FORMERLY, BHIKKHUS, in this same Savatthi there was a housewife named Vedehika. And a good report about Mistress Vedehika had spread thus: “Mistress Vedehika is kind, Mistress Vedehika is gentle, Mistress Vedehika is peaceful.” Now Mistress Vedehika had a maid named Kali, who was clever, nimble, and neat in her work. The maid Kali thought: “A good report about my lady has spread thus: ‘Mistress Vedehika is kind, Mistress Vedehika is gentle, Mistress Vedehika is peaceful.’ How is it now, while she does not show anger, is it nevertheless actually present in her or is it absent? Or else is it just because my work is neat that my lady shows no anger though it is actually present in her? Suppose I test my lady.”
So the maid Kali got up late. The Mistress Vedehika said: “Hey, Kali!”—”What is it, madam?”—”What is the matter that you got up so late?”—”Nothing is the matter, madam.”— “Nothing is the matter, you wicked girl, yet you get up so late!” and she was angry and displeased, and she scowled. Then the maid Kali thought: “The fact is that while my lady does not show anger, it is actually present in her, not absent; and it is just because my work is. neat that my lady shows no anger though it is actually present in her, not absent. Suppose I test my lady a little more.”


So the maid Kali got up later in the day. Then Mistress Vedehika said: “Hey, Kali!”—”What is it, madam?”—”What is the matter that you get up later in the day?”—”Nothing is the matter, madam.”—”Nothing is the matter, you wicked girl, yet you get up later in the day!” and she was angry and displeased, and she spoke words of displeasure. Then the maid Kali thought: “The fact is that while my lady does not show anger, it is actually present in her, not absent. Suppose I test my lady a little more.”


So the maid Kali got up still later in the day Then Mistress Vedehika said: “Hey, Kali!”— “What is it, madam?”—”What is the matter that you get up still later in the day?”—”Nothing is the matter, madam.”—”Nothing is the matter, you wicked girl, yet you get up still later in the day!” and she was angry and displeased, and she took a rolling-pin, gave her a blow on the head, and cut her head.


Then the maid Kali, with blood running from her cut head, denounced her mistress to the neighbors: “See, ladies, the kind lady’s work! See, ladies, the gentle lady’s work! See, ladies, the peaceful lady’s work! How can she become angry and displeased with her only maid for getting up late? How can she take a rolling-pin, give her a blow on the head, and cut her head?” Then later on a bad report about Mistress Vedehika spread thus: “Mistress Vedehika is rough, Mistress Vedehika is violent, Mistress Vedehika is merciless.”


So too, bhikkhus, some bhikkhu is extremely kind, extremely gentle, extremely peaceful, so long as disagreeable courses of speech do not touch him. But it is when disagreeable courses of speech touch him that it can be understood whether that bhikkhu is really kind, gentle, and peaceful. I do not call a bhikkhu easy to admonish who is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish only for the sake of getting robes, almsfood, a resting place, and medicinal requisites. Why is that? Because that bhikkhu is not easy to admonish nor makes himself easy to admonish when he gets no robes, almsfood, resting place, and medicinal requisites. But when a bhikkhu is easy to admonish and makes himself easy to admonish because he honors, respects, and reveres the Dhamma, him I call easy to admonish. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train thus: “We shall be easy to admonish and make ourselves easy to admonish because we honor, respect, and revere the Dhamma.” That is how you should train, bhikkhus.

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