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Vivādamūla Suttaṃ

(A.ii.334)

The Roots of Contention

“This six, monks, are the roots of contention. What six? Here, monks, a monk is angry and resentful. A monk who is angry and resentful, monks, dwells without respect for the teacher and is rebellious, he dwells without respect for the Dhamma and is rebellious, he dwells without respect for the Saṅgha and is rebellious, he does not fulfil the training. A monk, monks, who dwells without respect for the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha, is rebellious, and does not fulfil the training, instigates contention. When there is contention, that is for the harm of many, for the unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of deities and human beings. If you see, monks, this root of contention in yourselves or in others, you should strive to abandon this evil root of contention. If you do not see, monks this root of contention in yourselves or in others, you should practise so that this evil root of contention does not spring up in the future. [335] Thus this evil root of contention is abandoned, and does not spring up in the future.

“Again, monks, a monk is impudent and arrogant ¹ … envious and mean … hypocritical and deceitful ² … has evil friends and holds wrong-views … is attached to rituals and relinquishes is views with difficulty. A monk who is attached to rituals and relinquishes his views with difficulty, monks, dwells without respect for the teacher and is rebellious, he dwells without respect for the Dhamma and is rebellious, he dwells without respect for the Saṅgha and is rebellious, he does not fulfil the training. A monk, monks, who dwells without respect for the Buddha, Dhamma, and Saṅgha, is rebellious, and does not fulfil the training, instigates contention. When there is contention, that is for the harm of many, for the unhappiness of many, for the loss, harm, and suffering of deities and human beings. If you see, monks, this root of contention in yourselves or in others, you should strive to abandon this evil root of contention. If you do not see, monks this root of contention in yourselves or in others, you should practise so that this evil root of contention does not spring up in the future. Thus this evil root of contention is abandoned, and does not spring up in the future.

“These, monks, are the six roots of contention.”

Notes

1. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates these two terms as “is a denigrator and insolent.” The Commentary glosses: Makkhīti paresaṃ guṇamakkhanalakkhaṇena makkhena samannāgato, which translates as smearing over to conceal the virtues of others. In the Mahāsi Sayādaw’s Discourse on the Sallekha Sutta, Makkha is translated as ingratitude, while Paḷāsa is translated as arrogance. I understand them as two sides of the same coin. One who is ungrateful and impudent to his or her teacher, under-estimates the benefit derived from others and over-estimates his or her own intelligence.

2. Bhikkhu Bodhi translates these two terms as “crafty and hypocritical,” thus reversing the order.