AVOID COMPANIONSHIP WITH THE FOOLISH
Caran ce nadhigaccheyya seyyam sadisam attano
Ekacariyam dalham kayira natthi bale sahayata.
When Venerable Maha Kassapa was residing near Rajagaha, he had two young novice monks staying with him. One of them was respectful, obedient and dutiful but the other one was not. When Kassapa advised the disobedient novice not to neglect his duties, the latter became very offended. One day, he went to the house of a lay disciple of the monk, and untruthfully said that Kassapa was ill. Thus, he got some choice food from them which was meant for Kassapa; but he ate it on the way. When admonished by Kassapa for this, he was extremely angry. The next day, when Kassapa was out on his almsround, the foolish young novice strayed behind, broke the pots and pans and set fire to the monastery.
When a bhikkhu from Rajagaha told the Buddha about this, the Buddha remarked that it would have been much better for Kassapa to live alone than to live with a foolish companion who caused so much distraction.
- Sahayata, According to the commentary this term connotes higher morality, insight, Paths, and Fruits of Sainthood. No such virtues are found in the foolish.
- Out of compassion, to work for their betterment, one may associate with the foolish but not be contaminated by them.