The Teaching of the Buddha, the Buddhist Bible
- CHAPTER ONE - DUTIES OF THE BROTHERHOOD
- CHAPTER TWO - PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRUE LIVING
- CHAPTER THREE - BUILDING A BUDDHA-LAND
CHAPTER ONE - DUTIES OF THE BROTHERHOOD
I. HOMELESS BROTHERS
1. A man who wishes to become my disciple must be willing to give up all direct relations with his family, with the social life of the world and all dependence upon wealth. A man who has given up all such relations for the sake of the Dharma and has no abiding place for either his body or his mind has become my disciple and is to be called a homeless brother. Though his feet leave their imprints in my footprints and his hands carry my garment, if his mind is disturbed by greed, he is far from me. Though he dresses like a monk, but does not accept the teaching, he does not see me. But if he has removed all greed and his mind is pure and peaceful, he is very close to me though he be thousands of miles away. If he receives the Dharma he sees me in the Dharma.
2. My disciples, the homeless brothers, observe four rules and about them build their lives. First, they wear old and cast-off garments; second, they get their food by faith; third, their home is where night finds them; fourth, they use the special medicine laid down by the brotherhood. To carry a bowl in hand and go from house to house is a beggar's life, but he is not compelled to do it by others, he is not forced into it by circumstances or by temptation, he does it of his own free will because he thinks that a life of faith will keep him away from the delusions of life, will help him to avoid suffering, and will lead him toward enlightenment. The life of a homeless brother is not an easy life; one ought not to undertake it if he can not keep his mind free from greed and anger, and if he can not control his mind and his five senses.
3. To believe oneself to be a homeless brother and to be able to answer when he is asked about it, one must be able to say: "I am willing to undertake whatever is necessary to be a homeless brother. I will be sincere about it and will try to accomplish the purpose for becoming one. I will be grateful to those who help me by donations and will try to make them happy by my earnestness and good life." To be a homeless brother one must train himself in many ways: He must be sensitive to shame and dishonor when he fails; he must keep his body, lips and mind pure if his life is to be pure; he must guard the gates of the five senses; he must not lose control of his mind for the sake of some passing pleasure; he must not praise himself nor rebuke others; and he must not be idle nor given to much sleep. In the evening he should have a time for quiet sitting and meditation and a little walk before retiring. For peaceful sleep he should rest on the right side with his feet together and his last thought should be of the time when he wishes to rise in the early morning. In the early morning he should have another time for quiet sitting and meditation and a little walk after it. During the day he should always maintain an alert mind, keeping both body and mind under control, resisting all tendency to greed, anger, laziness, sleepiness, inattention, regret and suspicion, and all worldly desires. Thus, with concentrated mind, he should radiate excellent wisdom and aim at perfect enlightenment only.
4. If a homeless brother, forgetting himself, lapses into greed, gives way to anger, cherishes resentment, jealousy, conceit, self-praise, or insincerity, he is carrying a keen two-edged sword only covered by a thin cloth. One is not a homeless brother simply because he wears a monk's rags and carries a begging bowl; he is not a homeless brother just because he recites scriptures glibly; he is only a man of straw. Even is his intention is honest, if he can not control his worldly desires, he is not a homeless brother, no more than an infant is. Only those who are able to concentrate and control the mind, who manifest wisdom, who have removed all worldly desires, and whose only purpose is to attain enlightenment, only these can be called a true homeless brother. A true homeless brother determines to reach his goal of enlightenment even though he loses his lost drop of blood and his bones crumble into powder. Such an one, trying his best, will finally attain the goal of a homeless brother and give evidence of it by his ability to do the meritorious deeds of a homeless brother.
5. The mission of the homeless brother is to carry forward the light of the Dharma. He must preach to everybody, he must wake up sleeping people, he must correct false ideas, he must give people a right viewpoint; he must not wait for people to come to h im, he must go everywhere, risking his own life even to do so. The mission of a homeless brother is not an easy one, so he who aspires to it should wear Buddha's clothes, sit on Buddha's seat and enter into Buddha's room. To wear Buddha's clothes means to be humble and to practice endurance. To sit on Buddha's seat means, to see everything as emptiness, to have no abiding place, no attachments; to enter into Buddha's room means, to share his all embracing compassion, to have sympathy with everybody. To be able to enter into Buddha's all-embracing compassion, one must sit on Buddha's seat of emptiness, must wear his garment of humility, and must patiently teach all people.
6. Those who wish to teach the Buddha's Dharma acceptable must be concerned about four things: First, he must be concerned about his own behavior; second, he must be concerned about the people he will approach and teach and what words he will use; third, he must be concerned about his motive for teaching and the end he wishes to accomplish; fourth, he must be concerned about the great compassion of Buddha. To be a good teacher of the Dharma, first of all, a homeless brother must have his feet will set on the ground of endurance, he must be modest, he must not by eccentric or desire publicity, he must constantly think of the emptiness aspect of things, he must avoid thinking of things as this good and that bad, as this easy and that hard, he must not become attached to anything. If he is thus concerned, he will be able to behave well. Secondly, he must exercise caution in approaching people and situations. He must avoid people who are living evil lives or people of authority; he must avoid women. Then he must approach people in a friendly way; he must always remember that things rise from a combination of causes and conditions, and standing at that point, he must not blame people, or abuse them, or speak of their mistakes, or hold them in light esteem. Thirdly, he must keep his mind peaceful, considering Buddha as his spiritual father, considering other homeless brothers who are training for enlightenment as his teachers, look upon everybody with great compassion and then teach anybody with friendly patience. Fourthly, he must let his spirit of compassion have free course, even as Buddha did, unto the uttermost. Especially he should let his spirit of compassion flow out to those who do not know enough to want to be enlightened. He should wish that they might want to be enlightened, and then he should follow his wishes with an unselfish effort to awaken their interest.
II. LAY MEMBERS
1. It has already been explained that to become a disciple of Buddha one must believe in the three treasures: Buddha, Dharma, and the Brotherhood. To become a lay member one must have an unshaken faith in Buddha, must believe in his teachings and study them and put them into practice, and must cherish the Brotherhood. To cherish the Brotherhood means, to feel themselves a part of his fellowship, honoring and sustaining the homeless brothers, making regular donations for their support, and seeking their instruction. Lay members should follow the five precepts for good behavior: not to harm any sentient life, not to steal, to live a pure and restrained life, not to lie or deceive, and not to use intoxicants. Lay members should not only believe in the teachings and study themselves, but they should as far as they are able, explain them to others, especially to their relatives and friends, trying to awaken in them a similar faith in Buddha, Dharma and the Brotherhood, so that they too may share in Buddha's mercy. Lay members should always keep in mind that the reason why they believe in the three treasures and why they keep the precepts is to enable them ultimately to attain enlightenment and for that reason they should avoid becoming attached to worldly desires while living in the world of desire. Lay members should always keep in mind that sooner or later they will be obliged to leave their parents and families and pass away from this life of birth and death; therefore, they should set their minds on the world of enlightenment wherein nothing passes away.
2. Lay members should awaken an earnest undisturbed faith in Buddha's teachings and as far as they do this they will realize within their minds a quiet and undisturbed happiness that will shine out on all their surroundings and be reflected back to them. This mind of faith is pure and gentle, always patient and enduring, never argues, never causes suffering to others, always keeps in mind the three treasures - Buddha, Dharma and the Brotherhood. Since by faith you are resting in the bosom of Buddha, you are kept far away from a selfish mind and from attachment to your possessions. You will have no fear about your future support and no fear that anyone will harm you. Since you have faith in the truth and the holiness of the Dharma, you can express your thoughts freely and without fear. Since you have faith in Buddha's Pure Land, you need have no fear of death. Since your mind is filled with compassion for all people, you will make no distinctions among them but will treat all alike, and since your mind is free from likes and dislikes it will be pure and equitable, happy to do any good deed. Whether you live in adversity or in prosperity will make no difference to the increase of your faith. If you cherish humility, if you respect Buddha's teachings, if you are consistent in speech and action, if you are guided by wisdom, if your mind is as resistent as a mountain, then you will make steady progress on the path to enlightenment. And though you are forced to live in a difficult situation and among people of impure minds, if you cherish faith in Buddha you can lead them toward better deeds .
3. Therefore, everyone should make the wish to hear Buddha's teaching the paramount wish of his heart. If anyone should tell him that it would be necessary to go through fire to gain enlightenment then he should be willing to pass through fire. There is a satisfaction in hearing the Buddha's name that is worth passing through a world filled with fire to gain. If one wishes to follow the Buddha's teaching he must not be egoistic nor self-willed, but should cherish feelings of good-will toward all alike, he should respect those who are worthy of respect, he should serve those who are worthy of service and treat all others with uniform kindness. After this manner lay members are to train their own minds first and not be disturbed as to how other people act. In this manner they are to receive the Buddha's teaching and put it into practice, not envying other people, nor being influenced by other teachings, nor considering other ways. Those who do not believe in Buddha's teaching have a narrow vision and consequently a disturbed mind. But those who believe in Buddha's teaching believe that there is a great wisdom and a great compassion encompassing everything and in that faith they are undisturbed by trifles.
4. Those who hear and receive the Dharma know that their lives are transient and that their bodies are merely aggregations of sufferings and the source of all evil, so they do not become attached to them. At the same time they do not neglect to take good care of their bodies, not because they wish to enjoy the physical life of the body, but because the body is necessary for the attainment of wisdom and for their mission of explaining the Dharma. If they do not take good care of their bodies they can not live long. If they do not keep well and live long, they can not practice the Dharma personally nor explain it to others. If a man wishes to cross a river he is very careful of his raft. If he has a long journey to make he takes good care of his horse. So if a man wishes to attain enlightenment he takes good care of his body. Those who are disciples of Buddha must wear suitable clothing to protect the body from the extremes of heat and cold and to hide its shame, but they should not wear them for decoration. They must eat suitable food to nourish the body so that they may hear and receive and explain the Dharma, but they should not eat for mere enjoyment. They must live in houses of enlightenment to be protected from the thieves of worldly passion and from the storms of evil teaching, but they should use the house for its real purpose and not for display or the concealment of selfish practices. Thus you should value things and use them solely in their relation to enlightenment and the Dharma. You should not become attached to them for selfish reasons but only as they serve a useful purpose in carrying the Dharma to others. Therefore your mind should dwell on the Dharma even when you are living with your family. You should care for them with a wise and sympathetic mind, seeking to awaken faith in their minds by many methods.
5. Lay members of Buddha's Brotherhood should study the following lessons every day: How to serve their parents, how to live with wife and children, how to control oneself, how to manifest Buddha. To best serve parents they must learn to practice kindness toward all animate life. To live with wife and children happily they must keep away from lust and thoughts of selfish comfort. While hearing the music of the family life they must not forget the sweeter music of the Dharma, and while living in the shelter of the home, they should often seek the safer shelter of Dhyana practice where wise men find refuge from all impurity and all disturbance. When laymen are bestowing charity they should remove all greed from their own hearts; when they are in the midst of a crowd, their minds should be in the company of wise men; when they face misfortune, they should keep the mind tranquil and free from hindrances. When they take refuge in Buddha, their desire should be for his wisdom; when they take refuge in the Dharma, their desire should be to realize its truth which is like a great ocean of wisdom; when they take refuge in the Brotherhood, their desire should be to share its peaceful fellowship unobstructed by any selfish interests. When they wear clothes they must not forget to put on also the garment of goodness and humility. When they take an injection, they must wish to discharge all greed, anger and foolishness of mind. When they are toiling on an up-hill road, they should think of it as the road to enlightenment that will carry them beyond the world of delusion. When they are following an easy road, they should guard the mind against sloth and pride and should take advantage of its easier conditions to make a greater prog ress toward Buddhahood. When they see a bridge, they must wish to tell people of the bridge of the Dharma; when they meet a sorrowful man, they should have feelings of hatred for the bitterness of this ever changing world; when they see a greedy man, they should have a great longing to keep free from the illusions of this life and to share in the true riches of enlightenment; when they see distasteful food, they should wish that greed might never return. During the intense heat of summer, they must wish to be away from the heat of worldly desires and gain the fresh coolness of enlightenment. During the unbearing cold of winter, they should think of the warmth of Buddha's great compassion. When they recite the sacred scriptures, they must try not to forget them and must be very earnest to put their teaching into practice. When they think of Buddha, they must cherish a deep wish to have eyes like Buddha. As they fall asleep at night they should wish that their body, lips and mind might be purified and refreshed; when they awake in the morning, their first wish should be that during that day their minds might be clear to understand everything.
6. Laymen, although understanding that everything is characterized by "emptiness," do not treat the things that enter into a man's life lightly, but they received them for what they are and then try to make them fit for enlightenment. Laymen must not think that the world of man's life is meaningless and filled with confusion, while the world of enlightenment is full of meaning and peaceful. Rather, they should taste the way of enlightenment in all the affairs of the world. If one looks upon the world with the eyes dimmed in ignorance, he will see it filled with error, but if he looks upon it with clear wisdom, he will see it as the world of enlightenment itself. The fact is, there is only one world, there are not two worlds, one meaningless and the other full of meaning, one good, the other bad. People think there are two worlds by the activities of their own minds. If they could get rid of these false judgements and keep their minds pure with the light of wisdom, then they would see only one world and that world bathed in the light of wisdom.
7. Laymen who believe in Buddha taste this universal purity of oneness in everything, and in that mind they feel compassion for everyone and humbly desire to serve them. Therefore, laymen should cleanse their minds from all proudness and cherish minds of humility and courtesy and service. Their minds should be like the fruitful earth that nourishes everything without partiality, that serves without complaint, that endures patiently, that is always zealous, that finds its highest joy in serving all poor people by planting in their minds the seeds of Buddha's Dharma. Thus the mind that has compassion on poor people, becomes a mother to all people, honors all people, looks upon all people as his personal friends, respects them as though they were his parents. Therefore, though thousands of people have hard feelings and cherish ill-will toward lay believers, they can do them no harm, for what is a drop of poison in the waters of an ocean.
8. A lay member will add to his happiness by habits of recollection and reflection and thanksgiving. He will come to realize that his faith is Buddha's compassion itself, that it is one thing, and that has been given to him as a present by Buddha. There are no seeds of faith in the mud of worldly passion, but seeds of faith may be sown there because of Buddha's compassion and they will purify the mind until it has faith to believe in Buddha. As has been said, the fragrant Candana can not grow in the forest of Eranda. In like manner the seeds of faith in Buddha can not grow in the bosom of delusion. But actually the flower of joy is blooming there, so we must conclude that while its blossoms are in the bosom of delusion, its roots are elsewhere, namely, its roots are in the bosom of Buddha, or in other words, faith in Buddha is the gift of Buddha. If a lay believer is later carried away by self-pride, he will become jealous, envious, hateful and harmful, because his mind has again become defiled with greed, anger and foolish infatuation, but if he return to Buddha, he will accomplish an even greater service for Buddha. It is, indeed, a marvel.
CHAPTER TWO - PRACTICAL GUIDE TO TRUE LIVING
I. IN HOME AND FAMILY LIFE
1. It is a mistake to think that misfortune comes from the east or from the west; they originate within one's own mind. Therefore, it is foolish to guard against misfortunes from without and to leave the inner mind uncontrolled. There is a custom that has come down from ancient times that ignorant people still follow. When they get up in the morning, they first wash their face and rinse the mouth, and then they bow in the six directions - to the east, west, south, north, above and below - wishing that no misfortune may come to them from any direction and that they may have a peaceful day. But it is different in the Buddha's teaching. Buddha teaches that we are to pay respect to the six directions of Truth and then that we are to behave wisely and virtuously and thus prevent all misfortune. To guard the gates in these six directions, they are to remove the defilement of the "four deeds," control the "four evil minds," and plug the "six holes" which cause the loss of wealth. The defilement of the "four deeds" means, killing, stealing, impurity and falsehood. The "four evil minds" are greed, anger, foolishness and fear. The "six holes" which cause the loss of wealth are the desire for intoxicating drinks and foolish behavior, staying up late at night and losing the mind in frivolity, going to musical entertainments and shows, gambling, associating with evil companions, and neglecting work. By removing these four defilements, avoiding these four evil states of mind, and plugging these six holes of waste, the disciples of Buddha salute the six directions. Now, what are these six directions of Truth? They are east for the way of father and son, south for the way of teacher and pupil, west for the way of husband and wife, north for the way of a man and his friend, below for the way of master and servant, and above for the way of disciples of Buddha. A son should honor his parents and do for them all that he is supposed to do. He should wait on them, help them at their labor, cherish the family honor, protect the family property, and keep a festival in their memory after they have passed away. The parents should do five things for their children: avoid doing anything evil, set an example of good deeds, give them an education, arrange for their marriage, and let them inherit the wealth at the proper time. If the parents and son follow this rule the family will always live happily. A pupil should always rise when his teacher enters, should wait upon him, attend to his instructions, not neglect an offering for him, listen respectfully to his teaching. At the same time, a teacher should act rightly before a pupil, and set him a good example; he should pass on the teaching which he has learned, correctly, he should use good methods and try to prepare the pupil for honors, and he should not forget to protect from evil in every possible way. If a teacher and pupil observe this rule, their association will progress smoothly. A husband should treat his wife with respect, courtesy and chastity. He should leave the housekeeping to her, and give her proper ornaments. At the same time, a wife should take pains with the housekeeping, manage the servants wisely, maintain her virtue as a good wife should. She should not waste her husband's income, should manage the house properly, and speak gently. If this rule is followed, it will be a happy home and there will be no quarrelling. The rule of friendship means there should be mutual sympathy, each supplying what the other lacks and trying to benefit each other, always using friendly and sincere words. If one has a friend he should protect him from falling into evil ways, he should protect his property and wealth, should help him in his troubles, if he has misfortune give him a helping hand, even supporting his family if necessary. In this way friendship will be conserved and friends will be increasingly happy together. A master in his dealings with a servant should observe five things: He should assign work that is suitable for his abilities, give him proper compensation, care for him if he is sick, share pleasant things with him, and give him needed rest. Then a servant should observe five things: He should get up in the morning before the master and go to bed after him, he should always be honest, take pains to do his work well, and try not to bring discredit to his master's name. If these things are observed, th ere will be no controversy between master and servant. A disciple should see to it that his family observes the teachings of Buddha. Especially should they cherish respect and consideration for their Buddhist teacher. They should treat him with courtesy, attend to and observe his instructions, and always have an offering for him. Then the teacher of Buddha's Dharma should rightly understand the teaching, rejecting wrong interpratations, emphasizing the right, and should seek to lead believers along a smooth path. If a family follow this course, keeping the true teaching for its center, it will thrive happily. To bow in the six directions does not mean that one does it to escape misfortunes coming from without; it means the one purpose, to be on his guard in the six directions and thus prevent evils arising within his own mind.
2. A man should distinguish among his acquaintances those with whom he should associate and those with whom he should not associate. The one with whom a man should not associate are those who are lustful, clever talkers, flatterers and wasters. The ones with whom he may associate are those who are helpful, who are willing to share happiness as well as suffering, who give good advice and who have a sympathetic nature. A true friend, the one with whom a man may safely associate, will always advise sticking closely to the right way, will worry secretly about his friend's welfare, will console him in misfortune, will offer him a helping hand when he needs it, and will always give him good advice. It is very hard to find a friend like this, but one should try very hard to be a friend like this. As the sun warms the fruitful earth, so a good friend stimulates a man.
3. It is impossible for a son to repay his parents for their gracious kindness, even if he carried his father on his right shoulder and his mother on his left shoulder. And even if he should bathe the bodies of his parents in sweet-smelling ointments for many years, and serve his parents as an ideal one should, and gain a throne for them, and give them all the luxuries of the world, still he could not repay them for what they have done for him. But if he leads his parents to Buddha and explains Buddha's teachings to them, and persuades them to give up a wrong course and follow a right one, and leads them to give all greediness and to enjoy and be grateful for Buddha's mercy, that is the only possible way for him to repay his parents. Or perhaps it is more than repaying them. Buddha's providence abides in the home where the parents are held in respect. Indeed, the parents are Buddha's providence.
4. A family is a place where a mind lives with other minds. If these minds love each other the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with each other it is like a storm that plays havoc with a garden. If discord arises within one's family, one should not blame others but should examine his own mind and follow a right path. Once there was a young man of deep faith. His father died when he was young but he lived happily with his mother, and then married. At first they lived happily together and then, because of a little misunderstanding, the wife and her mother-in-law came to dislike each other. This dislike went from bad to worse until finally the mother left the young couple and went off to live by herself. After the mother-in-law left, a son was born to the young couple. A report reached the mother-in-law that the young wife had said, "His mother was always nagging me and as long as she lived with us nothing pleasant ever happened, but as soon as she went we had this happy event." This angered the mother-in-law and she exclaimed, "If they chase the husband's mother from the house and a happy event takes place, then things have come to a pretty pass. Rightness must have disappeared from the world." Then she shouted, "Now we must have a funeral of this 'rightness.'" Then like an insane woman the mother went to the cemetary to hold a funeral service. The god hearing of this incident appeared in front of the insane woman and tried to reason with her, but in vain. Then the god said to her, "Then I must burn the child and its mother to death to satisfy you. But will that satisfy you?" Hearing this, the mother-in-law realized her mistake and apologized for her anger, and begged the god to save the life of the child. At the same time the young wife and her husband realized their injustice to the mother-in-law and sought her in the cemetery. The god reconciled them and thereafter they lived together a happy family. Rightness is never lost forever unless one casts it away. Rightness occasionally may seem to disappear but, in fact, it never quite disappears. When it seems to be disappearing, it is because one is losing the rightness of his own mind. Two discordant minds often bring disaster. A trifling misunderstanding may be followed by great misfortune. This is especially to be feared in family life.
5. In family life the question how the daily expense is to be met, is always uppermost. Every member must work like ants and be as diligent as bees. No one must rely upon the industry of others nor expect their charity. On the other hand, one must not consider that what he has earned is totally his own. Some of it must be shared with others, some of it must be saved for an emergency, and some of it must be set apart for the needs of the community and the nation, and some of it must be devoted to the needs of the religious teachers. One should always remember that nothing in the world can strictly be called "mine." What comes to a person, comes to him because of a combination of causes; it can be kept by him only temporarily, therefore, one must not use it selfishly or for unworthy purposes.
When Syamavati, the queen-consort of King Udyana, offered Ananda five hundred garments, Ananda received them with great satisfaction. The King, hearing of it, suspected Ananda of dishonesty, so he came to Ananda and made enquiries as to what he was going to do with the garments. Ananda replied: "The garments of many of the brothers are in rags; I am going to distribute the garments among them."
"What will you do with the old garments?"
"We will make bed-covers out of them."
"What will you do with the old bed-covers?"
"We will make pillow cases."
"What will you do with the old pillow cases?"
"We will make floor-covers out of them."
"What will you do with the old floor-covers?"
"We will use them for wiping cloths."
"What will you do with the old wiping cloths?"
"We will use them for floor mops."
"What will you do with the old mops?"
"Your Highness, we will tear them in pieces and mix them with mud and use the mud to plaster the house-walls."
Every article entrusted to us must be used with good care in some useful way, because it is not "ours" but is only entrusted to us temporarily.
II. IN THE LIFE OF WOMEN
1. There are four different types of women: First, there are those who become angry for slight causes, who have changeable minds, who are greedy, jealous of other's happiness, and who have no sympathy for the needs of others. Second, there are those who grow angry over ordinary affairs, who are fickle and greedy, but who do not envy others their happiness and who are sympathetic for the needs of others. Third, there are those who are more broad-minded and who do not become angry very often, and who know how to control a greedy mind, but who are not able to avoid feelings of jealousy and who are not sympathetic. Fourth, there are those who are broad-minded, who can restrain feelings of greed and retain a calm mind, who do not envy others their happiness, and who are sympathetic for the needs of others.
2. When a young woman marries she should make the following resolutions:
"I must honor the parents of my husband. They have given us all the advantages we have and are our wise protectors, so I must serve them with appreciation and be ready to help them whenever I can."
"I must be respectful to my husband's teacher because he has given my husband a sacred teaching and we could not live as human beings without the guidance of the sacred teachings."
"I must cultivate my mind so that I will be able to understand my husband and be able to help him in his work. I must never be indifferent to my husband's interests, thinking they are his affairs and not mine."
"I must study the nature, ability and tastes of the family and of the servants so that I can conserve the income of my husband and not waste it."
3. The relation of husband and wife was not designed merely for their convenience. It has a deeper significance that the mere association of two bodies in one house. A husband and wife should take advantage of the intimacies of their association to help each other train their minds in some holy teaching and thus to mutually profit by their marriage. An old couple, the "ideal couple" as they were called, once came to Buddha and said, "Lord, we married after being acquainted from childhood and there has never been a cloud on our happiness. Please tell us if we can be married in the next life?" The Buddha gave them this wise answer: "If you both have exactly the same faith, if you both receive the same teachinig in exactly the same way, and if you have the same wisdom, then you will have the same mind in the next birth."
4. The young wife of the eldest son of the rich merchant, Anathapindika, was proud and arrogant and did not listen to the instruction of her husband and his parents and consequently there was trouble in the family. One day the Blessed One came to visit Anathapindika and noticed it. He called her to him and spoke to her kindly, saying, "There are seven types of wives, namely, a wife who is like a murderer. She has an impure mind, does not honor her husband and then loses her heart to another man. Second, a wife who is like a thief. She never considers her husband's labor but thinks only of her desire for luxury. She wastes her husband's income to satisfy her appetite and by so doing steals from him. Third, a wife is like a master. She rails at her husband, neglects the housekeeping and thinks only of her own comfort. Fourth, a wife who is like a mother. She cares for her husband as though he was a child, she protects her husband as a mother does her son, and she looks after her income as though he was incapable of doing so. Fifth, a wife who is like a sister. She is faithful to her husband and serves him like a sister with modesty and reserve. Sixth, a wife who is like a friend. She tries to please her husband like a friend who has just returned from a long absence. She is modest, behaves nicely and treats her husband with great respect. Seventh, a wife who is like a maid-servant. She serves her husband will and with fidelity. She respects him, obeys his commands, has no wishes of her own, no ill-feeling, no resentment, and always tries to make him happy."
"My dear lady, which type of wife are you like, or would you wish to be like?" Hearing the kind words of the Blessed One she was ashamed of her past conduct and replied that she would like to be a wife like the maid-servant. She changed her life and became her husband's helper and together they sought enlightenment.
5. Ambapali was a wealthy and famous courtezan of Vaisali and many young and beautiful girls lived with her. She called upon the Blessed One and asked him to give them some good teaching which he did, speaking as follows:
"Ambapali, the mind of a woman is easily disturbed and is easily misled. She yields to her desires and gives up to jealousy more easily than a man does, therefore, it is harder for a woman to follow the Noble Path. This is especially true for a young and beautiful woman. But, Ambapali, you must remember that youth and beauty do not last but are followed by sickness, old age and suffering. You should decide to follow the Noble Path while you are yet young, but to do it you must overcome all desire for wealth, affection, and pleasures. Desire for wealth and love are a woman's besetting temptation, Ambapali, but they are not the eternal treasures. Enlightenment is the only treasure that holds its value. Strength is followed by illness; youth must yield to old age; life gives way to death. One must go away from a beloved one to live with a hateful one; one may not follow the path he wishes for very long; it is the law of life. The only thing that protects one and brings one to lasting peace is enlightenment. Ambapali, you should seek enlightenment at once." She listened to him, became his disciple and as an offering to him she gave the Brotherhood her beautiful pleasure park.
6. There is no distiction of sex on the path to enlightenment. If a woman possesses a mind to seek for enlightenment she is a heroine. Makkika, the daughter of King Prasenajit and the Queen of King Ayodhya, was such a heroine. She had great faith in the teaching of the Blessed One and uttered the ten following vows and three wishes, in his presence: "My Lord, until I gain enlightenment
(1) I will not violate the sacred precepts;
(2) I will not be arrogant before people who are older than myself;
(3) I will not become angry with anyone;
(4) I will not be jealous of others nor envy their possessions;
(5) I will not be selfish either in mind nor property;
(6) I will try to make people happy with the things I receive and will not hoard them for myself;
(7) I will receive all people courteously, give them what they need and will speak kindly to them; I will consider their circumstances and not my convenience; I will try to benefit them without partiality.
(8) If I see others suffering from disease or in prison, I will try to relieve their sufferings and will try to make them happy by explaining to the m the reasons and the rules.
(9) If I see others catching living animals and being cruel to them or violating any other law, I will punish them if they are to be punished, or teach them if they should be taught, and then I will try to correct their mistakes.
(10) I will not forget to hear the right teachings, for I knwow that when one neglects the right teaching he quickly falls away from the truth that abides everywhere, and will fail to reach the other shore of enlightenment."
Then she uttered the following three wishes to save poor people:
"First I will try to make every body peaceful. This wish, I believe, in whatever life I hereafter receive, will be a root of goodness that will grow into the wisdom of good teaching.
Second, after I have received the wisdom of good teaching, I will teach all people without tiring.
Third, I will protect the true teaching which I give, with my body, my property and my life."
The true significance of family life is the opportunity it gives for mutual encouragement and mutual aid on the path to enlightenment, and even an ordinary woman, if she has the same mind to seek enlightenment and utters the same vows, and wishes, may become as great a disciple as Mallika was.
III. IN SERVICE
1. There are seven teachings which lead a country to prosperity: First, people should assemble often to discuss conditions and to provide for the national defence. Second, in the consideration of national affairs people of all social classes should meet together in unity. Third, people should respect old customs and not change them, they should observe rules of ceremony and maintain justice. Fourth, they should recognize differences of sex and seniority and family rank, thus maintaining the purity of families and society. Fifth, cherish loyalty for parents and teachers. Sixth, honor the ancestral shrines and keep up the annual festivals. Seventh, esteem public morality, honor virtuous conduct, respect virtuous teachers and make offerings to them. If a country follows these teachings, it will prosper and will be held in respect by all other countries.
2. Once there was a King who was notably successful in ruling his kingdom. Because of his wisdom he was called King Great-Light. He explained the principles of his administration as follows: The best method for ruling a country is to first rule oneself. A ruler should come before his people with a heart of compassion, and should first teach them and lead them to remove all impurities from their minds. The happiness that comes from good teachings far exceeds any enjoyment that the material things of the world can offer, therefore, give the people good teaching and keep their minds and bodies in tranquility. When poor people come to me, I open the storehouse and let them take what they want, and then I take advantage of the opportunity to teach them the wisdom of getting rid of all greed and evil. Each man has a different view of things according to the state of his mind. Some people see this city as fine and beautiful, others see it as dirty and dilapidated. It all depends on the state of their minds. Those who hold good teachings in respect see, even in the common things of trees and stones, all the beautiful lights and colors of lapis lazuli, while greedy people who do not know enough to control their own minds are blind even to the splendor of a golden palace. Everything in the nation's daily life is like that. The mind is the source of everything, therefore, in my rule I first seek to have the people train their minds.
3. In wise statecraft the first principle is this principle of King Great-Light, to lead the people to train their minds. To train the mind means to seek enlightenment, therefore, the wise ruler will give his first attention to Buddha's teaching. If a ruler has faith in Buddha, is devoted to his teachings, appreciates and pays tribute to virtuous and merciful people, there will be no favoritism toward either friends or enemies and his country will always remain prosperous. If a country is prosperous it is neither necessary to attack any other country nor does it need weapons of attack. When people are happy and satisfied, class differences disappear, good deeds are promoted, virtues are increased, and people respect each other. Then every one becomes prosperous; the weather and temperature become normal; the sun and moon and stars shine just right; rain and wind come timely; and all the natural evils disappear.
4. The duty of a ruler is to protect his people. The ruler of a people is the parent of his people and he protects them by his laws. He must raise his people like parents raise their children, giving them a dry cloth when they take away a wet one without waiting for the child to cry. In like manner he must remove suffering and bestow happiness without waiting for people to complain. Indeed, his statecraft is not perfect unless his people abide in peacefulness. They are his country's treasure. Therefore, a wise ruler is ever thinking of his people and does not forget them for a moment. He thinks of their hardships, he plans for their prosperity. To rule wisely, he must be advised about everything -about the water, about draught, about storm and rain; he must know about the crops, the chances of harvest, the health of his people, their comforts and their sorrows. He must be thoroughly informed as to the guiltiness of bad men, and as to the merits of good men, thus he is in position to righ tly award both punishment and praise. A wise ruler gives to his people when they are in need, as well as collects from them when they are prosperous. He should exercise good judgement when collecting taxes and make the levy as light as possible, thus keeping his people peaceful. A wise ruler will protect his people by his power and dignity. One who thus rules his people is worthy to be called a King.
5. The King of Truth is the king of kings. His ancestry is of the purest and the highest. He not only rules the four quarters of the world, he is also Lord of Wisdom and Protector of all Virtuous Teachings. Wherever he goes, fightings cease and ill-will vanishes. He rules with equity by the power of Truth and by vanquishing evil he brings peace to all people. The King of Truth never slays nor steals nor acts lasciviously. He never cheats nor abuses nor lies nor chatters idly. His mind is free from all greed, anger and foolishness. He removes these ten evils and in their place establishes the ten virtues of kindness, generosity, purity, fidelity, appreciation, honesty, sobriety, charity, tranquility and wisdom. Because his rule is based upon Truth he is invincible. Wherever Truth appears violence ceases and ill-will vanishes. There is no dissension among his people, therefore they dwell in quietness and safety; his mere presence brings peacefulness and happiness. That is why he is called the King of Truth, and his Kingdom the Kingdom of Truth. Since the King of Truth is king of kings, all other rulers praise his excellent name and rule their lesser kingdoms after his example. Thus the King of Truth is sovereign over all kings and under his righteous sway they bring safety to their people and fulfill their duties with wisdom. 6. A wise judge will temper his verdicts with compassion. He will try to consider each case with clear wisdom and then make his verdict accord with five principles: First, he must examine into the truthfulness of the facts presented. Second, he must be sure that they fall within his jurisdiction. If he renders a judgement with full authority it is effective, but if he renders judgement without authority it only causes complications; he should wait for a right occasion. Third, he must judge justly, that is, he must enter into the mind of the defendant and if he finds that the deed was done without criminal intent, he should discharge the man. Fourth, he should pronounce his verdict with kindness and not harshness, that is, he should apply a proper punishment and should not go beyond that. A good judge will instruct a criminal with kindness and give him time to reflect upon his mistakes. Fifth, he should judge with sympathy and not in anger, that is, he should condemn the crime but not the criminal. He should let his judgement rest upon a foundation of sympathy, and he should use the occasion to try and make the criminal realize his mistakes and thus give the man an opportunity to be reborn under better conditions.
7. If an important minister of a king neglects his duties, works for his own profit, accepts bribes, it will cause the rapid decay of public morals. Other people will cheat each other, a strong man will attack a less powerful one, a noble will mistreat a commoner, a wealthy man will take advantage of the poor, there will be no justice for any one, mischief will abound and troubles will multiply. Under such circumstances faithful ministers will retire from public service, wise men will keep silent from fear of complications, and only flatterers will hold government positions, and they will use their political power to enrich themselves with no thought for the sufferings of the people. Under such conditions the power of the government becomes ineffective for good and its righteous policies fall in ruins. Such unjust officials are thieves of the people's happiness, and are worse than thieves because they defraud both ruler and people and are the cause of the nation's troubles. The king should root out such ministers and punish them severely. But even in a country which is ruled by a good king and by just laws, there is another form of disloyalty that is even more to be dreaded, the disloyalty of sons to their parents. There are sons who give themselves up to love of wife and children and who forget the grace of the parents who nursed them and cared for them during many years. They neglect their parents, rob their parents of their possessions, and neglect their teaching. Such sons are to be counted among the worst criminals in a country. And why? Because they are disloyal to their parents whose love has been very great and has continued for many years, a love that could not be repaid if the sons honored them and treated them kindly throughout their life. Those who are unfaithful to rulers and unfaithful to parents should be punished as the worst of criminals. And also, in a country which is ruled by a good king and by just laws, there is another form of disloyalty that is even worse than these, disloyalty to religious teachers. There are people in every country who give themselves up to selfish enjoyments, entirely forgetting the three treasures - Buddha, Dharma and the Brotherhood. Such people destroy their country's sanctuaries, burn the sacred scriptures, persecute the teachers of righteousness, and violate all the sacred teachings of Buddha. Such people are a country's worst enemies. And why? Because they destroy the spiritual faith of a nation, which is its foundation and the source of its virtues and prosperity. Such people by ruining the faith of others are digging their own graves. All other sins may be counted light in comparison with these three disloyalties. Those who are thus disloyal should be punished most severely.
8. It is possible there may be a conspiracy against a good king who is ruling his country wisely, or bandits may raid the country. In this case the king should adopt three determinations. He should say to himself: First, these conspirators and bandits are threatening the good order and welfare of our country, I must protect the people and country even to employing its soldiers. Second, I will first try to find some way of controlling them without resorting to the use of soldiers. Third, I will try to capture them alive if possible, and disarm them. By adopting these three determinations the King will be proceeding most wisely. By this procedure the country and its soldiers will be encouraged by the king's wisdom and dignity and will respect both his firmness and his grace. Then if it is necessary to call upon the soldiers they will fully understand the reason for the war and what its nature is to be. Then the soldiers will enter battle with courage and loyalty, grateful for the king's wise and gracious sovereignty. Such a war will not only bring victory but will add virtue to a country.
CHAPTER THREE - BUILDING A BUDDHA LAND
I. THE HARMONY OF THE BROTHERHOOD
1. Let us think of a desert country lying in absolute darkness and many animals moving about in it blindly. Naturally they will be frightened and as they run into each other during the night there will be frequent fighting. Such a conception is a pitiable one. Now let us think that a superior man appears with a great light and everything becomes bright and clear. We can imagine the relief of the creatures as they are able to look about, and their happiness as they recognize each other and renew their companionship. This is like the field of human life as it lies in the darkness of ignorance. Those who have no enlightenment wander about in loneliness and fear. They are born alone and die alone, they do not know how to associate together in peaceful harmony, and it is natural that, for them, life would be meaningless and lonely and fearful. Suddenly Buddha appears in human form and by his wisdom and compassion illumines the world. In this light people find themselves and find others and are glad to establish human fellowship and harmonious relations. Thousands of people may live in the world but we can not call it a fellowship until they know each other and have sympathy for each other. A true community is a place where truth and wisdom are its light, and where the people know each other and trust each other and have things in common, and where there is a harmonious organization. In fact, harmony is its life and its happiness and its meaning. 2. There are, however, organizations of three kinds: First, there are those organized on a basis of power and wealth and the authority of great leaders. Second, there are those which are organized on a basis of convenience to the members, and which exist as long as there are conveniences and they do not quarrel. Third, there are those which are organized with some good teaching as the center and with harmony as its very life. Of course the third is the only true organization, for in that organization they are living in one spirit from which unity of spirit various kinds of virtue will arise. In such an organization there is harmony, satisfaction and happiness. Enlightenment is like rain that falls on a mountain and gathers into little rivulets, that run into brooks, and then into a river which increases until it flows into the ocean. The rain of the sacred teaching falls on all people alike without regard to their conditions and circumstances. Those who accept it gather into little groups, then into communities, then into organizations, and finally become the great Ocean of Enlightenment. Enlightened minds mix like milk and water and quickly organize into a harmonious Brotherhood. Thus true teaching is the fundamental requirement of a perfect organization and, as mentioned above, true teaching is the light which enables people to recognize each other and to become adjusted to each other and to smooth out the rough places in their minds. Thus the organization that gathers about the perfect teachings of Buddha is an ideal organization, and its chief purpose should be to perpetuate the teachings and spirit of Buddha. They should try to persuade everybody to observe these teachings and to train their minds in accordance with them. Thus Buddha's Brotherhood will theoretically include everybody and all will have the same religious faith.
3. Buddha's Brotherhood will have two classes of members: there will be those who are teaching the members and those who are supporting the teachers, seeing that they have the needed food and clothing. Together they must try to disseminate and perpetuate the teaching. Then to make the Brotherhood perfect, there must be perfect harmony between the members. It is only as the teachers love the members and the members honor the teachers, that there can be harmony and meaning and power both to give and rece ive the teaching. Members of Buddha's Brotherhood should associate together with affectionate sympathy, giving and receiving the true teaching with humility and sincerity, seeking to become one in spirit.
4. There are six things that influence the harmony of an organization:
First, sincerity of speech; second, sincerity and kindness of acts; third, sincerity and sympathy of spirit; fourth, equal sharing in a common property; fifth, following the same pure precepts; and sixth, all having right views. Among these six things, all having right views, is, of course, the main body, all the others are merely wrappings. Then there are seven methods to be followed if the Brotherhood is to be a success:
(1) They should gather together frequently to listen to the teachings and to discuss them.
(2) Members of different socialclasses should mingle freely and respect each other.
(3) Reverence the teaching and respect the rules and do not change them.
(4) Elders and younger members are to treat each other with courtesy.
(5) Let sincerity and reverence mark their spirit.
(6) Purify the mind in a quiet place and offer the place to another before it is taken for oneself.
(7) Be sympathetic with all people, treat visitors cordially, console sickness with kindness.
An organization that follows these methods will never die. Then there are another seven rules that are valuable:
(1) Maintain a pure spirit and do not ask for troublesome things.
(2) Maintain integrity and remove all greed.
(3) Be patient and do not argue.
(4) Keep silent and do not chatter idly.
(5) Submit to the regulations and do not be overbearing.
(6) Maintain an even mind and do not follow different teachings.
(7) Be thrifty and saving. If members will follow these rules the Brotherhood will endure.
5. As mentioned above, a teaching organization should make harmony its very life; so an organization without harmony can not be a successful Brotherhood. Each one should be on his guard not to be the cause of discord. If dicord appears, then it should be removed as early as possible for discord will soon ruin any organization. Blood stains can not be removed by more blood; resentment can not be removed by more resentment; resentment can be removed only by forgetting it. Once there was a king whose name was Calamity, whose country was conquered by a neighboring warlike king named Brahmadatta. King Calamity after hiding for a time was captured together with his wife, only his son, the prince, escaping. The prince tried to find some way of saving his father but in vain. When the day of his father's execution arrived, the prince in disguise made his way to the execution ground to witness the death of his ill-fated father. The father noticed him in the croud and called out loudly as though talking to himself: "Do not search for a long time; do not act in a short time, resentment can not be calmed by resentment." Afterward the prince sought for a long time for some method of revenge. At last he was employed as an attendant in Brahmadatta's palace, and won the king's favor. One day the king went hunting and the prince went with him and sought some opportunity for revenge. The prince was able to lead the king away from his escort into a lonely place, and the king being weary fell asleep on the lap of the prince, so fully had he come to trust the prince. The prince drew his dagger and pointed it at the king's throat but hesitated. The words of his father flashed into his mind and although he tried again and again he could not kill the king. Suddenly the king awoke and told the prince he had a bad dream in which the son of King Calamity was trying to kill him. The prince hastily grasped the king and said that the time had come for him to revenge his father; still he could not do it. Suddenly he threw the dagger away and knelt in front of the king and confessed all and told him of the final words of his father. When the king heard the prince's words and the final words of his father, he was very much impressed and forgave the prince. Later he restored the family property to the prince and they continued to live in friendship. "Do not search for a long time" means, that resentment should not be cherished. "Do not act in a short time" means that friendship should not be broken hastily. Resentment can not be satisfied by resentment, it can only be gotten rid of by forgetting it. In the fellowship of a brotherhood that is based on the harmony of right teaching, every member should understand the spirit of this story. But not only should members of a brotherhood understand its spirit, it is just as necessary in the daily lif e of everybody.
II. THE BUDDHA'S PURE LAND
1. As has been explained, if a brotherhood does not forget its duty of spreading the teacings of Buddha's Dharma and of living in harmony, the organization will steadily become larger and the preaching will spread more and more widely. This means that more and more people will be seeking enlightenment, and it also means that the evil armies of greed, anger and ignorance, which are led by that devil of ignorance, are beginning to retreat and that wisdom, light, faith and gladness, are advancing. The devil's dominion is where there is greed, darkness, struggling, a sword, fighting and bloodshed, and also, jealousy, prejudice, hatred, cheating, flattering, fawning, secrecy and abuse. Now suppose the light of wisdom shines upon that dominion, and the rain of mercy falls upon it, and faith begins to take root, and blossoms of gladness begin to spread their fragrance, that devil's domain will turn into Buddha's Pure Land.
2. In a land where the true teaching prevails, every dweller has a pure and tranquil mind. Indeed, Buddha's compassion never tires of benefiting all people, and Buddha's shining spirit burns away all impurities. A pure mind soon becomes a deep mind, a mind that is commensurate with the Noble Path, a mind that loves to give, a mind that loves to keep the precepts, an enduring mind, a zealous mind, a calm mind, a wise mind, a compassionate mind, a mind that leads people to enlightenment by many and skillful ways. Thus shall the Buddha's Land be built. A family seeks enlightenment and Buddha's providence changes its poverty into prosperity; a country that suffers because of social distinctions, by Buddha's providence is transformed into a fellowship of kindred spirits. A golden palace that is blood-stained can not be the abiding place of Buddha. A little shack where the moonlight filters through cracks in the roof, by Buddha's providence can be changed into the palace of a king, provided the mind of the master of theshack is pure. A Buddha Land is founded and built upon the pure mind of a single man, but the single mind draws other kindred minds to itself in the fellowship of a brotherhood. Faith in Buddha spreads from individual to family, from family to village, from village to towns, to cities, to countries, to the whole world. Indeed, earnestness and faithfulness in teaching the Dharma is what builds every Buddha Land.
3. Indeed, when seen from one angle, the world with all its greed and injustice and bloodshed appears to be a devil's world, but as people come to believe in Buddha's enlightenment, blood will be turned into milk, greed will be turned into compassion and charity and, lo, the devil's land is a Buddha Land of Purity. It seems an impossible task to empty an ocean with a single spoon, but the determination to do it even if it takes many, many lives, is the mind with which one should receive Buddha's enlightenment. Buddha is waiting on the other shore in his world of Enlightenment wherein there is no greed, nor anger, nor ignnorance, but where there is the light of wisdom and the dew of compassion. It is a land of peace, a refuge for those who suffer, a place of rest for the weary teachers of the Dharma. In this Pure Land is boundless Light and everlasting Life. Those who reach its haven will never return to the world of delusion but will abide in its peaceful bliss of Enlightenment. Indeed, that Pure Land where the flowers perfume the air with wisdom and the birds sing the holy Dharma, is the final destination for all mandkind.
4. Though this Pure Land is the place for enjoyment it is not the place for idleness. Its beds of fragrant flowers are not for slothful idleness, but are places for refreshment and rest, where one regains energy and zeal for Buddha's mission of enlightenment. Buddha's mission is everlasting. As long as men live and creatures exist, and as long as selfish and defiled minds create their own world and circumstances, so long the children of Buddha who have crossed to the Pure Land will be zealous to return to the land from whence they came. For them it will no longer be a land of delusion, but it will still be a land of suffering that calls for boundless compassion and teaching and service. As one little candle lights another, so the light of Buddha's compassion will pass from one mind to another mind endlessly. The children of Buddha as they realize Buddha's spirit of compassion adopt Buddha's task of enlightenment and purification and thus Buddha's Land is glorified forever.
III. THOSE WHO HAVE RECEIVED GLORY IN BUDDHA'S LAND
1. Symavati, the consort of King Udyana, was deeply devoted to Buddha. She lived, of course, in the inner courts of the palace and could not go out, but her main Uttala, a hunchback, who had an excellent memory, used to go out and attand the Buddha's preaching. On her return she would repeat to the Queen the teachings of the Blessed One, and thus the Queen increased in wisdom and purity. The second wife of the King was jealous of the first wife and sought to kill her. She slandered her to the King and caused the same stories to be repeated to the King from other sources until finally the King heeded them and sought to kill his first wife, Symavati. The Queen stood in front of the King so calmly that the King had no heart to kill her and regaining control of himself he apologized to her for his distrust of her. The jealousy of the second wife increased and she sent wicked men to set fire to the inner courts of the palace. Symavati remained calm and quieted and encouraged the bewildered maids, and then, without fear, died peacefully in the spirit she had learned from the Blessed One, and Uttala, the hunchback, died with her. Among the many women disciples of Buddha, these two are most highly honored: Queen Symavati of merciful spirit and the hunchback maid the wise Uttala.
2. Prince Mahanama, of the Shakya clan and a cousin of the Buddha, had great faith in Buddha and was one of his most faithful followers. At that time a violent king named Virudabha of Kosala made a conquest of the Shakya clan. Prince Mahanama went to the King and begged for the lives of the prisoners, but the King would not listen to him, so he made a proposition asking the King to let as many prisoners escape as could run away while he was diving in a neighborhood pond. To this the King assented, thinking that the time would be very short. The gate of the prison was opened as Mahanama dived into the water and the prisoners rushed for safety. But Mahanama did not come out of the water but sacrificed his life for the lives of his people.
3. Utpalavaruna was a famous nun whose wisdom was compared with that of Maudgalyayana, the great disciple of Buddha. She was indeed, a nun of the nuns and was always their leader and never tired of teaching them. Devadatta was a very wicked and cruel man who poisoned the mind of King Ajatasatru and persuaded him to murder his own father and to turn against the teachings of Buddha. But later King Ajatasatru repented, broke off the friendship with Devadatta and became a humble disciple of Buddha. At one time Devadatta was repulsed from the castle gate in an attempt to see the King, he met Utpalavaruna coming out. It made him very angry and he struck her and seriously wounded her. She returned to her convent in great pain and when the other nuns tried to console her she said to them: "Sisters, human life is very precious, but everything is transient and empty. Only the world of enlightenment endures and is peaceful. You must keep on with your training." Then she passed away.
4. Angulimalya, once a terrible bandit, who had killed many people, was saved by the Blessed One, and he became one of the Brotherhood. One day he went into a town for begging where a short time before he had led a raid and caused much hardship and suffering. The villagers fell upon him and beat him severely, but he went back to the Blessed One with his body still bleeding and fell at his feet and thanked him for the opportunity that had come to him to suffer for his former cruel deeds. He said: "Blessed One, My name originally was 'No-killing', but because of my ignorance I took many precious lives and from each I collected a finger, because of which I came to be called Angulimalya, the collector of fingers! Then through your compassion I learned wisdom and became devoted to the three treasures, Buddha, Dharma and Brotherhood. When a man drives a horse or cow he has to use a whip, but you, Blessed One, purified my name without the use of whip or rope or hood. Today, Blessed One, I have suffered only what was my due. I do no wish to live, I do not wish to die. I only wait for my time to come."
5. Maha-Maudgalyayana together with the venerable Sariputra were the Buddha's greatest disciples. When the teachers of other schools saw Maudgalyayana distributing the pure water of the Buddha's teachings and saw the people eagerly drinking it, they became jealous and applied all sorts of hindrances to his preaching. But none of the hindrances discouraged him in his teaching nor prevented his teaching from spreading abroad. The followers of other schools attempted to kill him. Twice he escaped harm but the third time he was surrounded by many people and fell under their blows. Sustained by enlightenment he calmly received their blows while his flesh was torn and his bones crushed and when he died he died peacefully.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Buddha Dhamma - The Concepts and Philosophy of Buddhism
- Confucian Analects by James Legge
- The Life of the Buddha, the Buddhist Bible
- The Teachings of the Buddha, the Buddhist Bible
- The Gospel of the Buddha
- Buddha, The Word. The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path
- Buddhism scriptures
- Buddha, Truth and Brotherhood; An Epitome of Many Buddhist Scriptures
- Understanding the significance of a Buddhist shrine
- Buddho, Initiation Into Buddhist Meditation
- The Diamond Sangh Sutras
- Essays On Dharma
- Esoteric Mystic Hinduism
- Introduction to Hinduism
- Hindu Way of Life
- Essays On Karma
- Hindu Rites and Rituals
- The Origin of The Sanskrit Language
- Symbolism in Hinduism
- Essays on The Upanishads
- Concepts of Hinduism
- Essays on Atman
- Hindu Festivals
- Spiritual Practice
- Right Living
- Yoga of Sorrow
- Mental Health
- Concepts of Buddhism
- General Essays
Source: PUBLISHED BY DWIGHT GODDARD (1934)
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