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The Buddha taught seven practices of no-regression

Buddhist documents, 15:55 PM, June, 06 2020
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THUS HAVE I HEARD.

Once the Lord was staying at Rajagaha on the mountain called Vultures Peak. Just then King Ajatasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha wanted to attack the Vajjians.

He said: “I will strike the Vajjians who are so powerful and strong, I will cut them off and destroy them, I will bring them to ruin and destruction!”

And King Ajatasattu said to his chief minister the Brahmin Vassakara: “Brahmin, go to the Blessed Lord, worship Him with your head to his feet in my name, ask if He is free from sickness or disease, if He is living at ease, vigorously and comfortably, and then say: "Lord, King Ajatasattu Vedehiputta of Magadha wishes to attack the Vajjians and says: “I will strike the Vajjians, bring them to ruin and destruction!”” "And whatever the Lord declares to you, report that faithfully back to me, for Tathagatas never lie.”

“Very good, Sire”, said Vassakara and, having had the state carriages harnessed, Vassakarahe mounted one of them and drove in state from Rajagaha to Vultures Peak, riding as far as the ground would allow, then continuing on foot to where the Lord was. He exchanged courtesies with the Lord, then sat down to one side and delivered the Kings message.

Now the Venerable Ananda was standing behind the Lord, fanning Him. And the Lord said: “Ananda, have you heard that the Vajjians hold regular and frequent assemblies?”

“I have heard, Lord, that they do.”

“Ananda, as long as the Vajjians hold regular and frequent assemblies, they may be expected to prosper and not decline. Have you heard that the Vajjians meet in harmony, separate in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony?”

“I have heard, Lord, that they do.”

 “Ananda, as long as the Vajjians meet in harmony, separate up in harmony, and carry on their business in harmony, they may be expected to prosper and not decline. Have you heard that the Vajjians do not authorise what has not been authorised already, and do not abolish what has been authorised, but proceed according to what has been authorised by their ancient tradition?”

“I have, Lord.”

“Ananda, have you heard that they honour, respect, revere and salute the elders among them, and consider them worth listening to?”

“I have, Lord.”

“Ananda, have you heard that they do not forcibly abduct others wives and daughters and compel them to live with them?”

“I have, Lord.”

“Ananda, have you heard that they honour, respect, revere and salute the Vajjian shrines at home and abroad, not withdrawing the proper support made and given before?”

“I have, Lord.”

“Ananda, have you heard that they make proper provision for the safety of monks, Holy monks and Arahants, so that such monks, holy monks and Arahants may come in future to live there, and those already there may dwell in comfort?”

“I have, Lord.”

“Ananda, so long as such proper provision is made, the Vajjians may be expected to prosper and not decline.”

Then the Lord said to the Brahmin Vassakara: “Once, Brahmin, when I was at the Sarandada Shrine in Vesali, I taught the Vajjians these seven principles for preventing decline, and as long as they keep to these seven principles, as long as these principles remain in force, the Vajjians may be expected to prosper and not decline. If the Vajjians keep to even one of these principles, they may be expected to prosper and not decline - far less all seven. Certainly, the Vajjians will never be conquered by King Ajiitasattu by force of arms.”

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