Friday, August 22, 2008
1. Tributes to the Buddha's Greatness.
2. A Vow to Spread His Dhamma.
3. A Prayer for His Return to His Native Land.
§ 1 Tributes to the Buddha's Greatness
1. The Buddha was born 2500 years ago.
2. What do modern thinkers and scientists say of him and his Dhamma? An anthology of their thoughts on the subject will be useful.
3. Prof. S. S. Raghavachar says:
4. " The period immediately antecedent to the life of the Buddha was one of the darkest ages in the history of India.
5. " It was intellectually a backward age. The thought of the time was characterised by an implicit veneration for the authority of the scriptures.
6. " Morally it was a dark age.
7. " Morality meant for the believing Hindus the correct performance of rites and ceremonies enjoined in the holy texts.
8. "The really ethical ideas like self-sacrifice or purity will did not find appropriate positions in the moral consciousness of the time."
9. Mr. R. J. Jackson says:
10. "The unique character of the Buddha's teaching is shown forth in the study of Indian Religious thought.
11. "In the hymns of the Rig-Veda we see man's thoughts turned outwards, away from himself, to the world of the gods.
12 " Buddhism directed man's search inwards to the potentiality hidden within himself.
13. " In the Vedas we find prayer, praise and worship.
14. " In Buddhism for the first time we find training of the mind to make it act righteously."
15. Winwood Reade says:
16. "It is when we open the book of nature, it is when we read the story of evolution through millions of years, written in blood and tears, it is when we study the laws regulating life, the laws productive of development, that we see plainly how illusive is the theory that God is love.
17. "In everything there is wicked profligate and abandoned waste. Of all animals that are born only a very small percentage survives.
18. " Eat and be eaten is the rule in the ocean, the air, the forest. Murder is the law of growth."
19. This is what Reade says in his " Martyrdom of Man. " How different is the Dhamma of the Buddha.
20. This is what Dr. Ranjan Roy says:
21. " Throughout the second half of the nineteenth century the three laws of conservation held sway. Nobody challenged them.
22. " They were the laws of matter, mass and energy.
23. " They were the trump cards of those idealists who cherished the thought of their being indestructible.
24. " Nineteenth century scientists professed them as the governing factors of creation.
25. " Nineteenth century scientists professed them as constituting the fundamental nature of the Universe.
26. " They conceived that the Universe was filled with indestructible atoms.
27. " Just as the nineteenth century was drawing to a close. Sir J. J. Thompson and his followers began to hammer the atoms.
28. " Surprisingly enough the atoms began to break up into fragments.
29. " These fragments came to be called electrons, all similar and charged with negative electricity.
30. " Atoms hailed by Maxwell as imperishable foundation-stones of the Universe or Reality broke down.
31. " They got broken into tiny particles, protons and electrons charged with positive and negative electricity respectively.
32. " The concept of a fixed unalterable mass abandoned Science for good. In this century the Universal belief is that matter is being annihilated at every instant.
33. "The Buddha's doctrine of Anicca (transi-toriness) is confirmed.
34. " Science has proved that the course of the Universe is a grouping and dissolution and regrouping.
35. " The trend of Modern Science is the trend of an ultimate reality, unity and diversity of ego.
36. " Modern Science is the echoing of the Buddhists doctrines of transitoriness (annica) and of egolessness (anatta)."
37. Mr. E. G. Taylor, in his "Buddhism and Modern Thought," says:
38. " Man has been ruled byexternal authority long enough. If he is to be truly civilised, he must learn to be ruled' by his own principles. Buddhism is the earliest ethical system where man is called upon to have himself governed by himself.
39. " Therefore a progressive world needs Buddhism to teach it this supreme lesson."
40. The Reverend Leslie Bolton, unitarian minister, says:
41. "I see in the spiritual psychology of Buddhism its most powerful contribution.
42. " Unitarian Christians like Buddhists reject the external authority of church books or creeds and find in man himself the guiding lamp.
43. "Unitarians see in Jesus and Gautama noble exponents of the way of life."
44. Prof. Dwight Goddard says:
45. " Among the world's religious teachers, Buddha alone has the glory of having rightly judged the intrinsic greatness of man's capacity to work out his salvation without extraneous aid."
46. " If the worth of a truly great man consists in his raising the worth of all mankind, who is better entitled to be called truly great than the Blessed One.
47. " Who instead of degrading him by placing another being over him, has exalted him to the highest pinnacle of wisdom and love."
48. Mr. E. J. Mills, author of "Buddhism," says: 49. "In no other religion are the values of knowledge and evil of ignorance so much insisted upon as they are in Buddhism."
50. " No other religion lays so much stress upon keeping one's eyes open.
51. " No other religion has formulated such deep laid plans for mental culture."
52. Prof. W. T. Stace says in his Buddhist ethics :
53. "The Buddhist moral ideal, the Arhat, had to be both morally and intellectually great.
54. " He had to be a philosopher, as well as a man of good conduct.
55. "Knowledge was always stressed by Buddhism as essential to Salvation, and ignorance as one of the two main causes of failure, to attain it (craving or attachment being the other).
56. " On the contrary, knowledge has never been any part of the Christian ideal man."
57. " Owing to the unphilosophical character of its founder in the Christian Scheme of thought the moral side of man has been divorced from the intellectual side. 58. " Far more of the world's misery is caused by stupidity and blind faith than by wickedness.
59. "The Buddha did not allow this."
60. Enough unto this to show how great and how unique is the Buddha and his Dhamma.
61. Who would not say let such a one be our Master ?
§ 2. A Vow to Spread His Dhamma
1." There are beings without limit, Let us take the vow to convey them all across.
2. There are depravities in us without number, Let us take the vow to extinguish them all.
3. There are truths without end, Let us take the vow to comprehend them all.
4. There is the Way of Buddha without comparison,
Let us take the vow to accomplish it perfectly."
Encyclopadia of Religion & Ethics, Vol. X, p. 168.
§ 3. A Prayer for His Return to His Native Land
1. "0 Exalted One! I trust myself whole-heartedly
To the Tathagata whose light pervades, Without any impediment, the regions in the ten quarters,
And express my earnest desire to be born in Thy Land.
2. In realising in vision the appearance of Thy Land,
I know that it surpasses all realms in the threefold existence.
3. That it is like sky, embracing all, Vast and spacious without boundaries.
4. Thy mercy and compassion in accordance with the righteous way, Is an outgrowth of the stock of merits (accumulated by Thee), which are beyond all worldly good;
5. And Thy light permeates everywhere, Like the mirrors of the Sun and the Moon.
6. Let me pray that all beings, having been born there, Shall proclaim the Truth, like Buddha Thysfelf.
7. Herewith I write down this essay and utter these verses, And pray that I could see Thee, 0 Buddha, face to face,
8. And that I could, together with all my fellow-beings, Attain the birth in the Land of Bliss."
Encyclopadia of Religion & Ethics, Vol. X, p. 169.
Posted bySumedh at 4:58 AM
BOOK VIII: THE MAN WHO WAS SIDDHARTH GAUTAMA
1. His Personal Appearance.
2. The Testimony of Eye-witnesses.
3. His Capacity to Lead.
1. His Personal Appearance
1. From all accounts the Blessed Lord was a handsome person.
2. His form was like the peak of a golden mountain. He was tall and well built; with a pleasing appearance.
3. His long arms and lion gait, his bull-like eyes, and his beauty, bright like gold, his broad chest, attracted everyone to him.
4. His brows, his forehead, his mouth or his eyes, his body, his hands, his feet or his gait— whatever part of him anyone beheld that at once riveted his eyes.
5. Whoever saw him could not help being struck with his majesty and his strength, his splendid beauty, surpassing all other men.
6. On seeing him, he who was going elsewhere stood still and whoever was standing followed him: he who was walking gently and gravely, ran quickly, and he who was sitting at once sprang up.
7. Of those who met him some reverenced him with their hands, others in worship saluted him with their heads, some addressed him with affectionate words, not one went on without paying him homage.
8. He was loved and respected by all.
9. Men as well as women were ever ready to hear him.
10. His voice was singularly sweet and deep as a drum, lovely, vibrant and eloquent. It made his speech as though it was heavenly music.
11. His very tones convinced the hearer, and his looks inspired awe.
12. His personality alone sufficed to make him not only a leader but a god to the hearts of his fellows.
13. When he spoke he obtained hearers.
14. It mattered little what he said. He influenced the emotions and bent whoever listened to his will.
15. He could create in the minds of his hearers that what he taught was not only a verity, but the very hope of their salvation.
16. His hearers could recognise in his words the truth that makes of slaves free men.
17. When he talked with men and women his serene look inspired them with awe and reverence and his lovely voice struck them with rapture and amazement.
18. Who could have converted the robber Augulimala or the Cannibal of Atavi ? Who could have reconciled King Pasenjit to his queen Mallika by a single word. To have come under his spell is to be his for ever. So charming was his personality.
§ 2. The Testimony of Eye-witnesses
1. This traditional view is supported by the testimony of eye-witnesses who saw him and met him while he was alive.
2. One such eye-witness is a Brahmin by name Sale. After seeing the Blessed One face to face he uttered the following sentiments in praise of him.
3. Arrived in the Lord's presence, the Brahmin, seating himself after greetings, scanned the Lord's body for the two and thirty marks of a Superman, and in time observed them.
4. Quite sure now about the presence of the two and thirty marks, Sale still did not know whether or not he had enlightenment. But he remembered hearing from old and aged Brahmins, teachers of teachers, that those who became Arahats, all enlightened, reveal themselves when their praises are sung, and so he made up his mind to extol the Lord to his face in the following lines of eulogy:
5. " Perfect of body, goodly, Lord, art thou, well grown, well liking, golden-hued, with teeth which gleam lustre; vigour fills the frame; the body's full perfection manifests each single sign that marks a Superman.
6. "Clear-eyed and handsome, tall, upright art thou, effulgent as a sun among thy train, so debonair, so golden-hued; why waste thy beauty's prime as homeless anchorite.
7. "As world-wide monarch thou shouldst ride in State; and indeed from sea to sea should own thy sway. Proud princes shall thy village headmen be; rule thou mankind, as sovereign, king of kings."
8. Ananda describes the colour of his body as exceedingly clear and bright so much so that the pair of, cloth of gold when placed on the body of the Blessed One appears to have lost its splendour.
9. No wonder he was called by his opponents a glamour boy.
§ 3. His Capacity to Lead
1. The Sangh had no official head. The Blessed One had no authority over the Sangh. The Sangh was a self-governing body.
2. What was, however, the position of the Blessed One over the Sangh and its members ?
3. In this we have the evidence of Sakuldai and Udai, contemporaries of the Blessed One.
4. Once the Lord was staying at Rajagraha in the bamboo grove.
5. One morning the Lord went into Rajagraha for alms; but, deeming the hour too early, he thought of going to Sakuldai in Wanderers' Pleasance; and thither he repaired.
6. At the time, Sakuldai was sitting with a great company of Wanderers, who were making a great noise about being and not being.
7. When from some way off, Sakuldai saw the Lord coming, he hushed his company by saying: " Be quiet, sirs; do not make a noise; here comes the recluse Gotama, who is a lover of silence."
8. So they became silent and the Lord came up. Said Sakuldai: " I pray the Lord to join us; he is truly welcome; it is a long time since he last managed to come. Pray, be seated; here is a seat for the Lord."
9. The Lord sat down accordingly, asking Sakul-dai what had been their theme and what was the discussion which had been interrupted.
10. " Let that pass for the moment," answered Sakuldai; " you can easily gather that later on."
11. Of late, when recluses and Brahmins of other creeds met together in the Discussion Hall, the topic was mooted, what a good thing, what a very good thing, for the Magdha people in Anga, that such recluses and Brahmins—all at the head of confraternities or followings, all well known and famous teachers, all founders of saving creeds, held in high repute by many people should have come to spend the rainy season at Rajagraha.
12. There was Purana Kassappa, Makhali Ghosala, Ajit Kesakambal, Pakudha Kacchayana, Sanjaya Belaiputta, and Nata-putta the Nigantha, all men of distinction and all of them here for the rains; and among them there is also the recluse Gotama here, at the head of his confraternity and following, a well-known and famous teacher, a founder of a saving creed, who is held in high repute by many.
13. Now, which of these lords, which of these recluses and Brahmins of such eminence as teachers, is esteemed, respected, venerated and adored by his disciples ? And on what terms of esteem and respect do they live with him ?
14. Said some: "Purana Kassappa gets no esteem or respect; no veneration or adoration, from his disciples; they live with him on no terms of esteem and respect."
15. Time was when, as he was preaching his doctrine to some hundreds of his following, a disciple broke in with— "Don't question Purana Kassappa, who does not know about it; ask me who do; I will explain everything to your reverences."
16. With arms outstretched Purana Kassappa tearfully remonstrated, saying: " Do be quiet, sirs, do not make a noise."
1. His Compassion—The Maha Karunik.
2. Healing of the Stricken.
3. His Concern for the Sick.
4. His Tolerance of the Intolerant.
5. His Sense of Equality and Equal Treatment.
§ 1. His Compassion—The Maha Karunik
1. When once the Blessed Lord was staying in Shravasti the almsmen came and informed him that they were constantly harassed by the Deva who disturbed them in their meditations.
2. After hearing their stories of harassment the Blessed Lord gave them the following instructions :—
3. "He, who is skilled in his godness, who wishes to attain that calm state, should act thus: he should be able, upright, near perfectly upright, of noble speech, gentle and humble.
4. " Contented, easily supportable, with few duties, of light livelihood, controlled in senses, discreet, not impudent, not greedily attached to families.
5. " He should not pursue anything trifling such that other wise men might censure him. He should wish, ' May all beings be happy and secure; may their hearts be wholesome.'
6. " Whatever living beings there be—feeble or strong, tall, stout and medium, short, small or large, without exception;
7. " Seen or unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born, or who are to be born, may all beings be happy.
8. " Let none deceive another, nor despise any person whatsoever in any place, let him not" wish any harm to another, out of anger or ill-will.
9. "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.
10. " Let his thoughts of boundless love pervade the whole world, above, below and across without any obstruction, without any enmity.
11. "Whether he stands, walks, sits, lies down, as long as he is awake, he should develop this mindfulness, this they say is the noblest living here.
12. " Not falling into error (self-illusion), being virtuous and endowed with insight, by discarding attachment to sense desires never does he come again for conception in a womb."
13. In short, he told them "Love your enemies."
§2. Healing of the Stricken A Consummate Healer of Sorrow.
(i) Consoling Visakha
1. Visakha was an upasika. It was her routine to give alms to the bhikkhus.
2. One day her grand-daughter, Suddata, who lived with her, fell ill and died.
3. Visakha was unable to bear the grief.
4. After cremation she went to the Buddha and sat on one side sad with tearful eyes.
5. "0 Visakha," asked the Blessed One, "wherefore dost thou sit, sad and mournful, shedding tears?"
6. She told him of her grand-daughter's death, saying, " she was a dutiful girl, and I cannot find her like."
7. "How many young girls, say, are there dwelling in Shravasti, O Visakha ? "
8. "Lord, men say there are several kotis (several millions)."
9. "If all these were like thy grand-daughter, would thou not love them?"
10. " Verily, Lord," replied Visakha.
11. "And how many die daily in Shravasti?"
12. "Many, Lord."
13. " Then there is never a moment when thou wouldst not be grieving for someone ? "
14. " True, Lord."
15. " Wouldst thou then spend thy life weeping day and night ? "
16. " I understand Lord ; it is well said ! "
17. " Grieve then, no more."
(ii) Comforting Kisa Gotami
1. Kisa Gotami was married to the son of a merchant of Shravasti.
2. Soon after marriage a son was born to her.
3. Unfortunately her child died of a snake-bite before it could walk.
4. She could not believe that her child was really dead as she had not seen death before.
5. The little spot red from the bite of a snake, did not look as if it could be the cause of the child's death.
6. She, therefore, took her dead child and wandered about from house to house, in such a wild state of mind that people believed that she had gone out of her senses.
7. At last one old man advised her to go and seek out Gotama who happened at the time to be in Shravasti.
8. So she came to the Blessed One and asked him for some medicine for her dead child.
9. The Blessed One listened to her story and to her lamentations.
10. Then the Blessed One told her, " Go enter the town, and at any house where yet there has been no death, thence bring a little mustard seed and with that I will revive your child."
11. She thought this was easy and with the dead body of her child she entered the town.
12. But she soon found that she had failed as every house she visited had suffered loss in the death of some member.
13. As one householder told her, " the living are few and the dead are many."
14. So she returned to the Blessed Lord disappointed and empty-handed.
15. The Blessed Lord then asked her if she did not then realize that death was the common lot of all and whether she should grieve as though it was her special misfortune.
16. She then went and cremated the child, saying: " All is impermanent; this is the law."
§ 3. His Concern for the Sick
1. Now at one time a certain brother was suffering from dysentery and lay where he had fallen down in his own excreta.
2. And the Exalted One going on his rounds of the lodgings, with the venerable Ananda in attendance, came to the lodging of that brother.
3. Now the Exalted One saw that brother lying where he had fallen in his own excreta and seeing him he went towards him, and said: " Brother, what ails you ? "
4. " I have dysentery. Lord."
5. " But is there anyone taking care of you, brother ? "
6. " No, Lord."
7. " Why is it, brother, that the brethren do not take care of you ? "
8. " I am useless to the brethren. Lord, therefore the brethren do not care for me."
9. Then the Exalted One said to the venerable Ananda: " Go you, Ananda, and fetch water. I will wash this brother."
10. " Yes, Lord," replied the venerable Ananda to the Exalted One. When he had fetched the water, the Exalted One poured it out, while the venerable Ananda washed that brother all over. Then the Exalted One, taking him by the head and the venerable Ananda taking him by the feet, together they laid him on the bed.
11. Then the Exalted One, in this connection and on this occasion, gathered the Order of Brethren together, and questioned the brethren, saying:
12. " Brethren, is there in such and such a lodging a brother who is sick?"
13. "There is, Lord."
14. " And what ails that brothea?"
15. " Lord, that brother has dysentery."
16. " But, brethren, is there anyone taking care of him ? "
17. " No, Lord."
18. " Why not ? Why do not the brethren take care of him ?"
19. " The brother is useless to the brethren, Lord. That is why the brethren do not take care of him."
20. " Brethren, ye have no mother and father to take care of you. If ye will not take care of each other, who else, I ask, will do so ? Brethren, he who would wait on me, let him wait on the sick.
21. "If he have a teacher, let his teacher take care of him so long as he is alive, and wait for his recovery. If he have a tutor or a lodger, a disciple or a fellow lodger or a fellow disciple, such should take care of him and await his recovery. If no one takes care of him, it shall be reckoned an offence."
1. Once the Exalted One was staying near Rajagraha in the great grove, at the squirrels feeding ground.
2. On that occasion the venerable Vakkali was staying in the potter's shed, being sick, afflicted, stricken with a sore disease.
3. Now the venerable Vakkali called to his attendants, saying: " Come hither, friends! Go ye to the Exalted One and, in my name worshipping at the feet of the Exalted One, say unto Him : "Lord, the brother Vakkali is sick, afflicted, stricken with a sore disease. He worships at the feet of the .Exalted One.' And thus do you say : ' Well, were it. Lord, if the Exalted One would visit brother Vakkali, out of compassion for him.' "
4. The Exalted One consented by His silence. Thereupon the Exalted One robed himself, and, taking bowl and robe, went to visit the venerable Vakkali.
5. Now the venerable Vakkali saw the Exalted
One coming while he was yet far off, and on seeing him he stirred upon his bed.
6. Then said the Exalted One to the venerable Vakkali: " Enough, Vakkali ! Stir not on your bed ! There are these seats made ready. I will sit there." And he sat down on a seat made ready. So the Exalted One sat down and said to the venerable Vakkali:
7. " Well, Vakkali, I hope you are bearing up. I hope you are enduring. Do your pains abate and not increase ? Are there signs of their abating and not increasing?"
8. "No, Lord, I am not bearing up. I am not enduring. Strong pains come upon me. They do not abate. There is no sign of their abating but of their increasing."
9. " Have you any doubt, Vakkali ? Have you any remorse'."
10. "Indeed, Lord, I have no doubt. I have no remorse."
11. "Have you not anything, Vakkali, wherein you reproach yourself as to morals ? "
12. " Nay, Lord, there is nothing wherein I reproach myself as to morals."
13. "Then, Vakkali, if that is so, you must have some worry, you must have something you regret."
14. "For a long time. Lord, I have been longing to set eyes on the Exalted One, but I had not strength enough in this body to come to see the Exalted One."
15. "Hush, Vakkali; what is there in seeing this vile body of mine ? He who seeth the Norm, he seeth me: he who seeth, Vakkali, seeth the Norm. Verily, seeing the Norm, Vakkali, one seeth me : seeing me, one seeth the Norm."
1. Thus have I heard: The Exalted One was once staying among the Bhaggi, at crocodile haunt in Bhesakala grove in the deer-park. Then the housefather, Nakulapita, came to the Exalted One, saluted Him, and sat down at one side.
2. As he sat there, the housefather, Nakulapita, addressed the Exalted One, saying: "Master, I am a broken-down old man, aged, far gone in years, I have reached life's end, I am sick and always ailing. Moreover, Master, I am one to whom rarely comes the sight of the Exalted One and the worshipful brethren. Let the Exalted One cheer and comfort me, so that it be a profit and a blessing unto me for many a long day."
3. " True it is, true it is, housefather, that your body is weak and cumbered! For one carrying this body about, housefather, to claim but a moment's health would be sheer foolishness. Wherefore, housefather, thus should you train yourself: ' Though my body is sick, my mind shall not be sick.' Thus, housefather, must you train yourself."
4. Then Nakulapita, the housefather, welcomed and gladly heard the words of the Exalted One, and rising from his seat he saluted the Exalted One by the right, and departed.
1. Once the Exalted One was staying among the Sakyans at Kapilavastu, in the fig-tree park.
2. Then on that occasion a number of brethren were busy with making robes for the Exalted One, "For," said they, "when the three months are over, the Exalted One, his robes being complete, will go forth on his rounds."
3. Now Mahanama, the Sakyan, heard it said, "A number of brethren are busy with making robes, and so forth". . . and he went to the Exalted One, saluted him, and sat down at one side. So seated, Mahanama, the Sakyan, said :
4. "I hear it said. Lord, that a number of the brethren are busy with making robes for the Exalted One, saying, 'when the robes are complete, at the end of the three months, the Exalted One will go forth on his rounds.' Now, Lord, we have never heard from the Exalted One's own lips how a discreet layman who is sick, in pain, grievously afflicted, should be cheered by another discreet lay-brother."
5. "A discreet lay-brother, Mahanama, who is sick . .. should be cheered by another discreet lay-brother with the Four Comfortable Assurances, thus: ' Take comfort, good sir, in the Norm, and in the Order of Brethren: likewise in the virtues dear to the Norm kept unbroken and unsoiled which tend to balance of mind.'
6. " Then, Mahanama, when a discreet lay-brother who is sick has thus been cheered with the Four Comfortable Assurances by another lay-brother, such should be the words of that other:
7. " Suppose the sick man should have a longing for his parents. Then if the sick man says, ' I have a longing for my parents,' the other should reply, 'My dear good man, you are subject to death. Whether you have longing for your parents or not you will die. ' Twere just as well for you to abandon all longing for your parents.'
8. "And suppose the sick man says, 'That longing for my parents is now abandoned,' then the other should say, ' Yet my good sir, you still have a longing for your children. As you must die in any case, 'twere just as well for you to abandon longing for your children.'
9. " And so also should he speak inrespect of the five pleasures of the senses. Suppose the sick man says, ' I have a longing for the five pleasures of sense,' the other should say, ' My friend, heavenly delights are more excellent than the five pleasures of sense, and more choice. Twere well for you to remove your mind from human joys and fix it on the joys of the Four Great Deva Kings.'
10. "Again, if the sick man say, ' My mind is so fixed,' let the other say, ' Better to fix your mind on the Brahma world,' And then if the sick man's mind is so fixed, let the other say :
11. "'My good sir, even the Brahma world is impermanent, not lasting, subject to personality. Well for you, dear sir, if you raise your mind above the Brahma world and concentrate on cessation from onal.'
12. "And if the sick man says he has done so, then I declare Mahanama, that there is no difference between the lay-brother who can thus aver and the disciple whose mind is freed from the asavas: that is to say, so far as emancipation goes."
§ 4. His Tolerance of the Intolerant
1. Once the Blessed Lord was dwelling in the realm of the Yakkha Alavaka in the town of Alavi. Then the Yakkha Alavaka approached the Blessed Lord, and having approached him, said thus: " Get out, O Monk ! "
2. The Blessed Lord departed, saying: "Very well, friend."
3. The Yakkha then ordered " Enter, O Monk."
4. The Blessed Lord entered, saying: " Very well, friend."
5. For the second time also the Yakkha Alavaka told the Blessed Lord, " Get out, O Monk! "
6. The Lord departed, saying: " Very well, friend."
7. " Enter, O Monk! " said the Yakkha, the second time.
8. The Lord entered, saying: " Very well, friend."
9. For the third time also the Yakkha Alavaka told the Lord, " Get out, O Monk ! "
10. The Lord departed, saying: " Very well, friend."
11. " Enter, O Monk ! " said the Yakkha again.
12. The' Lord entered, saying: "Very well, friend."
13. For the fourth time did the Yakkha tell the Lord, " Get out, O Monk ! "
14. This time the Lord replied : " I shall not get out, friend, you may do what you like."
15. "I shall put a question to you; monk; if you do not answer my question, I will drive you out of your wits or I will tear your heart, or I will take you by the feet and throw you to the other side of the river," said the angry Yakkha,
16. " I do not see, friend, anyone in the world who could drive me out of my wits or tear out my heart, or take me by the feet and throw me across the river. Still, friend, you may put any question you like."
17. Then the Yakkha Alavaka asked the Lord the following questions :
18. " What is the noblest wealth for a man in this world ? What pure action brings happiness ? What is the sweetest of all tastes ? What manner of living is said to be the noblest living ? "
19. The Lord replied: "Faith is the noblest wealth for a man in this world. The Dhamma well observed brings happiness. Truth is the sweetest of all tastes. The living endowed with wisdom is said to be the noblest thing.
20. Yakkha Alavaka asked: " How does one cross the flood (rebirth) ? How does one cross the sea (existence)? How does one overcome suffering?"
21. The Lord replied: " One crosses the flood by Faith. One crosses the sea by Vigilance. One overcomes suffering by Exertion. One purifies oneself by wisdom.
22. Yakkha Alavaka asked: "How does one acquire knowledge? How does one obtain wealth? How does one attain fame? How does one gain friends ? Passing from this world to the other world after death, how does one not repent ?"
23. The Lord replied: "Having faith in Arahats and in the Dhamma for the attainment of Nibbana, and by obedience, the diligent, attentive person acquires wisdom.
24. " One who does what is proper, one who is resolute, one who is awake, he acquires wealth. One who gives acquires friends.
25. " The faithful householder in whom truthfulness, righteousness, patience and generosity are found, he does not repent after death.
26. " Come on! Also consult other numerous monks and Brahmins, whether there are any other qualities higher than truth, self-control, charity and patience."
27. Yakkha Alavaka said: "Now, why should I consult various Brahmins and monks? Today I know the prosperity which belongs to my future good.
28. " indeed ! the Buddha came to the dwelling of Alavi for my benefit. To-day I know, to whom when given, it returns the greatest fruit.
29. " From today I will wander from village to village, from town to town, paying my respect to the fully Enlightened One, and his perfect Doctrine."
§'5. His Sense of Equality and Equal Treatment
1. Whatever rules the Blessed Lord had made for the members of the Sangh were voluntarily and willingly accepted by him to be binding on him also.
2. He never claimed any exemption or any special treatment on the ground that he was the acknowledged head of the fraternity and to whom any concession would have been most willingly made by the fraternity out of the boundless love and respect they bore for him.
3. The rule that the members of the Sangh could take only one meal a day was accepted and followed by the Blessed Lord as much as it was by the bhikkhu.
4. The rule that the members of the Sangh should have no private property was accepted and followed by the Blessed Lord as much as it was by the bhikkhu.
5. The rule that no member of the Sangh should have more than three pieces of cloths was accepted and followed by the Blessed Lord as much as it was by the bhikidlu.
6. Once, when the Lord was living in the Sakyan country at Kapilavastu in the banyan grove, Maha-Prajapati Gautami, the mother of the Blessed Lord, came to the Lord with two new lengths of cloth which she begged the Lord to be so good as to accept from her as it was the work of her own hands at the loom expressly for him.
7. To her the Lord made the answer, "Give it to the confraternity."
8. A second and a third time did Gautami repeat her request, only to receive the same reply.
9. Then Ananda intervened, saying, " Pray accept, sir, the cloth presented by Gautami. She was of great service to the Lord as nurse and foster-mother suckling her nephew when his own mother died." But the Blessed Lord insisted upon the cloth being given to the confraternity.
10. Originally it was the rule of the Sangh that the robes of the members should be made of rags picked up from dung heaps. This rule was made to prevent the wealthier classes from joining the Sangh. 11. Once Jivika prevailed upon the Blessed Lord to accept a robe of newly made cloth. When the Lord accepted it, he at the same time relaxed the original rule and allowed the bhikkhu the same privilege.
1. His Dislike of Poverty.
2. His Dislike of the Acquisitive Instinct.
3. His Joy at the Beautiful.
4. His Love for the Lovely.
§ 1. His Dislike of Poverty
1. Once the Exalted One was dwelling near Shravasti in Jeta's grove, at Anathapindika's park; and there Anathapindika, the householder, came and visited him and after saluting, sat down at one side. So seated, he asked the Exalted One to explain why one should acquire riches.
2. " Since you ask me, I will explain.
3. " Take the case of Ariyan disciple with riches gotten by work and zeal, gathered by the strength of the arm, earned by the sweat of the brow; justly obtained in alawful way he makes himself happy, glad, and keeps that great happiness; he makes his parents happy, glad, and keeps them so; so likewise his wife and children, his slaves, workfolk and men. This is the first reason for getting riches.
4. " When riches are thus gotten, he makes his friends and companions happy, glad, and keeps them so. This is the second reason.
5. " Again, when riches are thus gotten, ill-luck from fire and water, rajas and robbers, enemies and heirs is warded off, and he keeps his goods in safety. This is the third reason.
6. "Then, when riches are thus gotten, he makes the five oblations, that is to say, oblations to kin, guests, pitaras, rajas and devas. This is the fourth reason.
7. "Moreover, when riches are thus gotten, the householder institutes offerings, of lofty aim, celestial ripening to happiness, leading heavenward, for all those recluses and godly men who abstain from pride and indolence, who bear all things in patience and humility, each mastering self, each calming self, each perfecting self. This is the fifth reason for getting rich."
8. Anathapindika well understood that the Blessed Lord did not comfort the poor by praising their poverty nor did he sublimate poverty as a happy state for man to live in.
§ 2. His Dislike of the Acquisitive Instinct
1. The Exalted One was once staying in the town of Kammassadamma in the country of Kurus.
2. The venerable Ananda came to where the Exalted One was, bowed in salutation before him and took a seat on one side.
3. And so seated he said, "Marvellous is this law of causation which has been taught by the Blessed One. It is so deep. To me it seems as clear as clear can be."
4. " Say not so, Ananda, say not so! Deep is this doctrine of events arising from causes. It is through not understanding this doctrine, through not penetrating it, that this generation has become a tangled skein, a matted ball of thread, unable to overpass the way of woe.
5. "I have said that craving is the cause of grasping. Where there is no craving of any sort or kind whatever by anyone for anything, would there be any arising of grasping ? "
6. " There would not. Lord."
7. " Craving gives rise to pursuit of gain.
8. " Pursuit of gain gives rise to desire and passion.
9. " Desire and passion give rise to tenacity.
10. " Tenacity gives rise to possession.
11. "Possession gives rise to avarice and more possession.
12. " Possessions lead to keeping watch and ward over possessions.
13. "Many a bad and wicked state of things arise from keeping watch and ward over possession, such as blows and wounds, strife, quarrelling, slander and lies.
14. " This is the chain of causation, Ananda. If there was no craving, would there arise pursuit of gain ? If there was no pursuit of gain, would there arise passion? If there was no passion, would there arise tenacity? If there would be no tenacity, would there arise the love for private possessions ? If there would be no possession, would there arise avarice for more possession ? "
15. " There would not, Lord."
16. " If there would not be the love of private possession, would there not be peace ? "
17. " There would be, Lord."
18. " I recognise the earth as earth. But I have no craving for it," said the Lord.
19. " Therefore it is, say I, that by extirpating all cravings, by not lusting after them, but by destroying and abandoning and renouncing them all that I acquired enlightenment.
20. " Seek to be partakers, brethren, not of the world's goods but of my doctrines. For craving brings about attachment and attachment enslaves the mind."
21. In these words did the Blessed Lord explain to Ananda and the brethren the evils of the acquisitive instinct.
§ 3. His Joy at the Beautiful
1. The Buddha was so fond of the beautiful that he might well bear an alias and be called Buddha, the Lover of the Beautiful.
2. So he preached to his followers: " Be in the company of the lovely."
3. Addressing the bhikkhus, he said:
4. " Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to cause the arising of good states if not yet arisen, or the waning of evil states already arisen, as friendship with the lovely.
5. " In one who is a friend of what is lovely, good states not arisen do arise and evil states already arisen wane. Evil states and devotion to evil states wanes, lack of devotion to good states disappears, good states and devotion thereto arise; lack of devotion to evil states increases.
6. " Monks, I know not of any other single thing of such power to prevent the arising of the limbs of wisdom, if not yet arisen, or, if they have already arisen, to prevent their reaching fulfilment by cultivation thereof, as unsystematic attention.
7. " In him who practices unsystematic attention, monks, the limbs of wisdom if not yet arisen, arise not and if arisen they reach not fulfilment by cultivation thereof.
8. " Of slight account, monks, is the loss of such things as relatives. Miserable indeed among losses is the loss of wisdom.
9. " Of slight account, monks, is the increase of such things as relatives. Chief of all the increases is that of wisdom.
10. "Wherefore I say, monks, ye should train yourselves thus: ' We will increase in wisdom.' You must train yourselves to win that.
II. "Of slight account, monks, is the increase of such things as wealth. Chief of all the increases is that of wisdom. Wherefore I say, monks, thus, must ye train yourselves. ' We will increase in wisdom." You must train yourselves to win that.
12. " Of slight account, monks, is the loss of such things as reputation. Miserable indeed is the loss of wisdom."
§ 4. His Love for the Lovely
1. Once the Exalted One was staying among the Sakyans at Sakkara, a Sakyan township.
2. Then the venerable Ananda came to the Exalted One, saluted him and sat down at one side. So seated, the venerable Ananda said this:
3. " The half of the holy life, Lord, is friendship with what is lovely, association with what is lovely, intimacy with what is lovely ! "
4. " Say not so, Ananda! Say not so, Ananda! It is the whole, not the half, of the holy life,—this friendship, this association, this intimacy with what is lovely.
5. " Of a monk who is a friend, an associate, an intimate of what is lovely we may expect this,—that he will develop the Ariyan eightfold way, that he will make much of the Ariyan eightfold way.
6. "And how, Ananda, does such a monk develop and make much of the Ariyan eightfold way ?
7. " Herein, Ananda, he cultivates the right view, which is based on detachment, on dispassion, on cessation, which ends in self-surrender. He cultivates the right aim, which is so based and concerned: likewise right speech, right action, right living, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration, which ends in self-surrender.
8. " That, Ananda, is how a monk who is a friend, an associate, anintimate of what is lovely, cultivates and makes much of the Ariyan eightfold way.
9. " This is the method, Ananda, by which you are to understand how the whole of this holy life consists in friendship, in association, in intimacy with what is lovely.
10. " Indeed, Ananda, beings liable to decay, liable to death, liable to grief, woe, lamentation and despair, are liberated therefrom because of their friendship with what is lovely.11. "It is by this method, Ananda, that you are to understand how the whole of this holy life consists in friendship, in association, in intimacy with what is lovely."
Posted bySumedh at 4:53 AM