Buddhavacana

The Cause the true Dhamma to disappear

evaṃ me sutaṃ—ekaṃ samayaṃ bhagavā sāvatthiyaṃ viharati jetavane anāthapiṇḍikassa ārāme. Atha kho āyasmā mahākassapo yena bhagavā tenupasaṅkami; upasaṅkamitvā bhagavantaṃ abhivādetvā ekamantaṃ nisīdi. Ekamantaṃ nisinno kho āyasmā mahākassapo bhagavantaṃ etadavoca:

“ko nu kho, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yena pubbe appatarāni ceva sikkhāpadāni ahesuṃ bahutarā ca bhikkhū aññāya saṇṭhahiṃsu? Ko pana, bhante, hetu ko paccayo, yenetarahi bahutarāni ceva sikkhāpadāni appatarā ca bhikkhū aññāya saṇṭhahantī”ti?

“Evañcetaṃ, kassapa, hoti sattesu hāyamānesu saddhamme antaradhāyamāne, bahutarāni ceva sikkhāpadāni honti appatarā ca bhikkhū aññāya saṇṭhahanti. Na tāva, kassapa, saddhammassa antaradhānaṃ hoti yāva na saddhammappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati. Yato ca kho, kassapa, saddhammappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati, atha saddhammassa antaradhānaṃ hoti.

Seyyathāpi, kassapa, na tāva jātarūpassa antaradhānaṃ hoti yāva na jātarūpappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati. Yato ca kho, kassapa, jātarūpappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati, atha kho jātarūpassa antaradhānaṃ hoti.

Evameva kho, kassapa, na tāva saddhammassa antaradhānaṃ hoti yāva na saddhammappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati. Yato ca kho, kassapa, saddhammappatirūpakaṃ loke uppajjati, atha saddhammassa antaradhānaṃ hoti.

Na kho, kassapa, pathavīdhātu saddhammaṃ antaradhāpeti, na āpodhātu saddhammaṃ antaradhāpeti, na tejodhātu saddhammaṃ antaradhāpeti, na vāyodhātu saddhammaṃ antaradhāpeti; atha kho idheva te uppajjanti moghapurisā ye imaṃ saddhammaṃ antaradhāpenti. Seyyathāpi, kassapa, nāvā ādikeneva opilavati; na kho, kassapa, evaṃ saddhammassa antaradhānaṃ hoti.

Pañca khome, kassapa, okkamaniyā dhammā saddhammassa sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattanti. Katame pañca? Idha, kassapa, bhikkhū bhikkhuniyo upāsakā upāsikāyo satthari agāravā viharanti appatissā, dhamme agāravā viharanti appatissā, saṅghe agāravā viharanti appatissā, sikkhāya agāravā viharanti appatissā, samādhismiṃ agāravā viharanti appatissā—ime kho, kassapa, pañca okkamaniyā dhammā saddhammassa sammosāya antaradhānāya saṃvattanti.

Pañca khome, kassapa, dhammā saddhammassa ṭhitiyā asammosāya anantaradhānāya saṃvattanti. Katame pañca? Idha, kassapa, bhikkhū bhikkhuniyo upāsakā upāsikāyo satthari sagāravā viharanti sappatissā, dhamme sagāravā viharanti sappatissā, saṅghe sagāravā viharanti sappatissā, sikkhāya sagāravā viharanti sappatissā, samādhismiṃ sagāravā viharanti sappatissā—ime kho, kassapa, pañca dhammā saddhammassa ṭhitiyā asammosāya anantaradhānāya saṃvattantī”ti.

THUS HAVE I HEARD. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthī in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then the Venerable Mahakassapa approached the Blessed One, paid homage to him, sat down to one side, and said to him:

“Venerable sir, what is the reason, what is the cause, why formerly there were fewer training rules but more bhikkhus were established in final knowledge, while now there are more training rules but fewer bhikkhus are established in final knowledge?”

“That’s the way it is, Kassapa. When beings are deteriorating and the true Dhamma is disappearing there are more training rules but fewer bhikkhus are established in final knowledge. Kassapa, the true Dhamma does not disappear so long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world. But when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma arises in the world, then the true Dhamma disappears.

“Just as, Kassapa, gold does not disappear so long as counterfeit gold has not arisen in the world, but when counterfeit gold arises then true gold disappears, so the true Dhamma does not disappear so long as a counterfeit of the true Dhamma has not arisen in the world, but when a counterfeit of the true Dhamma arises in the world, then the true Dhamma disappears.

“It is not the earth element, Kassapa, that causes the true Dhamma to disappear, nor the water element, nor the heat element, nor the air element. It is the senseless people (moghapurisā) who arise right here who cause the true Dhamma to disappear.”

“The true Dhamma does not disappear all at once in the way a ship sinks.

There are, Kassapa, five detrimental things that lead to the decay and disappearance of the true Dhamma. What are the five?

Here the bhikkhus, the bhikkhunīs, the male lay followers, and the female lay followers dwell without reverence and deference towards the Teacher;

they dwell without reverence and deference towards the Dhamma;

they dwell without reverence and deference towards the Saṅgha; 

they dwell without reverence and deference towards the training;

they dwell without reverence and deference towards concentration.

These, Kassapa, are the five detrimental things that lead to the decay and disappearance of the true Dhamma.

“There are five things, Kassapa, that lead to the longevity of the true Dhamma, to its nondecay and nondisappearance. What are the five?

Here the bhikkhus, the bhikkhunīs, the male lay followers, and the female lay followers dwell with reverence and deference towards the Teacher; they dwell with reverence and deference towards the Dhamma; they dwell with reverence and deference towards the Saṅgha; they dwell with reverence and deference towards the training; they dwell with reverence and deference towards concentration. These, Kassapa, are the five things that lead to the longevity of the true Dhamma, to its nondecay and nondisappearance.”

Source: Saddhammappatirūpaka Sutta SN 16.13  SN ii 223 Translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi /https://suttacentral.net/sn16.13

Source: Saddhammappatirūpaka Sutta SN 16.13