A searching story in Tipitaka where sutta admirers and vinaya admirers went into a quarrel

I hope everyone is doing well,

I’m turning to you because I need help finding the original source for this story which I have heard.

Describing the best way how I remember:
I have heard that in the Vinaya records there is a story where some monks focus on the sutta and others focus on the Vinaya. Sutta followers said sutta is most important and Vinaya followers said Vinaya is more important, and this caused a quarrel. The Buddha tried to end the quarrel but he did not accomplish it, and because of that the Buddha went to the forest. The quarrelling monks felt bad and went to apologize to the Buddha. They reconciled and began to follow both Vinaya and Sutta together.

If anyone recognizes this story from somewhere, please let me know.

With mettā

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Hi @Thitamedha, I think maybe you’re looking for the Mahācunda Sutta AN 6.46, which tells of the disparaging attitudes between the “dhammayoga monks” (dhamma devotees, dhamma adherents) and the jhana monks (meditation monks). I think I’ve also seen it translated as the “scholar monks” vs “meditation monks”. The Buddha tells them to respect each other!

Perhaps you are also thinking about the Kosambi incident, where the monks were disputing and the Buddha left to go into solitude in the forest. Here’s the summary from Wikipedia:

A great schism once arose among the monks in Kosambī. Some monks charged one of their colleagues with having committed the offence of leaving water in the dipper in the bathroom (which would let mosquitoes breed in it), but he refused to acknowledge the charge and, being himself learned in the Vinaya, argued his case and pleaded that the charge be dismissed. The rules were complicated; on the one hand, the monk had broken a rule and was treated as an offender, but on the other, he should not have been so treated if he could not see that he had done wrong. The monk was eventually excommunicated, and this brought about a great dissension. When the matter was reported to the Buddha, he admonished the partisans of both sides and urged them to give up their differences, but they paid no heed, and even blows were exchanged. The people of Kosambī, becoming angry at the monks’ behaviour, the quarrel grew apace. The Buddha once more counselled concord, relating to the monks the story of King Dīghiti of Kosala, but his efforts at reconciliation were of no avail, one of the monks actually asking him to leave them to settle their differences without his interference. In disgust, the Buddha left Kosambī and, journeying through Bālakalonakāragāma and the Pācīnavamsadaya, retired alone to keep retreat in the Pārileyyaka forest. In the meantime the monks of both parties repented, partly owing to the pressure exerted by their lay followers in Kosambī, and, coming to the Buddha at Sāvatthi, they asked his pardon and settled their dispute.[20

I think the background to the story is found in the commentary. It’s mentioned in a few suttas including:

However these suttas are not related.

Are either of these hunches correct?


Here is the story of Kosambi+ from the Dhammapada commentary:


For at Kosambi, in Ghosita monastery, resided two monks, each with a retinue of five hundred monks. Of the two monks, one was a student of the Discipline, the other a preacher of the Law. One day the preacher of the Law, after easing himself, left in a vessel what remained of the water in which he had washed in the bathroom and came out. Afterwards the student of the Discipline went {1.54} in and saw the water.

Law = Dhamma
Discipline = Vinaya
easing himself = Isn’t 100 year old English quaint!


@Akaliko, @Snowbird

I got what I was looking for.

Thank you for your kind help!

May you be healthy, happy and free from dukkha.

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