Once Buddha was touring Kosala with 500 monks whereby he stayed in Sālavatikā. At that time there was a Brahmin called Lohicca who was reigning with feudatory rights at Sālavatikā, as a gift from King Pasenadi from Kosala.
At one moment an evil thought came to Lohicca, he thought " suppose an ascetic/brahmin were to discover some good doctrine/teaching and he decided not to share and teach others, for what can one man do for others? To tell and share with others would be like the man who, having broken through an old bond, get himself entangled in a new one again. This desire to declare to others is a form of lust/attachment. For what can one man do for another?"
Lohicca heard from others that ascetic Gotama (Buddha) has arrived at Sālavatikā and that many had praised Buddha to be the fully enlightened blessed arahant who is the knower of the worlds, teachers of devas and human and endowed with wisdom and conduct. Ascetic Gotama is known to teach the dhamma that is lovely at the beginning, middle and in the end. It would be great to pay a visit to such a respectable and reputable person. So he sent his barber, Bhesika, to go to Buddha and invite him for a meal the next day. Buddha agreed and the next day with the sangha they went to Lohicca's residence.
Along his way to Lohicca's place, Bhesika told Buddha of Lohicca's bad thought on why should an ascetic/brahmin share and tell others of any good doctrines/teachings because it is not beneficial. Then Bhesika suggested to Buddha that it would be good if the Blessed One could remove this evil viewpoint from Brahmin Lohicca. Buddha replied: ''That may well be, Bhesikā, that may well be.''
Lohicca served Buddha and the monks food and took a seat beside Buddha. Then Buddha asked Lohicca if an evil thought has came to his mind yesterday and Lohicca agreed.
Buddha asked if Lohicca is established and reigned over Sālavatikā? , Lohicca said "yes". Then Buddha asked further:"If somone were to say Lohicca who reigns Sālavatikā., he alone should enjoy all the revenue and all the produce of Sālavatikā without sharing with anybody else! Wouldn't that kind of speech be a creator of obstacles for your subjects?'' Lohicca said: " Yes it will be a trouble-maker."
Buddha continued :"And making that danger, would he be a person who sympathized with their welfare, or not?’ Lohicca: ‘He would not be considering their welfare and will not sympathize.’ Buddha: ‘Would that person who dose not sympathize acts with love or hatred for them?’ Lohicca: ‘With hatred, Gotama.’ Buddha: ‘When one’s heart is filled with hatred and in enmity, is that wrong view or right view?’ Lohicca: ‘It is wrong view, Gotama.’ Buddha: “Now, for one with wrong view, Lohicca, I tell you, there is two kinds of destinations: either rebirth in the hell realm or the animal realm. Buddha: “Suppose someone were to say, ‘King Pasenadi Kosala who reigns over Kāsi & Kosala. He alone should enjoy all the fruits & revenues of Kāsi & Kosala, and not share them with others.’ Wouldn't that kind of speech be a creator of obstacles for for King Pasenadi’s subjects?” Lohicca:“Yes, he would be a trouble maker, Master Gotama.” Buddha : “Similarly as an example given above if he is a trouble maker, he will not be sympathetic for their welfare with a heart of hatred and enmity. That would also be wrong view and that will result in bad rebirth."
Buddha: “In the same way, if a Samaṇa or a Brahmin who has discovered a good doctrine (teaching), should he tell no one else about it. since he feels what can one man do for another? He thinks it's a form of attachment and lust. But he will become an obstacle to those who come from good family background who are keen to the dhamma (teachings) and discipline from the Tathagata. He will prevent these good people from achieving the fruits of enlightenment because of his heart is established in enimity and he has wrong views. This wrong view and obstruction to people who can benefit from the teachings may result in bad rebirth. Just as i have illustrated in the two examples above. "
Three kinds of teachers that are blameworthy
Buddha then went on to explain to Lohicca that there are three kinds of teachers that are blameworthy, not to be praised. Who are they and why?
The first kind of blameworthy teacher is someone who went into ascetic life with the aim of attaining enlightenment. Without having himself attained enlightenment, he teaches a doctrine (dhamma) to his disciples, saying,: “This teaching is good for you, and it will make you happy.” But his disciples disregard and did not acknowledge his teachings and they go their own way. It is like a man who keep pursuing a woman who has rejected him, this kind of teacher is not to be praised. This first kind of teacher will be criticized by others and the criticism is justifiable as the teacher is teaching something that he has not grasped and understood himself, he is teaching others the wrong things.
The second kind of blameworthy teacher is someone who went into ascetic life with the aim of attaining enlightenment. Without having himself attained enlightenment, he teaches a doctrine (dhamma) to his disciples, saying,: “This teaching is good for you, and it will make you happy.” These disciples of his listened attentively, believed in his words and practice according to this teacher's doctrine. Such a teacher is like a farmer neglecting his own field, and go out minding his neighbor's field. This second kind of teacher will be criticized by others and the criticism is justifiable as the teacher is teaching something that he has not grasped and understood himself and yet he is teaching others the wrong things. Worse still, his disciples followed his teachings/wrong views and continue to spread such wrong teachings. Hence this second kind of teacher should not be praised and is blameworthy.
The third kind of blameworthy teacher is someone who went into ascetic life and has attained the fruits of enlightenment, he teaches a doctrine (dhamma) to his disciples, saying,: “This teaching is good for you, and it will make you happy.” But his disciples disregard and did not acknowledge his teachings and they go their own way. It is like having cut through an old bond, one were to make another new bond., this kind of teacher is not to be praised. This third kind of teacher will be criticized by others and the criticism is justifiable as the teacher who has known the right doctrine did not try to correct the wrong views of his disciples and reinforce the right teachings to them.
Lohicca then asked Buddha what kind of teacher should be praised and not to be criticized.
Buddha: “A Tathágata arises in the world, an Arahant, fully-enlightened Buddha (he has realized the four noble truths and discovered the noble eightfold path by himself) , endowed with wisdom and conduct, Well-Farer, Knower of the worlds (he knows the arising, the cessation and the means to the cessation of the worlds), incomparable Trainer of men to be tamed (he surpasses in terms of virtue, knowledge, concentration, deliverance and understanding), Teacher of Gods and humans, enlightened and blessed. He, having realized it by his own super-knowledge, preaches the Dhamma, which is lovely in it’s beginning, lovely in its middle, lovely in it’s ending, in the spirit and in the letter, and displays the fully-perfected and purified holy life."
"The disciples of Tathágata goes forth into the ascetic life, practices the moralities, guards his senses doors and attains deep meditative Jhana states and develops insight wisdom. The disciples realized the four noble truths and understood the noble eightfold path. The disciples are then released from the corruption of sensual desires, the corruption of becoming, the corruption of ignorance. With these releases, he gains the knowledge and wisdom. Rebirth has ended, the holy life has been fulfilled, the task is done. There is nothing further for this world and he will be released from the cycle of samsara. The teacher of such disciples who have such high attainments is not to be criticized or blamed. If one were to blame the teacher of such an excellent disciple, the blame is untrue and improper. "
After hearing this teaching from the Buddha, Lohicca exclaimed : "Excellent, Blessed one! Excellent! Just as if a man had caught hold of a fallen man to break his fall, as if one were to turn upright what had been turned upside down, or to reveal what was hidden, or to point out the right path to one who was lost, or to bring a lamp into a dark place so that those with sight could see forms, in the same way, Lord, the Blessed One has expounded the Dhamma in numerous ways. I shall go to the Buddha, to the Dhamma, and to the Sangha for refuge. May the Blessed One accept me as a lay follower gone for refuge from this day onward for as long as I live."
In other words, good teachers are those that know good teachings and they spread the teachings to develop right view in people. Whereas bad teachers are those who have yet grasp the right teachings and teach things that are wrong and hence cultivate wrong views in others, these kind of teachers are not to be praised. Those who know of good teachings should share the knowledge for the benefits of all BUT if they do not share then they are not to be praised.
References: 1. www.accesstoinsight.org 2. https://suttacentral.net/ 3. The long discourses of the Buddha (Bhikkhu Bodhi)
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