them instead.

“Wander forth, monks, for the welfare of many, for the benefit of many.” (The Dhamma is not for everyone, only for those with little dust in their eyes).
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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Cittasanto » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:40 pm

:goodpost:
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:45 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Fortunately, the Buddha considered that some might understand so he taught it anyway.

That's the approach that I take if an opportunity arises to teach the Dhamma. If the listener is not interested, I lost nothing....
Indeed. In recounting the Brahma Sahampati story I was simply pointing out the reasoning that may be behind the impression that some have that there is a rule. It's certainly a wide-spread impression that I've heard expressed by some monks.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by SarathW » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:23 pm

"Well, my lady, you put on your shoes, sat down on a high seat, covered your head, and said: 'Teach me your doctrine, recluse.' But these venerable recluses honor their doctrine, they hold it in high esteem."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by puppha » Wed Aug 20, 2014 7:34 pm

Dear Bhante,
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I don't know of any rule forbidding monks and nuns from teaching the Dhamma, apart from those rules that I already mentioned.
It seems that this is indeed the case. I couldn't find anything in the tipitaka detailing such a rule...

Many thanks for your useful inputs.

:anjali:

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Re: Sutta reference: Buddha forbids monks to talk about Dham

Post by Castillo » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:51 am

This is the best of gifts: the gift of Dhamma. And this is the best of friendly speech: to teach again & again Dhamma to those who wish for it & who listen attentively.

AN 9.5

:buddha1:

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