Title- ☸☸☸ A Discourse On Making The Heart Good By Ajahn Chah ☸☸☸

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Title- Venerable Mahagandhayon Sayadaw’s Homily Part-21

 

The late Sayādaw U Janakābhivaṃsa, also known as Mahāgandhayon Sayādaw, devoted his life to teaching Buddhist studies (pariyatti) to many hundreds of monks. In Burma the fame of his monastery is perhaps comparable to that of Oxford University in England, and many young monks wish to go there to study. He followed the vinaya very strictly, and worked tirelessly for the preservation of the sāsana.

A Man of Courage

211. A man of high morals performs his duties as a human being while he is alive, and so leaves the world with courage.

 

The Real Work

212. The real work of a man’s life lies in fulfilling perfections for enlightenment and cultivating a good mind; if prestige or status follows, it counts for nothing.

 

Kamma Always Follows You

213. Kamma is the deed done with good or bad intention. So long as one has not got rid of ignorance and desire, the consequences of kamma will not fade out. Like the embers covered with ashes, these consequences will flare up when the occasion arises.

214. Heedless people’s thoughts tend towards evil deeds so the chances of unwholesome consequences always follow them.

Kamma is Not to Blame

215. People put the blame on kamma. They believe that good fortune will come when kamma is on the rise, and that they will meet failure and misfortune when their kamma is down. They are labouring under this misconception. One should not depend entirely upon one’s kamma; there is a saying, “If one treads on thorns one will still have one’s foot pricked.”

216. People blame everything on kamma. The Buddha advised improvement by intelligence and diligence. If people blame kamma they are ignoring the Buddha’s teaching, and simultaneously do a disservice to the nation by their fatalistic view.

Expect More Than One Existence

217. One can probably look forward to the next day, but one cannot possibly look forward to all one’s existences in infinite saṃsāra.

A Pot of Gold

218. People only consider charity as a gold pot, but morality and mental culture are also very precious. They are just as valuable as charity.

219. Alms-giving entails spending money; observing moral precepts doesn’t need money, but it is more rewarding.

220. The person who admonishes you by pointing out your faults and defects is like one who points out a pot of gold.

221. If you are morally pure, you will be mentally pure. You will then experience a subtle joy which will develop into a mature joy, and thus you will have true happiness, physical well-being, and mental stability.

 

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Title- Dhammapada Stories- (25) Almsfood Is Almsfood

 

Introduction

THE BUDDHIST CANON, otherwise known as the Tipitaka, is the collection of the entire teachings of the Buddha. From out of this vast collection, inspirational verses which touch the essence of what the Buddha taught were compiled and recorded in a book called DHAMMAPADA. These verses, arranged under twenty-six chapters with such headings as the Wise, Mindfulness, and Happiness are part of the earliest extant records of words uttered by the Buddha himself.

There are 423 verses in the Dhammapada, and behind each one of them is a story which bears a lesson of great moral value whether they concern such human flaws as pride and greed, or such virtues as compassion and generosity. It is primarily for this reason that for centuries throughout Southeast Asia, the Dhammapada stories have been used by parents to instruct and entertain their children and have been recounted by monks to inspire and enlighten those who came to seek their guidance.

As to whether the stories are really based on historical fact or merely the products of vividly imaginative minds, discussion still goes on, but it is evident that the stories may not be entirely precise in detail nor free from exaggeration. One is nevertheless advised to keep an open mind in order to be able to appreciate the moral lessons the stories are trying to convey. In any case, even those who do doubt their authenticity would have to agree that the lessons they teach provide food for reflection which may consequently give a whole new direction to the way one thinks and lives. Moreover, because the Buddha always suited his teachings to the age, temperament, character, and mental state of his listeners, one may just be able to identify with any of the characters that are depicted in the Dhammapada stories and benefit from that identification.

In addition, the Dhammapada stories are a valuable source of information regarding the personality of the Buddha himself: his temperament—the Buddha was always calm, patient and compassionate (no instance can be cited where the Buddha ever displayed any anger or spoke harshly); his great humility—he accepted food even from lowly servants and slaves, sometimes food that had already been partially eaten; his wisdom and skill in teaching—he was able to uproot the deep-seated unwholesome attitudes of even his most abusive and stubborn accusers and bring them to accept Right View.

“It is impossible to estimate how many human beings have refrained from telling a lie, killing an insect, spreading a rumor, or taking what is not given, by calling to mind a story from the Dhammapada at the right moment. If the world has experienced moments of compassion and wisdom in the face of greed, hatred, and delusion, the Dhammapada must be given its due share of credit for it.”

No doubt the Dhammapada will continue to be a source of inspiration and edification to all who seek spiritual upliftment within its pages.

I do believe you all would be able to extract morale of these stories and get moral benefits from these; then my efforts wouldn’t be in vain!

Almsfood is Almsfood

ONCE THERE LIVED a kind-hearted brahmin who often offered food to the Buddha and his monks whenever they came by on their alms-round. One day they happened to arrive when he was already in the middle of his meal, and though they patiently stood in front of his door, he did not notice them. His wife did, however, but she did not want her husband to know that they had come, for she knew that he would surely offer them the rest of his meal. That would mean she would have to go back into the kitchen and cook some more, which she really was not in the mood to do.

 

So she stood in front of the doorway in such a way that the Buddha and his monks remained cut from her husband’s view. She then quietly eased herself to the door within the Buddha’s listening reach and whispered to him through the corner of her mouth that there was no alms-food for them that day.

 

The Buddha and his disciples were already walking away when the husband noticed his wife’s strange behavior and asked her what she was up to. As she turned from the door, he caught sight of the edge of a monk’s robe leaving the doorway and immediately realized what had happened.

 

 

He jumped from behind his unfinished plate of food and ran after the Buddha. He apologized profusely for his wife’s crude behavior toward them and begged the Buddha to return with him and accept his food, although already partially eaten. The Buddha did not hesitate to accept the brahmin’s offer and said, “Any food is suitable for me, even if it be the last remaining spoonful of an unfinished meal, for that is the way of a bhikkhu.” The brahmin then asked the Buddha how a bhikkhu was to be defined. The Buddha’s response was quite succinct and clear: “A bhikkhu,” he said, “is one who no longer has any attachment to body or mind and does not long for what he doesn’t have.”

 

 

 

Morale of The Story

“He who does not take the mind and body as “I” and “mine” and who does not grieve for what he has not is indeed called a bhikkhu.”
                                                                                                                                     {Verse 367}

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