"IF one does not touch the sleeping lion, one will suffer no anger. If one does not plant the pole in the stream, one will raise no waves. And if one does not reproach those who slander the Law, one will undergo no hardship.
“If even a good monk sees someone destroying the teaching and disregards him, failing to reproach him . . .” If you have no qualms about the word “disregard,” then all may be fine for you at present, but you may be certain that later you will fall into the hell of incessant suffering!
That is why the Great Teacher Nan-yüeh in his Four Peaceful Practices states: “If there should be a bodhisattva who protects evil persons and fails to chastise them, thereby prolonging evil, bringing distress to good people, and destroying the correct teaching, then such a person is no true bodhisattva. Before others he puts a lying face upon his behavior, always insisting that ‘I am practicing the virtue of forbearance!’ But when his life comes to an end, he will fall into hell along with those evil persons.”
And the Ten Kinds of Wheels Sutra says: “If there are slanderers of the Law, one should not dwell with them nor draw near them. If one draws near them and dwells with them, one will be bound for the Avīchi hell.”
If one enters a grove of sandalwood trees, though one may not even touch the trees, one’s whole person becomes imbued with their scent. And similarly, if one draws near to those who slander the Law, the good roots that one has gained through religious practice will be totally destroyed and one will fall with the slanderers into hell. That is the reason volume four of The Annotations on “Great Concentration and Insight” says: “Though one may not be evil to begin with, if one associates with and is friendly with evil persons, one is bound in time to become an evil person oneself, and one’s evil reputation will spread throughout the world.”