[from V. The Third Recital]

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[Decline of the Dispensation]
537-544 ≠ Mhv 228-235

From that time the gains of the Community were very great, and because of those people who later gained faith there were great gains. Because the sectarians lost their gains and respect, and did not receive even so much as their food and clothing, they themselves took the yellow robes I.e. without proper ordination.01 and dwelt with the monks and each one explained his own view, saying: “This is the Awakened One's view,” and they each carried out their own vows just as they liked.

Then the Elder Moggaliputta, who was firm in the development of virtue, saw the arising of this tumour on the Dispensation, and being far-seeing he looked for the right time to relieve it. After giving over his own great chapter of monks to the Elder Mahinda, he dwelt alone for seven years high up the Ganges on the Ahogaṅga mountain, devoting himself to solitude. This is exactly the place where the Elders who led the Second Council went to discuss what measures should be taken in regard to the Vesālī monks who were not maintaining traditional discipline.02

As the sectarian monks were manifold and obstinate, the monks were not able to make them train, or be restrained by Dhamma. Because of that in all the monasteries in the Rose-Apple Isle the monks did not hold the Observance or the Invitation The fortnightly Observance, when the Disciplinary Rules are recited, and the yearly Invitation for correction. These are two of the main legal acts that the Saṅgha carry out, and being unable to perform them would be considered a serious problem.03 for seven years.