Subhadda rejoicing - DN16

I like this litle paragraph that comes unexpectedly just after the Buddha death where this monk Subhadda kind of rejoice of being free from the Buddha’s control.

For me it is an indication of an aspect of the personality of the Buddha: controller. We find it in many suttas where he does not hesitate to chastise one who misrepresents him.

The point is not to judge but to realise that being an Arahat does not remove all aspects of one’s personality.

Another aspect of interest of the Buddha personality is him having no shame/fear/whatever of complimenting himself (the lion’s roar) about his achievements.

His role was to mainly be a teacher to those who wished to be taught. Every successful teacher is aware that a degree of control is a requirement for a teacher for him or her to achieve what is required. He equally never imposed restrictions on who could be approached (to be someone’s teacher). Also when lay people complained of a monk’s misbehaviour he imposed vinaya rules which the monks had to live by. Psychologically, it would have been a relief, to some, when he passed away. Interestingly, there are two sides to every story.

His value system was different from what we have now. He considered physical discomfort a trifling matter when considering the far reaching mental/spiritual damage caused by incorrect views to the bearer and others. Also his chastising would be relevant, proportional and to people who would benefit from his words.

Correct. It is also said he had a sense of humour! He may have been a bit of a poet… It would be a mixed bag of personal characteristics.

This is true. Shame, fear, false modesty all being defilements he doesn’t display these. He spoke when it was beneficial. In a world where his role was to bring benefit to the many he had to uphold himself and the teachings against barbed criticism as the ordinary person judges their value no merely on its own merits but rather against how well it stands up against criticism.

With metta

It only proves the fact that the world has never faced a shortage of jerks, even among the ranks of Buddhist monks! Not only the Buddha knew how and what to speak, He knew the most appropriate time to deliver it, as taught in MN 58