Length of sasana and rules


Now while the venerable Saariputta had gone into seclusion for meditation, this
thought arose in his mind: “Of which enlightened ones, of which lords did the
Brahma-life not last long? Of which enlightened ones, of which lords did the
Brahma-life last long?” Then the venerable Saariputta, rising up at evening
time from his meditation, came up to the lord and having come up he greeted him
and sitting to one side. As he was sitting to one side, the venerable Saariputta
spoke thus to the lord:

“Now, lord, as I was in seclusion for meditation, this thought arose in my mind:
‘Of which enlightened ones….last long?’ ”

“Saariputta, while Vipassin was lord, while Sikhin was lord, and while Vessabhu
was lord the Brahma-life did not last long. Saariputta, while Kakusandha was
lord and while Konaagamana was lord and while Kassapa was lord the Brahma-life
lasted long.”

“And what, Lord, is the cause, what the reason why when Vipassin was lord and
when Sikin was lord and when Vessabhu was lord the Brahma life did not last

“Sariputta, the lord Vipassin and the lord Sikhin and the lord Vessabhu were
idle in preaching dhamma in detail to the disciples; and these had little of the
Suttas in prose or in prose and verse, the Expositions, the Songs, the Verses of
Uplift, the Quotations, the Jatakas,the Miracles, the Miscellanies (S: the
Vedalla); the course of training for the disciples was not made known, the
Paa.timokkha was not appointed. After the disappearance of these enlightened
ones, these lords, after the disappearance of the disciples enlightened under
these enlightened ones, those last disciples of various clans, of various social
strata, who had gone forth from various families, caused this Brahma life
rapidly to disappear. it is as if, Saariputta, various flowers, loose on a flat
piece of wood, not tied together by a thread, are scattered about, whirled about
and destroyed by the wind…..”
>S: The text continues to give detail about why some Buddhas gave more detail
than others – different circumstances, different accumulations of those around
at the time as well. The the Buddha Vessabhu, the text tells, was in a jungle
and exhorted the thousand monks around him briefly on the Truths after reading
their minds and they all became arahats immediately without a need for more
detail or Vinaya rules.< ***** S: We can be grateful that those who listened to Gotama Buddha needed to hear more detail and that the Bhikkhus needed more rules - otherwise we might not have the opportunity to listen to Dhamma today! Metta Sarah ====== Kevin

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