1. The Story of Matthakundali

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    Dhammapada Buddha1. Sukham/sukha: in this context, happiness, satifactoriness, fortune, etc., and rebirth in the three upper planes of happy existence.

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the Buddha uttered Verse (2) of this book, with reference to Matthakundali, a young Brahmin. Matthakundali was a young brahmin, whose father, Adinnapubbaka, was very stingy and never gave anything in charity. Even the gold ornaments for his only son were made by himself to save payment for workmanship. When his son fell ill, no physician was consulted, until it was too late. When he realized that his son was dying, he had the youth carried outside on to the verandah, so that people coming to his house would not see his possessions.

    On that morning, the Buddha arising early from his deep meditation of compassion saw, in his Net of Knowledge, Matthakundali lying on the verandah. So when entering Savatthi for alms-food with his disciples, the Buddha stood near the door of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka. The Buddha sent forth a ray of light to attract the attention of the youth, who was facing the interior of the house. The youth saw the Buddha; and as he was very weak he could only profess his faith mentally. But that was enough. When he passed away with his heart in devotion to the Buddha he was reborn in the Tavatimsa celestial world.

    From his celestial abode the young Matthakundali, seeing his father mourning over him at the cemetery, appeared to the old man in the likeness of his old self. He told his father about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world and also urged him to approach and invite the Buddha to a meal. At the house of Adinnapubbaka the question of whether one could or could not be reborn in a celestial world simply by mentally professing profound faith in the Buddha, without giving in charity or observing the moral precepts, was brought up. So the Buddha willed that Matthakundali should appear in person; Matthakundali soon appeared fully decked with celestial ornaments and told them about his rebirth in the Tavatimsa world. Then only, the audience became convinced that the son of the brahmin Adinnapubbaka by simply devoting his mind to the Buddha had attained much glory.

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 2: All mental phenomena have mind as their forerunner; they have mind as their chief; they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness (sukha) follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.

    At the end of the discourse Matthakundali and his father Adinnapubbaka attained Sotapatti Magga and Sotapatti Phala. Adinnapubbaka also donated almost all his wealth to the cause of the Buddha’s Teaching.

    Dhammapada Verse 2
    Matthakundali Vatthu

    Manopubbangama dhamma
    manosettha manomaya
    manasa ce pasannena
    bhasati va karoti va
    tato nam sukha1 manveti
    chayava anapayini.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

  2. The Story of a Young Bhikkhu

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    Buddha and young girl

    While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (167) of this book, with reference to a young bhikkhu.

    Once, a young bhikkhu accompanied an older bhikkhu to the house of Visakha. After taking rice gruel, the elder bhikkhu left for another place, leaving the young bhikkhu behind at the house of Visakha. The granddaughter of Visakha was filtering some water for the young bhikkhu, and when she saw her own reflection in the big water pot she smiled. Seeing her thus smiling, the young bhikkhu looked at her and he also smiled. When she saw the young bhikkhu looking at her and smiling at her, she lost her temper, and cried out angrily, “You, a shaven head! Why are you smiling at me ?” The young bhikkhu reported, “You are a shaven head yourself; your mother and your father are also shaven heads!” Thus, they quarrelled, and the young girl went weeping to her grandmother. Visakha came and said to the young bhikkhu, “Please do not get angry with my grand daughter. But, a bhikkhu does have his hair shaved, his finger nails and toe nails cut, and putting on a robe which is made up of cut pieces, he goes on alms-round with a bowl which is rimless. What this young girl said was, in a way, quite right, is it not?” The young bhikkhu replied. “It is true but why should she abuse me on that account ?” At this point, the elder bhikkhu returned; but both Visakha and the old bhikkhu failed to appease the young bhikkhu and the young girl.

    Soon after this, the Buddha arrived and learned about the quarrel. The Buddha knew that time was ripe for the young bhikkhu to attain Sotapatti Fruition. Then, in order to make the young bhikkhu more responsive to his words, he seemingly sided with him and said to Visakha, “Visakha, what reason is there for your grand daughter to address my son as a shaven head just because he has his head shaven? After all, he had his head shaven to enter my Order, didn’t he?”

    Hearing these words, the young bhikkhu went down on his knees, paid obeisance to the Buddha, and said, “Venerable Sir! You alone understands me; neither my teacher nor the great donor of the monastery understands me.” The Buddha knew that the bhikkhu was then in a receptive mood and so he said, “To smile with sensual desire is ignoble; it is not right and proper to have ignoble thoughts.”

    Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

    Verse 167: Do not follow ignoble ways, do not live in negligence, do not embrace wrong views, do not be the one to prolong samsara (lit., the world).

    At the end of the discourse, the young bhikkhu attained Sotapatti Fruition.

    Dhammapada Verse 167
    Daharabhikkhu Vatthu

    Hinam dhammam na seveyya
    pamadena na samvase
    micchaditthim na seveyya
    na siya lokavaddhano.

    Source: Tipitaka

     

     

  3. Prince Goodspeaker and the Water Demon

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    Buddha and monks

    [Chapter 2. The Teaching of the Gods]

    In time, the queen gave birth to another son, who was named Prince Moon. Shortly after both children began walking about, their mother suddenly became very sick, and died.

    To help him look after his playful children, the king found a princess to become his new queen. In a few years, this queen gave birth to a beautiful bright little boy. He was named Prince Sun. Since the king was so happy, he wanted to please his queen, and reward her for bringing up all three children. So he promised to grant her one wish. The queen considered, and said, “Thank you my lord, I will make my wish at some time in the future.”

    As time went on, the three princes grew into wonderful playful youngsters. The queen saw that Prince Goodspeaker was intelligent and understanding. She thought, “If these two older princes remain in the palace, my son, Prince Sun, will never get a chance to be king. Therefore, I must do something to make him the next king.”

    One day, when the king was in a good mood, the queen respectfully approached him and reminded him of the promised wish. He was very happy and said, “Ask whatever you want!” The queen said, “Oh my husband and king, grant that after the course of your life is over, my son, Prince Sun, will be the next king.”

    The king was shocked by this request. He became angry and said, “My first two children are like bright stars! How can I give the kingdom to my third son? All the people will blame me. That cannot be done!” The queen kept silent.

    As happy as the king had been, he now became just as unhappy. He was afraid and filled with doubt. He suspected that the queen might destroy his first-born children by some wicked means. He decided that he must make sure his children were safe.

    Secretly, the king called Prince Goodspeaker and Prince Moon to him. He told them of the queen’s dangerous desire. He sadly said that the only safe thing for them to do was to leave the kingdom. They should return only after their father’s death, and take their rightful places ruling the kingdom. The two obedient princes accepted their father’s order and prepared to leave.

    In a few days they were ready. They said their sad good-byes to their father and friends, and left the palace. On their way through the royal gardens, they came upon Prince Sun. He had always been very affectionate and friendly towards his two older half-brothers. He was upset to hear that they were leaving for a very long time. So he decided that he too would leave the kingdom. The three friendly princes departed together.

    For several months they travelled, until they reached the forest country of the mighty Himalayas. They were very tired and sat down under a tree. The oldest brother, Prince Goodspeaker, said to the youngest, Prince Sun, “Please go down to the nearby lake and fill some lotus leaves with water. Bring them back here so we all can drink.” Continue reading

  4. Mr Monkey and Sir Crocodile (Good Manners)

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    rainsing-sceneOnce upon a time, Mr. Monkey was living by himself near a riverbank. He was very strong, and he was a great jumper.

    In the middle of the river there was a beautiful island covered with mango, jackfruit and other fruit trees. There happened to be a rock sticking out of the water halfway between the bank and the island. Although it looked impossible, Mr. Monkey was used to jumping from the riverbank to the rock, and from the rock to the island. He would eat fruits all day and then return home by the same route each evening.

    A high-class couple was living next to the same river – Sir Crocodile and Lady Crocodile. They were expecting their first brood of baby crocks. Because she was pregnant Lady Crocodile sometimes wished for strange things to eat. So she made unusual demands on her faithful husband.

    Lady Crocodile had been amazed, just like the other animals, by the way Mr. Monkey jumped back and forth to the island. One day she developed a sudden craving to eat the heart of Mr. Monkey! She told Sir Crocodile about her desire. To please her, he promised to get Mr. Monkey’s heart for her in time for dinner.

    Sir Crocodile went and laid himself down on the rock between the riverbank and the island. He waited for Mr. Monkey to return that evening, planning to catch him.

    As usual, Mr. Monkey spent the rest of the day on the island. When it was time to return to his home on the riverbank, he noticed that the rock seemed to have grown. It was higher above water than he remembered it. He investigated and saw that the river level was the same as in the morning, yet the rock was definitely higher. Immediately he suspected the cunning Sir Crocodile.

    To find out for sure, he called out in the direction of the rock, “Hi there, Mr. Rock! How are you?” He yelled this three times. Then he shouted, “You used to answer me when I spoke to you. But today you say nothing. What’s wrong with you, Mr. Rock?”

    Sir Crocodile thought, “No doubt on other days this rock used to talk to the monkey. I can’t wait any longer for this dumb rock to speak! I will just have to speak for the rock, and trick the monkey.” So he shouted, “I’m fine, Mr. Monkey. What do you want?”

    Mr. Monkey asked, “Who are you?”

    Without thinking, the crocodile replied, “I’m Sir Crocodile.”

    “Why are you lying there?” asked the monkey.

    Sir Crocodile said, “I’m expecting to take your heart! There’s no escape for you, Mr. Monkey.”

    The clever monkey thought, “Aha! He’s right – there’s no other way back to the riverbank. So I will have to trick him.”

    Then he yelled, “Sir Crocodile my friend, it looks like you’ve got me. So I’ll give you my heart. Open your mouth and take it when I come your way.” Continue reading

  5. A Huge Lump of Gold (Moderation)

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    Buddha in heaven 081515

    Once upon a time there was a rich village. The wealthiest of the villagers decided to hide a huge lump of gold to protect it from bandits and robbers. So he buried it in a nearby rice field.

    Many years later, the village was no longer rich, and the rice field was abandoned and unused. A poor farmer decided to plow the field. After some time plowing, it just so happened that his plow struck the long forgotten buried treasure.

    At first he thought it must be a very hard tree root. But when he uncovered it, he saw that it was beautiful shining gold. Since it was daytime he was afraid to try and take it with him. So he covered it up again and waited for nightfall.

    The poor farmer returned in the middle of the night. Again he uncovered the golden treasure. He tried to lift it, but it was far too heavy. He tied ropes around it and tried to drag it. But it was so huge he couldn’t budge it an inch. He became frustrated, thinking he was lucky to find a treasure, and unlucky to not be able to take it with him. He even tried kicking the huge lump of gold. But again it wouldn’t budge an inch!

    Then he sat down and began to consider the situation. He decided the only thing to do was to break the lump of gold into four smaller lumps. Then he could carry home one piece at a time.

    He thought, “One lump I will use for ordinary day-to-day living. The second lump I will save for a rainy day. The third lump I will invest in my farming business. And I will gain merit with the fourth lump by giving it to the poor and needy and for other good works.”

    With a calm mind he divided the huge lump of gold into these four smaller lumps. Then it was easy to carry them home on four separate trips.

    Afterwards he lived happily.

    The moral is: “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”

    Link source

     

  6. The story of Kisa Gautami

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    Mother of dead child072715

    Kisa Gautami carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story.

    Kisa Gautami was a young woman from a wealthy family who was happily married to an important merchant. When her only son was one-year-old, he fell ill and died suddenly. Kisa Gautami was struck with grief, she could not bare the death of her only child. Weeping and groaning, she took her dead baby in her arms and went from house to house begging all the people in the town for news of a way to bring her son back to life.

    Of course, nobody could help her but Kisa Gautami would not give up. Finally she came across a Buddhist who advised her to go and see the Buddha himself.

    When she carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story, He listened with patience and compassion, and then said to her, “Kisa Gautami, there is only one way to solve your problem. Go and find me four or five mustard seeds from any family in which there has never been a death.”

    Kisa Gautami was filled with hope, and set off straight away to find such a household. But very soon she discovered that every family she visited had experienced the death of one person or another. At last, she understood what the Buddha had wanted her to find out for herself — that suffering is a part of life, and death comes to us all. Once Kisa Guatami accepted the fact that death is inevitable, she could stop her grieving. She took the child’s body away and later returned to the Buddha to become one of His followers.

    Source: Buddhanet  |  Link source

     

     

  7. The Whatnot Tree (Prudence)

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    buddha in the sky 080415

    Once upon a time there was a caravan leader. He went from country to country selling various goods. His caravans usually had at least 500 bullock carts.

    On one of these trips his path led through a very thick forest. Before entering it, he called together all the members of the caravan. He warned them, “My friends, when you go through this forest be careful to avoid the poisonous trees, poisonous fruits, poisonous leaves, poisonous flowers and even poisonous honeycombs.

    “Therefore, whatever you have not eaten before – whether a fruit, leaf, flower or anything else – must not be eaten without asking me first.” They all said respectfully, “Yes, sir.”

    There was a village in the forest. Just outside the village stood a tree called a ‘whatnot tree’. Its trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits look very similar to a mango tree. Even the colour, shape, smell and taste are almost exactly the same as a mango tree. But unlike a mango, the whatnot fruit is a deadly poison!

    Some went ahead of the caravan and came upon the whatnot tree. They were all hungry, and the whatnot fruits looked like delicious ripe mangoes. Some started eating the fruits immediately, without thinking at all. They devoured them before anyone could say a word.

    Others remembered the leader’s warning, but they thought this was just a different variety of mango tree. They thought they were lucky to find ripe mangoes right next to a village. So they decided to eat some of the fruits before they were all gone.

    There were also some who were wiser than the rest. They decided it would be safer to obey the warning of the caravan leader. Although they didn’t know it, he just happened to be the Enlightenment Being.

    When the leader arrived at the tree, the ones who had been careful and not eaten asked, “Sir, what is this tree? Is it safe to eat these fruits?”

    After investigating thoughtfully he replied, “No, no. This may look like a mango tree, but it isn’t. It is a poisonous whatnot tree. Don’t even touch it!”

    The ones who had already eaten the whatnot fruit were terrified. The caravan leader told them to make themselves vomit as soon as possible. They did this, and then were given four sweet foods to eat – raisins, cane sugar paste, sweet yogurt and bee’s honey. In this way their taste buds were refreshed after throwing up the poisonous whatnot fruit. Continue reading

  8. Prince Five-Weapons and Sticky-Hair (The Diamond Weapon)

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    Buddhasleeping072715

    Once upon a time, the Enlightenment Being was born as the son of the King and Queen of Benares. On the day of his naming, 800 fortune tellers were invited to the palace. As presents, they were given whatever they desired to make them happy for the moment. Then they were asked to tell the fortune of the newborn prince. This was so they could find a good name for him.

    One of the fortune tellers was an expert in reading the marks on the body. He said, “My lord, this is a being of great merit. He will be king after you.”

    The fortune tellers were very clever. They told the king and queen whatever they wanted to hear. They said, “Your son will be skilled in five weapons. He will become famous as the greatest master of all five weapons throughout India.” Based on this, the king and queen named their son ‘Prince Five-Weapons’.

    When the prince turned 16, the king decided to send him to college. He said, “Go, my son, to the city of Takkasila. There you will find a world famous teacher. Learn all you can from him. Give him this money as payment.” He gave him a thousand gold coins and sent him on his way.

    The prince went to the world famous teacher of Takkasila. He studied very hard and became his best pupil. When the teacher had taught him all he knew, he gave the prince a special graduation award. He gave him five weapons. Then he sent him back to Benares.

    On his way home he came to a forest which was haunted by a monster. The local people warned Prince Five-Weapons, “Young man, don’t go through the forest. There is a monstrous demon called Sticky-Hair living there. He kills everyone he sees!”

    But the prince was self-confident and fearless like a young lion. So he pushed on into the forest, until he came to the dreadful monster. He was as tall as a tree, with a head as big as the roof of a house and eyes as big as dishes. He had two big yellow tusks sticking out of his gaping white mouth filled with ugly brown teeth. He had a huge belly covered with white spots, and his hands and feet were blue.

    The monster roared and growled at the prince, “Where are you going in my forest, little man? You look like a tasty morsel to me. I’m going to gobble you up!” Continue reading

  9. Gaining Power

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    nature073015

    The baby grew into a little boy. His friends took to making fun of him for not being of high-class birth like they were. So he went and asked his mother who his father was. She told him to pay no attention to what the other children said. She told him his father was the dead King Badfruit of Mithila, and how his brother, Prince Poorfruit, had stolen the throne. After that, it didn’t bother him when the others called him “son of a widow.”

    Before he was 16, the bright young Fruitful learned all there was to know about religion, literature and the skills of a warrior. He grew into a very handsome young man.

    He decided it was time to regain his rightful crown, which had been stolen by his uncle. So he went and asked his mother, “Do you have any of the wealth that belonged to my father?” She said, “Of course! I did not escape empty-handed. Thinking of you, I brought pearls, jewels and diamonds. So there is n need for you to work for pay. Go directly and take back your kingdom.”

    But he said, “No mother, I will take only half. I will sail to Burma, the land of gold, and make my fortune there.” His mother said, ‘No my son, it is too dangerous to sail abroad. There is plenty of fortune here!” He said, “I must leave half with you, my mother, so you can live in comfort as a queen should.” So saying, he departed by ship for Burma.

    On the same day that Prince Fruitful set sail, his Uncle King Poorfruit became very ill. He was so sick that he could no longer leave his bed.

    Meanwhile, on the ship bound for Burma there were some 350 people. It sailed for seven days. Then there was a violent storm that damaged and weakened the ship. All except the prince cried out in fear and prayed for help to their various gods. But the Bodhisatta did not cry out in fear; the Enlightenment Being did not pray to any god for help. Instead he helped himself.

    He filled his belly with concentrated butter mixed with sugar, since he didn’t know how long it would be before his next meal. He soaked his clothes in oil to protect himself from the cold ocean water and help him stay afloat. Then when the ship began to sink, he went and held on to the mast, for it was the tallest part of the ship. As the deck sank underwater, he pulled himself up the mast.

    Meanwhile his trembling praying shipmates were sucked underwater and gobbled up by hungry fish and huge turtles. Soon the water all around turned red from blood.

    As the ship sank, Prince Fruitful reached the top of the mast. To avoid being devoured in the sea of blood, he jumped mightily from the tip of the mast – in the direction of the kingdom of Mithila. And a t the same time as he saved himself from the snapping jaws of the fish and turtles, King Poorfruit died in his bed.

    After his mighty leap from the top of the mast, the prince fell into the emerald-coloured sea. He body shined like gold as he swam for seven days and seven nights. Then he saw it was the fasting day of the full moon. So he purified his mouth by washing it out with salt water and observed the “Eight Training Steps”.

    Once upon a time in the very distant past, the gods of the four directions had appointed a goddess to be the protector of the oceans. They had told her that her duty was to protect especially all those who honour and respect their moths and other elders. All such, who did not deserve to fall into the sea, were to be protected by her. Continue reading

  10. Rebirth of the Bodhisatta

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    Buddha meditating072715

    Once upon a time in the city of Mathila, there was a king who had two sons. The older one was named Badfruit, and his younger brother was called Poorfruit.

    While they were still fairly young, the king made his older son the crown prince. He was second in command and next in line to the throne. Prince Poorfruit became commander of the army.

    Eventually the old king died and Prince Badfruit became the new king. Then his brother became crown prince.

    Before long, a certain servant took a disliking to Crown Prince Poorfruit. He went to King Badfruit and told a lie – that his brother was planning to kill him. At first the king did not believe him. But after the servant kept repeating the lie, the king became frightened. So he had Prince Poorfruit put in chains and locked up in the palace dungeon.

    The prince thought, “I am a righteous man was does not deserve these chains. I never wanted to kill my brother. I wasn’t even angry at him. So now I call on the power of Truth. If what I say is true, may these chains fall off and the dungeon doors be opened!” Miraculously the chains broke in pieces, the door opened, and the prince fled to an outlying village. The people there recognised him. Since they respected him `they helped him, and the king was unable to capture him.

    Even though he lived in hiding, the crown prince became the master of the entire remote region. In time he raised a large army. He thought, “Although I was not an enemy to my brother at first, I must be an enemy to him now.” So he took his army and surrounded the city of Mithila.

    He sent a message to king Badfruit – “I was not your enemy, but you have made me so. Therefore I have come to wage war against you. I give you a choice – either give me your crown and kingdom, or come out and fight.” Hearing of this, most of the city people went out and joined the prince.

    King Badfruit decided to wage war. He would do anything to keep his power. Before going out with his army, he went to say goodbye to his number one queen. She was expecting a baby very soon. He said to her “My love, no one knows who will win this war. Therefore, if I die you must protect the child inside you.” Then he bravely went off to war and was quickly killed by the soldiers of his enemy brother.

    The news of the king’s death spread through the city. The queen disguised herself as a poor dirty homeless person. She put on old rags for clothes and smeared dirt on herself. She put some of the king’s gold and her own most precious jewellery into a basket. She covered these with dirty rice that no one would want to steal. Then she left the city by the northern gate. Since she had always lived inside the city, the queen had no idea where to go from there. She had heard of a city called Campa. She sat down at the side of the road and began asking if anyone was going to Campa. Continue reading

  11. King Goodness the Great (Perseverance)

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    Buddhaalms072715

    Once upon a time, in Benares in northern India, the Enlightenment Being was born into the royal family. When he became king he was called Goodness the Great. He had earned this title by trying to do good all the time, even when the results might not benefit him. For example, he spent much of the royal treasury on the building and running of six houses of charity. In these houses good and aid were given freely to all the poor and needy who came along, even to unknown travellers. Soon king Goodness the Great became famous for his patience, loving-kindness and compassion. It was said that he loved all beings just like a father loves his young children.

    Of course king Goodness observed the holy days by not eating. And naturally he practiced the ‘Five Training Steps’, giving up the five unwholesome actions. These are: destroying life, taking what is not given, doing wrong in sexual ways, speaking falsely, and losing one’s mind from alcohol. So his gentle kindness became more and more pure.

    Since he wished to harm no one, King Goodness the Great even refused to imprison or injure wrongdoers. Knowing this, one of his highest ministers tried to take advantage of him. He cooked up a scheme to cheat some of the women in the royal harem. Afterwards it became known by all and was reported to the king.

    He called the bad minister before him and said, ‘I have investigated and found that you have done a criminal act. Word of it has spread and you have dishonoured yourself here in Benares. So it would be better for you to go and live somewhere else. You may take all your wealth and your family. Go wherever you like and live happily there. Learn from this lesson.’

    Then the minister took his family and al his belongings to the city of Kosala. Since he was very clever indeed, he worked his way up and became a minister of the king. In time he became the most trusted adviser to the King of Kosala. One day he said, ‘My lord, I came here from Benares. The city of Benares is like a beehive where the bees hive no stingers! The ruling king is very tender and weak. With only a very small army you can easily conquer the city and make it yours.’

    The king doubted this, so he said, “You are my minister, but you talk like a spy who is leading me into a trap!’ He replied “No m lord. If you don’t believe me, send your best spies to examine what I say. I am not lying. When robbers are brought to the King of Benders, he gives them money, advises them not to take what is not given, and then lets them go free,”

    The king decided to find out if this was true. So he sent some robbers to raid a remote border village belonging to Benares. The villagers caught the looters and brought them to King Goodness the Great. He asked them, “Why do you want to do this type of crime?”

    The robbers answered, “Your worship, we are poor people. The robbers answered, “Your worship, we are poor people. There is no way to live without money. As your kingdom has plenty of workers, there is no work for us to do. So we had to loot the country in order to survive.” Hearing this, the king gave them gifts of money, advised them to change their ways, and let them go free.

    When the King of Kosala was told of this, he sent another gang of bandits to the streets of Benares itself. They too looted the shops and even killed some of the people. When they were captured and brought to king Goodness, he treated them just the same as the first robbers.

    Learning of this, the King of Kosala began marching his troops and elephants towards Benares.

    In those days the King of Benders had a mighty army which included very brave elephants. There were many ordinary soldiers, and also some that were as big as giants. It was known that they were capable of conquering all India.

    The giant soldiers told King Goodness about the small invading army from Kosala. They asked permission to attack and kill them all. Continue reading

  12. A Gang of Drunkards (Sobriety)

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    buddha

    Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was king, the Enlightenment Being was born in a wealthy family. He became the richest man in Benares.

    There also happened to be a gang of drunkards who roamed the streets. All they ever thought about was finding ways to get alcohol, the drug they thought they couldn’t live without.

    One day, when they had run out of money as usual, they came up with a scheme to rob the richest man in Benares. But they didn’t realise that he was the reborn Bodhisatta, so he wouldn’t be so easy to fool!

    They decided to make a ‘Mickey Finn’, which is a drink of liquor with a sleeping drug secretly added to it. Their plan was to get the rich man to drink the Mickey Finn. Then when he fell asleep they would rob all his money, jewellery, and even the rich clothes he wore. So they set up a temporary little roadside bar. They put their last remaining liquor into a bottle, and mixed in some strong sleeping pills.

    Later the rich man came by on his way to the palace. One of the alcoholics called out to him, “Honourable sir, why not start your day right – by having a drink with us? And the first one is on the house!” Then he poured a glass of the dishonest liquor.

    But the Enlightenment Being did not drink any form of alcohol. Nevertheless, he wondered why these drunkards were being so generous with their favourite drug. It just wasn’t like them.

    He realised it must be some kind of trick. So he decided to teach them a lesson. He said, “It would be an insult to appear before the king in a drunken state, or with even the slightest smell of liquor on my breath. But please be so kind as to wait for me here. I’ll see you again when I return from the palace.”

    The drunkards were disappointed. They would not be able to drink again as soon as they wanted. But they decided to be patient and wait.

    Later that day the rich man came back to the little roadside bar. The alcoholics were getting desperate for a drink. They called him over and said, “Honourable sir, why not celebrate your visit to the king? Have a drink of this fine liquor. Remember, the first one is free!”

    But the rich man just kept looking at the liquor bottle and glass. He said, “I don’t trust you. That bottle and glass of liquor are exactly as they were this morning. If it were as good as you say it is, you would have tasted some yourselves by now. In fact, you couldn’t help but drink it all! I’m no fool. You must have added another drug to the alcohol.”

    The richest man in Benares went on his way, and the gang of drunkards went back to their plotting and scheming.

    The moral is: Keep sober – and keep your common sense.

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  13. The Strong-minded Snake (Determination)

    Comment

    Buddha with snake 071915

    Once upon a time there was a doctor who was an expert at treating snakebites. One day he was called for by the relatives of a man who had been bitten by a deadly poisonous snake.

    The doctor told them, “There are two ways of treating this snake bite. One is by giving medicine. The other is by capturing the snake who bit him, and forcing him to suck out his own poison.” The family said, “We would like to find the snake and make him suck the poison out.”

    After the snake was caught, the doctor asked him, “Did you bite this man?” “Yes I did,” said the snake. “Well then,” said the doctor, “You must suck your own poison out of the wound.” But the strong-willed snake replied, “Take back my own poison? Never! I have never done such a thing and I never will!”

    Then the doctor started a wood fire and said to the snake, “If you don’t suck that poison out, I’ll throw you in this fire and burn you up!”

    But the snake had made up his mind. He said, “I’d rather die!” And he began moving towards the fire.

    In all his years, the snake bite expert doctor had never seen anything like this! He took pity on the courageous snake, and kept him from entering the flames. He used his medicines and magic spells to remove the poison from the suffering man.

    The doctor admired the snake’s single-minded determination. He knew that if he used his determination in a wholesome way he could improve himself. So he taught him the Five Training Steps to avoid unwholesome actions. Then he set him free and said, “Go in peace and harm no one.”

    The moral is: Determination wins respect.

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  14. The Story of Prince Rahula

    Comment

    Buddha and Rahula071815

    On the seventh day after the Buddha’s homecoming Princess Yasodhara dressed up young Rahula. The Buddha’s son had been brought up by his mother and grandfather and was now seven years old. She pointed to the Buddha and said, “That is your father, Rahula. Go and ask him for your inheritance.”

    Innocent Rahula went to the Buddha and, looking up into his face, told him what his mother had asked him to say, adding, “Father, even your shadow is pleasing to me.”

    As the Buddha left the palace Rahula followed him saying, “Give me my inheritance.” Coming to the park the Buddha thought, “He desires his father’s wealth, but this goes with the worldly life and is full of trouble and suffering. I shall instead give him what I know and thus give him an excellent inheritance.” The Buddha then asked Sariputta, one of his disciples, to ordain Rahula.

    When King Suddhodana heard that his beloved grandson had become a monk he was deeply grieved. The king said, “When you left home it made me sad. When Nanda left home my heart ached. I concentrated my love on my grandson and again the one I love has left me. Please do not ordain anyone without their parent’s permission.” To this the Buddha agreed and never ordained anybody after that without their parents’ permission. Link source

     

     

  15. Giving Up Power

    Comment

    BuddhateachingB071115This story happened very long ago, at a time when people lived much longer lives, even 10,000 years! After King Fruitful had ruled for about 7,000 years, it just so happened that the royal gardener brought him an especially wonderful collection of fruits and flowers. He liked them so much that he wanted to see the garden. So the gardener arranged and decorated the garden, and invited him to visit.

    The king set out on a royal elephant, followed by the entire court and many of the ordinary people of Mithila. When he entered through the garden gate he saw two beautiful mango trees. One was full of perfectly ripe mangoes, while the other was completely without fruit. He took one of the fruits and enjoyed its delicious sweet taste. He decided to eat more of them on his return trip.

    When the people saw that the king had eaten the first fruit, they knew it was all right for them to eat. In no time at all the mangoes had been eaten. When the fruits were gone, some even broke the twigs and stripped the leaves looking for more.

    When King Fruitful returned he saw that the tree was stripped bare and nearly destroyed. At the same time the fruitless tree remained as beautiful as before, its bright green leaves shining in the sunlight.

    The king asked his ministers, “What has happened here?” They explained, “Since your majesty ate the first fruit, the people felt free to devour the rest. Searching for more fruits they even destroyed the leaves and twigs. The fruitless tree was spared and remains beautiful, since it has no fruit.”

    This saddened the king. He thought, “This fruitful tree was destroyed, but the fruitless one was spared. My kingship is like the fruitful tree – the more the power and possessions, the greater the fear of losing them. The holy life of a simple monk is like the fruitless tree – giving up power and possessions leads to freedom from fear.”

    So the Great Being decided to give up his wealth and power, to leave the glory of kingship behind, to abandon the constant task of protecting his position. Instead he decided to put all his effort into living the pure life of a simple monk. Only then could he discover lasting deep happiness, which would spread to others as well.

    He returned to the city. Standing next to the palace gate, he called for the commander of the army. He said, “From now on, no one is to see my face except a servant bringing food and a servant bringing water and toothbrush. You and the ministers will rule according to the old law. I will live as a simple monk on the top floor of the palace.”

    After he had lived for a while in this way, the people began to wonder about the change in him. One day a crowd gathered in the palace courtyard. They said, “Our king is not as he was before. He no longer wants to see dancing or listen to singing or watch bull fights and elephant fights or go to his pleasure garden and see the swans on the ponds. Why does he not speak to us?” They asked the servants who brought the king his food and water, “Does he tell you anything?”

    They said, “He is trying to keep his mind from thinking about desirable things, so it will be peaceful and wholesome like the minds of his old friends, the Silent Buddhas. He is trying to develop the purity of the ones who own nothing but good qualities. Once we even heard him say out loud, “I can think only of the Silent Buddhas, free from chasing ordinary pleasures. Their freedom makes them truly happy – who will take me to where they live?”

    King Fruitful had been living on the top floor of the palace trying to be a simple monk for only about four months. At that point he realised there were too many distractions in the beautiful kingdom of Mithila. He saw them as only an outer show keeping him from finding inner peace and Truth. So he decided, once and for all, to give up everything and become a forest monk and go live in the Himalaya Mountains.

    He had the yellow robes and begging bowl of a monk brought to him. He ordered the royal barber to shave his head and beard. Then early the next morning, he began walking down the royal staircase.

    Meanwhile Queen Sivali had heard about his plans. She gathered together the 700 most beautiful queens of the royal harem and took them up the staircase. They passed King Fruitful coming down, but didn’t recognise him dressed as a monk. When they got to the top floor, Queen Sivali found it empty, with only the king’s shaven hair and beard still there. Instantly she realised the unknown monk must be her husband.

    All 701 queens ran down the stairs to the palace courtyard. There they followed the king-turned-monk. As Queen Sivali had instructed them, they all let down their hair and tried to entice the king to stay. They cried and cried, pleading with him, “Why are you doing this?” Then all the people of the city became very upset and began following him. They were weeping as they cried out, “We have heard that our king has become a simple monk. How can we ever find such a good and fair ruler again?”

    The 700 harem queens, wearing all their lovely veils and rich jewellery, crying and begging, did not change the mind of the Enlightenment Being. For he had made his decision and was determined to stick to it. He had given up the gold anointing bowl of state, which had passed the power of the royal family to him. Instead he now carried only the plain clay-begging bowl of a humble monk, a seeker of Truth. Continue reading

  16. Teaching

    Comment

    Buddhateahing071115

    King Brahmadatta bowed to the ground before the holy man and said, “Your wisdom has taken my fear and panic from me. Your compassion has kept me from doing terrible unwholesome things to many helpless beings. My gratitude is endless, oh holy monk.”

    The Enlightenment Being said to the king, “Now you must realize why your royal priests wanted to have a sacrifice ceremony. It was not because they understood the Truth. and it was not because they cared for you and your well-being. Instead it was due to greediness. They wanted only to get rich, eat fine food, and keep their jobs at your court.

    “Your 16 dreams have indicated disasters in the distant future. What you do now will have no effect on them. Those things will happen when the world is declining, when the unreal is seen as real, when the unreasonable is thought to be reasonable, and when the non-existent seems to exist. It will be a time when many will be unwholesome without shame,, and few will be ashamed of their own wrongdoing.

    ‘Therefore, to prevent these things by performing a sacrifice today is impossible!”

    Remaining seated, the Bodhisatta miraculously rose into the air. Then he continued his teaching: “Oh king, it was fear that unbalanced your mind and brought you close to killing so many helpless ones. Real freedom from fear comes from a pure mind. And the way to begin purifying your mind is to climb the five steps of training. You will benefit greatly from giving up the five unwholesome actions. These are:

    destroying life, for this is not compassion; taking what is not given, for this is not generosity; doing wrong in sexual ways, for this is not lovingkindness; speaking falsely, for this is not Truth; losing your mind from alcohol, for this leads to falling down the first four steps.

    “Oh king, from now on do not join with the priests in killing animals for sacrifice.”

    In this way the Great Being taught the Truth, freed many people from bondage to false beliefs, and released many animals from fear and death. In an instant he returned through the air to his home in the Himalayas.

    King Brahmadatta practiced the Five Training Steps. He gave alms and did many other good things. At the end of a long life he died and was reborn as he deserved.

    The moral is: Beware of the panic-stricken man. What he can do is more dangerous than what scared him in the first place.

    Source: Buddhanet
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  17. The Meditating Security Guard (Fearlessness)

    Comment

    buddhaandsnakemeditating071215

    Once upon a time, the Enlightenment Being was born into a rich and powerful family. When he grew up he became dissatisfied with going after the ordinary pleasures of the world. So he gave up his former lifestyle, including his wealth and position. He went to the foothills of the Himalayas and became a holy man.

    It just so happened that one day he ran out of salt. So he decided to go and collect alms. He came upon a caravan and went with it part way on its journey. In the evening they stopped and made camp.

    The holy man began walking at the foot of a big nearby tree. He concentrated until he entered a high mental state. He remained in that state throughout the night, while continuing to walk.

    Meanwhile, 500 bandits surrounded the campsite. They waited until after supper, when all had settled down for the night. But before they could attack, they noticed the holy man. They said to each other, “That man must be on guard, for security. If he sees us, he’ll warn the rest. So let’s wait until he falls asleep, and then do our robbing and looting!”

    What the bandits didn’t know was that the holy man was so deep in meditation that he didn’t notice them at all – or anything else for that matter! So they kept waiting for him to fall asleep. And he just kept walking and walking and walking – until the light of dawn finally began to appear. Only then was he finished meditating.

    Having had no chance to rob the caravan, the bandits threw down their weapons in frustration. They shouted, “Hey you in the caravan! If your security guard hadn’t stayed up all night, walking under that tree, we would have robbed you all! You should reward him well!” With that they left in search of someone else to rob.

    When it became light the people in the caravan saw the clubs and stones left behind by the bandits. Trembling with fear, they went over to the holy man. They greeted him respectfully and asked if he had seen the bandits. “Yes, this morning I did,” he said.

    “Weren’t you scared?” they asked. “No,” said the Enlightenment Being, “the sight of bandits is only frightening to the rich. But I’m not a rich man. I own nothing of any value to robbers. So why should I be afraid of them? I have no anxiety in a village, and no fear in the forest. Possessing only loving-kindness and compassion, I follow the straight path leading to Truth.”

    In this manner he preached the way of fearlessness to the lucky people of the caravan. His words made them feel peaceful, and they honored him.

    After a long life developing the Four Heavenly States of Mind, he died and was reborn in a high heaven world.

    The moral is: It pays to have a holy man around.

    Buddhist Tales, Buddhanet
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  18. Devadatta Sutta: About Devadatta

    Comment

     

    Devadatta071215On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Rajagaha on Vulture Peak Mountain, not long after Devadatta’s departure. There, referring to Devadatta, he addressed the monks: “Monks, it’s good for a monk periodically to have reflected on his own failings. It’s good for a monk periodically to have reflected on the failings of others. It’s good for a monk periodically to have reflected on his own attainments. It’s good for a monk periodically to have reflected on the attainments of others.

    “Conquered by eight untrue dhammas, his mind overcome, Devadatta is headed for a state of deprivation, headed for hell, there to stay for an eon, incurable. Which eight?

    “Conquered by material gain, his mind overcome, Devadatta is headed for a state of deprivation, headed for hell, there to stay for an eon, incurable.

    “Conquered by lack of material gain…

    “Conquered by status…

    “Conquered by lack of status…

    “Conquered by offerings…

    “Conquered by lack of offerings…

    “Conquered by evil ambition…

    “Conquered by evil friendship, his mind overcome, Devadatta is headed for a state of deprivation, headed for hell, there to stay for an eon, incurable.

    “Monks, it’s good for a monk to keep conquering again & again any arisen material gain. It’s good for a monk to keep conquering again & again any arisen lack of material gain… any arisen status… any arisen lack of status… any arisen offerings… any arisen lack of offerings… any arisen evil ambition… any arisen evil friendship.

    “And for what compelling reason should a monk keep conquering again & again any arisen material gain… any arisen evil friendship? Because when one dwells not having conquered any arisen material gain, effluents arise, along with vexations & fevers. But when one dwells having conquered any arisen material gain, those effluents, vexations, & fevers are not.

    [Similarly with any arisen lack of material gain, any arisen status, any arisen lack of status, any arisen offerings, any arisen lack of offerings, any arisen evil ambition, & any arisen evil friendship.]

    “It’s for this compelling reason that a monk should keep conquering again & again any arisen material gain… any arisen evil friendship. Continue reading

  19. The punishing wave

    Comment
    Devadatta

    Devadatta taken refuge as was sinking into the earth.

    Samudda-Vanija-Jataka

    It was while staying at Jetavana that the Buddha told this story about Devadatta.

    After his three attempts to kill the Buddha had failed, Devadatta made five demands–that bhikkhus live only in the forest, that they eat only food received on almsrounds, that they wear only rag robes, that they stay only under trees, and that they eat neither meat nor fish. The Buddha rejected the demands, saying, “Enough, Devadatta! Any bhikkhu who desires to do so may undertake these austerities, but I will not impose them.”

    “Whose words are nobler,” Devadatta exclaimed, “the words of the Tathagata or mine? I declare that, for all their lives, bhikkhus should follow these rules. Whoever desires release from suffering, let him come with me!”

    At that time, there were five hundred Licchavis who had recently ordained as bhikkhus. These young men were impressed by Devadatta’s bravado, and they decided to follow him. Some laypeople, as well, were persuaded that these austerities were necessary and gave their support to Devadatta.

    The Buddha asked Devadatta whether it was indeed his intention to create a separate Sangha, and Devadatta replied that it was. “Devadatta,” the Buddha warned, “creating a schism in this way is a grievous thing to do!”

    Completely ignoring the Buddha’s warning, Devadatta announced to Venerable Ananda that, henceforth, he would be observing Patimokkha independently from the Buddha’s Sangha. When this was reported to the Buddha, the Blessed One proclaimed, “Devadatta is doing something which will be of no benefit to himself and which will, in fact, cause him to be tormented in Avici hell.”

    On the next Uposatha Day, Devadatta took his followers to Gayasisa to observe the Patimokkha. The Buddha summoned Venerable Sariputta and Venerable Moggallana and asked them to go to Gayasisa and to bring those bhikkhus back to Rajagaha.

    Devadatta welcomed the two chief disciples and sat them beside him. As he taught the assembled bhikkhus, he attempted to imitate the Buddha. After a while, still trying to act like the Buddha, he claimed to be suffering from an aching back and asked Venerable Sariputta and Venerable Moggallana to continue instructing the young bhikkhus while he retired to rest.

    The two chief disciples taught the Dhamma so clearly and skillfully that all five hundred of those bhikkhus abandoned Devadatta and returned to Rajagaha.

    Kokalika, Devadatta’s personal attendant, rushed to his master’s chamber and shouted, “Get up, Devadatta! Sariputta and Moggallana have taken away your monks. Why didn’t you listen to my warning? I told you not to trust those two!”

    Without getting out of bed, Devadatta muttered, “Sariputta and Moggallana cherish evil desires! They are under the control of evil desires.” Kokalika was so disgusted by this jibberish that he kicked Devadatta in the chest, causing him to vomit hot blood.

    After this incident, Devadatta’s health steadily worsened. One day, he said to his followers, “I desire to see the Teacher. Make it possible for me to see him.”

    “When you enjoyed good health,” his disciples retorted, “you were at odds with the Teacher. Now that you are ill, we will not take you to him.”

    “Please do not destroy me!” Devadatta begged. “It is true that I have felt hatred toward the Teacher, but the Teacher has not felt even so much as a twinge of animosity toward me. I have thought evil of the Tathagata, but, in his mind, there has never been a single thought of malice toward me. Even among the eighty great disciples there is no hostility toward me. By my own deeds alone am I forlorn, cut off from the Buddha, separated from the great disciples. I must go to the Buddha and reconcile myself with him!”

    Hearing this heartfelt plea, his followers relented and prepared a litter. They placed Devadatta on it and carried him slowly toward Savatthi.

    Venerable Ananda heard that Devadatta was coming and announced to the Buddha that his cousin was coming to make his peace.

    “Ananda,” the Buddha replied, “Devadatta shall not see me.”

    Later, Ananda reported that Devadatta and his entourage had reached the city, and the Buddha repeated his statement that Devadatta would not succeed in seeing him.

    When Ananda announced that Devadatta had reached the lotus tank, the Buddha declared,”Even if he enters Jetavana Monastery itself, he will not succeed in seeing me.” Continue reading

  20. A proud beetle in a lump of cow dung

    Comment

    skymoving

    There once was a beetle which came upon a lump of cow dung. He worked himself into it and liking what he saw, he invited his friends to join him in building a city in it. After working feverishly for a few days they built a magnificent `city´ in the dung and feeling very proud of their achievement they decided to elect the first beetle as their king. Now to honour their new `king´ they organised a grand parade through their `city´.

    While these impressive proceedings were taking place, An elephant happened to pass by and seeing the lump of cow dung he lifted his foot to avoid stepping on it. The king beetle saw the elephant and angrily shouted at the huge beast. `Hey you! Don´t you have any respect for royalty? Don´t you know it is rude to lift your leg over my majestic head? Apologies at once or I´ll have you punished.´ The elephant looked down and said, `Your most gracious majesty, I humbly crave your pardon.´ Thus saying he knelt down on the lump of cow dung and crushed king, city, citizens and pride in one act of obeisance.

    ~Ven. Dr. K Sri Dhammananda

     

     

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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