Sunday, October 21, 2007

Buddha on Psychic Powers!

Taken from Digha Nikaya!

Supranormal Powers

"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from
defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, he directs and
inclines it to the modes of supranormal powers. He wields manifold supranormal
powers. Having been one he becomes many; having been many he becomes one. He
appears. He vanishes. He goes unimpeded through walls, ramparts, and mountains
as if through space.

He dives in and out of the earth as if it were water. He walks onwater without sinking as if it were dry land. Sitting cross-legged he flies through the
air like a winged bird. With his hand he touches and strokes even the sun and moon,
so mighty and powerful. He exercises influence with his body even as far as the
Brahma worlds.

Just as a skilled potter or his assistant could craft from wellpreparedclay whatever kind of pottery vessel he likes, or as a skilled ivory-carver orhis assistant could craft from well-prepared ivory any kind of ivory-work he likes, oras a skilled goldsmith or his assistant could craft from well-prepared gold any kind of
gold article he likes; in the same way — with his mind thus concentrated, purified,
and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained toimperturbability — the monk directs and inclines it to the modes of supranormal
powers... He exercises influence with his body even as far as the Brahma worlds.

"This, too, is called the miracle of instruction.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

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Part Two: The Journey to Vesali

The Four Noble Truths

1. Now the Blessed One spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Kotigama."

"So be it, Lord." And the Blessed One took up his abode at Kotigama together with a large community of bhikkhus.

2. And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Bhikkhus, it is through not realizing, through not penetrating the Four Noble Truths that this long course of birth and death has been passed through and undergone by me as well as by you. What are these four? They are the noble truth of suffering; the noble truth of the origin of suffering; the noble truth of the cessation of suffering; and the noble truth of the way to the cessation of suffering. But now, bhikkhus, that these have been realized and penetrated, cut off is the craving for existence, destroyed is that which leads to renewed becoming, and there is no fresh becoming."

3. Thus it was said by the Blessed One. And the Happy One, the Master, further said:
Through not seeing the Four Noble Truths,

Long was the weary path from birth to birth.
When these are known, removed is rebirth's cause,
The root of sorrow plucked; then ends rebirth.

4. And also at Kotigama the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus: "Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

5. When the Blessed One had stayed at Kotigama as long as he pleased, he spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Nadika."
"So be it, Lord." And the Blessed One took up his abode in Nadika together with a large community of bhikkhus, staying in the Brick House.

The Four Specific Attainments

6. Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One and, after greeting him respectfully, sat down at one side. And he said to the Blessed One: "Here in Nadika, Lord, there have passed away the bhikkhu Salha and the bhikkhuni Nanda. Likewise there have passed away the layman Sudatta and the laywoman Sujata; likewise the layman Kakudha, Kalinga, Nikata, Katissabha, Tuttha, Santuttha, Bhadda, and Subhadda. What is their destiny, Lord? What is their future state?"

7. "The bhikkhu Salha, Ananda, through the destruction of the taints in this very lifetime has attained to the taint-free deliverance of mind and deliverance through wisdom, having directly known and realized it by himself. 17

"The bhikkhuni Nanda, Ananda, through the destruction of the five lower fetters (that bind beings to the world of the senses), has arisen spontaneously (among the Suddhavasa deities) and will come to final cessation in that very place, not liable to return from that world.

"The layman Sudatta, Ananda, through the destruction of the three fetters (self-belief, doubt, and faith in the efficacy of rituals and observances), and the lessening of lust, hatred, and delusion, has become a once-returner and is bound to make an end of suffering after having returned but once more to this world.

"The laywoman Sujata, Ananda, through the destruction of the three fetters has become a stream-enterer, and is safe from falling into the states of misery, assured, and bound for Enlightenment.

"The layman Kakudha, Ananda, through the destruction of the five lower fetters (that bind beings to the world of the senses), has arisen spontaneously (among the Suddhavasa deities), and will come to final cessation in that very place, not liable to return from that world.

"So it is with Kalinga, Nikata, Katissabha, Tuttha, Santuttha, Bhadda, and Subhadda, and with more than fifty laymen in Nadika. More than ninety laymen who have passed away in Nadika, Ananda, through the destruction of the three fetters, and the lessening of lust, hatred, and delusion, have become once-returners and are bound to make an end of suffering after having returned but once more to this world.

"More than five hundred laymen who have passed away in Nadika, Ananda, through the complete destruction of the three fetters have become stream-enterers, and are safe from falling into the states of misery, assured, and bound for Enlightenment.
The Mirror of the Dhamma

8. "But truly, Ananda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. But if each time it happens you should come to the Tathagata and ask about them in this manner, indeed it would be troublesome to him. Therefore, Ananda, I will give you the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple, should he so desire, can declare of himself: 'There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'"

9. "And what, Ananda, is that teaching called the Mirror of Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple may thus declare of himself?

"In this case, Ananda, the noble disciple possesses unwavering faith in the Buddha thus: 'The Blessed One is an Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the Happy One, the knower of the world, the paramount trainer of beings, the teacher of gods and men, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.'

"He possesses unwavering faith in the Dhamma thus: 'Well propounded by the Blessed One is the Dhamma, evident, timeless, 18 inviting investigation, leading to emancipation, to be comprehended by the wise, each for himself.'

"He possesses unwavering faith in the Blessed One's Order of Disciples thus: 'Well faring is the Blessed One's Order of Disciples, righteously, wisely, and dutifully: that is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight classes of persons. The Blessed One's Order of Disciples is worthy of honor, of hospitality, of offerings, of veneration — the supreme field for meritorious deeds in the world.'

"And he possesses virtues that are dear to the Noble Ones, complete and perfect, spotless and pure, which are liberating, praised by the wise, uninfluenced (by worldly concerns), and favorable to concentration of mind.

10. "This, Ananda, is the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, whereby the noble disciple may thus know of himself: 'There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'"

11. And also in Nadika, in the Brick House, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus: "Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

12. When the Blessed One had stayed in Nadika as long as he pleased, he spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Vesali."

"So be it, O Lord." And the Blessed One took up his abode in Vesali together with a large community of bhikkhus, and stayed in Ambapali's grove.
Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension

13. Then the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Mindful should you dwell, bhikkhus, clearly comprehending; thus I exhort you.

14. "And how, bhikkhus, is a bhikkhu mindful? When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; and when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then is he said to be mindful.

15. "And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu have clear comprehension? When he remains fully aware of his coming and going, his looking forward and his looking away, his bending and stretching, his wearing of his robe and carrying of his bowl, his eating and drinking, masticating and savoring, his defecating and urinating, his walking, standing, sitting, lying down, going to sleep or keeping awake, his speaking or being silent, then is he said to have clear comprehension.

"Mindful should you dwell, bhikkhus, clearly comprehending; thus I exhort you."
Ambapali and the Licchavis

16. Then Ambapali the courtesan came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Vesali and is now staying in my Mango Grove." And she ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, mounted one of them herself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out from Vesali towards her park. She went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then alighted; and approaching the Blessed One on foot, she respectfully greeted him and sat down at one side. And the Blessed One instructed Ambapali the courtesan in the Dhamma and roused, edified, and gladdened her.

17. Thereafter Ambapali the courtesan spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "May the Blessed One, O Lord, please accept my invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus." And by his silence the Blessed One consented.
Sure, then, of the Blessed One's consent, Ambapali the courtesan rose from her seat, respectfully saluted him, and keeping her right side towards him, took her departure.

18. Then the Licchavi of Vesali came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Vesali and is now staying in Ambapali's grove." And they ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, each mounted one, and accompanied by the rest, drove out from Vesali. Now, of these Licchavis, some were in blue, with clothing and ornaments all of blue, while others were in yellow, red, and white.

19. And it so happened that Ambapali the courtesan drove up against the young Licchavis, axle by axle, wheel by wheel, and yoke by yoke. Thereupon the Licchavis exclaimed: "Why do you drive up against us in this fashion, Ambapali?"

"Thus it is, indeed, my princes, and not otherwise! For the Blessed One is invited by me for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus!"

"Give up the meal, Ambapali, for a hundred thousand!"

But she replied: "Even if you were to give me Vesali, sirs, together with its tributary lands, I would not give up a meal of such importance."

Then the Licchavis snapped their fingers in annoyance: "See, friends! We are defeated by this mango lass! We are utterly outdone by this mango lass!" But they continued on their way to Ambapali's grove.

20. And the Blessed One beheld the Licchavis from afar, as they drove up. Then he spoke to the bhikkhus, saying: "Those of you, bhikkhus, who have not yet seen the Thirty-three gods, may behold the assembly of the Licchavis, and may gaze on them, for they are comparable to the assembly of the Thirty-three gods."

21. Then the Licchavis drove their carriages as far as the carriages could go, then alighted; and approaching the Blessed One on foot, they respectfully greeted him and sat down at one side. The Blessed One instructed the Licchavis in the Dhamma, and roused, edified, and gladdened them.

22. Thereafter the Licchavis spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "May the Blessed One, O Lord, please accept our invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus."

"The invitation for tomorrow's meal, Licchavis, has been accepted by me from Ambapali the courtesan."

Then the Licchavis snapped their fingers in annoyance: "See, friends! We are defeated by this mango lass! We are utterly outdone by this mango lass!" And then the Licchavis, approving of the Blessed One's words and delighted with them, rose from their seats, respectfully saluted him, and keeping their right sides towards him, took their departure.

23. Then, after the night had passed, Ambapali the courtesan had choice food, hard and soft, prepared in her park, and announced it to the Blessed One: "It is time, O Lord; the meal is ready." Thereupon the Blessed One got ready in the forenoon, and taking bowl and robe, he went together with the community of bhikkhus to Ambapali's dwelling, and there he took the seat prepared for him. And Ambapali herself attended on the community of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha, and served them with choice food, hard and soft.

24. And when the Blessed One had finished his meal and had removed his hand from his bowl, Ambapali the courtesan took a low seat, and placing herself at one side, spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "This park, O Lord, I offer to the community of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha." And the Blessed One accepted the park. He then instructed Ambapali in the Dhamma, and having roused, edified, and gladdened her, he rose from his seat and departed.

25. And also at Vesali, in Ambapali's grove, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus: "Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

26. When the Blessed One had stayed in Ambapali's grove as long as he pleased, he spoke to the Venerable Ananda, saying: "Come, Ananda, let us go to the village of Beluva."
"So be it, Lord." And the Blessed One took up his abode in the village of Beluva together with a large community of bhikkhus.

The Blessed One's Deadly Sickness

27. At that time the Blessed One spoke to the bhikkhus, saying: "Go now, bhikkhus, and seek shelter anywhere in the neighborhood of Vesali where you are welcome, among acquaintances and friends, and there spend the rainy season. As for me, I shall spend the rainy season in this very place, in the village of Beluva."

"So be it, O Lord," the bhikkhus said.

28. But when the Blessed One had entered upon the rainy season, there arose in him a severe illness, and sharp and deadly pains came upon him. And the Blessed One endured them mindfully, clearly comprehending and unperturbed.

29. Then it occurred to the Blessed One: "It would not be fitting if I came to my final passing away without addressing those who attended on me, without taking leave of the community of bhikkhus. Then let me suppress this illness by strength of will, resolve to maintain the life process, and live on."

30. And the Blessed One suppressed the illness by strength of will, resolved to maintain the life process, and lived on. So it came about that the Blessed One's illness was allayed.

31. And the Blessed One recovered from that illness; and soon after his recovery he came out from his dwelling place and sat down in the shade of the building, on a seat prepared for him. Then the Venerable Ananda approached the Blessed One, respectfully greeted him, and sitting down at one side, he spoke to the Blessed One, saying: "Fortunate it is for me, O Lord, to see the Blessed One at ease again! Fortunate it is for me, O Lord, to see the Blessed One recovered! For truly, Lord, when I saw the Blessed One's sickness it was as though my own body became weak as a creeper, every thing around became dim to me, and my senses failed me. Yet, Lord, I still had some little comfort in the thought that the Blessed One would not come to his final passing away until he had given some last instructions respecting the community of bhikkhus."

32. Thus spoke the Venerable Ananda, but the Blessed One answered him, saying: "What more does the community of bhikkhus expect from me, Ananda? I have set forth the Dhamma without making any distinction of esoteric and exoteric doctrine; there is nothing, Ananda, with regard to the teachings that the Tathagata holds to the last with the closed fist of a teacher who keeps some things back. Whosoever may think that it is he who should lead the community of bhikkhus, or that the community depends upon him, it is such a one that would have to give last instructions respecting them. But, Ananda, the Tathagata has no such idea as that it is he who should lead the community of bhikkhus, or that the community depends upon him. So what instructions should he have to give respecting the community of bhikkhus?

"Now I am frail, Ananda, old, aged, far gone in years. This is my eightieth year, and my life is spent. Even as an old cart, Ananda, is held together with much difficulty, so the body of the
Tathagata is kept going only with supports. It is, Ananda, only when the Tathagata, disregarding external objects, with the cessation of certain feelings, attains to and abides in the signless concentration of mind, 19 that his body is more comfortable.

33. "Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.

"And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?

34. "When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.

35. "Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, 20 if they have the desire to learn."
Part One: In Magadha

1. Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One 1 dwelt at Rajagaha, on the hill called Vultures' Peak. At that time the king of Magadha, Ajatasattu, son of the Videhi queen, 2 desired to wage war against the Vajjis. He spoke in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them."

2. And Ajatasattu, the king of Magadha, addressed his chief minister, the brahman Vassakara, saying: "Come, brahman, go to the Blessed One, pay homage in my name at his feet, wish him good health, strength, ease, vigour, and comfort, and speak thus: 'O Lord, Ajatasattu, the king of Magadha, desires to wage war against the Vajjis. He has spoken in this fashion: "These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them."' And whatever the Blessed One should answer you, keep it well in mind and inform me; for Tathagatas 3 do not speak falsely."

3. "Very well, sire," said the brahman Vassakara in assent to Ajatasattu, king of Magadha. And he ordered a large number of magnificent carriages to be made ready, mounted one himself, and accompanied by the rest, drove out to Rajagaha towards Vultures' Peak. He went by carriage as far as the carriage could go, then dismounting, he approached the Blessed One on foot. After exchanging courteous greetings with the Blessed One, together with many pleasant words, he sat down at one side and addressed the Blessed One thus: "Venerable Gotama, Ajatasattu, the king of Magadha, pays homage at the feet of the Venerable Gotama and wishes him good health, strength, ease, vigour, and comfort. He desires to wage war against the Vajjis, and he has spoken in this fashion: 'These Vajjis, powerful and glorious as they are, I shall annihilate them, I shall make them perish, I shall utterly destroy them.'"

Conditions of a Nation's Welfare

4. At that time the Venerable Ananda 4 was standing behind the Blessed One, fanning him, and the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis have frequent gatherings, and are their meetings well attended?"

"I have heard, Lord, that this is so."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline
.
"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis assemble and disperse peacefully and attend to their affairs in concord?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis neither enact new decrees nor abolish existing ones, but proceed in accordance with their ancient constitutions?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honor, esteem, and veneration towards their elders and think it worthwhile to listen to them?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis refrain from abducting women and maidens of good families and from detaining them?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they refrain from doing so."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis show respect, honor, esteem, and veneration towards their shrines, both those within the city and those outside it, and do not deprive them of the due offerings as given and made to them formerly?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do venerate their shrines, and that they do not deprive them of their offerings."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline.

"What have you heard, Ananda: do the Vajjis duly protect and guard the arahats, so that those who have not come to the realm yet might do so, and those who have already come might live there in peace?"

"I have heard, Lord, that they do."

"So long, Ananda, as this is the case, the growth of the Vajjis is to be expected, not their decline."

5. And the Blessed One addressed the brahman Vassakara in these words: "Once, brahman, I dwelt at Vesali, at the Sarandada shrine, and there it was that I taught the Vajjis these seven conditions leading to (a nation's) welfare. 5 So long, brahman, as these endure among the Vajjis, and the Vajjis are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline."

Thereupon the brahman Vassakara spoke thus to the Blessed One: "If the Vajjis, Venerable Gotama, were endowed with only one or another of these conditions leading to welfare, their growth would have to be expected, not their decline. What then of all the seven? No harm, indeed, can be done to the Vajjis in battle by Magadha's king, Ajatasattu, except through treachery or discord. Well, then, Venerable Gotama, we will take our leave, for we have much to perform, much work to do."

"Do as now seems fit to you, brahman." And the brahman Vassakara, the chief minister of Magadha, approving of the Blessed One's words and delighted by them, rose from his seat and departed.

Welfare of the Bhikkhus

6. Then, soon after Vassakara's departure, the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Go now, Ananda, and assemble in the hall of audience as many bhikkhus as live around Rajagaha."

"Very well, Lord." And the Venerable Ananda did as he was requested and informed the Blessed One: "The community of bhikkhus is assembled, Lord. Now let the Blessed One do as he wishes."

Thereupon the Blessed One rose from his seat, went up to the hall of audience, took his appointed seat there, and addressed the bhikkhus thus: "Seven conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they assemble frequently and in large numbers; meet and disperse peacefully and attend to the affairs of the Sangha in concord; so long as they appoint no new rules, and do not abolish the existing ones, but proceed in accordance with the code of training (Vinaya) laid down; so long as they show respect, honor, esteem, and veneration towards the elder bhikkhus, those of long standing, long gone forth, the fathers and leaders of the Sangha, and think it worthwhile to listen to them; so long as they do not come under the power of the craving that leads to fresh becoming; so long as they cherish the forest depths for their dwellings; so long as they establish themselves in mindfulness, so that virtuous brethren of the Order who have not come yet might do so, and those already come might live in peace; so long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.

7. "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they do not delight in, are not pleased with, and are not fond of activities, talk, sleep, and company; so long as they do not harbor, do not come under the spell of evil desires; have no bad friends, associates, or companions; and so long as they do not stop halfway on account of some trifling achievement. So long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.
Seven Good Qualities 6

8. "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they shall have faith, so long as they have moral shame and fear of misconduct, are proficient in learning, resolute, mindful, and wise. So long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus, and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.

Seven Factors of Enlightenment 7

9. "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment, that is: mindfulness, investigation into phenomena, energy, bliss, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity. So long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus, and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.

Seven Perceptions

10. "Seven further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they cultivate the perception of impermanence, of egolessness, of (the body's) impurity, of (the body's) wretchedness, of relinquishment, of dispassion, and of cessation. So long, bhikkhus, as these seven conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus, and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.

Six Conditions to be Remembered 8

11. "Six further conditions leading to welfare I shall set forth, bhikkhus. Listen and pay heed to what I shall say."

"So be it, Lord."

"The growth of the bhikkhus is to be expected, not their decline, bhikkhus, so long as they attend on each other with loving-kindness in deed, word, and thought, both openly and in private; so long as in respect of what they receive as due offerings, even the contents of their alms bowls, they do not make use of them without sharing them with virtuous members of the community; so long as, in company with their brethren, they train themselves, openly and in private, in the rules of conduct, which are complete and perfect, spotless and pure, liberating, praised by the wise, uninfluenced (by mundane concerns), and favorable to concentration of mind; and in company with their brethren, preserve, openly and in private, the insight that is noble and liberating, and leads one who acts upon it to the utter destruction of suffering. So long, bhikkhus, as these six conditions leading to welfare endure among the bhikkhus, and the bhikkhus are known for it, their growth is to be expected, not their decline.
Counsel to the Bhikkhus

12. And the Blessed One, living at Rajagaha, at the hill called Vultures' Peak, often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus:

"Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. 9 Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints 10 of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

13. When the Blessed One had stayed at Rajagaha as long as he pleased, he addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Ambalatthika."

"So be it, Lord."

And the Blessed One took up his abode at Ambalatthika, together with a large community of bhikkhus.

14. At Ambalatthika the Blessed One came to stay in the king's rest house; and there, too, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus:

"Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

15. When the Blessed One had stayed at Ambalatthika as long as he pleased, he addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Come, Ananda, let us go to Nalanda."

"So be it, Lord."

And the Blessed One took up his abode at Nalanda together with a large community of bhikkhus, and came to stay in the mango grove of Pavarika.

Sariputta's Lion's Roar

16. Then the Venerable Sariputta went to the Blessed One, respectfully greeted him, sat down at one side, and spoke thus to him:

"This faith, Lord, I have in the Blessed One, that there has not been, there will not be, nor is there now, another recluse or brahman more exalted in Enlightenment than the Blessed One."

"Lofty indeed is this speech of yours, Sariputta, and lordly! A bold utterance, a veritable sounding of the lion's roar! But how is this, Sariputta? Those Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the past — do you have direct personal knowledge of all those Blessed Ones, as to their virtue, their meditation, 12 their wisdom, their abiding, and their emancipation?" 13

"Not so, Lord."

"Then how is this, Sariputta? Those Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the future — do you have direct personal knowledge of all those Blessed Ones, as to their virtue, their meditation, their wisdom, their abiding, and their emancipation?"

"Not so, Lord."

"Then how is this, Sariputta? Of me, who am at present the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, do you have direct personal knowledge as to my virtue, my meditation, my wisdom, my abiding, and my emancipation?"

"Not so, Lord."

"Then it is clear, Sariputta, that you have no such direct personal knowledge of the Arahats, the Fully Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present. How then dare you set forth a speech so lofty and lordly, an utterance so bold, a veritable sounding of the lion's roar, saying: 'This faith, Lord, I have in the Blessed One, that there has not been, there will not be, nor is there now another recluse or brahman more exalted in Enlightenment than the Blessed One'?"

17. "No such direct personal knowledge, indeed, is mine, Lord, of the Arahants, the Fully Enlightened Ones of the past, the future, and the present; and yet I have come to know the lawfulness of the Dhamma. Suppose, Lord, a king's frontier fortress was strongly fortified, with strong ramparts and turrets, and it had a single gate, and there was a gatekeeper, intelligent, experienced, and prudent, who would keep out the stranger but allow the friend to enter. As he patrols the path that leads all around the fortress, he does not perceive a hole or fissure in the ramparts even big enough to allow a cat to slip through. So he comes to the conclusion:

'Whatever grosser living things are to enter or leave this city, they will all have to do so just by this gate.' In the same way, Lord, I have come to know the lawfulness of the Dhamma.

"For, Lord, all the Blessed Ones, Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the past had abandoned the five hindrances, 14 the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; had well established their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness; 15 had duly cultivated the seven factors of enlightenment, and were fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment.

"And, Lord, all the Blessed Ones, Arahants, Fully Enlightened Ones of the future will abandon the five hindrances, the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; will well establish their minds in the four foundations of mindfulness; will duly cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment, and will be fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment.

"And the Blessed One too, Lord, being at present the Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, has abandoned the five hindrances, the mental defilements that weaken wisdom; has well established his mind in the four foundations of mindfulness; has duly cultivated the seven
factors of enlightenment, and is fully enlightened in unsurpassed, supreme Enlightenment."

18. And also in Nalanda, in the mango grove of Pavarika, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the bhikkhus thus:

"Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom."

19. When the Blessed One had stayed at Nalanda as long as he pleased, he addressed the Venerable Ananda thus:

"Come, Ananda, let us go to Pataligama."

"So be it, Lord."

And the Blessed One took up his abode at Pataligama together with a large community of bhikkhus.

20. Then the devotees of Pataligama came to know: "The Blessed One, they say, has arrived at Pataligama." And they approached the Blessed One, respectfully greeted him, sat down at one side, and addressed him thus: "May the Blessed One, Lord, kindly visit our council hall." And the Blessed One consented by his silence.

21. Knowing the Blessed One's consent, the devotees of Pataligama rose from their seats, respectfully saluted him, and keeping their right sides towards him, departed for the council hall. Then they prepared the council hall by covering the floor all over, arranging seats and water, and setting out an oil lamp. Having done this, they returned to the Blessed One, respectfully greeted him, and standing at one side, announced: "Lord, the council hall is ready, with the floor covered all over, seats and water prepared, and an oil lamp has been set out. Let the Blessed One come, Lord, at his convenience.

22. And the Blessed One got ready, and taking his bowl and robe, went to the council hall together with the company of bhikkhus. After rinsing his feet, the Blessed One entered the council hall and took his seat close to the middle pillar, facing east. The community of bhikkhus, after rinsing their feet, also entered the council hall and took seats near the western wall, facing east, so that the Blessed One was before them. And the devotees of Pataligama, after rinsing their feet and entering the council hall, sat down near the eastern wall, facing west, so that the Blessed One was in front of them.

The Fruits of an Immoral and a Moral Life

23. Thereupon the Blessed One addressed the devotees of Pataligama thus: "The immoral man, householders, by falling away from virtue, encounters five perils: great loss of wealth through heedlessness; an evil reputation; a timid and troubled demeanor in every society, be it that of nobles, brahmans, householders, or ascetics; death in bewilderment; and, at the breaking up of the body after death, rebirth in a realm of misery, in an unhappy state, in the nether world, in hell.

24. "Five blessings, householders, accrue to the righteous man through his practice of virtue: great increase of wealth through his diligence; a favorable reputation; a confident deportment, without timidity, in every society, be it that of nobles, brahmans, householders, or ascetics; a serene death; and, at the breaking up of the body after death, rebirth in a happy state, in a heavenly world."

25. And the Blessed One spent much of the night instructing the devotees of Pataligama in the Dhamma, rousing, edifying, and gladdening them, after which he dismissed them, saying: "The night is far advanced, householders. You may go at your convenience.

"So be it, Lord." And the devotees of Pataligama rose from their seats, respectfully saluted the Blessed One, and keeping their right sides towards him, departed. And the Blessed One, soon after their departure, retired into privacy.

26. At that time Sunidha and Vassakara, the chief ministers of Magadha, were building a fortress at Pataligama in defense against the Vajjis. And deities in large numbers, counted in thousands, had taken possession of sites at Pataligama. In the region where deities of great power prevailed, officials of great power were bent on constructing edifices; and where deities of medium power and lesser power prevailed, officials of medium and lesser power were bent on constructing edifices.

27. And the Blessed One saw with the heavenly eye, pure and transcending the faculty of men, the deities, counted in thousands, where they had taken possession of sites in Pataligama. And rising before the night was spent, towards dawn, the Blessed One addressed the Venerable Ananda thus: "Who is it, Ananda, that is erecting a city at Pataligama?"

"Sunidha and Vassakara, Lord, the chief ministers of Magadha, are building a fortress at Pataligama, in defence against the Vajjis."

28. "It is, Ananda, as if Sunidha and Vassakara had taken counsel with the gods of the Thirty-three. For I beheld, Ananda, with the heavenly eye, pure and transcending the faculty of men, a large number of deities, counted in thousands, that have taken possession of sites at Pataligama. In the region where deities of great power prevail, officials of great power are bent on constructing edifices; and where deities of medium and lesser power prevail, officials of medium and lesser power are bent on constructing edifices. Truly, Ananda, as far as the Aryan race extends and trade routes spread, this will be the foremost city Pataliputta, a trade-center. 16 But Pataliputta, Ananda, will be assailed by three perils — fire, water, and dissension."

29. Then Sunidha and Vassakara went to the Blessed One, and after courteous greeting to the Blessed One, and exchanging many pleasant words, they stood at one side and addressed him thus: "May the Venerable Gotama please accept our invitation for tomorrow's meal, together with the community of bhikkhus." And the Blessed One consented by his silence.

30. Knowing the Blessed One's consent, Sunidha and Vassakara departed for their own abodes, where they had choice food, hard and soft, prepared. And when it was time, they announced to the Blessed One: "It is time, Venerable Gotama; the meal is ready."

Thereupon the Blessed One got ready in the forenoon, and taking bowl and robe, he went together with the community of bhikkhus to the abode of Sunidha and Vassakara, where he took the seat prepared for him. And Sunidha and Vassakara themselves attended on the community of bhikkhus headed by the Buddha, and served them with choice food, hard and soft. When the Blessed One had finished his meal and had removed his hand from the bowl, they took low seats and sat down at one side.

31. And the Blessed One thanked them with these stanzas:
Wherever he may dwell, the prudent man
Ministers to the chaste and virtuous;
And having to these worthy ones made gifts,
He shares his merits with the local devas.

And so revered, they honor him in turn,
Are gracious to him even as a mother
Is towards her own, her only son;
And he who thus enjoys the devas' grace,
And is by them beloved, good fortune sees.
After this, the Blessed One rose from his seat and departed.
Crossing the Ganges

32. Then Sunidha and Vassakara followed behind the Blessed One, step by step, saying: "Through whichever gate the recluse Gotama will depart today, that we will name the Gotama-gate; and the ford by which he will cross the river Ganges shall be named the Gotama-ford." And so it came to pass, where the gate was concerned.

33. But when the Blessed One came to the river Ganges, it was full to the brim, so that crows could drink from it. And some people went in search of a boat or float, while others tied up a raft, because they desired to get across. But the Blessed One, as quickly as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or draw in his outstretched arm, vanished from this side of the river Ganges, and came to stand on the yonder side.

34. And the Blessed One saw the people who desired to cross searching for a boat or float, while others were binding rafts. And then the Blessed One, seeing them thus, gave forth the solemn utterance:

They who have bridged the ocean vast,
Leaving the lowlands far behind,
While others still their frail rafts bind,
Are saved by wisdom unsurpassed.

Maha-parinibbana Sutta

Maha-parinibbana Sutta
Last Days of the Buddha
Translated from the Pali by
Sister Vajira & Francis Story


Foreword

The translation of the Maha-parinibbana Sutta which is offered here is a work of collaboration, but is based upon a text prepared by Sister Vajira of Germany, to whom credit for the initial work must be given. The final revision of the text was done by Mr Francis Story. The notes and references which, it is hoped, will help in the understanding of the text have been contributed by the Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera, much of the material for them being taken from the Pali Commentary.

Every effort has been made to give a faithful rendering of the original Pali. The greater part of the sutta is straight forward narrative, but it also includes references to profound aspects of the Dhamma, which have to be understood in their precise meaning if the full import of the Buddha's last exhortations is to be conveyed. In the choice which inevitably arises between terminological exactitude and literary form, the translators have endeavored to preserve the former with as little sacrifice as possible of the latter. Those who understand the difficulties of Pali translation will appreciate that this is no easy task, and will readily overlook the absence of those literary graces which only a freer rendering would have permitted.

As in previous translations, some repetitions have been omitted and some repetitive passages condensed.

— Buddhist Publication Society

Foreword to the Revised Edition

In this revised edition of Last Days of the Buddha, a number of stylistic changes have been made, aimed at improved readability. The word "Bhagava," untranslated in the original edition, has been replaced by "the Blessed One"; several archaic expressions, which gave a slightly Biblical flavor to the diction, have been replaced by their modern counterparts; awkward sentences have been reformulated; and greater consistency was aimed at in the rendering of certain terms and expressions. The notes have also been revised in certain respects. The titles of the chapters and sections have been supplied by the translator and editors, though the division of the work into six recitation units dates back to the period when the Canon was transmitted orally from one generation to the next.

Introduction

Of the thirty-four discourses (suttas) that make up the Digha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses), ours, the sixteenth, is the longest, and so altogether maintains the first place where length is concerned.

It preserves the principal feature of the Buddhist sutta, insofar as it is, like others, a rehearsal of events as they have been witnessed. On account of its unique composition, however, it is, more than other suttas, capable not only of winning the affection of the pious Buddhist, as it naturally does, but also of attracting the general reader, since it is indeed a fine specimen of sacred universal literature.

It gives a good general idea of the Buddha's Teaching, too, even though it hardly offers anything that is not found — and often more extensively dealt with — in other suttas.
At the end of his life, after almost half a century's ministry, the Master had long since taught all that was necessary for attaining the ideal. During the last period his primary concern, therefore, was to impress on his followers the necessity of unflinchingly putting into practice those very same teachings: an appeal that could, of course, hardly fail in stirring their hearts more than ever before.

The Sangha came, indeed, to witness the greatest event in its history, and was keenly aware of it, especially since the Master had announced his Parinibbana three months ahead. The impression on the bhikkhus who flocked to him in large numbers as he was pressing northward was tremendous, and could not fail to be reflected vividly in the oral account. (The Buddhist canon was originally, as is well known, altogether oral.) Because of its particular import and abundance, this material was soon formed into one body; and so our sutta came to be.

In this connection, it is hardly possible not to remember gratefully the Venerable Ananda.His share in the preservation of the Master's word is paramount to any other bhikkhu's, and his figure is inseparable from our texts. This was to become manifest for all time in the Maha-parinibbana Sutta, which is plainly unimaginable without him. For it is Ananda, and again Ananda, whom the Master addresses, having tested for twenty-five years his sure grasp and brilliant memory and also his indefatigable personal devotion.

But Ananda too, here more than elsewhere, by his constant queries, worries, and amazements, becomes without intending it a central figure beside the Master himself, which undoubtedly increases the attractiveness of the text. Thus, then, Ananda, gentle and pleasant as his name, and yet almost throughout his career incurring the reproach of the brethren, was immortalized along with his beloved Master, and — as we may add — along with his strange position between praise and blame, assuming mystic character in the third chapter.

The third chapter, almost exclusively, is devoted to depicting the circumstances connected with the Master's relinquishment of life, which is the dramatic culmination of events. It overwhelmingly drives home the purely metaphysical significance of the Parinibbana, or at least ought to do so. For the Buddha neither succumbed to his fatal illness nor did he give way to the appeal of Mara (which is identical with the non-appeal of Ananda), but sovereignly let go of existence at a timely hour, just as forty-five years earlier, on becoming fully enlightened, he had duly taken upon himself the wearisome task of teaching men.

This fact is most thought-provoking, and consistently leads to the conclusion that by his Parinibbana, indeed, the Buddha bore the last and highest possible testimony to his Teaching, which permits of no lingering inclination to self-preservation and continuance, but on the contrary reaches the highest exultation ending it all. The Master's Parinibbana is, therefore, the one sorrowful event in the history of Buddhism that turns out, in its true meaning, to be really the most blissful.

— Sister VajiraCeylonMay 1961

“JEWEL DISCOURSE- RATANA SUTTA”

“JEWEL DISCOURSE- RATANA SUTTA”

-Book of Protection

The occasion for this discourse, in brief, according to the commentary, is as follows: The city of Vesali was afflicted by a famine, causing death, especially to the poor folk. Due to the presence of decaying corpses the evil spirits began to haunt the city; this was followed by a pestilence. Plagued by these three fears of famine, non-human beings and pestilence, the citizens sought the help of the Buddha who was then living at Rajagaha.

Followed by a large number of monks including the Venerable Ananda, his attendant disciple, the Buddha came to the city of Vesali. With the arrival of the Master, there were torrential rains which swept away the putrefying corpses. The atmosphere became purified, the city was clean.
Thereupon the Buddha delivered this Jewel Discourse (Ratana sutta) to the Venerable Ananda, and gave him instructions as to how he should tour the city with the Licchavi citizens reciting the discourse as a mark of protection to the people of Vesali.

The Venerable Ananda followed the instructions, and sprinkled the sanctified water from the Buddha's own alms bowl. As a consequence the evil spirits were exorcised, the pestilence subsided. Thereafter the Venerable Ananda returned with the citizens of Vesali to the Public hall where the Buddha and his disciples had assembled awaiting his arrival. There the Buddha recited the same Jewel Discourse to the gathering:

1. Whatever beings (non-humans) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, may they all have peace of mind, and may they listen attentively to these words.

2. O beings, listen closely. May you all radiate Loving-kindness to those human beings who, by day and night, bring offerings to you (offer merit to you). Wherefore, protect them with diligence.

3. Whatever treasure there be either in the world beyond, whatever precious jewel there be in the heavenly worlds, there is nought comparable to the Tathagata (the perfect One). This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

4. That Cessation, that Detachment, that Deathlessness (Nibbana) supreme, the calm and collected Sakyan Sage (the Buddha) had realized. There is nought comparable to this (Nibbana) Dhamma. This precious jewel is the Dhamma. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

5. The Supreme Buddha extolled a path of purity (the Noble Eightfold Path) calling it the path which unfailingly brings concentration. There is nought comparable to this concentration. This precious jewel is the Dhamma. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

6. The eight persons extolled by virtuous men constitute four pairs. They are the disciples of the Buddha and are worthy of offerings, gifts given to them yield rich results. This precious jewel is the Sangha . By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

7. With a steadfast mind, and applying themselves well in the dispensation of the Buddha Gotama, free from (defilements), they have attained to that which should be attained (Arahantship) encountering the Deathless. They enjoy the Peace of Nibbana freely obtained. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

8. As a post deep-planted in the earth stands unshaken by the winds from the four quarters, so, too, I declare is the righteous man who comprehends with wisdom the Noble Truths. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

9. Those who realized the Noble Truths well taught by him who is profound in wisdom (the Buddha), even though they may be exceedingly heedless, they will not take an eighth existence (in the realm of sense spheres. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

10. With his gaining of insight he abandons three states of mind, namely self-illusion, doubt, and indulgence in meaningless rites and rituals, should there be any. He is also fully freed from the four states of woe, and therefore, incapable of committing the six major wrongdoings. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

11. Any evil action he may still do by deed, word or thought, he is incapable of concealing it; since it has been proclaimed that such concealing is impossible for one who has seen the Path (of Nibbana). This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

12. As the woodland groves though in the early heat of the summer month are crowned with blossoming flowers even so is the sublime Dhamma leading to the (calm) of Nibbana which is taught (by the Buddha) for the highest good. This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

13. The Peerless Excellent one (the Buddha) the Knower (of Nibbana), the Giver (of Nibbana), the Bringer (of the Noble Path), taught the excellent Dhamma. This precious jewel is the Buddha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

14. Their past (Kamma) is spent, their new (Kamma) no more arises, their mind to future becoming is unattached. Their germ (of rebirth-consciousness) has died; they have no more desire for re-living. Those wise men fade out (of existence) as the flame of this lamp (which has just faded away). This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.

15. Whatever beings (non-human) are assembled here, terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the Buddha, the Tathagata (the perfect One), honoured by gods and men. May there be happiness.

16. Whatever beings are assembled here terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Dhamma, honoured by gods and men. May there be happiness.

17. Whatever beings are assembled here terrestrial or celestial, come let us salute the perfect Sangha, honoured by gods and men. May there be happiness.

NOTES:

Ratana means precious jewel. Here the term is applied to the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha
Literally, in the Buddha is this precious jewel.
Literally, in the Dhamma is this precious jewel.
Literally, in the Sangha is this precious jewel.
Obtained without payment; 'avyayena'.
The reason why it is stated that there will be no eighth existence for a person who has attained the stage of sotapatti or the first stage of sanctity is that such a being can live at the most for only a period of seven existences in the realm of sense spheres.
Abhithanani; i. matricide, ii. patricide, iii. the murder of Arahants (the Consummate Ones), iv. the shedding of the Buddha's blood, v. causing schism in the Sangha, and vi. pernicious false beliefs (niyata micca ditthi)
He is a sotapanna, stream-enterer, one who has attained the first stage of sanctity. Also see Notes at the end of the book.
The last three stanzas were recited by Sakka, the chief of Devas (gods)

Dasa Paramita (Ten Perfections)-Series1

Dasa Paramita (Ten Perfections)

---Way to Buddha Hood 2 Enlightenment

Introduction

Here Parama means the noblest, highest, or most excel-lent. Therefore Paramitas are the most excellent virtues, or the noblest qualities of the Bodhisattas. In other words Paramitas are the line of conduct or the Pre-requisites for Enlightenment.
These ten virtues should be practised by every Buddhist who wishes to attain Nibbana - the final Emancipation, through any Yana or vehicle. Nibbana can be reached through one of the following three Yanas:
l. Samma Sam Buddhahood 2. Pacceka Buddhahood 3. Arahantship

SAMMA SAM BUDDHA

Every Buddhist has a freedom to choose one for himself from the above mentioned three Yanas which is suitable for him according to his temperaments and intellectual capacity in order to attain Nibbana. Here Samma Sam Buddha means fully Enlightened One, the Perfert One, the Holy One, the Omnisrient.

In this world, the appearance of a Samma Sam Buddha is a very rare rhance. In comparison with the other Yanas, it is an extremely difficult one. A person who aspires to become a Buddha, at first, should make a firm mental resolution and verbal expression for his object in the presence of the Buddhas. Then he must receive the proclamation or nomination from a Buddha who will publicly declare him to become a Samma Sam Buddha in the future.
Our Buddha, when he was born as Sumedha Pandit, four Asankheyyas and one hundred thousand, 1 Kalpas-aeons ago, received the assurance from the Buddha Dipankara that he would undoubtedly become a Buddha in future.

Thus becoming a fully entitled Bodhisatta, he renounced his personal salvation, began to practise the ten perfertions, with the self-sacrificing spirit to serve the suffering humanity and finally became Samma Sam Buddha.

PACCEKA BUDDHA

The second Yana, to reach Nibbana is Parceka Buddha-hood. Pacceka Buddha is one who attains Enlightenment without any spiritual assistance from outside sources. He does not possess the faculty to enlighten others. During the dispensation of a Samma Sam Buddha, Pacceka Buddhas do not appear. Only one Samma Sam Buddha arises at a time but several Pacceka Buddhas can appear at the same time. To become a Pacceka Buddha, one should practise ten perfections for a number of Kalpas.

ARAHANT

The third Yana to reach Nibbana is the Arahantship. This path is comparatively an easy one, and it is open to both men and women. Arahant is the one who has completely eradicated all the defilement including the ten fetters and the one who is worthy of offerings and reverence. As he has attained the ultimate realization, he is also capable to render the spiritual assistance to others for their liberation. Therefore the attainment of Nibbana through even this Yana cannot be regarded as selfish ideal.

To become an Arahant, one should have to fulfil the ten perfection for many series of births.

Thursday, October 4, 2007