1. The Story of Patipujika Kumari

    Comment

    Buddha walking in heaven

    Verse 48: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death.

    The Story of Patipujika Kumari

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (48) of this book, with reference to Patipujika Kumari.

    Patipujika Kumari was a lady from Savatthi. She married at the age of sixteen and had four sons. She was a virtuous as well as a generous lady, who loved to make offerings of food and other requisites to the bhikkhus. She would often go to the monastery and clean up the premises, fill the pots and jars with water and perform other services. Patipujika also possessed Jatissara Knowledge through which she remembered that in her previous existence she was one of the numerous wives of Malabhari, in the deva world of Tavatimsa. She also remembered that she had passed away from there when all of them were out in the garden enjoying themselves, plucking and picking flowers. So, every time she made offerings to the bhikkhus or performed any other meritorious act, she would pray that she might be reborn in the Tavatimsa realm as a wife of Malabhari, her previous husband.

    One day, Patipujika fell ill and passed away that same evening. As she had so ardently wished, she was reborn in Tavatimsa deva world as a wife of Malabhari. As one hundred years in the human world is equivalent to just one day in Tavatimsa world, Malabhari and his other wives were still in the garden enjoying themselves and Patipujika was barely missed by them. So, when she rejoined them, Malabhari asked her where she had been the whole morning. She then told him about her passing away from Tavatimsa, her rebirth in the human world, her marriage to a man and also about how she had given birth to four sons, her passing away from there and finally her return to Tavatimsa.

    When the bhikkhus learned about the death of Patipujika, they were stricken with grief. They went to the Buddha and reported that Patipujika, who was offering alms-food to them early in the morning, had passed away in the evening. To them the Buddha replied that the life of beings was very brief; and that before they could hardly be satiated in their sensual pleasures, they were overpowered by Death.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 48: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death.

    Dhammapada Verse 48
    Patipujikakumari Vatthu

    Pupphani heva pacinantam
    bysssasattamanasam naram
    atittanneva kamesu
    antako kurute vasam.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  2. The Story of Vitatubha

    Comment

    Buddha Kassapa

    Verse 47: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures is carried away by Death, just as a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

    The Story of Vitatubha

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (47) of this book, with reference to Vitatubha, son of King Pasenadi of Kosala.

    King Pasenadi of Kosala, wishing to marry into the clan of the Sakyans, sent some emissaries to Kapilavatthu with a request for the hand of one of the Sakyan princesses. Not wishing to offend King Pasenadi, the Sakyan princes replied that they would comply with his request, but instead of a Sakyan princess they sent a very beautiful girl born of King Mahanama and a slave woman. King Pasenadi made that girl one of his chief queens and subsequently she gave birth to a son. This son was named Vitatubha. When the prince was sixteen years old, he was sent on a visit to King Mahanama and the Sakyan princes. There he was received with some hospitality but all the Sakyan princes who were younger than Vitatubha had been sent away to a village, so that they would not have to pay respect to Vitatubha. After staying a few days in Kapilavatthu, Vitatubha and his company left for home. Soon after they left, a slave girl was washing with milk the place where Vitatubha had sat; she was also cursing him, shouting, “This is the place where that son of a slave woman had sat”. At that moment, a member of Vitatubha’s entourage returned to fetch something which he had left at the place and heard what the slave girl said. The slave girl also told him that Vitatubha’s mother, Vasabhakhattiya, was the daughter of a slave girl belonging to Mahanama.

    When Vitatubha was told about the above incident, he became wild with rage and declared that one day he would wipe out the whole clan of the Sakyans. True to his word, when Vitatubha became king, he marched on the Sakyan clan and massacred them all, with the exception of a few who were with Mahanama and some others. On their way home, Vitatubha and his army encamped on the sandbank in the river Aciravati. As heavy rain fell in the upper parts of the country on that very night, the river swelled and rushed down with great force carrying away Vitatubha and his army into the ocean.

    On hearing about these two tragic incidents, the Buddha explained to the bhikkhus that his relatives, the Sakyan princes, had in one of their previous existences, put poison into the river killing the fishes. It was as a result of that particular action that the Sakyan princes had to die en masse. Then, referring to the incident about Vitatubha and his army, the Buddha said, “As a great flood sweeps away all the villagers in a sleeping village, so also, Death carries away all the creatures hankering after sensual pleasures.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 47: Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures is carried away by Death, just as a great flood sweeps away a sleeping village.

    Dhammapada Verse 47
    Vitatubha Vatthu

    Pupphani heva pacinantam
    byasattamanasam naram
    suttam gamam mahoghova
    maccu adaya gacchati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  3. The Story of the Bhikkhu who Contemplates the Body as a Mirage

    Comment

    buddha statues

    Dhammapada Verse 46
    Maricikammatthanika bhikkhu Vatthu

    Phepnupamam1 kayamimam viditva
    maricidhammam2 abhisambudhano
    chetvana marassa papupphakani3
    adassanam maccurajassa gacche4

    Verse 46: One who knows that this body is impermanent like froth, and comprehends that it is insubstantial like a mirage, will cut the flowers of Mara (i.e., the three kinds of vatta or rounds), and pass out of sight of the King of Death.

    1. Phepnupamam: like froth; it means that this body is perishable and impermanent like froth.

    2. maricidhammam: lit., mirage + nature; nature of a mirage, i. e., insubstantial like a mirage.

    3. marassa papupphakani: flowers or flower-tipped arrows of Mara. These flowers or arrows of Mara represent the tivattam or the three kinds of vattam (rounds), viz., kilesavattam ( the round of moral defilements), kammavattam (the round of volitional action) and vipakavattam (the round of resultant effects). According to the Commentary, this chain or round is broken when cut by the sword of ariya magga nana.

    4. adassanam maccurajassa gacche: In this context, out of sight of the King of Death means the realization of Nibbana.

    The Story of the Bhikkhu who Contemplates the Body as a Mirage

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (46) of this book, with reference to a certain bhikkhu.

    On one occasion, a certain bhikkhu, after taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to the forest. Although he tried hard he made little progress in his meditation; so he decided to go back to the Buddha for further instruction. On his way back he saw a mirage, which, after all, was only an illusive appearance of a sheet of water. At that instant, he came to realize that the body also was insubstantial like a mirage. Thus keeping his mind on the insubstantiality of the body he came to the bank of the river Aciravati. While sitting under a tree close to the river, seeing big froths breaking up, he realized the impermanent nature of the body.

    Soon, the Buddha appeared in his vision and said to him, “My son, just as you have realized, this body is impermanent like froth and insubstantial like a mirage.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 46: One who knows that this body is impermanent like froth, and comprehends that it is insubstantial like a mirage will cut the flowers of Mara (i.e., the three kinds of vatta or rounds), and pass out of sight of the King of Death.
    At the end of the discourse the bhikkhu attained arahatship.

    Source: Tipitaka

  4. The Story of Soreyya

    Comment

    Buddha with monks

    Verse 43: Not a mother, nor a father, nor any other relative can do more for the well-being of one than a rightly-directed mind can.

    1. seyyaso: still better; here it means much better service; because it (the rightly-directed mind) can lead one to the well-being of a man and of a deva and even to the realization of Nibbana.

    The Story of Soreyya

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (43) of this book, with reference to Soreyya, the son of a rich man of Soreyya city.

    On one occasion, Soreyya accompanied by a friend and some attendants was going out in a luxurious carriage for a bath. At that moment, Thera Mahakaccayana was adjusting his robes outside the city, as he was going into the city of Soreyya for alms-food. The youth Soreyya, seeing the golden complexion of the thera, thought, “How I wish the thera were my wife, or else that the complexion of my wife were like that of his.” As the wish arose in him, his sex changed and he became a woman. Very much ashamed, he got down from the carriage and ran away, taking the road to Taxila. His companions missing him, looked for him, but could not find him.

    Soreyya, now a woman, offered her signet ring to some people going to Taxila, to allow her to go along with them in their carriage. On arrival at Taxila, her companions told a young rich man of Taxila about the lady who came along with them. The young rich man, finding her to be very beautiful and of a suitable age for him, married her. As a result of this marriage two sons were born; there were also two sons from the previous marriage of Soreyya as a man.

    One day, a rich man’s son from the city of Soreyya came to Taxila with five hundred carts. Lady-Soreyya recognizing him to be an old friend sent for him. The man from Soreyya city was surprised that he was invited, because he did not know the lady who invited him. He told the lady-Soreyya that he did not know her, and asked her whether she knew him. She answered that she knew him and also enquired after the health of her family and other people in Soreyya city. The man from Soreyya city next told her about the rich man’s son who disappeared mysteriously while going out for a bath. Then the Lady-Soreyya revealed her identity and related all that had happened, about the wrongful thoughts with regard to Thera Mahakaccayana, about the change of sex, and her marriage to the young rich man of Taxila. The man from the city of Soreyya then advised the lady-Soreyya to ask pardon of the thera. Thera Mahakaccayana was accordingly invited to the home of Soreyya and alms-food was offered to him. After the meal, the lady-Soreyya was brought to the presence of the thera, and the man from Soreyya told the thera that the lady was at one time the son of a rich man from Soreyya city. He then explained to the thera how Soreyya was turned into a female on account of his wrongful thoughts towards the respected thera. Lady-Soreyya then respectfully asked pardon of Thera Mahakaccayana. The thera then said, “Get up, I forgive you.” As soon as these words were spoken, the woman was changed back to a man. Soreyya then pondered how within a single existence and with a single body he had undergone change of sex and how sons were born to him, etc. And feeling very weary and repulsive of all these things, he decided to leave the household life and joined the Order under the thera.

    After that, he was often asked, “Whom do you love more, the two sons you had as a man or the other two you had as a wife?” To them, he would answer that his love for those born of the womb was greater. This question was put to him so often, he felt very much annoyed and ashamed. So he stayed by himself and with diligence, contemplated the decay and dissolution of the body. He soon attained arahatship together with the Analytical Insight. When the old question was next put to him he replied that he had no affection for any one in particular. Other bhikkhus hearing him thought he must be telling a lie. When reported about Soreyya giving a different answer, the Buddha said, “My son is not telling lies, he is speaking the truth. His answer now is different because he has now realized arahatship and so has no more affection for anyone in particular. By his well-directed mind my son has brought about in himself a well-being which neither the father nor the mother can bestow on him.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 43: Not a mother, nor a father, nor any other relative can do more for the well-being of one than a rightly-directed mind can.
    At the end of the discourse many attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    End of Chapter Three: The Mind (Cittavagga)

    Dhammapada Verse 43
    Soreyya Vatthu

    Na tam mata pita kayira
    anne vapi ca nataka
    sammapanihitam cittam
    seyyaso1naim tato kare.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  5. The Story of Nanda, the Herdsman

    Comment

    Buddha meditating

    Verse 42: A thief may harm a thief; an enemy may harm an enemy; but a wrongly directed mind can do oneself far greater harm.2

    1. diso: lit.; an enemy; a thief in this context. (The Commentary)

    2. According to the Commentary, the mind, wrongly set on the ten-fold evil path, will cause ruin and destruction not only in this life, but also, even in a hundred. thousand future existences in Apaya.

    The Story of Nanda, the Herdsman

    While on a visit to a village in the kingdom of Kosala, the Buddha uttered Verse (42) of this book, with reference to Nanda, the herdsman.

    Nanda was a herdsman who looked after the cows of Anathapindika. Although only a herdsman, he had some means of his own. Occasionally, he would go to the house of Anathapindika and there he sometimes met the Buddha and listened to his discourses. Nanda requested the Buddha to pay a visit to his house. But the Buddha did not go to Nanda’s house immediately, saying that it was not yet time.

    After some time, while travelling with his followers, the Buddha went off his route to visit Nanda, knowing that the time was ripe for Nanda to receive his teaching properly. Nanda respectfully received the Buddha and his followers; he served them milk and milk products and other choice food for seven days. On the last day, after hearing the discourse given by the Buddha, Nanda attained Sotapatti Fruition. As the Buddha was leaving that day, Nanda carrying the bowl of the Buddha, followed him for some distance, paid obeisance and turned back to go home.

    At that instant, a hunter who was an old enemy of Nanda, shot him down. The bhikkhus who were following the Buddha, saw Nanda lying dead. They reported the matter to the Buddha, saying, “Venerable Sir, because you came here, Nanda who made great offerings to you and accompanied you on your return was killed as he was turning back to go home.” To them, the Buddha replied, “Bhikkhus, whether I came here or not, there was no escape from death for him, as a wrongly directed mind can do oneself much greater harm than an enemy or a thief can.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 42: A thief may harm a thief; an enemy may harm an enemy; but a wrongly directed mind can do oneself far greater harm.

    Dhammapada Verse 42
    Nandagopalaka Vatthu

    Diso1 disam yam tam kariya
    veri va pana verinam
    micchapanihitam cittam
    papiyo nam tato kare.

    Source: Tipitaka

  6. The Story of Tissa, the Thera with a Stinking Body

    Comment

    Buddha and sick monk

    Verse 41: Before long, alas, this body, deprived of consciousness, will lie on the earth, discarded like a useless log.

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (41) of this book, with reference to Thera Tissa.

    After taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha, Thera Tissa was diligently practising meditation when he was afflicted with a disease. Small boils appeared all over his body and these developed into big sores. When these sores burst, his upper and lower robes became sticky and stained with pus and blood, and his whole body was stinking. For this reason, he was known as Putigattatissa, Tissa the thera with stinking body.

    As the Buddha surveyed the universe with the light of his own intellect, the thera appeared in his vision. He saw the sorrowful state of the thera, who had been abandoned by his resident pupils on account of his stinking body. At the same time, he also knew that Tissa would soon attain arahatship. So, the Buddha proceeded to the fire-shed, close to the place where the thera was staying. There, he boiled some water, and then going, to where the thera was lying down, took hold of the edge of the couch. It was then only that the resident pupils gathered round the thera, and as instructed by the Buddha, they carried the thera to the fire-shed, where he was washed and bathed. While he was being bathed, his upper and lower robes were washed and dried. After the bath, the thera became fresh in body and mind and soon developed one-pointedness of concentration. Standing at the head of the couch, the Buddha said to him that this body when devoid of life would be as useless as a log and would be laid on the earth.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 41: Before long, alas, this body, deprived of consciousness, will lie on the earth, discarded like a useless log.
    At the end of the discourse Thera Tissa attained arahatship together with Analytical Insight, and soon passed away.

    Dhammapada Verse 41
    Putigattatissatthera Vatthu

    Aciram vata’ yam kayo
    pathavim adhisessati
    chuddho apetavinnano
    niratthamva kalingaram.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  7. The Story of Five Hundred Bhikkhus

    Comment

    Buddha and young monks

    (Realising that this body is (fragile) like an earthen pot and establishing this mind firm like a fortress, let him fight Mara with the weapon of knowledge, keep up his conquest and be free from attachment.)

    The Master while residing at Savatthi gave this religious discourse beginning with “Kumbhupamam” in connection with the Bhikkhus who were exerting for the attainment of spritual insight.

    It is said that, at Savatthi, five hundred Bhikkhus having obtained from the Master a subject of meditation (leading) to Arahatship and with the idea of carrying out the practices of a Bhikkhu, travelled a distance of about a hundred leagues and went to a large village. People saw them and arranged and offered seats and having served them with delicious rice gruel and other eatables, they enquired of them as to where they were going. When told that they were going to a suitable place, they requested them saying, “Venerable Sirs, may you reside even here during these three months. We too will take recourse to the Three Refuges and will observe the precepts under your guidance.” When they knew of their acceptance, they said: “Venerable Sirs, not far from here there is a big forest-grove. May you please reside there.” They conducted them to that place and there the Bhikkhus took up their residence.

    The gods who were inhabiting in that grove thought thus: “The virtuous Bhikkhus have come to this grove, and they are residing here, it is improper for us to live with our families on the trees”, and coming down (from the trees), sat on the ground with the thought that the Venerable ones would be stopping there only for one night and they would surely go away the next day. However on the following day the Bhikkhus entered the village for alms-food and returned to the same grove. The gods thought to themselves: “The Bhikkhus might have been invited by some one for the following day, so they have come back again. To-day they are not moving out, but it seems they will be going away tomorrow.” In this way they remained on the ground for a fortnight. They then discussed among themselves thus: “It appears that the Venerable ones will reside at this very place for these three months and while they are living here it will not be proper for us to live on the trees with our families. To live for there months with the family on the ground is difficult. Something should be done to make these Bhikkhus run away from here. The gods then started showing the bodiless heads and headless trunks, and also make them hear ghostly sounds at various places wherever the Bhikkhus used to spend the day or the night and also at the corners of the cloister walk. It so happened that the Bhikkhus suffered from ailments like sneezing, coughing and so on. On enquiring from each other as to the ailment they were suffering from the Bhikkhus came to know that some one was suffering from sneezing, some one from coughing and so on. Further, they learnt that some one had seen a bodiless head at the end of the cloister walk and some other had seen a headless trunk at the place where he spent the night, while others again had heard ghostly sounds at the places where they were spending the day. They decided that that place should be abandoned because it was ill-suited to their convenience and to go to the Master. Accordingly they left the place, went to the Master, paid obeisance, and took their seats on one side. The Master asked them, “Bhikkus, is it not possible for you to live in that place?” “No, Lord, people living there used to witness such dreadful visions and experienced such inconveniences. Therefore we have decided that that place should be abandoned and accordingly we have left that place and come to you?’ “Bhikkhus, you ought to go back to the same place”. “It is impossible, Lord.” “Bhikkhus, previously you had gone there without any weapons. Now you take them and go.” “What may be the weapons, Lord?” The Master, saying “I shall give you the weapons, take them and go”, taught them the entire Metta Sutta (Sermon on Loving Kindness) beginning with. Continue reading

  8. The Story of Thera Cittahattha

    Comment

    Buddha statue and monks

    Verse 38: If a man’s mind is unsteady, if he is ignorant of the true Dhamma, and if his faith is wavering, then his knowledge will never be perfect.

    Verse 39: If a man’s mind is free from passion, if he is free from ill will, if he has abandoned both good and evil, and if he is vigilant, for such a man there is no danger.

    The Story of Thera Cittahattha

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (38) and (39) of this book, with reference to Thera Cittahattha.

    A man from Savatthi, after looking for his lost ox in the forest, felt very hungry and went to a village monastery, where he was given the remains of the morning meal. While taking his food, it occurred to him that even though he worked hard every day he could not get such good food and that it might be a good idea to become a bhikkhu. So he asked the bhikkhus to admit him into the Order. At the monastery, he performed the duties of a bhikkhu and as there was plenty of food he soon gained weight. After some time, he got weary of going round for alms-food and returned to the life of a lay man. A few days later, he felt that life at home was too strenuous and he went back to the monastery to be admitted as a bhikkhu for a second time. For a second time, he left the Order and returned to home-life. Again, he went back to the monastery for a third time and left it. This shuttling process went on for six times, and because he acted only according to his whims he was known as Thera Cittahattha.

    While he was going back and forth between his home and the monastery, his wife became pregnant. One day, during his last stay at home, he happened to enter the bedroom while his wife was asleep. She was almost naked as the clothes she was wearing had partially fallen off. She was also snoring loudly through her nose and mouth and saliva was trickling down her mouth. Thus, with her mouth open and her bloated stomach, she looked just like a corpse. Seeing her thus, he instantly came to perceive the impermanent and unpleasant nature of the body, and he reflected, “I have been a bhikkhu for several times and it is only because of this woman that I have not been able to remain as a bhikkhu.” Hence, taking the yellow robe with him he left his home for the monastery for the seventh time. As he went along he repeated the words “impermanence” and “unpleasantness” (anicca and dukkha) and thus attained Sotapatti Fruition on the way to the monastery.

    On arrival at the monastery he asked the bhikkhus to admit him into the Order. They refused and said, “We cannot admit you as a bhikkhu. You have been shaving your head so often that your head is like a whetting stone.” Still, he entreated them to admit him into the Order just once more and they complied. Within a few days, the bhikkhu Cittahattha attained arahatship together with Analytical Insight. Other bhikkhus, seeing him staying on for a long time in the monastery, were surprised and they asked him the reason why. To this, he replied. “I went home when I still had attachment in me, but now that attachment has been cut off” The bhikkhus, not believing him, approached the Buddha and reported the matter. To them, the Buddha said, “Thera Cittahattha was speaking the truth; he shifted between home and monastery before because at that time, his mind was not steadfast and he did not understand the Dhamma. But at this moment, Thera Cittahattha is already an arahat; he has discarded both good and evil.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 38: If a man’s mind is unsteady, if he is ignorant of the true Dhamma, and if his faith is wavering, then his knowledge will never be perfect.

    Verse 39: If a man’s mind is free from passion, if he is free from ill will, if he has abandoned both good and evil, and if he is vigilant, for such a man there is no danger.

    Dhammapada Verses 38 and 39
    Cittahatthatthera Vatthu

    Anavatthitacittassa
    saddhammam avijanato
    pariplavapasadassa
    panna na paripurati.

    Anavassutacittassa
    ananvahatacetaso
    punnapapapahinassa1
    natthi jagarato2 bhayam.

     

    Source: Tipitaka

  9. The Story of Thera Samgharakkhita

    Comment

    Verse 37: The mind wanders far and moves about alone: it is non-material; it lies in the cave (chamber) of the heart. Those who control their mind will be free from the bonds of Mara.

    1. ekacaram: walking alone, moves about alone, it means conceiving one thought at a time, i.e., one thought arises only when another ceases.

    2. guhasayam: lit., lying, or sleeping in a cave; mind lies and arises continually in the cave (chamber) of the heart (hadayavatthu), the seat of consciousness.

    The Story of Thera Samgharakkhita

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (37) of this book, with reference to the nephew of Thera Samgharakkhita.

    Once, there lived in Savatthi, a senior bhikkhu by the name of Samgharakkhita. When his sister gave birth to a son, she named the child after the thera and he came to be known as Samgharakkhita Bhagineyya. The nephew Samgharakkhita, in due course, was admitted into the Order. While the young bhikkhu was staying in a village monastery he was offered two sets of robes, and he intended to offer one to his uncle, the thera.

    At the end of the vassa he went to his uncle to pay respect to him and offered the robe to the thera. But, the uncle declined to accept the robe, saying that he had enough. Although he repeated his request, the thera would not accept. The young bhikkhu felt disheartened and thought that since his uncle was so unwilling to share the requisites with him, it would be better for him to leave the Order and live the life of a layman.

    From that point, his mind wandered and a train of thoughts followed. He thought that after leaving the Order he would sell the robe and buy a she-goat; that she-goat would breed quickly and soon he would make enough money to enable him to marry; his wife would give birth to a son. He would take his wife and child in a small cart to visit his uncle at the monastery. On the way, he would say that he would carry the child; she would tell him to drive the cart and not to bother about the child. He would insist and grab the child from her; between them the child would drop on the cart-track and the wheel would pass over the child. He would get so furious with his wife that he would strike her with the goading-stick.

    At that time he was fanning the thera with a palmyra fan and he absentmindedly struck the head of the thera with the fan. The thera, knowing the thoughts of the young bhikkhu, said, “You were unable to beat your wife; why have you beaten an old bhikkhu?” Young Samgharakkhita was very much surprised and embarrassed at the words of the old bhikkhu; he also became extremely frightened. So he fled. Young bhikkhus and novices of the monastery chased him and finally took him to the presence of the Buddha.

    When told about the whole episode, the Buddha said that the mind has the ability to think of an object even though it might be far away, and that one should strive hard for liberation from the bondage of passion, ill will and ignorance.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 37: The mind wanders far and moves about alone: it is non-material; it lies in the cave (chamber) of the heart. Those who control their mind will be free from the bonds of Mara.
    At the end of the discourse the young bhikkhu attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 37
    Samgharakkhitatthera Vatthu

    Durangamam ekacaram1
    asariram guhasayam2
    ye cittam samyamissanti
    mokkhanti marabandhana.

    Source: Tipitak

  10. The Story of A Certain Disgruntled Bhikkhu

    Comment

     

    Buddha statue

    Verse 36: The mind is very difficult to see, very delicate and subtle; it moves and lands wherever it pleases. The wise one should guard his mind, for a guarded mind brings happiness.

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (36) of this book, with reference to a young disgruntled bhikkhu who was the son of a banker.

    Once, there lived in Savatthi, the son of a banker. This young man asked the bhikkhu, who used to come to his house for alms, what he should do to be liberated from the ills of life. The bhikkhu instructed him to divide his property into three parts; one part to do business with, one part to support the family and one part to give in charity. He did as he was told and again asked what else should be done next. So he was further instructed; first to take refuge in the Three Gems* and to observe the five precepts; secondly, to observe the ten precepts; and thirdly, to renounce the world and enter the Buddhist religious Order. The young man complied with all these instructions and became a bhikkhu.

    As a bhikkhu, he was taught the Abhidhamma** by one teacher and the Vinaya by another. Being taught in this way, he felt that there was too much to be learnt, that the disciplinary rules were too strict and too many, so much so that there was not enough freedom even to stretch out one’s hands. He thought that it might be better to return to the life of a householder. As a result of doubt and discontent, he became unhappy and neglected his duties; he also became thin and emaciated. When the Buddha came to know about this, he said to the young bhikkhu, “if you can only control your mind, you will have nothing more to control; so guard your own mind.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 36: The mind is very difficult to see, very delicate and subtle; it moves and lands wherever it pleases. The wise one should guard his mind, for a guarded mind brings happiness.
    At the end of the discourse, the young bhikkhu and many others attained arahatship.

    * Three Gems: The Three Gems are the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Samgha, (i.e., the Buddha, the Teaching of the Buddha, and the Buddhist religious Order).

    ** Abhidhamma: the third great division of the Pitaka comprising the Buddha’s philosophical exposition of ultimate realities.

    Dhammapada Verse 36
    Ukkanthitabhikkhu Vatthu

    Sududdasam sunipunam
    yatthakamanipatinam
    cittam rakketha medhavi
    cittam guttam sukhavaham.

    Source: Tipitaka

  11. The Story of A Certain Bhikkhu

    Comment

    Buddha

    Verse 35: The mind is difficult to control; swiftly and lightly, it moves and lands wherever it pleases. It is good to tame the mind, for a well-tamed mind brings happiness.

    1. yatthakamanipatino: moving about wherever it pleases, landing on any sense object without any control.

    2. sukhavaham: brings happiness, fortune, satisfaction, etc., and also, Maggas, Phalas and Nibbana. (The Commentary)

    The Story of A Certain Bhikkhu

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (35) of this book, with reference to a certain bhikkhu.

    On one occasion, sixty bhikkhus, after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to Matika village, at the foot of a mountain. There, Matikamata, mother of the village headman, offered them alms-food; she also built a monastery for them, so that they could stay in the village during the rainy season. One day she asked the group of bhikkhus to teach her the practice of meditation. They taught her how to meditate on the thirty-two constituents of the body leading to the awareness of the decay and dissolution of the body. Matikamata practised with diligence and attained the three Maggas and Phalas together with Analytical Insight and mundane supernormal powers, even before the bhikkhus did.

    Rising from the bliss of the Magga and Phala she looked with the Divine Power of Sight (Dibbacakkhu) and saw that the bhikkhus had not attained any of the Maggas yet. She also learnt that those bhikkhus had enough potentiality for the attainment of arahatship, but that they needed proper food. So, she prepared good, choice food for them. With proper food and right effort, the bhikkhus developed right concentration and eventually attained arahatship.

    At the end of the rainy season, the bhikkhus returned to the Jetavana monastery, where the Buddha was in residence. They reported to the Buddha that all of them were in good health and in comfortable circumstances and that they did not have to worry about food. They also mentioned about Matikamata who was aware of their thoughts and prepared and offered them the very food they wished for.

    A certain bhikkhu, hearing them talking about Matikamata, decided that he, too, would go to that village. So, taking a subject of meditation from the Buddha he arrived at the village monastery. There, he found that everything he wished for was sent to him by Matikamata, the lay-devotee. When he wished her to come she personally came to the monastery, bringing along choice food with her. After taking the food, he asked her if she knew the thoughts of others, but she evaded his question and replied, “People who can read the thoughts of others behave in such and such a way.” Then, the bhikkhu thought, “Should I, like an ordinary worldling, entertain any impure thought, she is sure to find out.” He therefore got scared of the lay-devotee and decided to return to the Jetavana monastery. He told the Buddha that he could not stay in Matika village because he was afraid that the lay-devotee might detect impure thoughts in him. The Buddha then asked him to observe just one thing; that is, to control his mind. The Buddha also told the bhikkhu to return to Matika village monastery, and not to think of anything else, but the object of his meditation only. The bhikkhu went back. The lay-devotee offered him good food as she had done to others before, so that he might able to practise meditation without worry. Within a short time, he, too, attained arahatship.

    With reference to this bhikkhu, the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 35: The mind is difficult to control; swiftly and lightly, it moves and lands wherever it pleases. It is good to tame the mind, for a well-tamed mind brings happiness.

    At the end of the discourse, many of those assembled attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 35
    Annatarabhikkhu Vatthu

    Dunniggahassa lahuno
    yatthakamanipatino1
    cittassa damatho sadhu
    cittam dantam sukhavaham2.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  12. The Story of Thera Meghiya

    Comment

     

    Buddha with monks

    Verse 33: The mind is excitable and unsteady; it is difficult to control and to restrain. The wise one trains his mind to be upright as a fletcher straightens an arrow.

    Verse 34: As a fish quivers when taken out of its watery home and thrown on to dry ground, so does the mind quiver when it is taken out of the sensual world to escape from the realm of Mara (i.e., kilesa vatta, round of moral defilements).

    1. durakkham: difficult to keep the mind fixed on a single object when meditating.

    2. dunnivarayam: difficult to restrain the mind from drifting towards sensual pleasures.

    3. ujum karoti: straightens:
    (a) the fletcher straightens the arrow,
    (b) the wise man trains his sensuous, unruly mind by means of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice (Samatha and Vipassana). (The Commentary)

    The Story of Thera Meghiya

    While residing on the Calika Mountain, the Buddha uttered Verses (33) and (34) of this book, with reference to Thera Meghiya.

    At that time, Thera Meghiya was attending upon the Buddha. On one occasion, on his return from alms-round, the thera noticed a pleasant and beautiful mango grove, which he thought was an ideal spot for meditation. He asked the Buddha’s permission to let him go there, but as the Buddha was alone at that time, he was told to wait for awhile until the arrival of some other bhikkhus. The thera was in a hurry to go and so he repeated his request again and again, until finally the Buddha told him to do as he wished.

    Thus, Thera Meghiya set out for the mango grove, sat at the foot of a tree and practised meditation. He stayed there the whole day, but his mind kept wandering and he made no progress. He returned in the evening and reported to the Buddha how all the time he was assailed by thoughts associated with the senses, ill will and cruelty (kama vitakka, byapada vitakka and vihimsa vitakka).

    So, the Buddha told him that as the mind is easily excitable and fickle, one should control one’s mind.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 33: The mind is excitable and unsteady; it is difficult to control and to restrain. The wise one trains his mind to be upright as a fletcher straightens an arrow.

    Verse 34: As a fish quivers when taken out of its watery home and thrown on to dry ground, so does the mind quiver when it is taken out of the sensual world to escape from the realm of Mara (i.e., kilesa vatta, round of moral defilements).

    At the end of the discourse, Thera Meghiya attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verses 33 and 34
    Meghiyatthera Vatthu

    Phandanam capalam cittam
    durakkham1 dunnivarayam2
    ujum karoti3 medhavi
    usukarova tejanam.

    Varijova thale khitto
    okamokata ubbhato
    pariphandatidam cittam
    maradheyyam pahatave.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  13. The Story of Thera Nigamavasitissa

    Comment

    rain on tree

    Verse 32: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence will not fall away; he is, indeed, very close to Nibbana.

    1. abhabbo parihanaya: Unable to fall away; here it means, unable to fall away from the practice of Tranquillity and Insight Development and the benefits thereof, i.e., Magga and Phala. (The Commentary)

    The Story of Thera Nigamavasitissa

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (32) of this book, with reference to Thera Nigamavasitissa.

    Nigamavasitissa was born and brought up in a small market town near Savatthi. After becoming a bhikkhu he lived a very simple life, with very few wants. For alms-food, he used to go to the village where his relatives were staying and took whatever was offered to him. He kept away from big occasions. Even when Anathapindika and King Pasenadi of Kosala made offerings on a grand scale, the thera did not go.

    Some bhikkhus then started talking about the thera that he kept close to his relatives and that he did not care to go even when people like Anathapindika and King Pasenadi were making offerings on a grand scale, etc. When the Buddha was told about this, he sent for the thera and asked him. The thera respectfully explained to the Buddha that it was true he frequently went to his village, but it was only to get alms-food, that when he had received enough food, he did not go any further, and that he never cared whether the food was delicious or not. Whereupon, instead of blaming him, the Buddha praised him for his conduct in the presence of the other bhikkhus. He also told them that to live contentedly with only a few wants is in conformity with the practice of the Buddha and the Noble Ones (Ariyas), and that all bhikkhus should, indeed, be like Thera Tissa from the small market town. In this connection, he further related the story of the king of the parrots.

    Once upon a time, the king of the parrots lived in a grove of fig trees on the banks of the Ganges river, with a large number of his followers. When the fruits were eaten, all the parrots left the grove, except the parrot king, who was well contented with whatever was left in the tree where he dwelt, be it shoot or leaf or bark. Sakka, knowing this and wanting to test the virtue of the parrot king, withered up the tree by his supernormal power. Then, assuming the form of geese, Sakka and his queen, Sujata, came to where the parrot king was and asked him why he did not leave the old withered tree as the others had done and why he did not go to other trees which were still bearing fruits. The parrot king replied, “Because of a feeling of gratitude towards the tree I did not leave and as long as I could get just enough food to sustain myself I shall not forsake it. It would be ungrateful for me to desert this tree even though it be inanimate.”

    Much impressed by this reply, Sakka revealed himself. He took water from the Ganges and poured it over the withered fig tree and instantly, it was rejuvenated; it stood with branches lush and green, and fully decked with fruits. Thus, the wise even as animals are not greedy; they are contented with whatever is available.

    The parrot king in the story was the Buddha himself; Sakka was Anuruddha.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 32: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence will not fall away*, he is, indeed, very close to Nibbana.

    At the end of the discourse, Thera Tissa attained arahatship.

    * will not fall away: It means, will not fall away from Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice and is assured of attaining Magga and Phalla. (The Commentary)

    End of Chapter Two: Mindfulness (Appamdavagga)

    Dhammapada Verse 32
    Nigamavasitissatthera Vatthu

    Appamadarato bhikkhu
    pamade bhayadassi va
    abhabbo parihanaya1
    nibbanasseva santike.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  14. The Story of A Certain Bhikkhu

    Comment

    monks and Buddha

    Verse 31: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence, advances like fire, burning up all fetters, great and small.

    1. appamadarato bhikkhu: a bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness, i.e., in the practice of Tranquillity and Insight Development.

    2. pamade bhayadassi: seeing danger in negligence, i.e., negligence which would lead to continued existence in the round of rebirths (samsara).

    The Story of A Certain Bhikkhu

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (31) of this book, with reference to a certain bhikkhu.

    A certain bhikkhu, after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to the forest to meditate. Although he tried hard he made very little progress in his meditation practice. As a result, he became very depressed and frustrated. So, with the thought of getting further specific instructions from the Buddha, he set out for the Jetavana monastery. On his way, he came across a big blazing fire. He ran up to the top of a mountain and observed the fire from there. As the fire spread, it suddenly occurred to him that just as the fire burnt up everything, so also Magga Insight will burn up all fetters of life, big and small.

    Meanwhile, from the Gandhakuti hall in the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha was aware of what the bhikkhu was thinking. So, he transmitted his radiance and appeared to the bhikkhu and spoke to him. “My son,” he said, “you are on the right line of thought; keep it up. All beings must burn up all fetters of life with Magga Insight.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 31: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence, advances like fire, burning up all fetters, great and small.

    At the end of the discourse that bhikkhu attained arahatship then and there.

    Dhammapada Verse 31
    Annatarabhikkhu Vatthu

    Appamadarato bhikkhu1
    pamade bhayadassi2 va
    samyojanam anum thulam
    daham aggiva gacchati.

    Source: Tipitaka

  15. The Story of Magha

    Comment

    Buddha and Sujata

    Verse 30: Through mindfulness (in doing meritorious deeds) Magha became king of the devas. Mindfulness is always praised, but negligence is always blamed.

    1. appamadena: through mindfulness; i.e., mindfulness in doing meritorious deeds. In the above story, Magha, the young man from Macala village, by cleaning and clearing land and making roads was reborn as Indra or Sakka, king of the devas. (The devas are celestial beings.)

    The Story of Magha

    While residing at the Kutagara monastery near Vesali, the Buddha uttered Verse (30) of this book, with reference to Sakka, king of the devas.

    On one occasion, a Licchavi prince, named Mahali, came to listen to a religious discourse given by the Buddha. The discourse given was Sakkapanha Suttanta. The Buddha spoke of Sakka vividly in glowing terms; so, Mahali thought that the Buddha must have personally met Sakka. To make sure, he asked the Buddha, and the Buddha replied, “Mahali, I do know Sakka; I also know what has made him a Sakka.” He then told Mahali that Sakka, king of the devas, was in a previous existence a young man by the name of Magha, in the village of Macala. The youth Magha and his thirty-two companions went about building roads and rest houses. Magha took upon himself also to observe seven obligations. These seven obligations are that throughout his life, (1) he would support his parents; (2) he would respect the elders ; (3) he would be gentle of speech; (4) he would avoid back-biting; (5) he would not be avaricious, but would be generous; (6) he would speak the truth; and (7) he would restrain himself from losing his temper.

    It was because of his good deeds and right conduct in that existence that Magha was reborn as Sakka, king of the devas.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 30: Through mindfulness (in doing meritorious deeds) Magha became king of the devas. Mindfulness is always praised, but negligence is always blamed.
    At the end of the discourse Mahali attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 30
    Magha Vatthu

    Appamadena1 maghava
    devanam setthatam gato
    appamadam pasamanti
    pamado garahito sada.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  16. The Story of the Two Companion Bhikkhus

    Comment

    monks

    Verse 29: Mindful amongst the negligent, highly vigilant amongst the drowsy, the man of wisdom advances like a race-horse, leaving the jade behind.

    1. sumedhaso: the wise one: the wise one advances steadily until he realizes Magga, Phala and Nibbana, leaving the negligent ones behind in the round of rebirths (samsara).

    The Story of the Two Companion Bhikkhus

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha tittered Verse (29) of this book, with reference to two bhikkhus, who were friends.

    Two bhikkhus, after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to a monastery in the forest. One of them, being negligent, spent his time warming himself by the fire and talking to young novices throughout the first watch of the night, and generally idling away his time. The other faithfully performed the duties of a bhikkhu. He walked in meditation during the first watch, rested during the second watch and again meditated during the last watch of the night. Thus, being diligent and ever mindful, the second bhikkhu attained arahatship within a short time.

    At the end of the rainy season (vassa) both of them went to pay obeisance to the Buddha, and the Buddha asked them how they had spent their time during the vassa. To this, the lazy and negligent bhikkhu answered that the other bhikkhu had been idling away his time, just lying down and sleeping. The Buddha then asked, “But, what about you?” His reply was that he generally sat warming himself by the fire during the first watch of the night and then sat up without sleeping. But the Buddha knew quite well how the two bhikkhus had spent their time, so he said to the idle one: “Though you are lazy and negligent you claim to be diligent and ever mindful; but you have made the other bhikkhu appear to be lazy and negligent though he is diligent and ever mindful. You are like a weak and slow horse compared to my son who is like a strong, fleet-footed horse.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 29: Mindful amongst the negligent, highly vigilant amongst the drowsy, the man of wisdom advances like a race-horse, leaving the jade behind.

    Dhammapada Verse 29
    Dvesahayakabhikkhu Vatthu

    Appamatto pamattesu
    suttesu bahujagaro
    abalassa mva sighasso
    hitva yati sumedhaso.1

     

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  17. The Story of Thera Mahakassapa

    Comment
    Buddha and Maha Kassapa

    Buddha and Maha Kassapa

    Verse 28: The wise one dispels negligence by means of mindfulness; he ascends the tower of wisdom and being free from sorrow looks at the sorrowing beings. Just as one on the mountain top looks at those on the plain below, so also, the wise one (the arahat) looks at the foolish and the ignorant (worldlings).

    1. dhiro: the wise one; in this context, the arahat.

    2. bile: the foolish; in this context, the worldings.

    The Story of Thera Mahakassapa

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (28) of this book, with reference to Thera Mahakassapa.

    On one occasion, while Thera Mahakassapa was staying at Pipphali cave, he spent his time developing the mental image of light (aloka kasina) and trying to find out through Divine Vision, beings who were mindful and beings who were negligent, also those who were about to die and those who were about to be born.

    From his monastery, the Buddha saw through his Divine Vision what Thera Mahakassapa was doing and wanted to warn him that he was wasting his time. So he sent forth his radiance and appeared seated before the thera and exhorted him thus: “My son Kassapa, the number of births and deaths of beings is innumerable and cannot be counted. It is not your concern to count them; it is the concern only of the Buddhas.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 28. The wise one dispels negligence by means of mindfulness; he ascends the pinnacle of wisdom and being free from sorrow looks at the sorrowing beings. Just as one on the mountain top looks at those on the plain below, so also, the wise one (the arahat) looks at the foolish and the ignorant (worldlings).

    Dhammapada Verse 28
    Mahakassapatthera Vatthu

    Pamadam appamadena
    yada nudati pandito
    pannapasadamaruyha
    asoko sokinim pajam
    pabbatatthova bhumatthe
    dhiro1 bale2 avekkhati.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  18. The Story of Balanakkhatta Festival

    Comment

    buddha-vihara

    Verse 26: The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence; whereas the wise treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel.

    Verse 27: Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures; for he who is established in mindfulness, through cultivation of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, experiences supreme happiness (i.e., realizes Nibbana).

    1. bala dummedhino jana: the foolish and the ignorant. The foolish mentioned in the story were the hooligans who were given up to wild revelry and disorder during the Balanakkhatta festival. They were not mindful of others or of the consequence for themselves in this world and the next.

    The Story of Balanakkhatta Festival

    White residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (26) and (27) of this book, in connection with the Balanakkhatta festival.

    At one time, the Balanakkhatta festival was being celebrated in Savatthi. During the festival, many foolish young men smearing themselves with ashes and cow-dung roamed about the city shouting and making themselves a nuisance to the public. They would also stop at the doors of others and leave only when given some money.

    At that time there were a great many lay disciples of the Buddha, living in Savatthi. On account of these foolish young hooligans, they sent word to the Buddha, requesting him to keep to the monastery and not to enter the city for seven days. They sent alms-food to the monastery and they themselves kept to their own houses. On the eighth day, when the festival was over, the Buddha and his disciples were invited into the city for alms-food and other offerings. On being told about the vulgar and shameful behaviour of the foolish young men during the festival, the Buddha commented that it was in the nature of the foolish and the ignorant to behave shamelessly.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
    Verse 26: The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence; whereas the wise treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel.

    Verse 27: Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures; for he who is established in mindfulness, through cultivation of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, experiences supreme happiness (i.e., realizes Nibbana).

    Dhammapada Verses 26 and 27
    Balanakkhattasanghuttha Vatthu

    Pamadamanuyu janti
    bala dummedhino jana1
    appamadaca medhavi
    dhanam setthamva rakkhati.

    Ma pamadamanuyu jetha
    ma kamaratisanthavam
    appamatto hi jhayanto
    pappoti vipulam sukham.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  19. The Story of Samavati

    Comment

    Buddha meditating

    Verse 21: Mindfulness is the way to the Deathless (Nibbana); unmindfulness is the way to Death. Those who are mindful do not die; those who are not mindful are as if already dead.

    Verse 22: Fully comprehending this, the wise, who are mindful, rejoice in being mindful and find delight in the domain of the Noble Ones (Ariyas).

    Verse 23: The wise, constantly cultivating Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, being ever mindful and steadfastly striving, realize Nibbana: Nibbana, which is free from the bonds of yoga; Nibbana, the Incomparable!

    1. appamada: According to the Commentary, it embraces all the meanings of the words of the Buddha in the Tipitaka, and therefore appamada is to be interpreted as being ever mindful in doing meritorious deeds; to be in line with the Buddha’s Teaching in Mahasatipatthana Sutta, “appamado amatapadam”, in particular, is to be interpreted as “Cultivation of Insight Development Practice is the way to Nibbana.”

    2. amata: lit., no death, deathless; it does not mean eternal life or immortality. The Commentary says: “Amata means Nibbana. It is true that Nibbana is called “Amata” as there is no ageing (old age) and death because there is no birth.”

    3. pamado maccuno padam: lit., unmindfulness is the way to Death. According to the Commentary, one who is unmindful cannot be liberated from rebirth; when reborn, one must grow old and die; so unmindfulness is the cause of Death.

    4. appamatta na miyanti: Those who are mindful do not die. It does not mean that they do not grow old or die. According to the Commentary, the mindful develop mindful signs (i.e., cultivate Insight Development Practice); they soon realize Magga-Phala (i.e., Nibbana) and are no longer subject to rebirths. Therefore, whether they are, in fact, alive or dead, they are considered not to die.

    5. ye pamatta yatha mata: as if dead. According to the Commentary, those who are not mindful are like the dead; because they never think of giving in charity, or keeping the moral precepts, etc., and in the case of bhikkhus, because they do not fulfil their duties to their teachers and preceptors, nor do they cultivate Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice.

    6. ariyanam gocare rata: lit., “finds delight in the domain of the ariyas.” According to the Commentary the domain of the ariyas consists of the Thirty-seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bodhipakkhiya) and the nine Transcendentals, viz., the four Maggas, the four Phalas, and Nibbana.

    7. jhiyino: those cultivating Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice.

    8. phusanti dhira nibbanam: the wise realize Nibbana. Lit., phusati means, to touch, to reach. According to the Commentary, the realization takes place, through contact or experience, which may be either through Insight (Magga-Nana) or through Fruition (Phala). In this context, contact by way of Fruition is meant.

    9. yogakkhemam: an attribute of Nibbana. Lit., it means free or secure from the four bonds which bind people to the round of rebirths. The four bonds or yoga are: sense pleasures (kama), existence (bhava), wrong belief (ditthi), and ignorance of the Four Noble Truths (avijja).

    While residing at the Ghosita monastery near Kosambi, the Buddha uttered Verses (21), (22) and (23) of this book, with reference to Samavati, one of the chief queens of Udena, King of Kosambi.

    Samavati had five hundred maids-of-honour staying with her at the palace; she also had a maid servant called Khujjuttara. The maid had to buy flowers for Samavati from the florist Sumana everyday. On one occasion, Khujjuttara had the opportunity to listen to a religious discourse delivered by the Buddha at the home of Sumana and she attained Sotapatti Fruition. She repeated the discourse of the Buddha to Samavati and the five hundred maids-of-honour, and they also attained Sotapatti Fruition. From that day, Khujjuttara did not have to do any menial work, but took the place of mother and teacher to Samavati. She listened to the discourses of the Buddha and repeated them to Samavati and her maids. In course of time, Khujjuttara mastered the Tipitaka. Continue reading

  20. Maha Kassapa: Father of the Sangha

    Comment

    Buddha preaching

    1. Kassapa’s Early Years

    Among those of the Buddha’s disciples who were closest to him, there were two friends, Sariputta and Maha Moggallana, who were the chief disciples of the Buddha, the exemplary pair of disciples. There were also two brothers, Ananda and Anuruddha, who were likewise eminent “Fathers of the Order.” In between these two pairs stands a great solitary figure, Pipphali Kassapa, who later was called Maha Kassapa, Kassapa the Great, to distinguish him from the others of the Kassapa clan, such as Kumara Kassapa and Uruvela Kassapa.

    After Sariputta and Maha Moggallana had passed away, predeceasing the Buddha, it was Maha Kassapa who was held in greatest respect and reverence in the Order. But even after the Buddha’s passing away, Maha Kassapa did not become the elected head of the Order of Monks, as it had been the Buddha’s express wish that there should not be a supreme authoritative head of the Sangha. Shortly before his passing away, the Buddha had said: “That which I have proclaimed and made known, Ananda, as the Teaching and the Discipline (Dhamma-Vinaya), that shall be your Master when I am gone” (D.16).

    Yet the natural authority emanating from Maha Kassapa made him particularly honored and venerated in the Sangha. There were many factors that contributed to his pre-eminent position after the death of the Master. He had been praised by the Buddha as being equal to him in many respects[1] and he shared with the Master seven of the thirty-two “Marks of a Great Man.” He had been the only monk with whom the Buddha had exchanged robes. Maha Kassapa possessed to the highest degree the ten “qualities that inspire confidence.”[2] He was also a model of a disciplined and austere life devoted to meditation. So it is no wonder that he was elected to preside over the First Council of the Sangha which had been summoned on his urgent advice. It may have been on account of all these features of his personality and his life that, much later in China and Japan, Maha Kassapa came to be regarded as the first patriarch of Ch’an or Zen Buddhism. Continue reading

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

Khmer Tipitaka 1 – 110

The Tipitaka or Pali canon, is the collection of primary Pali language texts which form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The three divisions of the Tipitaka are: Vinaya Pitaka, Sutta Pitaka, Abhidhamma Pitaka. ព្រះត្រៃបិដក ប្រែថា កញ្រ្ចែង ឬ ល្អី​ ៣ សម្រាប់ដាក់ផ្ទុកពាក្យពេចន៍នៃព្រះសម្មាសម្ពុទ្ធ

Listen to Khmer literature and Dhamma talk by His Holiness Jotannano Chuon Nath, Supreme Patriarch of Cambodia Buddhism.

Jendhamuni

As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, so the wise are not shaken by blame and praise. As a deep lake is clear and calm, so the wise become tranquil after they listened to the truth... Good people walk on regardless of what happens to them. Good people do not babble on about their desires. Whether touched by happiness or by sorrow, the wise never appear elated or depressed… ~The Dhammapada

Should anyone wish to ridicule me and make me an object of jest and scorn why should I possibly care if I have dedicated myself to others?

Let them do as they wish with me so long as it does not harm them. May no one who encounters me ever have an insignificant contact.

Regardless whether those whom I meet respond towards me with anger or faith, may the mere fact of our meeting contribute to the fulfilment of their wishes.

May the slander, harm and all forms of abuse that anyone should direct towards me act as a cause of their enlightenment.

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