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Buddha's Ministery (First 20 Years)

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Buddha's Ministery (First 20 Years)

by Ms Tan Lai Kheng

Introduction

Buddha’s ministry lasted for 45 years.

During the time, he walked widely throughout the Northern Districts of India. But during the Vassana, he generally stayed in one place and preached Dhamma to the people.

Vassana  : Rainy season starting from Jul to Oct / Nov (3 months).

Place of Vassana /Events

Year 1 Deer Park at Isipatana, Baranasi (Benares)

    No special place for him to reside
    Dhammacakka
    Birth place for the Sangha Society
    Convert Yassa and his 54 friends
    60 disciples send to propagate the Dhamma

Year 2,3 and 4 Bamboo Grove, Veluvana Monastery (Rajagaha)


    Rajagaha during that time was a centre for philosophy
    Came here because of King Bimbisara’s request before enlightenment
    Admission of 30 young men into the Order
    Admitted Kassapa Brothers, Sariputta and Moggallana into the Order
    Sudatta / Anathapindika – chief lay supporter of Buddha who built the Jetavana Monastery at Savathi for the Buddha

Year 5 Pinnacled Hall, Vesali


    King Suddhodana fell ill
    How He overcome the rude Sakyas
    Dispute over River Rohini
    The [Order of Nun

Year 6 Mankula Hall


Performed the Twin Miracle under a mango tree


Year 7 Tavatisma Heaven

    Preach Abhidhamma or the Higher Doctrine to the deities headed by his mother
    Preach the same to Sariputta who then repeated it to 500 monks


Year 8 Bhesakala forest


Year 9 Ghosita Monastery, Kosambi


Conflict within the Sangha led by Ven. Devadatta


Year 10 Parileyakka forest


Served by an elephant and a monkey which latter passed away and reborn in the Tavatisma Heaven


Year 11 Village of Ekanala


Converted Brahmin farmer Kasibharadvaja (Kasibharadvaja sutta)

Year 12 Veranja


Introduction of Vinaya rules

Year 13 Caliya Rock


Listed down important things for meditation practice :

    A good friend
    Virtuous behaviour guided by the essential precept or training
    Good counsel / teacher
    Acquiring the wisdom on the rising and falling of thing

Year 14 Jetavana monastery, Savathi


Higher Ordination of Rahula


Year 15 Kapilavastu


Death of King Suppabuddha, the father of Yasodhara


Year 16 City of Alavi


Taming of Alavaka, the demon that devoured human flesh (Alavaka Sutta)


Year 17 Veluvana Monastery, Rajagaha


Auction of Sirima, a beautiful courtesan

    “Behold thus painted image,
    a body full of wounds, put together, diseased,
    the object of thought of many,
    in which there is neither permanence nor stability” (Dhammapada 147)


Year 18 & 19 Caliya rock


Expounding Dhamma to a weaver’s daughter (Year 18)

    “Blinded in this world;
    Few here clearly see.
    Like a bird that escape from the net
    only a few go to a good state of existence,” (Dhammapada 174)


Year 20 Veluvana Monastery, Rajagaha


    Framing of the Buddha by heretic monks
    Conversion of Angulimala
    Admitting Kisagotami into the Nun Order
    King Bimbisara’s adoption of Nun Kassapa’s son

Conclusion

Driven by compassion, the Buddha expounded his teaching
without keeping back what was required for man’s deliverance from Samsara.


Perfect enlightenment

is not the prerogative of a single chosen being by a mighty God.
It is an achievement open to anyone
who earnestly strives for purity and wisdom.

      “By oneself is evil done;
       By oneself is one defiled;
       By oneself is evil left undone;
       By oneself is one purified;
       Purity and impurity depend on oneself
       No one can purify another”

Do not believe any being can give you instantaneous Nibbana. The Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha is your constant guide in your strive to Nibbana.

Source

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