Home » Excerpts » Should Buddhists Have Missionary Zeal?

If those with no or less dust
do not help clear that
of those with more dust,
who else will?

Stonepeace | Books

[TDEditor: The answer to the question is a resounding ‘Yes!’ As we can see from the Vinaya-pitaka I.20-21 below, it is with this missionary exhortation of the Buddha, and by himself setting the perfect example of reaching out to the first 60 monks and beyond, that made it possible for the Buddha’s teachings to be passed down from generation to generation and from place to place, such that we are able to learn, practise and realise it in our generation here and now. If we truly grateful for and appreciate the Buddha’s teachings, we must have the same missionary zeal for the welfare of this and the future generations too.]

‘I [Sakyamuni Buddha], monks, am freed from all [spiritual] snares, both those of devas [gods] and those of humans. And you, monks, are freed from all snares, both those of devas and those of humans [as the 60 have attained at least self-liberation of Arhathood already]. Walk, monks, on tour for the blessing of the manyfolk, for the happiness of the manyfolk, out of compassion for the world, for the welfare, the blessing, the happiness of devas and humans. Let not two of you go by the same way [so as to go forth in 60 directions, all different].

Monks, teach Dharma that is lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle and lovely at the ending. Explain with the spirit and the letter the Brahma-faring [path to spiritual purity] completely fulfilled and utterly pure. There are beings with little dust [of defilements] in their eyes who, not hearing Dharma, are decaying [spiritually], but if they are learners of Dharma, they will grow. And I, monks, will go along to Uruvela, the Camp township, in order to teach Dharma.’

Buddhist Texts Through The Ages
Translated & Edited By Edward Conze, I.B. Horner, David Snellgrove & Arthur Waley

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