他们很正确地抱着以下的想法：“我们感恩自己的导师。我们一定要执行善友应执行的义务。”我们都一定要成为自己的父母亲、兄弟姐妹、跟随者以及导师们的善友。当沙利子尊者和马哈摩嘎喇那尊者决定要在佛陀座下修行时，他们想起之前的导师，山吒亚悲喇他子 (Sañjaya Belatthiputta)，因而商议：“我们的导师很有智慧，我们应该让他认识佛陀的正法。”之后他们便来到前任导师面前说：“导师，一切知佛陀已经出世，他正在演说正法，很多人在他引导下获得了证悟。导师，您也应该亲近他，在他座下修行。”
“Depend on the Dhamma, Not the Person”
In the advice the Buddha gave to His disciples in this matter, the one who is claiming to teach the truth is a monk who also claims to have heard and received that teaching from the Buddha’s own lips. Yet as an embodiment or source of truth, there is a difference between a person and the Dhamma itself. Of these two, the Buddha accorded more importance to the Dhamma. However, in actual practice people in general accord more importance to the person. If they hear that such and such a teacher is very famous, they approach that person; they see the attraction of fame and renown. This is what they see; this is the way the world goes, in the case of most people. We on the other hand must work to improve ourselves.
The reason for this state of affairs is that people do not know and do not see the Dhamma initially; they see the person first. If a teacher is well known and has a lot of companions and followers, people also want to follow.
This is the way it is happening. It may be quite reasonable and good if the teacher we approach is well known and has a lot of followers, but we need to observe respectfully and learn whether or not what such a teacher teaches is in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings. If it is in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, then yes, we must follow – but even then, what we should follow is not the person but the Dhamma. If one encounters teachings that conflict with the teachings of the Buddha, we must honestly acknowledge the fact of the matter.We must have the courage to accept the truth, and we must courageously reject non-truth. This is the advice of the Buddha.
Nonetheless, we need to be right minded. We may have had many teachers since we were young, and they have taught us many good things. They taught us how to make offerings and practise morality and meditate. They have bestowed on us many good things. Liberation, however, is the way leading to Nibbāna, and it is not something everyone can teach. Some teachers emphasise the teachings of the Buddha in the form of pariyatti, learning knowledge, so that they have a great deal of knowledge acquired through learning but do not have much knowledge of actual practice. If we learn from these teachers, they may explain things on the basis of what they understand; there is nothing wrong with that. There is no reason for us to criticise them just because they are not necessarily skilful.
When one finds it necessary to ‘reject non-truth’ in such a situation, it should be done not with anger but with wise attention. This is important. One should approach them for all the goodness they have, yet one should also withdraw from them for what they cannot do. Only in acting thus will one have positive thinking and be right minded.
Then one will not harm oneself, nor will one harm others. In these matters we should emulate Venerable Sāriputta and Venerable Mahāmoggallāna, neither of whom had learned from the Buddha from the outset. They practised under a certain well-known teacher at first, but when they heard the teachings of the Buddha, they became Noble Ones. They rightly held the following view: ‘We are grateful to our teacher. We must practise the way good friends practise.’ All of us must be good friends to our parents, our brothers and sisters, our followers, and our teachers as well.
When Venerable Sāriputta and Venerable Mahāmoggallāna resolved to practise under the Buddha, they remembered their former teacher, Sañjaya Belatthiputta, and said to themselves, ‘Our teacher is wise. We should introduce the true teachings of the Buddha to him.’ Then they approached their former teacher and said to him, ‘Teacher, the Omniscient Buddha has arisen in the world. He teaches the true Dhamma. Many have become enlightened under His guidance. Teacher, you also should approach Him and practise under His guidance.’ However,Sañjaya Belatthiputta replied, ‘All the wise will go to the Buddha. The fools will come to me. Do not worry.’ In this way they accomplished their duties as disciples. We must do what we need to do; the final decision will be made by our teachers, our elders, and our parents themselves, and it is not our concern. All we need to do is be a good friend to all of them, and to all the people we meet.
In this world, the foolish outnumber the wise; hence Sañjaya Belatthiputta said, ‘You do not need to worry. There are a lot of fools in the world. They will come to me.’ Here it is clear how very difficult it is sometimes to give up one’s attachment even to something that is not very valuable; because of our defilements, we are strongly influenced by the likes and dislikes caused by our defilements.
I am very fortunate in that, since I was young, I have been a very good observer. When I met with people of my own age and people who were very much older than I, I came to know that not all old people are wise or reasonable. I also came to know that even young people could sometimes be wise and reasonable despite their few years. I came to know that wisdom does not depend on age.
Therefore, I could never feel confident simply because of a person’s seniority in age or reputation; I would need to take time to assess the person instead. So I am fortunate.
If you like, you can also do the same. My advice, therefore, is to depend on the Dhamma, not on the person. No matter who the teacher is, do not depend on the teacher, but depend on the Dhamma instead.
The Dhamma is reliable, whereas a person is changeable. The Dhamma will never change. A person can poison others, but the Dhamma will never poison anyone. Depend on the Dhamma, then, and not on the person. Best of all, a person who imparts the Dhamma is someone on whom you can rely for the time being. If, however, you see the person change, you need to take care; you need to be a good observer. The Dhamma and the person need to be distinguished one from the other.
Quote from < The Truth Taught by All the Buddhas>
Practice of Dana & sila(precepts) & Meditation,etc.
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