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The Venerable Acara Suvanno Mahathera
( transcribed by Jinavamsa)
Foretells World Disasters
The Sixteen Dreams… A Commentary
from the cassette recordings of
Suvanno The Venerable Acara Suvanno Mahathera
( transcribed by Jinavamsa)
Published by Leong Yok Kee E2L4A Selesa Hillhomes Bukit Tinggi 28750 Bentong Pahang Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright by Leong Yok Kee Any part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording without prior written permission from the publisher. Front and back cover by Leong Yok Kee
Title: 16 Dreams Author: Leong Yok Kee Buddhism - customs and practices Buddhism - doctrines
Published in Kuala Lumpur Printed by: Majujaya Indah Sdn. Bhd (85902-U) 68 Jalan 14E Ampang New Village 68000 Selangor Darul Ehsan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Tel: 03-42916001
Acknowledgement Foreword To-day Introduction Part One: The Sixteen Dreams of King Pasenadi Part Two: The Dreams: First Dream Second Dream Third Dream Fourth Dream Fifth Dream Sixth Dream Seventh Dream Eighth Dream Ninth Dream Tenth Dream Eleventh Dream Twelfth Dream Thirteenth Dream Fourteenth Dream Fifteenth Dream Sixteenth Dream Direct Knowledge Part Three: Conclusion Epilogue The Way Out 5 6 10 19 28 36 49 52 57 61 63 66 69 72 74 78 82 85 88 91 94 99 103 109 117
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The Highest Gift is the Gift of Dhamma This Literature is for FREE DISTRIBUTION Grateful Acknowledgement is extended to all who have helped in their special way to make this Dhamma Gift available to those seeking the Truth. To those of you who made the request to remain anonymous, grateful thanks are also rendered and to those whom I have missed mentioning, no less are your merits. Thanks are very much due to you who have made donations to the printing of this Dhamma literature; without which it will definitely not see the light of day. Special thanks for financial support to: Mooi Seng and Chu, Doris, Sister Tan Teck Beng and Family, The Dhamma Family KL, Fong Weng Meng and Family. This Dhamma literature is compiled so ALL can share the joy in knowing the greatest Teacher Ever: THE BUDDHA. May all beings shared in these merits thus acquired. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
FOREWORD Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Samma Sambuddhassa. One, One, Homage To The Blessed One, The Worthy One, The One. Fully Enlightened One.
en years ago, to be exact in 2001, Bhante Suvanno, retold the story of The 16 Dreams of King Pasenadi, a prophecy of events, disasters and calamities that will befall the world and its inhabitants in the days and years that will follow into the future. Every one of those situations and calamities, known by the Blessed One nearly 2600 years ago, have already occurred repeatedly and those that have been predicted and has not happened, will surely come to pass in the course of time.
The Fully Self Enlightened One, The Blessed One, The Buddha Gotama do not reveal things that are uncertain to happen. His revelations are always on target and absolutely dependable and real. For His Words are neither founded on hearsays nor on calculations and traditions of other Buddhas before Him. His Knowledge is realised by Himself; therefore True and Real. Through the 2600 years of history of His Dhamma, not a single syllable of His Word had fallen flat; every single Word has been proven correct and exact. Each Buddha that appears is a Unique Being and His knowledge is unique to Him alone. A living Buddha may check to ascertain how other Buddhas before Him act in certain situations, but His thoughts and deeds are uniquely His. Thus, the Words uttered by a Self Enlightened One is through His own personal knowledge, past, present and future. One cannot begin to fathom the width, length and depth of His personal knowledge. Thus, it was that when requested to explain the meaning of the Sixteen Dreams of King Pasenadi, He gave detailed predictions and explanations as to the dreams. Events of huge calamitous consequences that have occurred in the world today have prompted the rewrite of this very prophetic discourse of the Blessed One; the 16 Dreams. In the year 2001, when this book was first published, the most disastrous event was; the September 11 attacks (often referred to as September 11th or 9/11) where a series of coordinated suicide attacks was unleashed upon the United States on September 11, 2001.
If we research the horrendous events that have destroyed millions of human lives and billion dollars worth of property since that fateful date, we will realised that, even with all the electronic safeguards around airports and countries in the world, these horrendous events have accelerated, not abated! Let us view some notable disasters in the world. • Aleppo Earthquake (Syria 1138) - 230,000 dead. • Haiyun Earthquake (China 1920) - 240,000 dead. • Tangshan Earthquake (China 1976) - 242,000 dead. • India Cyclone (India 1839) - 300,000 dead. • Shaanxi Earthquake (China 1556) - 830,000 dead. • Bhola Cyclone (Bangladesh 1970) - 500,0001,000,000 dead. • Yellow River Flood (China 1887) - 900,0002,000,000 dead. • Yellow River Flood (China 1931) - 1,000,0004,000,000 dead. • Indian Ocean Earthquake/Tsunami (Indian Ocean 2004) 230,000 dead. Sumatra: Dec. 26, 2004 Tsunami Even though this was the third greatest magnitude earthquake in the world since 1990, the magnitude 9.1 is remembered for the deadly tsunami that the undersea quake let loose. The earthquake was felt in Sumatra, parts of Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand, and the ensuing tsunami hit 14 countries as far away as South Africa. The death toll was 227,898. The fault line that slipped has been estimated at 994 miles long.
Burma: Cyclone Nargis Cyclone Nargis struck Burma (Myanmar) on May 2, 2008, with 105 mph sustained winds and gusts of up to 135 mph. The Category 4 storm killed more than 146,000 and left tens of thousands more missing. Iraq War Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator of Iraq since 1979, was successfully ousted from power; his two sons, Uday and Qusay, were killed in fighting with coalition troops; and Saddam himself was found hiding in a hole on Dec. 14, 2003. Tried for crimes against humanity, Saddam was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006. He had murdered and killed thousands in his quest for power. Hurricane Katrina The Gulf Coast. Named Katrina, the hurricane roared onshore as a Category 3 storm on Aug. 29, 2005, spreading destruction from Texas to Florida. But it was the subsequent failure of the levees in New Orleans that wreaked the worst humanitarian disaster, covering 80 percent of the city in stagnant floodwaters for weeks. Katrina claimed 1,836 lives, mainly in Louisiana and Mississippi, with 705 people missing.
TODAY, (as I write this) 07th of April 2010. Panic as Major Quake hits Indonesia
ANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AFP) - – A powerful 7.8magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's Sumatra island early Wednesday, triggering widespread panic and tsunami warnings but causing no major damage. The quake struck Aceh province at the northern tip of Sumatra, an area devastated by the massive Asian tsunami of 2004. The people of Aceh are still traumatised by memories of December 26, 2004, when the Indian Ocean surged over the northern tip of Sumatra after a 9.3-magnitude quake split the seabed to the island's west. A 7.6-magnitude quake killed about 1,000 people in the port of Padang, western Sumatra, in September last year.
Earthquake 2008 China
The destruction caused by the 7.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on 2010 January
Timeline on some major disasters Jan – 2010 12th Jan Catastrophic earthquake slams Haiti Sep – 2010 30th Sep Indonesia quake kills thousands Apr – 2009 24th Apr Mexico ‘Swine Flu’ kills 60
Sep – 2008 17th Sept, China: 3 babies dead as 6200 ill from milk formula (more deaths were later confirmed) May – 2008 12th May Earthquake death to l 50,000 Oct - 2007 23rd Oct 500,000 flee wildfires Dec – 2006 29th Dec. ship sinks in storm 600 missing May – 2006 27th May Indonesia java quakes kills 6000 Oct - 2005 27th Oct Pakistan, major earthquake kills thousands Dec – 2004 26th Dec Aceh 9.0 earthquake leaves 212,000 dead Aug- 2003 14th Aug France 10,000 dead in heat wave Mar – 2003 13th Mar. Hongkong 1st alert SARS (Severe acute respiratory syndrome). Within a matter of weeks in early 2003, SARS spread from the Guangdong province of China to rapidly infect individuals in some 37countries around the world. Estimates place the dead at more than 10,000 Some man-made disasters Natural disasters are kamma related and are resultants of man’s greed and delusion in the past, occurring due to conditions ripening. Uncountable are the disasters originating from man’s greed and delusion that will create future disasters. As man’s greed and delusion accelerates and bursts into greater hydras with more than the proverbial nine heads, the results of such man’s unwholesomeness will be many headed, each head spawning extra heads. The results are unpredictable. Listed are just some samplings. Not only are the present results of such disasters horrendous; be mindful, though, that the aftermath, in the future will be more so, as the results of man-originated disasters are far fetching and in most cases irreversible:
1994. Sept. 8, Russia: Dam built to contain oil, burst and spilled an estimated 2 million barrels of oil into Kolva River and its tributaries. 1996. Feb. 15, off Welsh coast: Supertanker Sea Empress ran aground at port of Milford Haven, Wales, spewed out 70,000 tons of crude oil, and created a 25-mile slick. 1999. Dec. 12, French Atlantic coast: Maltese-registered tanker Erika broke apart and sank off Britanny, spilling 3 million gallons of heavy oil into the sea. 2000. Jan. 18, off Rio de Janeiro: Ruptured pipeline owned by government oil company, Petrobras, spewed 343,200 gallons of heavy oil into Guanabara Bay. 2000. Nov. 28, Mississippi River south of New Orleans: Oil tanker Westchester lost power and ran aground near Port Sulphur, La., dumping 567,000 gallons of crude oil into lower Mississippi. Spill was largest in U.S. waters since Exxon Valdez disaster in March 1989. 2002. Nov. 13, Spain: Prestige suffered a damaged hull and was towed to sea and sank. Much of the 20 million gallons of oil remains underwater (future results?) 2003. July 28, Pakistan: The Tasman Spirit, a tanker, ran aground near the Karachi port, and eventually cracked into two pieces. One of its four oil tanks burst open, leaking 28,000 tons of crude oil into the sea. 2004. Dec. 7, Unalaska, Aleutian Islands, Alaska: A major storm pushed the M/V Selendang Ayu up onto a rocky shore, breaking it in two. 337,000 gallons of oil were released, most of which was driven onto the shoreline of Makushin and Skan Bays. 2005. Aug.-Sept., New Orleans, Louisiana: The American Coast Guard estimated that more than 7 million gallons of oil
were spilled during Hurricane Katrina from various sources, including pipelines, storage tanks and industrial plants. 2006. July 15, Beirut, Lebanon: The Israeli navy bombs the Jieh coast power station, and between three million and ten million gallons of oil leaks into the sea, affecting nearly 100 miles of coastline. A coastal blockade, a result of the war, greatly hampers outside clean-up efforts. 2006. August 11th, Guimaras island; The Philippines: A tanker carrying 530,000 gallons of oil sinks off the coast of the Philippines, putting the country's fishing and tourism industries at great risk. The ship sinks in deep water, making it virtually unrecoverable, and it continues to emit oil into the ocean as other nations are called in to assist in the massive clean-up. 2007. December 7, South Korea: Oil spill causes environmental disaster, destroying beaches, coating birds and oysters with oil, and driving away tourists with its stench. The Hebei Spirit collides with a steel wire connecting a tug boat and barge five miles off South Korea's west coast, spilling 2.8 million gallons of crude oil. Seven thousand people are trying to clean up 12 miles of oil-coated coast. Nuclear Disasters (More man made disasters): Three Mile Island (America): On an island 10 miles from Harrisburg Pennsylvania resides the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station. An accident occurred and radioactive gas and water were vented to the environment around the reactor. At one point, radioactive water was released into a nearby river, which is a source of drinking water for nearby communities. No one is really sure what effects these radioactive releases might have had on people living near the power plant.
Chernobyl (Soviet Union): About 80 miles (130 km) north of Kiev, in what is now the Ukraine, is located the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. At this plant the worst reactor disaster to ever occur took place on April 26, 1986. It happened largely because normal reactor operations were suspended; an experiment was to take place in the reactor. As a result, normal safety guidelines were disregarded, and the accident occurred. However, as with most accidents of this type, it was a result of many small mistakes adding up to create a catastrophe. One of the great tragedies of the accident was that the Soviet government tried to cover it up. Clouds of fallout were traveling towards major population centers such as Minsk, and no one was warned. No one outside the Soviet Union knew about the accident until two days later, when scientists in Sweden detected massive amount of radiation being blown from the east. The effects of the disaster at Chernobyl were very widespread. The World Health Organization (WHO) found that the radiation release from the Chernobyl accident was 200 times that of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombs combined. The fallout was also far-reaching. For a time, radiation levels in a Scotland were 10,000 times the norm. 30 lives were directly lost during the accident or within a few months after it. Many
of these lives were those of the workers trying to put out the graphite fire and were lost from radiation poisoning. The radiation released has also had long-term effects on the cancer incidence rate of the surrounding population. Future Disasters of Great Proportion The Climate Crisis Natural disasters have doubled in the last 20 years; and most are linked to global warming. In fact the picture is quite grim if the human race does not do anything, climate change will have serious impacts. Very few people will take the interest and study the condition of this planet we call Earth, also our home. It will interest you to know that Earth’s temperature has not varied more than 1˚C in the past 10,000 years; but in the past 100 years alone, it has increased by 0.6˚C; this is leading to catastrophic disasters all over the world. Climate Changing Faster Than the Worst Case Scenario. Besides the ice in the Arctic, those of the Antartica and the mountain glaciers world wide are also melting rapidly. This reflects the alarming rate greenhouse gases are increasing in the earth’s atmosphere. Global warming is now the most serious threat ever faced in human history. Facts: The World Watch Institute has concluded that livestock is responsible for at least 51% of global warming. It cautioned that this is a conservative figure; “there may be no way to manage the climate risk other than by replacing livestock products with better alternatives”…
Livestock raising drives 1/3 of the world’s deforestation. It uses up 3.4 billion hectares of land for animal grazing and for growing crops to feed the animals Livestock gases and waste products is the number 1 source of nitrous oxide and methane, which are 310 and 72 times more potent than carbon dioxide respectively. Livestock Industry produces more carbon dioxide than all the world’s cars, trains and planes combined. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency makes recommendation for Dutch and International policy. One of their studies calculated that 80% of USD40 trillion (the cost of halting climate change) could be saved from a global shift to a vegan diet. The prestigious scientific journal, Nature reports: If global temperatures continue to rise, massive amounts of methane gas could be released from the 10,000 gigaton reserves of frozen methane that are currently locked in the world’s deep oceans and permafrost. This is a major concern because it’s possible that only a little warming can unleash this trapped methane. Unzippering the methane reservoir could potentially warm the earth tens of degrees, and the mechanism could be geologically very rapid. Just 1˚C increase in temperature alone could flood the low-lying coastlines, which include many major cities. Further increase could trigger the release of poisonous methane gas. Glaciers like the Gangotri in the Himalayas, provides water to the Ganges River. Once it disappears, 400 million people will be deprived of water.
Dear Readers, the proverbial ice-berg is miles high and the above list is but just a flea’s head of the tip of the ice-berg; not even the tip. It would need an encyclopaedia to enumerate in greater detail the world’s disasters. Suffice to say that the above very short list gives credence to the Blessed One’s detailed exposition of the dreams of the king on that fateful day over 2600 years ago. The Blessed One consoled the king that he, the king, had nothing to fear from the dreams as all that he had remembered in the dreams were to unfold themselves in the future years as man’s greed, hatred and delusion develops in the coming years and centuries to defile the whole world within the universe, mentally, physically and materially. The quantum of damage of such calamitous disasters in terms of lives lost and properties damaged is inestimable and impossible to account. They will be astronomical and irreplaceable. These will be the steps and sequences that will lead inexorably to the conflagration heralding the ending phase of this world system. This will not be the final episode in the ending of the world. Far from it, for the Blessed One has also taught that this supposedly final episode is but one in many episodes. Other episodes will arise in the course of aeons; as this episode arose from the previous one…another will arise in the coming aeons. Thus the world re-engages itself and we start over again. These had occurred countless times within countless aeons. The question will be…how are we certain that we will be fortunate enough to find substance in the coming aeons?
Coming back to the king, he, the king, had no necessity to sacrifice life animals to appease whatever it was to be appeased, as advised by the Brahmins, who, as in those days so today, like all religious icons, will always advise thus, mostly with personal gains in the offing. The fact of the matter is that, it is due to wrong views of leaders, religious as well as civil that matters are as they are today. We will let matters be as they are and proceed to the story of the dreams and expositions of the Blessed One in consoling the king. jinavamsa, June 2010 E2L4A, Selesa Hillhomes, Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong Pahang, Malaysia
INTRODUCTION The Venerable Acara Suvanno Mahathera Commentary on the Sixteen Dreams of King Pasenadi
ighty-two years of age by Chinese reckoning (this was in 2000), diminutive, calm and serene, amiably ministering to his devotees with great compassion, the Venerable Acara Suvanno Mahathera, the abbot of the Buddhist Hermitage Lunas, is the embodiment of the Buddha’s Dhamma, pure and pristine. Incidentally, Bhante had never claimed the title of abbot; in fact he had never claimed any identifying appellation as regards his bhikkhu (monk) state. His only concern was that; he knows the age of monkhood of any bhikkhu he was introduced to, as it was the Blessed One’s rule that the only relevant distinguishing difference between two bhikkhus was their date of ordination. The latter ordained bhikkhu would have to pay respect to the earlier. The earlier ordained bhikkhu would then address the latter one as friend and the other would address him as venerable sir or in Pali; “bhante”. This was the only distinguishing hierarchy among bhikkhus. Thus, his lay devotees and students will address him as; “Bhante”. In his daily life, he would be barefooted all day, robed and walking about the grounds of the monastery. The founders of the monastery had desired that he stayed in the monastery and tend to his duties as abbot; however Bhante had his own mind as to how a bhihhku should employ his days. He would not be
influenced by any situation that would put his practise of the Dhamma and Vipassana meditation on hold. There was no “airs” of importance surrounding his thoughts, speech and deeds; there was always that open hearted smile whenever anyone approached him. His constant reminder to all and sundry was his saying; “Everybody wants to be a somebody. Nobody wants to be a nobody. If ever there is a “somebody” Who knows how to be a nobody. Then that nobody is a real somebody! If you ever want to be a nobody Then follow that somebody Who really is a “nobody” (Later) let go of everybody, Even that somebody who already is a nobody; Eventually you will be a real nobody”. This had always been his guiding watchword. In some forty years of ministry in the Buddha Sasana (he started preaching the Dhamma even as a lay person in his forties) he has expounded in his own inimitable way the Teachings of the Buddha. His audiences have been many and varied; including the old and the young, the illiterate and the intellectuals, and people of different races who came to hear him, thousands have known the Buddha’s Dhamma through his talks. He speaks fluently in
English, Hokkien and Teochew, in response to the needs of the devotees attending his talks. Many from different faiths and beliefs have been moved by his eloquence and his down-to-earth exposition of the Buddha's Teachings, so much so that they have taken the first few steps to discover for themselves more of the Teachings. Some have followed through and some have fallen by the wayside, but many have been influenced by his open and earnest rendering of the Teachings and by his example of living the Dhamma way. People flock to hear his talks; the charisma surrounding “Bhante’s Dhamma talk” is a very special feature of the man or more appropriately the monk. If one should think of the phrase “standing out in the crowd” one could surely apply it to the Ven. Suvanno. In his Hokkien rendering of the address “Upasaka and Upasika” he is original, and his humour in quoting sayings with a Malaysian flavour, has no equal. Many of the Buddha’s Suttas have at one time or another been quoted and retold by Bhante (as he is reverently addressed). There are many recordings of his Dhamma talks by various devotees (many thanks and sadhus to such individuals), but unfortunately not enough! On hand are 300 odd cassette recordings of his talks. Many have been re-recorded on to CDs for posterity and many are still being re-recorded. We are in the process of transcribing more cassettes and printing such transcriptions as books in the English and Chinese languages for those seeking the Truth of the Buddha’s Words. This Commentary by Bhante Suvanno on "The Sixteen Dreams of King Pasenadi" has been compiled for free distribution.
Sources for this work are: the Jataka Tales No.77, MahasupinaJataka, the Pali Dictionary of Proper Names, and Bhante Suvanno’s cassette tapes on the Sixteen Dreams. The Commentary is a timely and an appropriate rendering of the Buddha’s Teaching at this critical time of the Sasana, as in it is found numerous predictions about the state of the world, the Sangha and the laity in a future time as emphasised by the Blessed One through the Dreams of King Pasenadi. It is also timely, because traumatic and explosive events in our troubled world indicate parallel situations to those seen in the Sixteen Dreams. Such newspaper headlines as (in the years 2000 thereabout): “US and British planes step up raids on Iraq”, are instances of hostility of countries against countries, the powerful against the weak; “Flood death toll”, “Volcano erupts causing evacuation of cities”; exemplify natural forces getting out of control; “Fish poisoned by toxic waste”; indicates the dangerous environment in which humans and animals live. All these defiled states in our time, were known more than 2500 years ago by one single individual, Siddattha Gotama, who became the Enlightened One, the Buddha. We are now unfortunately, living in them! [Now (2010), as I re-write this, the news are more passionate and relevant to the times; such as: Blood sport embedded in Afghan culture. Uprising in Kyrgyzstan leaves dozens killed. Thai Parliament stormed; chopper rescues lawmakers. North Korea sentences American to 8 years.
Vatican blasts critics for anti-Catholic 'hate' campaign. The Vatican heatedly defended Pope Benedict XVI on Tuesday, claiming accusations that he helped cover up for pedophile priests. Heavy rains, landslides kill 95 in Rio. Torrential rains in Rio de Janeiro have triggered landslides that killed 95 people as rising water paralyzed traffic and suspended most... Official: Spate of explosions kills at least 49 in Iraq. At least seven bombs ripped through apartment buildings across Baghdad Tuesday and another struck a market, killing 49 people and wounding… NATO kills 27 Taliban in west. Afghanistan's military said 27 insurgents have been killed in ground fighting and airstrikes in a western province on Tuesday, in what... Maoist rebels kill at least 76 troops in India. Maoist rebels launched a series of devastating attacks Tuesday on paramilitary forces patrolling the forests of eastern India, killing at... And more…and so on…] If you read more of the various daily newspapers you are sure to see reports of situations around the world confirming events foretold by the Buddha through the Dreams of King Pasenadi 2600 years ago; as re-told by Bhante Suvanno; they make interesting reading and matter for contemplation. You will see countries in the past hundred years making threatening noises to wage horrendous war on one another, using horrible weapons of mass destruction. You will read about people of different ethnic groups killing and maiming
one another; greedy and unscrupulous people and even rulers of countries selling life-threatening drugs to young children questing for base sensuous pleasures. You will see people committing incestuous acts, robberies, rapes, killings, murders and all manner of crimes and wrong livelihood. Such unwholesome deeds are common in this tumultuous present world, heading towards the downward turn to the end of this Buddha Sasana. China’s Cultural Revolution destroyed thousands of ancient works of literature, objects of art and artefacts; it led to the killing of many literary giants, the destruction of ancient buildings and great numbers of cultural treasures that are irreplaceable, ancient treasures that recorded the origins of a nation, detailing the stages of development of men of knowledge and wisdom. These events were the destruction of established traditions that the Buddha saw in the Dreams of King Pasenadi. “Taliban order all statues destroyed.” Afghanistan’s hardline Taliban rulers ordered the destruction of all statues, including a giant eleventh century Buddha statue that is said to have been the tallest of its kind in the world. Such acts of vandalism are common sights and are ordered by rulers who have deposed their legal predecessors, and whose aims are to banish all memory of previous cultures and traditions in order to establish their own brand of new order centred on fear and hatred, with total disregard for established and proven values. As if such acts of grand vandalism were insufficient to satisfy the perpetrators of such horrendous crimes against humanity, one group of them advocated a destructive form of socio-
communism that fortunately for the race of humans was tested and found wanting, in the short space of about seventy years. The new order was destroyed and new rulers arose to take over the task of mending the pain and suffering created by the previous rulers. Unfortunately it is doubtful whether the present rulers will be of any benefit to their country. However, if one were to understand the essence of the Sixteen Dreams, it would not be too difficult to hazard an opinion. Not so long ago, in the aftermath of the Second World War in 1945, the Allied troops entered Europe and liberated the many prisoners kept in concentration camps. To the horror of the world, it was discovered that humans had been kept in horrendous conditions and used as guinea pigs in experiments to be conducted on them. These poor people, young and old, males and females, suffered great deprivations and tortures at the hands of a self-proclaimed “superior race”. In the short space of three years, more than six million people of various nationalities perished horribly for no apparent reason except to satisfy the whims and fancies of a few “leaders”. The signs of such cruelties still linger on as witnesses to atrocities committed by humans on humans! Russia and Germany too are outstanding examples of people revolting against harsh measures meted out by supposedly great men and leaders. The scenes in the Sixteen Dreams are played out in today’s environment, and appear frighteningly prophetic! Along with these human problems we see the world’s climatic conditions going crazy! Temperatures in some countries have undergone significant changes. The world’s climate is heating
up! “The global environment is in crisis”, reports a local newspaper; “and may in fact face a meltdown if trends are not reversed”. Environmental degradation has cost the world billions of dollars. Natural disasters in 1998-1999 alone accounted for over 120,000 people being killed and many millions more displaced. Seasons of winter have characteristics of summer and vice versa. Lands have receded in places and reappeared in others. The more research is conducted into the causes of such disasters, the more questions crop up which have no apparent answers. Even with modern technology and hightech equipment the countries of the world are suffering from great droughts, famines, diseases, hunger and strife! What was dreamed more than 25 centuries ago and explained by the Buddha, is hauntingly coming to pass in our lifetime! With the publication of this Commentary, it is hoped that you, the readers, will find some answers to the many perplexing problems and controversial situations we face and understand the causes that condition world affairs and climatic changes apparent in the present times. You will be left in no doubt about the nature of the phenomena that are the hallmark of to-day's times, and the direction that was shaped by past actions that are largely beyond our control at this juncture. We are left to do the best we can with the conditions we inherit from the actions of bygone days; knowing full well that our deeds in the past were the instruments of those actions. Having this knowledge and hopefully the wisdom to go with, should we not endeavour to improve ourselves and do a better job for the
future? We should then be able to inherit better things for ourselves in a future of our own making! Jinavamsa, June 2010 E2L4A Selesa Hillhomes, Bukit Tinggi 28750 Bentong, Pahang
PART ONE THE SIXTEEN DREAMS OF KING PASENADI Sammasambuddhassa! Namo tassa Bhaghavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa! Homage to Him, the Exalted One, the Worthy One, the Fully Enlightened One!
Bulls first and trees and cows and calves, sheHorse, dish, she-jackal, waterpot, A pond, raw rice, and sandalwood, And gourds that sank and stones that swam With frogs that gobbled up black snakes, A crow with gay-plumed retinue gaypanicAnd wolves in panic-fear of goats!
HANTE SUVANNO: In the 45-year ministry of the Buddha, royalties, princes and princesses, ascetics, leaders of other faiths, male and female devotees of noble standing, high-born brahmins, travellers, common laity, slaves and so-called untouchables caste made up His followers. Many became enlightened and reached arahantship; others took up the robes and became members of the Holy Order of the Sangha. Even nagas (dragons), devas and gods from the heavenly realms and the ten thousand world systems were known to have descended on to the world at different times to hear His Dhamma!
*More of King Pasenadi in Samyutta Nikaya; Pt.I: Pp.77-78/ Pp398para.199/Pp 401 para211-212/ Pp405 para.233234/Pp407para238/ Pp410.para257/Pp.449para457/ Pt.II. Pp.1380/Pp.1795/Pp.1938 para241/
BHANTE SUVANNO continues: Among the highest of the nobility were famous kings and queens, and among the kings one name stood out above the rest: King Pasenadi of Kosala, whose father was King Maha Kosala. He had a very successful education away from home and did so well that his father being very pleased with his proficiency in the various arts, made him King on his return to the kingdom. As a ruler King Pasenadi gave himself wholeheartedly to his administrative duties and valued the companionship of wise and good men. He was a contemporary and became a supporter of the Buddha and much devoted to Him quite early in his reign. In fact he was the same age as the Buddha and they knew
each other when both were quite young and in the early years of the Buddha's ministry. Being very respectful of the Buddha King Pasenadi would bow his head at the feet of the Buddha, covering them with kisses and stroking them whenever they met. It became his habit to make regular visits to see the Buddha to discuss various matters, spiritual and personal as well as affairs of state. One night the King had a series of sixteen dreams and surprisingly could remember the details of them after awakening. This was a remarkable feat and could be attributed to the fact that he could have been a Bodhisatta perfecting his paramis, so that the purity of his mind enabled him to recall the dreams. It would be difficult for an ordinary person to remember two or three dreams in one night, let alone sixteen dreams. Today I would like to share with you the Sixteen Dreams of King Pasenadi and what they portend. The King’s Fears BHANTE SUVANNO: This story about sixteen troubling dreams was told by the Blessed One while at Jetavana. In the last watch of one night, the King of Kosala, who had been sound asleep all the night, dreamed sixteen vivid dreams and woke up in great fright and alarm as to what they might portend for him.
So strong was the fear of death upon him that he could not stir, but lay there huddled up on his bed. When dawn came, his brahmins and ministers came to him and with due obeisance asked whether his majesty had slept well. “I could not sleep well”, the King announced sorrowfully; “for just at daybreak, sixteen troublesome dreams have put me in great fear! Tell me my ministers, what do those sixteen dreams mean.” “We shall be able to judge on hearing them,” the brahmins pompously replied. Then the King told them his dreams and asked them what these visions would entail for him. The Brahmins then fell to wringing their hands! “Why wring your hands, brahmins?” inquired the King. “Sire, these are evil dreams.” “What do they portend?” asked the King. “One of three calamities; harm to your kingdom, to your life or to your riches.” “Is there a solution, or is there not?” “Undoubtedly these dreams in themselves are so threatening as to be without remedy; but nonetheless we will find a remedy for them based on our studies and learning?” “When, where and with what do you propose to avert this evil?” “Wherever four roads meet, we would offer sacrifice, sire.” “Ministers,” the King in his terror immediately consented, “my life is in your hands; make haste and work my safety.”
Realising that the occasion had presented them the opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of the King's anxiety, and knowing that large sums of money and large supplies of food of every kind will be required, the exultant Brahmins happily bid the King have no fear and departed from the palace to organise the sacrifice. Outside the town the Brahmins prepared a great sacrificial pit, and they began to purchase a host of four footed creatures and a multitude of birds; all these were to be perfect in form and without blemish, thus, expensive. Before long and in line with their greedy scheme, they still discovered something lacking and back they kept coming to the King to ask for more money for their project. The king gave willingly, and finally when 4000 animals of all kinds were purchased by the Brahmins, a day was appointed for the sacrificial ceremony. Fortunately for the King, his chief queen, Mallika, entered the scene at this time and seeing the preparations for the great sacrifice, enquired of the King the reason for such activities. Queen Mallika, the daughter of a garland maker, was a beautiful and good woman and was dearly loved by King Pasenadi. When in difficulty he would consult her, knowing that she had great wisdom. He had great trust in her judgements.
Their association began one day when she was sixteen. While on her way to the garden with some companions and carrying three portions of sour gruel in a basket, she met the Buddha and after paying her respects to Him, offered the gruel to Him. The Buddha, seeing her wrapt in joy, smiled. Ananda, His personal attendant, seeing the Buddha's smile, enquired the reason and the Buddha replied that on that very day Mallika would be made chief queen. It happened that on that very day King Pasenadi, having waged war on his nephew, Ajatasattu,* the son of King Bimbisara, and being defeated was passing by and attracted by the voice of Mallika, entered the flower garden. She, seeing him coming and noting his weariness, seized his horse's bridle and spoke kindly to him. The King, after questioning her and ascertaining that she was not a married woman, dismounted and was made to rest for a while on her lap. Shortly, having rested sufficiently he entered the town and took her to her own home.
*[King Ajatasattu was King Pasenadi’s nephew, son of his sister and King Bimbisara, ruler of Magdha. War broke out when Pasenadi and Ajatasattu both laid claim to the prosperous village of Kasi, situated between the two kingdoms].
The same evening he sent a chariot for her and with great pomp and honour brought her to the palace and set her on a heap of jewels and anointed her his chief queen. From that day onwards she was the beloved and devoted wife of the King. In the course of time she too became a devoted follower of the Buddha. There are many stories of the devotion of Mallika to the Buddha and He had mentioned that she was one of the seven persons whose acts of devotion bore fruit in this life and whose fame reached even to the gods.
On a visit to the Buddha, she enquired why some women were beautiful, others plain, some rich and others poor (AN: Book of Fours-VII-197). The Buddha explained that if a woman has the nature of being ill-tempered, irritable, jealous and slow to give alms; such a one would become poor and of ill-favour wherever she may find rebirth. A woman, however, who is seldom angry or agitated even under great provocation but is generous, such a one would become beautiful and rich on rebirth. Mallika then declared her intention to be sweet and gentle in temper, never revengeful or harbouring a grudge but always amiable and generous. In another instance, when she and the King were having a conversation, he, loving her very much, asked her if anyone was dearer to her than her own self. She is quoted as saying that she loved none as much as she loved herself. Not expecting this answer, he replied that the same was true of himself, but was evidently piqued at her unexpected answer. So he went to the Buddha and related the story. The Buddha explained that Mallika had spoken only truly and well. The Buddha then addressed him in verse: Having traversed all quarters with the mind, One finds none anywhere dearer than oneself. Likewise, each person holds himself most dear; one Hence one who loves himself should not harm others. Samyutta Nikaya I. Ch.3/392. The King, who loved the queen very much, told her about the dreams and the recommendations of the brahmins. Realising the motives of the brahmins and fearing the results of the
unwholesome action he was about to perpetrate, she suggested that he should refer the matter to the greatest Brahmin, the Buddha. “But has your Majesty consulted the Chief Brahmin both of this world and the world of the devas?” “Who, pray, may he be, my dear?” asked the King. “Know you not that supreme personage of the world, the allknowing and pure, the spotless master brahmin? Surely, He, the Blessed One, will understand your dreams. Go and ask Him.” Hearing this, the King acquiesced and went with her to seek audience with the Blessed One. After due venerations, Queen Mallika informed the Blessed One of the reason for their visit; that the King was about to sacrifice a great number of lives to counter the supposedly evil portent of his dreams. Having confirmed with the King that that was what he had planned to do the Blessed One requested the King to relate his dreams.
PART TWO: THE DREAMS THE FIRST DREAM
THE KING: Lord, in my dream, I saw four black bulls coming to the Royal Courtyard from the four cardinal points with outward signs of waging great conflict. A great multitude of the population had flocked to the Royal Courtyard in expectation of the conflict. But the bulls only made a show of fighting; they roared and they bellowed and finally went off without fighting at all. Lord, I am fearful and anxious, what does this mean?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, your dream is not of concern in your lifetime; but relates to events in the distant future. future. Therefore you have nothing to worry about as it does not affect your good self or your kingdom. In the distant future, leaders and rulers of nations and countries become unprincipled; peoples will have become dictatorial and unprincipled; peoples of the selfunprincipled ncipled. world too will have become self-centred and unprincipled. perverted, When the world has become perverted, when morals are slack; day, slack; where corruption of values rule the day, signs of rain will be there but rain will not fall; crops shall wither and countries. famine shall be all over the countries. gather the Even as the rain clouds gather from the four quarters of the everywhere, heavens and great thunder and lightning are everywhere, as if for rain, and in anticipation of heavy downpour, people will properties; like hastily cover and protect their crops and properties; like the bulls in your dream, that appear to be preparing for a great not, without fight and fight not, so shall the clouds recede without raining. In the future people will pray for rain; however, the rains will not come and drought will be on the land; this is the essence of your dream. dream But no harm from this dream shall come to you or your kingdom. What the brahmins said and advised was only to get themselves a livelihood.
BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: From the very unfathomable beginning of their existence, humans and other living beings of the world have lived as dictated by their emotions of greed, anger and delusion. Some call this self preservation. Such self-centred, unwholesome negatively induced emotions, repeatedly applied through endless time, will burdened the world with unwholesome energies. Through countless aeons, these energies, repeatedly brought on and tempered with increasing unwholesome emotions will remain in akasa (space). Good or evil. These energies do not dissipate; they change form! These growing, increasingly defiled energies will nudge the delicate balance of the seasons and climates. Slowly but surely, nature’s tolerance will be tested and it will react; weakly and hesitatingly, initially….but taking on greater ferocity as the negative and unwholesome energies gather greater volume and strength. The critical balance being upset, nature will run amok, as it were, and natural disasters will be wreaked onto the world. This is the natural cause and effect of deeds, evil or good, performed with volition. We are the architects of our own destruction. Conditioned by their greed, hatred and delusions, human kind have been responsible for creating suffering and hardships for themselves and others of their kind, begetting endless, deep rooted defilement within their minds. Natural atmospheric energies heavily burdened with negative energies of these defilement, will cause the forces in the universe to be out of
sync thus affecting the natural environments, and natural phenomena such as the temperature and the quality of nutriments for humanity in their struggle for life will be affected badly. The seasons too will become unpredictable resulting in unexpected upheavals in the world’s atmosphere. Even when the rain clouds gather, thunder peals, lightning flashes and the signs of rain and storms are evident, yet they subside and pass away and the expected rain does not fall. Thus, crops and produce are not forthcoming. When it is time for dry weather, yet the skies drench the earth with torrents of rain, flooding and destroying crops and produce. These happenings are not rare and occasional, but as humans deteriorate in their morality, natural phenomena too become unpredictable, thus causing great difficulties and suffering. When humans pollute the atmosphere with accumulated greed, hatred and delusion, the defiled energy becomes endemic and the world is gradually engulfed in the atmosphere so created. In time to come, the Blessed One said, such a world will be consumed and destroyed by the fire of its own creation. When defilement increases and becomes uncontrollable, the world will experience great flooding. In this year (2010) and for many years in the past, scientists have monitored and studied the natural phenomena round this globe we call earth and have come to many conclusions that are direct results of human greed.
The United Nations have studied and come to the conclusion that natural disasters have doubled in the last 20 years, and this have been attributed to global warming. They discovered that earth’s temperature have not varied by more than 1.8˚ F or 1˚C in the past 10,000 years; but in the past 100 years alone, it has increased by 1.1˚ F or 0.6˚ C, and this has lead to catastrophic disasters all over the world. Further bad news; the World Watch Institute has concluded that livestock is responsible for at least 51% of global warming. Due to this global warming, massive amounts of methane gas under the seas and oceans will be defrosted and will accelerate the warming of the earth….disasters will be of unprecedented proportion. Reflecting on all these happenings will lead one to appreciate the dreams of King Pasenadi and the explanations rendered by the Blessed One…even 2600 years ago. How did He know? This is no wild guess or estimation. His wisdom and knowledge goes way back to the past and way ahead into the future. This is the reality of the State of Enlightenment; the Enlightenment of the Supreme Being, the Buddha, the Blessed One is unique in one singular time period called the Buddha Sasana. He is The One; there is no other in this singular period, thus, His knowledge and mental capacity has no equal. The Words of the Blessed One was delivered 2600 years ago when there was not even paper to write them on. The Words were delivered by the Mouth of the Blessed One and orally passed on; and finally after many centuries were they written down. The Words are still applicable as though they are fresh
and new. These are not words of prophecy; these are Words of Reality…they will come to pass as told. In today’s time, where moral values are lax and dictated by sensual gratifications from all things, rulers, kings, presidents of countries and those wielding power will, in their ignorance, compound the situation with self-serving and wrongful actions that will only serve to increase unwholesome *energies.
[*Apropos to this context of energy, it would be good to bear in mind that any form of energy is neither created nor destroyed. It can be stored and can be moved from place to place, it can also be transformed from one type to another type. During all this moving and transforming the total amount of energy never changes. Thus, wholesome an unwholesome energies can be interchanged, where the whole total can either be predominantly of one type.]
Governments will plan and develop weapons purportedly for self-defence but in actuality these weapons are able to destroy other governments, who will in their turn develop weapons of defence and advance further; developing greater and more powerful weapons of destruction. These weapons will be able to destroy massive areas and population. Countries will test their weapons and their readiness to go to war and defend themselves. They will pollute the atmosphere with their weapons and equipment! They have no desire to initiate positive thoughts and deeds…they do not wish to distinguish right from wrong. They will not respect one another's integrity; they only wish to further their own interests; the powerful will dominate the weak. Further disasters will ensue and earthquakes and typhoons and other calamities of vast proportions will be the order of the day and will wreak untold suffering on mankind
Thus, are the results of greed, hatred and delusion; they are destructive and unstoppable, leading to conflagration and end of different phases of the world. The world as we know it has gone through many phases of destruction; we are at the age of nuclear destruction; many types of living species have come and gone; the destruction of the human race is not particularly significant; we are but another phase of evolution. The Blessed One had indicated so. However, it is the cumulative effects of countless existences and the passing away of multitudes of humanity that create what is known as kamma. Kamma is very profound and generally it is of two types. One is individual (or personal) kamma. This is the result of actions performed by the individual, whether good or bad. All forms of defilement create kamma in the present existence and future rebirths and is cumulative. Such accumulation is known as overflowing kamma or collective* kamma, and to give a simile, it can be compared to the overflowing of boiling rice. When rice begins to boil, it overflows. The results of this form of kamma are felt even when a being to be is in the mother's womb during pregnancy. Overflow of good kamma, conditions good things to the parents; unwholesome ones conditions unwholesome things, even at the embryo stage of the being to be born. Kamma of this nature is powerful and relentless and will cause upheavals in natural phenomena such as climate, weather, temperature, the winds and such like.
* This brings us to the question of collective kamma. Each man’s kamma is his own individual experience. No one can interfere with the kamma of another beyond a certain point; therefore no one can intervene to alter the results of
personal kamma. Yet it often happens that numbers of people are associated in the same kind of actions, and share the same kind of thoughts; they become closely involved with one another; they influence one another. Mass psychology produces mass kamma. Therefore all such people are likely to form the same pattern of kamma. It may result in their being associated with one another through a number of lives, and in their sharing much of the same kind of experience. Collective kamma is simply the aggregate of individual kamma, just as a crowd is an aggregate of individuals. (Francis Story: The Wheel Publication – Vol.XII)
The Blessed One says that unmindful thoughts, words and deeds create defilement in the mind; as these thoughts are not pure, speech and action too cannot be wholesome either. He further said that the tendency in human beings to do evil deeds has always been more prevalent than doing wholesome deeds. This is due to people’s increasing greed, hatred and delusions, the three major causes of suffering. The four bulls were setting the stage for a fight but contrary to everyone’s expectations they did nothing! Just as in a drought, when water is short, rain clouds gather and lightning flashes as though it is about to rain, but the storm peters away. The weather changes often and becomes unpredictable. Long ago, good harvests were gathered from the fields every year, but nowadays harvests are decreasing. When produce is not forthcoming from our own country, we normally can buy what we need from other countries; but this is not possible when the overflowing kamma affects the whole world and universe, since neighbouring countries also suffer from poor harvests. Such are the results of overflowing kamma, causing the weather and natural conditions to become unbearable and oppressive.
China, India and Bangladesh --just to name a few -- are facing difficult times looking after their own people. They are not selfsufficient any more. Family planning is being practised by all these countries to check the population explosion. Why? Food and other necessities of life are difficult to come by. Demand outstrips supply by such a wide margin that prices are pushed up, sometimes beyond the reach of the poor masses. Poverty is growing alarmingly. The average age of mankind has also declined. In the Blessed One's time the average life-span was 100 years and even as long as 120. The Blessed One said that due to the failure of mankind to develop purity of mind, a shorter life-span would result; for every 100 years of failure to purify our minds, the average life-span would drop by one year. As we are now 2500 years from the time of the Blessed One our life-span will therefore average 75 years. We should be aware that these insidious events are by no means accidental but result from the overflowing kamma of many individuals in the extremely long time-span of continual rebirths. Thus the results of accumulated unwholesome deeds are overflowing into the present time and into the future, and we are faced with the changing patterns of the natural environment. We can never be sure that what we have planned in relation to the seasons can come to pass. We hear of “global warming”, “the Alps are melting”, and even the Southern Hemisphere is warming too. We read that this is slowly depleting the snow and ice in New Zealand’s Southern Alps. The mountain chain has lost 40% of its ice mass since 1860. Permafrost holding together the highest peaks in the
European Alps and other European mountain ranges is melting and threatening alpine villages and ski resorts with devastating rock-falls and landslides. This year, 2001, British scientists have for the first time detected ominous signs of the ice thinning in western Antartica. The continent’s biggest glacier, which has been systematically measured for the last eight years has lost a 10m thickness of ice and retreated 5km inland. If the thinning continues at that rate, the entire glacier could disappear into the ocean within a few hundred years. Thus we can see that climatic conditions will play a great part in the lives of humans. At the other extreme we hear of: “two hurt in China earthquakes”, “aftershocks shake India’s quake zone”, “earthquake jolts Central Asia”. In some areas which are earthquake prone, quakes are known to be measuring 6.4 to 7.1 on the Richter scale and killing thousands of people. Nor should we forget the disasters caused by typhoons, strong winds and waves that regularly kills thousands of humans across the world all the year round. From the daily newspapers we read, “Asia: low ability to adapt in much of the region.” High temperatures, drought, floods and soil degradation are likely to diminish food production in arid, tropical and temperate parts of Asia. Northern areas may see an increase in productivity. Rises in the sea level and more intense tropical cyclones will displace tens of millions of people in low lying coastal areas of temperate and tropical Asia. Australia and New Zealand present a more mixed picture. The impact of global warming on some temperate crops may initially be positive but this will probably alter with further climatic changes. Much of the region may dry out, but there
will also be more intense heavy rains and cyclones elsewhere, resulting in flooding, storms and wind damage. Europe will suffer storm and drought hazards. Alternating heat and snow may damage crops and produce. In Africa again heat and drought will damage crops, thus reducing food supplies, etc. In Latin America, North America and the Polar regions, in fact all over the world, one can see daily disasters occurring. On the other hand if man had practised wholesome and pure living, the overflowing kamma of good deeds should have created good conditions, positively regulating the climate and the seasons; thus natural phenomena, like rains, winds and the seasons would be beneficial. It is only when natural conditions are well regulated that everyone can plan. Their festival days will be celebrated at the proper time. Planting and harvesting will also be well timed so that produce and essential supplies will not run short. When essential commodities are in short supply because of unnatural forces the rich will have more than their share, as they will be hoarding for the lean times ahead and the poor will be left with much less or nothing at all. The result will be robberies, thefts, burglaries and other crimes, thus polarising the haves and the have-nots. The rich will suffer as they will be the object and target of thieves, robbers and the desperate poor. The poor will rise against the rich and civil unrest will ensue; the government will step in to regulate the situation. Thus the rich and the poor will suffer in different ways.
The adverse conditions happening in one country will affect neighbouring countries as by contagion. Everyone will be caught up with the needs of their families. The destitute will rob and pillage; rich and poor will suffer, the poor will plunder the rich; the have-nots will take from the haves by force of arms. Countries will try to take from other countries for their own welfare. War will be the result. The situation will further deteriorate as the leaders of government will be profiteering and aiding their friends in corrupt practices. When governments themselves are in trouble, how will they hope to cope? The rich will be the target of governments in their efforts to salvage the situation but also to enrich corrupt officials. Greed, hatred and delusions will again further strengthen their hold on mankind. Thus the round of defilement will never stop and the present age will be worse off than previous ages. Such adverse results of overflowing kamma will be interpreted as "heaven's will" by people; from individuals to families, from families to states, from states to countries and from countries to other countries, unrest will spread like a disease and become endemic, causing chaos everywhere. War is disastrous and if nuclear weapons are used vast numbers of people will perish. In time to come there will be empty houses and deserted streets as man's greed, hatred and delusions will create chaos in the world. On the morning of 11th of September 2001 two hijacked planes from American airports were used to crash into the World Trade Centre in New York, killing almost 4,000 people,
including the pilots and passengers in the planes. The damage to property and the threat to world peace resulted from an act of anger perpetrated by people who held strong grudges against the leaders of the American nation. Anger cannot be appeased by hatred said the Blessed One*. Thus from the evils of man through the ages and aeons, the results of their overflowing kamma are moving inexorably. In the time of the last rebirth of the Bodhisatta as King Vessantara, his kingdom was more at peace than the neighbouring countries, as due to his near perfect paramis at that time, the rebirths of beings into his kingdom were from higher realms. His paramis was the cause of attracting beings of like nature to him. world; Hatred never ceases through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease. This is an eternal law.
Dhammapada-Yamaka Vagga 5.
THE SECOND DREAM THE KING: "Lord, in my second dream, I saw many tiny trees and shrubs bursting through the soil and when they had grown scarce a span or two high, they flowered and bore fruits! Thus was the picture of my second dream."
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, as in your first dream bearing you shall have nothing to fear; your dream has no bearing on you today. It tells of events in the future when the world has shortfallen into decay and when men are short-lived. In to the future, the passions shall be strong; quite young girls shall go to live with men and it shall be with them after the manner of women, they shall conceive and bear children. The flowers typify their issues and the fruits their offsprings. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In the times to come unrest and unwholesome deeds will be rampant. People will not have the tendency to do good as they do not get much material benefits from such deeds. There will be shortages of the basic necessities of life, of food and other things. The people will have short life-spans and they will marry very young. Wind-born diseases and water-born diseases will become pandemic. There will be pestilence and natural disasters; plagues of locusts, typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and all sorts of natural calamities will occur. Lack of proper hygiene, health facilities, food and medicines, and the general ignorance of the populace will exacerbate the dangers to the people and cause hardship and suffering. Evidence of such disasters can be seen all over the world.
In the year 2001, much of Europe went through the throes of foot-and-mouth disease affecting cattle and other livestocks. This has a tremendous fallout effect on the whole of the economy. To stem the outbreak of the disease, thousands of cattle had to be destroyed in European countries, especially Britain. Various diseases are affecting people all over the world. One disease unknown twenty years ago - AIDS - has claimed millions of lives and is still spreading disastrously in Southern Africa, India, Eastern Europe and elsewhere. As nutritious food becomes scarce, people will get smaller in size, but their sensual desire will still be there and they will try harder to satisfy them. Men and women will get together at younger ages, marry and beget children. They will be living like animals, without respect for their elders and good people; they will do anything that gives them pleasure. Thus they will develop unwholesome characters and become short-lived. As natural phenomena will be unpredictable and destructive, and diseases endemic, plants, grass and shrubs will not grow well and animals too will find it difficult to survive. All will be affected. Animals will be fighting for survival as will humans in their own way. Killings and all sorts of atrocities will be committed, as the decay of moral values will be unchecked. In this age of turmoil rebirths of beings from lower realms will predominate.
THE THIRD DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw cows suckling the milk of calves which they had borne that self same day. This was my third dream. What will come of it?” asked the King.
THE BLESSED ONE: This dream too shall have its fulfilment only in days to come, when respect shall cease to be paid to age. For in the future, men showing no reverence parents-infor parents or parents-in-law, shall themselves administer the family estate and if such be their good pleasure, shall bestow food and clothing on the old folks, but shall withhold their gifts, if it be not their pleasure to give. folks, Then shall the old folks, destitute and dependent, exist by favour of their own children, like cows suckling calves a day old. Here again, Great King, you shall have nothing to fear; for your dream will only be relevant in future times. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: After giving birth the cow suckled its own baby's milk! It should be the calf suckling the mother cow's milk! This is to say that a day will come in the future the Blessed One explained, when young people will fail to pay due respect to their parents; not only will they not respect their parents, they will not place much importance on family values and will not be concerned about their aged parents’ welfare, but instead use them as menials. When the old parents are unable to earn their own living any longer, they will be treated like slaves working for their keep, even in the houses of their children. Their needs are
subordinated to their children’s convenience. There is no feeling of filial piety. The children will treat their parents as baggage to be tolerated, showing them no love at all. The Blessed One reminds us that all things are impermanent, and thus people’s views are constantly changing. Some younger people, having had good values taught them by their parents, are still sincerely concerned about their parents and are filial, but in the future, views will change for the worse due to greed and competitive living. At that time the young will be pointing their fingers at their parents and saying that, "You have given birth to us, so it is your responsibility to ensure that we live a good life”. They will say that it is the duty of the parents to care for them and they will think that criticising their parents is the right thing to do. If circumstances are not in their favour they will blame their parents as they consider it the duty of their parents to give them all the comforts of life as their right. Theirs are incorrect views. When unwholesome views and wrong attitudes are widespread, people's morality tend to be corrupted due to three main causes; namely: • Firstly, lust in such people is very strong and controls their activities. Men and women find all sorts of ways to amuse themselves and constantly push themselves to impress their peers and their spouses by showing off their material gains. • Secondly, there is unbridled and lawless greed. Men will fight and compete for even the smallest thing. They compete to get more wealth, more possessions, better facilities; they will scheme to get the extra dollar. Thieves in desperation will rob
and kill for meagre sum of money. We read in the newspaper very often about such cases. A recent news report was headed “boy bludgeoned to death over non payment of ransom”; many such irrational actions are happening in many places. • Thirdly, the younger generation finds more pleasure in unwholesome actions than in wholesome ones and, being brought up with wrong values, they vacillate from this idea to that, never keeping to good and wholesome principles; thus with their confused and ignorant minds, they will retrogress to low moralities. These are times of excessive defilement in human beings owing to rebirths of beings whose previous existence was in the lower realms of animals or peta. Such rebirths, though coming into the higher human realm will retain the characteristics of the existence where they originated, along with the tendencies of their origin in the lower realm. The conditions at the present time are for births of human beings from the lower realms. There will be only a very small percentage of good births, as those from previous existences in the heavenly realm, who due to the ending of good kamma will pass away and conditioned by the quality of their remaining kamma, find rebirth on the human plane or the apaya (lower) realm. All mothers will wish to have good babies; good in the sense that such rebirths are from beings that had their previous existence in a better plane. The Blessed One said that it is possible if the mother-to-be fulfils the following four conditions:
• Firstly, the mother-to-be must possess wisdom, not the wisdom of scholarly achievement and such like knowledge, but the wisdom to understand how to keep a wholesome life-style, such as doing dana developing her sila by observing precepts. This will prepare her to be in the correct condition to accept any rebirths from a wholesome being. • Secondly, she should observe the five precepts as her daily guide she should: not kill, not steal, not indulge in sexual misdeeds, not lie, not use harsh words and not consume intoxicating drinks or substances like drugs. • Thirdly, she must cherish family values and be respectful towards her elders and her husband’s relatives. As an example, many years ago a bride would be afraid of not having a kind mother-in-law. She would make inquiries as to the type of mother-in-law she has to live with. But in these modern days, it is the mother-in-law who enquires about the type of daughterin-law she will have to live with. Being modern, her daughter-inlaw may be a career woman and may have more financial and social standing than her husband. Thus she will expect, even demand, respect from her husband's family. Values have changed. • Fourthly, the mother-to-be must be a very devoted, loyal and faithful wife and keep herself pure and dedicated to her husband. Thus a small number of mothers of good character create the conditions for rebirths of beings from happy and higher planes of existence.
THE FOURTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, in this dream, I saw men unyoking a team of work oxen, sturdy and strong, and in their stead setting younger oxen to draw the load. These younger oxen, proving unequal to the task laid on them, could not budge the heavy load and stood stock still, so that the wagons moved not on their way. How would this have effect on me or my kingdom, Lord?"
THE BLESSED ONE: As in all your dreams, Great King, fear not, this one too will have no bearing in the present times. Your dreams are harbingers of mankind’s descend to immorality in the future, when their moral values shall through deteriorate through their greed, hatred and delusion; when governments, kings and rulers shall be unprincipled. For in the days to come, those unprincipled kings and rulers of kingdoms and countries shall not honour or pay respect have to their wise and skilful mentors who have shown wisdom, experience and forthrightness in their thoughts, speech and deeds. People of such proven principles shall not be appointed by them to the courts of law and justice. Instead, these unprincipled kings and rulers shall honour those young and inexperienced and appoint them to preside in the courts. And these latter, ignorant of statecraft and lacking in experience, shall not be able to bear the burden of their duties or to govern, and due to their incompetence, accomplish tasks they shall be unable to accomplish their tasks; and in their frustration, impatience and frustration, they shall then throw off their yoke of office. The kings and rulers being unable to manage will request the wise and experienced ex ministers to resume their duties.
Whereupon these aged and wise lords having in mind how they were passed over and despised are reluctant to do so and shall decline to aid, saying: "This is of no concern of ours, we are outsiders; let your chosen ones see to it." those Hence, they shall stand aloof and ruin shall come to those kings and rulers on every hand. It shall be even as when the yoke was taken away from the team of sturdy and strong work oxen and laid onto the burden.” young ones, who were not strong enough for the burden.” BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In the future ahead, there will be those who curry favour that shall be rewarded to high offices, usurping the elderly and experienced administrators. However, these younger and inexperienced people will not have the wisdom and experience to cope with the affairs of the country, internally or externally; under stress, they will make terrible blunders, and then the older ministers will be needed to return and help sort out the mess. The rulers and the governments unable to manage, will try to recall these old experienced administrators. However, these elders having been slighted, will refuse to be involved again. So the country governed by such inexperienced people without the experience of the deposed older generation will come to no good and will be enmeshed in ruin, and the rulers and kings and even the people will suffer.
In future the world will decry and deride the older generation and honour and look up to the younger generation though they have not enough experience, and they will chose the younger generation to lead them; these new people will be found wanting; the young will pick their cronies to help them and being badly trained these people will make poor administrators, thus worsening a situation already ruined by the incompetence of the new young administrators. The better way would be for the young people to learn from the older people. They can share in the running of the country, till they are capable of handling the job by themselves. However, in the future only the young and inexperienced, who are not willing to learn, will be in charge, thus the situation is like "unyoking a team of draught-oxen, sturdy and strong and setting young steers to draw the load; and the steers, proving unequal to the task laid on them". The young filled with hot blood, greed and pride, not taking their responsibility seriously and filling their pockets and bags with corruption, will run the country to ruin. By their irrational ways they will destroy the country. Those who cook curry know that they need old coconut to be added to it and not new coconut as the old coconut will have the better taste.
THE FIFTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw a horse with a mouth on either side, to which fodder was given on both sides and it ate with both mouths. This was my fifth dream. What shall come of it, Lord?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, fear not, this dream too this future, shall have its fulfilment only in the future, in the days of who foolish kings, who shall appoint covetous men to be judges. These base ones, fools, despising the good, shall take gold and silver from both sides as they sit in the seat of twojudgement and shall be filled with this two-fold corruption, even as the horse that ate fodder with both mouths. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: The horse gobbled up food with both mouths as fast as possible. In future, those wielding power will be young and inexperienced and they will be like the horse with two mouths, as, driven by greed and delusions, they will appoint ministers to their liking who offer them bribes, so that theirs will be a corrupt rule. They and their ministers too will be arrogant and they will accept bribes from one to the other.
THE SIXTH DREAM THE KING: "Lord, I saw people holding out a well-scoured golden bowl worth a hundred thousand pieces and begging an old jackal to urinate therein. And I saw the beast doing so. This was my sixth dream.”
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, this dream too shall only have its fulfilment in the future. For in the days to come, though foolish kings, though sprung of a race of wise kings, nobles, mistrusting the families of the old nobles, shall not honour their lowThe them, but exalt in their stead the low-born. The nobles shall lowbe brought low and the low-born shall be raised to lordship. Then shall the great families be brought by their need to live by dependence on the upstarts. In order to survive, the lownobles shall offer the low-born their daughters in marriage. lowAnd the union of the noble maidens with the low-born shall the be like unto the urinating of the old jackal in the golden bowl. Great King, you have nothing to fear as these are events of and the future and will have no bearing on you. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: The jackal urinating into a golden bowl symbolises the degradation of established competent and noble administrators replaced by administrators who are young, low quality people. Not only do ignorant people replace them, but also all the noble administrators will have their ranks, positions and properties stripped away and taken over by the incoming ones. Having been so used to their lives of luxuries and nobility, these nobles find it difficult to survive the change in their station. They are unable to make a living for themselves. They are
reduced to finding means to survive. They will then marry off their daughters to the lowborn new administrators so that they can at least take advantage of the positions of their son-in-law and be assured of a living. Thus, in future the lowborn will be marrying the daughters of the nobles due to this change in the world situation.
THE SEVENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, a man was weaving rope and as he wove he threw it down at his feet. Under his bench lay a hungry shejackal which kept eating the rope as he wove, but without the man knowing it. This is what I saw in my seventh dream. How will it affect my kingdom and I, Lord?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, This dream shall not bring you harm or jeopardise your kingdom in any way. It moral foretells of events far into the future when moral values have disintegrated and women shall lust after men; they shall constantly seek sexual gratification. In their wickedness and abandonment to vices these women shall consume strong drink with their lovers; they shall flaunt heedlessly their sexuality heedlessly and be careless of even the most pressing of their household duties. They shall wantonly waste the assets and property of their husbands; they are husbands’ as though devouring their husbands’ wealth as fast as their jackal husbands acquire them, even as the hungry jackal under the ropebench ate up the rope of the rope-maker as he wove it. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: The Blessed One revealed that family morals will have disintegrated in the future (which is now); so much so that husbands and wives will not be respectful of each other; husbands will be oppressed by their wives; wives will take advantage of their husbands’ wealth. Women will be greedy and lustful. They will squander away their husbands’ earnings and property by their wanton ways. Unfaithful wives will make wrong use of their husbands' resources and property, and squandered away the family resources. They will be desirous of sensual pleasures; drinking and gambling with their lovers and generally leaving their homely duties unattended.
In the distant future, women will be in the forefront in the delusional goal of sensual pleasures. Women will play a more leadership role in society; even now you can see that more and more women are having careers in the commercial world and are replacing men in important and responsible jobs. They also entertain and rarely are housebound. In time to come the men will be left with lesser opportunities to work. Changing values and conditions will make women take on more responsible jobs and in marriage they may become the bread-winner. Husbands will eventually end up as househusbands.
THE EIGHTH DREAM
THE KING: "Lord, I saw at a palace gate a big pitcher which was full to the brim stood amid a number of empty ones. And from the four cardinal points and from the four intermediate points as well, there kept coming a constant stream of people of all the four castes, carrying water in pipkins and pouring it into the full pitcher. And the water overflowed and ran away. But nonetheless they still kept on pouring more and more water into the overflowing vessel, without a single man giving so much as a glance at the empty pitchers. This was my eighth dream. What does this dream mean, Lord.
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, this dream too shall not have its fulfilment until the future. For in days to come the world shall grow weak and decay; kingdoms shall grow weak; its kings shall grow poor and niggardly; the foremost among them shall have no more than 100,000 pieces of money in his treasury. shall Then shall these kings in their need set the whole of the countrycountry-folk to work for them; for the king's sake shall the toiling folk, leaving their own work, sow grain and pulses and keep watch and reap and thresh and garner; for the king's sugar ugarsugarsake shall they plant sugar-cane, make and drive sugar-mills, and boil down the molasses; for the king's sake shall they lay flowerout flower-gardens and orchards and gather in the fruits. And as they gather in all the diverse kinds of produce they overflowing, shall fill the royal garners to overflowing, not giving so much as a glance at their own empty barns at home. Thus it shall be like filling up the full pitcher, heedless of the quite empty ones. “However, Great King, you have nothing to fear from this another dream, as the events foretold of another time in the future.
BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In the days to come, the combined power of negative energies will bring the world to a tumultuous state. Countries will become quite destitute due to poor management by new administrators appointed by self centred and greedy rulers. These inexperienced administrators, appointed by those in power, will be taxing the citizens in many forms to fill the government coffers, and so heavy will be the burden of taxes that the people will have no means to better themselves. This is the result of corrupt views in the management of the people’s welfare. People in power choose to appoint these inexperienced administrators and reject the older and more experienced administrators due to fear of losing power to the wise. With the resulting inadequate administration, the country is left near penniless; thus shall the rulers enact more oppressive laws to replenish their penniless state. When reading the news and if you are discerning, you will realise which are the countries that are fulfilling this projection by the Blessed One. Thus, are the prophetic words of the Blessed One come to pass. So in these tumultuous times the property and riches are requisitioned by the government and rulers; all incomes belong to the government. This situation is as pouring water into one single pitcher and leaving the rest unattended. Even when the rulers’ coffers are full to overflowing with wealth, their greed demands more and the peoples welfare is ignored.
THE NINTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw a deep pool with shelving banks all round and overgrown with five kinds of lotuses. From every side two-footed creatures and four-footed creatures flocked thither to drink of its waters. The depth in the middle was muddy, but the water was clear and sparkling at the margin where the various creatures went down into the pool. This was my ninth dream.
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, this dream too shall not be detrimental to you or your kingdom, for the events shall reality be a reality only in the future, where kings and rulers will be as dictators; they will not show mercy or compassion to their subjects. They will rule with iron hands and crush their subjects by taxes and bribes. They will rule as they please judgements and execute judgements based on bribes. Unable to pay the oppressive taxes and bribes, the people shall abscond from the villages and towns, and take refuge upon the borders of the realm; the heart of the land shall be a wilderness, while the borders will teem with people; even as the water was muddy in the middle of the pool and clear at the margin. However, Great King, you have nothing to fear from this dream, as these events are in the future times. BHANTE SUVANNO: In future the dictatorial rulers of the country, covetous of the wealth of the people, will create great difficulties for the people and will use all means at their disposal to ensure that everything is taxed; thus no one would wish to stay in the towns as they will have to endure the oppressive taxes. They will be driven to outlying areas or forest and empty land and will forge a new way of life, so that the urban areas will gradually become empty and deserted!
THE TENTH DREAM THE KING: "Lord, I saw rice boiling in a pot without getting done. By not getting done, I mean it looked as though it was sharply marked off and kept apart, so that the cooking went on in three distinct stages. A part was sodden, another part hard and raw and the last part just cooked to a nicety. This was my tenth dream,”
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, the events in your dream dream the decay. give warning of the future, when the world will be in decay. In the first stage, kings, rulers and all their cohorts and become unprincipled, townspeople will become unprincipled, lacking in moral and integrity and overcome with greed. even the religious and the supposedly holy people too will become unprincipled integrity. and lacking in moral integrity. next In the next stage, their very guardian deities, the spirits to whom they offer sacrifices, the spirits of the trees and the the spirits of the air too will be infected with the same decay. unwholesome moral decay. The very winds that blow over the realms of these immoral kings and rulers shall grow cruel and lawless; they shall shake the mansions of the skies and thereby kindle the anger of the spirits that dwell there, so that they will not suffer rain to fall; or if it does rain, it shall not fall on all the kingdom at once, nor shall the kindly shower fall on all tilled and sown lands alike to help them in their need. And as in the kingdom at large, so in each and several districts and villages and over each separate pool or lake, the rain shall not fall at one and the same time on its whole
expanse; if it rains on the upper part, it shall not rain on the shall lower; here the crops shall be spoilt by a heavy downpour, there wither due to drought and here again thrive apace with kindly showers to water them. So the crops sown within the confines of a single kingdom, like the rice in the one pot, shall have no uniform character. However, this However, Great King, you have nothing to fear from this future. dream. The events will unfold only in the future. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In years to come, (as in now), throughout the whole world there will be people in different categories of economic development, some will be worse off than others; there will be small pockets of prosperity and more of poverty. Greater suffering will be their lot in the undeveloped areas of the world. As in King Vessantra's time, his kingdom was the better one, whereas his neighbours were experiencing difficulties. There will also be insufficient food for many countries and the people will have to consume food meant for animals and so on. In the villages and outlying areas some will have a good harvest, some not; some will have a surplus and some will have famine. All forms of life, the holy life and the laity will be corrupted and robbers and thieves will abound. The Blessed One said that even their very guardian deities shall be caught in the streams of corruption in the world. Their inequities will be so great that they shall shake the very foundations of the heavenly mansions!
These inequities will become so strong that they will unbalance the character of natural phenomena, causing changing patterns of weather and resulting in unusual winds and rains. The weather will be inclement, irregular and in some cases, unprecedented and may even be disastrous. The population will feel the full fury of storms and rains; sometimes they will be blessed by unusually fine weather and sometimes by neutral weather. They will not know what to expect.
THE ELEVENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, in my eleventh dream I saw people exchanging precious sandalwood worth 100,000 pieces of money for sour buttermilk. How shall this affect my kingdom or me?
THE BLESSED ONE: This dream too shall not have its future, fulfilment till the future, in the days when my Teaching is dying away. For then, there will appear many greedy and shameless monks, who due to their greed shall teach and do the very things I warned against! They will misconstrue my true teachings and by meaningless fine words and sweet voices adapt it to please and pander to those laity, who too prefer such meaningless fine words and who will after hearing the fine words and sweet voices, offer the shameless monks fine robes and expensive gifts. Such false teachings of these false and shameless monks will not lead to Nibbana, freedom from suffering . The only thought of these shameless monks as they teach by fine words and sweet voices is to induce their listeners to give them fine robes and expensive gifts. Other monks too shall be sitting and standing along roads too and highways; at street corners, at the doors of kings' palaces and so forth; who shall stoop to teach for money, alas, for mere pittance. These false and shameless monks who will be as those traders in your dream who will exchange precious sandalwood worth 100,000 pieces for worthless sour buttermilk.
Thus, Great King, you have nothing to fear from this dream, for it is an event that will appear in the future when the world is in jeopardy. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: Sadly, the days that the Blessed One spoke about has arrived and we do find situations as described. The noble calling has gone astray; wrong Dhamma is being taught! Junior monks will not know how to show and pay respect to senior monks; only a few noble teachers will have the personal experience of attainment to teach; the majority will teach from book knowledge. Such monks become intellectual monks, depending only on their book knowledge and are not capable of drawing from their own practical experience. The quality of teaching will be poor and inadequate, so that few will want to meditate, not even samatha meditation let alone Vipassana meditation. Monks will be gambling the numbers game and forgetting their rules of behaviour; many will ignore their precepts. Unfortunately, lay people will totally disregard the precepts. There will not be sufficient numbers of monks who teach with practical experience; as such they teach will not be able to guide learners into advanced meditational practices. People have to bear with low and degrading values practised by some members of the Sangha and they will have great difficulty keeping the precepts and following a holy life. They have no inclination to practise meditation, as the monks and meditation teachers are teaching the Dhamma for the sake of
material gains. They will fail to do dana and find no cause to venerate the holy brotherhood, not knowing that such unwholesome deeds will lead both to the apaya regions. Some will continue practising and offer dana to the holy brotherhood, but this too they will find difficult without proper guidance.
THE TWELFTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw empty pumpkins sinking in the water. How will this affect my kingdom and me?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, fear not, this dream too this shall not have its fulfilment till the future, in the days of unrighteous kings, when the world is perverted. For in those days shall kings show favour not to the scions of the nobility, to lowbut to the low-born only; and these latter shall become great lords, whilst the nobles sink into poverty. Alike in the royal presence, in the palace gates, in the council chamber and in lowthe courts of justice, the words of the low-born alone (which pumpkins the empty pumpkins signify) shall be established, as though they had sunk till they rested on the bottom. So, too, in the assemblies of the Brotherhood, in the greater and lesser conclaves and in enquiries regarding only bowls, robes, lodgings and the like, the counsel only of the wicked and the vile shall be considered to have saving power, not that of the modest Brethren. Thus everywhere it shall be as when the empty pumpkins sank. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In the days to come those inexperienced and who are ignorant will be the ones administering the country and the experienced and wise will be rejected and cast aside. In all branches of the government, the established and experienced ones will be neglected and slowly their beneficent influence will wane and they themselves will disappear from the scene.
The Noble calling too will teach and practise the wrong Dhamma. The poor quality of their teaching and the inferior quality of their practice will not be conducive to the practise of meditation. Their conduct will not encourage the practise of Vipassana meditation and the monks will instead encourage dana (meritorious giving), chanting of suttas and all forms of rites and rituals. Monks will be gambling on the numbers game and discarding their rules of conduct, and their not well trained devotees will follow suit. They too will disregard and abandon their precepts as well. Young monks will fail to respect their elders and teachers in correct ways. Few monks will be inclined to practise their true calling as the desire to have material gains will be their top priority. Thus, very few teachers will have the personal experience of attainment to pass on to their devotees; the majority will teach from book knowledge. The future of the Sasana will be bleak. Now that we are in the human realm due to our past good deeds, and being in this Blessed One’s Sasana, we should in all earnestness learn and practise the proper Dhamma. Young and old must practice diligently with a good teacher and not waste this rare opportunity. Should we pass away without gaining some Dhamma knowledge in this existence we will never know in what time frame and into which realm of existence we shall be born at our next rebirth. We are standing at the edge of a great precipice. The choice is ours to distance ourselves from it or to be pushed over the edge.
THE THIRTEENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw huge blocks of solid rock, as big as houses, floating like ships upon the waters. What shall come of it?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, fear not, this dream too Great this shall not have its fulfilment until such times as those of which I have spoken come to pass. For in the distant days ahead lowunrighteous rulers shall show honour to the low-born, who nobles shall become great lords, whilst the nobles sink into poverty. Not to the nobles but to the upstarts alone shall respect be given. In the royal presence, in the council chamber or in the courts of justice the words of the nobles learned in the law (and it is they whom the solid rocks signify) shall drift idly by and not sink deep into the hearts of men; when they speak, the upstarts shall merely laugh them to scorn, saying; "What are these fellows saying?" So, too, in the communities of bhikkhus, those bhikkhus not who are practising well will not be deem worthy of respect and their words will not be taken seriously, but drift idly by even as the rocks floated upon the waters. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: With this direct knowledge, the Blessed One revealed to the King that far into the future, the knowledgeable, wise and experienced people ruling the country will be rejected and their places will be taken over by incompetent upstarts who are ignorant in the ways of ruling a country. These incompetent rulers will know only how to
enrich themselves and do not care for the country's well-being. The nobility and the righteous people will be forgotten. In the Sangha too, good and virtuous monks will be rejected and driven from the people's monasteries and temples and in their place will be clever monks who are good at raising money for the development of the temples. They run the temples and using their influence, reap money for the temples and because of this they are welcomed and invited to stay on for lengthy periods.
THE FOURTEENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw tiny frogs, no bigger than minute flowerets, swiftly pursuing huge black snakes, chopping them up like so many lotus-stalks and gobbling them up. What effect will this have on myself or my kingdom?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, be not anxious, for this dream too shall not have fulfilment in your time, but in the days the days to come, such as those of which I have spoken, when the world is decaying. passions In the coming future times shall men's passions be strong and their lusts hot to the extend that they shall be subservient to the very youngest of their wives. At these young wives’ disposal shall be slaves and hired servants, oxen, buffaloes, cattle, gold, silver and everything that is in house. the house. Should the poor husbands request an accounting of his properties, he shall be told in no uncertain terms to mind his own business and not be inquisitive as to what is or is not in her house. And in such ways, the wives with abuse and goading taunts shall establish their superiority over their husbands as over slaves and bondsmen. Thus, these younger wives are likened to the tiny frogs no bigger than flowerets gobbling up the big black snakes. this However, Great King, you have nothing to fear from this dream as such events will happen in the future when the world is in jeopardy.
BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: Men’s lustful passions will be their downfall. They will be intensely occupied in lustful pleasures with young girls of tender age and in acquiring many young and pretty wives. Their priorities will be looking for young girls to pamper their lust. Because of greed and lust young girls will initially humour them, but will later take advantage of the men, not fearing or respecting them as husbands. In indulging their own desires, men will indulge and pamper their young wives, not wanting to question or reprimand them for their demanding actions. When the men are totally enmeshed in their indulgence, the young wives will have control of their wealth and property and will use them as they please without compunction, just as the minute frogs chased and gobbled the black snakes. The signs of such times and situations are everywhere if one care to observe. In such ways are the morals and values of the world backsliding to unwholesomeness. Such negative values will spawn other relative values; the road to negative results will then be wide open, leading to disasters and calamities.
THE FIFTEENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, I saw a village crow in which dwelt the whole of the Ten Vices*, escorted by a retinue of those birds which, because of their golden sheen are called Royal Golden Mallards. What shall be the outcome of this dream?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, this dream too shall not have its fulfilment till the future, till the reign of weakling kings. In days to come kings shall arise who shall know nothing about governance of their country and are unethical and immoral in thoughts, words and deeds. Anxious to status, maintain their status, they shall promote and surround themselves with underlings who are undesirable and ignorant elements, shutting out the nobles and loyal ministers. These nobles shall be reduced to being at beck and call of the ignorant favourites, as when the crow had Royal Golden Swans for a retinue. However, as in the other dreams, you have nothing to fear at the present time, as the events foretold in this dream will deceit, take place when the world is lost to deceit, greed, hatred and delusion.
*Ten kinds of vices or immoral conduct: (1) injuring or killing living beings; (2) taking or destroying animate or inanimate property which is not freely given; (3) committing sexual misconduct; (4) telling lies; (5) backbiting and malicious lies; (6) using abusive language; (7) taking part in frivolous conversation; (8) covetousness; (9) malevolence; (10) wrong views, .(Ref: The Manuals of Buddhism: Magg. Dip.)
BHANTE SUVANNO COMMMENTS: In the future ahead, corrupt leaders will appoint people of doubtful character to administer the country. Because of their ignorance these appointees will seek the counsel of their own kind and ignore the wise, as they are afraid that the wise may usurp their authority. Such advisers, being the same feeble-minded people as the leaders, will bring the established ruling class to ruin. The wise and knowledgeable will have to defer to the new rulers so as to be able to earn their living. Here again, we can observe that all these are realities as we see countries being run by rulers who are unable to make correct decisions for the betterment of their people, but instead carry out advice of their friends who have self interests at heart, thus bringing their countries to war and ruin.
THE SIXTEENTH DREAM THE KING: Lord, it always used to be panthers that preyed on goats; but I saw goats chasing panthers and devouring them; munch, munch, munch! Whilst at bare sight of the goats afar off, terror-stricken wolves fled quaking with fear and hid themselves in their fastnesses in the thicket. Such was my dream. What harm shall this dream bring me or my kingdom?
THE BLESSED ONE: Great King, have no fear, for this dream too shall not have its appearance till the future, in the reign of unrighteous kings. days lowIn the coming days of the future, the low-born shall be made royal favourites and be raised to lordship, whilst the nobles shall sink into obscurity and distress. Gaining influence in the courts because of their favour with the king, these upstarts shall unjustly claim the properties and ancestral estates of the old nobility. And when these nobles plead their rights before the courts, these favourites of the king will have them beaten, tortured, taken by the throat and cast out with words of scorn, such as: "Know place, your place, fools! What? Do you dispute with us? The king shall know of your insolence and we will have your hands and feet chopped off and other punishments applied!" Being threatened thus and fearing for their lives, the their terrified nobles shall affirm that their properties really belong to the overbearing upstarts and will tell the favourites to accept them. And the nobles will return home and there cower in the agony of fear.
Likewise, evil monks shall harass the good and worthy monks, monks, till these good monks, finding none to help them, shall escape to the jungle. This oppression of the nobles and of the good monks by lowthe low-born and by the evil monks shall be like the goats chasing the wolves. BHANTE SUVANNO COMMENTS: In the days of the future, the world will be managed by those who are low-born and without scruples. They will be practising adhamma and their sole objective, driven by the wrong view of self, is to enrich themselves. Their motivation will be greed and hatred, as they are deluded in their views of the real values of life. As rulers of the land they will use all means at their disposal to confiscate and possess the wealth and properties of their citizens. They will be corrupt and treat the citizens as a source of accumulating wealth. Those of the citizens who dare to protest their losses and resist the take-over of their legitimate rights and property will be severely dealt with, till there is no opposition to the desires of the rulers. The measures inflicted on those resisting their objectives of wealth will be so draconian that the true and rightful owners will meekly surrender to save themselves. Thus, the world will come to this sorry state in the future. The community of monks will be infiltrated by those who are not practising the correct teachings of the Blessed One. As a
whole the community will degenerate. At that time the Buddha’s Dispensation (Sasana) will be administered by those members who desire only for material gain and personal fame. Thus, it will be akin to the scaring of the wolves by the goats. THE BLESSED ONE: O bhikkhus, those bhikkhus who bhikkhus, point out what is not Dhamma as Dhamma, who point out what is not the Discipline as the Discipline, and what is the Discipline as not the Discipline, who point out what is not uttered uttered by the Tathagata as uttered by the Tathagata and what is uttered by the Tathagata as not uttered by the Tathagata, Tathagata, the conduct of such bhikkhus causes loss to folks folks many folks, misery to many folks, loss and injury and misery such to deva and mankind. Moreover, such bhikkhus heap on disappearance themselves great demerit and cause the disappearance of this true Dhamma. (Anguttara Nikaya, the Book of the Ones) THE BLESSED ONE further advised the King: It was not truth, it was not love for you that prompted the brahmins to proclaim proclaim as they did. No, it was the greed for gain and the cunning that is bred of covetousness that shaped all their selfself-seeking utterances. Thus did the Blessed One revealed the essence of these sixteen dreams adding:
THE BLESSED ONE: You, Great King, are not the first to King, have these dreams; they were dreamed by kings of bygone days also; and then as now the brahmins found in them a pretext for sacrifices; whereupon at the advice of the wise and good, the Bodhisatta was consulted and the dreams explained were explained in just the same manner as they have been explained now. BHANTE SUVANNO explains: This was not the only time throughout the ages that the Blessed One had been asked to clarify the dreams; many have dreamed these same dreams and had sought clarification about these dreams from the then Bodhisatta, and the Bodhisatta had also revealed the essence of these dreams then. These dreams throughout the ages and now of King Pasenadi had been known by the Blessed One’s direct knowledge and is not seen by Him in a vision or other psychic phenomenon. The direct knowledge of a Buddha is beyond a mere human’s concept of how knowledge is gained. During one of His Discourses to His ordained disciples; monks or bhikkhus, He gave a hint of this direct knowledge that was within His grasp.
DIRECT KNOWLEDGE A HANDFUL OF LEAVES
BHANTE SUVANNO: The Blessed One was once living at Kosambi in a wood of simsapa trees. He picked up a few leaves in His hand, and He asked the bhikkhus:
THE BLESSED ONE: How do you conceive this, bhikkhus, which is more, the few leaves that I have picked up in my hand or those on the trees in the wood? THE BHIKKHUS: Lord, the leaves that the Blessed One has picked up in his hand are few; those in the wood are far more. THE BLESSED ONE: So too, bhikkhus, the things that I have known by direct knowledge are more; the things that I have told you are only a few. Why have I not told them? Because they bring no benefits, no advancement in the Holy Life, and because they do not lead to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not told them. And what have I told you? This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the
this cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. That is what I have told you. Why have I told it? Because it brings benefit, and advancement in the Holy Life, and because it leads to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. So bhikkhus, let your task be this: This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. [Samyutta
Nikaya, LVI, 31]
THE BLESSED ONE’S DIRECT KNOWLEDGE BHANTE SUVANNO: The Blessed One has numerous names of adoration enumerating His virtues; among which are (in Pali):
Iti Pi So Bhagava Araham Samma Sambuddho, Vijja Carana Sampano, Sugato, Lokavidu, Annuttaro Purisa Dhamma Sarathi Sattha Deva Manussanam Buddho Bhagava Ti.
He is Indeed the Exalted One, Far from Defilement, Perfectly Self Enlightened, Fully Possessed of Wisdom and Excellent Conduct. One Who Has Proceeded by the Good Way; Knower of the Worlds, Unexcelled Trainer of Tameable Men, Teacher of Deities and Men. The Awakened One, the Lord Skilled in Teaching The Dhamma. Among many other appellative titles and honorifics, Knower of the Worlds sums up the source of His direct knowledge. The explanation of the dreams of the king is from direct knowledge He has possession of due to His acquisition of Enlightenment; Self Enlightenment. He has knowledge no one will ever have, unless it is the next Buddha. Thus, the essence of direct knowledge is knowledge gain from enlightenment, through seeing and knowing things as they are. The Enlightenment gained was through a long process of training, not only in this life, but through many life times across the vast span of world cycles; to be exact; four assankheyya and a hundred thousand world cycles (see Dhamma Rediscovered). This direct knowledge is a result of Vipassana meditation. In the course of Vipassana meditation, the mind is eradicated of defilement accumulated through aeons in time and through Vipassana, wisdom arises that will show plainly who this “self” we call “I”, “he”, “she” is. A series of other wisdom and knowledge will arise, setting free the mind from defilement and gaining deep and vast knowledge that exceeds the amount of leaves on the trees in the forest.
DIRECT KNOWLEDGE OF NON-SELF The unique knowledge in the Blessed One’s Dhamma is the knowledge of the truth of non-self. Non-self is direct knowledge derived from a triangulation of three mental abstracts which cannot be achieved by any form of study except through the practice of Vipassana meditation. This is a direct knowledge from contemplating on insights of mind. In this form of practice the individual develops a form of concentration known as momentary concentration; this form of concentration allows the individual to contemplate and be mindful of phenomena that are realities in life, that is, contemplate on things that are arising from feelings, from the body, from the mind and from realities of nature, called dhammas.
PART THREE: CONCLUSION Thus did the Blessed One explain the dreams of King Pasenadi; and Bhante Suvanno has shown us how the modern trends in life were envisioned in the Sixteen Dreams. The dreams 2500 years ago describe the disintegration of the moral values of the world in what was then the future. We see the happenings depicted in the dreams clearly and vividly and we can find situations throughout the world today paralleling those in the Dreams of King Pasenadi. The dreams that came to the King was in fact, the Blessed One said, not the only occasion that it had happened, there were numerous occasions where the dreams had happened to other kings and the selfsame dreams had been heard and explained by the then Bodhisatta. The present trends in human activities and life styles are conditioning human rebirths towards lower realms of existence in future rebirths. The damage done is deeply rooted and of so vast a magnitude, through such a lengthy span of time, that to reverse it would be impossible. However as individuals we can gain some reprieve by bearing in mind and acting on the basic teachings of the Blessed One: do not do evil, do good and purify the mind. Though living in conditions so unwholesome and defiled, one should strenuously avoid, and not be influenced by, the dross and dirt around. By understanding the true nature of defilement and its effects on the universe and its environment, one can learn to live in a manner that keeps one away from the
defilement enmeshing almost everyone at this and every moment. The Blessed One saw the difficulty in teaching the Dhamma because of its profound nature and the vast numbers of sceptics; even so, he decided that for the good of the few, he would endeavour to enlighten them. His Enlightened compassion enabled him to recognise and teach those who were ready to accept the Dhamma. Thus, though we are in an environment of filth and dross we should still practise good and wholesome habits to avoid the defiled state. The Blessed One has taught us three ways of living away from the defiled state we are caught in, these are: 1. 2. 3. 1. Keep the precepts Practise Vipassana meditation Know and live according to the Dhamma Keeping the precepts; that is developing morality (sila in Pali).
These are observing the precept of abstaining from: killing any living beings. taking what is not given. committing sexual misconduct. telling lies. taking any intoxicant or drug that causes forgetfulness.
By constant contemplation and being mindful of the intent of the precepts, one tends to be aware of the moral quality of one’s thoughts, speech and actions; thus one will act with restraint. One will then be guarded in thought, speech and action. In this way one will be able to develop a noble morality in one’s life, reducing in one’s own small way the defilement around the environment. Keeping the Eight Precepts* on certain Uposatha* days will be of great spiritual benefit. * The additional three of the Eight Precepts are: 1. to refrain from eating at the wrong time, the wrong time being between noon and the following dawn. 2. to refrain from dancing, singing, music and going to entertainments, which are stumbling blocks to wholesomeness; and to refrain from wearing garlands, using perfumes and beautifying the body with cosmetics. 3. to refrain from sitting or lying down on seats or beds with legs over the limit and on large seats or beds, and from using intricate or detailed bed coverings. *Holy days. 2. Practising Vipassana Meditation. THE BLESSED ONE: Bhikkhus; there is only one way to the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain and distress, for the attainment of the right method and for the realisation of unbinding; in other words the four foundations of mindfulness. (Mahasatipatthana Sutta) Thus as the Blessed One said, there is only one way for the purification of the mind and that is through the practice of
Vipassana Meditation; that is mindfulness of our bodily actions, our feelings, our minds and the mental objects arising due to workings of the mind. We should therefore spend time to learn and practise meditation on a regular basis. When we have attained to Vipassana Insights, we would have direct knowledge to some extend. Direct knowledge is not from hearsay, books, tradition or some elderly supposedly wise person; it is knowledge gained by oneself by seeking inwards rather than outwards. A pure mind is a miraculous mind; it is all encompassing and profound; it sees all and knows all, it leads to Nibbana; freedom from all suffering. 3 Know and practise the Dhamma *(so as to gain wisdom; panna in Pali)
(*Dhamma: the word Dhamma encompasses a wide spectrum of meanings. It is applied variously to signify: nature, law of nature, the law of truth, conditions, quality, property, characteristic, function, practice, duty, object, things, ideas, phenomenon, doctrine or teachings of the Blessed One, Buddhist scriptures; the whole universe is Dhamma. Usually when the word is written with a capital D, it relates to the teachings of the Blessed One.)
All defilement arises because of ignorance. By ignorance, the Blessed One really meant not knowing the real core of suffering, the cause of suffering, and He taught that there is a way out of this suffering. Thus we must learn: The Four Noble Truths The Noble Eightfold Path The Law of Dependent Origination Kamma Rebirth
These are the basic truths that one should be well-versed and practised in, that will be essential in wiping away the ignorance from one's mind and enable one to avoid evil and do good, thus purifying the mind. It is only through contemplation and the practice of meditation that one can gain such insight, and though it may appear an easy matter, it will require great determination to understand and practise the core of such spiritual development. The above are the three forms of trainings that will raise us above the levels of living in the mundane field of defilement generated by uncountable unwholesome actions, which are unfortunately, done by our neighbours, closest and dearest and ourselves. One must be able to rise above the level of defilement before one is capable of rescuing others, thus said the Blessed One. So to the King and to us, the meaning of the Sixteen Dreams has been unfolded and explained; the King was also informed that there were other instances where people had the same dreams through the ages before him, which the then Bodhisatta too had interpreted as warnings. We are thus left with the uncomfortable knowledge that what the Blessed One forecast in explaining the dreams will, alas, come to pass in our own time and it is left to each one of us to find our own way to the path of freedom. For the Blessed One has said: "by oneself is evil done and by oneself is one defiled; by oneself is evil not done and by oneself is one purified; purity and impurity depend entirely on oneself, no one can purify another." Dhammapada 165
The Blessed Ones through the infinity of ages have shown the way, unfortunately few will attempt the crossing and fewer reach the other shore.
EPILOGUE “Hell on Earth”; that was the headline in a local newspaper some 65 years ago. This cry originated in Japan after the tragedy of the bombing of Hiroshima. Atomic warfare was unleashed on Hiroshima with a bomb that had a force equal to 4.6 tons per square yard! The power of the bomb reduced homes to piles of cinders in seconds. Fire consumed whole neighbourhoods and fanned incendiary updrafts that tossed burning timber miles skyward! Roof tiles burnt and melted. The surfaces of gravestones melted and oozed to the ground. People were burnt by the instant heat to unspeakably painful deaths. A woman standing outside a bank was reduced to vapour; only her form on the building remained. In pain and desperate for relief, many victims pitched themselves into city rivers. A man riding a bike across a bridge was instantly transformed into a charcoal statue. Many who survived the super heated atomic blast lost body parts: ears, eyes, lips, and so forth. Blank expressions of survivors seemed to go beyond pain and relief; to a realm of chaos and confusion suggesting that more then their flesh had been seared! Screamed one Hiroshima victim: “This is hell on earth.” Such painful creams echoing in people’s minds, reverberating throughout Japan or possibly the world will long remain, recalling this tragic occasion. Many or should we say almost all of the dead were innocent victims of the ambitions of the rulers. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, whole families and their dependants, friends and neighbours, young and old in fact all manner of people in all walks of life in Japan died horrible deaths, as a result of decisions made by a minority of the country’s leaders desiring to conquer their neighbours to impose their will on them!
A great blast of superheated air toppled much of the city creating a holocaust in an instant, killing 80,000 residents, many vapourising as though in some dreadful science fiction episode! Before the Japanese leaders could come to grips with the attack on 6th August, their enemies dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki! 40,000 residents died just after 11.00am on 9th August. This bomb and the one on 6th August brought a swift end to the war. Japan, devastated by the bombs, surrendered on 15th August 1945. Damage to human lives and property was so enormous that it was impossible to account for it in numbers. Fallout from the bombs was not limited to the pernicious spread of radioactive particles. There was profound cultural, political and emotional impacts too. Humanity for the past half century has struggled with its conscience to cope with the results. Victims of the war have suffered and some are even now suffering bodily and mental scars of the hellish bombings! That was more than 65 years ago! Fast forward … in Sept 11th, 2001; actions born of hatred and delusions have extended world conflicts and made them grow in intensity to engulf the whole world. Specifically on 11th of September 2001, two commercial planes, hijacked in flight, were deliberately flown to smash into two skyscrapers known as The World Trade Centre in America, killing all on board. On a normal day, as many as 50000 tenants and visitors used to be in those buildings. It is now known that almost 4000 people of more than 80 nationalities perished in the attack. A third hijacked plane crashed into the defence headquarters of the
American nation, known as the Pentagon, in Washington, killing hundreds. Soon after this episode, rulers of many countries together with their allies declared war on the suspected perpetrators of the planned attacks. But who are the real perpetrators of such horrendous crimes, volunteering and planning to annihilate huge numbers of people, themselves included, without blinking an eye -- or did they close their eyes? Greed, hatred and delusions are the true perpetrators of all those horrendous crimes. The origin of the crimes was in the deluded minds of the leaders of countries whose objectives were to improve the wealth and position of their own particular countries; such individual objectives could be and usually are in direct opposition to those of countries, hence resulting in anger and hatred. The leaders’ rational is that they are out to improve their country’s lot and secure the safety of their people. These are their stated reasons, but in reality they have their own agenda to fulfil. Some countries are ruled by dictators who in most cases, usurped powers and position from the legitimate rulers earlier. Some have leaders that were elected by the people who chose them because of the material gains that the leaders had achieved for their countries. In their ambition the motives of these elected leaders are dictated by greed, hatred and delusion; thus their regimes are founded on unwholesome ethics.
In one way or another, in subtle and abstract forms, incidents and situations that happen round us locally as well as in the wider world are reminiscent of one or several of the Sixteen Dreams, singly or together, In the First Dream, we are warned of the chaotic situation that will be our lot in days to come. The slow but assured deterioration of human morality in our world is shown to us in the King’s Dreams; from the disarray of the weather, affecting man’s comfort and security, to the need to possess and enlarge his domain. His greed, spurred on by delusions of his greatness and hatred for others who thwart him in his efforts, drive him on to great heights of conquest. If he does not get what he wants anger helps to rationalise his greed. A person once told me that she would never try metta meditation again as it made her gentle and calm. She could not handle this calm and gentleness as she needed the energy of anger to help her achieve her goals in life! Anger was a very important part of her, without which she could not function effectively. Most people are like that. Necessity is the mother of invention. Here the necessity is to find means, fair or foul, to have more than enough, to gain advantage over others, to achieve material sufficiency and eventually feeds the ego with delusion. With the need to achieve these unwholesome materialistic objectives, the mind will work its devious ways to come up with the necessary tools to achieve these ends. Thus the rot of humanity had its beginning in the very centre of man’s existence, the mind. The rot has its innocent beginning in a little greed: just that little bit more of whatever and the doors of
greed are opened; the nagging and weak wholesome defences are over ridden. The initial successful acquisition of material gains will spur the achiever further; more of such successes will create powerful egos and delusions, spurring further efforts. Sometimes though, things don’t go well and anger will replace feelings of success. The greater the failure, the greater the degree of anger and frustration, engendering efforts with greater intensity and concentration. In most cases the goal has been lost sight of, the need to gain and to satisfy the ego becomes a greater quest. The importance of “I” replaces other considerations. Delusions and anger take hold of the person and irrational actions based on wrong views are the results. The unspoken threats are there; “Do you not know who I am, how dare you…..” or “We are the strongest people in the world; how dare you…” From a lone individual, the greed goes one step up to the family level and soon to the state level and country level. Everyone soon gets involved in the greed and each one will desire a small piece of the pie, then a larger piece of the pie, then the whole pie! Each and everyone will be vying for the same pie, desiring ever bigger portions. In the process, ethical and moral values such as honesty and sincerity, kindness and goodness are left behind, to be replaced by opposite values. One does not gain material benefits from kindly and goodly actions, so the great struggle goes on. Men and women take opposing stances. Women use their wiles on men to reach their goals. Men will exploit women and use them for their own ends. Young and old take up different positions. Each one wants to surpass the other in terms of achieving material gains. Towns compete;
each will rival the others to achieve material possessions. Jealousy and greed come to the fore. Anger helps them to stay on track to ensure that they are not bettered. The motto of the day will be to kill or be killed; silent and dangerous guerrilla warfare develops among “friends/associates” and citizens of the world. Soon the environment shows signs of pollution, from minds as well as from the atmosphere. From such polluted minds and conditions many unwholesome actions result. Wrong views will be born from such conditions, leading to wrong leadership in the struggles. Leaders harbour warped views based on material gain; their actions are based on such ignorant views and understanding. Governments join in; countries join in the wars of greed. Greed and delusions sprout up everywhere. Very few wholesome oases exists in these deserts of greed, anger and delusions; the three greatest insidious destroyers of human minds! In these fields of greed, anger and delusions, nothing remains sane; good seeds do not grow in such soil. There will be a small population of people with “little dusts” in their eyes, while others with greed, hatred and delusion in their eyes will elect leaders who are able to pander to their erroneous views; leaders who advise caution and restraint are not to their liking as these do not achieve the results demanded by angry minds. Restraint brings calm and rational action; however heated minds will want satisfaction to gratify their egos and peers, while those who do not agree to unwholesome actions keep to the background afraid of being trampled in the mad rush. Vengeful actions cause irreparable damage and escalate wrong actions to higher phases. Rulers and leaders will seek devious means to prevent others from being ahead of them in achieving
what they themselves are attempting to achieve; they will also set up defensive measures to protect themselves from harm, which they themselves have planned to unleash on others. Defensive measures can be double-edged swords as they can also be used as offensive weapons; thus the race to be powerful enough to prevent dangers to self and to be able to destroy others at will, becomes the greatest of human quests. This review shows the effects of accumulated greed, delusions and hatred through aeons and lifetimes, which are what the dreams foretell. Through the ages, leaders have never been as powerful as they are now. A leader or leaders (or in the context of the Dreams a ruler or rulers) are in possession of facilities that can destroy nations by a finger’s pressure, arming and delivering powerful weapons unknown and unheard of in the time of the Blessed One. Such weapons are easily available in the possession of many such leaders and they will not hesitate to utilise their extreme powers when advised that they should do so, to prevent dangers to their nation and to their own positions as wielders of power. THERE IS MORE Nature is upset and is conditioned to re-act to mankind’s unparallel quest for power and material gains. The year is 2010 and more happenings that point the direction humanity is conditioning the world to become. Scientists who are concerned with the world’s environment and have studied the conditions that has brought earth to the state that it is in at present time, know that there is very little that humans can do to reverse the damaging trend that has been set in motion through humans desire for progress.
Their voices of protests are seldom taken with the seriousness the situation demands. Volcanic eruptions of great magnitude is now unleashed on numerous countries; calamities no one ever dreamed about is being enacted in front of our eyes…better still we have invented various ways where we can see our own destruction. As the Blessed One said in times gone by, unwise people choosing low quality leaders will be the scene in later years, as is the case now. The majority of humans will be living their lives based on wrong and unwholesome values, thus acting as predicted in the Sixteen Dreams. Only a few have “little dusts in their eyes;” sadly the voices of such people will not be heard, rather the strident voices of unreason will drown out the sane utterings. The Blessed Ones are never wrong! The Blessed One said: Hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease, this is an eternal law.
Dhp. Yamaka Vagga No.5
THE WAY OUT With the Blessed One’s forewarning in the dreams, what then should ordinary worldlings do to avoid falling into the obvious dangers ahead? As in all things Dhamma, the Blessed One never leaves us in doubt as to the way out. Let us take the case of the Four Noble Truths. The Blessed One taught that all life is suffering; to be born is suffering, to be old is suffering, to be sick is suffering, to die is to suffer; this is the First Noble Truth. Further, He gave the cause of suffering; that it was due to greed that suffering arises; this is the Second Noble Truth. In the Third Noble Truth, He taught that there is a way out of this suffering and thus, in the Fourth Noble Truth He gave us the solution; walk the Eightfold Noble Path as the way out of suffering. Knowing the dangers ahead, we have the advantage of the direct knowledge and foresight of the Blessed One to show us the way out of this present and future dangers. We neglect this advice at our own peril! Thus Ends the Exposition of the Sixteen Dreams By The Blessed One May all Beings take Heed and Practise Heedfulness, The Path of Deathlessness
Back cover Thus did the Blessed One explain the dreams of King Pasenadi; and Bhante Suvanno has shown us how the modern trends in life were envisioned in the Sixteen Dreams. The dreams 2500 years ago describe the disintegration of the moral values of the world in what was then the future. We see all the happenings depicted in the dreams clearly and vividly and we can find situations in the world today paralleling those in the Dreams of King Pasenadi. The present trends in human activities and life styles are spiralling down towards lower realms of existence in future lives. The damage done is deeply rooted and of so vast a magnitude, through such a lengthy span of time, that to reverse it would be almost impossible. However as individuals we can extricate ourselves by bearing in mind the basic teachings of the Blessed One: do not do evil, do good and purify the mind. The future of the Sasana will be bleak. Now that we are in the human realm due to our past good deeds, and being in this Blessed One’s Sasana, we should in all earnestness learn and practise the proper Dhamma. Young and old must practice diligently with a good teacher and not waste this rare opportunity. Should we pass away without gaining some Dhamma knowledge in this existence we will never know in what time frame and into which realm of existence we shall be born at our next rebirth. We are standing at the edge of a great precipice. The choice is ours to distance ourselves from it or to be pushed over the edge.