Venue: Hokkien Cemetery Pavilion
This is a sutta from Itivuttaka that deals with how monks and laypeople mutually support each other.
On one occasion, the Buddha addressed His retinue of bhikkhus saying that the laypeople are helpful to them; for they provide them with requisites such as robes, food, lodging and medicine. In return, the monks repay the laypeople by teaching the Dhamma that is good in the beginning, the middle and the end, and proclaim the fulfilment and purity of the spiritual life.
So, whether you are ordained or not, you can play an important role in the Buddhist community, mutually supporting each other for the benefit of both.
Although some monks choose not to give Dhamma talks to the masses, they still guide us when they set a good example for us by at least being committed to live by the monastic rules and regulations carefully formulated by the Buddha. As for those who neither teach nor make an effort to act responsibly as monks, they are not contributing to this mutual support.
The Buddha concluded the short sutta by telling us that this spiritual life is dependant on this mutual support, which can be likened to the two wings of a bird, and it is “for the purpose of crossing the flood and making a complete end of suffering.”