The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Gem of Truth embodied in Dhammapada
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Vesak signifies the most outstanding events in the life of the Buddha Anthology sacred stanzas popularly known as Dhammapada, achieves a high significance as, the Essence of Buddhist Wisdom. The moral and philosophical teachings of the Buddha is embodied in Dhammapada.
Dhammapada is an unmatched Buddhist Text which sum up the Essence of Thripitaka Dhammapada is sacred to Buddhists as the Bhagawath Geetha to Hindus, the Holy Bible to Christians and Al-Quran to Muslims.
Out of a selection of 423 stanzas found in the 26 chapters (Vaggas) of the Dhammapada, a selected three stanzas from Dhammapada and to analyse how it helps build one’s character and personality in Buddhist way of life are given.
“Diga Jagarato Rath
Disham Satassa Yojanam
Disgo Balanam Sansaro
One day King Passenadi Kosala on a visit to the City with all pomp and glamour, saw a pretty young woman and fell in love at first sight. She was a married young woman and totally unaware of King’s desire. The Kings’s ambition was to have sexual pleasure with this woman in question.
The king’s, “modus operandi” was to send a word to young woman’s husband and employ him in the palace and give him a “Mission Impossible”. Once he fails in his Mission he was to be killed for not performing the task.
The young man on his way shared his meals with a traveller and threw some rice in the river for the fish and wished that his mission be a success. Hearing his appeal a Naga King appeared as an old man and through compassion to him brought the Lotus and Red Earth. Greatly delighted, in a half day he returned to the City.
The young man arrived at Jethavana Monastery and took shelter. Meanwhile, king Passenadi Kosala obsessesed with sexual desire could not sleep and kept thinking how he could get rid of the young husband.
Wise are not moved by Blame or Praise
“Selo Yarha Ekagahano
Varena na Samirati
Na Samijjanti Pandira”
The Blessed One said “Oh Bhikkhus an Arahat never loses his temper. He has no desire to speak in hurting others. Just as a solid rock, he is not shaken by the strong wind. Even so the Wise are not affected by Blame or Praise.
Whence Sons -Whence Wealth
When One does nor belong to oneself
The Great Philosopher Thinker, the Buddha, uttered this in Bala Vagga. He remarked that fool worries thinking that I have sons, I have wealth. Indeed, when he himself is not his own, how can sons, and wealth be any help.
“Putha Mathi Dhanam Attai
Iti Balo Vihannati
Attahi Attano Nathi
Kuto Putta, Kuta Dhanam”
This valuable stanza in Dhammapada - Bala Vagga transmit an important message to present day society. It shows the value of giving the needy. While residing at Jethavanaramaya the Buddha uttered this stanza with reference to the miserly rich person named Ananda.
This rich man who hails from Savatti possessed wealth to the tune of 80 billion. He was very reluctant to give anything in charity. His ambition was to collect wealth. He never gave alms or money to the poor. He advised his son Mulasiri not to give any money to the poor nor give alms to anyone.
Ananda was re-born in a village in close proximity in Savastti to a beggar family. He was extremely ugly and repulsive. After his birth, her mother was in dire strait as people never gave anything to them.
One day, while begging in the street of Savastti this young beggar went to his old house where he lived in his earlier birth. When the sons of his son Mulasiri saw this ugly beggar, they were so frightened they shouted and servants beat him and threw him out his house.
While this incident was happening, the Buddha saw this unfortunate incident. Through (Venerable Ananda Dharma Bandagarigka of the Buddha) invited Mulasiri to the scene. The Buddha told him, this young beggar was his own father Ananda, in his previous birth.
Mulasiri did not believe it. Then on the advice of the Buddha the young ugly beggar showed where he buried the Five Gold Pots. Then only Mulasiri accepted the truth and became a devotee of the Buddha.
This story is a fine message to the present day society. While piling wealth, you must always remember to distribute part of your wealth to worthy causes and to the poor and thereby uplift the living standards of the poor. These three stanzas clearly give a very strong message to the present day society.