7 thoughts on ““Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.””

  1. Just an additional Dhamma gift:

    As Samana translated the related commentary stories to the last day, and Dhp 76 and 77 are very related, maybe some are interested in it: Panditavagga, translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin

    The Story of Thera Radha

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (76) of this book, with reference to Thera Radha, who was at one time a poor old Brahmin.

    Radha was a poor brahmin who stayed in the monastery doing small services for the bhikkhus. For his services he was provided with food and clothing and other needs, but was not encouraged to join the Order, although he had a strong desire to become a bhikkhu.

    One day, early in the morning, when the Buddha surveyed the world with his supernormal power, he saw the poor old brahmin in his vision and knew that he was due for arahatship. So the Buddha went to the old man, and learned from him that the bhikkhus of the monastery did not want him to join the Order. The Buddha therefore called all the bhikkhus to him and asked them, “Is there any bhikkhu here who recollects any good turn done to him by this old man?” To this question, the Venerable Sariputta replied, “Venerable Sir, I do recollect an instance when this old man offered me a spoonful of rice.” “If that be so,” the Buddha said, “shouldn’t you help your benefactor get liberated from the ills of life?” Then the Venerable Sariputta agreed to make the old man a bhikkhu and he was duly admitted to the Order. The Venerable Sariputta guided the old bhikkhu and the old bhikkhu strictly followed his guidance. Within a few days, the old bhikkhu attained arahatship.

    When the Buddha next came to see the bhikkhus, they reported to him how strictly the old bhikkhu followed the guidance of the Venerable Sariputta. To them, the Buddha replied that a bhikkhu should be amenable to guidance like Radha, and should not resent when rebuked for any fault or failing.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 76: One should follow a man of wisdom who rebukes one for one’s faults, as one would follow a guide to some buried treasure. To one who follows such a wise man, it will be an advantage and not a disadvantage.

    The Story or Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (77) of this book, with reference to bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka.

    Bhikkhus Assaji and Punabbasuka and their five hundred disciples were staying at Kitagiri village. While staying there they made their living by planting flowering plants and fruit trees for gain, thus violating the rules of Fundamental Precepts for bhikkhus.

    The Buddha hearing about these bhikkhus sent his two Chief Disciples Sariputta and Maha Moggallana, to stop them from committing further misconduct. To his two Chief Disciples the Buddha said, “Tell those bhikkhus not to destroy the faith and generosity of the lay disciples by misconduct and if anyone should disobey, drive him out of the monastery. Do not hesitate to do as I told you, for only fools dislike being given good advice and being forbidden to do evil.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 77: The man of wisdom should admonish others; he should give advice and should prevent others from doing wrong; such a man is held dear by the good; he is disliked only by the bad.

  2. Real Buddha quotes, you say? Good evidence that it is so, is greatly missing. Compare what a Danish professor tells:

    Many Dhammapada verses are known from other sources. Over one half of them are known from other Buddhist texts, and many have also been traced outside Buddhism, in the Brahmanic sources. Many verses are pan-Indian thoughts, a common heritage of verses and maxims (aphorisms) that have been included in various texts.

    – Poul Tuxen, translator, “Dhammapada”. (Copenhagen, DK: Gyldendal, 1953, p. 9. Extracted.

    1. Yes, we can’t prove that anything in the early Buddhist scriptures was actually said by the Buddha, but it’s a generally accepted convention to assume that the suttas reflect what he said, unless there’s a good reason for believing otherwise. “Real” in this context means “coming from the Buddhist scriptures.”

  3. Then the person giving the criticism should do it in a positive way with encouraging words, and not launch a full scale critical attack for a Long time and making the receiving person feels bad, angry and retaliatory.

    1. That would be nice but how I receive or respond to something is entirely up to me.
      I can use what you are saying personally and not attack people if I feel I have some critical counsel for someone tho.
      Let me be kind, compassionate and understanding because honesty without compassion is hostility.

    1. This may be my own translation, Jun; I’m not good at keeping notes, unfortunately. The word translated as “critic” is vajjadassinaṃ in Pali. That’s the accusative of vajjadassin, which means “one who sees faults.” It’s a compound word, formed by combining vajja (fault, sin, that which should be avoided) and dassin (one who sees). “Critic” seems to sum that up nicely.

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