1. The Strong-minded Snake (Determination)


    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.

    Link source


  2. The Story of Prince Rahula


    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



  3. Giving Up Power


    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

  4. Teaching



    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
    Link to this post


  5. The Meditating Security Guard (Fearlessness)



    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
    Link source



  6. Devadatta Sutta: About Devadatta



    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

  7. The punishing wave


    Devadatta taken refuge as was sinking into the earth.


    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

  8. A proud beetle in a lump of cow dung



    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



  9. The tail


    Jendhamunismilingatrainsy052405There is a story about a princess who had a small eye problem that she felt was really bad. Being the king’s daughter, she was rather spoiled and kept crying all the time. When the doctors wanted to apply medicine, she would invariably refuse any medical treatment and kept touching the sore spot on her eye. In this way it became worse and worse, until finally the king proclaimed a large reward for whoever could cure his daughter. After some time, a man arrived who claimed to be a famous physician, but actually was not even a doctor.

    He declared that he could definitely cure the princess and was admitted to her chamber. After he had examined her, he exclaimed, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” “What is it?” the princess inquired. The doctor said, “There is nothing much wrong with your eye, but there is something else that is really serious.” The princess was alarmed and asked, “What on earth is so serious?” He hesitated and said, “It is really bad. I shouldn’t tell you about it.” No matter how much she insisted, he refused to tell her, saying that he could not speak without the king’s permission.

    When the king arrived, the doctor was still reluctant to reveal his findings. Finally the king commanded, “Tell us what is wrong. Whatever it is, you have to tell us!” At last the doctor said, “Well, the eye will get better within a few days – that is no problem. The big problem is that the princess will grow a tail, which will become at least nine fathoms long. It may start growing very soon. If she can detect the first moment it appears, I might be able to prevent it from growing.” At this news everyone was deeply concerned. And the princess, what did she do? She stayed in bed, day and night, directing all her attention to detecting when the tail might appear. Thus, after a few days, her eye got well.

    This shows how we usually react. We focus on our little problem and it becomes the center around which everything else revolves. So far, we have done this repeatedly, life after life. We think, “My wishes, my interests, my likes and dislikes come first!” As long as we function on this basis, we will remain unchanged. Driven by impulses of desire and rejection, we will travel the roads of samsara without finding a way out. As long as attachment and aversion are our sources of living and drive us onward, we cannot rest.

    From Daring Steps toward Fearlessness: The Three Vehicles of Buddhism, by Ringu Tulku Rinpoche


  10. The worm



    by Ajahn Brahmavamso

    There is a wonderful little story about two monks who lived together in a monastery for many years; they were great friends. Then they died within a few months of one another. One of them got reborn in the heaven realms, the other monk got reborn as a worm in a dung pile. The one up in the heaven realms was having a wonderful time, enjoying all the heavenly pleasures. But he started thinking about his friend, “I wonder where my old mate has gone?” So he scanned all of the heaven realms, but could not find a trace of his friend. Then he scanned the realm of human beings, but he could not see any trace of his friend there, so he looked in the realm of animals and then of insects. Finally he found him, reborn as a worm in a dung pile… Wow! He thought: “I am going to help my friend. I am going to go down there to that dung pile and take him up to the heavenly realm so he too can enjoy the heavenly pleasures and bliss of living in these wonderful realms.”

    So he went down to the dung pile and called his mate. And the little worm wriggled out and said: “Who are you?”, “I am your friend. We used to be monks together in a past life, and I have come up to take you to the heaven realms where life is wonderful and blissful.” But the worm said: “Go away, get lost!” “But I am your friend, and I live in the heaven realms,” and he described the heaven realms to him. But the worm said: “No thank you, I am quite happy here in my dung pile. Please go away.” Then the heavenly being thought: “Well if I could only just grab hold of him and take him up to the heaven realms, he could see for himself.” So he grabbed hold of the worm and started tugging at him; and the harder he tugged, the harder that worm clung to his pile of dung.

    Do you get the moral of the story? How many of us are attached to our pile of dung?

    Link source



  11. Story of the Buddha



    Siddhartha liked to watch what was happening and think about different things. One afternoon his father took him to the annual Ploughing Festival. The king started the ceremony by driving the first pair of beautifully decorated bullocks. Siddhartha sat down under a rose-apple tree and watched everyone. He noticed that while people were happily enjoying themselves, the bullocks had to work terribly hard and plough the field. They did not look happy at all.

    Then Siddhartha noticed various other creatures around him. He saw a lizard eating ants. But soon a snake came, caught the lizard, and ate it. Then, suddenly a bird came down from the sky, picked up the snake and so it was eaten also. Siddhartha realised that all these creatures might think that they were happy for a while, but that they ended up suffering.

    The king did not want his son to think about deep things in life too much, because he remembered that the wise men had predicted that his son might one day want to leave the palace and become a monk. So, in order to distract him, the king built Siddhartha a beautiful palace with a lovely garden to play in. But this did not stop the prince from thinking about the suffering and unhappiness that he noticed around him.

    Buddha and sonSiddhartha grew up to be a handsome young man of great strength. He was now of an age to get married. To stop Siddhartha from thinking of leaving home, King Suddhodana arranged for him to be married to his own beautiful cousin, Princess Yasodhara.

    Following the ancient tradition, Siddhartha had to prove how brave he was to be worthy of Yasodhara. In the presence of her parents he was asked to tame a wild horse. Siddhartha tamed the horse not by beating it, as some suitors might, but by talking to the horse to calm it and stroking it gently. Yasodhara wanted to marry the prince, and no one else. They were married in a great ceremony. Both were only sixteen years old.

    To stop the prince from thinking about unhappiness or leaving home, King Suddhodana built a pleasure palace for Siddhartha and Yasodhara. Dancers and singers were asked to entertain them, and only healthy and young people were allowed into the palace and the palace garden. The king did not want Siddhartha to know that everybody gets sick, grows old and will die. But in spite of the king’s efforts, the prince was not happy. He wanted to know what life was like for people who lived outside the palace walls.

    Finally, the king allowed Siddhartha to go on short visits to the nearby towns. He went with his attendant, Channa. On his first visit Siddhartha saw a white haired, wrinkled man dressed in rags. Such a sight surprised him, as he had never seen anyone old before. Channa explained to him that this man was old and that everyone will be old one day. Siddhartha felt frightened by that and asked Channa to take him back home. At night, he could not sleep and he kept on thinking about old age.

    Although Siddhartha felt frightened by the vision of getting old, he wanted to see more of the world outside. On his next visit, he saw a man lying on the ground and moaning. Out of compassion, he rushed over to the man. Channa warned him that the man was sick and that everyone, even noble people like Siddhartha or the king could get sick.

    On the third visit, Siddhartha and Channa saw four men carrying another man on a stretcher. Channa told Siddhartha that the man was dead and was going to be cremated. He also said that no one can escape death, and told the prince that everyone will die one day. When they returned to the palace, Siddhartha kept on thinking about what he had seen. Finally, he made a strong decision to find a way out of the suffering of old age, sickness and death.


    Some time later, while the prince was riding in the garden, he saw a man in a yellow robe. He noticed that the man looked very peaceful and happy. Channa explained to him that the man was a monk. The monk had left his family and given up his desire for pleasures to search for freedom from worldly suffering. The prince felt inspired by the sight of the monk and began to want to leave home to search for freedom in the same way. That day, his wife gave birth to a lovely baby boy. Although he loved the boy, Siddhartha could not rejoice because he wanted to become a monk. He realised that now it would be more difficult for him to leave home.

    From the day when he decided that he wanted to leave the palace the prince lost all interest in watching the dancing girls and other such pleasures. He kept on thinking instead about how to free himself and others from sickness, ageing and death. Finally, he decided he had to leave the palace and his family and become a homeless monk, in order to understand life and what caused suffering.

    One night, when everyone in the palace was asleep, Siddhartha asked Channa to prepare his horse, Kanthaka. In the meantime he went into the room where Yasodhara and their newborn boy Rahula slept. He was filled with loving-kindness towards them and promised himself that he would come back to see them. But first he had to understand why all creatures suffer, and find out how they could escape from suffering.

    In the silence of the night, Prince Siddhartha mounted Kanthaka. Accompanied by Channa, he left the palace and the city of Kapilavatthu. They stopped at a river some distance from the city and the prince took off his expensive dress and put on the robes of a monk. Then he told Channa to take the horse back to the palace. At first, both Channa and Kanthaka refused to go back, but Siddhartha insisted that he had to go on alone. With tears rolling down his face, Kanthaka watched as the prince walked out of sight.

    So, at the age of 29, Siddhartha began the homeless life of a monk. From Kapilavatthu, he walked south to the city of Rajagaha, the capital of the Magadha country. The king of this country was named Bimbisara. The morning after Siddhartha arrived, he went to the city and obtained his meal for the day by begging.

    Source: BuddhaNet
    Link to this article

  12. Prince Siddhartha was kind to everyone


    Prince Siddhartha was kind to everyone. He was gentle with his horse and other animals. Because he was a prince his life was very easy, and he could have chosen to ignore the problems of others. But he felt sympathy for others. He knew that all creatures, including people, animals and all other living beings, like to be happy and don’t like suffering and pain.

    Siddhartha always took care not to do anything harmful to any creature. He liked to help others. For example, one day the prince saw one of the town boys beating a snake with a stick. He immediately stopped the boy, and told him not to hurt the snake.

    One day, Siddhartha was playing with his friends in the palace garden. One of the boys was his cousin, Prince Devadatta. While Siddhartha was gentle and kind, Devadatta was by nature cruel and liked to kill other creatures. While they were playing, Devadatta shot a swan with his bow and arrow. It was badly wounded. But Siddhartha took care of the swan until its wounds healed. When the swan was well again, he let it go free. Source: BuddhaNet

    From left: Prince Siddhartha and his cousin [Buddha’s enemy], Devadatta.

    From left: Prince Siddhartha and his cousin [Buddha’s enemy], Devadatta.

  13. The case of the hollow canes

    Photo credit: Randy Neufeldt

    Photo credit: Randy Neufeldt

    Buddha told this story while journeying through Kosala. When he came to the village of Nalakapana (Cane-drink Village), he stayed near the Nalakapana Lake. One day, after bathing in the pool, the monks asked the novices to fetch them some canes for needle-cases. After getting the canes, however, the monks discovered that, rather than having joints like common canes, the canes were completely hollow.

    Surprised, they went to Buddha and said, “Venerable Sir, we wanted to make needle-cases out of these canes, but from top to bottom they are quite hollow. How can that be?”

    “Monks,” said Buddha, “this was my doing in days gone by.” Then he told this story of the past.

    Long, long ago, on this spot there was a lake, surrounded by a thick forest. In those days the Bodhisatta was born as the king of the monkeys. As large as the fawn of a red deer, he was the wise leader of eighty thousand monkeys that lived in that forest.

    He carefully counseled his followers: “My friends, in this forest there are trees that are poisonous and lakes that are haunted by ogres. Remember always to ask me first before eating any fruit you have not eaten before or drinking any water from a source you have not drunk from before.”

    “Certainly,” the monkeys agreed.

    One day while roaming the jungle, the monkey troop came to an area they had never before visited. Thirsty after their day’s wanderings, they searched for water and found this beautiful lake. Remembering their master’s warning, the monkeys refrained from drinking. They sat and waited for their leader. When he joined them he asked, ” Well, my friends, why don’t you drink?”

    “We waited for you to come.” Continue reading

  14. The turtle who saved lives


    The Jatakas

    A story that is often depicted in Buddhist art is the one where the Buddha in a previous life is a Bodhisattva-turtle (that is: a turtle who has vowed to save all sentient beings).

    A group of merchants were sailing, when a storm hit. The giant Bodhisattva-turtle saw the ship wrek and saved the merchants by letting them climb on his back. He brought them safely to land. Tired from the long swim and heavy load he fell asleep on the sand.

    The merchants were hungryand thirsty and after the ordeal were still not sure of their lives. They discussed amongst themselves how to find food. One of them said that they should kill and eat the turtle.

    The Bodhisattva-turtle heard this and out of compassion for the merchants, decided to stay put and be eaten.

    Jatakas are stories of previous lifetimes of the Buddha.

    Source: katinkahesselink.net

    buddha and turtle

  15. How the Buddha handled insults



    The Buddha was an absolute master in debate.

    People from all over India would come to the Buddha to ask him questions and sometimes, to try to defeat him in debate. And it’s a great to see how the Buddha actually handled himself against these people – because sometimes, he would come up with the coolest answers!

    The Story of Akkosa

    In the Akkosa Sutta, a man named Akkosa found out that one of his clansmen had just become a disciple of the Buddha. Outraged, Akkosa went to the Buddha to give the Buddha a piece of his mind – he hurled abuse and insults at the Buddha, telling the Buddha what he thought of him in no uncertain terms.

    The Buddha was unmoved in the slightest by this barrage of insults and just asked a question in return:

    “Do you sometimes receive visitors as guests?”

    “Yes I do” replied Akkosa.

    “And when they come, do you offer them food and drink and courtesies?” asked the Buddha.

    “Yes, sometimes I do” Akkosa said.

    “So what if your guests don’t accept what you offer to them – where do the food, drink and courtesies return to?”

    “They return to me of course!” Akkosa answered.

    “Akkosa, you came here today, hurling insults and abuse at me. I do not accept what you have offered. So where do these insults and abuse return?”

    Akkosa got the picture.

    Isn’t that so funny! Akkosa was even won over by how calm the Buddha was in the face of insult – how the Buddha didn’t retaliate with anger against his angry attacks. Akkosa was also won over by wisdom.

    Source: Essence of Buddhism


  16. Ananda — The Man Whom Everybody Liked


    AnandaThe Buddha was always accompanied by an attendant whose job it was to run messages for him, prepare his seat and to attend to his personal needs. For the first twenty years of his ministry, he had several attendants, Nagasamala, Upavana, Nagita, Cunda, Radha and others, but none of them proved to be suitable. One day, when he decided to replace his present attendant, he called all the monks together and addressed them: “I am now getting old and wish to have someone as a permanent attendant who will obey my wishes in every way. Which of you would like to be my attendant?” All the monks enthusiastically offered their services, except Ananda, who modestly sat at the back in silence. Later, when asked why he had not volunteered he replied that the Buddha knew best who to pick. When the Buddha indicated that he would like Ananda to be his personal attendant, Ananda said he would accept the position, but only on several conditions. The first four conditions were that the Buddha should never give him any of the food that he received, nor any of the robes, that he should not be given any special accommodation, and that he would not have to accompany the Buddha when he accepted invitations to people’s homes. Ananda insisted on these four conditions because he did not want people to think that he was serving the Buddha out of desire for material gain. The last four conditions were related to Ananda’s desire to help in the promotion of the Dharma. These conditions were: that if he was invited to a meal, he could transfer the invitation to the Buddha; that if people came from outlying areas to see the Buddha, he would have the privilege of introducing them; that if he had any doubts about the Dharma, he should be able to talk to the Buddha about them at any time and that if the Buddha gave a discourse in his absence, he would later repeat it in his presence. The Buddha smilingly accepted these conditions and thus began a relationship between the two men that was to last for the next twenty-five years.

    Ananda was born in Kapilavatthu and was the Buddha’s cousin, being the son of Amitodana, the brother of the Buddha’s father, Suddhodana. It was during the Buddha’s first trip back to Kapilavatthu after his enlightenment that Ananda, along with his brother Anuruddha and his cousin Devadatta, became a monk. He proved to be a willing and diligent student and within a year he became a Stream-Winner. The monk’s life gave Ananda great happiness and his quiet, unassuming nature meant that he was little noticed by the others until he was selected to be the Buddha’s personal attendant. While some people develop the qualities that lead to enlightenment through meditation or study, Ananda did it through the love and concern he had for others. Just before the Buddha attained final Nirvana, Ananda began to cry, saying to himself: “Alas, I am still a learner with much still to do. And the teacher is passing away, he who was so compassionate to me.” The Buddha called Ananda into his presence and reassured him that he had developed his mind to a very high degree through his selflessness and love and that if he made just a bit more effort he too would attain enlightenment.

    Sick monk with Buddha and Ananda

    “Enough, Ananda, do not weep and cry. Have I not already told that all things that are pleasant and delightful are also changeable, subject to separateness and impermanence? So how could they not pass away? Ananda, for a long time you have been in my presence, showing loving-kindness with body, speech and mind, helpfully, blessedly, whole-heartedly, and unstingily. You have made much merit, Ananda. Make an effort and very soon you will be free from the defilements.”

    Ananda’s selflessness expressed itself in three ways – through his service to the Buddha, through his unstinting kindness to his fellow disciples, both ordained and lay, and also to future generations through the crucial role he had to play in the preservation and transmission of the Dharma.

    As the Buddha’s personal attendant Ananda strived to free the Buddha from as many mundane activities as possible so he could concentrate on teaching the Dharma and helping people. To that end, he washed and mended the Buddha’s robe, tidied his living quarters, washed his feet, massaged his back and when he was meditating or talking, stood behind him keeping him cool with a fan. He slept near the Buddha so as to always be at hand and accompanied him when he did his round of the monasteries. He would call monks whom the Buddha wished to see and kept people away when the Buddha wished to rest or to be alone. In his role as servant, secretary, go-between and confidant, Ananda was always patient, tireless and unobtrusive, usually anticipating the Buddha’s needs.

    Ananda-bodhi_treeAlthough Ananda’s main job was to take care of the Buddha’s needs, he always had time to be of service to others as well. He would often give talks on Dharma and indeed such a skilful teacher was he that sometimes the Buddha would ask him to give a talk in his place, or finish a talk that he had begun.[ N2 ] We are told that when the Buddha would have his afternoon rests, Ananda would take advantage of the spare time to go and visit those who were sick, to talk to them, cheer them up or try to get medicine for them. Once he heard of a very poor family struggling to bring up two young sons. Knowing that the boys faced a very grim future and feeling that something had to be done to help them, Ananda got permission from the Buddha to ordain them, thus giving them a chance in life.[ N3 ]

    Life in the Sangha was not always easy for nuns. Most monks kept away from them, not wanting to be tempted. Some even discriminated against them. Ananda, on the other hand, was always ready to help them. It was he who encouraged the Buddha to ordain the first nuns, he was always ready to give Dharma talks to nuns and laywomen and encourage them in their practice, and they in turn often sought him out because of his sympathy for them.[ N4 ]

    The Buddha once said that of all his disciples, Ananda was pre-eminent of those who had heard much Dharma, who had a good memory, who had mastered the sequential order of what he had remembered and who was energetic.[ N5 ] The Buddha could not write, indeed, although writing was known at the time, it was little used. Both during his life and for several centuries after his final Nirvana, his words were committed to memory and transmitted from one person to another. Ananda’s highly developed memory, plus the fact that he was constantly at the Buddha’s side, meant that he, more than any other person, was responsible for preserving and transmitting the Buddha’s teachings. By this, it is not meant that Ananda remembered the Buddha’s words verbatim – this would have been neither possible nor necessary, as understanding the Dharma is not dependent on the arrangement of words and sentences but on the comprehension of the meaning of the words. Rather, Ananda remembered the gist of what the Buddha had said, to whom he said it, particularly important or prominent phrases, similes or parables that were used and also the sequence in which all the ideas were presented. Ananda would repeat what he had heard and remembered to others and gradually a large body of oral teachings developed. This meant that people far from the Buddha’s presence could hear his teachings without the aid of books or the necessity of having to travel long distances.

    Buddha3After the Buddha’s final Nirvana five hundred enlightened monks convened a Council at Rajagaha for the purpose of collecting all the Buddha’s teachings and committing them to memory so they could be handed down to future generations. Because he knew so much Dharma it was essential that Ananda be present, but he was not yet enlightened. Now that he no longer had to look after the Buddha’s needs, he had more time to meditate and so he began to practise with exceptional diligence, hoping that he could attain enlightenment before the Council started. As the time for the Council’s commencement got closer, he practised harder and harder. During the evening before the Council he sat meditating, convinced that he would not be able to attain enlightenment by the next morning. So he gave up and decided to lie down and sleep. As his head touched the pillow he became enlightened. Ananda was warmly welcomed at the Council the next day and over the following months he recited thousands of discourses that he had heard, commencing each recitation with the words: ‘Thus have I heard’ (Evam me sutam). Because of his enormous contributions to the preservation of the Dharma, Ananda was sometimes known as: ‘The Keeper of the Dharma Store’ (Dharmabhandagarika). Because of his qualities of kindness, patience and helpfulness, Ananda was one of those rare people who seemed to be able to get along with everybody and whom everybody liked. Just before his final Nirvana, the Buddha praised Ananda in the company of the monks by thanking him for his years of loyal and loving friendship and service. “Monks, all those who were fully enlightened Buddhas in the past had a chief attendant like Ananda, as will all those who will be fully enlightened Buddhas in the future. Ananda is wise. He knows when it is the right time for monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, kings, ministers, the leaders of other sects or their pupils to come and see me. Ananda has four remarkable and wonderful qualities. What four? If a company of monks comes to see Ananda, they are pleased at the sight of him, and when he teaches Dharma to them they are pleased, and when he finishes they are disappointed. And it is the same for nuns, laymen and laywomen.”[ N6 ]

    It is not known when or where Ananda passed away but, according to tradition, he lived to a ripe old age. When Fa Hien, the famous Chinese pilgrim, visited India in the 5th century CE, he reported seeing a stupa containing Ananda’s ashes, and that nuns in particular had high regard for his memory.

    Source: BuddhaNet


  17. The Golden Bowl

    Buddha and Sujata

    Buddha and Sujata

    Now at the time, in a nearby village called Senani, there lived a young, very beautiful and rich girl called Sujata, who wanted a husband of equal rank and a son. She had waited for many years and she was not successful. The people told her that she must go to certain banyan tree near the Neranjara river and pray to the tree-god to give her a husband and son. She did as the people told her and later on she got married to a young man and they had a lovely son. She was extremely happy and decided to fulfil her vow to the tree-god for giving her all that she had asked for.

    Sujata had a thousand cows, and she fed them with sweet creepers called valmee so that the cow’s milk was sweet. She milked these thousand cows and fed that milk to five hundred cows, and then fed their milk to two hundred and fifty cows and so on until she fed only eight cows. She did this to get the sweetest and most nourishing milk, to make delicious milk-rice as an offering to the tree-god.

    As she was doing this she was surprised to see her servant running back from cleaning and preparing the area at the foot of the banyan tree. Very happy and excited, the servant said, “My lady Sujata! The banyan god is meditating at the foot of the tree. How lucky you must be to have the god in person to accept your food.”

    Sujata too was happy and excited and danced with joy with the servant. They then took even more pains to prepare the milk-rice, pouring it into a golden bowl.

    Taking the delicious milk-rice both of them went to the banyan tree and Sujata saw what she perceived to be a holy man. He was handsome and golden looking and sat serenely in meditation. She did not know that he was in fact Ascetic Gotama. She bowed with respect and said, “Lord, accept my donation of milk-rice. May you be successful in obtaining your wishes as I have been.”

    Ascetic Gotama ate the sweet thick milk-rice and then bathed in the river Neranjara. This was the last food and bath he would have for seven weeks. When he finished he took the golden bowl and threw it in the river, saying, “If I am to succeed in becoming a Buddha today, let this bowl go upstream, but if not, let it go downstream.” The golden bowl went upstream, all the while keeping in the middle of the river.

    Life of the Buddha
    Source: BuddhaNat
    Link to this story

  18. Educating Compassion


    Anathapindikaby Thanissaro Bhikkhu

    If you have any friends or family members who are sick or dying, I know of no one who would tell you to treat them in a hardhearted way. Everyone would agree that you should be as compassionate as you can. The problem is that there’s little agreement on how compassion translates into specific actions. For some people, compassion means extending life as long as possible; for others it means terminating life — through assisted suicide or euthanasia — when quality of life falls below a certain level. And neither of these two groups sees the other as compassionate at all. The first sees the second as criminal; the second sees the first as heartless and cruel.

    For those of us trying to negotiate the murky territory between these two extremes, there’s not much reliable guidance. Ours is a culture that doesn’t like to think about illness and death, and as a result, when faced with someone who’s sick or dying, we’re at a loss as to what to do. Some people will advise you simply to do what feels right, but feelings have a way of turning slippery and devious. Some things feel right simply because they make you feel good, regardless of whether they’re genuinely right for the other person. A desire to extend life may mask a deeper fear of your own death; a desire to terminate a miserable illness may rationalize your distress at having to witness suffering. Even if you’re told to act from a place of mindful presence, you may find that what seem to be your spontaneous inspirations are actually conditioned by hidden, unexamined assumptions about what life and death are all about.

    This is why the simple injunction to be compassionate or mindful in the presence of a sick or dying person isn’t enough. We need help in educating our compassion: specific advice on how to think through the implications of our actions in the face of life and death, and specific examples of how people who have contemplated these issues thoroughly have actually acted in the past.

    With this thought in mind, I searched through the Pali canon — the oldest extant record of the Buddha’s teachings — to see what lessons could be drawn from the Buddha’s example. After all, the Buddha often referred to himself as a doctor, and to his Dharma as medicine for the sufferings of the world. From his point of view, we’re all sick and dying on a subtle level, so we all deserve continual compassion. But what sort of advice did this doctor give when face-to-face with the flesh and blood suffering of illness and death? How did he treat people who were physically sick or dying? Continue reading

  19. The Buddha


    This documentary by award-winning filmmaker David Grubin and narrated by Richard Gere, tells the story of the Buddha’s life, a journey especially relevant to our own bewildering times of violent change and spiritual confusion. It features the work of some of the world’s greatest artists and sculptors, who across two millenia, have depicted the Buddha’s life in art rich in beauty and complexity.

    Hear insights into the ancient narrative by contemporary Buddhists, including Pulitzer Prize winning poet W.S. Merwin and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Join the conversation and learn more about meditation, the history of Buddhism, and how to incorporate the Buddha’s teachings on compassion and mindfulness into daily life.

  20. Queen Maha Maya’s Dream


    Freedom is not given to us by anyone; we have to cultivate it ourselves. It is a daily practice… No one can prevent you from being aware of each step you take or each breath in and breath out. ~Thich Nhat Hạnh

    Queen Siri Mahamaya Devi

    The Dream of Queen Siri Mahamaya Devi

    More than 2,500 years ago, there was a king called Suddhodana. He married a beautiful Koliyan princess named Maha Maya. The couple ruled over the Sakyas, a warrior tribe living next to the Koliya tribe, in the north of India, in what is now known as Nepal. The capital of the Sakya country was laid out across the foothills of the Himalayas and called Kapilavatthu.

    Queen Maha Maya was the daughter of King Anjana of the Koliyas. Such was her beauty that the name Maya, meaning “vision” was given to her. But it was Maya’s virtues and talents that were her most wonderful qualities, for she was endowed with the highest gifts of intelligence and piety. King Suddhodana was indeed worthy of his lovely wife. He himself was called “King of the Law” because he ruled according to the law. There was no other man among the Sakyas more honored and respected. The king was admired by his nobles and courtiers, as well as by the householders and merchants. Such was the noble family from which the Buddha was to arise.

    One full moon night, sleeping in the palace, the queen had a vivid dream. She felt herself being carried away by four devas (spirits) to Lake Anotatta in the Himalayas. After bathing her in the lake, the devas clothed her in heavenly cloths, anointed her with perfumes, and bedecked her with divine flowers. Soon after a white elephant, holding a white lotus flower in its trunk, appeared and went round her three times, entering her womb through her right side. Finally the elephant disappeared and the queen awoke, knowing she had been delivered an important message, as the elephant is a symbol of greatness in Nepal. The next day, early in the morning, the queen told the king about the dream. The king was puzzled and sent for some wise men to discover the meaning of the dream.

    The wise men said, “Your Majesty, you are very lucky. The devas have chosen our queen as the mother of the Purest-One and the child will become a very great being.” The king and queen were very happy when they heard this.

    They were so pleased that they invited many of the noblemen in the country to the palace to a feast to tell them the good news. Even the needy were not forgotten. Food and clothes were given to the poor people in celebration. The whole kingdom waited eagerly for the birth of the new prince, and Queen Maya enjoyed a happy and healthy pregnancy, living a pure life for herself and her unborn child.

    Life of the Buddha
    Source: BuddhaNet

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.


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.