Practise What You Preach

Practise What You Preach. :

What Buddha said… : One should first establish oneself in what is proper and then teach others. A wise man should be beyond all reproach.

VEN. UPANANDA fervently preached to others not to be greedy and to be content with what they had, even if what they had was not very much. He himself, however, did not practise what he preached.

Once, Upananda went to a village monastery and there gave such inspirational discourses that the people of the village invited him to spend the vassa with them. However, when he asked them how many robes each monk would be offered at the end of the vassa and was told only one, he decided he would rather find somewhere else more “suitable." But before he set out to look for another monastery, he left a pair of his slippers behind.

At the next monastery, he found out that the bhikkhus would be getting two robes each, and there he left his staff. At the third, he learned that the bhikkhus usually received three robes, and there he left his water bottle. Finally he came to a large and rich monastery, and when he heard that the bhikkhus there would be offered four robes each, he rubbed his hands together with glee and exclaimed to himself softly, “Ah, this is the place for me! I think I’ll spend my vassa here!"

When the three-month period of the vassa had drawn to a close, Upananda bundled up his four new robes and went to collect his belongings at each of the monasteries he had earlier visited. He also claimed his share of robes as if he had spent the vassa at each one.

He then set out for his own monastery. On the way back, he came upon two young bhikkhus who were arguing about how to divide between themselves two robes and what appeared to be a costly blanket. Unable to come up with a settlement of mutual satisfaction, they were looking for a third party to arbitrate when Upananda happened to come along. Of course, Upananda was more than happy to help, for he saw something in it for him too. After pretending to have considered their case carefully, he awarded each monk a robe, and as for the luxurious blanket, he took it for himself as payment for his trouble.

The two young bhikkhus were not satisfied with the way Upananda dealt with their problem. They went and complained to the Buddha about him. The Buddha then sent for Upananda and reprimanded him for his behavior, saying, “If you want to teach others, you should first teach yourself and do as you preach."

What Buddha said… : One should first establish oneself in what is proper and then teach others. A wise man should be beyond all reproach.

More Dhammapada Stories

Practise What You Preach. :

More Stories…

Practise What You Preach. To HOME PAGE

Additional Info

Related Links : Practise What You Preach.