55. Venerable Yasa’s efforts to hold the second Buddhist council for the offense of monks collecting money
About 100 years after the death of the Buddha, monks of the Vajji clan did certain acts which were not becoming of monks. They begged for money, even an anna (a nickel) or two, from lay devotees who came to the monastery on Uposatha days to keep their precepts. The Venerable Yasa then said that it was not fit for monks to handle money. For that reason, they imposed a Vinaya Act on the Venerable Yasa by which it was made obligatory for the person who said so to tender an apology to lay devotees for alleged interference with their charitable motives.
The Venerable Yasa went to the lay devotees and explained the true purport of the Buddha’s teachings, and when the lay devotees understood it they showed no further respect to monks who begged for alms in cash. The Venerable Yasa approached the distinguished Arahants and asked them to adjudge the matter, and they pronounced that it was not lawful according to the Vinaya for monks to handle money. After which, 700 distinguished Arahants were chosen and the Second Buddhist Council was held to protect the Doctrine.
THE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
by ASHIN JANAKA BHIVAMSA (Aggamahapandita)
Artist: U Ba Kyi | Link to this post