DN29 The delightful discourse

I just read this sutta and it’s shocking to me that there are teachings here which is sort of contradictory of what some Dhamma speakers (who are not well versed in the sutta) has been advocating.

  1. The Buddha recommends not to praise others who follow the teaching of those who are not fully enlightened. But if they are bad followers of other religions, they are to be praised. It’s bad kamma to encourage people along the path which doesn’t lead to enlightenment.

This sort of contradicts what a lot of dhamma speakers had kind of advised us to deal with others of different religions. For the sake of religious harmony, sometimes we just say it’s good that you’re a christian, at least you are following some form of morality and you’re happy.

Or some also encourage people to learn Buddhism to become a better Christian etc…

That kind of religious harmony attitude may have been extrapolated from the sutta where the Buddha encouraged someone whom he had converted to continue support his previous religious teacher in food. This is consistent as it’s ok to support people in food, but don’t follow their wrong teachings.

  1. The self and cosmos, pain and pleasure are not eternal, that view is not acknowledged by the Buddha.

This seems like an ordinary extension of the principle of all conditioned things are impermanent, and many dhamma speakers does sort of advocate all are not eternal. So it’s funny that the Buddha didn’t acknowledge those views.

1 Like

The key word here is “bad”.

A bad follower has rejected an incomplete teaching and may suffer from regret and remorse. The antidote to that regret and remorse is praise. Note that such praise would not be forthcoming for a “good follower” of another religion. The only way I can see to offer such partial praise non-divisively would be in private to the “bad” follower.

1 Like

I think once Buddha asks Ananda what of other’s religions should we follow and he replies anything conducive to reducing craving, aversion and delusion. So if any religion is conducive to morality and compassion that might be praised, much like having mundane right view. The problem of wrong view is that it leads to wrong action, wrong speech, etc. and bad kamma leading to bad rebirth. If you really believed this you might be inclined to tell others, who are inclined to listen, the right way.

Not sure if I agree with this except in those who are not inclined…

The issue with this view is that it begins with the concept that a Self exists, but it is not permanent. Furthemore everything exists or comes to an end, and cease to exist, isn’t based on insight into cause and effect (Kaccayanagotta sutta, SN12.15)- that is the world only understand things existing or ceasing to exist. However the Buddha is saying that nama and rupa gives rise to consciousness (at the sense bases, which themselves arise and pass away), and in a cause and effect manner gives rise to contact, vedana, sanna, sankhara. The entire world is arising in this way all the time and the time the world ceases is upon getting a glimpse of nibbana. It’s like the movie Matrix code giving rise to the world, and then the Matrix being unplugged: Delusion avijja.pdf (1012.5 KB)



I can’t recall a place where the Buddha asked his followers to encourage following a different religion.