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(Volume One)

Ashin Kundalabhivamsa
Aggamaha Kammatthanacariya

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(Serialised for the moment)

1 Noble Saddha Likened to the Hand 2 Discard the Outer Covering, Take the Essence
3 Dependable for Womankind 4 A Model of Good and Bad
5 Let the Body Suffer, not the Mind 6 Longevity of Human Life
7 If You Wish to Have Peace, Enter a Meditation Centre 8 To Be Worthy Sons and Daughters
9 A Reminder by Lord Buddha 10 Three Ways of Noting Vedana
11 Four Types of Devotees 12 Unseparated at Present and Meet Again in the Future
13 Impossible to Repay in a Hundred Years 14 Five Benefits of Dana
15 Emancipation Only Through Dhamma 16 Accumulate and Share the Merit
17 Eating the Right Way Brings Merit 18 Great Happiness if Faultless
19 Proper Maintenance of Wealth Means Happiness and Prosperity 20 Paying Respects Benefit both Parties
21 Vipassana Meditation should be Practised 22 Insight can be Gained only by Overcoming Vedana
23 Choosing Meditation Centre to Realidmpdtha2.htmze Dhamma 24 Ordain as Dullabha Monks to Gain Benefits
25 Revere Those Who See Both Sides 26 Sacca Mantam the Good and the Bad
27 Four Kinds of Right Living to Reach Good Realms 28 Four Good Opportunities to Realize Dhamma
29 Slowly and Speedily, Should be the Way 30 Eradicate Akusala Like a Poison Tree
31 Noble Kathina Robe Offering, but Once a Year 32 Let Saddha be Always Firm.
33 The Correct Way of Pratice to Reach Nibbana 34 Like the Buddha-to-be, Perform Your Supporting Duty
35 Be Mindful to Gain Merit 36 Happiness, Only by Having Four Foresight
37 If Eliminated, Happiness Will Follow 38 Seven Qualities of a Virtuous Person
39 Six Kinds of Dana Index   * End of Volume One *

Noble Saddha Likened to the Hand

      Buddhists use the word saddha liberally when doing merits. One is praised when one is full of saddha or faith. "Saddha" which is a Pali word has a deep and wide meaning. Saddha is the best basic concept for all Buddhists who aspire most to reach total extinction of being (nibbana). A meritorious deed can be accomplished only where there is saddha.

      "Saddha" is translated as belief or faith in one single word. In Myanmar language it is a combination of two words meaning faith and clarity.

      There are five kinds of faith

     (1) Faith in the Buddha

     (2) Faith in the Teachings (Dhamma)

     (3) Faith in the Sangha

     (4) Faith in the Action (Kamma)

     (5) Faith in the effects of Kamrna

      Faith or Confidence

      Lord Buddha, whom we revere is perfect with one realizing the path of holiness (arahatta-magga) insight which could eliminate all evil. He is entirely free from base, inferior defilements such as greed (lobha), anger (dosa), delusion (moha).

      He is omniscient. Without the help of anyone He knows everything that should be known. We believe in these excellent qualities of our Lord Buddha.

      We believe that the dhamma we are practising, beginning from the observing of five precepts up to insight (vipassana) practice, have been preached by Lord Buddha. If we practise it, we will be free from all kinds or unhappiness and attain nibbana

      We believe that the sangha we revere are those who are practising dhamma according to the instructions of Lord Buddha to reach nibbana. They are practising for the benefit of the laity who can do meritorious deeds, and that their practice is noble.

      We believe that the charity (dana), the wholesome action we are doing, the precepts we are observing concern with our mind. They cannot be seen with the eye or are tangible. But these will bring benefit to ourselves.

      Because of these wholesome actions, we reap the benefit of improving our lives in this existence and are free from harm. We believe that we will get to the higher planes and be endowed with good benefits in our future existences.

      It is also believed that killing, stealing will bring bad result (akusala kamma). These akusala kamma cannot be seen by the natural eye but they exist as shadows, giving bad effects as occasion arises (either in this life or in future existences).

      Lucidity or clarity

      When saddha arises in you, things that make your mind impure such as greed, anger, delusion, pride, conceit, jealousy and ill-will disappear and your mind becomes lucid. Thus, because it makes your mind clear and lucid, we say that saddha is clarity.

      For example, it is like the ruby of a Cakkavati, (universal monarch) in ancient times, who ruled over the four continents. When these monarchs went round the universe, with many followers sometimes they could not get clear water in some places When that happened, the monarch's ruby was put into a bowl of muddy water and all at once, the mud settled to the bottom and the water became clear and drinkable.

      In the same way, when one has saddha, lobha, dosa, moha, pride (mana), jealousy (issa), avarice or stinginess (macchariya), which are likened to dirt and mud disappear and one's mind is purified. Good deeds are done in succession.

      Because one's mind is clear and lucid one's behaviour becomes light and active. The facial expression also becomes clear and lucid. One can vividly observe the donor's courteous activities while giving dana.

      Clarity or lucidity because of faith

      Although saddha is translated into two words, belief and clarity, the meaning is associated. There is lucidity or clearness because of faith.

      Those who worship Lord Buddha have faith in Him and His excellent qualities. Thus their minds become pure. Those who worship the Dhamma or the Teachings of Buddha believe that it will eliminate unhappiness. Thus their minds become clear and lucid. Those who worship Sangha also believe in their noble qualities, and their minds become pure. Hence, belief and lucidity of the mind are associated.

      Those who are mindful of the qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, practising vipassana meditation and mindful of the noble qualities of Sangha will find for themselves that their minds become pure and lucid

     Disbelief makes impurity

      Sometimes, when evil people like robbers come to your place you cannot be at peace, your mind is disturbed. What will they destroy, what will they loot and take with them? How can I escape from these bad men? You are worried and cannot be at ease because you cannot trust and believe in these wicked people. Because of lack of faith there is no lucidity or clarity of mind.

      Saddha likened to the hand

      The hand accomplishes the work you wish to carry out. Likewise, saddha carries out good deeds for you to gain merit.

      The hand is most important and most useful for you. It cleans the body and makes it look presentable. It will help keep things that are either not valuable, or moderately valuable or the most valuable such as diamond, gold and other gems. When you wish to get something you have to take it with your hand.

      In the same way, one who gives dana will never be poor or destitute in every existence. One will have riches and be able to do meritorious deeds in succession with ease. One gets merit due to saddha, which is likened to the hand.

      Those who have morality (sila), are endowed with longevity, good health, free from diseases, have pleasant looks, spiritual and physical happiness, concentration, determination so that they can perform meritorious deeds in succession. Because they have saddha, they are firm in their sila. They are able to get merit because of saddha which is likened to the hand.

      Those who are complete with tranquility (samatha) and vipassana practice, and the belief that they can most rapidly attain nibbana to which they aspire put in extra effort in practising samatha and vipassana, and are able to gain merit. To be able to accomplish this, it is all due to saddha. which is compared to the hand.

      Motto: Saddha (faith) is likened to the hand.

Discard the Outer Covering, Take the Essence

     Those who have not much perfection (parami) or are immature and blissfully happy in the human abode think many objects to be valuable, while in essence they are not.

     Things that are of no value in essence.

     (1) their property or wealth

     (2) their physical bodies

     (3) their lives

(Jataka-ttha 4/7)

     How it is thought to be valuable or as essence

      (1) Those who have not much parami think that their gold and diamond, their house and property are depend able and that only their property will fulfil their social life

      (2) When there occurs an accident, they let their wealth be spent but the physical body must be preserved. The physical body is more valuable than their wealth.

      (3) When their lives are endangered, let the riches be spent and some parts of the body may be destroyed or impaired but life must be preserved. Life is more valuable than the riches and the physical body.

      Not seeing it as the essence

      Those who have accumulated parami, like the Buddha-to-be see things as follows

      (1) Their riches and wealth can be destroyed by floods and storms, by fire, by evil rulers, by robbers and by enemies. They are not dependable, not lasting and are just the outer covering, not the essence.

      (2) Their physical bodies are full of diseases and also can be destroyed outwardly by weapons such as swords, spears and guns any time. Although you may be well today, this month, this year, you may be bed-ridden the next day, the next month, the next year. That is why your physical body is not the essence, it is only an outer covering.

      (3) The nature of the process of the phenomena of your physical body and the mind which keep arising and passing away every moment and they seem to be oppressing you and your whole life can be destroyed at any time. That is why life is not the essence, it is only an outer covering.

      Take the essence from the covering.

      Those who have accumulated parami like the Buddhas-to-be would take three kinds of essence from the three objects which are not the essence.

      (1) From the riches, which are not the essence, they would give dana or charity and gain merit, that is, taking the essence.

      The riches are material objects and can be destroyed or taken by force by the five kinds of enemies. After giving away or donating the property, the merit gained cannot be seen by the natural eye, not tangible and therefore cannot be destroyed by the five kinds of enemies. The merit gained has the ability to give good effects in a series of existences up to nibbana and is secure. Therefore, donate as much as possible so as to extract the tsence of dana merit from one's property.

     Motto: Extract from property, dana essence.

      (2) Extract from the body the essence of sila merit

      The physical body which is prone to the (96) kinds of diseases internally and can be destroyed outwardly by poisons and weapons is worthless. But paying obeisance to sangha who have sila, elderly people, the triple gems, (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha), teachers and parents and also looking after them, taking the five, eight, nine precepts are carried out by the physical body. The merit gained by sila will provide all kinds of blessings which are secure in the series of existences till one reaches nibbana. Hence, one observes sila, which has been extracted from the physical body.

      Motto: Extract from the physical body, sila essence.

      (3) From life, which is unsubstantial, take vipassana merit which is the essence.

      While we are alive during Lord Buddha's Sasana, the merit we gain from practising vipassana meditation is secure and if circumstances are favourable, the door of woeful states (apaya) will be closed in this very life and attain nibbana. It is the most secure essence. Therefore, we must practise vipassana meditation. From the unsubstantial life extract vipassana essence

      Motto: Extract from life, vipassana essence and merit.

Dependable for Womankind

     Because women are gentle and delicate in every way, they are thought to be the weaker sex, having no strength nor power. That is not true. They are those who have skill, strength and capability.

     The strength of womankind

     (1) Rupabalam — Physical beauty is one of the strengths of females. Thus, they try to beautify themselves.

     (2) Bhogabalam —Being prosperous is one of the strengths of womankind. Hence, they have to earn and save up.

     (3) Natibalam —Having parents and relatives is one of the strengths of womenkind. That is why women of good parentage live amicably with parents and relatives.

     (4) Puttabalam —Having children is one of the strengths of women. Therefore, to bear children should be given a priority.

     (5) Silabalam —To be endowed with sila is women's strength. Consequently, she must abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, telling lies and abstain ing from intoxicants, thus, fulfilling her sila.

     These five qualities are the strengths of a good and virtuous woman (Sam 2/443)

     Housewives who are perfect with these five qualities of strength are able to run the house and look after the family, they win the respect of the whole family.

     Among the five qualities of strength, physical beauty, having property or riches, parents and relatives and having children are not strengths to reach higher planes in future lives. They are only for the present existence.

     Only those good women who possess sila will reap the five benefits:

     (1) property and riches can be acquired easily.

     (2) can become famous due to good reputation.

     (3) has a pleasant disposition and can enter various functions happily and delightfully.

     (4) at the time of death seeing good signs and dying peacefully.

     (5) to be reborn at the celestial abode

     These are the five benefits a good woman gets.

     Motto: Easily obtain property, earning good reputation never inferior, dying in peace, reaching celestial abode. Those are the five benefits of observing sila.

     Consequently, good women should depend on sila which must be spotless.

A Model of Good and Bad

      A person has good and bad characteristics, just as weeds are removed from a pond and water is drawn, so also discard the bad and take the good.

      During the life time of Lord Buddha, there was a girl bown for her bad and good reputation. Her name was Khujjuttara, a combination of two words: Khujja and Uttara. Khujja, means hunchback and Uttara, was her original name. A hunchback since birth and was known as Khujjuttara.

      Khujjuttara was Queen Samavati's maid, a flower-buyer. King Udena gave Queen Samavati eight coins every day to buy flowers. And the Queen gave Khujjuttara eight coins to buy flowers. Whereupon, Khujjuttara took four coins for herself and bought only four coins worth of flowers and presented them to Queen Samavati.

      One day, the flower seller, Sumana offered alms-food to the Lord Buddha and Sangha at the house. Sumana, invited Khujjuttara to listen to the appreciative expression (anumodana dhamma). Khujjuttara listened very attentively and respectfully so as to memorize every word. While listening she meditated penetratively and thus became stream-winner (sotapanna) at the end of the discourse.

      At the end of the dhamma discourse, she bought all eight coins worth of flowers and presented them to Queen Samavati. Because the flowers were double the usual amount, Queen Samavati asked Khujjuttara whether King Udena had given her eight coins more as there were more flowers. Khujjuttara answered in the negative and that flowers were eight coins worth that day. On previous days, she had taken four coins for herself and had bought only four coins worth of flowers. She answered truthfully. Queen Snmavati was amazed and enquired why she did not steal and tell lies that day Khujjuttara responded, she could not steal or tell lies because she had listened to the Lord Buddha's discourse that day.

      Queen Samavati thought Lord Buddha's Teachings have so much power and was full of reverence and longed to listen to the dhamma. Thus, she asked Khujjuttara if she could repeat the discourse she had listened to, Khujjuttark. answered that she could. She was given good clothes to wear and a respectable place from which to relate the dhamma discourse.

      Queen Samavati and five hundred attendants became sotapanna at the end of the discourse. After becoming sotapanna they desired more and more to listen to the Teachings of Lord Buddha. Hence, they sent Khujjuttara wherever Lord Buddha gave dhamma discourse and then listened to Khujjuttara again.

      Because Khujjuttara listened to the dhamma discourse every time and related to Samavati and five hundred attendants, she learnt the 'Three Pitakas' without being taught but only through listening.

      Lord Buddha, in giving the highest title to lay women, Khujjuttara was given the highest honour, the pre-eminent position (etadagga), in being skilful and learned in the Pitakas. Thus after receiving the highest honour, Khujjuttara became well-known in Lord Buddha's sasana. One day, some monks asked Lord Buddha: Oh Lord!

     (1) Why is Khujjuttara a hunchback?

     (2) Why can she learn the Three Pitakas just by listening?

     (3) Why did she become a sotapanna so quickly while listening to the dhamma discourse?

     (4) Why did she become a maid in the life she is to attain noble dhamma.

      The Lord Buddha replied in the following way:

      Khujjuttara-to-be was a maid at the palace of King Brahmadatta at Baranasi before the life time of Gotama Buddha, after the Enlightenment of Kassapa Buddha. Lord Buddha went on relating Khujjuttara's past lives.

      (1) Once eight Silent Buddhas (Pacceka Buddhas) in cluding one hunchback came to the palace of King Brahmadatta for alms- food. The maids including Khujjuttara put rice in golden bowls and wearing red shawls on their shoulders, offered alms-food.

      When they had finished offering, Khujjuttara held the golden bowl as the alms-bowl, wore the red shawl like a robe, went forward and mimicked the hunch-back Pacceka Buddha and made fun so that everyone laughed.

      That is why, because she had made fun of the Pacceka Buddha, she became a hunchback from birth.

      (2) The reason why she was so intelligent was as follows: One day when the eight Pacceka Buddhas came to the palace for alms-food, the alms bowls were full, and because they were hot, the Pacceka Buddhas held the bowls with one hand and another, the right hand and the left hand. When Khujjuttara saw this, she at once took off her eight ivory bangles and offered them to the Pacceka Buddhas to serve as alms bowl stands so as to alleviate the heat.

      Thus because she was quick-witted and offered the ivory bangles to alleviate the heat from the hands of Pacceka Buddhas, in the present life she became very intelligent and learnt the Three Pitakas while listening to the dhamma discourse of the Lord Buddha.

      (3) Why Khujjuttara became a sotapanna rapidly is because when Pacceka Buddhas came to the palace she performed the necessary duties respectfully. Because of this merit she became a sotapanna while listening to the Lord Buddha's dhamma discourse at the offering of alms-food ceremony, by Sumana, the flower seller.

      (4) Why Khujjuttara became a maid. During the time of Kassapa Buddha, Khujjuttara-to-be was a rich man's daughter at Baranasi. One evening she was beautifying herself in front of a big mirror. At that time a Holy or liberated female medicant (arahanta bhikkhuni), who was friendly with her came to her place.

      The rich man's daughter asked the arahanta bhikkhuni to fetch some of her cosmetics. The arahanta bhikkhuni thought to herself. If I don't get the things she asked for, she will be angry and bear a grudge with the result that she will go to realms of continuous suffering (niraya). If I carry out the task she will become a servant for five hundred existances.

      Out of these two kinds of bad results, to be a servant would be better than to go to niraya. Thus thinking she did the things as bidden by the rich man's daughter.

      The Lord Buddha discoursed that because Khujjuttara had asked a respectable arahanta bhikkhuni to do things she became a servant for five hundred existences.

(Dhammapadattha 1/44)      

     To sum it up, Khujjuttara.

     (1) was a hunchback from birth because of making fun of a Pacceka Buddha who was a hunchback;

     (2) became servant girl for five hundred lives because she made an arahanta bhilckhuni do things for her; (These are bad conducts which should be avoided).

     (3) learned the Three Pitakas just by listening was the effect of offering immediately ivory bangles to serve as alms bowl stands, immediately alleviating the heat from the hands of Pacceka Buddhas; and

     (4) becoming a sotapanna while, listening to the dhamma discourse was the benefit of serving the Pacceka Buddhas respectfully. (They are good conducts which should be copied).

     Motto: Avoid bad deeds, carry out good deeds.

Let the Body Suffer, not the Mind

      Once, Lord Buddha was residing in a sanctuary for animals at Susumaragira town in Bhagga country. During that time, a very old man from Susumaragira came to the Lord Buddha. He was called Nakulapita, a rich man.

      This rich man had won an etadagga title as the foremost in being closely acquainted with Lord Buddha. He always went to pay homage to the Lord Buddha.

      At that time, he was too old and had become weak so that he kept suffering from ailments. He was no more in good health. In future he would not be able to pay homage to Lord Buddha. He would go just once while he could. He would request the Lord to give him an admonition which would benefit him for long. Thus, thinking he approached the Lord Buddha.

      After paying obeisance he asked the Lord Buddha to give him a dhamma discourse "O Lord, I have reached the last stage of my life and have become too old. I do not have good health even for a moment, I keep suffering from many diseases. It will not be easy for me to come another time. Therefore, please give me an admonition which will be beneficial for long.

      Lord Buddha replied "It is true that you are no more healthy because of old age. However, there is no one who has no ailments and is always healthy. Everyone has ailments. Those who say they do not have any disease are those who do not know or are fools.

      After that, Lord Buddha gave the rich man, the most suitable discourse 'Rich man, let your body suffer, not the mind. Practise, so that the mind does not suffer."

      The rich man having listened to the most suitable discourse bowed down most respectfully with his hands clasped and went round Lord Buddha from the right side clockwise and departed after paying respects. Each time the rich man went to Lord Buddha, he also went to Ashin Sariputta to pay obeisance.

      Ashin Sariputta addressed the rich man 'You look very bright and pleasant, did the Lord give you any dhamma discourse?' He answered, 'Why wouldn't the Lord give a dhamma discourse to a person like me? He had given me admonition.

      When Ashin Sariputta asked what kind of discourse the Lord had given him, the rich man answered 'Let your body suffer not the mind. Practise, so that your mind will not suffer.'

      Ashin Sariputta was Buddhas chief disciple, who had been given etadagga title for his wisdom. As soon as he heard what the rich man said, he realized that the nature of suffering in body and mind, as well as, only the body suffering and not the mind should be distinctly clarified. Lord Buddha should be asked this question.

      Seeing this, the rich man was asked, whether he had requested the Lord to tell him how to practise so that body and mind suffer and how to practise so that only the body suffer and not the mind.

      The rich man replied, Venerable Sir, I did not request the Buddha to tell me how to practise I will only know if you instruct me how to practise so that both body and mind suffer, and only the body suffers not the mind. It will not be easy for me to come another time. So please instruct me, Venerable Sir.'

      Ashin Sariputta elaborated the twenty kinds of false view of self (attaditthi). If one is attached to the body and mind together, then both the body and mind suffer.

      For example. when one's palm or sole is pierced by a thorn while working and there is no pin to take it out, one finds another thorn to take out the first thorn but the first thorn does not come out. Instead, the second thorn is left broken in the flesh. That person has to suffer the two thorns piercing the flesh. Similarly, those who cannot meditate and discern the body from the mind, suffer both in body and mind.

      If one can practise meditation and know that the body is separate and the mind that knows is separate, only the body suffers and not the mind. This was the dhamma discourse given by Ashin Sariputta.

      Motto: If attached to the body and mind both the body and mind suffer. If one notes the process of the phenomena of the body and mind as they arise and pass away, only the body suffers, not the mind.

      Those who practise meditation and reach knowledge of dissolution (bhanga nana), as they note intently when pain arises in the body they will realize that the pain disappears one note after another. Because one notes attentively and knows the passing away only the body suffers, not the mind.

      Consequently, Lord Buddha had instructed that one must practise meditation so that only the body will suffer, not the mind. (Sam 2/1)

Longevity of Human Life

      The life of all beings in this world are of two categories briefly.

      (1) Sugati life—good, noble life

      (2) Duggati life—inferior, low down apaya life which is suffering.

      Of these two, sugati good noble life is human, deva and brahma existences. Of the three good existences human life is the best to do meritorious deeds.

      Out of the series of existences, in the human abode, the present life is the best as we are living to be in the time of Lord Buddha's sasana. To do away with apaya and to listen to the dhamma and practise accordingly we have a great opportunity. We also have the best and the right belief. Hence, the present human life is the best life.

      In this life we have the opportunity to do merit so that in our future lives we will not be born in the apaya and we will be able to reach higher places of life till we reach nibbana, extinction of all sufferring and unhappiness. So long as we live, we will accumulate merit. Therefore, those who are wise wish to live long lives.

      Consequently, Lord Buddha has given a discourse on the five factors which lead to long lives.

      (1) Sappayakari hoti - we must eat suitable food, stay where there is a suitable climate, avoid food that is unsuitable and climate which is unsuitable.

      (2) Sappayamattam janati- having suitable food staying at a place where the heat and the cold are not extreme, we must know the right amount of food for our bodies.

      (3) Parinatabhojica hoti- while taking food we should see to it that it is easily digestible and to avoid food that is indigestible.

      (4) Silavaca- Abstaining from killing stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and abstaining from intoxicants, we must be perfect with sila.

      (5) Kalyanamittoca - we must live harmoniously together with good friends, sons, daughters, husbands, and wives who will make us happy.

      Lord Buddha discoursed that those who live according to the five factors will live long lives.

      Motto: Suitable and right amount of digestible food, having sila and good friends, are five factors for longevity.

      Our body may be compared to a four-legged table, when one leg is broken it can no more stand properly. Similarly, our body exists due to kamma, mind, climate and nutrition. When one of these is in disorder one will not live long.

      That is why associating with bad friends husbands, sons and daughters and wives being the cause of unhappiness one's life is shortened. Associating with good friends and daughters, husband and wife being the cause of peace and happiness, one's life is lengthened. This is the discourse of Lord Buddha.

If You Wish to Have Peace, Enter a Meditation Centre (Yeiktha)

      Every living being wishes to be happy and thus search for happiness. Also wishes to live in places where one can be at peace. A place where one can stay at peace is called a yeiktha.

      In Myanmar language yeiktha is a combination of two words: "yeik" means "ayeik" (shade); "tha" means happiness or peace. Therefore, it means a peaceful shade or a shady peaceful place.

      There are five kinds of shade.

     (1) the shade of a tree

     (2) the shade of parents and relatives

     (3) the shade of a teacher

     (4) the shade of a ruler

     (5) the shade of Lord Buddha's dhamma or Teachings

      Among these five shades, the shade of relatives and parents is more peaceful than the shade of a tree. The shade of a teacher is more peaceful than the shade of relatives and parents. The shade of a ruler is more peaceful than the shade of a teacher. The shade of Lord Buddha's Teachings or dhamma is more peaceful than the shade of a ruler.

      (1) The shade of a tree makes a weary traveller who has travelled in the heat of the summer sun, cool and happy both in body and mind when he/ she gets rested under the big cool shade.

      (2) To get the shade of the tree is only momentary. One is happy just at the time of staying under that tree. To get the shade of relatives and parents is better because one gets the wealth, property and legacy so that one can be happy in one's whole life. That is why the shade of relatives and parents is better than the shade of a tree.

     Motto: The shade of parents is better than the shade of the tree, 'tis true happiness.

      (3) To get the shade of relatives and parents is peaceful because one gets wealth and property legacy. However, the wealth can be destroyed by robbers and bandits. But to get the shade of a teacher one can obtain vocational education and therefore, live peacefully. Knowledge or education cannot be destroyed by robbers or bandits. That is why the shade of a teacher is more peaceful than the shade of relatives and parents.

     Motto: A teacher's shade is better than the parents', tis true happiness.

      (4) In the shade of a teacher one gets only knowledge or a vocational education and is happy. But to be in the shade of a ruler who rules the county, one is free from danger internally and externally. Thus one can acquire education, wealth and dhamma so that one is happy in many ways. That is why a ruler's shade is more peaceful than the shade of a teacher.

     Motto: A ruler's shade is better than the teacher's tis true happiness.

      (5) To get the shade of a ruler one is free from harm and is happy in this life. To be in the shade of Lord Buddha's dhamma or Teachings, one is happy in this life as one gets the peacefulness of dhamma. In future lives, one is free from the unhappiness of apaya and all kinds of suffering. Thus, one is happy. One can also reach the noblest state of nibbana. Therefore, the shade of Lord Buddha's dhamma is more peaceful than the shade of a ruler.

     Motto: The shade of Dhamnia is more peaceful than the ruler's shade, 'tis true happiness.

      Consequently, to be free from all kinds of suffering and if one wishes to attain nibbana enter a Meditation Centre (Yeiktha).

To be Worthy Sons and Daughters

      Parents who have brought up their children till they come of age wish them to have everything, to be worthy sons and daughters.

      On the part of the sons and daughters, they wish to be worthy children and not inferior ones. Those who wish to be worthy sons and daughters must have five qualities. Those who possess these five qualities are said to be worthy sons and daughters by ancient sages.

      Five characteristics of worthy sons and daughters.

      (1) To be in the habit of giving charity

      (2) To be in the habit of practising meditation

      (3) To be courageous

      (4) To acquire knowledge/ vocational education with zest and zeal

      (5) To search for wealth and property continuously. Those who possess these five qualities are known to be worthy sons and daughters.


     Courage, charity and moral conduct,

     acquiring knowledge and property constantly,

     complete with these are true sons.

      (1) Those who have an inclination for charity would, even when young, give away their belongings to the poor. When parents and elders give them eatables they would share and distribute among their friends. From their savings they would donate at the monasteries and hospitals. Thus, giving charity is one of the qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

      (2) Those who are interested in practising dhamma are, since young usually contented with the food and clothing that they get. They try to copy their parents, grand parents and elders who practise dhamma and try to practise as much as possible. This is one of the good qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

      (3) Those who are courageous will always stand for the right since young. When they encounter oppositions for their parents and relatives, for the country and religion they will carry out or speak up for the right, without any fear. To have a courageous mind is one of the qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

      (4) Those who are in the habit of acquiring knowledge or education constantly, will attend school and study regularly, without the persuasion of parents and elders. They learn their lessons at regular study hours. They study constantly so as to be outstanding. This is one of the good qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

      (5) Those who are in the habit of working and acquiring wealth will after completing their education, work for themselves, for parents and relatives and for the country to become prosperous. They will attend their work regulary and work constantly. This consistancy in working and acquiring wealth is one of the qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

      Consequently, good sons and daughters who are working for themselves, for parents and relatives for the development of the country and the sasana must try and have the five qualities of worthy sons and daughters.

A Reminder by Lord Buddha

      Once, while Lord Buddha was residing at Jetavana monastery in Savatthi, the monks were assembled to listen to the dhamma discourse. Lord Buddha went to the place and picking up some dust from the earth and putting it on his thumb nail asked the monks.

      "O monks if the dust on my thumb nail is compared to the whole earth, which is more," the Lord Buddha asked (though knowing the answer).

      (Monks are generally of two categories: Those who just wear the robes and eat, after going round for alms-food, and those who fear the sufferings of samsara. Here it concerns both the categories.)

      The monks replied "O, Lord, the dust which is on your thumb nail, if compared to the whole earth is so little that it cannot be accounted for. The dust on the earth is much too abundant."

      When the monks thus replied, the Enlightened One continued to say "Monks, according to the example given, when people die and leave this existence those who are reborn as human beings are so few that they may be compared to the dust on my nail.

      After leaving this human abode, people who are reborn in hell or become animals, ghosts, demons in the lower planes are as numerous as the dust on earth. Thus, the Lord gave a discourse that to become a human being is very difficult. (Sam 1/454)


     Born in the human abode

     compared to the dust on the nail.

     Born as creatures in the apaya are numerous as the whole earth.

      After the discourse Lord Buddha continued to remind the monks, since it is so difficult to be a human being, as little as the dust on my finger nail, do not forget to practise dhamma while there is sasana.

      When there was no time to give a discourse Lord Buddha would remind "Do not forget, practise dhamma." This was the usual reminder. In some places "Appamadena Sampadetha" "Be vigilant, practise and perfect yourselves" This is the usual utterance by Lord Buddha.

      In saying "Do not forget, perfect yourselves in practising dhamma" does not mean to do ordinary merit so as to get the happiness of human beings, celestial beings and brahmas". What the Lord Buddha meant was to practise Satipatthana Vipassana so as to reach nibbana.

      Why did the Lord Buddha remind us to practise Satipatthana Vipassana? To become Enlightened, Lord Buddha had practised dhamma for four incalculables (asankheyya) and a hundred thousand world cycles (kappas) without caring for His physical body and life. The purpose is not for all beings to get the happiness of human life, celestial life and brahma. This is not the aim in perfecting Himself without caring for His life and physical body.

      It is for Himself and all beings to be free from apaya and all kinds of suffering and reach nibbana, that He accumulated merit. That is why He said do not forget to practise satipatthana vipassana to reach nibbana.

Three Ways of Noting Vedana

      Nowadays, practising satipatthana vipassana has flourished. Every wise person practises satipatthana vipassana meditation. Those who do not have the opportunity to practise yet, try to find the correct method to do so.

      When the practice of satipatthana vipassana meditation is done practically, aches, pain, fatigue which are unpleasant sensation (dukkha vedana) are experienced at the beginning. There is more or less some difference between one another. Later, they will experience peace which no ordinary people can experience.

      Therefore, at the beginning of the practise, unpleasant sensations such as aches and pain, dizziness, itchiness, nausea, swaying, physical and mental suffering will be experienced according to the knowledge (nana). Then one will think that he had heard that those who practise Lord Buddha's dhamma step by step become happy and gentle.

      But in actual practice there are aches and pain, dizziness, itchiness, nausea and swaying so that the one becomes discouraged, thinking he cannot attain dhamma in this life and become discouraged. That is why every one who practises meditation should know the method of overcoming vedana.

      There are three ways of noting the dukkha vedana which arises while practising vipassana meditation.

     (1) meditating with the aim of making the unpleasant sensations disappear.

     (2) meditating by establishing an aggressive state of mind with the intention of annihilating the unpleasant sensations.

     (3) meditating to realize the intrinsic nature of the unpleasant sensations.

      (1) When you meditate with the aim of making the unpleasant sensations disappear, it is because of your desire to be comfortable again, to be free from unpleasant sensations which is lobha. You meditate so as to be free from lobha. If you meditate with the aim of making unpleasant sensations disappear, lobha is involved. Because of this defilement you will be slow in gaining insight. That is why, you should not have the aim to make unpleasant sensations disappear. You should not adopt this method. You should avoid it.

      (2) When you meditate by establishing an aggressive state of mind and resolve to annihilate the unpleasant sensations, and dosa is established. Because you have established an aggressive state of mind to make unpleasant sensations disappear the noting will contain anger, which is a defilement. Thus, you will be slow in the progress of gaining insight. Therefore, you should not adopt this method of establishing an aggressive state of mind, to annihilate the unpleasant sensations. You should avoid this method.

      (3) You should adopt the method to contemplate and note so that you will realize the intrinsic nature of the unpleasant sensations.

      When you are noting to realize the intrinsic nature of aches and pain you must be careful not to let your body and mind become tense when vedana arises. If you become tense there will be too much effort (viriya). It must be natural without being tense or lax, your noting mind must be focussed directly on the vedana.

      When noting, you should not contemplate on the form of the body such as the foot, the hand, the knee, the buttock. Note just the intrinsic nature of pain penetratively. Only then you will realize the intrinsic nature of vedana.

      When unpleasant sensations occur while meditating, note intently to know whether the pain is located on the flesh or on the skin, in the veins or through the bones so that you will realize the extent of the pain. You should note intently and mentally 'paining, tingling, aching'. The second, third and later notings should be done in a similar manner, intently to know the extent of unpleasant sensations.

      When your concentration power has developed to a certain extent, after noting four or five times intensively you will realize that the aches and pain increase. After it reaches its highest intensity it begins to lessen and after noting four or five times you will know that it eases step by step.

      Because you are noting continuously your concentration power deepens and you will realize that as you note once the pain increases. When it decreases you note once and it cases. You will realize the nature of vedana.

      Afterwards, as you continue noting, your concentration power strengthens and as you note 'paining, paining' once, the vedana arises and passes away. Yogis who are practising meditation will know for themselves.

      Yogis, who are intelligent, will perceive that as they note 'paining' once, it disappears. Moreover, the consciousness that knows the pain also disappears. The noting mind which notes 'paining' also vanishes.

      Those who experience the disappearance of the phenomena will perceive with their own intellect that vedana is impermanent, the noting mind is also impermanent, thus, characteristic of impermanence (Anicca Lakkhana) is known. The disappearance is so rapid that it oppresses you, that is the sign of suffering, thus, characteristic of suffering (Dukkha Lakkhana) is known. You cannot prevent the oppressive process of dissolution in any way, This process takes place of its own accord. There is absence of self or ego which is characteristic of no-self (Anatta Lakkhana).

      In noting to realize the nature of vedana the yogis' concentration (samadhi) power strengthens and sharpens and because they can note and perceive anicca, dukkha, anatta, they are nearing the noble dhamma which they have aspired for. As their five faculties (indriya) be come balanced they will attain noble dhamma, fruition and nibbana. That is why the method of noting to comprehend the intrinsic nature of vedana should be adopted.

Four Types of Devotees

      Those who are carrying out for the propagation and perpetuation of Buddha Sasana belong to two categories: Sayadaws / Sangha and devotees.

      Sayadaws and Sangha alone cannot, carry out for the propagation and perpetuation of the Sasana. The devotees alone cannot carry out the propagation and perpetuation of the Sasana either. Depending on each other and only if both parties work together the Sasana will flourish and last long. This is the discourse of Lord Buddha.

      To work and earn toward obtaining clothing (robes), food (alms-food), building (monastery) and medicine, and other requisites has been prohibited by Lord Buddha. Therefore, Sayadaws and Sangha have to depend on the devotees.

      Since people are too busy with economic affairs, social affairs, education and the affairs of the country, they cannot learn the dhamma discourse completely and are unable to practise it. Therefore, they have to depend on the Sayadaws and Sangha.

      There are four types of devotees whom Sayadaws and Sangha must depend upon. Devotees who are

      (1) allowed to ask for but cannot give

      (2) allowed to give but cannot ask for

      (3) allowed to ask and also give

      (4) can neither ask for, nor give

      In depending on each other, if these four types are known, Sayadaws and Sangha and devotees will be free from fault and will be able to work for the propagation and perpetuation of the Sasana. If they do not know these four types both the Sangha and devotees will have faults in depending on each other and will not be able to work for the propagation and perpetuation of the Sasana. Their actions might be detrimental to the Sasana.

      (1) Some devotees would tell Sayadaws and Sangha to ask them if they need robes, alms-food, monastery and medicine (the four requisites). But they (devotees) do not build or renovate monasteries. Neither do they air out and put the beddings of Sangha in the sun, nor do they prepare and cook alms-food, nor do they sweep and do other necessities at the monastery. From these devotees Sangha can ask for things but cannot give them anything. Thus they are those from whom Sangha can ask for but not give anything.

      Motto: Not doing the necessities,

      though invited, can ask but not give.

      (2) Some devotees would build and repair monasteries for Sayadaws and Sangha, sweep and sun the beddings, prepare meals and alms-food and such-like necessities. However, they would not invite the Sangha to ask for anything they wish for. To these laity the Sayadaws can give but cannot ask for anything. Therefore, these devotees can be given but not asked for,

      Motto: Uninvited but dutiful,

      give anything but cannot ask for.

      (3) Some dayakas and dayikas (female giver) would invite Sayadaws and Sangha to ask for robes, alms-food, monastery and medicine, the four requisites, whenever they need. They would build and repair monasteries, sun the beddings, sweep, prepare and cook alms-food and sweet-meats and do other duties. From these devotees Sayadaws and Sangha can ask for anything and also give them anything. That is why from these devotees Sangha can ask for, as well as give them anything.

      Motto: Invited, dutiful, ask and give.

      (4) Some devotees would not invite Sayadaws and Sangha to ask for robes, alms-food, monastery and medicine the four requisites, when they wish for they will not do anything for the Sangha. From these devotees the Sayadaws and Sangha cannot ask for anything. Neither can they give them anything. Therefore, this type of devotees cannot be asked from and be given.

      Motto: Far from being invited, far from being dutiful. Neither can they ask nor give.

      Sayadaws and Sangha, as well as devotees who are well versed with the four types of devotees know whom to ask from and whom to be given, so that they can work for the propagation and perpetuation of the Sangha and will be beneficial till they reach Nibbana for which they have wished and aspired.

Impossible to Repay in a Hundred Years

      Knowing the gratitude of parents, good sons and daughters who wish to repay the gratitude, may carry the mother on the right shoulder and father on the left shoulder, feed them and perform all duties for a hundred years, but the debt of gratitude cannot be repaid fully. The Lord Buddha discoursed on the immeasurable gratitude of the parents. (Am 1/63)

      Only by the wisdom of the Enlightened one, can know completely the gratitude of parents which cannot be repaid in a hundred years. We only know through the discourse of the Buddha.

      To let the children know the three kinds of gratitude of the parents, Lord Buddha had said:

      Parents are:

      1. The children's brahma

      2. The children's best first teacher

      3. The children's best people to pay homage to (Am 1/30)

      1. The brahmas staying in their abode sometimes extend loving kindness (metta) saying 'May all beings be happy in body and mind.'

      Sometimes with compassion (karuna) they say 'All those beings who are in trouble, may they be free from all kinds of misery'

      Sometimes with altruistic joy (mudita) they say, 'May all beings who have wealth may be able to maintain it'.

      Sometimes, to those who have riches and wealth and those who are in trouble they say, with equanimity (upekkha) 'it is according to their kamma that they are being rich or poor'.

      In the same way, every time parents see their children, every time they remember, they extend their metta count less number of times for the well-being of their children.

      When parents see their children in trouble they have so much pity and compassion that they wish to remove their children's troubles. This happens countless number of times.

      When parents see their children fully endowed with education and property and live in good health and happiness, they are filled with mudita and pray that their riches may remain as they are, never decreasing. This happens countless number of times.

      2. Ever since their children start learning, the parents teach them with great metta, how to walk, how to stand, how to sit, how to eat, not to kill, not to steal, not to destroy the chastity of other people's children, not to tell lies, not to use abusive and harsh language, not to drink intoxicants, how to choose friends, whom to associate with and whom not to. Parents have genuine metta for the wellbeing of their children in their whole lives.

      As the teachings of parents are good and complete, the children become courteous and prosperous and live happily their whole lives. That is why parents are the best and first teachers, said Lord Buddha.

      3. Parents have metta, karuna, mudita, upekkha, Brahmavihara and always look after their children with compassion.

      That is why, parents are worthy of all kinds of honour. Children must pay respects, bow down with hands clasped, must prepare and feed them with good food, wash their clothes and make them wear, putting scent and fragrance, bathing, massaging, washing their feet. Thus they must pay obeisance. Parents are like noble persons (ariya puggala) who are worthy of all kinds of honour. These are the instructions of Lord Buddha.

      Parents are children's brahmas, the first teachers and best receiver of honours. Because they have these three qualities, their gratitude cannot be repaid in a hundred years.

      Motto: Parents are brahmas, first teachers who are worthy of honour.

Five Benefits of Dana

      Every wise person wishes to have long life or longevity, good looks, happiness, companions and authority. Al though they wish for these five things, those who have no merit in their past lives cannot have them. Only those who have dana merit can have them.

      (1) To have a short life in the good human or deva abode is not a favourable circumstance. Longevity or to have a long life is a good and noble circumstance. That is why everyone wishes to have a long life and so try and adjust themselves in every possible way.

      (2) In a good noble human life and deva life, to have unpleasant or ugly looks is not a good circumstance or happening. To have good looks or beauty is a favourable circumstance. That is why every body wishes to have good looks and thus try to beautify themselves.

      (3) In a good human or deva life, to be unhappy physically and spiritually is a bad situation. To be happy physically and mentally is a good condition. That is why every person wishes to be happy physically and mentally. Thus they try to adjust themselves to get physical and mental happiness.

      (4) In a good human or deva life, not to have companions or attendants is a bad condition. To have people to look after you and attendants surrounding you, are good circumstances. That is why we wish to have people to look after us and attendants surrounding us. Hence we try to get people to look after us and attendants surrounding us.

      (5) In a good human and deva life, not being master of yourself and always having to consider other people' wishes is not a good situation. To be able to do according to your own wishes is a good condition. That is why everybody wishes to be master of one's own mind. Thus, they try to have supremacy.

      However, those who do not have dana merits in their past lives cannot have the five conditions they wish for. Only those who have dana merit in their past lives can have the five benefits. Those who have dana merit in their past lives are in a better condition to have these five favourable circumstances.

      During the life time of Kassapa Buddha two monks residing together had an argument over giving dana. One monk said, though you have to go round house after house for alms-food, you should first give dana out of your own share of food which is (Saraniya Dhamma) or practice, and then make use of whatever is remaining.

      Another monk argued saying that a monk should not acquire things more than is needed and then get rid of the surplus. You must take only enough for yourself that is (Bhattaggavatta) or duty. One should not give charity or dana.

      The two monks could not accept each other's idea. Hence, each practised his own method and when they died they became celestial beings.

      During the life time of Gotama Buddha they were reborn as human beings at Savatthi. The one who practised Saraniya Dhamma and had given dana became the son of King Kosala and his chief Queen. The other monk who did not give dana and had practised Bhattaggavatta became the son of a maid of the Queen. They were born on the same day.

      On the day they were given names, seeing each other, the one who had practised Saraniya Dhamma and had become a young prince said to the one who had not given dana and had practised Bhattaggavatta and had become the maid's son "You see me under the white umbrella on a rich and magnificent bed. You have also seen that your bed is inferior and the bed clothes are coarse, haven't you? This has happened because you did not practise Saraniya dana, now you have to sleep on an inferior bed" blamed and belittled him.

      Without giving charity and had only practised Bhattagga vatta, the one who had become the maid's son retaliated:

      "Because of the luxury you are having, you have become conceited. Inferior and coarse bed clothes and fine rich beddings are all element of earth (pathavi dhatu), they are of the same dhatu."

      When Princess Sumana heard the conversation between the two young boys, went to Lord Buddha and asked.

      'O Lord, there are two persons in your sasana. These two have the same saddha. They have the same sila and the same level of wisdom. However, though they are the same in these aspects, one gave dana but the other did not do any giving or dana. When these two die and be reborn in the realm of the devas, do they have the same benefit or are they different?

      Lord Buddha replied: 'Princess Sumana, they do not have the same benefit. The one who is in the habit of giving has, as a celestial being

      (1) a long life

      (2) good looks

      (3) riches and happiness

      (4) companions and attendants

      (5) supramacy or authority,

      and therefore attain five more benefits than the one who does not have dana or give charity.

      Princess Sumana asked again.

      'O Lord, the two celestial beings, when they are reborn as human beings do they have the same benefit or are they different?' Lord Buddha answered, 'Princess Sumana, they do not have the same benefit. The one who has given charity has, as a human being (1) a long life (2) good looks (3) riches and happiness (4) companions and attendants (5) supremacy or authority, and therefore, attain five benefits and is better and more influential than the one who has not given dana.

  • Motto: Longevity, good looks, happiness, attendants and supremacy are five benefits of dana.

      Princess Sumana asked again. 'When these two leave the mundane world and become monks in the sasana do they have the same benefits or are they different?' Lord Buddha replied Princess Sumana, they do not have the same benefit. The monk who had given charity, has as a monk's requisites:

  • (1) numerous robes
  • (2) alms-food abundantly
  • (3) numerous monasteries
  • (4) medicine abundantly, and
  • (5) monks residing together revere him.

      With these five benefits he is more influential than the monk who had not given dana.

      "When these two persons practise meditation and become Arahants, do they have the same benefit or are they different?" asked the princess again.

      Lord Buddha replied "Princess Sumana, when they become Arahants they are free from defilements and have attained the same Fruition, there is no difference, they have become equal."

      Princess Sumana was much delighted and said 'O Lord, I have now heard the most amazing discourse that I have never heard before. Dana merit is beneficial to a deva, celestial being, also beneficial to a human being. That is why giving, dana should be practised.'

      Lord Buddha replied in encouragement, 'It is true, one should do dana merit.' (Am 2/27)

Emancipation only Through Dhamma

      Every wise individual tries to protect oneself from harm before it befalls him. If it is inevitable he tries to protect himself with his physical strength, intelligence, or with his wealth to the utmost of his ability. If he cannot protect himself he has to ask the help of other people who can protect him.

      By taking precautions with all the abilities, some dangers can be prevented. But some dangers cannot be prevented. Therefore, it causes sorrow and lamentation. Only if one knows the dangers that cannot be prevented beforehand, can one alleviate with dhamma. Only through dhamma can one be emancipated.

      Natural phenomena which nobody can take the responsibility of preventing are: four kinds:

(1) Jaradhamma - old age (danger of)

(2) Vyadhidhamma - sickness (danger of)

(3) Maranadhamma - death (danger of)

(4) Papakammavipaka - bad kamma (results of unwholesome past actions) (Am 1/491)

      (1) Old age - No body wishes to encounter old age. They wish to prevent it as much as possible. On the contrary, even the most wonderful development of science cannot prevent it. No psychic or supernormal powers can prevent it. Therefore, nobody can take the responsibility of preventing the danger of old age.

      (2) Sickness - Nobody wishes to encounter sickness. They try to prevent it as much as possible. However, the most amazingly developed science cannot prevent it. They only try to cure the diseases that have occurred. It cannot be prevented by psychic or supernormal powers That is why we know that nobody can take the responsibility of preventing sickness, a natural phenomenon.

      (3) Death - No one wishes to meet with the suffering of death. They try to prevent it as much as they can, However, the most amazingly developed science cannot prevent it. It cannot be prevented by psychic or supernormal powers. That is why we know that nobody can take the responsibility of preventing death.

      (4) Bad kamma - No body wishes to bear the punishment of bad kamma. however, the must learned scientists cannot prevent it by scientific methods. Those who have magical powers and supernormal powers cannot prevent it. That is why we know that no responsibility can be taken by anyone to prevent the effect of bad kamma.

How the punishment which is the effect of bad kamma cannot be prevented.

      Ashin Mahamoggalana - to - be was the only son of blind parents at Baranasi when his parami was still immature. As a bachelor, he worked and fed his parents. Later he married a girl because his parents urged him,

      The wife, two or three days after staying and looking after the blind parents-in-law, complained when the husband came home from work, that the old people were dirty and had bad behaviour, and that she did not wish to stay together with these old people. She used all her wiles and worried the husband.

      Ashin Mahamoggalana-to-be, a good person listened and behaved his crooked wife and told his parents that their relatives wish to see them and that he would take them to their place. So saying he put the parents on a bullock cart. When they reached the heart of a jungle, he alighted from the cart leaving the parents. Then he shouted 'Robbers and dacoits have surrounded" He beat the parents to death and left them in the jungle.

      Thus, because of the results of killing the blind parents, bad kamma, he suffered in niraya for more than a hundred thousand years. After escaping from niraya, because of the sin, killing the blind parents, he was beaten to death, crushing the bones into small particles, by other people for more than a hundred existences.

      When Gotama Buddha was Enlightened he became Ashin Mahamoggallana, holder of etadagga title possessing supernormal powers of the highest degree. Ashin Mahamoggallana would go to the realm of the devas and ask what merit they had done and would preach in the human abode. He would go to apaya hell and ask those people what demerits or unwholesome actions they had done and would preach at the human abode. He could travel under ground and also in the air with his supernormal powers. Because he could travel under ground and in the air and able to preach he had lots of gifts and things.

      Once Ashin Mahamoggalana was residing on a stone slab monastery known as kala which was beside Isigili Hill near Rajagaha. At that time the followers of heretical sect (titthis) became jealous of his popularity and gifts he received. So they gave the robbers one thousand coins to kill Ashin Mahamoggalana.

      The robbers surrounded Ashin Mahamoggalana to kill him. Ashin Mahamoggalana escaped through a key hole with his supernomal powers. The second time he was surrounded, he went through the roof and went through the air. The third time he was surrounded, he knew that he could not escape from the punishment of his bad kamma. Hence he did not try to escape and surrendered.

      The bandits beat the noble elder (thera) till his bones became like broken rice, tiny particles, they were all crushed to powder. But he did not die. Only after going and telling Lord Buddha did he pass away finally (parinibbana).

      Although Ashin Mahamoggalana could travel under ground and go through the sky and had gained Etadagga title, for possessing supernormal power, yet, he could not prevent the punishment from the effect of bad kamma. That is why it is evident that no one can prevent the punishment from the effect of bad kamma.

Motto: Old age, sickness, death, bad kamma are four things which cannot be prevented.

      Because Ashin Mahamoggalana was an arahant with supernormal powers, he did not suffer mentally but only suffered physically. He did not have grief, lamentation, sorrow in the least and was emancipated.

      If Ashin Mahamoggalana had not been an arahant he would have to suffer the punishments in his future existences which is the effect of the bad kamma of killing his parents. Now that he had practised dhamma and had become an arahant, he had no more future existences. Hence he was entirely free from the punishment of the bad kamma. He was totally free from old age, sickness and death.

Motto: Only by meditation, will you be free from four dangers.

Accumulate and Share the Merit

      Buddhists believe and depend on doing merits. They wish to do dana merit and keep performing libation. In doing merit they have the same desire. But they have different attitudes in sharing the merit. Some people think that the work is done after giving dana, and there is no need to pour libation water. Yet, some think that it is more beneficial to pour libation water and share the merit.

      The act of pouring libation water tends to increase the merit

      (1) You give charity verbally,

      (2) You pray for the blessings you wish for,

      (3) After giving charity you share the merit with other people.

      You are doing these three things

      (1) Out of the offertories gold, silver and money which the monks are not allowed to hold and food that is for other days, are presented by word of mouth. Monasteries and buildings that you cannot lift are offered by word of mouth and pour donation water. For what you have offered with your own hand you pour donalion water and say it verbally again to multiply your dana. That is why to increase your dana, verbal offering, pouring donation water should be done.

      But pouring donation water is not the main thing. Reciting and saying it with real volition (cetana) enthusiastically is the essential thing.

      (2) Praying for the blessings you wish for is a thing done by Buddhas-to-be and virtuous people. Ashin Anuruddha-to-be when he was a grass carrier (seller) after offering "alms-food" prayed that he may never be born in a poor family in every existence and that he may never hear and know the word 'there isn?t?. His wishes were fulfilled when he became Prince Anuruddha. That is why, to pray for things is beneficial and should be done.

      (3) Sharing the merit after giving charity is for other people to get the merit you have done. Though there are no material things, it is a kind of giving charity. Those who say 'welldone' (sadhu) also get their merit increased. That is why, sharing of merit should be done, because merit is increased for oneself and others.

      The Would-be-Ashin Anuruddha, who had prayed for etadagga, the most honoured title in having the divine eye (dibbacakkhu abhinna) during the life-time of Padumutra Buddha, became a poor grass carrier! seller in one existance who had to stay in the house of rich man Sumana, and, was called poor man Annabhara before the time of appearance of Gotama Buddha.

      While Annabhara came home carrying grass bundles and crossing a jungle, Uparitha Pacceka Buddha having risen from attainment of extinction (nirodha samapatti) came through the air, descended in front of Annabhara, grass carrier, holding the alms-bowl. The Pacceka Buddha went on for alms-round. Annabhara approached the Pacceka Buddha, asked for the alms-bowl and went home in a hurry.

      When he arrived home he urged his poor wife to put his one-meal into the alms-bowl. He told his wife that they were poor and had difficulty for food, clothing and shelter because they had done very little merit in their previous lives. Sometimes when there were things to offer there was no one to receive. When there was someone to receive, there was nothing they could offer. Now they have met the Pacceka Buddha to accept their offerings. There was also one-meal ready. Therefore, they offered it happily and delightfully.

      Since the poor wife had been endowed with saddha and also because she was pleased with what her husband had said, she put the meal prepared for Annabhara and for herself, all into the alms-bowl.

      Annabhara took the alms-bowl to the Pacceka Buddha and offered it. When the Pacceka Buddha had finished eating Annabhara prayed that because he had offered one-meal he may never he reborn in the family of the poor in eveiy existence and may he never hear or know the word 'there isn't'.

      Annabhara's alms-food offering had these qualities:

     (I) The receiver was a Pacceka Buddha Arahant

     (2) The time was, when he had risen from Nirodha Samapatti

     (3) The offering was obtained by a lawful fee that Annabhara had for cutting grass

     (4) The cetana in offering was extremely sincere.

      That was why the offering would give the benefit of making a rich man out ot a poor man.

      Thus, because the benefit was so great in offering of the one-meal, the guardian Spirit of the Umbrella uttered in a loud voice 'sadhu', When rich man Sumana asked the reason for saying sadhu the deva replied that it was for Annabhara's offering of one meal.

      Sumana rich man asked why she did not say sadhu for his daily alms-food offerings but called sadhu for Annabhara's one meal offering. The deva replied that it was because there was much benefit. On hearing that Sumana rich man asked Annabhara to sell his merit for one coin. Annahhara refused and said he could not do so. The rich man in creased the money up to a thousand coins. Still Annabhara refused to sell and the rich man eventually asked him to share the merit with him so that he could say sadhu.

      Annabhara went to the Pacceka Buddha and asked whether he should share the merit or not. The Pacceka Buddha replied 'AnnabhAra, in a village where there are a hundred houses, there is light in one house. People from (99) houses came to get the light. In so doing, the light in the first house does not diminish and there were more lights in the (99) houses. In the same way, when you share the merits it will not diminish for you while those who say sadhu also get the merit and thus it is multiplied.

      Annabhara came home and shared the merits with Sumana rich man. The rich man after giving him a thousand coins promised to give him other necessities and took him to the king. The king also gave him a thousand coins and a plot of land to build his house. While clearing the land to build the house, golden pots came up and Annabhara became a rich man. (Am ttha 1/146)

     Motto: Accumulate and share the merit said Pacceka, like lights truly gain benefit.

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