A GUIDE TO BUDDHIST MORALS FOR YOUTH
VENERABLE KABA-AYE SAYADAW
Dean of Faculty of Patipatti
|PART ONE||PART TWO||PART THREE|
|2. Moral Instruction of Buddhism|
|PART FOUR||PART FIVE|
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa
1. Why do you go to school? I go to School to learn.
2. Why do your parents send you to school? My Parents send me to school because they want me to be educated and to be a good citizen.
3. What do you learn at school? At school, I learn local language, English, Mathematics, Geography, Science, History. and many other things.
4. Why do you have to learn all these things? I have to learn all these things because I want to gain knowledge and pass examinations.
5. What do you intend to do later on when you have passed your examinations? Later on, when I have passed my High School Examinations, I shall go to the University.
6. Why must you not be lazy at school? I must not be lazy at school because a student who is lazy does not learn well and so will never be successful. He or she only wastes time and money.
7. What kind of habits do lazy children often get into? Lazy children often get into bad habits which will cause them shame and harm when they grow up.
8. Besides school subjects, are there any other lessons to learn? Besides the school subject, I have to learn Moral Lessons.
9. Why do your teachers teach you Moral Lessons? Because they want me to learn how to live a good life so that I can grow up to be a responsible citizen.
10. Do your parents also like you to learn Moral Lessons? Yes, of course. They like me to learn Moral lessons because they too wish me to live a good life and to be a responsible citizen.
11. Is it of any use being educated if you are not good? No sir, it is of no use being educated if I am not good because I will be a great danger to myself as well as to others.
12. Is it of any use being rich if you are not good? No, Sir, it is of no use being rich if I am not good, be cause if a rich person is wicked he can do much harm with his money to others and in the end she will be unhappy for his bad life.
13. Is it of any use holding a high position if you are not good? No, Sir, it is of no use holding a high position if I am not good because a person of high position who is wicked will mis-use his power and do much harm to many others.
14. Then what must you do if you want to be happy during your lifetime and after you death? If I want to be happy during my lifetime and after my death, I must live a good life and be a good person.
15. How do you learn to live a good life and be a good person? I must learn about "Moral Instructions "and live up to the lessons contained therein.
2. MORAL INSTRUCTIONS OF BUDDHISM
16. What does the Moral Instructions of Buddhism teach you? The Moral Instructions of Buddhism teaches me how I should carry out my duties to others as well as to my self and also to practise the principles of the Buddha's Teaching.
I7. Why will you always be happy if you fulfil these duties? I will always be happy if I fulfil these duties, because I won't have done anything evil and will do only good. Thus, there will be no sorrow and shame cast upon my self and my family.
18. How can you be respected by other people? I can be respected by other people if I am always kind, honest and just towards them.
19. Why should you learn your duties and fulfil them when you are young? I should learn my duties and fulfil them while I am young. Because later on it will be easy for me to remain good and keep away from all that is evil.
20. What happens to those children who become wicked when they are still young? Children who become wicked when they are still young find it almost impossible to get rid of their bad habits when they are grown up.
21. What do you think is the best thing that you can learn at school? I think that the best thing that I can learn at school is the subject of Moral Instructions.
22. What is the meaning of "Moral"? Moral means that I must have the ability to under stand right and wrong. In other words, to avoid evil and to do good.
23. What is the meaning of 'Instruction'? Instruction means to acquaint one with the responsibility for doing good actions and follow them accordingly.
24. Do you think it is enough for you to study only this little book of Moral Instructions? No. I don't think it is enough for me to study only this little book of Moral Instructions, but I must actually practise everyday the lessons taught therein.
25. What did the Buddha teach you on this point? On this point, the Buddha taught us the following stanza which is the first lesson in Buddhism: "Not to do any evil, to cultivate good, To purify one's mind. This is the Teaching of the Buddha."
3. GOOD AND BAD DEPEND ONLY ON ONESELF
26. Is there any Saviour for you in Buddhism? No, There is no Saviour for me in Buddhism; I can depend only on myself whether good or bad. Therefore, I must be self-reliant to order to save myself.
27. Is there any reward in Buddhism by an Almighty God or Supreme Being? No, there is no such reward in Buddhism. But if a person has done something good, he will obtain a good result or reward due to his own good actions.
28. Is there any forgiveness in Buddhism by an Almighty God or Supreme Being? No, there is no forgiveness in Buddhism. for if a per son commits a sin, he will have to suffer by himself due to his own misdeed.
29. Then how must you live your life to get good result or reward? I must live my life by doing good deeds, speaking good words and thinking good thoughts.
30. What is the most important thing in doing good and avoiding evils? Mind is the most important thing because if the mind is not properly trained, it is apt to commit evil deeds and evil words.
31. Then how must you practise for yourself? I must try to purify my mind as much as I can so that I can do good deeds and speak good words to wipe out evil thoughts.
32. What is man made of? Man is made up of mind and body.
33. Can you see or touch the mind as you touch the body? No. I can neither see nor touch the mind as I can do the body, because it is only a conscious factor and not material.
34. What is the body composed of? The body is composed of the four primary elements, namely, earth, water, air, and fire.
35. What is the mind composed of? The mind is composed of consciousnesses which arise in the contact of eye and visible objects, ear and sound, nose and smell, tongue and taste, body and touch and mind and mental objects.
36. Which is the important one, mind or body? Mind is the most important factor because it is only the mind which motivates man to do good or bad deeds.
37. Why is man born in this world? Man is born in this world because of his own craving or attachment.
38. Who causes or creates you to be born here? No one causes or creates me to be born here.
39. Then how is man born here? Man is born here according to the natural law of Kamma.
5. ONE'S ACTIONS (KAMMA)
40. What is Kamma? Kamma is a volitional action that a being has done as merit or demerit.
41. What kind of actions do we do? We do three kinds of actions, namely, deeds, words and thoughts.
42. Are there natural results from these actions? Yes, certainly, we are the results of what we have made ourselves to be and we enjoy or suffer what we deserve according to the law of Kamma. We only experience good or bad by our own actions.
43. What happens when man dies? When man dies his body perishes, but his mental Kammic force or energy which remains causes him to be reborn in the next existence, unless he attains the final Deliverance of Nibbana.
6. PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE LIVES
44. Do you believe in past and future lives? Yes. I believe in past and future lives because if there is present life in the world, there must be past and future lives too as we have three times of time in the present.
45. Where will the good go after their death? After their death, the good will go to higher celestial abodes and enjoy a good and happy life.
46. Where will the wicked go after their death? After their death, the wicked will go to lower miserable abodes and suffer for a long time full of woes and pains.
47. What must you do to go to higher celestial abodes? To go to higher celestial abodes, I must live a good life, keep away from sins and practise the principles of alms-giving (dana), morality (sila), and mental development or meditation (bhavana).
48. Then, towards what must your attention be directed? My attention must be directed towards every action that I do, speak and think so that I cannot commit sins.
49. What is the cause of enjoyment and suffering that we experience here at present? It is due to our own Kamma that we did in the past. We will also have results in the future from what we do now.
7. WHOLESOME AND UNWHOLESOME ACTION
50. What is the result of wholesome action? Wholesome action will result in good fruition without fault.
51. What is the result of unwholesome action? Unwholesome action will result in bad fruition with fault.
52. Upon what do we depend for a better and more enjoy able life? We have to depend upon ourselves for a better and more enjoyable life by doing our own good deeds and fulfilling the perfections (parami).
53. Upon what law does this depend ?Upon the law of causality, the natural law of the universe that assures that every cause produces exactly its corresponding effects.
54. Why are men different from one another? Men are different from one another because of difference of their own actions or deeds of Kamma; and therefore some are rich while others are poor; some are beautiful while others are ugly; some are long lived while others are short live; Some are wise while others are foolish; some are renowned while others are not; some are healthy while others are unhealthy and some are noble while others are ignoble.
55. Can any Supreme Being or God create beings who live in various kinds of states? In Buddhism there is no Creator or God. All beings are born according to their own actions or Kamma.
56. Is there any God who created the world of mountains, rivers, trees, earth, etc.? In Buddhism there is no God who created the world of things. But all these inanimate things are always evolving out of the four Primary Elements, that is. earth, water, air and fire in accord with the cosmic orders.
57. What did the Buddha say about Kamma? The Buddha said that Kamma is one's volition and therefore it is one's own, one's inheritance, one's cause, one's kindred and one's refuge. If a person has done an action good or bad, he will have to experience its result accordingly.
8. TAKING THREEFOLD REFUGE
1. Which religion do you believe in? I believe in Buddhism.
2. What is your religion? My religion is Buddhism.
3. What is Buddhism? Buddhism is the teaching of the Buddha.
4. Who is the Buddha? The Buddha is the All-knowing One.
5. Who is a Buddhist? What do you mean by a Buddhist? A Buddhist is one who follows the Doctrine taught by the Buddha.
6. How does one become a Buddhist? One becomes a Buddhist by taking the Three Refuges(Tisarana).
7. What are the Three Refuges? The Three Refuges are the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha.
8. Why do you seek refuge in the Buddha? I seek refuge in the Buddha because He taught us the way to end all suffering.
9. What is the Dhamma? The Dhamma is the Doctrine taught by the Buddha.
10. Why do you seek refuge in the Dhamma? I seek refuge in the Dhamma because it is the only path to end all suffering.
11. Who is the Sangha? The Sangha is the Holy Order founded by the Buddha.
12. Why do you seek refuge in the Sangha? I seek refuge in the Sangha because they are Holy Disciples who practise the Dhamma and have understood it and then taught us the way to Nibbana..
13. How do you recite the formula of the Three Refuges? We recite in Pali:
14. What is the meaning of those Pali words? Their meaning is:
Or in other words, I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dhamma, I take refuge in the Sangha,
15. How many times do you recite the Three Refuges? We recite the Three Refuges three times adding "Dutiyampi and Tatiyarnpi" which means secondly and thirdly respectively.
16. What do you recite before taking the Refuges? We recite the following thrice in Pali: Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa.
17. What does it mean? It means: Homage to Him. the Blessed One, the Holy One, the Fully-Enlightened One.
18. Is there any other word for 'Tisarana' Threefold Refuge? Yes, another word for 'Tisarana' is 'Tiratana'. i.e.. Triple Gem or Threefold jewel.
19. What is the meaning of 'Ratana'? It is called 'Ratana' because it pleases and delights one.
20. Why do you take refuge in the Triple Gem? We take refuge in the Triple Gem, because they can dispel our sufferings and lead us to the Real Peace of Nibbana.
21. Are there any rites observed when becoming a Buddhist? No, there are no special rites observed when becoming a Buddhist; one must simply have righteous faith in the Triple Gem and take refuge in them.
22. What is the name given to a Buddhist? Upasaka to males and Upasika to females.
1. THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA
1. How was he called before he became the Buddha? He was called the Bodhisatta.
2. What was the Bodhisatta's name? His name was Siddhatha Gotama.
3. What was he in his last birth? He was a noble prince.
4. Who was his father? His father was King Suddhodana.
5. Who was his mother? His mother was Queen Maha Maya.
6. When was he Born? He was born on the Visakha Fullmoon day of May in 623 B.C.
7. Where was he born? He was born in the Lumbini Park at Kapilavatthu on the border of Nepal.
8. What happened to the mother after his birth? His mother died seven days after his birth and was born in the Tusita Heaven.
9. Who then brought him up? His mother's younger sister Maha Pajapati Gotami brought him up.
10. Was she also married to King Suddhodana? Yes, she was also married to King Suddhodana.
11. Had she any children? Yes, she had a son named Nanda and a daughter named Nadar.
12. Were the people happy over the birth of this noble Prince? Yes, many people were happy.
13. Did wonderful things happened on his birthday? Buddhist books state that many wonderful things happened on his birthday.
14. Can you mention any wonderful event? Yes, the baby Prince walked on seven lotuses after he was born.
15. Did he say anything? Yes. he said: Aggo hamasami lokassa, Jettho hamasani likassa, Settho hamasami lokassa.
16. What is the meaning of those Pali words? Their meaning is: Great am I in the world. Noble am I in the world. Supreme am I in the world.
17. Why did he say so? Because he would become a Buddha later.
18. Was the Prince a simple child? No, he was a wonderful child.
2. A SAGE VISITS HIM
19. Did anyone come to see this infant Prince? A great sage named Asita (Kala Devila) came to the palace to see him.
20. What did the King do? The prince's feet turned and rested on the head of the sage.
21. So, What happened? The King brought the child to pay him due respect.
22. Was the Sage displeased at this? No. he at once rose from his seat and saluted him with joined hands.
23. Why did he do so? Because he knew that the Prince would become a Buddha in the future.
24. What did the royal father do? He also saluted him in the same way.
25. Was there any change in the Sage? The Sage at first smiled and then wept.
26. What was the cause of his smiling and weeping? He smiled because the Prince would become a Buddha. He wept because he would not be able to see the Buddha.
3. NAME-GIVING CEREMONY
27. What happened on the fifth day after the birth of the Prince? The King invited many learned Brahmins to name the Prince.
28. How was the Prince named? He was named
Siddhattha which means wish-fulfilled.
29. Did those Brahmins foretell anything? Seven of them raised two fingers and said that the Prince would either become a Universal Monarch or a Buddha. But the youngest Kondanna raised one finger and said that he would surely become a Buddha.
30. Why was he called Gotama? Gotama was his family name.
4. PLOUGHING FESTIVAL
31. Did anything wonderful take place in his childhood? A strange thing took place at a Ploughing Festival.
32. What was this Ploughing Festival? On a certain day, the King with the baby Prince and his nurses and many others went to the field to plough.
33. Where was the Prince placed? He was placed on a couch under a rose-apple tree.
34. Who were watching him? The nurses were watching him. But later they also went aside to see the ceremony.
35. What did the Prince do when he was thus left alone? The thoughtful Prince sat, meditating on the couch.
36. Was it strange thing? It was certainly a very strange thing for a little child.
37. What did the King do on seeing this strange sight? The King was so pleased that he saluted him saying- "This, dear child, is my second salutation."
5. HIS CHILDHOOD
38. Was the Prince happy? The Prince was very happy as a royal child.
39. Did he receive a good eduction? Books state that he was even better than his teachers.
40. Was he skilled in the arts too? Being a son of the warrior race, he was specially trained in the art of warfare.
41. Was he an obedient boy? He was a very obedient and good boy.
42. Was he kind? He was kind to all beings.
43. Was he sorrowful? Never, but he was very thoughtful.
6. HIS MARRIED LIFE
44. What happened to the Prince at the age of sixteen? He married his beautiful cousin, Princess Yasodhara.
45. Why did he marry at such and early age? Because it was the custom in ancient India.
46. Who was Yasodhara? She was the daughter of his father's sister, Pamita.
47. Who was her father? Her father was King Suppabuddha.
48. Had she any brothers? She had one brother named Devadatta.
49. What was her age when she married? She was also sixteen.
50. Mention some others of the same age? Ananda, Kaludayi, Channa, Khanthaka and four large golden pots.
51. What was the tree that sprang up on the Prince's birth day? The Bodhi Tree at Buddha Gaya.
52. How did the Prince marry Yasodhara? By showing his skill in the art of warfare.
53. Did the prince and princess lead a happy married life? They led a very happy married life because they agreed with each other in every way. They had also three palaces for the three seasons.
54. What did the prince do after the marriage? He was merely enjoying worldly pleasures living within the palace.
55. What happened as time passed by? The prince always used to think alone.
56. Had he any worries? No. he felt pity for all beings.
57. What did he think? He thought that he would get old, fall ill and die.
58. What happened one day when he visited the park? He saw four strange sights.
59. What were they? An old man, a sick person, a corpse and a noble hermit.
60. Was the prince changed on seeing them? The prince was greatly changed. He understood the nature of life and thought of leaving the world in search of Truth and Peace.
61. Did he receive any happy news when he was in the park? He was informed that a son was born up to him.
62. Was he glad to hear the news? He was not. He regarded his first and only son as a fatter. He said "Rahula jato", a fatter has arisen.
63. Hearing it, how did the King Suddhodana name his grandson? He named him Rahula.
64. What happened on his way backto the palace? A young lady named Kisa Gotami seeing him uttered:
65. What does this verse mean?
66. Had this utterance any effect on him? Yes, he was urged to seek Peace.
67. How did he show his gratitude to the lady? By sending his necklace as a present to her.
68. Returning to the palace what did he think? He thought of leaving the world, seek Truth and Peace.
69. At midnigh, what did he do? He went to the room of Yasodhara and opening the door at the threshold, gazing at his wife and child who were fast asleep.
70. Did he love them? He loved them deeply as he loved all.
71. Why did he want to leave those dear ones? Because he had a great compassion for them and for all others.
72. Out of great compassion for the world, what did the Prince Siddhattha do? Without even informing his beloved father, he left the palace at midnight.
73. How did he leave? With Channa, his charioteer, he rode to the forest in the dark on his favourite horse, Kanthaka.
74. In what year did he renounce the world? He renounced the world in his 29th year.
75. Where did he go? He journeyed far and crossing the river Anoma rested on its bank.
76. What did he do to his garments? The Prince removed his garments and handed them over to Channa saying, "Friend Channa, take these garments and the horse and go back home. I shall ordain myself."
77. Did Channa also want to leave the world ? Yes, but Prince Siddhattha did not allow him to do so.
78. What happened to the horse? The horse died out of grief and was born in the Tavatimsa Heaven.
79. How did the Prince ordain himself? With his sword he shaved his head and beard, and wearing yellow robes he became an ascetic.
80. Who gave the robes? A former friend of his named Ghatikara maha Brahma.
81. Did he get only the robes? No, he received all the eight requisites of a monk.
82. Mention the eight requisites. They are: the double robe, the upper robe, the lower robe, bowl, razor, needle, belt and the water strainer.
83. Was Siddhattha a Prince any more? No, he became a penniless wandering ascetic.
84. Was he known by another name? He was called Bodhisatta.
85. What is the meaning of Bodhisatta? Bodhisatta means a wisdom-being. It is the name given to one who is trying to become a Buddha.
86. Had the Bodhisatta a place to live? He had no fixed abode. He was living in caves or at the foot of trees.
87. How was he supported? He lived on alms given by the charitable.
88. What kind of life was he leading? Alone he was leading a pure simple life seeking Truth and Peace.
8. STRUGGLE FOR ENLIGHTENMENT
89. What did the Bodhisatta do after his ordination? He spent a week fasting in the Anupiya Mango Grove, enjoying the bliss of solitude.
90. What did he do on the eighth day? With bowl in hand, eyes cast down, he went from door to door in the streets of Rajagaha seeking alms.
91. Was it a strange sight to the people? The people and the King Bimbisara were amazed at the sight of such a noble figure seeking alms in the City.
92. What was the King's order? The King ordered the people to go and see who he was.
93. What did the Bodhisatta do after seeking alms? After getting enough food to eat he went to the Pandava rock.
94. Was the ascetic Prince able to eat this mixed poor food? It seems as if his bowels gushed out of the mouth on seeing this mixed food which he had never seen before. But he advised himself and ate the food.
95. What happened when the messengers reported this matter to the King? The King hurried to the scene and offered him his Kingdom.
96. Did he accept it? No, he refused and said that he was intent only on Buddhahood.
97. Was the King displeased? The King was pleased to hear his lofty object and invited him to visit his kingdom first after attaining his Buddhahood.
9. SEEKING THE TRUTH
98. How did he seek the Truth? He went at first to a well-known ascetic named Alara Kalama and studied his doctrine.
99. Was he pleased with his system? He was not pleased with his system because he could teach him up to a certain mental stage only.
100. Did he leave him? As he did not get what he sought he went again to another famous ascetic named Udaka Ramaputta.
101. Was he pleased with the system of his second teacher? He was not pleased with his system either as he could also teach only up to a certain higher mental stage.
102. Why was he not satisfied with their systems? Because he was seeking Nibbana, the end of all sufferings.
103. Was he therefore discouraged? He was not discouraged though he met with disappointment.
104. Which place did he choose for his meditation? He chose Uruvela, a beautiful quiet spot.
105. Who attended on him during his search for Truth? Five monks, named Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama. and Assaji attended on him.
106. Who was Kondanna? He was the youngest Brahmin who foretold his future on the name-giving day.
107. Who were the others? They were the sons of four other Brahmins who were present on that occasion.
108. How long did the Boddhisatta struggle, to gain Buddhahood? He struggled for six long years.
109. How did he strive to gain Buddhahood? He did many penances. He underwent much suffering. He practised many forms of severe austerity. He tormented his body so much so that his body was reduced to almost a skeleton.
110. What happened to his delicate body? His golden-coloured skin turn pale. His blood dried up. His eyes were sunk. He was almost on the verge of death,
111. Who approached him at this stage? Mara, the Evil One, approached him.
112. What did Mara say? Mara said. "You are lean. Near to you is death. Live. O good Sir. Life is better. Living, your could perform merit."
113. What was the Bodhisatta's reply? He replied, "O Evil One, you have come for your own sake. I need no merit. I care not for merit. I am intent only on Buddhahood."
114. Did the Bodhisatta tell Mara whom his enemy was? He said that Mara's army consisted of ten kinds of passions. (kilesa)
115. Did Mara succeed in tempting the Bodhisatta? No. He went away disappointed.
10. ATTAINMENT OF BUDDHAHOOD
116. Did the Bodhisatta change his method? He changed his method as his penances proved useless.
117. What new path did he adopt? He gave up extremes and adopted the Middle Path (Majjhima Patipada).
118. What are the extremes? The extremes are enjoyment in pleasures and self-torture in pain.
119. Did he think that he could not gain Buddhahood with a weak body? He thought that he needed strength to gain Buddhahood. So he gave up fasting and ate some of the normal food.
120. Were the five monks pleased at this change of method? The five monks were disappointed and went to Isipatana leaving him alone.
121. Was he discouraged? No. he had an iron-will. He was happy that he was alone.
122. What happened one day as he was seated under a banyan tree? A generous lady named Sujata offered him some milk rice.
123. Did this food give him any strength? Yes, he felt strong and made a firm resolve not to rise from his seat until he gained Buddhahood.
124. Under which tree was he seated? He sat under the famous Bodhi Tree at Buddha Gaya.
125. Why is it called the Bodhi Tree? It is called the Bodhi Tree because the Bodhisatta gained Buddhahood under that tree.
126. What happened in the first watch of the night? He gained the knowledge by which he was able to remember past lives.
127. What knowledge did he gain in the middle watch? He obtained the Divine Eye by which he was able to see the death and rebirth of beings.
128. What happened in the last watch? He destroyed all passions, realized the Four Noble Truths, and became a Samma Sambuddha.
129. What do you mean by Samma Sambuddha? Samma Sambuddha means a Fully Enlightened or Awakened One.
130. What is the First Noble Truth? The First Noble Truth is Suffering (dukkha sacca).
131. What is the Second Noble Truth? The Second Noble Truth is the Cause of Suffering (samudaya sacca).
132. What is the Third Noble Truth? The Third Noble Truth is the End of Suffering (nirodha sacca).
133. What is the Fourth Noble Truth? The Fourth Noble Truth is the Path leading to the End of Suffering (magga sacca).
134. On what day did the Bodhisatta gain his Enlightenment? On the Vesak Fullmoon day of May.
135. In which year did he become a Buddha? He become a Buddha in his 35th year.
136. How was He named after His Enlightenment? He was named the Buddha Gotama.
137. Can you also become a Buddha? Yes. we all can become a Buddha if we practise like Him.
138. Were there Buddhas in the past? There were many Buddhas in the past.
139. Will there be Buddhas in the future? There will be many Buddhas in the future.
140. What will be the name of the future Buddha? Metteya will be the name of the future Buddha.
1. SOON AFTER THE ENLIGHTENMENT
1. What did the Buddha reflect soon after His Enlightenment? He reflected a Paean of Joy (Udana).
2.Why did He reflect the first Paean of Joy? Because He had seen that he was utterly liberated from the sorrowful repeated birth and His mind attained the unconditioned and achieved the end of craving.
3.How did the Buddha live soon after the Enlightenment The Buddha fasted for seven weeks.
4.Did he feel hungry? No, He was enjoying Nibbanic Bliss.
5.How did He spend the first week? Throughout the first week. He sat under the Bodhi Tree enjoying Bliss of (Freedom) Emancipation.
6.What did He do on the seventh day? He meditated on the "Wheel of Life " and then uttered three stanzas about how He triumphed over all passions.
7. How did He spend the second week? He stood at a certain distance gazing at the Bodhi Tree with motionless eyes.
8. Why did he do so? He did so as a mark of gratitude to the Tree.
9. In what way was the bodhi Tree helpful to the Buddha? The Tree only gave Him shelter during His struggle for Buddhahood.
10. What was the first lesson the Buddha taught to the world? The great lesson of gratitude.
11. How did He spend the third week? He walked up and down a jewelled promenade (Ratana Cankamana).
12. How did He spend the fourth week ? Sitting in a chamber. He meditated on the Higher Dhamma (Abhidhamma).
13. How did He spend the fifth week? He sat under the Ajapala Banyan Tree.
14. Who came to tempt Him at this time? Three daughters of Mara came to tempt Him.
15. Mention their names? Tanha. Rati, and Raga
16. Could they be passions? They cannot be passions because this happened after the Enlightenment.
17. Where did He spend the sixth week? Under the Mucalinda Tree.
18. What happened during this week? It rained heavily and a serpent king sheltered Him.
19. What happened on the 50th day? Two merchants named Tapussa and Bhalika offered Him dried flour and honey.
20. What did they do after the alms (dana)? They sought refuge in the Buddha and Dhamma.
21. How did they seek refuge? By reciting "Buddham saranam gacchami, Dhammam saranam gacchami."
22. Why didn't they seek in the Sangha? Because there was no Sangha then.
23. Did they ask anything from the Buddha? Yes, they wanted something to worship.
24. What did the Buddha give them? The Buddha touched His head and gave them some hair relics.
25. Where were they enshrined? They were enshrined in the Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Yangon.
26. Who were the first Upasakas of the Buddha? Tapussa and Bhalika were the first Upasakas.
27. Who is an Upasaka? An Upasaka is a lay-follower of the Buddha.
2. THE BUDDHA TEACHES THE DHAMMA
28. What did the Buddha think of the Dhamma? He thought that the Dhamma would be too deep and hard for people to understand.
29. Who approached before Him then? Brahma Sahampati appeared before Him and invited Him to preach the Dhamma.
30. Did He find people who could understand Him? With His Divine Eye. He looked and saw that there were people who could understand the Dhamma.
31. To whom did the Buddha think of teaching the Dhamma first? To Alara Kalama who was His first teacher.
32. Did He preach to him? No, He understood that he died a week ago.
33. Of whom did He think of next ? He thought of Udaka Ramaputta who was His second teacher.
34. What had happened to him? The Buddha understood that he also had died the evening before.
35. Finally of whom did the Buddha think? He thought of the five monks who attended to Him.
36. Where were they staying them? They were staying at Isipatana in Banares.
37. What were their names? Kondannaa, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama, and Asaji.
38. Did the Buddha go to see them? Out of compassion the Buddha went to see them.
39. Did He meet any person on the way? He met one named Upaka, a wandering ascetic.
40. What did Upaka ask the Buddha? He asked who the Buddha's teacher was.
41. What was the Buddhas reply? The Buddha replied that He had no teacher.
42. Why were not Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta His teachers? They were His teachers before His Enlightenment. For Buddhahood He had no teacher.
43. What did the five monks think on seeing the Buddha from afar? They thought not to give Him due regard as He had giving up striving.
44. What happened as the Buddha drew near? They could not refrain from giving Him due respect.
45. How did they address the Buddha? They addressed Him "Avuso Gotama.
46. What did the Buddha say? The Buddha advised them not to call Him thus as He was a Buddha.
47. Did they believe His words? They did not believe Him though the Buddha said so for the second and third time.
48. What did the Buddha say then? The Buddha asked them, " Do you know, O Bhikkhus, that I ever spoke to you thus before?
49. Was the Buddha able to convince them? Yes, He was able to convince them.
50. Did they get ready to hear the Dhamma? Yes, they sat patiently to hear the Dhamma.
3. THE FIRST SERMON
51. What was the name of the Buddha's first sermon? Dhammacakka Sutta.
52. What does Dhammacakka mean? It means the establishment of wisdom, or the Wheel of Truth.
53. On what day was this sermon preached? On the Asalha (Asala=July) Fullmoon day.
54. Where did the Buddha preach this sermon? At the Deer Park in Isipatana near Banares.
55. (a) Who were present to hear the sermon? Amongst human beings, the five monks.
55. (b) Who else were present? We were told that there were many Devas and Brahmas too.
56. How did the Buddha start the sermon? By advising the monks to give up the two extremes.
57. What were those two extremes? The enjoyment of sensual pleasures and the tormenting of the body. Or in other words, Self-indulgence and Self-mortification.
58. Should all give up pleasures? No, this advise was given to those who had given up the world:
59. Why did the Buddha talk about the tormenting of the body? Because people believe in useless penances to gain purity.
60. Did these five monks believe in these penances? Yes. they had a great faith in them.
61. Did the Buddha also go to these extremes? Yes, as a prince he enjoyed sensual pleasures. As an ascetic. He practised many penances.
62.What was the path discovered by the Buddha? He discovered the Middle Path.
63.What is the Pali word for the Middle Path? Majjhima Patipada.
64.Why did the Buddha give up these extremes? Because they were not profitable.
65.What is this Middle Path? It is the Noble Eightfold Path.
66.To what does this Middle Path lead? It leads to Nibbana
67.Mention the first two members of the Eightfold Path. Right understanding (Samma ditthi) and Right thoughts Samma sankappa).
68. Mention the second three. Right Speech (Samma vaca), Right Action (Samma kammanta), and Right Livelihood (Samma ajiva).
69. Mention the last three. Right Effort (Samma vayama), Right Mindfulness (Samma sati), and Right Concentration (Samma samadhi).
70. What else did the Buddha teach in His first discourse? He taught the Four Noble Truths.
71. What are they? Sorrow or Suffering, its Cause, its End, and the way to its end.
72. What did the Buddha say with regard to them? He said that light arose in things which He had not heard before.
73. What is the cause of sorrow? Craving is the cause of sorrow.
74. What is the end of sorrow? Nibbana is the end of sorrow.
75. When did the Buddha say that He was an Enlightened One? Only after He understood these Four Noble Truths.
76. What happened at the end of the discourse? Kondanna understood the Dhamma and became a Sotapanna.
77. What do you mean by a Sotapanna? A sotapanna is one who has attained the first stage of Sainthood. It means a Stream-winner, one who has seen the Nibbana for the first time.
78. What did the Devas and Brahmas do? They all shouted Sadhu, Sadhu (well-done, well-done).
79. Did anything strange happen? Yes, a very bright light appeared in the world.
80. Did they become Arahats? They became Arahats after hearing the Anattalakkhana Sutta.
81. What happened to the other four monks? They also became Sotapanna later.
82. With what does this Sutta deal? It deals with No-Soul.
83. What do you mean by an Arahat? An Arahat means a Worthy One.
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