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Vihara => Open Vihara - [Offenes Vihara] => Topic started by: Johann on May 22, 2019, 04:22:45 PM

Title: [Q&A] What's the effect of association with outcasts?
Post by: Johann on May 22, 2019, 04:22:45 PM
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Venerable Members of the Sangha,
Venerable Fellows,

Honored Buddha Parisata,
Valued Upasaka, Upasika,

May those advanced and skilled in Dhamma, out of compassion, correct my persons mistakes and possible fill up with missing explaining if not well presented.

What's the effect of association with outcasts?

Even if out of "compassion", what's the effect of association with outcasts (, even appear as "family-member" of such?

What's the effect of being related to those who are actually turned over the bowl?

Associate with thieves, slander, people who speak in dispraise of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, gratitude, generosity, virtue... those who use generosity to offend the giver... with no regard for hospitality, training, teacher, faith...

Do they risk to be avoided likewise by the wise and good?

How are people adviced to act in regard of outcasts? To bear such, or to avoid any association or ways that look like as if?

- Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa - (

From the Sutta Nipata: The famouse Mangala sutta (, the highest blessings, starts with:


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

Asevanā ca bālānaṃ paṇḍitānañca sevanā, Pūjā ca pūjanīyānaṃ etaṃ maṅgalamuttamaṃ. The Buddha: Not consorting with fools, consorting with the wise, paying homage to those worthy of homage: This is the highest protection.
Quote from:


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

The vicious are dear to him. He likes not the virtuous; he approves the teachings of the ill-natured — this is the cause of his downfall.
Quote from: from Discourse on Downfall, Sutta Nipata (

There is no more clear advice in regard of association, then in regard of fools, outcasts and bad friends, since it is the only outer condition of either growth or downfall. A clear "Not to do! When ever traced"

To take such even as advisor, a person of wrong view, or dwell in areas where "outcasts" even get a lot of reputation, shows just the natural flow of those possible never will meet the good teachings. Becoming and resist there one cultivates many "enemies" and increases suffering for both, others and oneself.

While such as pain, harsh words... is something that one should endurance, fools are to be avoided:


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"[5] And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, avoids a wild elephant, a wild horse, a wild bull, a wild dog, a snake, a stump, a bramble patch, a chasm, a cliff, a cesspool, an open sewer. Reflecting appropriately, he avoids sitting in the sorts of unsuitable seats, wandering to the sorts of unsuitable habitats, and associating with the sorts of bad friends that would make his knowledgeable friends in the holy life suspect him of evil conduct. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to avoid these things do not arise for him when he avoids them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding.
Quote from:

So even if there is the danger to be suspected associating with such!

Since association has (even not recognized) extreme fast impart one oneself, nothing more is urged, as outer needed condition, as to avoid evil people and wrong view.

There is not a single account to be found, that the Buddha and wise advice in ways of seeing it easy, but the opposite.

Even in regard of people how are actually no more able to fall down, who could resist under people with wrong views, or in regard of simply dwelling near, the Buddha advised not to do such, because at least one could be suspect to associate and would therefore be avoided by good people and one gives a sample for others who might be not that strong to resist for themselves.

A well-known simile in regard of assiciation is that of a banana leave taking on the smell of fermented fish.

The fermentation of foolish compassion with people who can actually only be helped by avoiding, if, effects for one not only the reputation of being not firm in faith of the Buddhas advises but also the circumstance to be suspected being another of those outcasts, one who approves their ways.

Even under recluses:


Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

"Bhikkhus, these three persons are evident in the world. Which three? A certain person should be loathed, should not be associated. The second should be looked after not associated and the third should be associated. Bhikkhus, which person should be loathed and not associated. Here a certain person is unvirtuous, with evil thoughts like rubbish, with secret actions, with only a promise to recluseship, festering inside and filth oozing out. Bhikkhus, this kind of person should be loathed, should not be associated. What is the reason? In some way if this person is not imitated, ill fame spreads, this is an evil friend, an associate of evil. Just as a serpent with excreta on its body would not sting anyone, for he smears excreta. In the same manner an unvirtuous person with evil thoughts similar to rubbish, with secret actions, with only a promise to recluseship, festering inside and filth oozing out should be loathed, should not be associated.
Quote from:,s0402m2.mul2_en_uppa.html#an03.26

More on friendship and association here: Admirable friend - [Großartiger Freund] kalyanamittata.

Whether one is capable to trace of what is good or bad, aside of the prerequisite of being informed, is of course a matter of ones Upanissaya and tendency, and nobody, at least, could those by their tendencies destined to bad association, help out. Not even the Sublime Buddha.

How ever, for those with Nissaya to a better useful is: How to address wrong view? (,2106.msg9309.html#msg9309)

In regard whether such people, associating with outcasts, are avoided as well: As in regard of Vinaya and rules of Monks, yes, they have to. Different, to those who are not instructed may tell, there are firm rules to separate those with wrong views and bad conducts out or to be avoided.

In areas of fools, naturally wise and Dhamma gets censured, yes. Recognizing such is also a strong sign saying: "run away". So one should take care with whom one associates and in which spheres you get involved. Smell last long and you might not that independent from support of wise as you may think for now. Sure, one might get avoided by bad people, even people once near, but as the Buddha told:

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammā-sambuddhassa

76. "Bhikkhus, the misery from the decrease of relations is nothing in comparison to the decrease of wisdom. Bhikkhus, of decreases the decrease in wisdom is miserable. This is the sixth.

77. "Bhikkhus, the increase of relations is nothing in comparison to increase of wisdom. Therefore you should train, we will increase in wisdom.
Quote from:

To address a possible misunderstanding of the meaning of "avoiding". Such is not done because one does not like certain people but all what an act of compassion, for others and oneself can effort. If not avoiding it would either hurt you or someone else. Leaving a field where one can not contribute helpful since no capability to receive is present, does no mean that a serious with of goodwill and compassion is not even the reason for such an act.

It's also not so that one should cut off such relations for ever and close others doors. If one is willing to see ones faults, to confess ones previous wrong views and resolves to change his/her way, it would be (at least if following Vinaya) a fault not to forgive and reinstall someone who was lost.

As such as avoiding or leaving can have huge impact, one should of cause prove the situation well and possible also ask wise people for guidance and measures of how to get it rightly judged. One can not always trust ones moods and preoccupations may cause shadows that one does not see clear.

May it be of help for those who tend to think that community-harmony and unity in big scale is the highest, those who have strong attachments toward socializing with many and those who tend to sacrifices what maybe would be need for oneself for the sake of losing a glass of pure water by poring it into a muddy sea.