Don’t Judge Others !

(Anguttara Nikāya 6.44)


by Nyanaponika Thera & Bhikkhu Bodhi

Once the Venerable Ananda, having dressed in the morning, took his bowl and went to the house of the female lay disciple Migasala, where he sat down on the seat prepared for him. The female lay disciple Migasala, after having paid homage to him, sat down to one side and said to him:

“Please, venerable sir, how ought one to understand this teaching taught by the Blessed One: namely, that one who leads the pure, celibate life and one who does not should both have the very same status after death? My father Purana, venerable sir, was (in his later years) a celibate, living remote from sensuality, abstaining from the low sexual life; and when my father died, the Blessed One declared that he had attained to the state of a once-returner and had been reborn among the Tusita devas. [42]

“But then, venerable sir, there was my father’s brother Isidatta, who was not a celibate but lived a contented married life. When he died the Blessed One said that he too was a once-returner and had been reborn among the Tusita devas.

“Now, Venerable Ananda, how ought one to understand this statement of the Blessed One, that both had the very same status?”

“Well, sister, it was just in that way that the Blessed One had declared it.”

When the Venerable Ananda had taken his alms-food at the house of the female lay disciple Migasala, he rose from his seat and left. And in the afternoon, after meal time, he went to the Blessed One, paid homage to him, and sat down to one side. So seated, he told the Blessed One what had occurred.

The Blessed One said: “Who, indeed, is this female lay disciple Migasala, this foolish, inexperienced woman with a woman’s wit? And who (in comparison) are those who have the knowledge of other persons’ different qualities? [43]

“There are, Ananda, six types of persons found existing in the world. What six?

(1) “There is one person, Ananda, who is gentle, a pleasant companion, with whom his fellow monks gladly live together. But he has not heard the teachings and acquired much learning, he has no keen understanding nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. [44] With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(2) “Then there is one who is gentle, a pleasant companion, with whom his fellow monks gladly live together. And he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has a keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings and acquired much learning, who has a keen understanding and attains a temporary liberation of mind—such a one surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. One who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.

(3) “Further, there is a person prone to anger and pride, and from time to time states of greed rise up in him. And he has not heard the teachings or acquired much learning; he has no keen understanding, nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(4) “Then there is one likewise prone to anger and pride, and from time to time states of greed rise up in him. But he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings … surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people….

(5) “Further, there is another person prone to anger and pride, and from time to time verbosity rises up in him. And he has not heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has no keen understanding nor has he attained even temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he will be set for decline, not for progress; he will deteriorate and not rise higher.

(6) “Then there is one likewise prone to anger and pride, and from time to time verbosity rises up in him. But he has heard the teachings and acquired much learning; he has keen understanding and has attained temporary liberation of mind. With the breakup of the body, after death, he is set for progress, not for decline; he will rise higher and will not deteriorate.

“Then, Ananda, the critics will pass such judgement: ’This one has the same qualities as the other. Why, then, should one be inferior and the other better?’ Such judgement, indeed, will for a long time cause harm and suffering to those critics.

“Now, Ananda, one who has heard the teachings and acquired much learning, who has keen understanding and attains temporary liberation of mind—such a one surpasses and excels the other person. And why? Because the Dhamma-stream carries him along. But who can be aware of these differences except a Tathagata, a Perfect One?

“Therefore, Ananda, you should not be a hasty critic of people, should not lightly pass judgement on people. He who passes judgement on people harms himself. I alone, Ananda, or one like me, can judge people.

“Who, indeed, Ananda, is this female lay disciple Migasala, this foolish, inexperienced woman, with a woman’s wit? And who (in comparison) are those who have the knowledge of other persons’ different qualities?

“These, Ananda, are the six types of persons to be found in this world.

“If Isidatta had possessed the same degree of virtue that Purana had, Purana could not have equalled Isidatta’s status. And if Purana had possessed the same wisdom that Isidatta had, Isidatta could not have equalled Purana’s status. [45] These two persons, however, were each deficient in one respect.”

(6:44)


Source:  http://www.bps.lk/olib/wh/wh208-p.html#22.Don’tJudgeOthers!

Powered by liveSite Get your free site!