even Buddha Shakyamuni had his problems with legal disputes…Posted: March 11, 2012
The community’s most serious crisis in its early years was a split among the monks of Kausambi, the capital of the kingdom of Vamsa. The origins of the dispute are obscure, though later sources say the trouble started when a senior monk was accused of committing an offence under the disciplinary code. A chapter of monks expelled this monk when he refused to acknowledge his fault. Then the banished monk enlisted the support of his friends and disciples and factions formed. By the time Gautama arrived, the two parties ‘had taken to quarrelling and brawling and were deeply at odds, stabbing each other with their words’. Gautama reminded the monks of their duty to ‘act towards one another with loving-kindness’ and suggested the warring groups meet separately until the matter was settled. But members of the groups ‘came to blows’, nonetheless. Again Gautama called for restraint, but one participant told him: ‘The responsibility for these quarrels is ours alone.’ In the end Gautama just walked away, reflecting that such people ‘do not realise that we are all heading for death. Those who do realise it will compose quarrels.’….Eventually Gautama returned to Kausambi, where the monks were finally compelled to reason with each other when the householders refused to feed them. Gautama found a formula that allowed both sides to save face, but he never returned to Kausambi again or stayed with its monks, who were ‘makers of strife, quarrels, disputes, brawls and legal questions in the order’.
pp.207-8 of Gautama Buddha: the life and teachings of the Awakened One, by Vishvapani Blomfield
A much fuller description of the Kausambi dispute and an in-depth analysis of its relevance to modern day Buddhist practice is given by Vishvapani on his blog, at: http://www.wiseattention.org/2011/11/trouble-in-the-sangha/