The Discourse about the Great Emancipation

[The First Chapter for Recitation]

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[4: Seven Further Things which Prevent Decline in the Community (8-14)]

I will teach you a further seven things which prevent decline, listen to it, apply your minds well, and I will speak.”

“Very well, reverend Sir,” those monks replied to the Gracious One, and the Gracious One said this:

  1. “For as long, monks, as the monks are not devoted to the pleasure in work, the delight in work, and are not attached to work, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline. The Commentary explains that the monks should, of course, do their duties at at the proper time, and devote themselves to study and meditation at other times.01

  2. For as long, monks, as the monks are not devoted to the pleasure in speech, the delight in speech, and are not attached to speech, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline. The sort of speech meant is frivolous talk. Talking about Dhamma is encouraged. In the Udāna the Buddha said monks should either talk about the Dhamma or maintain noble silence (e.g. Ud. 2-2).02

  3. For as long, monks, as the monks are not devoted to the pleasure in sleep, the delight in sleep, and are not attached to sleep, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline.

  4. For as long, monks, as the monks are not devoted to the pleasure of company, the delight in company, and are not attached to company, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline.

  5. For as long, monks, as the monks do not have evil wishes, do not go under the influence of evil wishes, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline.

  6. For as long, monks, as the monks do not have wicked friends, do not have wicked companions, do not have wicked comrades, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline. Having a good friend, a good companion, a good comrade (kalyāṇamitta, kalyāṇasahāyo, kalyāṇasampavaṅko) is said to be helpful for those who are not yet mature in the monk's life (Ud. 4-1).03

  7. For as long, monks, as the monks do not achieve only mundane or incomplete attainment, Any attainments that fall short of Arahatta.04 surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline.

For as long, monks, as the monks will maintain these seven things which prevent decline, and the monks will agree with these seven things which prevent decline, surely growth, monks, is to be expected for the monks, not decline.