Dhammassavana (Listening To The Dhamma)
“Dhammasavana” means listening to the Dhamma of the Enlightened One. It means listening well to the Doctrine, i.e, listening with proper attention to the discourses, which can give both mundane and supra-mundane benefits. Dhammassavana really means listening to the discourses that can lead one to liberation from the round of rebirths, Samsara. It is a very rare opportunity to listen to the discourses delivered by the Buddha. It is described as one of the Five Rare Occasions (Sadhammassavanam Dullabham). Therefore, listeners should pay proper attention and listen respectfully to the teachings of the Buddha for the Buddha appears in this world only once in aeons of time.
The five benefits of Dhammasavana are –
(1) Getting fresh knowledge
(2) Understanding known facts more clearly
(3) Resolving of skepticism and doubt
(4) Acquiring right belief and
(5) Clarity of mind through development of confidence and wisdom.
Related Article to Warn: False Method of Listening to the Dhamma
Listening to the Dhamma with a view to getting the five benefits I mentioned above is “true” Dhammasavana.
Some attend Dhamma discourses because they are friendly with the preacher; some for the jokes and humorous anecdotes; some for the fear of accusation as being too lazy; some to assess the ability of the preacher.
One can get “no” benefit from listening to the Dhamma with such ignoble intentions.
Once, a Chairman was crossing a river in a rowboat when the boatman warned him that the boat leaked a bit. The Chairman thought that this meant the water from inside the boat leaked and oozed into the river; so there was no cause for worry. In a while, he noticed the seat of his pants becoming wet. He was alarmed and exclaimed, “This boat does not leak; it even lets in water!”.
So, the true aim of listening to the Dhamma is to let our evil thoughts to ooze out. We should be very careful lest we should let in more evil into our minds.
Dhammadesana (Teaching The Dhamma To Others)
Dhammadesana means teaching the Doctrine to others. Expounding, writing, distributing and teaching the discourses preached by the Buddha to others, with proper attention, regardless of gain and fame, denote Dhammadesana. According to the Buddha’s words, “Sabbadanam Dhammadanam Jinati”, meaning that “The benefits accruing from expounding the Doctrine to others surpass the benefits obtained from any other form of donation”. All devotees should therefore strive to teach the Doctrine to others.
Title- Ten Bases of Meritorious Actions (Ten Punnakiriya-vatthus)