[11] Section On Far Departure In The Sūtra Of The Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings《佛遗教经》之远离篇

[11] Far Departure


[Śākyamuni Buddha]: You [and] other Bhikṣus, desiring [to] seek [the] tranquillity [of] unconditioned peace [and] bliss, should depart [from] confusions [and] disturbances, [to] alone live [in] vacant residences.


Of people quietly living, [as they are by] Śakra [and] all heavenly [beings], those together revered [and] honoured, therefore should [there be] renunciation [of] personal assemblies [and] others’ assemblies, [for] free time alone living, [to] contemplate elimination [of] suffering’s root.


If [there are] those joyful [with] crowds, [they will] then receive many afflictions. For example, [they are] like big trees [with] many birds gathering there, then having [the] calamity of withering [and] breaking.


Those [by the] world bound, sunken in all sufferings, for example, [are] like old elephants drowning [in] mud, not able [to] personally exit. [These] are named [as teachings on] far departure.

[Note: New and junior monastics should live in proper monastic communities with senior monastics for guidance, to train in their precepts sufficiently, before going for long solo retreats, to further train their concentration for wisdom. They can first attend periodical group retreats, which also offer respites from distractions by the masses.

For indefinitely long solo living, there must be great self-motivation and self-discipline for furthering spiritual learning and practice. Otherwise, there might be seeping in of laxity and even breaking of precepts, secretly and continually, thus creating much evil karma that further binds them to the cycle of rebirth, instead of progressing towards liberation. Eventually, after sufficient practice, there should still be compassionate return to serve the larger monastic and/or lay community.]

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