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Published by Leong Yok Kee E2L4A Selesa Hillhomes Bukit Tinggi 28750 Bentong Pahang Email: email@example.com 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: Window to the Suttas 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
SIMSAPA SUTTA: THE SIMSAPA LEAVES
WHO IS THE BUDDHA? THE BUDDHA’S GREATNESS THE INVITATION TO EXPOUND THE DHAMMA 16 18 20
WINDOW TO THE SUTTAS FAMILY VALUES MANGALA SUTTA
THE SALIENT POINT OF THE SIGALOVADA SUTTA THE SIGALOVADA SUTTA ADVICE TO RAHULA 25 29 33 38 40 43 45 48 49 53 55 56 56 57 58 58 63 63 65
LIVING BY THE DHAMMA
TUCCHO POTHILA SEVEN TYPES OF WIVES FOUR TYPES OF HOMES
THE CONDITIONS OF WELFARE WELFARE OF THE BHIKKHUS
SEVEN GOOD QUALITIES SEVEN FACTORS OF ENLIGHTENMENT SEVEN PERCEPTIONS SIX CONDITONS TO BE REMEMBERED COUNSEL TO THE BHIKKHUS NOT A CLOSED FISTED TEACHER
OF DHAMMA AND FRIENDSHIP
KALYANAMITTATA (Good Friendship) UPADDHA SUTTA
THE GUARDIANS OF THE WORLD (Hiri and Ottappa) ALAGADDUPAMA SUTTA (MN 22) THE SNAKE THE RAFT MISREPRESENTATION PRAISE AND BLAME NOT YOURS THE EXPLICIT TEACHING AND ITS FRUITS FIVE MENTAL HINDRANCES ADVICE ON THE PATH REMOVING ANNOYANCE FIVE REFLECTIONS
67 68 68 69 71 72 73 74 76 78 79 79 80 82 85 87 87 88 92 95 98 105 108 108 109 109 110 110 111 112 114 115 117 118
CONDITIONS OF SPIRITUAL WELFARE
FOUR CONDITIONS OF WORLDLY PROGRESS FOUR CONDITIONS OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESS
GENERAL ADVICE TO LAY FOLLOWERS
HANDLING ANGER WRETCHEDNESS OF ANGER PUNNA SUTTA AKKOSA SUTTA – INSIGHT ELIMINATION OF ANGER ANGER EATING DEMON SIMILE OF THE OCEAN SIMILE OF THE TURTLE ARISING OF AN ENLIGHTENED ONE FOUR KINDS OF BLISS UNCONJECTURABLE SAMSARA PILGRIMAGE SITES THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS ARAHANT ARAHANTS INCAPABLE OF TRANGRESSION NO LACK OF ARAHANTS CRITERIA FOR THE BUDDHA’S TRUE TEACHING
MIRROR OF DHAMMA NIBBANA THE BUDDHA ONLY SHOW THE WAY GRADUAL PATH PROGRESSIVE INSTRUCTION IN THE DHAMMA
118 119 120 121 122 123 123 124 127 128 129 131 131 131 132 133 135 135 137 137 140 141 144 154 156 158 162 170 170 179 178
THE DUNG BEETLE INSIGHT GIVING A RAINLESS CLOUD THE WORLD
KING BIMBISARA’S SHARING OF MERITS THE GREAT DONATION OF VELUVANA MONASTERY PETAS, OLD RELATIONS OF KING BIMBISARA A PETA OF BONES A PETA OF FLESH MANY KINDS OF PETAS THE BURDEN OF KHANDHAS THE 4 STAGES OF ARAHANTHOOD MINISTERING TO THE SICK DISCOURSE ON THE END OF THE WORLD DISCOURSE ON THE CONTINUING EVOLUTION OF THE WORLD BRAHMAJALA SUTTA DISCOURSE ON WRONG VIEWS KASSAPA SUTTA (DEVAS TOO NEED MERITS) THREE CARDINAL DISCOURSES SETTING IN MOTION THE WHEEL OF DHAMMA THE NOT-SELF DISCOURSE THE FIRE DISCOURSE NOTES THE 3 SUTTAS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP
LOVING KINDNESS ELEVEN BENEFITS OF METTA THE NATURE OF KAMMA FRUITFUL KAMMA MODIFIABILITY OF KAMMA
179 183 184 186 188
THIS DHAMMA LITERATURE IS FOR FREE DISTRIBUTION Sabbadanam Dhammadanam Jinati The Gift of Truth Excels All Other Gifts This Dhamma literature is dedicated to The Memory of The Venerable Acara Suvanno Mahathera (1920(1920-2007) Sponsored by LIM KOK CHAI & FAMILY LIM KOK CHAI, MADAM YOONG FEE JU LIM GUANYOU JASPER, LIM GUAN HONG. May all be well and happy. This Dhamma literature is compiled so ALL can share the joy in knowing the greatest Teacher Ever: THE BUDDHA. May all beings share in these merits thus acquired.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
ASPIRATION & SHARING MERITS
LIM KOK CHAI & FAMILY “Idam me punnam (May these merits of mine) Asavakkhayavaham hotu (Lead to the extinction of defilement) Idam me punnam (May these merits of mine) magga-phalamagga-phala-nanassa paccayo hontu (Be a condition for the attainment of path and fruition knowledge) Idam me punnam (May these merits of mine) nibbanassa paccayo hontu (Be a condition for the attainment of Nibbana) punnaImam no punna-bhagam matamata-pitunanca acariyananca sabba-sattananca sabba-mittananca sabbasabbasabbasabbasabba-natinanca sabba-petananca sabbabhajema.” sabba-devatananca bhajema.” (We share these merits with our parents, teachers, all beings, friends, relatives, petas and devas)
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
The word Sutta literally means "thread', a discourse by the Buddha or His contemporary arahant disciples. After the Buddha's Parinibbana, the Suttas were passed on in the Pali language, according to a well established oral tradition, and were fully committed to written form during the Fourth Council in Sri Lanka, 1100 years after the demise of the Buddha. It was found necessary to collate and systematise the Teachings of the Buddha after his Parinibbana due to the deep concern that His Teachings may be distorted and corrupted by unscrupulous bhikkhus as was indicated at the passing away of the Buddha. The principle mover to convene the gathering to recite and collate the Buddha's Teachings was Maha Kassapa and the chief reciter was Ananda, the Buddha's sole personal attendant for the last twenty five years of the Buddha's life.
Thus, in all the recitation of the Buddha's Teachings, the first words are: “Evam me suttam…” in Pali or: "Thus, have I heard", as we know it today in English; "heard" as from the Buddha by Ananda (read The Ancient Theravada Councils by Jinavamsa). Over ten thousand Suttas are enshrined in the Sutta Pitaka, the principal body of scriptural literature in the Theravada tradition of the Buddha’s Teachings; the other two being the Vinaya or rules of discipline for the bhikkhu community and the Abhidhamma, being the study of ultimate realities. These Pali Suttas are widely accepted as the earliest and original record of the Buddha's Teachings from where other traditions originate. The assimilation of the Blessed One’s teachings into the tradition and cultures of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and many other nations serves to vary the pristine colour and taste of the Dhamma-Vinaya. This newly evolved mixture of Dhamma-Vinaya with various other traditional cultures became known by different names; such as Mahayana, Vajrana and others. The Blessed One can hardly be expected to recognise present day Dhamma-Vinaya, given the way it is practised today. The rich and colourful Tibetan cultures, having woven itself so intricately into the fabric of the Buddha’s Teachings, can hardly be called the original Dhamma-Vinaya as taught by the Blessed One. In the 45 years of His “walk-about” proclamation of the rediscovered Dhamma, in the northern part of India, the Buddha gave discourses on a very wide spectrum of universal realities. He spoke on the true nature of the universe; its beginning and its course through aeons in time.
He spoke on the beginnings of life; how it began and the causes for life recurrences; he spoke on the effects of thoughts, speech and deeds in conditioning the way to future births; he spoke on the immaterialistic nature of all living beings, celestial or mundane; he spoke on the destinations of all living beings when they cease to exist in their present forms. He also spoke on the moralities that needed to be cultivated; the way to their cultivation and the results of such cultivations. He spoke on the denisens inhabiting the various realms of existences; from celestial spheres of the highest purity to the lowest realms in the hellish regions. His Discourses cover each and every iota of universal existence. He never left out a single item that could help human beings attain to the highest state of purity so that those who earnestly and diligently follow His teachings will find their way to a state of Deathlessness; a state of non-suffering throughout. For He said: “I have set forth the Dhamma without making any making distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back.” He emphasised the efficacy of His Teachings and the Goal that will surely be realised, by the following short simile that Dhamma practitioners will surely be familiar with:
SIMSAPA SUTTA: THE SIMSAPA LEAVES At one time the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the Simsapa Grove. The Blessed One, taking a few Simsapa leaves in his hand, questioned the bhikkhus: "What do you think, bhikkhus? Which bhikkhus? are the more numerous, the few leaves I have here in my hand, or those up in the trees of the grove?" "Lord, the Blessed One is holding only a few leaves; those up in the trees are far more numerous." bhikkhus, more "In the same way, bhikkhus, there are many more things that I know, but have not revealed to you. What I have revealed to you is only a bhikkhus, bhikkhus, little. And why, bhikkhus, have I not revealed it? Because, bhikkhus, not it is not related to the goal, it is not fundamental to the holy life, does not conduce to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, tranquillity, knowledge, Nibbana. higher knowledge, enlightenment or Nibbana. That is why I have not bhikkhus, revealed it. And what, bhikkhus, have I revealed? This is Suffering, This is Cause of the Arising of Suffering, This is the Cessation of Suffering, and This is the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering.
bhikkhus, And why, bhikkhus, have I revealed it? Goal, Because this is related to the Goal, the Life, Fundamental to the Holy Life, Conduces to Dispassion, Tranquillity, Disenchantment, Dispassion, Cessation, Tranquillity, Kno nowledge, Enlightenment Nibbana, Higher Knowledge, Enlightenment and Nibbana, Therefore, have I revealed it. bhikkhus, Therefore, bhikkhus, your task is to learn: This is Suffering; This is the Arising of Suffering; his This is the Cessation of Suffering; This is the Path that leads to the Cessation of Suffering. That is your task." (SN 56.31; Translation by M. Walshe) The gist of the Blessed One’s words were that it would only take a few instructions to begin the practice to gain the state where higher knowledge would be attained, thereby leading to a state where all knowledge are also available to the practitioner. It would be a daunting task indeed, to even attempt to bring the whole of the Suttas by anyone to anyone; thus, ‘Window to the Suttas’ is a quick peek into a few samplings of these Suttas, so as to whet the interest of those in their journey to seek the Truth and serve as a menu board for them to fine tune their investigative efforts to discover the gems within the Suttas and hopefully they will then gain the right way to a life of moral purity.
Knowing the Suttas intimately is akin to knowing the ways to healing the ills and giving insights to the whys and wherefores of our suffering existence. The Suttas are as invaluable as are diamonds and are as rare, as they will be among us only for a limited time and will eventually be corrupted and lost; to be rediscovered after a very long world period. The Suttas are a tripartite set of Dhamma literature known as the Tipitaka. In the Pali language, “ti” means three and “pitaka” means basket; 'tipitaka', literally means 'the three baskets or collections’ of Dhamma of the Buddha; being the Discourses, the Vinaya rules and the Abhidhamma study. In this basket are found all that is needed to attain to a life of purity sufficient to lead to a state of nobility of mind to effectively eradicate all suffering thus leading to the state of Nibbana, if we but only sincerely and diligently seek to find that rare gem.
WHO IS THE BUDDHA? (Narada Thera)
Once a certain Brahmin named Dona, noticing the unusual markings of the footprint of the Buddha, approached Him and questioned Him: "Your Reverence will be a Deva?"
"No, indeed, brahmin, not.” a Deva am I not.”
"Then Your Reverence will be a Gandhabba?"
"No indeed, branmin, a Gandhabba am I not."
"A Yakkha then?"
"No, indeed, brahmin, not a Yakkha."
"Then Your Reverence will be a human being?"
indeed, "No indeed, brahmin, a human being am I not."
"Who, then, pray, will Your Reverence be?" The Buddha replied that He had destroyed Defilements which condition rebirth as a Deva, Gandhabba, Yakkha, or a human being and added: "As a lotus, fair and lovely, By the water is not soiled, By the world am I not soiled; Therefore, brahmin, am I Buddha."
The Buddha does not claim to be a god. He taught that there are countless gods, devas and brahmas who are also a class of beings subject to birth and death; but there is not a Supreme God, who controls the destinies of human beings and who possesses divine powers to appear on earth at different intervals, employing a human form as a vehicle. Nor does the Buddha call Himself a "Saviour", who freely saves others through his personal salvation. The Buddha encourages His followers to depend on themselves for their deliverance, since both defilement and purity depend on oneself. One cannot directly purify or defile another. Clarifying His relationship with His followers and emphasising the importance of self-reliance and individual striving, the Buddha plainly states: "You yourselves should make an exertion. teachers." The Tathagatas are only teachers." The Buddha only indicates the path and method whereby He delivered Himself from suffering and death and achieved His ultimate goal. It is left for His faithful adherents who wish their release from the ills of life to follow the path. "To depend on others for salvation is negative, Depend on oneself is positive." "Be an island unto yourselves; unto Be a refuge unto yourselves; Seek no refuge in others."
These significant words uttered by the Buddha in His last days are very striking and inspiring. They reveal how vital is self-exertion to accomplish one's ends, and how superficial and futile it is to seek redemption through benignant saviours, and crave for illusory happiness in an afterlife through the propitiation of imaginary gods by fruitless prayers and meaningless sacrifices. The Buddha was a human being. As a man He was born, as a Buddha He lived, and as a Buddha His life came to an end. Though human, He became an extraordinary man owing to His unique characteristics. The Buddha laid stress on this important point, and left no room for any one to fall into the error of thinking that He was an immortal being. It has been said of Him that there was no religious teacher who was "ever so godless as the Buddha, yet none was so god-like." In His own time the Buddha was no doubt highly venerated by His followers, but He never arrogated to Himself any divinity. THE BUDDHA’S GREATNESS Born a man, living as a mortal, by His own exertion He attained the supreme state of perfection; an Enlightened One; by which he is known as the Buddha, and without keeping His Enlightenment to Himself, He taught the world the way to perfection and the destruction of suffering. Instead of placing himself as an Almighty God over man, and rendering man a subservient position in relation to such a conception of divine power, He demonstrated how man could attain the highest knowledge and Supreme Enlightenment by his own efforts.
He taught that man can gain his deliverance from the ills of life and realise the eternal bliss of Nibbana without depending on an external God or mediating bhikkhus. He declared that the gates of deliverance were open to all, in every condition of life, high or low, saint or sinner, who would diligently seek and aspire to perfection. He did not force His followers to be slaves either to His teachings or to Himself, but granted complete freedom of thought and admonished His followers to accept His words not merely out of regard for Him but after subjecting them to a thorough examination; "... as the wise would test gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it on a piece of touchstone." He comforted the bereaved mothers like Patacara and Kisagotami by His consoling words. He ministered to the deserted sick like Putigatta Tissa Thera with His own hands. He helped the poor and the neglected like Rajjumala and Sopaka and saved them from an untimely and tragic death. He ennobled the lives of criminals like Angulimala and courtesans like Ambapali. He encouraged the feeble, united the divided, enlightened the ignorant, clarified the mystic, guided the deluded, elevated the base, and dignified the noble. The rich and the poor, the saint and the criminal, loved Him alike. His noble example was a source of inspiration to all. He was the most compassionate and tolerant of teachers.
His wisdom, compassion, renunciation, perfect purity, exemplary personal life, the blameless methods that were employed to propagate the Dhamma and His final success; all these factors have inspired about one fifth of the population of the world to hail the Buddha as the greatest teacher that ever lived on earth. THE INVITATION TO EXPOUND THE DHAMMA After His Enlightenment and having spent time in contemplation, the Buddha proceeded to the banyan tree and while contemplating in meditation the following thought occurred to Him. "This Dhamma which I have realised indeed is indeed profound, difficult to perceive, difficult to comprehend, tranquil, exalted, not within the sphere of logic, subtle, and is to be understood by the few who are wise; other beings are attached to material pleasures. This causally connected 'Dependent Arising' is a subject which is difficult to comprehend; and this Nibbana; the cessation of the conditioned, the abandoning of all passions, nonthe destruction of craving, the non-attachment, and the cessation, is also a matter not easily comprehensible. If I too were to teach this Dhamma, it would not be understood by them; that will be wearisome to me; that will be tiresome to me."
Then these wonderful verses unheard of before occurred to the Buddha: "With difficulty have I comprehended the Dhamma. There is no need to proclaim it now. This Dhamma is not easily understood by those who are dominated by lust and hatred. lustThe lust-ridden, shrouded in darkness, do not see this Dhamma, which goes against the stream, which is abstruse, profound, difficult difficult to perceive and subtle." As the Buddha reflected thus, he was not disposed to expound the Dhamma. Thereupon Brahma Sahampati, understanding with his own mind the Buddha's thoughts and, fearing that the world might perish through not hearing the Dhamma; just as a strong man would stretch his bent arm or bend his stretched arm even so did he vanish from the Brahma realm and appeared before the Buddha. And, covering one shoulder with his upper robe and placing his right knee on the ground, he venerated the Buddha with clasped hands and said thus:
"O Lord, may the Exalted One expound the Dhamma! May the Accomplished One expound the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes, who, not hearing the Dhamma, will fall away. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma." Further, he remarked: "In ancient times there arose in Magadha a Dhamma, impure, thought out by the corrupted. Open this door to the Deathless State. May they hear the Dhamma understood by the Stainless One! Just as one standing on the summit of a rocky mountain would behold the people around, even so may the All-Seeing, Wise One ascend this palace of Dhamma! May the Sorrowless One look upon the people who are plunged in grief and are overcome by birth and decay!” "Rise, O Hero, Victor in battle, Caravan Leader, Debt-free One, and wander in the World! May the Exalted One teach the Dhamma! There will be those who will understand." When he said thus, the Exalted One replied: thought, "The following thought, O Brahma, occurred to me; 'This Dhamma which I have comprehended is not easily understood by those who lustare dominated by lust and hatred. The lust-ridden, shrouded in darkness, do not see this Dhamma, which goes against the stream, perceive, which is abstruse, profound, difficult to perceive, and subtle'. As I reflected thus, my mind turned into inaction and not to the teaching of the Dbamma."
Brahma Sahampati appealed to the Buddha for the second time and He made the same reply. When he appealed to the Buddha for the third time, the Exalted One, out of pity for beings, surveyed the world with His Buddha-Vision. As He surveyed thus, He saw beings with little and much dust in their eyes, with keen and dull intellect, with good and bad characteristics, beings who are easy and beings who are difficult to be taught, and few others who, with fear, view evil and a life beyond. As in the case of a blue, red or white lotus pond, some lotuses are born in the water, grow in the water, remain immersed in the water, and thrive plunged in the water; some are born in the water, grow in the water and remain on the surface of the water; some others are born in the water, grow in the water and remain emerging out of the water, unstained by the water. Even so, as the Exalted One surveyed the world with His Buddha-Vision, He saw beings with little and much dust in their eyes, with keen and dull intellect, with good and bad characteristics, beings who are easy and difficult to be taught, and few others who, with fear, view evil and a life beyond; relenting, He addressed the Brahma Sahampati in a verse thus:
"O Brahma; Being aware of the weariness, men, I had no wish to teach amongst men, Excellent This Glorious and Excellent Dhamma. Now, Opened to them are The Doors to the Deathless State. ears Let those who have ears repose confidence. The delighted Brahma, with the happy thought that he had made the occasion for the Exalted One to expound the Dhamma, respectfully saluted Him and, passing round Him to the right, disappeared immediately.
on The Mangala Sutta on Blessings In ancient India, the people used to assemble and hold meetings in the town hall to discuss and elucidate such lectures so as to impart wisdom and knowledge that would be of benefit to them. Once, a discussion was held on the subject of “Blessings.” What is Blessing; and what constitutes Blessing? Far and wide all over India, the people debated and argued. Many points were raised and expounded but no decision could be reached as to what was the highest blessing. From the neighbourhood where it was first discussed, news of this controversy spread far and wide and yet no satisfactory answer could be obtained.
This debate was carried even to the spiritual realm of Brahma. After debating for about twelve years, the devas at Tavatimsa Heaven assembled one day and proposed to lay the matter before their King, Sakka Deva Raja. In order to obtain the correct answer to this controversy, they were advised by him to seek an answer from the Lord Buddha Himself. “For,” as he said, “if you wish to have a light, you must approach a fire to get it, you cannot get light from a firefly.” A certain Deva was requested to approach the Exalted One, who was at that time residing at Jetavana. Thus, far into the third watch of the night, when all was quiet and calm and the world was in deep slumber, this deva of wondrous beauty, with brilliant rays emanating from his body illuminating the whole of the Jetavana premises, approached the Exalted One. Having paid due respects and homage, the deva stood reverently to one side and so standing, laid before Him the following question:“O Lord, Many gods and men pondering on the question of blessings could not come to a decision. Therefore, may You, Lord please tell us what is the Greatest Blessing?” In His reply, the Exalted One expounded the Mangala Sutta, and thus expounded to the deva, the causes resulting in bliss are as follows:-
the associate te; "Not consorting with fools; the wise to associate; onou Honouring those worthy of honour; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. Residing in suitable locality; meritorious deeds in the past achieved; etting Setting oneself in the right course; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. learning, ellHaving learning, skillful in handicraft, well-trained in discipline, Imbued with good speech; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. cherish herishing Supporting mother and father; cherishing wife and children, Engaging in peaceful occupation; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. conduct; elping Generous; righteous in conduct; helping one's relatives; Blameless in action; This Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. loathing, abstaining evil, Greatly loathing, and abstaining from evil, Refraining from intoxicants; steadfast in virtue; efraining is Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. Humble and respectful; contented and grateful; istening occasions; Listening to the Dhamma on due occasions; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing.
Patient Tolerant; associating Path; Patient and Tolerant; associating with those on the Path; religious Engaging in religious discussions on due occasions; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. SelfChaste leading, Self-restraint, a Holy and Chaste life leading, Truths; realisation Perceiving the Noble Truths; and the realisation of Nibbana; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. Mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, liberated; From sorrow freed, defilements cleansed, fear liberated; Blessing. This is the Greatest Blessing. ever Those who thus abide, ever remain invincible, Bliss established. Blessings." These are the Greatest Blessings." This remarkable discourse should be learnt by heart and studied by all those seeking emancipation. It shows how pragmatic the Buddha’s teaching is, in which there is no room for superstition and rituals. Understanding and practice are vital; blind devotion and lip-service are futile and irrelevant to the realisation of the Buddha’s Dhamma. One who diligently practises the Dhamma shows how much they revere the Buddha. (This Sutta appears in the Sutta-Nipata (v.258ff) and in the Khuddakapatha. See Maha-mangala Jataka (No. 453). For a detailed explanation see Life's Highest Blessing by Dr. R.L. Soni, WHEEL No. 254/256.)
ON FAMILY VALUES SALIENT POINTS IN THE SIGALA SUTTA U Ko Lay1985 There are some people who wrongly believe that the Buddha's Teaching being directed to attainment of high spiritual goals is too lofty and sublime for the ordinary men and women of the workaday world to follow. They believe that it can be practised only by recluses who have renounced their homes, pleasures of the world and sensual delights, to devote themselves to the practice of pure life. It is a fact that, whatever the Buddha has said, in instructions or discourses to devas and men, has only one taste, one flavour; that of emancipation. But the Buddha's Teaching was meant not just for the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis who practised the Dhamma full time, leading a life of retirement in remote places, cutting themselves off from society. In his Teachings, the Buddha did not forget the needs and difficulties of the everyday world. The qualitative accumulation of his paramis (efforts for self-perfection) was not to be utilised for the benefit of the ascetics and recluses only. It was meant for all mankind as well as devas without distinction. To promote their welfare and happiness and to help them attain liberation from the round of rebirths is the sole purpose of the appearance of a Buddha in the world. The Buddha's repeated injunction to his followers was very simple and straightforward: Abstain from all that is evil. Develop and promote good deeds. Purify the mind. This is the Teaching of all the Budddhas He explained this simple injunction in diverse ways, adapting his thoughts and words to the needs and stages of development of his audience.
To the group of Five Bhikkhus, the wise sages who had attended upon him while he was searching after the Truth and who were already established in good moral conduct with prolonged training in mental concentration, he delivered his sermon announcing that he had discovered the Deathless, the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Path of Eight Constituents. To beings of superior and penetrating intellect such as the devas of the Tavatimsa realm or the Venerable Sariputta, one of his two Chief Disciples, the Buddha expounded the Abhidhamma, the Higher Teaching, which deals with ultimate realities, the analysis of mind and matter into their absolute components and which explains the system of causal relationships. In Sigala Sutta, although his effort was directed towards the same ultimate goal, his approach and method were different to suit the occasion. Young Sigala was the scion of a wealthy family of Rajagaha. His parents were devout followers of the Buddha and were well established in the Path. But young Sigala was aloof to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha. Inspite of his parents' repeated advice, he would not approach the Buddha and listen to His discourses, nor would he visit any of the leading disciples of the Buddha. He was interested in material progress and prosperity; he did not see any benefit in dealing with the Buddha or His disciples. He believed that he would have to make offerings to them and thus suffer material loss for himself by coming into contact with them. As the father was about to die, he left the advice "Dear son, worship the directions". The father gave this advice in the hope that one day the Buddha or His disciples would see him worshipping the directions, and would give him a suitable discourse that would benefit him.
All discourses given by the Buddha always dealt with topics that fell within the framework of the Noble Path of Eight Constituents divided into three groups: • • • The Morality (Sila) Group consisting of: Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood, The Concentration (Samadhi) Group consisting of: Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration, and The Wisdom (Panna) Group consisting of: Right Understanding and Right Thought.
On meeting with Sigala, the Buddha realised that the young man was ill-prepared to receive his Teaching on the Noble Path as a whole or as highly advanced expositions on it. He would have to start with the initial, preparatory group of Sila which deals with the practice of Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood. In the Sigala Sutta, the Buddha adapted his Teaching in such a way that the young householder at once saw in the discourse, lessons of direct practical application capable of immediate and fruitful use. The Buddha laid stress on social obligations, family responsibilities and adequate discharge of duties to society founded on individual good conduct and moral purity. He described the obligations and responsibilities in the relationship between parents and children, between teacher and pupil, between husband and wife, between friends, relatives and neighbours, between employers and employees. He explained also how the laity should look after the essential needs of the bhikkhus of the Order with lovingkindness and respect, and how the bhikkhus in turn should satisfy the religious needs of those who are less advanced intellectually and spiritually, by imparting knowledge of the Dhamma to them and helping them along the right path, thus leading them away from evil.
The way of life as envisaged and outlined in the Sutta for young Sigala is as applicable and beneficial today as it was in the Buddha's time. The advice given in the Sutta covers every aspect of human relationship based on lovingkindness, sympathetic understanding and charity so completely that it became known as the Code of Discipline for laymen. Whoever follows and practises it as laid down in the Sutta will bring goodwill, peace and harmony not only to his family but also to the society in which he lives. It was not the wise old man’s intention that his son followed any form of traditional practice, but that such a practice may one day attract the attention of the Buddha, whom he hope would then guide his son correctly; and his dying wish came true. As it happened the Buddha was on His regular alms round along a path in Rajgaha when He observed Sigala in the act of worshipping the six directions. The Exalted One stopped and questioned Sigala as to what he was doing. ‘I am only following my father’s advice’ Sigala replied. ‘He told me before he died to worship the six directions every day after my morning ablutions as it will bring prosperity and happiness to my life.’ The Buddha then replied that the true value in venerating the six directions was not as he had thought so. On confirmation from Sigala that he would surely be keen to know the correct reason, the Buddha explained in a lengthy discourse the true value in the veneration.
The Buddha then explained that the six directions represents parents, whom He identified as the east; teachers as the south; family (wife and children) as the west; friends as the north; ascetics as above and dependents (employees) as below. SIGALOVADA SUTTA: (abridged) Thus have I heard: On one occasion the Exalted One was dwelling in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary, near Rajagaha. Now at that time, young Sigala, a householder's son, rising early in the morning, departing from Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, worshipped with joined hands the various quarters; the East, the South, the West, the North, the Nadir, and the Zenith. Then the Exalted One, having robed himself in the forenoon took bowl and robe, and entered Rajagaha for alms. There, he saw young Sigala worshipping thus, and spoke to him as follows: "Wherefore do you, young householder, rising early in the morning, departing from Rajagaha, with wet clothes and wet hair, joined worship, with joined hands these various quarters; the East, the South, the West, the North, the Nadir, and the Zenith?" "Lord, my dying father said: The six quarters, son, you shall worship. And I, Lord, respecting, revering, reverencing and honouring my father's word, rise early in the morning, and with joined hands, worship these six quarters."
householder, "It is not thus, young householder, the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble." "How then, Lord, should the six quarters be worshipped? It is well, Lord, if the Exalted One would teach the doctrine to me showing how the six quarters should be worshipped in the discipline of the noble." well; "Well, young householder, listen well; I shall speak." "Very good, Lord," responded young Sigala. And the Exalted One spoke as follows: "And how, does a noble disciple cover the six quarters? These are quarters: the six quarters: should Parents should be looked upon as the East; Teachers as the South, Children Wife and Children as the West, Friends and Companions as the North, Servants and Employees as the Nadir, Employees Brahmans Zenith.” Ascetics and Brahmans as the Zenith.” In five ways, a Child should minister to his Parents as the East East: (i) Having supported me I shall support them, (ii) I shall do their duties, (iii) I shall keep the family tradition, (iv) I shall make myself worthy of my inheritance, (v) I shall offer alms in honour of my departed relatives.
In five ways, should the Parents show their compassion: (i) restrain them from evil, (ii) encourage them to do good, (iii) train them for a profession, (iv) arrange a suitable marriage, (v) hand over their inheritance to them at the proper time. In five ways Pupils should minister to a Teacher as the South South: (i) by rising from the seat in salutation, (ii) by attending on him, (iii) by eagerness to learn, (iv) by personal service, (v) by respectful attention while receiving instructions. In five ways, should Teachers show their compassion: (i) train them in the best discipline, (ii) see that they grasp their lessons well, (iii) instruct them in the arts and sciences, (iv) introduce them to their friends and associates, (v) provide for their safety in every quarter. In five ways, should a Wife as the West be ministered to by a Husband: (i) by being courteous to her, (ii) by not despising her, (iii) by being faithful to her, (iv) by handing over authority to her, (v) by providing her with adornments.
In five ways, should the Wife show her compassion to her Husband: (i) performs her duties well, (ii) is hospitable to relations and attendants, (iii) is faithful, (iv) protects what he brings, (v) is skilled and industrious in discharging her duties. In five ways, should a Clansman minister to his Friends and Companions as the North North: (i) by liberality, (ii) by courteous speech, (iii) by being helpful, (iv) by being impartial, (v) by sincerity. In five ways should Friends and Companions show compassion: (i) protect him when he is heedless, (ii) protect his property when he is heedless, (iii) become a refuge when he is in danger, (iv) do not forsake him in his troubles, (v) show consideration for his family. In five ways should a Master minister to his Servants as the Nadir: (i) by assigning them work according to their ability, (ii) by supplying them with food and with wages, (iii) by tending to them in sickness, (iv) by sharing with them any delicacies, (v) by granting them leave at times.
In five ways should the Servants and Employees show their compassion to him: (i) rise before him, (ii) go to sleep after him, (iii) take only what is given, (iv) perform their duties well, (v) uphold his good name and fame. In five ways, should a Householder minister to Ascetics and Brahmans as the Zenith: (i) by lovable deeds, (ii) by lovable words, (iii) by lovable thoughts, (iv) by keeping open house to them, (v) by supplying their material needs. The Ascetics and Brahmans should show their compassion towards him in six ways: (i) restrain him from evil, (ii) persuade him to do good, (iii) love him (iv) make him hear what he has not heard. (v) clarify what he has already heard, (vi) point out the path to a heavenly state. Thus spoke the Exalted One. When the Exalted One had spoken thus, Sigala, the young householder, said as follows:
"Excellent, Lord, excellent! It is as if, Lord, a man were to set upright that which was overturned, or were to reveal that which was hidden, or were to point out the way to one who had gone astray, or were to hold a lamp amidst the darkness, so that those who have eyes may see. Even so, has the Dhamma been explained in various ways by the Exalted One. I take refuge, Lord, in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. May the Exalted One receive me as a lay follower; as one who has taken refuge from this very day to life's end." (The Discourse to Sigala (DN 31): The Layperson's Code of Discipline. By Narada Thera) ADVICE TO RAHULA The exhortations given by the Buddha for the guidance and development of Rahula, the Buddha's own son, are examples of the Buddha's perfect wisdom and skill to fit the Dhamma to the needs and intellectual capacity of his listeners. The first exhortation (found in the Ambalatthika Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya) to Rahula when he was at the age of seven, dealt with truthfulness and mindfulness, which two are the foundations for building character and for developing the faculties of the mind. The Buddha made use of simple similes in the discourse to impress His teaching on the young mind of Rahula. The second exhortation to Rahula (in the Maha Rahulovada Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya) when he was eighteen years old, contained chiefly instructions on meditation, starting with mindfulness on respiration and
leading on to Insight Meditation. Rahula was taught also the insubstantiality of the five groups of grasping and the importance of maintaining equanimity on all occasions. The third discourse (found in the Cula Rahulovada Sutta of Majjhima Nikaya), given to Rahula when he was in his twenty-first year as a bhikkhu, dealt with the three characteristics of all conditioned existence (impermanency, unsatisfactoriness and insubstantiality). Contemplating on these three characteristics, Rahula finally attained Arahattaphala (arahanthood), the highest goal of a recluse's life.
He does not neglect meditation and contemplation. He commits himself to internal tranquillity of awareness
LIVING BY THE DHAMMA
A certain bhikkhu went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he sat there he asked the Blessed One: “‘Living by the Dhamma; living by the Dhamma’. Thus it is said, Lord. How does a bhikkhu live by the Dhamma?" "Bhikkhu, a bhikkhu studies the Dhamma, dialogues, narratives of mixed prose and verses, explanations, spontaneous exclamations, quotations, birth stories, amazing events. He spends the day in Dhamma-study. He neglects meditation and contemplation. He does not commit himself to internal tranquillity of awareness (Vipassana contemplation). This is called a bhikkhu who is keen on study, not one who lives by the Dhamma.
Then there is a bhikkhu who takes the Dhamma as he has heard it, studied it and teaches it in full detail to others. He spends the day in Dhamma-description. He neglects meditation and contemplation. He does not commit himself to internal tranquillity of awareness. This is called a bhikkhu who is keen on description, not one who lives by the Dhamma. Then there is a bhikkhu who takes the Dhamma as he has heard it, studied it and recites it in full detail. He spends the day in Dhammarecitation. He neglects meditation and contemplation. He does not commit himself to internal tranquillity of awareness. This is called a bhikkhu who is keen on recitation, not one who lives by the Dhamma. Then there is a bhikkhu who takes the Dhamma as he has heard it, studied it, thinks about it, evaluates it and examines it with his intellect. He spends the day in Dhamma-thinking. He neglects meditation and contemplation. He does not commit himself to internal tranquillity of awareness. This is called a bhikkhu who is keen on thinking, not one who lives by the Dhamma. Then there is a bhikkhu who studies the Dhamma, dialogues, narratives of mixed prose and verses, explanations, spontaneous exclamations, quotations, birth stories and amazing events. He does not spend the day in such Dhamma-study. He does not neglect meditation and contemplation. He commits himself to internal tranquillity of awareness (Vipassana meditation and contemplation). Dhamma. This is called a bhikkhu who lives by the Dhamma
bhikkhus Now, bhikkhus, I have taught you the person who is keen on study, the one who is keen on description, the one who is keen on recitation, the one who is keen on thinking, and One The One who lives by the Dhamma. Whatever a teacher should do; seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them, that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees, Over there… Empty dwellings. Practise meditation, bhikkhus. Do not be heedless. Do not later fall into regret. This is our message to you." Anguttara Nikaya V.73
TUCCHO POTHILA, VENERABLE EMPTY SCRIPTURE AN OFT TOLD TALE In the time of the Buddha there was a bhikkhu known as Tuccho Pothila. Tuccho Pothila was very learned, thoroughly versed in the scriptures and texts. He was revered by people everywhere and had eighteen monasteries under his care. When people heard the name "Tuccho Pothila" they were awe-struck and nobody would dare question anything he taught, so much did they revere his command of the teachings. Tuccho Pothila was one of the Buddha's most learned disciples. One day he went to pay respects to the Buddha. As he was paying his respects, the Buddha said, "Ah, Venerable Empty Scripture, you have arrived”. They conversed for a while until it was time to go, and then, as he was taking leave of the Buddha, the Buddha said, "Oh, leaving now, Venerable Empty Scripture?" On reflecting, the eminent teacher, that? What did he mean?" He everything he had learnt, until ‘Venerable Empty Scripture’, a practise." was puzzled, "Why did the Lord say thought and thought, turning over eventually he realised. "It's true! bhikkhu who studies but doesn't
When he looked into his mind he saw that really he was no different from laypeople. Whatever they aspired to he also aspired to, whatever they enjoyed he also enjoyed; there was no real renunciate qualities within him, no truly profound quality capable of firmly establishing him in the Noble Way and providing true peace.
So he decided to practise; sadly, no one wanted to take him as a student. All the teachers around were his own students, no-one would dare accept him. Finally, he decided to seek a teacher elsewhere. Packing his meagre requisites, he travelled to another town where he was not known. Coming to a big monastery he seek to see the abbot and requested for a teacher; he was told to report to a young bhikkhu. The young bhikkhu happen to have attained to the stage of an arahant and was agreeable to instruct him. However, to test Tuccho Pothila’s resolve, he asked that Tuccho Pothila walked towards a pond ahead and not to stop till he was ordered to. Tuccho Pothila obediently walked towards the pond. Seeing that there was no instruction to stop, he kept walking till he was waist deep, still not hearing any instruction, he kept on till his chin was touching the water and then only was the young arahant convinced that the old bhikkhu was ready for instruction. Thus, with proper guidance and instruction, Tuccho Pothila quickly reached the stage of an arahant. Tuccho Pothila was not living in the Dhamma, though he was teaching the Dhamma. He started off well, took instructions from the Blessed One Himself and practised diligently; he attained to some degree of success and was able to teach others the technique of meditation. He was praised for his teaching, so much so that, the desire for praise and fame got the better of him; thus he neglected his own practice and kept on feeding his happiness in doing a good teaching job; he did not recognise his reason for teaching.
The Blessed One saw his failing and realised that a little push would get him over his defilement. Thus, He addressed Tuccho Pothila as Venerable Empty Scripture, knowing that this would re-awaken his mind to practise. As in the case of Tuccho Pothila, we are apt to fall into the trap of sense pleasures, which can come in many forms and it is often that we do not recognise them as such. When we fail to see the realities of our defilement, we will surely have wandered off the Path of Dhamma. THE SEVEN TYPES OF WIVES One day, as the Blessed One was giving a discourse, much shouting and yelling was heard in the house as Sujata was again scolding the servants. The Enlightened One, being interrupted, enquired of Anathapindika what kind of a commotion this was, that sounded like the noisy shouts of fisher folk. The householder answered that it was his own daughter-in-law, who did not behave properly towards her husband or his parents, who did not give alms, who was faithless and unbelieving, and who was forever causing conflict. The Blessed One asked that she be called. When she appeared before him, he asked her which of the seven types of wives she wanted to be. She replied that she did not understand the meaning of this, and asked for more explanation. So the Enlightened One described the seven kinds of wives:
Who, with mind corrupted, is unfeeling Loves other men but her husband despises, He who with wealth has gained her She even seeks to kill — a Slayer is such a wife. Whatever her husband gets for her by trade, By skilled profession or a farmer's work, little She tries to filch a little just for herself. Such a wife may well be called a Thief. The slothful glutton, bent on idling, A woman rude and fierce with coarse speech, He who supports her, she dominates. Such a wife a Tyrant must be called. cares She who always for her husband cares With sympathy, like a mother for her son, storedWho carefully guards his stored-up wealth, Such a wife may Motherly be called. She who holds her husband in the same regard As younger sister holds the elder born, wish, Who humbly serves her husband's every wish, As Sisterly is such a wife known.
She whom her husband's sight will always please, Like friends who see each other after long a time, Who nobly bred and virtuous, devoted to her husband, A Friend is she as well as wife. From anger free, afraid of punishment, Who bears with her husband with patient heart, And without grudge obeys his every wish, A Handmaid is she and a wife. Who is called a Slayer, a Tyrant, or a Thief, Who is rude, unvirtuous, and disrespectful, Such kinds of wives will on their death To hellish worlds of misery depart. But wives like Mother, Sister, Friend and Handmaid, selfFirm in virtue, imbued with long termed self-control, Such kinds of wives will on their death To happy destinies depart. seven "These, Sujata, are the seven kinds of wives a man may have," said the Blessed One, "and which one of them are you?" Deeply ashamed, Sujata replied that from then on she would strive to be a handmaid to her husband. The words of the Enlightened One had shown her how to conduct herself as a wife. Later she became a faithful disciple of the Blessed One, to whom she was ever grateful for her salvation. (Sujata Sutta Anguttara Nikaya 4:91)
FOUR TYPES OF HOMES The Blessed One’s classification of the four types of homes: 1. 2. 3. 4. Home where a male ghost lives with a female ghost Home where a male ghost lives with a goddess Home where a god lives with a female ghost Home where a god lives with a goddess
The first home is where both the husband and wife break the Five Precepts, often quarrel, lose tempers often and use harsh and acrimonious words to each other. They are both wicked and narrowminded, not understanding each other’s problems, whims and fancies and they do not forgive and forget each other’s mistakes. The second home is where the husband has all the vices mentioned but the wife refrains from them. She is tolerant, patient, kind and understanding, wise, broad-minded and observes the Five Precepts. She loves her husband and children, forgiving and forgetting their shortcomings. The third home is where the husband does all the good deeds, while his wife has all the vices. A home where both partners do all the good deeds belong to the fourth category; the ideal home. It is where members live according to correct principles such that it generates an atmosphere of happiness, love, peace and harmony.
THE CONDITIONS OF WELFARE
In Magadha (The Maha-Parinibbana Sutta No.16 part) Thus have I heard: Once the Blessed One dwelt at Rajagaha, on the hill called Vultures' Peak. At that time the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, desired to wage war against the Vajjis. He spoke in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them." He addressed his chief minister, the brahman Vassakara: "Come, brahman, go to the Blessed One, pay homage in my name at his feet, wish him good health, strength, ease, vigour, comfort and speak thus: 'O Lord, Ajatasattu, king of Magadha, desires to wage war against the Vajjis. He has spoken in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them."'
And whatever the Blessed One should answer, keep it well in mind and inform me; for Tathagatas [Tathagata: lit. "Thus-gone" or "Thus-come"; an appellation of the Buddha, which he generally used when speaking of himself] do not speak falsely." "Very well, sire," said Vassakara. He ordered a large number of magnificent carriages, mounted one himself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out to Rajagaha towards Vultures' Peak. He went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then dismounting, he approached the Blessed One on foot. After exchanging courteous greetings and many pleasant words with the Blessed One, he sat down at one side and addressed the Blessed One as instructed by the king. At that time the Venerable Ananda was standing behind the Blessed One, fanning him. The Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda: "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis have frequent gatherings, and are their meetings well attended?" "I have heard, Lord, that this is so." "So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to growth be expected, not their decline. "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis assemble and disperse peacefully and attend to their affairs in concord?" "I have heard, Lord, that they do." "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.
"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis neither enact new decrees nor abolish existing ones, but proceed in accordance with their ancient constitutions?" "I have heard, Lord, that they do." long "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline. "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honour, esteem, and veneration towards their elders and think it worthwhile to listen to them?" "I have heard, Lord, that they do." "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline. "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis refrain from abducting women and maidens of good families and from detaining them?" "I have heard, Lord, that they refrain from doing so." "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline. "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honour, esteem, and veneration towards their shrines, both those within the city and those outside it, and do not deprive them of the due offerings as given and made to them formerly?" "I have heard, Lord, that they do venerate their shrines, and that they do not deprive them of their offerings." "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.
"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis duly protect and guard the arahats, so that those who have not come to the realm yet come might do so, and those who have already come might live there in peace?" "I have heard, Lord, that they do." "So long as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline." Then the Blessed One addressed Vassakara in these words: Vesali, "Once, brahman, I dwelt at Vesali, at the Sarandada shrine, and there it was that I taught the Vajjis these seven conditions leading to (a nation's) welfare. So long, brahman, as these endure among the Vajjis, and the Vajjis are known for it, their growth is to be expected, decline." not their decline." Thereupon Vassakara spoke thus to the Blessed One: "If the Vajjis, Venerable Gotama, were endowed with only one or another of these conditions leading to welfare, their growth would have to be expected, not their decline. What then of all the seven? No harm, indeed, can be done to the Vajjis in battle by Magadha's king, except through treachery or discord. Well, then, Venerable Gotama, we will take our leave, for we have much to perform, much work to do." "Do as now as seem fit to you, brahman." And Vassakara, approving of the Blessed One's words and delighted by them, rose from his seat and departed.
WELFARE OF THE BHIKKHUS
(Mahaparinibbana Sutta) Then, soon after Vassakara's departure, the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Go now, Ananda, and assemble in the hall of audience as many bhikkhus as live around Rajagaha." "Very well, Lord." The Venerable Ananda did as he was requested and informed the Blessed One: "The community of bhikkhus is assembled, Lord. Now let the Blessed One do as he wishes." Thereupon the Blessed One rose and went up to the hall of audience, took his appointed seat and addressed the bhikkhus:
"Seven conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say." "So be it, Lord." "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline; so long as they: 1. assemble frequently and in large numbers; meet and 2 disperse peacefully and attend to the affairs of the Sangha in concord; appoint 3. appoint no new rules, and do not abolish the existing ones, but proceed in accordance with the code of training (Vinaya) laid down; 4. show respect, honour, esteem, and veneration towards the elder bhikkhus, those of long standing, long gone and forth, the fathers and leaders of the Sangha, and think it worthwhile to listen to them; 5. do not come under the power of the craving that leads to fresh becoming; 6. cherish forest depths for their dwellings; 7. establish themselves in mindfulness, so that virtuous brethren of the Order who have not come yet might do already so, and those already come might live in peace. "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say." "So be it, Lord."
to "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline so they; long as they; 1. do not delight in, are not pleased with, and are not fond of activities, 2. are not fond of talk, 3. are not fond of sleep, and 4. company; 5. do not harbour, do not come under the spell of evil desires; bad 6. have no bad friends, associates, or companions; and 7. do not stop halfway on account of some trifling achievement. SEVEN GOOD QUALITIES "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say." "So be it, Lord." "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline; 1. so long as they shall have faith, 2. so long as they have moral shame and 3. fear of misconduct, 4. are proficient in learning; 5. resolute; 6. mindful, and 7. wise.
SEVEN FACTORS OF ENLIGHTENMENT "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say." "So be it, Lord." "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline so cultivate long as they cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment, that is: 1. mindfulness, 2. investigation into phenomena, 3. energy, 4. bliss, 5. tranquillity, 6. concentration and 7. equanimity. SEVEN PERCEPTIONS "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say." "So be it, Lord." "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, so long as they cultivate the perception; 1. of impermanence, ego2. of ego-lessness, 3. of (the body's) impurity, body's) 4. of (the body's) wretchedness, 5. of relinquishment, 6. of dispassion and 7. of cessation
SIX CONDITIONS TO BE REMEMBERED "Six further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed." "So be it, Lord." to "The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, so long as they; loving1. attend on each other with loving-kindness in deed, word, and thought, both openly and in private; 2. in respect of what they receive as due offerings, even share the contents of their alms bowls, they share them with virtuous members of the community; company 3/4. in company with their brethren, train themselves, openly and in private, in the rules of conduct, which are complete and perfect, spotless and pure, liberating, praised by the wise, uninfluenced (by mundane concerns), , and favourable to concentration of mind; 5/6. and in company with their brethren, preserve, openly and in private, the insight that is noble and liberating, and leads one who acts upon it to the utter destruction [further reading MN.48..AN.11/12] of suffering.
COUNSEL TO THE BHIKKHUS The Blessed One, living at Vultures' Peak, often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus: “Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration virtuous (sila) when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct ( ); Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom (samadhi); when it is fully developed by concentration ( ) Utterly freed from the taints [asava] of lust, ] becoming, and ignorance is the mind (panna)." that is fully developed in wisdom ( ) When the Blessed One had stayed at Rajagaha as long as he pleased, he addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Ambalatthika." "So be it, Lord." The Blessed One together with a large community of bhikkhus, took up his abode at Ambalatthika. At Ambalatthika the Blessed One came to stay in the king's rest house; and there, too, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus (repeat above sila, samadhi, panna). THE BLESSED ONE IS NOT A CLOSED FISTED TEACHER Thus have I heard: At one time the Blessed One was staying at Veluva village near Vesali. At that time the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus thus:
rains"Come, bhikkhus, enter upon the rains-residence (vassa) in places where you have friends, acquaintances and intimates in the the rainsneighbourhood of Vesali. As for me I shall enter upon the rainsresidence in this Veluva village itself. " The bhikkhus, assented respectfully, saying, "Very well, Venerable Sir." The Blessed One himself entered upon the rains-residence in the Veluva village itself. Sometime after the Blessed One had entered upon the rains-residence, there arose in him a severe illness; and he suffered excessive pain near unto death. This, the Blessed One endured with mindfulness, clear comprehension, and without being perturbed. Then this thought occurred to the Blessed One: “It would not be proper for me to pass away in the realisation of Nibbana without letting the attendant bhikkhus know, without taking community illness leave of the community of bhikkhus. I should ward off this illness till I so.” do so.” Then the Blessed One warded off his illness and recovered. Soon after, He came out and sat in the shade of the monastery. The Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One, made obeisance and addressed the Blessed One thus: "Venerable Sir, I see the Blessed One now at ease. I find the Blessed One now fit and fine, in good health. Though I now see the Blessed One thus, when the Blessed One was ill, my body felt heavy and stiff; my sight in all directions became dim; I became bewildered, unable to grasp doctrines.
However, I took some small comfort from the thought that the Blessed One would not pass away into parinibbana as long as He had not left any last instructions concerning the community of bhikkhus”. community bhikkhu “Ananda, what does the community of bhikkhu still expect from me? I have set forth the Teaching without any distinction of inner or outer doctrines. The Tathagata in his teaching does not hold anything secret in the closed fist of the Teacher (i.e. does not keep back anything). If a person should say: ‘I should lead the community of the person bhikkhus’ or ‘the community of bhikkhus should indicate me as the leader’, then it is that person who should lay down instructions concerning community of bhikkhus. such But, Ananda, the Tathagata has no such thoughts: ‘I should lead the community of bhikkhus’: or ‘the community of bhikkhus should indicate me as the leader’. Having no such thought, why should the Tathagata leave any last instructions concerning concerning the community of bhikkhus? frail, I am now frail, Old, aged, far gone in years, and in The last stage of life. I have reached The Eightieth year.
Just as a worn out old cart is held together merely by bindings and repairs, so the body of the Tathagata is held together merely by similar It His mind, similar to bindings and repairs. It is only when the Tathagata attains and is abiding in the Concentration of Mind that the Tathagata's body is at real ease and comfort. Therefore, let yourselves be your own firm support like an island in the ocean, yourselves, and let yourselves, and not any one, or anything else, be your own refuge; Let the Dhamma, the Teaching, be your firm support, Dhamma, and let the Dhamma, and not anything else, be your refuge. Ananda, how is the bhikkhu to make himself his own support, and to himself, make himself, and not any one or any thing else, his refuge; to make the Dhamma his firm support and to make the Dhamma and not anything else, his refuge? The bhikkhu in this Teaching, eeps Body, Keeps his mind steadfastly on the Body, Mindfulness, with Diligence, Comprehension and Mindfulness, Thus, keeping away Covetousness and Distress in hus, Distress Khandhas. The Five Khandhas.
He keeps his mind steadfastly On the Sensation, on the Mind and on the Dhamma Mindfulness, With Diligence, Comprehension and Mindfulness, hus, Distress Thus, keeping away Covetousness and Distress in Khandhas. The Five Khandhas. those Ananda, those bhikkhus who, either now or after my passing away, make themselves their own firm support and make themselves, and not anyone or anything else, their refuge: who make the Dhamma not their firm support and make the Dhamma, and not anything else, their refuge; all such bhikkhus among all the bhikkhus, who are desirous of .” keeping to the right practice, shall reach the highest, noblest state (Mahaparinibbana Sutta Gilana Sutta)
OF DHAMMAS AND FRIENDSHIP
KALYANAMITTATA: Good Friendship in the Spiritual Life. The Blessed One states that he sees no other thing that is so much responsible for the arising of unwholesome qualities in a person as bad friendship, nothing so helpful for the arising of wholesome qualities as good friendship (AN I.vii,10; I.viii,1). Again, he says that he sees no other external factor that leads to so much harm as bad friendship, and no other external factor that leads to so much benefit as good friendship (AN I.x,13,14). It is through the influence of a good friend that a disciple is led along the Noble Eightfold Path to (nibbana) release from all suffering (SN 45:2). Good friendship means considerably more than associating with people that one finds amenable and who share one's interests. It means in effect seeking out wise companions to whom one can look for guidance and instruction.
The task of the noble friend is not only to provide companionship in the walking of the Path; the truly wise and compassionate friend is one who, with understanding and sympathy of heart, is ready to criticise and admonish, to point out one's faults, to exhort and encourage, perceiving that the final end of such friendship is growth in the Dhamma. The Blessed One succinctly expresses the proper response of a disciple to such a good friend in a verse of the Dhammapada: "If one finds a person who points out one's faults and who reproves one, one should follow such a wise and sagacious counsellor as one would a guide to hidden treasure" (Dhp. 76). The Blessed One offers us crystal-clear advice how to recognise good friends, how to distinguish good advisors from bad advisors. In the Shorter Discourse on a Full-Moon Night (MN 110) he explains the difference between the companionship of the bad person and the companionship of the good person. The bad person chooses as friends and companions those who are without faith, whose conduct is marked by an absence of shame and moral dread, who have no knowledge of spiritual teachings, who are lazy and unmindful, and who are devoid of wisdom. As a consequence of choosing such bad friends as his advisors, the bad person plans and acts for his own harm, for the harm of others, and the harm of both, and he meets with sorrow and misery. In contrast, the Blessed One continues, the good person chooses as friends and companions those who have faith, who exhibit a sense of shame and moral dread, who are learned in the Dhamma, energetic in cultivation of the mind, mindful, and possessed of wisdom.
Resorting to such good friends, looking to them as mentors and guides, the good person pursues these same qualities as his own ideals and absorbs them into his character. Thus, while drawing ever closer to deliverance himself, he becomes in turn a beacon light for others. Such a one is able to offer those who still wander in the dark an inspiring model to emulate, and a wise friend to turn to for guidance and advice. UPADDHA SUTTA: I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sakyans. There Venerable Ananda went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having venerated the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, the Venerable Ananda said to the Blessed One: “Lord, admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie; this is half of the holy life”. (Half of the Holy Life; sn 45.2) "Don't say that, Ananda. Don't say that. Admirable friendship, Admirable companionship, Admirable camaraderie Is truly the whole of the holy life. Friends, When a bhikkhu has Admirable People as Friends, Comrades, Companions, and Comrades, He can be expected to develop and pursue Path. The Noble Eightfold Path. And how does a bhikkhu who has admirable people as friends, companions, and comrades, develop and pursue the noble eightfold path?
evelops: A bhikkhu develops: Right View, Right Resolve; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Livelihood; Right Effort; oncentration; Right Mindfulness; Right Concentration; on Dependent on Seclusion, on Dispassion, on Cessation; in Resulting in Relinquishment. people This is how a bhikkhu who has admirable people as friends, colleagues, companions, and colleagues, develops and pursues the Noble Path. Eightfold Path. And through this line of reasoning one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life: It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to ageing age age have gained release from ageing, that beings subject to death have sorrow, gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable actually companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life."
THE GUARDIANS OF THE WORLD HIRI AND OTTAPPA by Bhikkhu Bodhi The Blessed One points to two mental qualities as the underlying safeguards of morality; as the protectors of both the individual and society as a whole. These two qualities are; in Pali, hiri and ottappa. Hiri is an innate sense of shame over moral transgression; ottappa is moral dread, fear of the results of wrong-doing. The Blessed One calls these two states the bright guardians of the world. He gives them this designation because as long as these two states prevail in people's minds, the moral standards of the world remain intact, while when their influence wanes the human world falls into unabashed promiscuity and violence, becoming almost indistinguishable from the animal realm (Itiv. 42). While moral shame and fear of wrong-doing are united in the common task of protecting the mind from moral defilement, they differ in their individual characteristics and modes of operation. Hiri, the sense of shame, has an internal reference; it is rooted in selfrespect and induces us to shrink from wrong-doing out of a feeling of personal honour. Ottappa, fear of wrong-doing, has an external orientation. It is the voice of conscience that warns us of the dire consequences of moral transgression: blame and punishment by others, the painful kammic results of evil deeds, the impediment to our desire for ending of suffering.
The sense of shame spurs us to overcome unwholesome mental states because we recognise that such states are blemishes on our character. They detract from the inward loftiness of character to be fashioned by the practice of the Dhamma, the stature of the Noble Ones. Fear of wrong-doing bids us to retreat from morally risky thoughts and actions because we recognise that such deeds are seeds with the potency to yield fruits that inevitably will be bitter. The Blessed One asserts that whatever evil arises springs from a lack of shame and fear of wrong, while all virtuous deeds spring from the sense of shame and fear of wrong. ALAGADDUPAMA SUTTA THE SNAKE: Nyanaponika Thera (A translation) "There are here, O bhikkhus, some foolish men who study the Teaching; having studied it, they do not wisely examine the purpose do of those teachings. To those who do not wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will not yield insight. They study the Teaching only to use it for criticising or for refuting others in They disputation. They do not experience the true purpose for which they ought to study the Teaching. To them these teachings wrongly them grasped, will bring harm and suffering for a long time. Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants a snake, looks for a snake, goes in search of a snake. He then sees a large snake, and when he is grasping its body or its tail, the snake turns back on him and bites his turns hand or arm or some other limb of his. And because of that he and suffers death or deadly pain; and why? Because of his wrong grasp of the snake.
But there are here, O bhikkhus, some noble sons who study the Teaching; and having studied it, they examine wisely the purpose of those teachings. To those who wisely examine the purpose, these teachings will yield insight. They do not study the Teaching for the sake of criticising nor for experience refuting others in disputation. They experience the purpose for which they study the Teaching; and to them these teachings being and rightly grasped, will bring welfare and happiness for a long time; and why? Because of their right grasp of the teachings. Suppose, bhikkhus, a man wants a snake, looks for a snake, goes in search of a snake. He then sees a large snake, and with a forked stick he holds it firmly down. Having done so he catches it firmly by although the neck. Then although the snake might entwine with the coils of its some body that man's hand or arm or some other limb of his, still he does not on that account suffer death or deadly pain; and why not? Because of his right grasp of the snake. Therefore, O bhikkhus, if you know the purpose of what I have said, you you should keep it in mind accordingly. But if you do not know the question purpose of what I have said, you should question me about it, or else wise.” ask those bhikkhus who are wise.” THE RAFT "I shall show you, bhikkhus, the Teaching's similitude to a raft; as of having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to. Listen, bhikkhus, and heed well what I shall say".
"Yes, Lord," replied the bhikkhus and the Blessed One spoke thus: "Suppose, bhikkhus, there is a man journeying on a road and he sees a vast expanse of water of which this shore is perilous and perilous fearful, while the other shore is safe and free from danger. But there is no boat for crossing nor is there a bridge for going over from this side to the other. So the man thinks: 'This is a vast expanse of water; and this shore is perilous and fearful, but the other shore is safe and free from danger. There is, however, no boat here for crossing, nor a bridge for going over from this side to the other. Suppose I gather reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and bind them into a raft.' man Now that man collects reeds, sticks, branches and foliage, and binds labou them into a raft. Carried by that raft, labouring with hands and feet, he safely crosses over to the other shore. Having crossed and arrived at the other shore, he thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, labouring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not lift this raft on my head or put it on my shoulders, and go where I like?' "What do you think about it, O bhikkhus? Will this man by acting thus, do what should be done with a raft?" raft "No, Lord"
"How then, bhikkhus, would he be doing what ought to be done with a raft? Here, bhikkhus, having got across and arrived at the other shore, the man thinks: 'This raft, indeed, has been very helpful to me. Carried by it, and labouring with hands and feet, I got safely across to the other shore. Should I not pull it up now to the dry land or let it float in the water, and then go as I please?' By acting thus, bhikkhus, would that man do what should be done with a raft? "In the same way, bhikkhus, have I shown to you the Teaching's similitude to a raft: as having the purpose of crossing over, not the purpose of being clung to. "You, O bhikkhus, who understand the Teaching's similitude to a teachings, raft, you should let go even good teachings, how much more false ones (MN 22). MIS REPRESENTATION "So teaching, so proclaiming, O bhikkhus, I have been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans brahmans: 'A nihilist is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.' "As I am not as I do not teach, so have I been baselessly, vainly, falsely and wrongly accused by some ascetics and brahmans thus:
'A nihilist is the ascetic Gotama; He teaches the annihilation, the destruction, the non-being of an existing individual.' "What I teach now as before, O bhikkhus, is suffering and the cessation of suffering.” PRAISE AND BLAME reason, and "If for that reason, others revile, abuse, scold and insult the Perfect One, on that account, O bhikkhus, the Perfect One will not feel annoyance, nor dejection, nor displeasure in his heart. And if for that reason others respect, revere, honour and venerate the Perfect One, on that account the Perfect One will not feel delight, nor joy, nor elation in his heart. If for that reason others respect, revere, honour and venerate the (mindPerfect One, He will think: 'It is towards this (mind-body aggregate) perform which was formerly fully comprehended, that they perform such acts.' "Therefore, O bhikkhus, if you, too, are reviled, abused, scolded and insulted by others, you should not on that account entertain annoyance, nor dejection, nor displeasure in your hearts. And if others respect, revere, honour and venerate you, on that account you should not entertain delight, nor joy, nor elation in your delight, joy, hearts.
If others respect, revere, honour and venerate you, you should think: (mind'It is towards this (mind-body aggregate) which was formerly perform comprehended, that they perform such acts.' NOT YOURS "Therefore, bhikkhus, give up whatever is not yours. Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? Corporeality is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Feeling is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long bring you welfare and happiness. Perception is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Mental formations are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. Consciousness is not yours. Give it up! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness.
think, "What do you think, bhikkhus: if people were to carry away the grass, sticks, branches and leaves in this Jeta Grove, or burnt them or did with them what they pleased, would you think: These people carry us away, or burn us, or do with us as they please?" "No, Lord." "Why not?" Because, Lord, that is neither our self nor the property of our self." "So, too, bhikkhus, give up what is not yours! Your giving it up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness. What is it that is not yours? perception; Corporeality; feeling; perception; mental formations; consciousness are not yours. Give them up! Your giving them up will for a long time bring you welfare and happiness." THE EXPLICIT TEACHING AND ITS FRUIT "Bhikkhus, this Teaching so well proclaimed by me, is plain, open, explicit, free of patchwork. In this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork; for those who are arahants, free of taints, who have accomplished and completed their task, have laid achieved down the burden, achieved their aim, severed the fetters binding to existence, who are liberated by full knowledge, there is no (future) round of existence that can be ascribed to them.
"Bhikkhus, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is and plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those bhikkhus who have abandoned the five lower fetters will all be reborn spontaneously (in the Pure Abodes) and there they will pass away finally, no more returning from that world. proclaimed "Bhikkhus, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those bhikkhus who have abandoned three fetters and have reduced greed, hatred and oncedelusion, are all once-returners, and, returning only once to this suffering. world, will then make an end of suffering. "Bhikkhus, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those bhikkhus who have streamabandoned three fetters, are all stream-enterers, no more liable to Enlightenment. downfall, assured, and headed for full Enlightenment. "Bhikkhus, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit, and free of patchwork, those bhikkhus who are mature in Dhamma, mature in faith, are all headed for full Enlightenment. so "Bhikkhus, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those who have simply faith in me, simply love for me, are all destined for heaven" heaven" ven Thus said the Blessed One. Satisfied, the bhikkhus rejoiced in the words of the Blessed One.
THE FIVE MENTAL HINDRANCES Unshakable deliverance of the mind is the highest goal in the Buddha's doctrine. Here, deliverance means: the freeing of the mind from all limitations, fetters, and bonds that tie it to the Wheel of Suffering, to the Circle of Rebirth. It means: the cleansing of the mind of all defilements that mar its purity; the removing of all obstacles that bar its progress from the mundane to the supramundane consciousness, that is, to Arahantship. (Selected Texts from the Pali Canon and the Commentaries by Nyanaponika Thera) Many are the obstacles which block the road to spiritual progress, but there are five in particular which, under the name of hindrances, are often encountered in our practice of the Dhamma: Sensual desire; Ill-will; Sloth and torpor Restlessness and remorse Sceptical doubt They are called "hindrances" because they hinder and envelop the mind in many ways, obstructing its development. According to the Buddha’s teachings, spiritual development is two-fold: through tranquillity (samatha-bhavana) and through insight (vipassana-bhavana). Tranquillity is gained by complete concentration of the mind during the meditative absorptions. For achieving these absorptions, the overcoming of the five hindrances, at least temporarily, is a preliminary condition. It is especially in the context of achieving the absorptions that the Buddha often mentions the five hindrances in his discourses.
The Blessed One: There are five impediments and hindrances, stultify overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight. What five? Sensual desire is an impediment and hindrance, an overgrowth of the mind that stultifies insight. IllIll-will, Sloth and torpor; Restlessness and remorse; Sceptical doubt are impediments and hindrances, overgrowths of the mind that that stultify insight. Without having overcome these five, it is impossible for a bhikkhu whose insight thus lacks strength and power, to know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; nor will he be state capable of realising that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity. But if a bhikkhu has overcome these five impediments and hindrances, these overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight, then it strong is possible that, with his strong insight, he can know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; and he will be capable of realising that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity. AN 5:51
ADVICE ON THE PATH Lay Follower: "Venerable Sir, to what extent is one a lay follower?" Buddha, "Jivaka, when one has gone to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha for refuge, then to that extent is one a lay follower." "And to what extent, venerable sir, is one a virtuous lay follower?" "Jivaka, when one abstains from taking life, from stealing, from sexual misconduct, from lying, and from fermented drinks that lead to heedlessness, then to that extent is one a virtuous lay follower." "And to what extent, venerable sir, is one a lay follower who practises both for his own benefit and the benefit of others?" "Jivaka, when a lay follower himself is consummate in conviction and encourages others; • in the consummation of conviction… • in virtue and encourages others … • in generosity and encourages others … generosity • desires to see the bhikkhus and encourages others… • wants to hear the true Dhamma and encourages others… • habitually remembers the Dhamma and encourages others… remembers • explores the meaning of the Dhamma and encourages others… meaning • knowing both the Dhamma and its meaning, practises the Dhamma in line with the Dhamma and encourages others…: then to that extent he is a lay follower who practises both for his own practises benefit and the benefit of others." (Anguttara Nikaya VIII.26 Jivaka Sutta).
REMOVING ANNOYANCE "Bhikkhus, there are these five ways of removing annoyance, when it bhikkhu. arises in a bhikkhu. What are the five? Loving1. Loving-kindness can be maintained in being towards a person with whom you are annoyed: 2. Compassion can be maintained in being … 3. Onlooking equanimity can be maintained in being …. 4. The forgetting and ignoring of a person … can be practised 5. Ownership of deeds in a person can be concentrated upon thus: 'This good person is owner of his deeds, heir to his deeds, his deeds are the womb from which he is born, his deeds are his kin for whom he is responsible, his deeds are his refuge, he is heir to his deeds, be they good or bad.' (Anguttara Nikaya V.161 Aghatapativinaya Sutta) FIVE DAILY REFLECTIONS "There are these five facts that one should reflect on often, whether one is a woman or a man, lay or ordained. Which five? 1. ‘I am subject to ageing, have not gone beyond ageing.’
2. 3. 4. ‘I am subject to illness, have not gone beyond illness.’ have ‘I am subject to death, have not gone beyond death.’ ‘I am subject to change; all that is mine, dear and delightful, will I all change and vanish.
5. ‘I am the owner of my actions (kamma), heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.’ (Anguttara Nikaya V-57 Upajjhatthana Sutta)
CONDITIONS OF SPIRITUAL WELFARE
In this sutta, the Blessed One instructs wealthy householders how to preserve and increase their prosperity and how to avoid loss of wealth. Wealth alone, however, does not make a complete man or a harmonious society. Possession of wealth all too often multiplies man's desires, and he is ever in the pursuit of amassing more wealth and power. This unrestrained craving, however, leaves him dissatisfied and stifles his spiritual fulfilment. It creates conflict and disharmony in society through the resentment of the underprivileged who feel themselves exploited by the effects of unrestrained craving. Therefore the Blessed One follows up on his advice on material welfare with four essential conditions for spiritual welfare:
• • • •
Confidence (in the Master's Enlightenment), Virtue, Liberality and Wisdom.
These four will instill in man a sense of higher values. He will then not only pursue his own material concern, but also be aware of his duty towards society. The observing of these conditions of material and spiritual welfare will make for an ideal citizen in any society. Thus have I heard; once the Exalted One was dwelling amongst the Koliyans, in their market town named Kakkarapatta. Then Dighajanu, a Koliyan, approached the Exalted One, respectfully saluted Him and sat on one side. Thus seated, he addressed the Exalted One as follows: "We, Lord, are laymen who enjoy worldly pleasure. We lead a life encumbered by wife and children. We use sandalwood of Kasi. We deck ourselves with garlands, perfume and unguents. We use gold and silver. To those like us, O Lord, let the Exalted One preach the Dhamma, teach those things that lead to weal and happiness in this life and to weal and happiness in future life." [Anguttara Nikaya VIII.54] Translated from the Pali by Narada Thera.
THE FOUR CONDITIONS OF WORLDLY PROGRESS "Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in this very life. Which four? 1. The accomplishment of persistent effort; or alertness and doing occupation. diligence in doing one’s business or occupation. 2. The accomplishment of watchfulness; or wariness, being not watchful so that your worldly possessions may not be lost. 3. Good friendship; that is associating with good friends and livelihood 4. Balanced livelihood; or right livelihood and living within one’s means. means.  What is the accomplishment of persistent effort? householder Herein, Vyagghapajja, by whatsoever activity a householder earns his living, whether by farming, by trading, by rearing cattle, by archery, by service under the king, or by any other kind of craft; at that he becomes skillful and is not lazy. He is endowed ways with the power of discernment as to the proper ways and means; he is able to carry out and allocate (duties). This is called the accomplishment of persistent effort.  What is the accomplishment of watchfulness? Herein, Vyagghapajja, whatsoever wealth a householder is in possession of, obtained by dint of effort, collected by strength of arm, by the sweat of his brow, justly acquired by right means; such he husbands well by guarding and watching so that kings would not seize it, thieves would not steal it, fire would not burn carry illit, water would not carry it away, nor ill-disposed heirs remove it. This is the accomplishment of watchfulness.
 What is good friendship? Herein, Vyagghapajja, in whatsoever village or market town a householder dwells, he associates, converses, engages in with discussions with householders or householders' sons, whether faith, young and highly cultured or old and highly cultured, full of faith, wisdom. full of virtue, full of charity and full of wisdom. He acts in accordance with the faith of the faithful, with the virtue of the with virtuous, with the charity of the charitable, with the wisdom of the wise. This is called good friendship.  What is balanced livelihood? "Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income. Just as the goldsmith, or an apprentice of his, knows, on holding up a balance, that by so much it has dipped down, by so much it has tilted up; even so a householder, knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income. householder If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with little income were to lead an extravagant life, there would be those who say; 'This person enjoys woodhis property like one who eats wood-apple.' If, Vyagghapajja, a householder with a large income were to lead a wretched life, there would be those who say; 'This person will die like a starveling.'
The wealth thus amassed, Vyagghapajja, has four sources of destruction: (i) debauchery, ii) (ii) drunkenness, iii) (iii) gambling, iv) evil(iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers. Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and outlets, if a man should close the inlets and open the outlets and there should be no adequate rainfall, decrease of water is to be expected in that tank, and not an increase; even so there are four sources for the destruction of amassed wealth; debauchery, drunkenness, gambling, eviland friendship, companionship and intimacy with evil-doers. There are four sources for the increase of amassed wealth: (i) abstinence from debauchery, (ii) abstinence from drunkenness, non(iii) non- indulgence in gambling, (iv) friendship, companionship and intimacy with the good. Just as in the case of a great tank with four inlets and four outlets, if a person were to open the inlets and close the outlets, and there should also be adequate rainfall, an increase in water is certainly to be expected in that tank and not a decrease, even so these four conditions are the sources of increase of amassed wealth. These four conditions, Vyagghapajja, are conducive to a this householder's weal and happiness in this very life.
FOUR CONDITIONS OF SPIRITUAL PROGRESS "Four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in his future life. Which four? (1) the accomplishment of faith, (2) the accomplishment of virtue, charity (3) the accomplishment of charity and (4) the accomplishment of wisdom.  What is the accomplishment of faith? Herein a householder is possessed of faith, he believes in the Enlightenment of the Perfect One (Tathagata): Thus, indeed, enlightened, is that Blessed One: he is the pure one, fully enlightened, wellendowed with knowledge and conduct, well-gone, the knower of worlds, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, the teacher allof gods and men, all-knowing and blessed. This is called the accomplishment of faith.  What is the accomplishment of virtue? Herein a householder abstains from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and from intoxicants that cause infatuation and heedlessness. This is called the accomplishment of virtue.  What is the accomplishment of charity? Herein a householder dwells at home with heart free from the stain of avarice, devoted to charity, open-handed, delighting in opengenerosity, attending to the needy, delighting in the distribution of alms. This is called the accomplishment of charity.
 What is the accomplishment of wisdom? Herein a householder is wise: he is endowed with wisdom that understands the arising and cessation (of the five aggregates of existence); he is possessed of the noble penetrating insight that suffering. leads to the destruction of suffering. This is called the accomplishment of wisdom. Vyagghapajja, These four conditions, Vyagghapajja, conduce to a householder's weal and happiness in his future life. and
GENERAL ADVICE TO LAY FOLLOWERS
Unsightly Faces of Anger Anger
HANDLING ANGER "Bhikkhus, there are these three types of individuals to be found existing in the world. Which three? an individual: There is an individual: Like an inscription in a rock, Another Another like an inscription in soil, And yet another like an inscription in water. "And how is an individual like an inscription in rock?
A certain individual is often angered, and his anger stays with him a not long time. Just as an inscription in rock is not quickly effaced by wind or water and lasts a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered. "And how is an individual like an inscription in soil? A certain individual is often angered, but his anger doesn't stay with time. him a long time. Just as an inscription in soil is quickly effaced by certain wind or water and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual is often angered. "And how is an individual like an inscription in water? roughly, A certain individual, when spoken to roughly, spoken to harshly, spoken to in an unpleasing way, is nevertheless congenial, companionable, and courteous. Just as an inscription in water immediately disappears and doesn't last a long time, in the same way a certain individual when spoken to roughly, "These are the three types of individuals to be found existing in the world." (Anguttara Nikaya III.133 Lekha Sutta) ( THE WRETCHEDNESS OF ANGER The Blessed One said: Bhikkhus, seven things gratifying and helpful to an enemy befall one who is angry, whether a woman or a man. What are the seven? whether Here, bhikkhus, an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him be ugly."
Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy's beauty. Now when this person is angry, a prey to anger, ruled by anger, be he ever so well bathed, bathed, and well anointed, with hair and beard trimmed, and clothed in white, yet he is ugly through his being a prey to anger. This is the first thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is angry, whether a woman or a man. Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him lie in pain." that? Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy lying in comfort. Now when this person is angry, a prey to anger, ruled by anger, for all he may lie on a couch spread with rugs, blankets and counterpanes with deerskin a deerskin cover, a canopy and red cushions for the head and feet, yet he lies only in pain through his being a prey to anger. This is the second thing gratifying to an enemy that befalls one who is angry, whether a woman or a man. Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him have no prosperity." Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy's prosperity. Now when this person is angry, prey to anger, ruled by anger, he mistakes bad for good and he mistakes good for bad, and each being taken other's wrongly in the other's sense, these things for long conduce to his harm and suffering, through his being a prey to anger. This is the third thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is angry, whether a woman or a man.
his Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him not be rich." that? Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy having riches. Now when a person is angry, a prey to anger, should he have riches gained by endeavor, built up by the strength of his arm, earned by sweat, lawful acquired, and lawfully acquired, yet the king's treasury gathers (in fines) through his being a prey to anger. This is the fourth thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is a prey to anger, whether a woman or a man. Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him not be famous." that? Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy having fame. Now when a person is angry, a prey to anger, ruled by anger, what fame he may have acquired by diligence he loses through his being a prey to gratifying anger. This is the fifth thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is a prey to anger, whether a woman or a man. Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him have no friends." Why Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy having friends. Now when this person is angry, a prey to anger, ruled by anger, the friends he may have, his companions, relatives and kin, will keep away from him through his being a prey to anger. This is the sixth thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is a prey to anger, whether whether a woman or a man.
Also an enemy wishes thus for his enemy: "Let him on the dissolution of the body, after death, reappear in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell." Why is that? No enemy relishes an enemy's going to a good destination. Now when this person is angry, a prey to anger, ruled by anger, he misconducts himself in body, speech and mind, and by his misconduct in body, speech and mind, on the dissolution of the body, after death, he reappears in a state of deprivation, in a bad destination, in perdition, even in hell, through his being a prey to anger. This is the seventh thing gratifying and helpful to an enemy that befalls one who is angry, whether a woman or a man. does When anger does possess a man; He looks ugly; he lies in pain. What benefit he may come by He misconstrues as a mischance. An angry man no meaning knows; No Dhamma. No angry man sees the Dhamma. Anger makes man a parricide; Anger makes him a matricide. Anger can make him slay the saint, As he would kill the common man. To blot each fault out one by one; The The wise man should apply himself. Training likewise in the true Dhamma; Dhamma; Tamed, Tamed, and with anger left behind; Taintless, they reach Nibbana.
( Anguttara Nikaya, 7:60)
PUNNA SUTTA Then Venerable Punna went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to the Blessed One, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One, "It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, and resolute." "There are, Punna, forms cognisable via the eye; agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a bhikkhu relishes them, welcomes them, and remains fastened to them, then in them, and him; relishing them, welcoming them, and remaining fastened to them; there arises delight. From the origination of delight, I tell you, comes the origination of suffering and stress. sounds "There are sounds cognisable via the ear; aromas cognisable by the flavors tongue; sensations nose; flavors cognisable via the tongue; tactile sensations cognisable via the body. "There are ideas cognisable via the intellect; agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a bhikkhu relishes them, welcomes them, and remains fastened to them, then in him; relishing fastened relishing them, welcoming them, and remaining fastened to them; there arises delight. From the origination of delight, I tell you, comes the origination of suffering and stress. "There are forms cognisable via the eye; agreeable, pleasing, endearing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing.
fastened If a bhikkhu does not relish them, welcome them, or remain f astened not to them, then in him; not relishing them, not welcoming them, not remaining fastened to them; there arises no delight. From the cessation of delight, I tell you, comes the cessation of suffering and stress. "There are sounds cognisable via the ear; aromas cognisable by the flavors sensations nose; flavors cognisable via the tongue; tactile sensations cognisable via the body. agreeable, "There are ideas cognisable via the intellect; agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a bhikkhu does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, then in him; not not relishing them, not welcoming them, not remaining fastened to them; there arises no delight. From the cessation of delight, I tell you, comes the cessation of suffering and stress. "Well then, Punna. Now that I have instructed you with a brief instruction, in which country are you going to live?" "Lord, there is a country called Sunaparanta. I am going to live there." "Punna, the Sunaparanta people are fierce. They are rough. If they insult and ridicule you, what will you think?" "If they insult and ridicule me, I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilised, very civilised, in that they don't hit me with their hands.'
That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone." "But if they hit you with their hands, what will you think?" "...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilised, very civilised, in that they don't hit me with a clod.'..." "But if they hit you with a clod...?" "...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilised, very civilised, in that they don't hit me with a stick.'..." "But if they hit you with a stick...?" "...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilised, very civilised, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..." "But if they hit you with a knife...?" "...I will think, 'These Sunaparanta people are civilised, very civilised, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..." "But if they take your life with a sharp knife...?" "If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, 'there are disciples of the Blessed One who; horrified, humiliated, and disgusted by the body and by life; have sought for an assassin, but here I have met my assassin without searching for him.' That is what I will think, O Blessed One. That is what I will think, O One Well-gone." self"Good, Punna, very good. Possessing such calm and self-control Sunaparantans. you are fit to dwell among the Sunaparantans. Now it is time to do as you see fit."
Then Venerable Punna, delighting and rejoicing in the Blessed One's words, rising from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and left, keeping him on his right side. Setting his dwelling in order and taking his robe and bowl, he set out for the Sunaparanta country and, after wandering stage by stage he arrived there. There he lived. During that Rains retreat he established 500 male and 500 female lay followers in the practice, while he realised the three knowledge and then attained total (final) emancipation. Then a large number of bhikkhus went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to him, "Lord, the clansman named Punna, whom the Blessed One instructed with a brief instruction, has died. What is his destination? What is his future state?" "Bhikkhus, the clansman Punna was wise. He practised the Dhamma in accordance with the Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. The clansman Punna is totally free." SN 35.8 AKKOSA SUTTA: INSULT I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Then the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja heard that a brahman of the Bharadvaja clan had gone forth from the home life into homelessness in the presence of the Blessed One. Angered and displeased, he went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, insulted and cursed him with rude, harsh words. When this was said, the Blessed One said to him: :
"What do you think, brahman: Do friends and colleagues, relatives and kinsmen come to you as guests?" "Yes, Master Gotama, sometimes friends and colleagues, relatives and kinsmen come to me as guests." non"And what do you think: Do you serve them with staple and nonstaple foods and delicacies?" "Yes, sometimes I serve them with staple and non-staple foods and delicacies." "And if they don't accept them, to whom do those foods belong?" "If they don't accept them, Master Gotama, those foods are all mine." "In the same way, brahman, that with which you have insulted me, who is not insulting; that with which you have taunted me, who is not taunting; that with which you have berated me, who is not berating: It's that I don't accept from you. It's all yours, brahman. It's all yours. "Whoever returns insult to one who is insulting, returns taunts to one who is taunting, returns a berating to one who is berating, is said to be eating together, sharing company, with that person. But I am eating neither eating together nor sharing your company, brahman. It's all yours. It's all yours." "The king together with his court know this of Master Gotama; 'Gotama the contemplative is an arahant'; and yet still Master Gotama gets angry."
One: The Blessed One: Whence is there anger ? For one free from anger, tune; tamed, living in tune; one released through right knowing, Calmed and Such. You make things worse when you flare up at someone who's angry. Whoever doesn't flare up at someone who's angry wins a battle hard to win. You live for the good of both; Your own, the other's ; When, knowing the other's provoked, You mindfully grow calm. When you work the cure of both; own, Your own, the other's; Those who think you a fool know nothing of Dhamma. When this was said, the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja said to the Blessed One, "Magnificent, Master Gotama! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way has Master Gotama; through many lines of reasoning; made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the community of bhikkhus. Let me obtain the going forth in Master Gotama's presence, let me obtain admission."
Then the brahman Akkosaka Bharadvaja received the going forth and the admission in the Blessed One's presence. And not long after his admission; dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, and resolute; he in no long time reached and remained in the supreme goal of the holy life, for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing and realising it for himself in the here and now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And so Venerable Bharadvaja became another one of the arahants. (SN 7.2) THE ELIMINATION OF ANGER: by Venerable K. Piyatissa Thera. It is no wonder if we, at times, in our everyday life, feel angry with somebody about something. But we should not allow this feeling to dwell in our mind. We should acknowledge there is anger at the very moment it has arisen. By acknowledging anger’s presence, we then attempt to dissipate it. Here are some ways to dissipate our anger. THE FIRST METHOD is to recollect the teachings of the Blessed One. On very many occasions The Blessed One explained the disadvantages of an angry temper. Here is one of His admonitions: Suppose some bandits should catch one of you and sever your body limb from limb with a two-handed saw, and if you should feel twothereby angry thereby even at that moment, you are no follower of my teaching. (Kakacupama Sutta, Majjhima Nikaya 21)
Further, we may consider the Blessed One's advice to be found in the Dhammapada: He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me of my property. Whosoever harbour such thoughts will never be able to still their enmity. indeed Never indeed is hatred stilled by hatred; only nonIt will only be stilled by non-hatred; This is an eternal law. -- Dhp., vv. 4-5 Do not speak harshly to anyone. Those who are harshly spoken to might retaliate against you. Angry words hurt other's feelings, even blows may overtake you in return. -- Dhp., v. 133 Forbearance is the highest observance. Patience is the highest virtue. So the Buddhas say. -- Dhp., v. 184 Let a man remove his anger. Let him root out his pride. Let him sufferings overcome all fetters of passions. No sufferings overtake him who mind-andworld. neither clings to mind-and-body nor claims anything of the world -Dhp., v. 221 nonConquer anger by non-anger. Conquer evil by good. Conquer miserliness by liberality. Conquer a liar by truthfulness. -- Dhp., v. 223 mind Guard your mind against an outburst of wrong feelings. Keep your mind. mind controlled. Renouncing evil thoughts, develop purity of mind -Dhp., v. 233
If by contemplating the advice of the Blessed One in this way one cannot dissipate his anger, then let him try THE SECOND METHOD below. Naturally, even a bad person may possess some good quality. Some are evil in mind and speak in deceptive language or slyly perform their deeds in an unsuspecting manner. Some are coarse only in their language but not in their mind or deeds. Some are coarse and cruel in their deeds but neither in their speech nor in their mind. Some are soft and kind in mind, speech and deed as well. When we feel angry with someone, we should try to find some good in him, either in his way of thinking, or in his way of speaking or in his way of acting. If we find some redeeming quality in him, we should ponder its value and ignore his bad qualities as natural weaknesses that are to be found in everyone. Whilst we think thus, our mind will soften and we may even feel kindly towards that person. If we develop this way of thinking we will be able to dissipate and eliminate our anger towards him. At times, this method may not be successful and we shall then have to try THE THIRD METHOD. Basically, this entails reflecting thus: "He has done some wrong to me and in so doing has spoiled his mind. Then why should I spoil or impair my own mind because of his foolishness? Sometimes I ignore support or help offered by my because relatives; sometimes their tears even shed because of my activities.
Being a person of such type myself, why should I not therefore ignore that foolish man's deed? He has done that wrong, being subject to anger, should I too follow him? him, making my mind subject to anger? Is it not foolish to imitate him? harbou He harbouring his hatred destroys himself internally. Why should I, on his account, destroy my reputation? still. All things are momentary and changing, never still. Both his mind and body are momentary too. The thoughts and the body with which the now. wrong was done to me do not exist now. What I call the same man now are the thoughts and physical parts which are different from the earlier ones that harmed me although belonging to the same psychopsychophysical process. Thus, one thought together with one mass of physical physical parts did me some wrong, and vanished there and then, giving place to succeeding thoughts and material parts to appear. So with which am I getting angry? With the vanished and disappeared thoughts and physical parts or with the thoughts and parts Should material parts which do not do any wrong now? Should I get angry with the present one which is innocent or the other guilty one which has vanished? The so-called 'I' is not the same for two consecutive moments. At the moment the wrong was done there was another thought and another mass of molecules which were regarded as 'I,' whereas what is regarded as 'I' at the present moment is a different set of thoughts and collection of molecules, though belonging to the same process.
Thus, some other being did wrong to someone else and another gets angry with another. Is this not a ridiculous situation? If we scrutinise the exact nature of our life and its happenings in this manner, our anger might subside or vanish there and then. There is a FURTHER WAY, too, to eliminate upsurging anger. Suppose we think of someone who has done us wrong. On such occasions we should remember that we suffer harm or loss as a result of our previous kamma. Even if others were angry with us, they could not harm us if there were no latent force of past unwholesome kamma committed by us which took advantage of this opportunity to arouse our adversary. So, it is I who is responsible for this harm or loss and not anybody else. And at the same time, now while I am suffering the result of past kamma, if I, on account of this, should get angry and do any harm to him, by that, much more unwholesome kamma would be accumulated that will bring correspondingly unwholesome results in the future. When we recall to mind this law of kamma, our anger may subside immediately. We can consider such a situation in ANOTHER WAY TOO. We as the followers of Blessed One believe that He passed through incalculable numbers of lives practising virtues before He attained Enlightenment. The Blessed One related the history of some of His past lives as illustrations to teach us how He practised these virtues. The lives of Prince Dhammapala and the ascetic Khantivadi are most illustrative and draw our attention.
At one time the Bodhisatta had been born as the son of a certain king named Mahapatapa. The child was named Culla Dhammapala. One day the Queen sat on a chair fondling her child and did not notice the King passing by. The King thought the Queen was so proud of her child as not to get up from her chair even when she saw that her lord the King passed that way. So he grew angry and immediately sent for the executioner. When he arrived, the King ordered him to snatch the child from the Queen's arms and cut off his hands, feet and head, which he did instantly. The child, our Bodhisatta, suffered all that with extreme patience and did not grow ill-tempered or relinquish his impartial love for his cruel father, lamenting mother and the executioner. At another time, our Bodhisatta was an ascetic well-known for his developed virtue of forbearance and consequently people named him Khantivadi, the practitioner of forbearance. One day he visited Benares and took his lodgings at the royal pleasure grove. Meanwhile, the King passed that way with his harem and, seeing the ascetic seated under a tree, asked what virtue he was practising, to which the ascetic replied that of forbearance. The King was a materialist who regarded the practice of virtue to be not practical. So, hearing the words of the ascetic, he sent for the executioner and ordered him to cut off his hands and feet and questioned the ascetic as to whether he could hold to forbearance at the severing of his limbs.
The ascetic did not feel ill-tempered but even at that time he lay down extending his loving-kindness and holding his forbearance undiminished. He spoke to the King in reply to the effect that his forbearance and other virtues were not in his limbs but in his mind. The King, being unsuccessful in his attempts to disturb the ascetic's feelings, grew angrier and kicked the stomach of the ascetic with his heel and went away. Dying, the ascetic said: "May that king who has caused my hands and feet to be cut off, live long in happiness.” Saying this, he breathed his last. Since the Blessed One in His past lives, while still imperfect like us, practised forbearance and loving-kindness to such a high extent, why cannot we follow His example? When we remember and think of similar noble characters of great souls, we should be able to bear any harm, unmoved by anger; or, when we consider the nature of the round of rebirths in this beginning-less and infinite universe, we will be able to dissipate our upsurging anger. For, it is said by the Blessed One: "In this long samsara, it is not easy "In it to find a being who has not been once or more times even, your mother, father, brother, sister, son or daughter." Hence, with regard to the person whom we have now taken for our enemy, we should think: "This one now, in the past has been my mother who bore me in her womb for nine months, gave birth to me, unweariedly cleansed me of impurities, hid me in her bosom, carried me on her hip and nourished me; this one was my father in another life and spent time and energy, engaged in toilsome business, with a view to maintaining me, even sacrificing life for my sake," and so on.
When we ponder over these facts, it should be expected that our arisen anger against our enemy will subside. And further, we should reflect on the advantages of the development of mind through the practice of extending loving-kindness. When we are able to dissipate our anger and manage our mind, we should extend from ourselves boundless love as far as we can direct throughout every direction pervading and touching all living beings with loving-kindness. We should practise this meditation every day at regular times without any break. As a result of this practice, we will be able, one day, to attain to purity, serenity and peace of mind. THE ANGER-EATING DEMON Retold by Nyanaponika Thera Once there lived a demon who had a peculiar diet: he fed on the anger of others. And as his feeding ground was the human world, there was no lack of food for him. He found it quite easy to provoke a family quarrel, or national and racial hatred. Even to stir up a war was not very difficult for him. And whenever he succeeded in causing a war, he would gorge himself, because once a war starts, hate multiplies by its own momentum and affects even normally friendly people. So the demon's food supply became so rich that he sometimes had to restrain himself from over-eating, being content with nibbling just a small piece of resentment found close-by. But as it often happens with successful people, he became rather overbearing and one day when feeling bored he thought: "Shouldn't I try it with the gods?"
On reflection he chose the Heaven of the Thirty-three Gods, ruled by Sakka, Lord of Gods. He knew that only a few of these gods had entirely eliminated the fetters of ill-will and aversion, though they were far above petty and selfish quarrels. Instantly, by his powers, he arrived at that heavenly realm and was lucky enough to come at a time when Sakka the Divine King was absent. There was no one in the large audience hall and without much ado the demon seated himself on Sakka's empty throne, waiting quietly for things to happen, which he hoped would bring him a good feed. Soon some of the gods came to the hall and first they could hardly believe their own divine eyes when they saw that ugly demon sitting on the throne, squat and grinning. Having recovered from their shock, they started to shout and lament: "Oh you ugly demon, how dare you sit on the throne of our Lord? What utter cheek! What a crime! You should be thrown headlong into hell and straight into a boiling cauldron! You should be quartered alive! Begone! Begone!" But while the gods were growing more and more upset, the demon was quite pleased because from moment to moment he grew in size, in strength and in power. The anger he absorbed into his system started to ooze from his body as a smoky red-glowing mist. This evil aura kept the gods at a distance and their radiance was dimmed. Suddenly a bright glow appeared at the other end of the hall and it grew into a dazzling light from which Sakka emerged, the King of Gods. He who had firmly entered the undeflectible Stream that leads Nibbana-wards, was unshaken by what he saw.
The smoke-screen created by the gods' anger parted when he slowly and politely approached the usurper of his throne. "Welcome, friend! Please remain seated. I can take another chair. May I offer you the drink of hospitality? Our Amrita is not bad this year. Or do you prefer a stronger brew, the vedic Soma?" While Sakka spoke these friendly words, the demon rapidly shrank to a diminutive size and finally disappeared, trailing behind a whiff of malodorous smoke which likewise soon dissolved. The gist of this story dates back to the discourses of the Blessed One. But even now, over 2500 years later, our world looks as if large hordes of Anger-eating Demons were haunting it and were kept well nourished by millions slaving for them all over the earth. Fires of hate and widetraveling waves of violence threaten to engulf mankind. Also the grass roots of society are poisoned by conflict and discord, manifesting in angry thoughts and words and in violent deeds. Is it not time to end this self-destructive slavery of man to his impulses of hate and aggression which only serve the demoniac forces? Our story tells how these demons of hate can be exorcised by the power of gentleness and love. If this power of love can be tested and proven, at grass-root level, in the widely spread net of personal relationships, society at large, the world at large, will not remain unaffected by it. (SN, Sakka Samyutta 22)
SIMILE OF THE OCEAN "Just as the great ocean, bhikkhus, gradually shelves, slopes and inclines, and there is no sudden precipice, so also in this Dhamma and Discipline there is a gradual training, a gradual course, a gradual progression, and there is no sudden penetration to final knowledge. "Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this Dhamma and Discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation." Udana V.5 (Sona Sutta - The Observance Day) SIMILE OF THE SEA-TURTLE AND THE YOKE man "Suppose a man threw into the sea a yoke with one hole in it, and the east wind carried it to the west, and the west wind carried it to the east, and the north wind carried it to the south, and the south that wind carried it to the north. Suppose there were a blind turtle that came up once at the end of each century. What do you think, bhikkhus? Would that blind turtle put his neck into that yoke with one hole in it? "He might, venerable sir, sometime or other at the end of a long period. take "Bhikkhus, the blind turtle would take less time to put his neck into that yoke with a single hole in it than a fool, once gone to perdition, would take to regain the human state, I say. Why is that? Because there is no practising of the Dhamma there, no practising of what is righteous, no doing of what is wholesome, no performance of merit. There mutual devouring prevails, and the slaughter of the weak. Majjhima Nikaya 129.24 ( Balapandita Sutta)
ARISING OF A FULLY ENLIGHTENED ONE worldIt is impossible, bhikkhus, it cannot come to pass, that in one worldsystem, at one and the same time, there should arise two arahants who are Fully Enlightened Ones. (AN. Book of The Ones: XV 1-28) Then certain gods exclaimed: "Oh, if only four fully enlightened Blessed Ones were to arise in the world and teach the Dhamma just like the Blessed Lord! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion to the world, for the benefit and happiness of devas and humans!" And some said: "Never mind four fully enlightened Blessed Ones; three would suffice!" and others said: "Never mind three; two would suffice!" At this Sakka said: "It is impossible, gentlemen, it cannot happen that two fully enlightened Blessed Ones should arise simultaneously in a single world-system. That cannot be. May this Blessed Lord continue to live long, for many years to come, free from sickness and disease! That would be for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion to the world, for the benefit and happiness of devas and humans!" (DN. 19:13-14 Mahagovinda Sutta) FOUR KINDS OF BLISS "There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder enjoying the pleasures of the senses. Which four?
The bliss of having, The bliss of [making use of] wealth, The bliss of debtlessness, The bliss of blamelessness." (AN. IV.62 Anana Sutta). UNCONJECTURABLE There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness and vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four? BuddhaThe Buddha-range of the Buddha [i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha]. The range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in concentration. meditative concentration. results The [precise working out of the] results of kamma; Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world; (AN IV.77 Acintita Sutta) SAMSARA And the Lord addressed the bhikkhus: penetrating "It is, bhikkhus, through not understanding, not penetrating four things that I as well as you have for a long time fared on round the cycle of rebirths. What are the four?
Through Not Understanding The Noble Morality, Noble Concentration, Noble Wisdom, Noble Liberation, I, As Well As You Have For A Long Time Fared On Round The Cycle Of Rebirths. and And It Is By Understanding and Penetrating The Noble Morality, The Noble Concentration, The Noble Wisdom, and The Noble Liberation, that the craving for becoming has been cut off, the tendency towards becoming has been exhausted, and there will be no more rebirth." (DN 16:4.2 Mahaparinibbana Sutta) PILGRIMAGE SITES "Lord, formerly bhikkhus who had spent the Rains in various places used to come to see the Tathagata, and we used to welcome them so that such well-trained bhikkhus might see you and pay their respects. But with the Lord’s passing, we shall no longer have a chance to do this."
"Ananda, there are four places the sight of which should arouse emotion in the faithful. Which are they? (1) Here the Tathagata was born; Supre upreme (2) Here the Tathagata attained Supreme Enlightenment; the (3) Here the Tathagata set in motion the Wheel of Dhamma; (4) Here the Tathagata attained the Nibbanaremainder mainder. Nibbana-element without remainder. layAnd, Ananda, the faithful, bhikkhus and nuns, male and female layfollowers will visit those places. And any who die while making the pilgrimage to these shrines with a devout heart will, at the breaking up of the body after death, be reborn in a heavenly world." (DN 16:5.7-5.8 Mahaparinibbana Sutta) THE THREE CHARACTERISTICS "What do you think, bhikkhus: is corporeality (material body) permanent or impermanent?" "Impermanent, Lord." "And what is impermanent, is it painful or pleasant?" "Painful, Lord." "What is impermanent, painful, subject to change, is it fit to be subject considered thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self'?" "Certainly not, Lord."
"What do you think, bhikkhus: Is feeling, is perception, are mental formations, is consciousness, permanent or impermanent?" "Impermanent, Lord." pleasant?" "And what is impermanent, is it painful or pleasant "Painful, Lord." "And what is impermanent, painful, subject to change, is it fit to be considered thus: 'This is mine, this I am, this is my self?" "Certainly not, Lord." bhikkhus, "Therefore, bhikkhus, whatever corporeality, whether past, future, or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all corporeality should with right wisdom, thus be seen as it is: 'This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' "Whatever feeling, whatever perception, whatever mental formations, whatever consciousness, whether past, future or present, in oneself or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near; all consciousness should, with right wisdom, thus be seen as it is: 'This is thus not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.' well"Seeing this, bhikkhus, the well-instructed noble disciple becomes disgusted with corporeality, becomes disgusted with feeling, with perception, with mental formations, with consciousness. consciousness.
"Through his being disgusted, his passion fades away. His passion having faded, he is freed. In him who is freed there is the knowledge of freedom: "Ceased has rebirth, fulfilled is the holy life, the task is done, there is no more of this to come," thus he knows. THE ARAHANT "This bhikkhu is called one who has removed the Crossbar, has Unbolted (his filled the Moat, has broken the Pillar, has Unbolted ( mind); a ); Noble Burden, Noble One who has taken down the Flag, put down the Burden, Unfettered. become Unfettered. bhikkhu "And how, bhikkhus, is that bhikkhu one who has removed the rossCross-bar? Herein the bhikkhu has abandoned ignorance, has cut it off at the root, removed it from its soil like a palmyra tree, brought it removed to utter extinction, incapable of arising again. Thus has he removed Cross rossthe Cross-bar. Moat? "And how, bhikkhus, is that bhikkhu one who has filled the Moat? Herein the bhikkhu has abandoned the round of rebirths, leading to renewed existence; he has cut it off at the root, removed it from its it soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again. Pillar? "And how has he broken the P illar? He has abandoned craving, has cut it off at the root, removed it from its soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, incapable of arising again.
how Unbolted (his "And how has he Unbolted ( mind)? He has abandoned the five )? lower fetters, has cut them off at the root, removed them from their soil like a palmyra tree, brought them to utter extinction, incapable of arising again. Noble has "And how is the bhikkhu a Noble One who has taken down the Unfettered? Flag, put down the Burden, become Unfettered? He has abandoned the conceit of self, has cut it off at the root, removed it from is soil like a palmyra tree, brought it to utter extinction, Noble incapable of arising again. Thus is the bhikkhu a Noble One who has taken down the Flag, put down the Burden, become Unfettered. "When a bhikkhu's mind is thus freed, O bhikkhus, neither the gods with Indra, nor the gods with Brahma, nor the gods with the Lord of Creatures (Pajapati), when searching will find on what the (Tathagata) based. consciousness of one thus gone (Tathagata) is based. Why is that? Gone One who has Thus Gone is no longer traceable here and now, so I say. ARAHANTS INCAPABLE OF TRANSGRESSING NINE PRINCIPLES corruptions "And any bhikkhu who is an Arahant, whose corruptions are destroyed, who has lived the life, done what has to be done, laid down the burden, gained the true goal, who has completely destroyed the fetter of becoming, and is liberated by supreme of insight, is incapable of doing nine things: he is incapable of:
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
deliberately taking the life of a living being; taking what is not given so as to constitute theft; sexual intercourse; telling a deliberate lie; storing up goods for sensual indulgence as he did formerly in the household life; acting wrongly through attachment; acting wrongly through hatred; acting wrongly through folly; acting wrongly through fear.
These are the nine things which an Arahant, whose corruptions are do." destroyed, cannot do." (DN 29.26 Pasadika Sutta) "It is impossible for a bhikkhu whose mental fermentations are ended deprive to intentionally deprive a living being of life; to take, in the manner of given; stealing, what is not given; to engage in sexual intercourse; to tell a consume storedbefore, conscious lie; to consume stored-up sensual things as he did before, when he was a householder; to follow a bias based on desire; to follow a bias based on aversion; to follow a bias based on fear; to follow a bias based on delusion. "Both before and now I say to you that an arahant bhikkhu whose mental fermentations are ended, who has reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming, and who is released through right gnosis, cannot possibly transgress these nine principles." (AN. IX.7 Sutava Sutta)
NO LACK FOR ARAHANTS IN THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH "In whatever Dhamma and Discipline the Noble Eightfold Path is not found, no ascetic is found of the first, the second, the third, or the fourth grade. such But such ascetics can be found, of the first, second, third or fourth grade in a Dhamma and Discipline where the Noble Eightfold Path is found. Now, Subhadda, in this Dhamma and Discipline the Noble Eightfold Path is found, and in it are to be found ascetics of the first, second, third or fourth grade. Those other schools are devoid of [true] ascetics; but if in this one the bhikkhus were to live the life to perfection, the world would not lack for Arahants. TwentyTwenty-nine years of age I was When I went forth to seek the Good. Now over fifty years have passed Since the day that I went forth To roam the realm of wisdom’s law Outside of which no ascetic is [First, second, third or fourth degree]. Other schools of such are bare, But if here bhikkhus live perfectly, The world won’t lack for Arahants. (DN 16:5.23-5.27 Mahaparinibbana Sutta)
CRITERIA FOR THE BLESSED ONE’S TRUE TEACHING "Suppose a bhikkhu were to say: ‘Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord’s own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, discipline, this is the Master’s teaching’, then, bhikkhus, … his words and expressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline. If they, on such comparison and review, are found not to conform to Suttas the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: ‘Assuredly this One, is not the word of the Blessed One, it has been wrongly understood bhikkhu’, by the bhikkhu’, and the matter is to be rejected. But where on such comparison and review, they are found to the conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: One, ‘Assuredly this is the word of the Blessed One, it has been rightly bhikkhu.’ understood by the bhikkhu.’ (DN 16:4.8 Mahaparinibbana Sutta) MIRROR OF DHAMMA: CRITERIA FOR STREAM ENTRY "Therefore, Ananda, I will teach you a way of knowing Dhamma, called the Mirror of Dhamma, whereby the Noble disciple, if he so wishes, can discern of himself: "I have destroyed hell, animal-rebirth, animalthe realm of ghosts, all downfall, evil fates and sorry states. I am a Stream-Winner, Stream-Winner, incapable of falling into states of woe, certain of attaining Nibbana." he "And what is this Mirror of Dhamma by which he can know this? is: This Noble disciple is:
unwavering One; Possessed of unwavering confidence in the Blessed One; Dhamma; Possessed of unwavering faith in the Dhamma; unwavering Possessed of unwavering confidence in the Sangha. And he is possessed of morality dear to the Noble Ones, unbroken, without defect, unspotted, without inconsistency, liberating, uncorrupted, and conducive to concentration. Dhamma, This, Ananda, is the Mirror of Dhamma, whereby the Noble himself: Streamdisciple, can discern of himself: "I have destroyed hell; I am a StreamNibbana." Winner; certain of attaining Nibbana." (DN. 16 ) NIBBANA At that time the Lord was instructing, rousing, inspiring, and gladdening the bhikkhus with a Discourse connected with Nibbana, and those bhikkhus, being receptive and attentive and concentrating the whole mind, …the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance: NotNot-brought-toNotThere is, bhikkhus, a Not-born, a Not-brought-to-being, a Notmade, a Not-formed. If, bhikkhus, there were no not-born, notNotnotnotot brought-tonotnotbrought-to-being, not-made, not-formed, no escape would be brought toughtdiscerned from what is born, brought-to-being, made, formed. notnot-brought-tonotBut because there is a not-born, a not-brought-to-being, a notmade, a not-formed, therefore an escape is discerned from what is notbrought-toformed. born, brought-to-being, made, formed. (Udana VIII.3 Patali Village 8.3)
THE BLESSED ONE ONLY SHOWS THE WAY "Master Gotama, since Nibbana exists and the path leading to Nibbana exists and Master Gotama is present as the guide, what is the cause and reason why, when Master Gotama's disciples are thus advised and instructed by him, some of them attain Nibbana, the ultimate goal, and some do not attain it?" "As to that, brahmin, I will ask you a question in return. Suppose a man came who wanted to go to Rajagaha, and he approached you and said: 'Venerable sir, I want to go to Rajagaha. Show me the road to Rajagaha.' Then you told him: 'Now, good man, this road goes to Rajagaha. Follow it for awhile and you will see a certain village, go a little further and you will see a certain town, go a little further and you will see parks, Rajagaha with its lovely parks, groves, meadows, and ponds.' Then having been thus advised and instructed by you, he would take a wrong road and would go to the west. Then a second man came who ….. Then having been thus advised and instructed by you, he would arrive safely in Rajagaha. Rajagaha. Now, brahmin, since Rajagaha exists and the path leading to Rajagaha exists and you are present as the guide, what is the cause and reason why, when those men have been thus advised and the instructed by you, one man takes a wrong road and would go to the west and one arrives safely in Rajagaha?"
"What can I do about that, Master Gotama? I am one who shows the way." "So too, brahmin, Nibbana exists and the path leading to Nibbana exists and I am present as the guide. Yet when my disciples have been thus advised and instructed by me, some of them attain Nibbana, the ultimate goal, and some do not attain it. What can I do about that, brahmin? The Tathagata is one who only shows the way." (Majjhima Nikaya 107:12-14 Ganakamoggallana Sutta) GRADUAL PATH "Bhikkhus, I do not say that final knowledge is achieved all at once. On the contrary, final knowledge is achieved by gradual training, by gradual practice, by gradual progress. Majjhima Nikaya (70:22-23) "Just as the great ocean, bhikkhus, gradually shelves, slopes and inclines, and there is no sudden precipice, Discipline; So also in this Dhamma and Discipline; trainingThere is a gradual training- - A gradual course- - - A gradual progression- - - and courseprogressionThere is no sudden penetration to final knowledge. Udana V.5 (The Observance Day)
PROGRESSIVE INSTRUCTIONS IN DHAMMA Then the Blessed One gave the householder Upali progressive instruction, that is, talk on giving, talk on virtue, talk on the heavens; he explained the danger, degradation, and defilement in sensual pleasures and the blessing of renunciation. When he knew that the householder Upali's mind was ready, receptive, free from hindrances, elated, and confident, He expounded the teaching special to the Blessed Ones: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth with all marks removed would take dye evenly, so too, while the householder Upali sat there, the spotless immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in him: "All that is subject to arising is subject to cessation." Then the householder Upali saw the Dhamma, attained the Dhamma, understood the Dhamma, fathomed the Dhamma; he crossed beyond doubt, did away with perplexity, gained intrepidity, and became independent of others in the Teacher's Dispensation. (MN. 56.18 Upali Sutta)
THE DUNG BEETLE: Pilahaka Sutta While dwelling at Savatthi, the Blessed One said: "Bhikkhus, and Fame Gains, Offerings and Fame Are a cruel thing, a harsh, bitter obstacle To the attainment of the unexcelled rest from bondage. dungSuppose there were a beetle, a dung-eater, full of dung, gorged with dung, with a huge pile of dung in front of him. He, because of that, look would look down on other beetles: 'Yes, sirree! I am a dung-eater, full of dung, gorged with dung, with a huge pile of dung in front of me!'
In the same way, there is the case where a certain bhikkhu; puts conquered by gains, offerings and fame, his mind consumed, puts on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, goes into a village or town for alms. Having eaten there as much as he likes; full of almsfood and invited again for the next day; he goes to the boasts: monastery and, in the midst of a group of bhikkhus, boasts: 'I have eaten as much as I like, and have been invited again for tomorrow. These other bhikkhus, are not recipients of robes, almsfood, lodgings, and medicinal requisites for curing illness.' his well-behaved Thus, his mind consumed, he looks down on other well-behaved longbhikkhus. That will be for this worthless man's long-term suffering and harm. That's how cruel gains, offerings, and fame are: a harsh, bitter obstacle to the attainment of the unexcelled rest from Thus, bondage. Thus, you should train yourselves: 'We will put aside any We gains, offerings, and fame that have arisen; and we will not let any gains, offerings, and fame that have arisen keep our minds consumed.' That's how you should train yourselves." (Samyutta Nikaya XVII.5) INSIGHT ‘Bhikkhus, there are these eight conditions, eight causes conducive to getting wisdom, not yet gotten, as to the first things in godly living; and when gotten, to make it become more, to its development, madeso that it is made-become, made perfect.
What eight? Bhikkhus, herein a bhikkhu dwells near the Teacher, or some comrade in the godly life, whom he regards as teacher, so that conscientiousness, he is firmly established in conscientiousness, fear of blame, love and respect. This is the FIRST condition, the first cause conducive to getting wisdom, not yet gotten, as to the first things in godly living; and, when gotten, to making it become more, to its development, so made-become, that it is made-become, made perfect. So dwelling and so established, from time to time he approaches his teachers, questioning and inquiring of them thus: “Sirs, how is this? What is the meaning of this?” To him those Venerable sirs reveal what is hidden, explain the obscure and dispel doubt in many perplexing matters. This is the SECOND condition…. When he has heard Dhamma he strives in twofold seclusion, that of the body and that of the mind. This is the THIRD condition…. restraint He is virtuous and lives restrained by the restraint of the Obligations: he is perfect in conduct and habit, seeing danger in the smallest fault; he undertakes and trains himself in the preceptual training. This is the FOURTH condition…. Learned as he is, with memory retentive and well stored. These tenets, tenets, lovely in the beginning, lovely in the middle and lovely in the end, which set forth in spirit and in letter the godly life of purity, perfect in its entirety; even those are fully mastered by him, resolved in upon, familiarised by speech, pondered over in mind, fully understood in theory. This is the FIFTH condition….
Living resolute, he puts away all unrighteousness and takes to righteous conditions. Firm and energetic, he shirks not the burden of righteousness. This is the SIXTH condition…. he Moreover, he frequents the Order; he is no gossip, nor talker on childish matter; either he speaks on Dhamma himself or asks it of another; nor does he neglect the Noble silence. This is the SEVENTH condition…. Furthermore, he abides in contemplation of the rise and fall of the five khandhas of attachment, thinking: “Such is form, such is its comingto-be, such is its passing away;” So in respect to feelings, perceptions, the activities and consciousness. This is the EIGHTH condition, the eighth cause conducive to getting wisdom, not yet gotten, as to the first things in godly living; and when gotten, to make it become more, to its development, so that madeit is made-become, made perfect. Presently, his fellows in the godly life honour him thus: “This dwells Venerable sir dwells near the Teacher, or some comrade in the godly life, whom he regards as teacher, and there is firmly established in conscientiousness, fear of blame, love and respect. Surely this Venerable sir is one who, knowing, knows and, seeing, sees. Verily this condition is conducive to the state of being dear and esteemed, madeto becoming made-become, to recluseship and to singleness (of mind) in making become. (Anguttara Nikaya: Chapter 1 ii (2))
GIVING (Iti I.26; Iti 18) This was said by the Lord... "Bhikkhus, if beings knew, as I know, the result of giving and sharing; they would not eat without having given, nor would they allow the stain of meanness to obsess them and take root in their minds. Even if it were their last morsel, their last mouthful, they would not would eat without having shared it, if there were someone to share it with. But, bhikkhus, as beings do not know, as I know, the result of giving and sharing, they eat without having given, and the stain of meanness obsesses them and takes root in their minds." If beings only knew -- So said the Great Sage is great How the result of sharing is of such great fruit, rid With a gladdened mind, rid of the stain of meanness, They They would duly give to noble ones, who make what is given fruitful. Having Having given much food as offerings To those most worthy of offerings, the donors go to heaven on departing the human state. on Having and Having gone to heaven they rejoice, and enjoying pleasures there, of The unselfish experience the result of generously sharing with others.
A RAINLESS CLOUD This was said by the Lord... "Bhikkhus, these three kinds of persons found are found existing in the world. Which three? One who is like a rainless cloud, one who rains locally, and one who rains everywhere. Which one is like a rainless cloud? A certain person is not a giver to anyone; he does not give food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, lodging scents, ointments, beds, lodging and lamps to recluses and brahmans, to the poor, destitute, and needy. This kind of person is like a rainless cloud. Who is the person who rains locally? A certain person is a giver to some but not a giver to others. Food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, lodging, and lamps he gives only to some recluses and brahmans, to some of the poor, destitute, and and needy, but not to others. This is the kind of person who rains locally. person Who is the kind of person who rains everywhere? A certain person gives to all. He gives food, drink, clothing, vehicles, garlands, scents, ointments, beds, lodging, and lamps to all recluses and brahmans, to all the poor, destitute, and needy. This is the kind of person who rains everywhere. These, bhikkhus, are the three kinds of persons found existing in the world." (Iti III.26; Iti 64)
THE WORLD This was said by the Lord: "Bhikkhus: "Bhikkhus khus: The world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; The Tathagata is released from the world. The origin of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; The origin of the world has been abandoned by the Tathagata. The cessation of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; The cessation of the world has been realised by the Tathagata. The course leading to the cessation of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; The course leading to the cessation of the world has been developed by the Tathagata.
"Bhikkhus, in the world with its devas, maras, and brahmas, with its recluses and brahmans, among humankind with its princes and people, whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought, reflected and reflected upon by the mind -- that is fully understood by the Tathagata: therefore he is called the Tathagata. "Bhikkhus, from the night when the Tathagata awakened to unsurpassed full enlightenment until the night when he passes away Nibbanainto the Nibbana-element with no residue left, whatever he speaks, utters, and explains -- all that is just so and not otherwise: therefore he is called the Tathagata. As the Tathagata says, so he does; as the Tathagata does, so he says: therefore he is called the Tathagata. In the world with its devas, maras, and brahmas, with its recluses and brahmans, among humankind with its princes and people, the Tathagata is the conqueror, allunvanquished, all-seer, wielding power: therefore he is called the Tathagata." (Iti IV.13; Iti 121)
KING BIMBISARA'S SHARING OF MERITS According to the promise that the Bodhisatta made to King Bimbisara in his early days of renunciation, the Blessed One, together with one thousand bhikkhus led by the Kassapa brothers, went to Rajagaha. When they arrived at the large green Palmyra grove near Rajagaha, the King and one hundred and twenty thousand people welcomed them heartily in great pomp and ceremony. When the Blessed One gave a discourse, King Bimbisara and one hundred and ten thousand people became Stream-winners and the remaining ten thousand people became established in the three Refuges. THE GREAT DONATION OF VELUVANA MONASTERY Then King Bimbisara became a lay-disciple of the Blessed One and invited the Blessed One and his one thousand bhikkhus for alms-food at his palace the next morning. The next day, the King offered food to the Blessed One and the members of the Holy Sangha, after which he donated the great Veluvana Garden as a monastic dwelling to the Blessed One and the Sangha. After the alms-food offering and in the evening, the King went to bed happily.
PETAS, THE OLD RELATIVES OF KING BIMBISARA That very night there were eerie disturbances all through the night, so much so that the Kling was unable to sleep at all. Early the next morning, he went to the Blessed One and told him what had happened. The Blessed One explained to King Bimbisara that 92 world cycles ago, during the time of Phussa Buddha, Bimbisara and his relatives carried out the duties of offering alms-food to the Phussa Buddha and his Sangha Order. Those who did their duties well reached celestial abodes when they died, and those who stole, kill and live generally unwholesome lives had been reborn as petas or ended in the hellish regions during the time of Kassapa Buddha. Seeing other petas being set free from from their suffering due to shared merits by their relatives and there being none to share merits with them they approached the Blessed One then, who was the Kassapa Buddha for help. Kassapa Buddha told them that during the time of Gotama Buddha, the supervisor of the old relative petas would become King Bimbisara who would share merits to them and so they would be free from their woeful lives of petas. And they were very happy with the anticipation of being set free. Indeed, when King Bimbisara offered alms-food to the bhikkhus led by the Blessed One and donated the monastery, the petas were expecting anxiously to gain merits shared by the King. But the king was ignorant of the necessity to share merits with the petas of his relatives; so they demonstrated their great frustration by eerie moanings the whole night.
The Blessed One instructed the king to share merits with his past relatives whenever he performed meritorious deeds. King Bimbisara then invited the Blessed One and the bhikkhus to have alms-food at his palace on that day. The Blessed One by his supernormal power showed the king the petas who were waiting in poor dresses with frightful appearances. After offering alms-food and sharing merits, they all were free from their peta-existences. On seeing them looking well attired and having celestial meals, the king was very much pleased. Then he offered robes, beddings and monastic dwellings, and shared merits again. The petas said 'sadhu' and received celestial clothings, beddings and celestial mansions. On seeing that, the King became more pleased than before. A PETA OF BONES At the time of the Blessed One, Maha Moggalana and the Venerable Lakkhana were residing together at Gijjhakuta Hill, north of the City of Rajagraha. One day the two came out together for an alms round in the city. On the way, Maha Moggalana, the elder of the two bhikkhus, saw through his supernatural vision a peta of bones. The creature was crying in great pain as crows, kites and vultures pecked at its flesh and viscera embedded in the skeletal cage of its body.
Then it occurred to Maha Moggalana that kammas and kilesas had become extinct in so far as he was concerned and that, therefore, there would be no occasion for him in future to be like the peta he saw. This thought filled him with joyful satisfaction, and so he smiled. Lakhana saw this and asked the elder bhikkhu why he smiled. The latter told him that he should ask about it when they were together in the presence of the Blessed One. After the rounds of alms, the two bhikkhus went to the monastery where the Blessed One was residing. Then the younger bhikkhu asked the elder why he smiled. Maha Monggalana replied: “While we were coming down from the Hill, I saw a peta running across the sky chased by crows, kites and vultures who were pecking at it.” On hearing this, the Blessed One intervened to explain the existence of the peta. bhikkhus! too peta. “O bhikkhus! I too saw the peta. In fact the peta whom Maha Moggala was, Moggalana met was, in one of his previous existence, a butcher. Because of his akusala kamma, unwholesome act, he was consigned to hell for millions of years. The resultant of his bad kamma, still remains. So in the present existence he has become a peta with a skeletons.” body of skeletons.” The Blessed One then explained eyes of wisdom. From this it may be inferred that ordinary beings are not able to see such creatures. They can be seen only by arahants with supernatural faculties called abhiñña. Modern day science has no proof of their existence. But lack of scientific proof is not a conclusion that they do not exist.
A PETA OF FLESH On another occasion, Maha Moggalana met a peta, whose body was all flesh. It was also tortured by crows, kites and vultures pecking at its body for food. It ran crying in great pain. Lakkhana again asked about this in the presence of the Blessed One who again explained to him regarding the existence of the world of petas in much the same way as he did on the previous occasion. This fleshy peta, said the Enlightened One, was also a butcher at Rajagraha in one of his previous existences. He was consigned to the nether world for million of years and on being released from there he became a peta tortured by crows, kites and vultures having been destined to suffer thus owing to the residual bad kamma. The difference in resultant is when death consciousness occurs; a symbol or sign associated with good or bad actions done in one’s life called kamma nimitta, presents itself at the mind-door of the dying. (A layman may, perhaps, explain this phenomenon as an omen seen by the dying man.) The death symbol seen by the first butcher was not the same as the second. Their evil actions were no doubt similar, but the nimittas they saw were different. MANY KINDS OF PETA Then Maha Moggalana saw different kinds of petas on different occasions. There was the mince meat peta, who, the Blessed One said, had been a falconer in one of his previous existences. Then there was the skinless and bloody peta who was a butcher of goats and sheep. Then there was the hairy peta whose hairs were like daggers which flew about his body and hit him back. The ways of kamma is unpredictable.
Here these daggers cannot be regarded as the handiwork of ogres. They were what bad kamma created. The crows, kites and vultures which tortured the petas were also the results of bad kamma. Maha Moggalana also saw a peta with hairs like lances sticking out from its body. They flew up into the air and rained down on it. He was a hunter in one of his previous existences. There was also a peta with hairs like arrows growing on its body. In one of his previous existences he tortured convicted persons with arrows. He also met the kumbhanda peta suffering from hydrocele, which had developed into the size of a water pot. In one of his previous existences he was a cunning judge who used to take bribes. He could not cover up his shame, sitting on his own heavy organ, carrying it about as he ran for life from pestering crows, kites and vultures. There was also one female peta who, in one of her previous lives, had had illicit sex. Her body was unprotected by skin. Another female peta was very ugly. She was a demon who was a propagandist of wrong views. There were also male and female petas, who, in their previous lives, were bhikkhus not performing their priestly duties well. Their robes were on fire. And their monasteries were also on fire. All these beings were consigned to the world of petas because while they were humans they acted improperly just for the sake of their five aggregates of nama and rupa. It is for this reason that we say that the burden of this body is very heavy.
THE BURDEN OF KHANDHAS This body, one of the khandhas, is a heavy burden. Serving it means carrying the heavy burden. When we feed and clothe it, we are carrying the burden. That means we are servants to the aggregate of matter (rupakkhandha). Having fed and clothed the body, we must also see to it that it is sound and happy both in the physical and psychological senses. This is serving the aggregate of feeling (vedanakkhandha). Again, we must see that this body experiences good sights and sounds. This is concerned with consciousness. Therefore we are serving the aggregate of consciousness (vinnanakkhandha). For all these reasons the Blessed One declared the five aggregates of clinging, a heavy burden. We carry the burden of our khandhas not for a short time, not for a minute, not for an hour, not for a day, not for a year, not for one life, not for one world, not for one aeon; we carry the burden from the beginning of the samsara, the round of rebirths, which is infinite. It has no beginning. And there is no way of knowing when it will end. Its finality can be reached only with the extermination of the defilements of the mind (kilesa), as we get to the stage of the path of the Noble Ones (arahatta magga). THE 4 STAGES OF ARAHANTHOOD Each phase of the 4 stages of enlightenment is gradually achieved as we progress in our practice and begin the removal of the 10 fetters in stages.
The first full experience of magga-phala (the case of the stream enterer or sotapanna, removes three of these fetters. The first fetter or defilement is the perception of a personality view; a view that there is a self within us (sakkaya ditthi). An ordinary person believes that his body and his mind are the 'I', the 'self, or that the 'I' has a body and mind, or that his mind and body are the seat of his 'I' or his soul, or that the 'I' is a product of his mind body complex, or that his 'I' or self or soul exists somehow apart from his mind and body. Sometimes people identify rather with their body, sometimes with the mental aggregates, or both together so that the idea: 'This is 'I', 'This is mine', 'This is my soul' arises. The stream enterer (sotapanna) has realised mind and body phenomenon (nama-rupa); that the body, feeling, perception, mental formations, consciousness are only arising and passing phenomena. Sotapanna knows from his own insight that 'I', 'self' or soul is just an illusion. Thus, he is free from sakkaya ditthi. The second fetter removed by a sotapanna is the doubt or skepticism about the Blessed One and His teaching; doubt about the effectiveness of the practice of meditation. The third fetter is the adherence to empty rites and rituals. This concerns the wrong view that some rites or rituals by themselves can purify a being and cause him to attain real liberation and Nibbana. On the second stage of enlightenment the fetter of craving for sensual pleasures and ill-will are weakened. Only at the third stage are these two fetters eliminated
The fourth stage then eliminates all the remaining defilements such as craving for fine-material existence, craving for immaterial existence, conceit, restlessness and ignorance. In addition to the 'fetters' there are other defilements, which are eradicated at the progressive stages of enlightenment. The often quoted two mental corruptions abandoned by the sotapanna are envy and stinginess. The following is a complete list of these 16 defilement. A sotapanna is free from 6 of these impurities: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. envy, feeling of displeasure caused by success of others avarice, stinginess, unwillingness to share with others denigrating others improper rivalry, domineering deceit, hypocrisy craft, treachery, fraud
The third stage of enlightenment relinquishes: 1. ill-will, malevolence 3. grudge, hostility 2. anger 4. heedlessness The fourth stage, the aranhat, has eradicated the final stages of defilement: 1. covetousness, unrighteous greed 4. conceit 2. obstinacy, obduracy 5. arrogance 3. presumption, disparaging others 6. vanity
MINISTERING TO THE SICK "He who attends on the sick attends on me," declared the Blessed One, exhorting his disciples on the importance of ministering to the sick, when he discovered a bhikkhu lying in his soiled robes, desperately ill with an acute attack of dysentery. With the help of Ananda, the Blessed One washed and cleaned the sick bhikkhu. He reminded the bhikkhus that they have neither parents nor relatives to look after them, so they should look after each other. (Vin.i,301ff.). On another occasion the Blessed One came upon a bhikkhu whose body was covered with sores, his robe sticking to the body with pus oozing from the sores. His fellow bhikkhus had abandoned him. On seeing the abandoned bhikkhu, the Blessed One boiled water, washed the bhikkhu, cleaned and dried his robes. Then the Blessed One taught him the Dhamma and he attained to the stage of an Arahant before he passed away (DhpA.i,319). Thus the Blessed One not only advocated the importance of looking after the sick, he also set a noble example by ministering to those who were so ill that they were even considered repulsive by others.
DISCOURSE ON THE END OF THE WORLD
Thus have I heard; at one time, the Blessed One was staying at Vesâli, in Ambapâli's grove. There, He addressed the bhikkhus: "Bhikkhus!" "Lord!" answered the bhikkhus. The Blessed One then taught: constituents existence, "Impermanent, O bhikkhus, are the constituents of existence, nonunstable, non-eternal. Sineru, bhikkhus, the monarch of mountains, eightyeightyis eighty-four thousand leagues in length and breadth; eighty-four eightythousand leagues deep in the great ocean, and eighty-four thousand above it.
Now there comes, O bhikkhus, a season when, after many years, many hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands of years, not it does not rain; all seedlings and vegetation, all plants, grasses, and trees dry up and wither away. This alone, O bhikkhus, shows that all things impermanent, nonconstituent things are impermanent, unstable, non-eternal; so much disgusted so, that one becomes weary and disgusted and one desires to be free from such impermanence. bhikkhus, And, bhikkhus, there comes a season, at vast intervals in the lapse of time, when a second sun appears. bhikkhus, After the appearance of the second sun, bhikkhus, the brooks and ponds dry up, vanish away and cease to be. So impermanent are bhikkhus, constituent things! And then, bhikkhus, there comes a season, at vast intervals in the lapse of time, when a third sun appears; and the the thereupon the great rivers; the Ganges, the Jamna, the Rapti, the Gogra, the Mahî, dry up, vanish and cease to be. At length, after another vast period, a fourth sun appears, and thereupon the great lakes, whence those rivers had their rise: namely, Anotatto, LionChariotKeelSixAnotatto, Lion-leap, Chariot-maker, Keel-bare, Cuckoo, SixSlowbayed, and Slow-flow, dry up, vanish and cease to be. bhikkhus, Again, bhikkhus, when, after another long lapse, a fifth sun appears, the waters in the great ocean go a hundred leagues down; then two in down; hundred dred, hundred, three hundred, and even down to seven hundred leagues, until the water stands only one fathom from the ground; then half a waistkneeanklefathom; waist-deep, knee-deep and even ankle-deep.
bhikkhus, Even, O bhikkhus, as in the fall season, when it rains in large drops, waters cattle; the waters in some places are standing around the feet of the cattle; bhikkhus, are even so, bhikkhus, the waters in the great ocean in some places are cattle. standing to the depth of the feet of the cattle. bhikkhus, After the appearance of the fifth sun, bhikkhus, the water in the ocean fingergreat ocean is not even the height of a finger-joint. Then at last, after another lapse of time, a sixth sun appears; whereupon this great earth and Sineru, the monarch of mountains, reek and fume baking, and send forth clouds of smoke. Even as a potter's baking, when first first besmeared, fume and smoke, such is the smoke of earth and mountains when the sixth sun appears. bhikkhus, After a last vast interval, a seventh sun appears, and then, bhikkhus, this great earth, and Sineru, the monarch of mountains, flare and blaze, and become one mass of flame. And now, from earth and mountains burning and consuming, a spark is carried by the wind and goes as far as the worlds of God; and the peaks of Mount Sineru, burning, consuming, perishing, go down in for one vast mass of fire and crumble for an hundred, yea, five hundred bhikkhus, leagues. And of this great earth, bhikkhus, and Sineru, the monarch of mountains, when consumed and burnt, neither ashes nor soot remains. Just as when ghee or oil is consumed and burnt, bhikkhus, bhikkhus, neither ashes nor soot remains, so it is with the great earth and remains, Mount Sineru.
bhikkhus, Thus, bhikkhus, impermanent are the constituents of existence, nonunstable, non-eternal: so much so, that this alone is enough to weary and disgust one with all constituent things and makes one desire to it. be free from it. bhikkhus, Therefore, bhikkhus, do those who deliberate and believe say this: 'This earth and Sineru, the monarch of mountains, will be burnt and perish and exist no more,' excepting those who have seen the path. (Anguttara Nikaya VII. 62.) DISCOURSE ON THE CONTINUING EVOLUTION OF THE WORLD Thus have I heard: The Exalted One was once staying near Savatthi, in the East Park, at the mansion of the Mother of Migara. Now at that time Vasettha and Bharadvaja were passing their probation among the brethren, desiring to become bhikkhus. Then at eventide the Exalted One, having arisen from his meditations, had come down from the house and was walking to and fro in the open air, in the shade of the house. Now Vasettha saw this and on seeing it he told Bharadvaja, adding: Let us go, friend Bharadvaja, let us approach the Exalted One, for perchance we might have the good fortune to hear from the Exalted One a talk on matters of doctrine. “Even so, friend”; Bharadvaja made reply. So Vasettha and Bharadvaja went and approached the Exalted One and having saluted him, they walked after him as he walked to and fro.
Then the Exalted One said to Vasettha: You, Vasettha, being Brahmins by birth and family, have gone forth from a Brahmin family, the your home into the homeless life. Do not the Brahmins blame and revile you? Yea, verily, Lord, the Brahmins do blame and revile us with characteristic abuse, copious, not at all stinted. But in what words, Vasettha, do they blame you? The Brahmins, Lord, say thus: The Brahmin class is the best. But in what terms, Vasettha, do the Brahmins blame and censure you to this extent? The Brahmin, Lord, say thus: Only a Brahmin is of the best social trades; other grades are low. later, There comes a time, Vasettha, when, sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period, this world passes away. And when this happens, beings have mostly been reborn in the World of Radiance; and there they dwell, made of mind, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, selftraversing the air, continuing in glory; and thus they remain for a long, glory; long period of time. There also come a time, Vasettha, when sooner or later this world rebegan to re-evolve. When this happens, beings who had deceased from the World of Radiance, usually come to life as humans. And selfthey become made of mind, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, traversing the air, continuing in glory, and remain thus for a long, long period of time.
Now at that time, all had become one world of water, dark, and of darkness that maketh blind. No moon nor sun appeared, no stars were seen, nor constellations, neither was night manifest nor day, halfneither months nor half-months, neither years nor seasons, neither female nor male. Beings were reckoned just as beings only. And to later those beings, Vasettha, sooner or later after a long time, earth with its savour was spread out in the waters. Even as a scum forms on the surface of boiled milky rice that is cooling, so did the earth appear. It became endowed with colour, with odour and with taste. Even as wellor well-made ghee or pure butter, so was its colour; even as the flawless honey of the bee, so sweet was it. Then, Vasettha, some being of greedy disposition, said: Lo, now! What will this be? And tasted the savoury earth with their fingers. became suffused They thus tasting, became suffused with the savour and craving entered into them. Other beings following their examples, tasted the savoury earth with their fingers. They thus, tasting became suffused with the savour, craving entered into them. then those beings began savoury to feast on the savoury earth, breaking off lumps of it with their hands. And from the doing thereof the self-luminance faded away, selfthe moon and the sun became manifest. Thereupon star-shapes and starconstellations became manifest. Thereupon night and day became months halfmanifest, months too and half-months, seasons and the years. Thus far then, Vasettha, did the world evolve again.
Now those beings, Vasettha, feasting on the savoury earth, feeding on it, nourished by it, continued thus for a long, long while. And in measure as they thus fed, did their bodies become solid and did variety in their comeliness become manifest. Some beings were well illfavoured some were ill-favoured. And herein they that were well favoured despised them that were ill favoured, thinking: We are more than comely than they; they are worse favoured than we. And while they through pride in their beauty thus became vain and conceited, the savoury earth disappeared. At the disappearance of the savoury earth, they gathered themselves together and bewailed it: Alas for the savour! the savour! Alas for the savour! Even so now when men having gotten a good savour say: Ah, the savour of it! Ah the savour of it! They do but follow an ancient primordial saying, not recognizing the significance thereof. Then earth Then, Vasettha, when the savoury earth had vanished for those beings, outgrowths appeared in the soil. The manner of the rising up thereof was as the springing up of the mushroom, it had colour, odour and taste; even as well-formed ghee or fine butter so was the wellcolour thereof, and even as flawless honeycomb so was the beings sweetness thereof. Then those beings began to feast on these outgrowths of the soil. And they, feasting on them, finding food and nourishment in them, continued for a long, long while. And in measure as they thus fed and were thus nourished, so did their bodies grow ever more solid and the difference in their comeliness more manifest; some becoming well favoured, some ill favoured.
They that were well favoured despised them that were ill favoured, thinking: We are more comely than they; they are worse favoured than we. And while they, through pride in their beauty, thus became vain and conceited, these outgrowths of the soil disappeared. Thereupon creeping plants appeared, and the manner of the growth the thereof was as that of the bamboo, and they had colour, odour and taste. Even as well made ghee or fine butter so was the colour thereof; even as flawless honeycomb so was the sweetness thereof. Then, Vasettha, those beings began to feast on the creepers. And them, they feasting, on them, nourished by them, continued so for a long, long while; and in measure as they thus fed and were nourished did their bodies wax more solid, and the divergence in their comeliness increase, so that, as before, the better favoured despised the worst favoured. favoured. And while those, through pride in their beauty, became vain and conceited, the creepers disappeared. At the disappearance thereof they gathered themselves together and bewailed, saying: Verily it was ours, the creepers! Now it has Alas vanished away! Alas and O me! We have lost! Even so now when men, being asked what is the matter, say: Alas and O me! What we had that have we lost! They do but follow an ancient primordial saying, not recognizing the significance thereof.
creepers Then, Vasettha, when the creepers had vanished for those beings, rice appeared ripening in open spaces, No powder had it and no husk. [Pure] fragrant and clean grained. Where of an evening they gathered and carried away for supper, there next morning the rice stood ripe and grown again. Where in the again. morning they gathered and carried away for breakfast, there in the evening it stood ripe and grown again. No break was to be seen [where the husks had been broken off]. Then those beings feasting on this rice in the clearings, feeding on it, nourished by it, so continued for a long, long while. And in measure as they, thus feeding, went on existing, so did the bodies of those beings become even more solid and the divergence in their comeliness more pronounced. In the female appeared the distinctive features of the female, in the male those of the male. Then truly did woman contemplate man too closely, and man, woman. In them contemplating over much the one, the other, passion arose and burning entered their bodies. They in thereof consequence thereof followed their lusts. And beings seeing them so doing threw, some sand, some ashes, some cowdung, crying: Perish, foul one! Perish, foul one. How can a being treat a being so? Even so now when men, in certain districts, when a bride is led away, throw cowthrow either sand, or ashes or cow-dung, they do but follow an ancient enduring primordial form, not recognizing the significance thereof.
That which was reckoned immoral at that time, Vasettha, is now followed reckoned to be moral. Those beings who at that time followed their lusts, were not allowed to enter village or town for a whole month or even two months. And inasmuch as those beings at that time quickly incurred blame for immorality, they set to work to make huts, to conceal just that immorality. Then Vasettha, this occurred to some being of a lazy disposition: Lo now! Why do I wear myself out fetching rice for supper in the evening, and in the morning for breakfast? What if I were to fetch enough rice for supper and breakfast together? So he gathered at journey one journey enough rice for the two meals together. Then some being came to him and said: Come, good being, let us go rice gathering. That’s not wanted, good being, I have fetched rice for the evening and morning meal. Then the former followed his example fetched and fetched rice for two days at once, saying: So much, they say, will about do. Then some other being came to this one and said: Come, good being, let us go rice gathering. And he: Never mind, good being, I have fetched rice enough for two days. [And so, in like like manner, they stored up rice enough for four, and then for eight days.] Now from the time, Vasettha, that those beings began to feed on hoarded rice, powder enveloped the clean grain, and husk enveloped grow the grain, and the reaped or cut stems did not grow again; a break became manifest [where the reaper had cut]; the rice stubble stood in clumps.
Then those beings, Vasettha, gathered themselves and bewailed this, saying: Evil customs, sirs, have appeared among men. For in the we selfpast, we were made of mind, we fed on rapture, self-luminous, we traversed the air in abiding loveliness; long, long the period we so remained. For us sooner or later, after a long, long while the savoury earth had arisen over the waters. Colour it had, and odour and taste. We set to work to make the earth into lumps, and feast on it. As we selfdid so our self-luminous vanished away. When it was gone, moon and starsun became manifest, star-shapes and constellations, night and day, halfenjoying the months and half-months, the seasons and the years. We enjoying the savoury earth, feeding on it, nourished by it, continued for a long, long while. But since evil and immoral customs became rife among us, the savoury earth disappeared. When it had ceased, outgrowths of colour, the soil became manifest, clothed with colour, odour and taste. Them we began to enjoy; and fed and nourished thereby, we continued so for a long, long while. But when evil and immoral customs arose among us, these outgrowths disappeared. When they had vanished, creepers appeared and clothed with colour, odour and taste. Them we turned to enjoy; and fed and nourished thereby we continued so for a long, long while. But since evil and immoral customs became prevalent among us, the creepers also disappeared. When they had ceased rice appeared, ripening in open spaces, without powder, without husk, pure, fragrant and clean grained. Where we plucked and took away for the evening meal every evening there next morning it had grown ripe again. Where we plucked and took away for the morning meal, there in the evening it had grown ripe again. There was no break visible.
nourished Enjoying this rice, feeding on it, nourished by it, we have so continued a long, long while. But from evil and immoral customs becoming manifest among us, powder has enveloped the clean grain, husk too has enveloped the clean grain, and where we have reaped is rericeno re-growth; a break has come, and the rice-stubble stands in clumps. Come now, let us divide off the rice fields and set boundaries thereto! And so they divided off the rice and set boundaries boundaries round it. Now some being, Vasettha, of greedy disposition, watching over his own plot, stole another plot and made use of it. They took him and holding him fast, said: Truly, good being, thou hast wrought evil in plot, that, while watching thine own plot, thou hast stolen another plot and made use of it. See, good being, that thou do not such a thing again! Ay, sirs he replied. And a second time he did so. And yet a third. And again they took him and admonished him. Some smote him with the hand, some with clods, some with sticks. With such a beginning, Vasettha, did stealing appear, and censure and lying and punishment became known. Now those beings, Vasettha, gathered themselves together, and bewailed these things, saying: From our evil deeds, sirs, becoming becoming manifest, inasmuch as stealing, censure, lying, punishment have become known, what if we were to select a certain being, who should be wrathful when indignation is right, who should censure that which should rightly be censured, and who should banish him who deserves to be banished? But we will give him in return a proportion of the rice.
Then, Vasettha, those beings went to the being among them who was the handsomest, the best favoured, the most attractive, the most capable and said to him: Come now, good being, be indignant at that whereat one should rightly be indignant, censure that which should rightly be censured, banish him who deserves to be banished. And we will contribute thee a proportion of our rice. And he consented, gave and did so, and they gave him a proportion of their rice. Chosen by the whole people, Vasettha, is what is meant by Maha Sammata; so Maha Sammata (the Great Elect) was the first standing phrase to arise [for such an one]. Lord of the Fields is what Khattiya is meant by Khattiya; so Khattiya (Noble) was the next expression to arise. He charms the others by the Norm; by what ought (to charm); is meant by Raja; so this was the third standing phrase to arise. Thus then, Vasettha, was the origin of this ancient primordial they phrases [by which they were known]. Their origin was from among those very beings and no others; like unto themselves, not unlike; and it took place according to the Norm [according to what ought to be, [ justly] not unfittingly. ( (Agganna Suttanta Digha Nikaya 27) ]
BRAHMAJALA SUTTA The Blessed One’s Discourse on wrong views Now there comes a time, brethren, when, sooner or later, after the lapse of a long, long period, this world system passes away. And when this happens beings have mostly been reborn in the World of Radiance, Radiance, and there they dwell made of mind, feeding on joy, radiating light from themselves, traversing the air, continuing in glory; and thus they remain for a long, long period of time. Now there comes also a time, brethren, when, sooner or later, this world reworld system begins to re-evolve. When this happens the Palace of Brahma appears, but it is empty. And some being or other, either because his span of years has passed or his merit is exhausted, falls Palace from that World of Radiance, and comes to life in the Palace of Brahma. And there also he lives made of mind, feeding on joy, radiating light from himself, traversing the air, continuing in glory; and thus does he remain for a long, long time. Now there arises in him, from his dwelling there so long alone, a dissatisfaction and a longing: dissatisfaction “O! Would that other beings might come to join me in this place!” And just then, either because their span of years had passed their merits were exhausted, other beings fall from the World Radiance, and appear in the Palace of Brahma as companions him, and in all respects like him. or of to
On this, brethren, the one who was first reborn thinks thus to himself: “I am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Supreme One, the Mighty, the Allseeing, the Ruler, the Lord of all, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief of all, appointing to each his place, the Ancient of days, the Father of all that are and are to be. These other beings are of my creation. And why is that so? A while ago I thought, “Would that they might come!” And on my mental aspiration, behold the beings came.” And those beings themselves, too, think thus: “This must be Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Supreme, the Mighty, the All-seeing, the Ruler, the Lord of all, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief of all, appointing to each his place, the Ancient of days, the Father of all that are and are to be. And we must have been created by him. And why? Because, as we see, it was he who was here first, and we came after that.” there On this, brethren, the one who first came into existence there is of longer life, and more glorious, and more powerful than those who appeared after him. And it might be well, brethren, that some being on his falling from that state, should come hither. And having come life hither he might go forth from the household life into the homeless state. And having thus become a recluse he, by reason of ardour of exertion of application of earnestness of careful thought, reaches up to such rapture of heart, rapt in heart, he calls to mind his last previous dwelling place, but not the previous ones. He says to himself:
“That illustrious Brahma, the Creator Brahma, the Supreme One, the Mighty, the All-seeing, the Ruler, the Lord of all, the Maker, the Creator, the Chief of all, appointing to each his place, the Ancient of days, the Father of all that are and are to be, he by whom we were created, he is steadfast, immutable eternal, of a nature that knows no change and he will remain so forever. But we who were created by him have come hither as being impermanent mutable limited in duration of life. This brethren, is the first state of which, starting out from which, some recluses and Brahmans, being Eternalists as to some things Nonand Non-eternalists as to others, maintain that the soul and the world are partly eternal and partly not. KASSAPA SUTTA (Devas too have need for merits) Ud III.7 I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Rajagaha at the Bamboo Grove, the Squirrels' Sanctuary. Now at that time Venerable Maha Kassapa was staying at the Pipphali Cave, sitting for seven days in a single position, having attained a certain level of concentration. Then, with the passage of seven days, he emerged from that concentration. On emerging from it, the thought occurred to him: "What if I were to go into Rajagaha for alms?" Now at that time 500 devatas were eager for the chance to give alms to Venerable Maha Kassapa. But Venerable Maha Kassapa, turning down those 500 devatas, early in the morning put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Rajagaha for alms.
Now at that time Sakka, the king of the devas, wanted to give alms to Venerable Maha Kassapa. So, disguising himself as a weaver, he was working a loom, while Sujata, an asura-maiden, filled the shuttle. Then, as Venerable Maha Kassapa was going on an uninterrupted round for alms in Rajagaha, he arrived at Sakka's home. Sakka saw him coming from afar and, on seeing him, came out of house to meet him. Taking the bowl from his hand, he entered the house, took cooked rice from the pot, filled the bowl, and gave it back to Venerable Maha Kassapa. And that gift of alms included many kinds of curry, many kinds of sauces. The thought occurred to Venerable Maha Kassapa, "Now, who is this being with such supranormal power and might?" Then the thought occurred to him, "This is Sakka, king of the devas, isn't it?" On realising this, he said to Sakka, "Is this your doing, Kosiya? Don't ever do anything like this again." "We, too, need merit, Venerable Kassapa. We, too, have use for merit." Then, bowing down to Maha Kassapa and circumambulating him three times, Sakka rose up into the air and disappeared.
THREE CARDINAL DISCOURSES OF THE BLESSED ONE
Translated by Nanamoli Thera INTRODUCTION The message of the Blessed One upholds the same values that every great compassionate religion shares. But the seed of good has to grow in the soil of truth; and how the tree grows depends upon the nature of the soil in which it is planted, and whence it draws nourishment. With men as the custodians of the truth, the fulfilment of the good depends upon how truth is conceived by men to be. By their acts they verify it. The three discourses here display precisely, in all its incomparably serene simplicity the fundmentals of the Blessed One’s teaching. The first discourse displays this Fourfold Truth as something to be realised and verified for oneself here and now; the second discloses the contradictions which infect all "self" conceits; the third echoes the second from another angle. The circumstances that lead up to the discovery of these Four Truths, and to the delivery of these discourses, were briefly as follows. The Bodhisatta before his enlightenment; was twenty nine when he left the household life, where he enjoyed the extreme of luxury. He went into "exile" in order to find, not a palliative, but the true and incontrovertible way out of suffering.
“This world has surely happened upon woe, since it is born and ages and dies but to fall from one kind of existence and reappear in another. Yet it knows no escape from this suffering, from ageing and death; surely there is an escape from this suffering, from ageing and death?” (SN XII 65) After leaving home, he practised under two of the foremost teachers of Samadhi (concentration), and reached the highest meditative attainments possible thereby. But that was not enough: "I was not satisfied with that as a True Idea; Idea; I left it and went away." (MN 36). He then spent the best part of asceticism, trying every sort of time he was accompanied by discovered the "deathless state" discovery to them. the next six years in the practice of extreme self-mortification. During this five ascetics, who hoped that if he he would be able to communicate his
“By this grueling penance I have attained no distinction higher than higher the human ideal worthy of a noble one's knowing and seeing. Might deathlessness?” there be another way to deathlessness?” (MN 36). He decided to try once more the path of concentration, attained through mindfulness of breathing, though this time not pushed to the extremity of quiet, but guided instead by ordered consideration.
Thinking: "While my Sakyan father was busy and I (as a child) was sitting in the shade of the rose apple tree, then quite secluded from sensual desires, secluded from unprofitable ideas, I had direct entering experience of entering upon and abiding in the deep concentration; and following on that memory came the recognition: "That is the only Enlightenment." way to Enlightenment." (MN 36). Realising this new found wisdom, he gave up self-mortification and took normal food again in order to restore to his emaciated body strength sufficient for his purpose. Then the five ascetics left him in disgust, thinking that he had failed, and was merely reverting to what he had forsaken. Now in solitude, his new balanced effort in the harmony of virtue, unified in concentration, and guided by contemplation of insight with mindfulness, at length brought success in discovery of the way to the goal he had sought for so long. trail, by "So I too found the ancient path, the ancient trail, travelled by the Awakened Ones of old." (SN XII 65). Five faculties in perfect balance had brought him to his goal: faith, energy, mindfulness, concentration and the wisdom of insight; the five that "merge into the Deathless", and Enlightenment took place on the night of Vesakha full moon in the fruitful month of May. (SN XLVIII 57). It was upon invitation that he resolved to communicate his discovery to others. For his first audience to whom to divulge it he chose the five ascetics who had shared his self-mortification, but had later left him. They were now at Benares.
So in due course he went there to rejoin them. Just two months after his awakening he taught his first discourse: "Setting in motion, the Wheel of Dhamma" to the five ascetics. This first discourse, made one of his listeners, the ascetic Kondañña, a "stream-enterer," the first of the four progressive stages of realisation. The other four soon followed in his footsteps. The second discourse, on the characteristic of Not-Self, was taught to the same five, and it brought them to the fourth and final stage, that of arahantship. These are the first two discourses presented here, and they were the first two discourses ever uttered by the Blessed One. The third, the "Fire Discourse," was delivered some months later to an audience of a thousand ascetics converted from the heaven-bent practice of fireworship. Now the hearers of all these three discourses were, like the Blessed One himself, all ascetics already advanced in the techniques and refinements of both virtue (sila) and concentration (samadhi). So the Blessed One had thus no need to teach them what they already knew very well. Similarly, he had no need to expound the doctrine of action (kamma) and its ripening (vipaka), with which they were thoroughly acquainted through the ancient teachings. What he had to do was first to show how it is possible to go astray towards the opposite extremes of sensual indulgence and self-torment; and second to describe the facts, to show how things are, clearly and succinctly enough to stir his hearers to the additional spontaneous movement of understanding essential and indispensable for the final discovery of deliverance, each for himself.
SETTING IN MOTION THE WHEEL OF DHAMMA (Dhamma-cakka-ppavattana-sutta) Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Benares in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers). There he addressed the bhikkhus of the group of five. by "Bhikkhus, these two extremes ought not to be cultivated by one gone gone forth from the household life. What are the two? There is devotion to indulgence of pleasure in the objects of sensual desire, which is inferior, low, vulgar, ignoble, and leads to no good; and selfthere is devotion to self-torment, which is painful, ignoble and leads to no good. (Which two extremes he had full experience; as a princely householder and 6 years in self torment). "The middle way discovered by a Perfect One avoids both these extremes; it gives vision, it gives knowledge, and it leads to peace, to acquaintance, Nibbana. direct acquaintance, to discovery, to Nibbana. And what is that middle way? It is simply the Noble Eightfold Path, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the middle way discovered by a Perfect One, which gives vision, which gives knowledge, and which leads to peace, to direct acquaintance, to Nibbana. discovery, to Nibbana.
Truth, "Suffering, as a Noble Truth, is this: Birth is suffering, ageing is suffering, sickness is suffering, death is suffering, sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief and despair are suffering; association with the loathed is suffering, dissociation from the loved is suffering, not to get what one wants is suffering; in short, suffering suffering is the five Aggregates of clinging objects. Truth, "The Origin of Suffering, as a Noble Truth, is this: It is the craving that produces renewal of being accompanied by enjoyment and lust, and enjoying this and that; in other words, desires, noncraving for sensual desires, craving for being, craving for non-being. Truth, "Cessation of Suffering, as a Noble Truth, is this: It is remainderless fading and ceasing, giving up, relinquishing, letting go and rejecting, of that same craving. Suffering, Truth, "The Way leading to Cessation of Suffering, as a Noble Truth, is this: Path, It is simply the Noble Eightfold P ath, that is to say, right view, right intention; right speech, right action, right livelihood; right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. "'Suffering, as a noble truth, is this.' Such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to ideas not heard by me before.
'This suffering, as a noble truth, can be diagnosed.' Such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to ideas not heard by me before. 'This suffering, as a noble truth, has been diagnosed.' Such was the vision, the knowledge, the understanding, the finding, the light, that arose in regard to ideas not heard by me before. Origin "'The Origin of suffering, as a noble truth, is this.' Such was the vision... 'This origin of suffering, as a noble truth, can be abandoned.' Such was the vision... 'This origin of suffering, as a vision... noble truth, has been abandoned.' Such was the vision... in regard to ideas not heard by me before. "'Cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this.' Such was the vision... 'This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, can be verified.' Such was the vision... 'This cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, has been verified.' Such was the vision... in regard to ideas not heard by me before. Way "'The Way leading to cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, is this.' Such was the vision... 'This way leading to cessation of suffering, as truth, a noble truth, can be developed.' Such was the vision... 'This way leading to the cessation of suffering, as a noble truth, has been developed.' Such was the vision... in regard to ideas not heard by me before.
"As long as my knowing and seeing how things are, was not quite not purified in these twelve aspects, in these three phases of each of the four noble truths, I did not claim in the world with its gods, its Maras and high divinities, in this generation with its bhikkhus and brahmans, have with its princes and men to have discovered the full awakening that is supreme. But as soon as my knowing and seeing how things are, was quite purified in these twelve aspects, in these three phases of each of the four noble truths, then I claimed in the world with its gods, its Maras and high divinities, in this generation with its bhikkhus and brahmans, its princes and men to have discovered the full awakening that is 'Deliverance supreme. Knowing and seeing arose in me thus: 'Deliverance is unassailable. This is the last birth. Now there is no renewal of renewal being.'" That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus of the group of five were glad, and they approved his words. Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondañña the spotless, immaculate vision of the Truth: "Whatever is subject to arising is all subject to cessation." When the Wheel of Truth had thus been set rolling by the Blessed One the earth-gods raised the cry: "At Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana, the matchless Wheel of Truth has been set rolling by the Blessed One, not to be stopped by bhikkhu or divine or god or death-angel or high divinity or anyone in the world."
On hearing the earth-gods' cry, all the gods in turn in the six paradise of the sensual sphere took up the cry till it reached beyond the Retinue of High Divinity in the sphere of pure form. And so indeed in that hour, at that moment, the cry soared up to the World of High Divinity, and this ten-thousandfold world-element shook and rocked and quaked, and a great measureless radiance surpassing the very nature of the gods was displayed in the world. Then the Blessed One uttered the exclamation: "Kondañña knows! Kondañña knows!", and that is how that venerable one acquired the name, Añña-Kondañña -- Kondañña who knows. (SN LVI, 11). THE NOT-SELF DISCOURSE (Anatta-lakkhana-sutta) Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Benares, in the Deer Park at Isipatana (the Resort of Seers). There he addressed the bhikkhus of the group of five: "Bhikkhus.". "Venerable sir," they replied. The Blessed One said this. not"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can notaffliction, have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'
"Bhikkhus! notFeeling is not-self... notPerception is not-self... notMental formations are not-self... Consciousness is not self. consciousness Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' notAnd since consciousness is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' "Bhikkhus, how do you conceive it: is form permanent or impermanent?" Venerable "Impermanent, Venerable Sir." "Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" Venerable "Painful, Venerable Sir." what "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: “This is mine; this is I; this is my self"? self"? Sir." "No, Venerable Sir."
"Is feeling permanent or impermanent?... "Is perception permanent or impermanent?... "Are mental formations permanent or impermanent?... "Is consciousness permanent or impermanent?" Sir." "Impermanent, Venerable Sir." "Now is what is impermanent pleasant or painful?" Sir." "Painful, Venerable Sir." subject "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? Sir." "No, Venerable Sir." bhikkhus Form "So, bhikkhus any kind of Form whatever; whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, whether far or near, must with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: 'This is not mine, this is not I, this is not myself.' Feeling "Any kind of Feeling whatever... "Any kind of perception whatever... determination "Any kind of determination whatever... "Any kind of consciousness whatever;
whether past, future or presently arisen, whether gross or subtle, whether in oneself or external, whether inferior or superior, near, whether far or near, must, with right understanding how it is, be regarded thus: not 'This is not mine; this is not I; this is not my self.' "Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus; Form, he finds estrangement in Form, Feeling, he finds estrangement in Feeling, Perception, he finds estrangement in Perception, Formations, he finds estrangement in Mental Formations, Consciousness. he finds estrangement in Consciousness. "When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'" That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were glad, and they approved his words. Now during this utterance, the hearts of the bhikkhus of the group of five were liberated from taints through clinging no more. -- SN XXII, 59
THE FIRE DISCOURSE (Aditta-pariyaya-sutta) Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Gaya, at Gayasisa, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There he addressed the bhikkhus. "Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning? eye"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is eyeburning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or neither-painful-noreyepainful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition; that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust; with the fire of hate and with the fire of with delusion. I say it is burning with birth, ageing and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with grief, with despairs. "The ear is burning, sounds are burning... "The nose is burning, odours are burning... "The tongue is burning, flavours are burning... "The body is burning, tangibles are burning... mind"The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is mindburning, mind-contact is burning.” neither-painful-nor“Also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-normindpleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, burning. that too is burning.
Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, ageing and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.” noble truth; "Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard the truth; sees thus; he finds estrangement in the eye, finds estrangement in forms, eyefinds estrangement in eye-consciousness, finds eyefinds estrangement in eye-contact; neither-painful- norand whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful- noreyepleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement. "He finds estrangement in the ear... in sounds... "He finds estrangement in the nose... in odours... in "He finds estrangement in the tongue... in flavours... "He finds estrangement in the body... in tangibles... "He finds estrangement in the mind, finds estrangement in ideas, mindfinds estrangement in mind-consciousness, finds estrangement in mindpainful neithermind-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neitherpainful-normindpainful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement. "When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he knowledge is liberated.
He understands: 'Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.'" That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were glad, and they approved his words. Now during his utterance, the hearts of those thousand bhikkhus were liberated from taints through clinging no more. -- SN XXXV, 28
NOTES FIRST SUTTA THUS HAVE I HEARD: Words spoken by Ananda Thera at the First Council when all the Discourses were recited, three months after the Blessed One's Parinibbana. PERFECT ONE: The Pali word Tathagata has several alternative explanations. NIBBANA: The meaning is "extinction," that is, of the "fires" of lust, hate, and delusion, or, more briefly, of craving and ignorance. SUFFERING: The Pali word dukkha; suffering present in physical pain or mental grief to any unwelcome state of insecurity, no matter how vague. TRUTH: To be there to be existent, to have reality, etc., and so literally a "there-is-ness" in the sense of a state that, unlike a mirage, does not deceive or disappoint. AGGREGATES: This represents the Pali word khandha is often rendered by "aggregate." The five are as given in the second Discourse. They are headings that comprise all that can be said to arise and that form the object of clinging. The five are respectively compared to a lump of froth, a bubble, a mirage, a coreless plantain-stem, and a conjuring trick. CLINGING: The word means literally "taking up"; its ending is Nibbana. CRAVING: Though the word tanha doubtless once meant "thirst". With ignorance it is regarded as a basic factor in the continuity of existence. Craving draws creatures on through greed, and drives them on through hate, while ignorance prevents their seeing the truth of how things are or where they are going. Denial is as much an activity of craving as assertion is. Denial maintains the denied.
CESSATION: Nirodha, meaning the cessation of suffering through the cessation of craving, is regardable as the removal of a poison, the curing of a disease, not as the mere denial of it opposed to the assertion of it, or the obstruction of it in conflict with the favouring of it, since both assertion and denial confirm and maintain alike the basic idea or state that is required to be cured. Cessation, therefore, is not to be confounded with mere negativism or nihilism. "Any pleasure and joy that arise in dependence on the world is gratification that the world is impermanent, pain-haunted and inseparable from the idea of change is the disappointment in the world; the removal of desire and lust is the cure (the escape) in the world." (AN III) The cure or escape is Cessation: the Blessed One would not claim to have been enlightened till he had diagnosed how these three things came to be. KNOWING AND SEEING HOW THINGS ARE: Literally how (it has) come to be, how (it) is, how (things) exist lies in the direct allusion to the absolutely relative conditionedness of all being. It is given specially thus: "Seeing 'such is form, such its origin, such its going out,'" and so with the other four Aggregates. SECOND SUTTA FORM: Rupa; the first of five Aggregates, it is defined in terms of the four Great entities, namely earth (hardness), water (cohesion), fire (temperature), and air (distension and motion), along with the aspect of space (what does not appear), from all of which are derived the secondary phenomena such as persons, features, shapes, etc.: these are regarded as secondary because while form can appear without any of them they cannot appear without form.
NOT-SELF: This is taught only by the Buddhas. Anatta (not-self) is shown as a general characteristic without exception. The characteristic of impermanence does not become apparent because, when rise and fall are not given attention, it is concealed by continuity; the characteristic of pain does not become apparent because, when continuous oppression is not given attention, it is concealed by the postures (changing from one posture to another, waking and sleeping); the characteristic of not-self does not become apparent because, when resolution into the various elements (that compose whatever is) is not given attention, it is concealed by compactness. FEELING (vedana): This is always confined strictly to the affective feelings of (bodily or mental) pleasure and pain with the normally ignored neutral feeling of "neither-pain-nor pleasure." These can be subdivided in various ways. PERCEPTION (sanna): Means simply recognition. MENTAL FORMATIONS: Sankhara means literally "a construction," and is derived from the prefix sam (con) plus the verb karoti (to do, to make). As used in Pali by the Blessed One it covers any aspects having to do with action, willing, making, planning, using, choice, etc. is often placed at the head of lists defining it. Otherwise, defined as bodily, verbal, and mental action. CONSCIOUSNESS (vinnana): The bare "being conscious" left for consideration when the other four Aggregates have been dealt with. It is only describable in individual plurality in terms of the other four Aggregates, as fire is individualised only by the fuel it burns (see MN 38 and 109). Otherwise it is regardable as an infiniteness (MN 111) dependent upon the contemplation of it as such. It is only impermanent, etc., because however it arises, it can only do so in dependence on the
other Aggregates, that is, on conditions themselves impermanent, painful and not-self. It never arises unless accompanied by co-nascent perception (q.v.) and feeling (q.v.). It has six "doors" (see under Eye and Mind) for cognising its objective fields, but no more. THIRD SUTTA EYE, etc.: The six, beginning with the eye and ending with the mind, are called the six "Bases for Contact in oneself," and are also known as the six "Doors" of perception. Their corresponding objects are called "external bases," since the emphasis here is on the subjective faculty of seeing, etc., not the associated piece of flesh seen in someone else or in the looking-glass, which, in so far as it is visible, is not "seeing" but "form" as the "external" object of the seeing "eye in oneself," and insofar as it is tangible is the object of the body-base in oneself, and insofar as it is apprehended as a "bodily feature" is the object of the mind-base in oneself. Here the eye should be taken simply as the perspective-pointing-inward-to-a-centre in the otherwise uncoordinated visual field consisting of colours, which makes them cognisable by eyeconsciousness, and which is misconceivable as "I". FORMS: The first of the six External Bases, respective objective fields or objects of the six Bases in Oneself (see EYE). Form is used for the eye's object as for the first of the five Aggregates, but here in the plural. CONTACT: Tangible, the object of the Fifth Base in oneself, namely, body-sensitivity. But here it is generalised to mean contact in the sense of presence of object to subject, or presence of cognised to consciousness, in all forms of consciousness. It is defined as follows: "Eyeconsciousness arises dependent on eye and on forms; the coincidence of the three is contact (presence), and likewise in the cases of the ear, nose,
tongue, body and mind. Failing it, no knowledge, no consciousness of any sort whatever, can arise at all." BODY (kaya): Used for the physical body and for any group, as the English word "body" is. It forms the subject of body contemplation as set forth in the Satipatthana Sutta, the aim of which is to analyse this "aggregate" into its other constituents. Or else it is used in a strict sense, as here, namely that "door" of the subjective body-sensitivity or tactile sense, the perspective-pointing-inwards-to-a-centre in the otherwise uncoordinated tactile field of tangibles consisting of the hard, the hotor-cold, and the distended-and-movable. MIND: It is that "door" in which the five kinds of consciousness arising in the other five doors (see under EYE), combine themselves with their objective fields into a unitive perspective-pointing-inwards-to-a-centre, together with certain objects apprehendable in this mind-door, such as infiniteness of space, etc. (and names, fictions, etc.). Whatever is cognised in this door (see under Consciousness) is cognised as an idea. And in the presence (with the contact) of ignorance (of the four truths) it is misconceived as "I". MIND-CONSCIOUSNESS: If it is remarked that each of the six pairs of Bases, the five consisting of eye, ear, nose, tongue, and body, being coordinated by mind, are open to any one's self-inspection; and that consciousness is considered here as arising dependently upon each of these six pairs of Bases and in no other way whatsoever (since no other description rejecting all six is possible without self-contradiction); then this notion of mind-consciousness should present no special difficulty.
THE THREE SUTTAS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP The first of these three discourses sets out the vision of the truth peculiar to Blessed Ones, with its Truth of Suffering ("I teach only suffering, and the liberation from suffering"). The second sutta then takes the five Aggregates given in the definition of Suffering in the first, and it shows how, in this comprehensive analysis every component can be diagnosed rightly, that is to say in conformity with truth. It is this treatment that elicits the characteristic of Not-self. The two characteristics of Impermanence and Suffering in the world were well recognised in ancient Indian philosophies and have never been peculiar to the Blessed One’s teachings. In the third discourse the very same ground is gone over but described in different terms. The comprehensive analysis in terms of the five Aggregates with their general rather than individual emphasis, is replaced by the equally comprehensive and complementary analysis in terms of the six pairs of Bases, which analyse the individual viewpoint, without which no consciousness can arise. And instead of the dispassionate term "Not-self," everything that could possibly be identified as self is, without mentioning the term, presented to the same effect in the colours of a conflagration of passion behind a mirage of deception. Only a Blessed One "whose heart is cooled by compassion" can have the courage to venture so far in the search for truth and discover thereby the true state of peace.
LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION (Metta Bhavana Sutta.) On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Savatthi when the time for the taking up of the residence for the Rains was near at hand. Now on that occasion many bhikkhus from various countries were desirous of taking up residence for the rains and meditation in the Blessed One's presence. It was the Blessed One's habit every morning after a discourse to the bhikkhus, He would assign or advise them to practise meditation in the forest and the bhikkhus would go away for meditation in their assigned location. Some would return the same day and some would return after some time seeking instructions or details on other matters. A group of 500 bhikkhus went to a part of a forest where earth bound devas were residing. Seeing the bhikkhus arriving, the devas made room for them and stayed away, thinking that these bhikkhus would be staying for a short time and would be away after their meditation. However, from a week the bhikkhus stayed for another week and yet another week. By this time the devas were quite upset as they were not able to return to their abode in the trees or the rocks now taken up by the bhikkhus. The devas decided to frighten the bhikkhus so that the bhikkhus would leave them and they could return to their homes in peace. The bhikkhus thus disturbed and frightened by the devas decided to return to the Blessed One, whereupon they reported the matter to Him. After ascertaining the true situation by His physic power, He realised that the devas were unhappy with the bhikkhus for their impolite way of taking over their abodes leaving them with no shelter for their families.
The Blessed One then advised the bhikkhus to go back to the same place but armed with the good-will of Metta for their protection. The Blessed One then delivered the following Metta Sutta for the practice of Loving-kindness. Though this Sutta is directed at the bhikkhus to help them in their meditation effort, it is also meant for lay persons. (adapted from a Dhamma talk by the most Venerable U Silananda explaining the Karaniya Sutta; Vipassana Tribune Aug.2000 No.1) After learning the Sutta, the bhikkhus returned to the forest and the 500 bhikkhus chanted the Sutta in unison. The vibrant powerful Metta Sutta coming from 500 holy bhikkhus conveyed such tremendous good-will and Loving-kindness that the devas were so overwhelmed that they came to pay respects to the bhikkhus and protected and provided requisites for the bhikkhus for the duration of their meditation. All 500 bhikkhus attained arahantship and ended their stay. It is very beneficial for the reciter and the recipient when the practice of Metta is done habitually. Due to the glorious power of this lesson on love, Spirits dare not disclose the frightful sights. himself One who devotes to himself this doctrine day and night diligently, Sleeps soundly and does not see any nightmare when asleep, Come let us recite this doctrine endowed with such and other merits. He who is skilled in doing good and Who wishes to attain the state of calm (i.e., Nibbana) should act thus; he should be able, upright, perfectly upright obedient, gentle and humble.
Contented, easily to support, with few duties, of frugal living (i.e., not a burden to others) Controlled in senses, serene in demeanor, prudent, modest Not Not greedily attached to families. He should not commit any slight wrong, So that other wise men might find fault in him, He must contemplate thus: May all beings be happy and safe, May their hearts be wholesome. Whatsoever living beings there may be frail The frail ones or the firm creatures With no exception tall or stout Short or medium sized, thin or fat Those which are seen or those unseen Those who are born or those Who are to be born May all beings, without exception, Be happy minded. Let not one deceive another nor despise any Person whatsoever in any place. In anger or ill-will illLet him not wish any harm to another.
Just as a mother would protect her Only child at the risk of her own life, Even so let him cultivate a boundless heart Towards all beings. Let thoughts of boundless love pervade the Whole world; above, below and across Without any obstruction, Without any hatred, without any enmity. Whether he stands, walks, sits or lies down, As long as he is awake, He should develop this mindfulness This, This, they say is the noble living of the highest conduct. Not falling into error, Virtuous and endowed with insight He discards attachment to sensuous desires Truly he does not come again; To be conceived in a womb. Loving kindness is very much praised by the Blessed One: "Bhikkhus, whatever kinds of worldly merits there are, all are not worth one sixteenth part of the heart deliverance of Loving-kindness. LovingLovingIn shining, in beaming, in radiance the heart deliverance of Lovingkindness far excels them."
ELEVEN BENEFITS OF METTA For, the Blessed One has expounded to us eleven advantages to be looked for from its development. What are the eleven? 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. The person who fully develops loving-kindness sleeps happily. He wakes happily. He experiences no evil dreams. He is beloved of men. He is beloved even of non-human beings. He is protected by the devas. He cannot be harmed by fire, poison or a weapon. His mind is quickly composed. His complexion is serene. At the moment of death he passes away unbewildered. If he can go no further along the path of realisation, he will at least be reborn in the heavenly abode of the Brahma Devas. So, by every similar and possible way should we endeavor to quench our anger and at last be able to extend our loving-kindness towards any and every being in the world.
THE NATURE OF KAMMA (Mahasi Sayadaw) Kamma means any intentional action done by body, speech, or mind. It is the inner intention that the Blessed One called kamma, not the outward deed. So to understand kamma properly we must examine our motivation. When we do any good deeds, such as giving charity, if we hope for good results this will affect the result of our action. "A deed undertaken out of desire for fame is low. One undertaken with desire for the fruits of merit is moderate. One undertaken with the clear understanding that it is the custom of the Noble Ones is superior." So it is vital to cultivate insight to purify the mind of ulterior motives, otherwise even our good deeds will tend to prolong suffering in the cycle of existences, not to speak of bad deeds. The Blessed One said that beings are the owners of their kamma (kammassaka), heirs of their kamma (kammadayada), have kamma as their origin (kammayoni), are related to their kamma (kammabandhu), and have kamma as their refuge (kammappatisarana), whatever skilful or unskillful action they do, they will inherit its results. In this life, people are said to be the owners of their property, and they will go to extraordinary lengths to protect it. They say, think, and believe firmly, "This is my watch, my car, my house, my wife, my children, my own body." However, they are not able to take any of these things with them when they die. Everything must be left behind — except for kamma.
Whatever good and bad actions they have done throughout life follow them to give results in due course, just like a shadow that never leaves. That is why the Blessed One said that beings are the owners of their kamma. The potential of kamma is not destroyed at death, but we cannot point out where it is stored up. A tree has potential to give fruits in due season, but we cannot point out where the fruits are stored in a tree. Even though a tree is capable of giving fruits, if the weather is not right, no fruits will appear. It is similar with kamma. Only powerful kammas will give a definite result, the result of lesser kammas is not definite. If this were not so, there could be no escape from suffering. Some kammas give results in the same life, others will give their results in the next life. The remainder give results in the lives after that, so everyone has a store of good and bad kamma that is waiting for the right season to give its fruit. In this life too, everyone is doing many good and bad kammas. Powerful good kammas can prevent bad kammas from giving their result, or mitigate their effects. Likewise, powerful bad kammas can prevent good kammas from giving their result, or spoil their effects. The Blessed One illustrated this with a simile. If you put a spoonful of salt in a cup of water it becomes undrinkable, but if you put a spoonful of salt in a lake you cannot even taste it.
In the Milinda Pañhā, the Arahant Venerable Nagasena compared good kamma to a boat, and bad kamma to rocks. Even a small rock will sink, but if many small and large rocks are put into a large boat they will not sink. So we should do as much good kamma as we can, we should not do any more bad kamma at all, and we should cultivate knowledge, wisdom, and awareness so that we know the difference and can control our emotions. Most important, kamma is the sole refuge of all beings. It is both the cause of our difficulties, and the means of our escape. Buddhists should rely on their own efforts to gain salvation. Even the very best teacher can only point out the right way. We have to travel the path by our own efforts. We do unskillful deeds due to our own foolishness, and we must acquire wisdom and discipline to correct our own defects. No one else can do it for us. FRUITFUL KAMMA Anguttara-Nikaya (iii. 33). bhikkhus, There are three conditions, O bhikkhus, under which deeds are produced. And what are the three? Covetousness is a condition under which deeds are produced; hatred is a condition under which deeds are produced; are infatuation is a condition under which deeds are produced.
bhikkhus, When a man’s deeds, O bhikkhus, are performed through covetousness, arise from covetousness, are occasioned by covetousness, originate in covetousness, wherever his personality be, may be, there those deeds ripen, and wherever they ripen, there he experiences the fruition of those deeds, be it in the present life, or in some subsequent one. bhikkhus, When a man’s deeds, O bhikkhus, are performed through hatred, arise are performed through infatuation, arise from infatuation, are occasioned by infatuation, originate in infatuation, wherever his personality may be, there those deeds ripen, and wherever they ripen, there he experiences the fruition of those deeds, be it in the present subsequent life, or in some subsequent one. bhikkhus, It is like seed, O bhikkhus, that is uninjured, undecayed, unharmed by wind or heat, and is sound, and advantageously sown in a fertile wellfield on well-prepared soil; if then rain falls in due season, then, O bhikkhus, growth, bhikkhus, will that seed attain to growth, increase, and development. In exactly the same way, O bhikkhus, when a man’s deeds are bhikkhus, performed through covetousness, arise from covetousness, are occasioned by covetousness, originate in covetousness, wherever his personality may be, there those deeds ripen. And wherever they ripen, there he experiences the fruition of those deeds, be it in the present life, or in some subsequent one.
When a man’s deeds are performed through hatred, … are performed infatuation, through infatuation, arise from infatuation, are occasioned by infatuation, originate in infatuation, wherever his personality may be, there those deeds ripen, and wherever they ripen, there he experiences the fruition of those deeds, be it in the present life, or in some subsequent one. bhikkhus, These, O bhikkhus, are the three conditions under which deeds are produced. MODIFIABILITY OF KAMMA Anguttara-Nikaya (iii. 99) bhikkhus, “O bhikkhus, if any one says that a man must reap according to his bhikkhus, any deeds, in that case, O bhikkhus, there is no religious life, nor is any opportunity afforded for the entire extinction of misery. But if any bhikkhus, one says, O bhikkhus, that the reward a man reaps accords with his bhikkhus, deeds, in that case, O bhikkhus, there is a religious life, and opportunity is afforded for the entire extinction of misery. “We may have the case, O bhikkhus, of an individual who does some bhikkhus, slight deed of wickedness which brings him to hell, or, again, O bhikkhus, bhikkhus, we may have the case of another individual who does the in same slight deed of wickedness, and expiates it in the present life, though it may be in a way which appears to him not slight but grievous.
bhikkhus, “What kind of individual, O bhikkhus, is he whose slight deed of bhikkhus, wickedness brings him to hell? Whenever, O bhikkhus, an individual management is not proficient in the management of his body, is not proficient in the precepts, is not proficient in concentration, is not proficient in wisdom, and is limited and bounded, and abides in what is finite and bhikkhus, evil: such an individual, O bhikkhus, is he whose slight deed of wickedness wickedness brings him to hell. bhikkhus, “What kind of individual, O bhikkhus, is he who does the same slight deed of wickedness, and expiates it in the present life, though it may be in a way which appears to him not slight but grievous? Whenever, bhikkhus, individual O bhikkhus, an individual is proficient in the management of his body, is proficient in the precepts, is proficient in concentration, is proficient in wisdom, and is not limited, nor bounded, and abides in bhikkhus, the universal: such an individual, O bhikkhus, is he who does the slight same slight deed of wickedness, and expiates it in the present life, though it may be in a way which appears to him not slight but grievous. “It is as if, O bhikkhus, a man were to put a lump of salt into a small bhikkhus, bhikkhus? now cup of water. What think you, O bhikkhus? Would now the small amount of water in this cup be made salt and undrinkable by the lump of salt?” “Yes, Venerable Sir.” “And why?” “Because, Venerable Sir, there was but a small amount of water in the cup, and so it was made salt and undrinkable by the lump of salt.”
bhikkhus, “It is as if, O bhikkhus, a man were to throw a lump of salt into the bhikkhus? river Ganges. What think you, O bhikkhus? Would now the river Ganges be made salt and undrinkable by the lump of salt?” “Nay, verily, Venerable Sir.” “And why not?” “Because, Venerable Sir, the mass of water in the river Ganges is great, and so is not made salt and undrinkable by the lump of salt.” bhikkhus, “In exactly the same way, O bhikkhus, we may have the case of an individual who does some slight deed of wickedness which brings him brings bhikkhus, to hell; or, again, O bhikkhus, we may have the case of another individual who does the same slight deed of wickedness, and expiates it in the present life, though it may be in a way which appears to him not slight but grievous. same bhikkhus, “In exactly the same way, O bhikkhus, we may have the case of an individual who does some slight deed of wickedness which brings him bhikkhus, to hell; or again, O bhikkhus, we may have the case of another individual who does the same slight deed of wickedness, and expiates it in the present life, though it may be in a way which appears to him not slight but grievous. bhikkhus, “O bhikkhus, if any one were to say that a man must reap according bhikkhus, to his deeds, in that case, O bhikkhus, there is no religious life, nor is any opportunity afforded for the entire extinction of misery. But if afforded bhikkhus, any one says, O bhikkhus, that the reward a man reaps accords with bhikkhus, his deeds, in that case, O bhikkhus, there is a religious life, and opportunity is afforded for the entire extinction of misery.”
Dhamma The Dhamma The Teaching of the Buddha is perhaps the only religious teaching that requires no belief in traditions, or in certain historical events. It appeals solely to the understanding of each individual. For wherever there are beings capable of there thinking, there the truths proclaimed by the Buddha may be understood and realised, without regard to race, country, nationality or station in life. These truths are universal, not bound up with any particular country, or any particular epoch. And in everyone, even in the lowest, there lies latent the capacity for seeing and realising these truths, and attaining to the Highest Perfection. And whosoever lives a noble life, such a one has already tasted of the truth and, in greater or lesser Eightfold degree, travels on the Eightfold Path of Peace which all noble and holy ones have trod, are treading now, and shall in future tread. The universal laws of morality hold good without variation everywhere and at all times, whether one may call Muslim, oneself a Buddhist, Hindu, Christian or Muslim, or by any other name. Nyanatiloka.
WE NOW CLOSE THIS WINDOW TO THE SUTTAS And make the Aspiration that: Window, In looking through the Window, Hopefully, You, the Seeker, Sufficient Interest Will find Sufficient Interest Teacher ever In the Teachings of the Greatest Teacher ever and inspired Invest nvestigate Further Be inspired to Investigate Further and practic Go on to the practice of the Dhamma. spiration Our Aspiration will be fulfilled; thus And we share merits thus acquired with all beings. Beings May All Beings attain Nibbana Life In the Present Life time….
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! adhu! Sadhu! hu