Posted by: Upāsaka | 05/25/2016

For the Good of the Many

145. The Brahmin Sangarava said to the Lord: “Good Gotama, we Brahmins perform the sacrifice and encourage others to do so. Whoever does this creates great good that affects many people. But he who goes forth from home into homeless life helps only himself, calms only himself, leads only himself to Nirvana. Such a person is, I say, practising something that creates good for himself only.”
And the lord said: “Well, Brahmin, I will ask you a question; answer as you think fit. Let us say a Tathagata arises in the world, a Noble One, a fully enlightened Buddha, with perfect knowledge and conduct, happily attained, a knower of the worlds, a guide unsurpassed for men to be tamed, a teacher of gods and men, a Buddha, the Lord. And then he says: ‘Come! By my own powers of realization I have come to great happiness as a result of this practice, this way. Come you also! By your own powers of realization you too will come to great happiness as a result of this practice, this way.” Thus this teacher teaches Dhamma to many hundreds, many thousands, many hundreds of thousands of such people. Now Brahmin, since this is so, is this going forth into the homeless life a practice that benefits only one person or many people?”
“Good Gotama, it is a practice that benefits many people.”

Anguttara Nikaya I.168

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