Book XIX. The Righteous, Dhammaṭṭha Vagga

XIX. 7. What is it that makes the Monk? Text: N iii. 392-393.
Aññatarabrāhmaṇavatthu (266-267)


266-267. Not therefore is a man a monk...

This religious instruction was given by the Teacher while he was in residence at Jetavana with reference to a certain Brahman. {3.392}

The story goes that this Brahman retired from the world and became a monk of an heretical order. As he went about on his rounds for alms, he thought to himself, “The monk Gotama addresses as “monks” his own disciples who go about on rounds for alms; he ought to address me also as a monk.” Accordingly he approached the Teacher and said to him, “Sir Gotama, I also support life by going about on rounds for alms; address me also as a monk.” But the Teacher said to him, “Brahman, I do not call a man a monk merely because he receives alms. For a man who adopts and practices all the forms is not therefore a monk. But he that weighs well all the Aggregates of Being and acts accordingly, he is a monk indeed.” So saying, he pronounced the following Stanzas,

266. Not therefore is a man a monk because he receives alms from others.
He that adopts the religion, forms and all, is not on that account a monk.

267. Whoever in this world casts out both merit and demerit, lives a life of chastity,
Walks wisely through the world, he is a monk indeed.