Dhammadayada Sutta – Inheritance of the Dhamma, Majjhima Nikaya 3
The Buddha explains the difference between the inheritance of the Dhamma and getting the worldly benefits from the Dhamma, to his disciples. He instructs them in the Way of obtaining the true inheritance.
Advantage of Ascetics
A person who is content with being small and is patient with temporary samsaric difficulties has the advantage in inheriting the Dhamma. The Buddha compares two disciples – the first one, dependent on the feeling of being full (with food) and being dependent on energy bursts, striving to be satiated every day, and the second one, ready to equitably accept the infirmity and the decay of strength arising from the fact that he did not have enough food on any of the days. The Buddha calls this second disciple more worthy.
One of the senior disciples of the Buddha, Sariputta, continues the conversation. He talks about the three flaws of disciples who are unable to inherit the Dhamma: they do not develop abjuration and seclusion; they do not reject bad habits; they carelessly strive for luxury and sensual pleasures.
The true benefit of the Dhamma successors
Sariputta continues the sermon, saying that the Dhamma heirs follow the Middle Way, which gives them good aspiration and knowledge; which leads to peace, supernatural wisdom and nibbana. The Middle Way consists of the purification of the eight qualities: 1) vision, 2) thinking, 3) speech, 4) behavior, 5) receiving means for life, 6) direction of effort, 7) memory and 8) concentration.
Following the Middle Way, the heirs of the Dhamma receive the true benefits – they get rid of the bad qualities of consciousness.
Sariputta lists the bad qualities of consciousness eliminated by the heirs of the Dhamma: 1) a group of qualities associated with the search for worldly benefits: greed, stinginess, envy, mendacity, deceit and hypocrisy 2) a group of qualities associated with dissatisfaction: maliciousness, hatred, anger, pride 3) a group of qualities associated with indifference to the Dhamma: stubbornness, rampant arrogance, evasiveness and laziness.
Vladimir Pyatsky and Smadar Pyatsky
Translation: Natalia Tsimbler