4

There is a Buddhist story when some monks (or followers of the Buddha) misinterpret what the Buddha is saying and commit suicide. Does anyone know anymore details about the story and where it comes from? I think it is in the Pali Canon.

7

What you're looking for is Vesali sutta. vesali sutta

Then the monks — [thinking,] "The Blessed One, with many lines of reasoning, has given a talk on the unattractiveness [of the body], has spoken in praise of [the perception of] unattractiveness, has spoken in praise of the development of [the perception of] unattractiveness" — remained committed to the development of [the perception of] unattractiveness in many modes & manners. They — ashamed, repelled, & disgusted with this body — sought for an assassin. In one day, ten monks took the knife. In one day, twenty monks took the knife. In one day, thirty monks took the knife.

Edit: I don't think the monks didn't misinterpret the teaching. Perhaps since they're still under training, their mind is not developed and overcome by disgust.

  • This described it as, "The original story describes how some bhikkhus wrongly grasped the Buddha's meditation teaching on the loathsome aspects of the body and, falling into wrong view, committed suicide or asked someone to end their lives for them." – ChrisW Sep 29 '14 at 19:45
  • 3
    The commentary says that they were hunters in their past lives, and the Buddha, knowing they were doomed, gave them something that would at least lead them to be reborn in heaven. Apparently they all were. – yuttadhammo Sep 29 '14 at 22:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.