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Mv I 27
PTS: Mv I 40 | CS: vin.mv.01.27
The Case of One Who is in the King’s Service[1]
Ven. Khematto Bhikkhu
Alternate translations/layout: 'line by line' Pāḷi - English

(Mv.I.40.1) [102] Now at that time there was unrest at King Bimbisāra of Magadha’s borderland. So he ordered the ministers of the army, “I say, go and establish order in the borderland.”

They responded, “As you say, Your Majesty,” to King Bimbisāra of Magadha.

(Mv.I.40.2) Then the thought occurred to many well-known soldiers, “On the thrill of the battle, we will do evil actions and make much demerit. By what strategy could we refrain from evil and do good?”

The thought occurred to them, “These Sakyan-son monks live in line with the Dhamma, live in tune, live the holy life, speak the truth, are virtuous and fine-natured.

“If we went forth among the Sakyan-son contemplatives, we would thus refrain from evil and do good.”

So the soldiers went to the monks and requested the Going-forth. The monks gave them the Going-forth, gave them Acceptance.

(Mv.I.40.3) The ministers of the army asked those in the king’s service, “Why are the soldiers So-and-so and So-and-so nowhere to be seen?”

“Sir, the soldiers So-and-so and So-and-so have gone forth among the monks.”

The ministers of the army criticized and complained and spread it about,

“How can the Sakyan-son contemplatives give one in the king’s service the Going-forth?”

The ministers of the army reported the matter to King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha. So he asked his legal advisors, “I say, for one who gives the Going-forth to one in the king’s service, what (punishment) does he get?”

“Your Majesty, the preceptor’s head should be cut off, the announcing teacher’s tongue pulled out, and for the group: half of their ribs should be broken.”

(Mv.I.40.4) Then King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, “Lord, there are kings without conviction and confidence. They would harm monks over a trifle. It would be good if the masters didn’t give the Going-forth to one in the king’s service.”

Then the Blessed One instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged King Seniya Bimbisāra of Magadha with a Dhamma talk. Having been instructed, urged, roused, & encouraged by the Blessed One with a Dhamma talk, he got up from his seat, bowed down to him, circumambulated him, keeping him to his right, and left.

Then the Blessed One, having given a Dhamma talk with regard to this cause, to this incident, addressed the monks:

“Monks, one who is in the king’s (government) service should not be given the Going-forth. Whoever should give it: an offense of wrong doing.”


See also BMCII: Chap. 14: Undesirable.
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