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(A teacher, mentor or preacher)

One whose duty it is to teach and provide others with learning, especially a teacher, should possess the qualities and observe the principles of conduct outlined below:

A. He is a good friend: [a teacher] should be endowed with the seven qualities of the good friend (kalyanamitta-dhamma), as follows:

  1. Piyo: endearing; he is endowed with kindness and compassion, taking an interest in his students and their well-being; he has rapport; he creates a familiar and casual atmosphere, encouraging students to approach him with queries and doubts.
  2. Garu: worthy of respect; he is firm, adhering to principle; he has conduct that befits his position, inspiring feelings of reassurance, refuge and safety.
  3. Bhavaniyo: inspiring; he is truly learned and wise, and is one who constantly trains and improves himself; he is praiseworthy and exemplary, so that his students speak and think of him appreciatively, confidently and proudly.
  4. Vatta: capable of speaking effectively; he knows how to explain things clearly, and knows when to speak what and how; he gives counsel and caution and is an able advisor.
  5. Vacanakkhamo: patient with words; he willingly listens to questions and queries, no matter how petty, and can bear even improprieties, admonishments and criticisms without becoming dejected or offended.
  6. Gambhiranca katham katta: capable of expounding on the profound; he can explain difficult and profound subjects clearly and can teach his students even profounder subjects.
  7. No catthane niyojaye: not leading in wrongful ways; he does not lead his students in ways that are detrimental or in matters that are worthless or improper.
  8.  (A.IV.31)

B. He is dedicated to giving knowledge by establishing himself in the five qualities of one who gives teachings, known as the dhammadesaka-dhamma:

  1. Anupubbikatha: teaching step-by-step, in proper sequence; he teaches the principles or subject matter in order, from easy to abstruse, shallow to profound, in logical progression.
  2. Pariyayadassavi: expanding on and clarifying the main points; he explains; he brings forth reasons to clarify the meaning of each aspect and point; he varies his explanations to enable his listeners to clearly see his points in the light of reason.
  3. Anudayata: teaching with a heart of goodwill; he teaches with a mind imbued with goodwill and a sincere desire for his listeners' benefit.
  4. Anamisantara: aiming not for material gain; he does not teach out of a desire for any material reward, payment or personal benefit.
  5. Anupahacca: speaking impartially and unabrasively; he teaches according to the principles, according to the content, with the intention of revealing the truth and the meaning, neither exalting himself nor satirizing or belittling others.
  6. (A.III.184)

C. He maintains the fourfold grace of a teacher: a capable teacher has the following techniques of teaching:

  1. Sandassana: making clear; no matter what he teaches, he explains the reasons behind it and analyzes it so that his listeners understand it clearly, as if leading them by the hand to see it for themselves.
  2. Samadapana: inviting practice; he teaches in such a way that [his listeners] see the importance of doing what needs to be done, appreciate its value, become convinced, accept it and are motivated to implement it or put it into practice.
  3. Samuttejana: arousing courage; he rouses his listeners to zeal, interest, fortitude and firm resolve to consummate the practice, to fear no difficulty or hardship.
  4. Sampahamsana: inspiring joy; he creates an atmosphere of fun, cheerfulness, joyousness and delight; he inspires his listeners with hope and vision of a good result and the way to success.

In brief, this can be summarized as: teaching to clarify, motivate, rouse and delight.

 (As in D.I.126)

D. He uses the three gauges: briefly speaking, a teacher may examine himself with the three kinds of manner that characterized how the Buddha taught:

  1. He teaches with true knowledge: having first himself acquired true knowledge and accomplished his goal, he teaches others.
  2. He teaches logically, so that his listeners can clearly see the meaning with their own wisdom.
  3. He teaches pragmatically, accomplishing the objective of the teaching by, for example, guiding his listeners to truly understand, to see the truth, to actualize the practice and to attain the results of the practice.
  4. (A.I.276)

E. He performs the duties of a teacher to a student: he conducts himself toward his students by helping them according to the teachings compared to the "right direction," as follows:

  1. He trains them to be good.
  2. He guides them to thorough understanding.
  3. He teaches the subject in full.
  4. He encourages and praises his students' goodness and abilities and allows their full expression.
  5. He provides a protection for all directions; that is, teaching and training them so that they can actually use their learning to make a living and know how to conduct themselves well, having a guarantee for smoothly leading a good life and attaining happiness and prosperity.
  6. (D.III.189)

(A pupil, student or researcher)

For one who is learning, whether a pupil, a student or a researcher, the teachings for one who is to be successful, namely the four wheels (cakka) and the four pathways to success (iddhipada) are not the only thing to bear in mind. There are also the following principles to learn and practices to observe:

A. Knowing the heralds of learning: he understands the two factors for Right View, which are:

  1. Good external factor: having good friends, which refers to associating with teachers, advisors, friends, and [other vehicles of learning such as] books. It also includes having general social conditions that are wholesome and helpful. All of these will encourage or arouse the arising of wisdom, through the processes of listening, discussing, seeking advice, querying, reading, and researching. This also entails being selective about the use of mass media.
  2. Good internal factor: yonisomanasikara, which is the proper use of thinking, knowing how to think, or being skilled in thinking; that is, seeing things with critical reflection, tracing their causes and effects; analyzing an object or problem in order to see it as it is and in terms of its causal conditions until one sees its true nature and can solve the problem or bring about benefit.

In short:

  1. Knowing how to rely beneficially on the people and things around one.
  2. Knowing how to be self-reliant and also make oneself a refuge to others.
  3. (M.I.294)

B. Having the guarantee of a life that is progressing: Having learned of the two heralds of learning, one must put them into practice in one's own life and also develop another five qualities, bringing the total to seven, which are known as the auroras of a good life, or the dawn of education. The Buddha compared them to the light of the dawn, which always precedes sunrise, because these qualities are the capital foundation which guarantees that learning will advance and life will progress to virtue and success that are exalted and noble. They are as follows:

  1. Seeking out sources of wisdom and good examples.
  2. Having discipline as a foundation for one's life development.
  3. Having a heart that aspires to learning and constructive action.
  4. Dedicating oneself to training for the realization of one's full human potential.
  5. Adhering to the principle of conditionality; seeing things according to cause and effect.
  6. Establishing oneself in heedfulness.
  7. Thinking wisely so as to realize benefit and see the truth.

For explanations, see Introductory Section: Human Beings and Being Human, 1. Man, The Noble Being.

C. Practicing according to the principles for encouraging wisdom: in practice, he may bring about the two conditions for Right View mentioned above by following the principles known as the four vuddhi-dhamma (conditions conducive to the development of wisdom):

  1. Sappurisasamseva: associating with the wise; he knows how to select sources of knowledge, and associates with learned people who are virtuous, wise and worthy of respect.
  2. Saddhammassavana: harkening to the teaching; he listens attentively to teachings and advice; he searches for knowledge from people and from books or mass media; he applies himself to learning and researching, seeks advice and makes queries so that he attains real knowledge.
  3. Yonisomanasikara: thinking wisely; having learned, seen, read or heard about something, he reflects on it for himself, analyzes it to see its true nature and looks into it to see the what, when, where, why and how of it; he sees its merits and demerits, benefit and harm, etc.
  4. Dhammanudhammapa ipatti: practicing in accordance with principles; the things he has learned, heard and thoroughly considered he puts into practice correctly in accordance with the principles and their objectives, so that the minor principles accord with the major ones and the minor practices are harmonious with the overall objective; he practices the teaching with its objective in mind; for example, contentment as a support for effort, but not leading to laziness.
  5. (A.II.245)

D. Learning to be learned: whatever he learns or studies, he makes himself well versed in that field by increasing and clarifying his knowledge and understanding until he is endowed with the five qualities of a learned one (bahussuta):

  1. Bahussuta: hearing much; he learns, hears, sees, experiences, reads and amasses a large and extensive amount of knowledge in his field.
  2. Dhata: retaining; he grasps the gist or essence and remembers the subject matter accurately.
  3. Vacasa paricita: becoming fluent; he recites or speaks about the subject often so that he is fluent in and clear about it, and can answer any queries about it.
  4. Manasanupekkhita: becoming thoroughly familiarized; he thinks about the subject so often that he is thoroughly familiar with it; whenever he calls it to mind the content is vivid to him, and he perceives it clearly and thoroughly.
  5. Ditthiya supatividdha: having penetrated; he clearly understands the overall meaning and rationale of the subject; he thoroughly and penetratingly knows its source, its logic and the relationship of the content and details within the subject itself and in relation to other subjects within that field or theory.
  6.  (A.III.112)

E. Honoring the "lighter of the lamp": in terms of their relations with the teacher, students should show respect to him as the "right direction" according to the teachings on the six directions:

  1. Rising to greet the teacher and showing respect to him.
  2. Approaching the teacher to care for and attend him, to consult, query and receive advice from him.
  3. Hearkening well so as to gain wisdom.
  4. Serving the teacher and running errands for him.
  5. Learning the subject respectfully and earnestly; giving the task of learning its due importance.
  6. (D.III.189)

(A lay follower)

Buddhists express their relationship to their religion through the following principles of conduct:

A. Supporting the monks: treating the monks as the "upper direction," by:

  1. Acting toward them with goodwill.
  2. Speaking to them with goodwill.
  3. Thinking of them with goodwill.
  4. Receiving them willingly.
  5. Supporting them with the four requisites [almsfood, robes, shelter and medicine].
  6. (D. III. 192)

B. Making merit: performing good deeds through the various means known as the three punnakiriya-vatthu (bases of meritorious action):

  1. Dana-maya: making merit through sharing out material things.
  2. Sila-maya: making merit through virtuous conduct or moral behavior.
  3. Bhavana-maya: making merit through mind training, i.e., developing mental qualities and wisdom.

Buddhists should also make an effort to perform these seven more specific kinds of merit, bringing the total to ten:

  1. Apacayana-maya: making merit through polite and modest conduct.
  2. Veyyavacca-maya: making merit through efforts to give practical help, offer service or do the common good.
  3. Pattidana-maya: making merit through involving others in doing good deeds.
  4. Pattanumodana-maya: making merit through rejoicing in the good deeds of others.
  5. Dhammassavana-maya: making merit through listening to the teachings and acquiring knowledge that is free of harm.
  6. Dhammadesana-maya: making merit through explaining the teachings and imparting knowledge that is beneficial.
  7. Ditthujukamma: making merit through correcting one's views, learning to see all things as they really are so that one attains Right View.
  8. (D.III.218; D.A.III.999)

C. Familiarizing oneself with the religion: if one wishes to practice more strictly, to be a male lay follower (upasaka) or female lay follower (upasika), one should establish oneself in the conditions leading to prosperity for a lay follower known as the seven upasaka-dhamma, as follows:

    1. Not failing to visit or meet with the monks.
    2. Not neglecting to hear the teachings.
    3. Training oneself to progress in higher levels of morality.
    4. Being imbued with faith in the monks, be they elders, newly ordained or of intermediate status.
    5. Listening to the teaching not for finding fault or flaws to criticize.
    6. Not seeking the gift-worthy, or a field of merit, outside Buddhist principles.
    7. Giving first service to this religion; that is, applying oneself to supporting Buddhist activities.
    8. (A.IV.25, 26)

D. Being a leading lay follower: good Buddhist lay followers (upasaka, upasika) should be endowed with the qualities known as the five upasaka-dhamma:

  1. They have faith, rational belief and confidence in the attributes of the Triple Gem.
  2. They have morality, at least maintaining themselves in the five precepts.
  3. They reject superstition; they believe in deeds, not in luck; they aspire to results through their own actions, not through lucky charms or things wildly rumored to be magical.
  4. They do not seek the gift-worthy outside of this teaching.
  5. They apply themselves to supporting and helping with Buddhist activities.
  6. (A.III.206)

E. Regularly monitoring one's progress: this is in brief to uphold the qualities for measuring progress in the Buddha's teachings known as the five ariya-vaddhi:

  1. Saddha: having belief that accords with the principles of Buddhism, not being credulous or easily led astray.
  2. Sila: having honest and exemplary conduct and livelihood.
  3. Suta: having sufficient knowledge of the principles of Buddhism to be able to practice them and teach them to others.
  4. Caga: sharing and giving, being ready to help those deserving of help.
  5. Panna: understanding the true nature of life and the world so that one's mind is not bound by them.
  6.  (A.III.80)

(A Buddhist monk)

The Order of monks (Sangha), who are the ordained members of the Buddhist religion, have the responsibility of studying, practicing and teaching the Dhamma, thereby perpetuating the religion. Monks have many rules of conduct to observe. Here only some of their duties in relation to lay people and some of the admonishments for practice will be given:

A. Helping householders: a monk helps lay people through the principles of practice for the "upper direction" as follows:

  1. Enjoining them from evil actions.
  2. Encouraging them in goodness.
  3. Assisting them with kind intentions.
  4. Making known to them things not heard before.
  5. Explaining and clarifying those things they have already heard.
  6. Pointing out the way to heaven, teaching them the way to happiness and prosperity.
  7. (D.III.192)

B. Regularly examining oneself: a monk must be constantly cautioning himself in accordance with the ten themes to be frequently reflected on by a monk (pabbajita-abhinha-paccavekkhana):

  1. My standing is not the same as that of a layman. I have renounced all statuses; I should live simply, and not try to get things my own way.
  2. My livelihood depends on others as I rely on them for my sustenance; I should make myself easily looked after and use the four requisites reflectively, not out of craving.
  3. The manner expected of me differs from that of a lay person; whatever is the manner of a monk I must adopt; I must also constantly improve myself.
  4. In regard to moral conduct, am I still beyond self-reproach?
  5. In regard to moral conduct, am I still beyond the reproach of my friends in the higher life (brahmacariya) who are wise?
  6. I will have to be separated from all that is loved and dear.
  7. My kamma is my own; whatever kamma I do, whether good or evil, of that I will surely be the heir.
  8. The days and nights are passing: how am I using my time?
  9. Am I content with a secluded dwelling?
  10. Are there any of those supernormal attainments within me that will save me from embarrassment when later questioned by my fellow monks?
  11. (A.V.87)

22. THE ATTAINER OF THE DHAMMA (A liberated one)

Just as a drop of water does not cleave to the lotus leaf, or water to the lotus flower, a sage does not cleave to sights seen, sounds heard or experiences cognized.


Attainers of the Dhamma do not pine over things done and gone or dream about things not yet come. They attend to the present; thus are they radiant.
Those who are still weak in wisdom spend their time day-dreaming about things not yet come and pining over things done and gone, so they become haggard, like fresh reeds uprooted and left in the sun.


One without the defilements which cause the concern of "mine" and "theirs" does not have to contend with the notion of "mine" and is thus without the sorrow of not having. He is not agitated by longing, he has no obsessions, he is not perturbed; he is constant in all situations. Since he is unperturbed, his insight is clear and he is free from all kinds of mental concoctions; he has abandoned brooding and bemoaning and sees only ease in all places.


He who has attained the Dhamma and extinguished the defilements is always at ease; he who is not attached to sensuality is cool and at peace; within him no foothold for the defilements can be found.
When all attachments are cut off, all anxiety driven from the heart, and the heart is at rest, peace and happiness are attained.


Question: Monk, don't you have any suffering, don't you have any fun, aren't you bored sitting by yourself?
Answer: Great One, I do not have any suffering and neither do I have fun; even though I sit all alone, I am not bored.
Question: Monk, how is it that you do not have any suffering, how is it that you do not have any fun, and how is it that you are not bored sitting on your own?
Answer: Only those who suffer have fun, and only those who have fun suffer. The monk is free of both fun and suffering. This is how it is; understand it thus.


Irritation does not exist in the mind of the noble one who has transcended [the concern with] being or not being this or that; he is free of fear and has only happiness, no sorrow. Even the devas cannot perceive his mind.


He who has attained the Dhamma has no task to do, as his task has been accomplished. As long as he has not obtained a foothold, the swimmer must strive to his utmost, but when he has found a place to rest his feet and gone up to dry land, his striving is over because he has crossed to the further shore.


While alive he is untroubled, and when he dies he is not sorrowful; a sage who has seen the goal lives unsorrowfully even in a sorrowful world.


Wherever I go I am unafraid; wherever I sleep, I am unalarmed. The nights and days do not burn me. I see nothing in this world that is to be lost; therefore my heart dwells in goodwill and kindness to all beings until I fall to sleep.



Game va yadi varanne ninne va yadi va thale
Yattha arahanto viharanti  tam bhumiramaneyyakam
Be it a village or forest, in lands low or high,
wherever enlightened ones dwell, that is a place of delight. 



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