The Dhamma means the four Path-consciousnesses, the four Fruition-consciousnesses, Nibbana and the Teachings of the Buddha. These Dhammas should be listened to, studied, practiced and realized with great respect and adoration by those who wish to enjoy peace and happiness. It is so valuable that it cannot be appraised. It is incomparable and superior to any other worldly treasure. It is extremely difficult to come across and to listen to the Dhamma because the Dhamma appears only when the Buddha appears. The Dhamma can be listened to, practiced and realized not by ordinary persons but by the noble ones who have accumulated great merits. Therefore, the Dhamma is the most honorable, the most precious, the incomparable, the most rare and the most worthy treasure.
The Six Attributes of the Dhamma are:
1-Svakkhato bhagavata dhammo,
6-Paccattam veditabbo Vinnuhi.Meaning:
1-The Dhamma comprising the Nibbana and the Buddhist texts is well expounded by the Exalted One.
2-It can be seen and realized vividly by oneself if one practises the Dhamma.
3-It yields immediate results to those who practise the the Dhamma and the Fruition-consciousness follows the Path-consciousness without delay.
4-It is so distinct and pure that it is worthy of inviting others to come and see it.
5-It is worthy of being perpetually borne in mind.
6-It can be experienced by the wise individually.
The followings are the stories demonstrating the Attributes of the Dhamma.
___The Story of Dhammika, the Lay Disciple___
At Savatthi, there were five hundred virtuous lay disciples, each of whom had a following of five hundred lay disciples. The leader of the lay disciples had seven sons and seven daughters. Each of them used to offer rice-gruel and food by tickets, fortnightly food, food by invitation, food on the fasting day, food for guest bhikkhus and offerings for bhikkhus who observed the rains-retreat period. All the children followed the example of their father in the performance of good deeds. Thus, the virtuous lay disciple with his wife and fourteen children habitually offered sixteen units of rice-gruel by tickets and so on. In this way, they became virtuous, good in conduct and devoted to charity.
Later, he fell ill and his vitality was on the decline. Intent on listening to a religious discourse, he sent a request to the Buddha to depute eight or sixteen bhikkhus. The Buddha did so. The bhikkhus came and sat round his bed on the specified seats. , “Revered Sirs, as I am weak in strength it is difficult for me to go and see you. Would you please recite a Sutta to me?” Thereupon the bhikkhus asked, “Well devotee, which Sutta would you like to listen to?” He mentioned the Satipatthana Sutta which he said was the Sutta which had never been neglected by any of the Buddhas. The bhikkhus recited it beginning with “O bhikkhus, this is the one and the only path for the purification of the minds of beings”.
At that instant, from six celestial realms there descended six chariots, each measuring one hundred and fifty yojanas, and each yoked with one thousand horses and adorned with all kinds of decoration. Said each of the deities from those chariots, “We will take you to our celestial abode; and added, “O man, just as one takes gold vessel after the clay pot is broken, take this rebirth so that you may enjoy yourself in our celestial world! Not liking to be interrupted in the hearing of the religious discourse, the lay-devotee said, “Please wait awhile, please wait awhile”. The bhikkhus thought that he was speaking to them and kept silent. Thereupon, his sons and daughters cried aloud and said , “Formerly our father was never satisfied with listening to a religious discourse, but now after sending for the bhikkhus and requesting them to recite, he himself is stopping them. After all, there is no one who is not afraid of death”. Saying, “This is not the proper time”, and the bhikkhu rose and left the place.
After a short while, the lay disciple regained consciousness and asked his sons why they were weeping. They replied, “Father, you sent for the bhikkhus and while listening to the religious discourse, you yourself stopped them; We cried as we thought that there was no one who was not afraid of death”. He enquired, “But where are the revered bhikkhus?” They answered, the bhikkhus said, “It is not the proper time”, rose up and left! He told them, “My children, I was not talking to the revered ones”. They asked, “Then, with whom were you speaking, father?” He replied, “From six heavenly worlds the deities brought six decorated chariots, and while remaining in the air they called out to me saying, “Come and enjoy yourself in our celestial world”, and with them I was speaking”. Then being asked, “Father, where are the chariots? We do not see them”. He replied, “Will you get me a garland of flowers?” “Yes, father”. “Which celestial world is delightful?” “Father, the Tusita celestial world, the abode of all the Bodhisattas and the parents of the Buddhas arrive, is delightful”. He said, “Well then, throw the garland saying “Let this hang on the chariot that has come from the Tusita celestial realm”. They did so. It struck to the pole of the chariot and remained hanging in the air. That only the people saw, but not the chariot. The lay disciple asked, “Do you see the garland?” And being answered in the affirmative he said, “This garland is hanging on the chariot which has come from Tusita celestial world. Be not worried. If you wish to be reborn in the same place with me, do meritorious deeds in the same way as I have done”. So saying, he passed away and was seated in the chariot.
When the bhikkhus reached the monastery, the Buddha asked them, “Bhikkhus, did the lay disciple listen to the religious discourse?” They replied, “Yes, Venerable Sir, but he interrupted us in the middle of the discourse saying, “Please wait”. Then his children cried aloud and we saying “This is not the proper time”, got up from our seats and left the place.” “Bhikkhus, he was not talking to you; but from six celestial realms came the deities bringing six decorated chariots and called the lay disciple to them; not wishing to interrupt the discourse, he was speaking to them”. Is it so, Venerable Sir?” “Yes, bhikkhus”. Being questioned by the bhikkhu as to where he was born, the Buddha replied. “Venerable Sir, having enjoyed himself here in this world amidst his kinsmen, now again immediately after passing away is he reborn in the realm of joy?” “True, bhikkhus, virtuous people, be they householders or recluses, rejoice everywhere”. So saying the Buddha uttered this stanza;
Idha modati pecca modati,
Katapunno ubhayattha modati,
So modati so pamotadi
Disva kammavisuddhim attano
“A person who has done meritorious deeds rejoices here in this world as well as in the next. He rejoices in both places. He rejoices and rejoices all the more observing the purity of his own deeds”.
Therein, Katapunno means a person who performs various kinds of meritorious deeds. Reflecting “Verily, I have not done any evil, on the other hand, I have done good”, he enjoys himself in this life on account of his good deeds and after death he rejoices as a result of the good deeds he has done. Thus, indeed, he enjoys in both worlds. Reflecting on the purity of his own deeds (Kammavisuddhi) the accomplishment of his meritorious action, the lay disciple rejoices here in this existence before his death, and after passing away also he rejoices all the more indeed in the next existence.
After the verse was spoken, many persons became Stream-winners (Sotapannas or who are able to realize Nibbana) and so on. The religious discourse became beneficial to the multitude.
___The Story of the Frog Deva___
While the Buddha was teaching the Dhamma to the inhabitants of the City of Campa on the bank of the Gaggara Lake, it seems, a frog came to be strongly attracted by the clear and mellow voice of the Buddha as He was teaching the Dhamma. A cowherd who was standing leaning on a stick inadvertently put his stick on the frog’s head and crashed it. The frog died and was straightaway reborn in a gilded divine palace twelve leagues broad in the Tavatimsa celestial realm. He found himself there, as if waking up from sleep, amidst a host of celestial nymphs, and he exclaimed “So I have actually been reborn here. What deed did I do?” When he sought for the reason, he found it was no longer than his appreciation of the voice of the Buddha. He went at once to the Buddha and paid homage at His feet. Thought the Buddha knew about that, He asked him.
“Who now pays homage at my feet;
Shining with glory of success;
Illuminating all around;
With beauty so outstanding?”
“In my last life I was a frog;
The waters of a pond my home;
A cowherd’s crook ended my life;
While listening to your Dhamma”.
The Buddha taught him the Dhamma where-upon eighty-four thousand creatures gained penetration to the Dhamma. (Vimanavatthu)
___The Stories of Five-hundred Bats, Subrahma Deva, and Insane Patacari___
In the time of Kassapa Buddha, five hundred bats lived in a cave. Two bhikkhus used to walk to and fro inside the cave reciting the Abhidhamma Pali. The bats did not know what are the meritorious and demeritorious deeds. But they apprehended the sigh in the voice of the two monks and listened to the recitation of the Dhamma attentively. For this merit, they became devas when they died.
In the life-time of Gotama Buddha, they became disciples of the Venerable Sariputta. As the result of their past merit, they were the first to listen to Abhidhamma Pitaka and became the bearers of Abhidhamma Pitaka.
The stories of Subrahma Deva and Insane Patacari also prove the Attributes of the Dhamma.
Subrahma, a devaputta of Tavatimsa celestial realm, one day went to the Nandana Park with one thousand nymphs. Five hundred of them sat with him under the Paricchattaka-tree, while the others climbed the tree, from which they threw garlands and sang songs. Suddenly, all of them on the tree vanished and were reborn in Avici Niraya.
Subrahma, discovering their destiny and investigating his own, found that he and the rests would also be reborn in Avici Niraya after seven days. Full of grief, he sought the Buddha for consolation. The Buddha told him that the only path out of sorrow is by way of wisdom, renunciation and restraint. He and the rests of the five hundred nymphs listened to the Dhamma attentively as they had no other refuge but the Dhamma to be able to escape from their horrible destiny. At the end of the Buddha’s discourse they all became the Stream-winners, so they had no chance left to be reborn in miserable realms.
Patacari who was almost insane because of the worries she experienced at the death of her husband and her sons also approached the Buddha. Her grief and lamentation were dispelled when she met the Buddha and listened to His teaching.
While listening the Dhamma, they all contemplated the discourse and thus they became free from all defilements.
The above mentioned stories provide some examples of the Attributes of the Dhamma. They prove that the Dhamma brings immediate good results at the instant of hearing. Where Can We Find the Dhamma So Practical and So Beneficial Other Than Buddhism???
Title- The Nine Attributes of the Buddha & Story Demonstrating the Attributes of the Buddha
Title- The Nine Attributes of the Samgha & Story Demonstrating the Attributes of the Samgha