Maṅgala Sutta--Protection with Blessing(吉祥經)

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

Introduction

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-09, 13:40

Introduction

Starting from the beginning of the 21st century, there were a lot of violence going on in many parts of the world; such as 9/11, wars in the Middle East, terrorist activities, etc. These were representing the defilement (kilesa) of dosa- anger, hatred, ill-will, etc. All these are showing the lacking of loving-kindness (metta) & compassion, and not a good sign. There were also a lot of harms, dangers& destructions going on from the defilement of lobha- greed, craving, lust, etc. Their impacts can be seen in food poisoning, water, air& earth pollutions, deforestations, climate change, etc.

It was quite amazing to see human beings out of greed & lust to enjoy momentary lowly pleasures by harming themselves. They have done it by knowing the results. For examples, cigarettes & alcohols are harmful to oneself & others, but still many using & selling it. Another is the lucrative business of arms. Even can use one sentence to represent their philosophy. For money & sensual pleasures, they will do everything. They only think about money & sensual pleasures, even can give up their lives for it.

Why these unfortunate things and matters happen to us? It is ignorance or delusion, not understanding of the nature of the mind. The Buddha said; untrained mind leading to sufferings & a trained mind leading to happiness. To train our mind, it needs education & practice. Education has a wider sense and meaning and not only making money for a livelihood.

There are two things all human beings can never separate themselves from it. These are education and the law of kamma(action), even they know about it or not. Without proper education, people do not know what is right or wrong, what should be done and what should not be done, etc. With wholesome education, we have knowledge and wise, and without it, we are ignorant and deluded. We can change people only with the right education and practice.


Recently a friend of mine found out that he had lung cancer. When the news came in, I was listening to some Dhamma talks on the parittas. Some translate paritta as auspicious chant and protective charms; it depends on how to use it. The Burmese Buddhist tradition has 11 parittas, and most people had learned them when they were young. Parittas are for the protection of dangers and illnesses. These were some Pali suttas- Discourses of the Buddha.

The parittas are not only can protect from the external dangers but also the internal ones, such as greed, hatred, delusion, etc. with its practice.

For example, the Metta Sutta and the Maṅgala Sutta- the discourse on loving kindness and the discourse on blessings. The internal dangers are more important than external dangers. External dangers can harm us only for this life. But internal danger will follow us to the future and beyond. If we can protect ourselves from the internal dangers of defilement, and then everything will be finished. External dangers are also depending on them.


The chances of falling into painful births or destinations are waiting for us at any time in the future. Nowadays, human beings not only do not know how to protect both dangers but also create more and more dangers for them. Because of human ignorance and craving, the Mother Earth is not a safety place anymore. If we are nourishing the internal dangers of greed, hatred, and delusion or our real enemies, then the situations will become worse. Human beings are not only harming to each other but also the Earth and its nature. Some years ago, a well knows Buddhist scholar of Thailand wrote two books on science and economics from the Buddhist points of views.

These were;” Sustainable Science” and “Buddhist Economics”. It is worthwhile to read and give us a lot of food for thought about how to use human knowledge properly and wisely (Including the natural resources). One of the Buddha’s qualities was “Teacher of Gods and Humans”- Satthā deva- manussānaṁ. The Buddha knew very clearly and completely about the mind and how to handle it. If we study and follow his teachings accordingly will solve many human problems. Some animals and plants were already extinct because of human actions.

What about the human race? At least there will be a lot of sufferings and problems, and the Earth becomes a very unpleasant place to live. (There was evidence in some of the suttas.) This depends on how we behave and utilize human knowledge properly and wisely in politics, economics, science, technology, media, etc. Nowadays, there are many human and environmental problems from these outcomes. Why do these ugly things happen? We are clever in worldly knowledge and only interest in them. Not take moral values and knowledge as very important and fundamental.

Nowadays, human beings urgently need moral education. It is quite fundamental for us. It teaches us how to become a true human being. Without it and however in material progress, we are making can lead to destruction. Moral education is likened to the root of a tree, and other knowledge is the trunk, branches, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Morality and virtues are very important in societies. It brings happiness and peace among people. It is also the foundation for a higher mind or spiritual development.


In the Cakkavati Sīhanāda Sutta, Digha Nikāya, the Buddha explained as, without morality and virtues, human beings committed unwholesome actions, and their life span declined and affected nature. All the Buddha’s teachings can be combined into three pieces of training; sīla, samādhi, and pañña- morality, concentration and wisdom. In Thai and Burmese, the words for education are sueksa (Thai Pali for sikkhā) and pyin-nya (Burmese Pali for paññā). Here sikkhā is training and paññā is wisdom. Buddhism is closer to education than a religion. The Buddha taught to human beings about the mind and how to train it.


Untrained mind brings sufferings and disturbances, and a trained mind brings happiness and peace. Therefore the Buddha's teachings were the highest education which man never encountered before. It can protect the human race from all dangers and disasters. It is universal, practical, and workable in our daily life. Our destinations and directions are in our mind. Which way do we want to go? The way to Heaven or Hell, all are in our mind.

There was an interesting discourse by the Buddha,” Sedaka Sutta”, in Saṁyutta Nikāya. It was about protection. Once in the past, an acrobat set up his bamboo pole and addressed his apprentice to climb the bamboo pole and stood on his shoulder. And told the disciple to protect him and he would protect him also. When this was said, the disciple replied that this was not the way to protect each other.

The teacher should protect himself. And also the disciple should protect himself. In this way, each self-guarded and self-protected they would display their skills, and got down safely from the bamboo pole. The Buddha taught the monks in this way. One would protect oneself; should the foundations of mindfulness- satipatthāna be practiced. One would protect others should satipatthāna be practiced.

By protecting oneself, one protected others, and to protect others and protected oneself. And then the Buddha continued to say how to protect oneself and protect others. To protect others and protected oneself, the way of protecting oneself and protected others were pursuing, by developing and cultivating the 4 Satipatthāna. The way of protecting others and protecting oneself was patience, harmlessness, good will, and sympathy. Therefore if everyone wants to be free from dangers, misfortunes, illnesses, etc., one has to protect oneself first. If each person protects for oneself and protecting others are already finished.


For the 45 years of his teaching, the Buddha taught a lot for the welfare of human beings in many different ways on mundane and supramundane levels. With the knowledge of the Buddha's teachings, we know how to think, speak, and act accordingly to protect oneself and protecting others and nature. If we behave wrongly, improperly and foolishly will have detrimental consequences to ourselves, societies, nature, and environments. Now some of these things are already happening around the world. Nowadays, the world urgently needs right and wise educations, instead of wrong and unwise educations. Do human beings need survival or indulgence? Everyone must think seriously about this important question.

In Theravadin Buddhist countries, Burma, Thailand, etc. lay people invite the monks for paritta chantings and at the same time making paritta water (also translated as holy water). Some monks with the chanting made the water in cups and pots to rise with the bubbles, even over overflowed. These kinds of monks are very rare indeed, and not many of them.

Recently one of them in Burma was Sayadaw U Uttamasara (1909-?)
He was well known for his love and compassion, even may be one of the first or few Buddhist monks spread the teachings of the Buddha to hill tribe people. In his talk on the “Power of Parittas”, he mentioned that to become effective, it must be the parittas of the Buddha. This kind of paritta water has protective and healing power. Some asked Sayadaw was why the Parittas had this power.

Because the parittas were about the attributes of the triple gems, the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, the asseveration of truth (sacca) and loving-kindness (metta) made by the Buddha and the Bodhisatta of in some of his past lives. Also, some asked if anyone recited them would show the power clearly. Not everyone recited the parittas showed its power clearly or evidently. Some had it, and some did not.

What makes them different? His answer was their volitions, metta, karuna, sīla, samādhi, and paññā had differences. The one who listens to the paritta chanting should have three factors. Not committing the five heavy kammas (patricide, matricide, killing the arahant, shedding the blood of the Buddha, splitting the sangha)

Believe in the law of Kamma (i.e., has the right view)
Must have faith in the power of the parittas which were the Buddha’s words
The reciter of the parittas should have three factors
Has studied and learned the parittas rightly or correctly in their meanings and grammars
Recite fully of them
Has the volition of good-will (metta) for the listeners

Here I want to present two incidents on the effect of the parittas. One had happened in Burma and connected with Ven. Ledi Sayadaw and the other in Thailand to a forest monk. In 1906 Ven. Ledi Sayadaw spent his 40th vassa (rain retreat) in the vicinity of Prome City. The same year in August during the raining season Henzada area was without rain and had a drought. This was a delta area in lower Burma and usually had a lot of rain.

Therefore the farmers in that area had difficulties. Then sent application letters to the government offices for not be able to give the taxes. The high commissioner of Irrawadian division, Mr. Maxwell was inspecting this area and coming to Henzada City. He had been seen the situations there. Therefore he summoned all the government officers and respected people of that area. And then ordered them to invite Ven. Ledi Sayadaw for a dhamma ceremony to solve the problem.

Some did not believe that Ven. Sayadaw could solve this problem. Anyhow to follow the order some officers and a few respectable men went to Prome for the invitation. People in Henzada grandly prepared for the Dhamma Ceremony. After arriving there, they invited Sayadaw. It was the rain retreat period for the monks.

Therefore he told them that it was better for him after the rain retreat (The Buddhist monks’ rain retreats are usually between July and October). But they explained to him the importance of rain. Because for another week if the fields did not get water and many plants would damage and encounter with famine. It was already many fishes, shrimps and other animals had died. Therefore Sayadaw accepted their invitation immediately. They arranged the Irrawaddy postal steamship for the next day journey.

And then Sayadaw told his disciple U Pandita as follow; “Now I have the chance to show the Henzada people about the power of water duties which I had done for over 20 years before. Including offering water to the Shwe-zi-gon Ceti and the monks for drinking, washing, and bathing. The result of water dāna (offering) is at the time of water shortage or no water and with the wishes for water and will get it.” (Show Shwe-zi-gon Pagoda is a well-known ceti in Monywa, upper Burma. Sayadaw not only did the water duties every day to the ceti and his monastery, but also the other monasteries near the vicinity.)

Starting from that night, Sayadaw remembered and contemplated his water duties. And using the rosary beads to count the paritta chant of the Bodhisatta King Fish or Rain Paritta. (Not mentioned how many times he was reciting with the help of rosary beads counting. It must be many times. Sayadaw was well-known for his great energy.)

And spread special metta to the rain god and sky god. When the steamship came near to the Henzada City port and the whole sky suddenly changed and covered in rain cloud and rained heavily with thunders. It rained heavily for 2 hours that the steamship could not enter the port and had to anchor in the middle of the river. The High Commissioner Mr. Maxwell and other people were waiting for Sayadaw on the bank.


Some years ago a forest monk stayed in the retreating forest near the Thai Burmese border in Kanchanaburi, west of Bangkok. This forest is called Dtow Dun- Black Tortoise. One day he came back from Bangkok after a medical check, and on the way stayed a night at a branch monastery. This was a very wide area and known to some monks as a haunted place. The north of the area had an old Sālā (an open wooden building for meals and practice), and a few old kutis (monks dwelling place or hut) closed to the mountain range.

Between the North and the South area also had a new-build concrete Sālā, some new kutis and including an open wooden Sālā for guest monks. This guest Sālā had a small room at the northern side, except that the whole building was opened. The monk settled into the small room. At round about 8 to 9 p.m. he heard a loud sound outside his room. It was like someone had dropped a heavy object from the ceiling to the floor. Therefore he went out and had a check. Nothing was there, and he went back to the room. It happened like this three times, and he knew it was the ghost. Therefore he requested the unseen being not to disturb him. And then chanted the Metta Sutta and

Spread metta (loving-kindness) to the ghost. After that, it stopped haunting him and never happening again. This ghost was a violent ghost. Because after sometimes some monks came to Dtow Dum for practice and had to spend the night there. One of the monks was during the sleep haunted by this ghost violently and had an injury on his head. According to the information a man had been murdered near this place before.


Dtow Dum forest is an amazing and interesting place. It is worthy of recording here and connecting with the protection of nature and environments. Most people never think as human beings are part of nature. Therefore we are exploiting the Earth in an extreme way. The earth, water, air, and heat give us lives. We depend on them for survivals. In some suttas, the Buddha even mentioned how human minds and actions affected nature. We are interdependent with each other. If we harm to nature, it’ll harm us. If we destroy nature, and it will destroy us. It was like the Newtonian Dynamic Law, action to reaction. Negative action has a negative result. Positive action has a positive result.

A Japanese scientist had already made research on this point of how our mind states affected the water crystals. The Mother Earth is likened to a physical body. If any part of the body is damaged or harmed, it cannot function properly or even dies. We should have gratitude to her because it cares us like a mother. Ingratitude is the sign of an inferior person and has no good future for him. Therefore humans want to survive & have future must care & look after the Earth.


Even though Dtow Dum is not virgin forest, a lot of wild animals still living there. The forest monks and some important lay people had tried to protect it from destruction. A businesswoman had a contract and mined tin-tungsten minerals in this area for sometimes. Later she invited the forest monks and established a forest monastery there to protect the forest. It started the project in 1994. Two kutis (monk dwelling huts) and an open sālā were built on the top of the hill. The open sālā was on the edge of the hill and overlooked the valley with the green forest. It was used as a meditation and meeting hall. And the open eating hall was also built at the base of the hill.

Later an inner Sālā also was built deep into the forest for the monks during the summer retreat. Because Northeast Thailand was so hot that unpleasant with the heat there. Therefore every year a group of monks comes down here for two months to stay in the deep forest for practice. Usually, come here in March and go back to Northeast Thailand before the Vesak. (Vesak is the full moon day of May and celebrating for the birth, enlightened and passing away of the Buddha). Every year before the monks come here for a summer retreat; the miners help to build some bamboo platforms across the deep forest. There are a lot of big bamboos in this forest.

Some of these big bamboos are the homes of tiny squirrels. These are lovely and cute little creatures. Never seen them in day time for moving around. In the beginning, do not know that these small rounded holes are their homes. At night with a torchlight looking into it and found the cute little creature inside and curiously looking back at you with the bright eyes. In Rājagaha King Bimbisāra offered the Bamboo Grove forest monastery to the Buddha and the Sangha and mentioned it as the Squirrel’s Sanctuary. Did it has any connection with these cute little creatures?

From the eating hall to the mine area has to walk a few hours along the rugged stony stream road, and only four wheels drive car can be used. In 1994 and 1995 there was heavy raining that even could not go in and out with cars. The mainstream was roaring down by carrying rocks and tree trunks along the way. Most bamboo bridges were carrying away by water, and two monks stayed there could not go down for the meal (They ate one meal a day at 8 a.m.)

Therefore some miners had to carry some foods for them. The mine owner could not go out for buying foods and rice for the monks. To solve this problem, an army helicopter brought some rice bags for the monks and the miners. The forest monks ate forest vegetables for sometimes.


This is the tropical rain forest and teeming with wildlife. Such as elephants, bears, tigers (including black leopard), tapirs, forest pigs, deers, monkeys, a squirrel liked animal without tail, 3or 4 times bigger than a large squirrel with the plump body and yellow furs, bamboo squirrels, white snakes, boas, green bamboo vipers etc. (There can also be other animals). We invited bird watchers from Bangkok and in their research found out over 200 species of birds in this area. There are two species of hornbills, white and yellow. The white hornbill is bigger, and when flying making a loud flapping sound in the air. Mostly they are flying in a small group.

There are also many songbirds. Once time heard a small bird making the sound like playing with a flute. There are also some harmful insects; such as ticks appear in winter and some are too small that cannot see with the eyes. Leeches appear in raining season; gnats; bees; some insects have very poisonous stings; and have both types of malaria mosquitoes.

There are not many majesties tall trees have left. Its trunk is straight and good for building a house. There were three incidents encountered with big cats. There was a white tiger’s family living in this forest. In 1996, January 16th, a monk after his morning meal went up to the hill. On the way, he met three white tigers from a stone throw distance. They crossed the path from right to left under the bright sun and looked very majestic. During the summer of very hot

Temperature sometimes had a forest fire. One time at the base of the hill, some miners caught a white tiger cub. At that time, there was a forest fire burning. Therefore the miners’ tried to extinguish it. Then they saw the white mother tiger, and two cubs tried to escape the fire. The 3rd time was during the two months summer retreated period. One night a western novice went back to the deep forest from the outer sālā holding a candle lamp.

Unexpectedly he met a big black cat watching at him quietly near his path. He was so frightened that he did not know what to do. (You cannot run at night with a dim light candle lamp) With his whole body was shaking, he had to move on. He had escaped the danger but became sick. Most humans fear wild beasts. Man is more dangerous than beasts. Man is not only dangerous for animals, even to one’s fellow human beings and nature. (There is a lot of contemplation on this point in modern-day situations.)

Man can create heavens and hells on this planet and even can transcend them. It depends on the types of education we follow. There is a major stream coming down from the inside deep forest which other side is the Thai-Burmese border. This stream is coming down towards the mining area. On half way of the hill, the stream passes through a high cliff and creates a big waterfall. Its sound can be heard very clearly during the night because the whole area is very quiet.

The stream water is cool and clear like a crystal. Staying in this forest after a few years and it became an unforgettable place for a forest monk. Sometimes went to the city of Bangkok could feel the great differences between the natural life in the forest and artificial life in the big city. The life with nature is peaceful and calm, with joy and happiness which any material progress, science, and technology can never bring about to man. If we cannot use them wisely or properly even can increase greed, hatred, and delusion, which create a lot of sufferings.

This point everyone knows, and no-one can deny about it. Earth, air, water pollutions, climate changes, more natural disasters, chemicals in the food chain, weapons of mass destruction, 21st-century terrorism, and polluted media, etc. there is no end to mention about them. These facts are the outcomes of the human mind. Without our polluted minds, these things cannot arise. Living in nature sometimes only can be realized that man is part of nature. If nature survives, then man can survive. If nature is destroyed, then we are in destruction. We are in interdependence and mutually co-existing. Therefore, protecting oneself and one protects others and nature. There is a question arising in my mind. Why Dtow Dum a small area is teeming with wildlife? This is my contemplation.

Because human beings destroyed a lot of forests and these animals needed a place for survival. Therefore they had to be moved into any forest to survive. It was very similar today refugee problems in the Middle East, Africa, parts of Asia, and Latin America. For their survivals, these refugees have to move into Europe and surrounding countries.

All these external problems were warning human beings to be careful with our behaviors and actions, from politics, economics, sciences, technologies, media, etc. So all are coming back to our minds, wise educations, and actions. By protecting oneself, one protects others and nature.


The following dhamma reflections are from two main sources. From the dhamma talks by two Burmese Bhikkhus; Ven. Sayadaw Dr. Nandamalarbhivamsa and Sayadaw Uttama. Using their talks and dhamma from other sources for the reflection and contemplation. If there are something wrong or mistakes; then all of them are mine and nothing to do with others. Contemplation and reflection are very important parts of Buddhist practice. It is very good for dealing with problems in daily life. If it becomes a habit, it will strengthen our wisdom faculties.

It can also be called yoniso manasikāra- wise attention, proper attention, careful attention, which is the forerunner of paññā-wisdom. With unwise attention, defilements arise and increasing them if they have already arisen. And wise attention is the opposite. My main attention is on the three parittas or suttas; Maṅgala Sutta, Metta Sutta, and Khandha Sutta. Maṅgala Sutta-the discourse on blessings was dealing with the ways of different levels of blessing, from mundane to supramundane levels of achievements.

Metta and Khandha Suttas- the discourses on good-will, loving-kindness, loving friendliness, and snakes are dealing with love and kindness to all living beings, which today world urgently need. Because there are a lot of conflicts and violence going on like severe climate changes. The Buddha’s teachings or educations are the best medicines for all the ills of human beings.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

Maṅgala Sutta: Discourse on Protection with Blessings

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-11, 13:30

Maṅgala Sutta: Discourse on Protection with Blessings

1. Asevanā ca bālānaṁ:Not consorting with fools.
2. Panditanañ- ca sevanā:consorting with the wise.
3. Pūjā ca pūjanīyānaṁ:paying homage to those worthy of homage.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

4. Patirūpa- desa-vāso ca:Living in a civilized land.
5. Pubbe ca kata-puññatā:having made merit in the past.
6. Atta-sammā-panidhica:directing oneself rightly.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is this highest protection with a blessing.

7/8. Bāhu-saccañ-ca sippañ-ca:Broad knowledge, skill.
9. Vinayo ca susikkhito:well-mastered discipline.
10. Subbhāsitā ca yā vācā:well-spoken words.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

11. Mātā-pitu-upatthānaṁ:Support for one’s parents.
12. Putta-dārassa saṅgaho:assistance to one’s wife and children.
13. Anakula ca kammanta:consistency in one’s work.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

14/15. Dānañ-ca dhamma- cariyā ca:Giving, living in rectitude.
16. Ñātakānañ-ca saṅgaho:assistance to one’s relatives.
17. Anavajjāni kammāni:blameless deeds.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

18. Āratī viratī pāpā:Avoiding, abstaining from evil.
19. Majja-pānā ca saññamo:refraining from intoxicants.
20. Appamādo ca dhammesu:being heedful of the qualities of the mind.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

21/22. Gāravo ca nivāto ca:Respect, humility.
23/24. Santutthī ca katañ-ñutā:contentment, gratitude.
25. Kālenna dhammassavanaṁ:hearing the dhamma on timely occasions
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

26/27. Khantī ca sovacassatā:Patience, compliance.
28. Samanānañ-ca dassanaṁ:seeing contemplatives.
29. Kālena dhamma-sākacchā:discussing the Dhamma on timely occasions.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

30/31. Tapo ca brahma-cariyañ-ca:Austerity, celibacy.
32. Ariya-saccāna-dassanaṁ:seeing the Noble Truths.
33. Nibbāna-sacchikiriyā ca:realizing Unbinding.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

Phutthassa loka-dhammehi,:A mind that, when touched by the ways of the world,
34. Cittam yassa na kampati:is unshaken.
35/36/37. Asokam virajaṁ khemaṁ:sorrowless, dustless, secure.
Etam maṅgalam-uttamaṁ:This is the highest protection with a blessing.

Etādisāni katvāna,
Sabbattham-aparājitā;
Sabbattha sotthiṁ gacchanti
Tan-tesaṁ maṅgalam-uttaman-ti

Everywhere undefeated
when acting in this way,
people go everywhere in well-being:
This is the highest protection with a blessing.


Nearly all the Theravadin Buddhists heard this sutta chanting before. The Buddhist children learned it from monasteries and schools. At the time of the Buddha men and deities pondered, discussed and argued about the true meaning of blessings (maṅgala). Different people had a different view, and they could not agree to 12 years debates. They went to the Buddha for his answer, and he was staying in Sāvatthi at Jeta’s Grove, Anāthapindika’s monastery.

The Buddha gave the answers to different kinds of blessings from mundane to supramundane levels. Buddhists recite it for blessings and free of dangers. Reciting is reminding us and for contemplation. The most important point is put into practice. All the Buddha's teachings were nearly on human beings and the human mind. It was more like education than a religion. A being born into the human world has two ways to choose and walk along on one of the paths.

One is downfall and failures. The other is development and success. These are the unwholesome and wholesome ways or negative and positive ways. All of them are related to the law of actions (kamma) or cause and effect. To choose the right one, we need wholesome education and have to rely on the teachings of the Buddha, noble beings, and ancient sages.

(It is also interesting to compare some of the mundane blessings mentioned by the Buddha with some of the teachings of the ancient Chinese sages. There were some similarities between them. Maybe this was one of the reasons Chinese people easily accepted Buddhism when it was spreading into China.)

We are learning the Maṅgala Sutta by heart even at a young age as children. But we are still distancing ourselves with it from the practical way of life. (It was the same as most Chinese with Di Gi Gui-Chinese Virtue Standards. Chinese moral or ethical education was handed down from ancient time until the end of the Ching Dynasty.) Therefore we have to study and learn it and then use it in daily life.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

1. Not consorting with fools

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-12, 13:11

1. Not consorting with fools

In the suttas, firstly, the Buddha talked about what should not be done. After that, we continued to talk about what should be done. Because if someone acts something which should not be done will has problems and suffering. Therefore it is more important. This is not difficult to understand, but if we observe the current world situations in every aspect of it, something is going wrong. A sentient being after taking birth into the human world he or she is not alone and with family members surrounding them.

So man has companions. Each family is the smallest part of the society. Not only human but also animal is the same. The differences between them are a man who has knowledge. Every man has two kinds of companion. Natural selection or send by the law of kamma and later with one's own choice or selection. By the law of kamma, you meet this or that family member. With one of the past kammas, someone was born into the family of fishing village, into a Buddhist family, etc.…Later in life one makes one's own choice and consorting with drunkards, drug addicts, gamblers, etc., and with Buddhists who are practicing Dhamma, etc…. There is a lot to say and contemplate about for these two kinds of companions. And then we will see the importance of the law of kamma and the wholesome educations.

Blessing (maṅgala) has the meaning of the cause for progress or success. Not consorting with fools was so important that the Buddha described it first as a foundation. Without following this instruction and other blessings are also out of reach. What is a fool (bālā)? Someone has unwholesome thoughts, speech, and action is bālā. It leads to bad results. Therefore he is a fool. Unwholesome energy or element can spread like a disease. This is the nature of energy. Element also has the nature of the combination. E.g., Ven. Sariputta was foremost in wisdom, and his energy spread to his students, who also had wisdom. The monk Devadatta was a renegade to the Buddha, and his students also like him. The negative element or energy not only affected human beings but also to nature, such as animals, trees, fruits, weather, etc.

Positive or wholesome energy is also in the same way. If there are more fools in the world, and it will lead to destruction. Living together with fools is like living with enemies. The Buddha even mentioned that fools made sufferings. If we contemplate the current situations around the world will appreciate this point. Someone consorts with fools not only without benefits in his life but also next life to come. E.g., prince Ajātasattu was consorting with the renegade monk Devadatta, later killed his father King Bimbisara and after death fell into hell. Consuming of unwholesome things such as drugs, alcohol, polluted media, etc. is making a person becoming a fool. At last at the dhammic level, association with the unwholesome dhamma (greed, aversion, delusion, etc.) is foolish and with the wholesome dhamma is wise.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
註冊時間: 2017-03-03, 08:00

2. consorting with the wise

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-12, 13:15

2. consorting with the wise

Why the Buddha encouraged us to consort with the wise? To absorb and saturate wholesome energy or elements into our hearts. The Buddha said: living with fools is living with enemies; with the wise is living with family and relatives. The wise have three characteristics: has good, wholesome thoughts, speech, and actions. Practicing accordingly with wholesome education only can be a wise person.

Therefore knowing and not practicing is not a wise man. The Chinese saying said; “Talking without doing is phant ren”. Phant ren means impostor. Are we in this class? After knowing and practicing will become a wise man if not only an educated fool. With a lot of knowledge and could talk is still not wise. Live life without dangers and enemies, no suffering and fear, only can be called wise.

The jataka story about two parrots was a good example of the fool and the wise. Two parrots chicks blew away by the wind; one of them landed at the place of a group of hermits and looked after by them. It grew up and had the kind nature and good behavior like the group of hermits. The other chick landed at the place of bandits and looked after by them. It grew up and had violent nature and bad behavior like the bandits. Therefore making friends and association with people are a very important part of human life. And should not take it lightly.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
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3. Paying homage to those worthy of homage

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-12, 13:20

3. Paying homage to those worthy of homage
This is the highest protection/ blessing.

With this blessing, we become intelligent and wise and will do the right things. To those worthy of homage are; the triple gems - Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha, parents, teachers, family members, relatives and people older than us or wise. Especially people have sīla, samādhi, and paññā. The results of homage, veneration, and respect are a long life, beauty, happiness, strength, and wisdom. Why should pay homage to people? We must think about the qualities and gratitude. The qualities of nobility, purity, etc. which are sīla, samāhdi and paññā (In Pali is guna). Having and showing appreciation, respect, gratitude on these guna is paying homage to those worthy of homage.

Some people do not have guna but have gratitude on us. Paying homage should base on the metta-goodwill and good volition. Without it is not real homage. The person receiving the homage responds with good-will, kindness, and compassion. Therefore both sides develop wholesome mental states. These energies spread to the surroundings. With the wholesome energy or element has good weather and effects the crops, fruits, trees, and plants. The foods have nutrients, and by eating them, human beings have long life and health.

What are the results of homage to things which should not be homaged? It can be mentioned a lot of them. The outcomes are always negative, harmful, and dangerous. The obvious ones are some religious cult leaders, their cult teachings, and cult followers. Admiration to some political figures, artists, etc. who do not have moral standards. All these come from ignorance or delusions.

Therefore we should not pay homage to unwholesome or negative dhammas. Instead should pay homage to wholesome or positive dhamma, such as sīla, samādhi, and paññā. The highest homage and veneration are the Buddha, Dhamma, and Ariya Sangha. They represent sīla, samādhi & paññā. There was a jataka story on wrong homage (veneration).

In one of his past lives, the Bodhisatta was born into a noble Brahmin family, who are worshipping fire. His parents kindled a fire for him after he was born & looked after for it until the 16 years of age. At this age, a brahmin youth could choose one of the two ways in his later life. Had a family or continued to worship the fire. He chose the 2nd one and brought the fire with him to the forest and continued the duty. One day he received a cow by begging. He wanted to offer the meat to the fire but did not has salt with him.

Therefore he left it at the forest and looking for salt elsewhere. When he was away a group of hunters arriving there. They killed the cow and took all the meat with them. After he came back only found the head, the skin and the tail of the cow. He came to his common sense; how could a fire protecting me even it could not protect its offerings. Therefore he gave up the wrong practice, lived a hermit life, and practiced jhānas. After he died and born in heaven.


Some brahmans believed that by worshipping fire and after dying born as brahma gods. Once, a brahman at dying and seeing the hellfire and told people what he had seen. They told him that this was the Brahma Heaven and asked to incline his mind towards it. After died and he was born in hell. There are many wrong views and practices in the world. People must have the courage to give up all of them as soon as they know it. It was like the Bodhisatta in this story.

After knowing the useless, unbeneficial, harmful consequences of views and practices, we should give up instantly, such as terrorism in the name of religion. What is the best offering and veneration or homage? The Buddha mentioned two kinds of veneration; amisa pūja- offerings of external objects such as the four requisites, etc.

The 2nd is Dhamma pūja-offering with Dhamma, i.e., practicing Dhamma or Dhammanu - dhammapatipatti - the practice by the Dhamma. At the time of the Buddha’s total unbinding - mahā-parinibbāna, the heavenly beings were paying homage and offering of heavenly flowers, sandalwood powder, music, etc. The Buddha said that in all of the offerings, Dhamma pūja was the best.


The Buddha taught the Maṅgala Sutta 10 verses in groups. The first group of verses, as explained above, had three blessings:
(1) not consorting with fools
(2) consorting with the wise
(3) paying homage to those worthy of homage.

These are very important to fulfill the other blessings to follow. It can be said fundamentally important. If we analyze these three blessings and they are connected. Therefore we know the skills and wisdom of the Buddha in teachings which were very systematic, hence he was called the teacher of gods and humans.

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Nalorakk
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4. Living in a civilized land

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-12, 13:26

4. Living in a civilized land

To reside in a suitable locality or good places. The Buddha mentioned the importance of locality or places for the development and progress in worldly and spiritual matters. What are the things to choose for a suitable locality? On education, economy, health, spiritual, etc. If living at wherever we are in will no progress for our whole life. A place for the chance to realize the path and fruit of the Buddha dhamma is the best place to reside. A place can fulfill the perfection (paramis)of the Buddha's teachings.

To reside in countries have the Buddha sāsana. In general, a place can support us for making merits, obtain wealth, education, and health. We can also distinguish a place with three periods of human life span. When young a suitable place for education, during the middle period for wealth and the last period for spiritual progress.

There are six unsurpassed things - anuttariya dhamma. A place can fulfill these six noble dhammas is a blessing place. To obtain them must live in a suitable and good place.

The six noble dhammas are:
(1) the unsurpassed sight
(2) the unsurpassed hearing
(3) the unsurpassed gain
(4) the unsurpassed training
(5) the unsurpassed service
(6) the unsurpassed recollection.

The unsurpassed sight is seeing the Buddha & Sangha. The unsurpassed gain is faith- saddhā. Having faith in the triple gems(Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha) and the law of kamma.

For ordinary worldly people, there are a lot of sights, hearing, and gains for worldly matters which never end. Some are quite harmful and polluting our hearts. To get the unsurpassed training is sīla, samādhi, and paññā. The unsurpassed service is serving the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, and to the parents. Serving the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha is very important for every Buddhist. Mostly we do not become aware or not knowing it profoundly. This is a very rare chance and opportunity. Why?


Because only a Buddha appeared that the triple gems came to existence. Even a Buddha appeared living beings must have had human births and also encountered them. Having a human birth is even quite difficult. In the whole of saṁsāra, we were slaves of our bodies and family members only.

Ledi Sayadaw was always looking for chances to serve the sangha. But the sangha stopped him from doing the services for them. What he had said or responded to them was very remarkable. He said; in the whole of saṁsāra, his hands were like the slave for the wives and children only. Therefore requested them to allow him for their service. It is true; if we were doing a lot of services for the Triple Gems in saṁsāra and would not be here anymore.

Now, Buddhists should not miss this chance and opportunity. It is very rare to come by. Looking after the parents is also very important in human society. The Chinese filial piety-shao tao is very well known. This education and practices were handed down for many centuries, maybe more than over 5,000 years. Without love, kindness, and filial piety to one's parents, there is no future for someone.

The unsurpassed recollection is the qualities of Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha-Gunas. There are a lot of worldly recollections to ordinary worldlings. It is good to have the recollection of one's parent kindness, love, and gratitude. And then repaid to them.

(Someone who can fulfill the six unsurpassed things has the seven benefits as mentioned in the Satipatthāna Sutta: purification of beings, surmounting of sorrow and lamentation, the disappearance of dukkha and discontent, acquiring the true method and realization of Nibbāna)

There was a good story of a sutta representing the anuttariya dhamma. One time the Buddha was going alms-round and met a group of people. He asked their names and livelihoods. One of them was the fisherman, and his name was Ariya - Mr. Noble. But his actions were ignoble. So the Buddha gave him talk on what was noble, and at the end, he entered the stream (became a sotāpanna). From an ignoble person and became a noble person (ariya). This was also he was living in a suitable place for his spiritual progress. (i.e., a place had the chance to meet the Buddha & listened to his talk).

Even if it is a suitable place for most people if someone is very bad and does not make any difference to this person (as, e.g., Devadatta and his followers), even can commit unwholesome actions. So it depends on each person. Therefore wholesome education is very important. In the Aṅguttara Nikāya, the Buddha taught about the eight unsuitable places-Akkhana Sutta.

These are: hells, animals, ghosts-realms; Brahma gods with only mind and only physical body; a man or woman without roots; areas or countries the Buddha Dhamma cannot reach; people have wrong views and the time when no Buddha arose.

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Nalorakk
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5. Having made merit in the past

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-17, 13:29

5. Having made merit in the past

Someone is intelligent, wise, an encounter with good things and suitable situations, etc. because he or she had made merits in the past life. People had wholesome merits in their past lives, mostly had success whatever kind of endeavor they were in. In the Buddha time, the billionaire Jotika was a very good example. In modern-day, the Hong Kong business tycoon Mr. Li is also very good evidence. He came from Mainland China into Hong Kong and met a Feng-Sui master.

He asked him about his future. He predicted that Mr. Li would make a lot of money. And also whatever business he would do with success. These later became true. With the success of his business and always donates a lot of money. Therefore, he is a well-known philanthropist. How to use money is more important than to make money. Most people, instead of using the money in better ways and just wasting them. And even sometimes using them in unwholesome ways.

Do we believe in the law of Kamma? Just think about it. Two persons, even they have the same effort the results are different. These differences are connecting with their past kammas. And the old saying was; “Even though intelligent without past merit is always poor.” Sometimes we may encounter an intelligent person, but whatever he tries to do something does not get the result. This is the cause of lacking good conducts (carana). The law of kamma is profound and complex. Most people know about it superficially. Even the Buddha mentioned it as one of the inconceivable subjects.


There was an interesting jataka story on this point. A woodcutter went into a forest for fire woods. He came back late, and the city gate was closed. He had to sleep outside the city. The place he slept was near a tree, and two wild cocks also slept on the branches of that tree. At night some noises made him woke up. The cocks were in a quarrel. Because the cock on the upper branch shat on the cock at the lower branch.

The lower cock said to the upper cock with conceit; “If someone roasts my flesh & eats will get 1,000 coins.” The upper cock retorted as; “If someone eats my inner organs will become a king, on my flesh will become a field marshal, and if she a woman becomes a queen. Someone eats the flesh sticks to the bones and becomes the king’s treasurer or the teacher of the king.”

The woodcutter killed the upper cock, took it at home and asked his wife to cook for him. After finished, he put it in a basket and both of them brought it to the Ganges river. They planned to eat it after bathing. Suddenly a strong wind came and blew away the basket into the river. The basket was floating down the river and arriving at a place where the king’s elephant trainer bathed the elephants.

He wanted to share the food with his wife and brought it back home. At the same time, his teacher, the hermit knew everything with his psychic power. He waited for him at his home and arranged for them. The hermit asked the elephant trainer to eat the inner organs, to the wife the flesh and for himself the other. He predicted him as would become the king after three days. By that time, another king came and made war with this country.

Without any other reason, the king put the elephant trainer like a king on the elephant to fight the war. The real king died in the war. But the elephant trainer was a good planner and leading the battle with success and became a king. We do not know our past kammas. Therefore to have merits for the future, in this life, we should develop wholesome or good kammas. Another important point on kamma is wholesome, and unwholesome kammic results (or energies) are following us all the times.

Therefore in every moment to have wholesome thoughts and actions are very important. Negative and positive results are looking for chances to come in at any time. If we only know the benefits or values of merits(meritorious deeds) that are wanting to perform it. Only then we will have the number 5th blessing. Also, we should very often reflect on the result of the merits. The merits we should perform are: giving (dāna), precepts (sīla), with care to look after our speech, look after our sense faculties, etc. (dāna, sīla, samādhi and paññā).

This is like buried gold, gems, and treasures in the ground. No-one can take away from you and become your properties. It will follow behind us all the time like a shadow. The Buddha gave a dhamma talk on the four treasure pots- Nitidāna Sutta. It was about dāna sīla, samādhi, and paññā.

The results of these merits are:
(1) fair complexion
(2) pleasant voice
(3) having a good bodily structure
(4) good looking face
(5) having power and influence
(6) with many companions and servants
(7) having the human happiness
(8) having the celestial happiness
(9) can realize Nibbāna.

All these wholesome Dhammas were praised by the wise and noble person. It could lead to becoming great disciples, chief disciples, Solitary-buddha(Pacceka-buddha) and Sammā-sambuddha. Therefore we must perform merits for this life and future lives to come. We should do it better and better.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
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6. Directing oneself rightly

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-20, 13:22

6. Directing oneself rightly

For setting up oneself in the right course; if someone does not have faith (saddhā), develops it and makes it strong. If no sīla-morality follows the percept and practicing it, etc. Atta-sammā-panidhi is let the mind in the wholesome and good direction. Therefore speech and actions also include. Tha-pye-kan Sayadaw took it as a very important blessing.

In the Dhammapada, the Buddha taught us that the unwholesome mind brought sufferings, and the wholesome mind brought happiness. Unwholesome mind brings more sufferings to oneself than one’s enemies. The wholesome mind brings happiness to oneself, which others cannot give. A negative mind is an untrained mind and without protection. If we look at the world situations, a lot of social problems, natural disasters, and other sufferings come from this mind.

For directing oneself rightly, Sayadaw told us to follow the instructions and practice accordingly to the Ambalatthikā-rāhulovada Sutta in the Majjma Nikāya. The gist of the instruction and practice is: Before our mental, verbal, and bodily actions, firstly we must reflect that it has the benefit to oneself and others or not harmful to oneself and others.

During the actions also has reflected in this way. After the actions also reflect in this way. It has three stages. If we do something wrong should admit it. And then decide not to do it again. If the actions are good and right will bring happiness, and we should take joy in it. This instruction was the Buddha given to his seven years old son, novice Rahula. It is good to train or educate our children with this sutta.

There was another sutta in the Aṅguttara Nikāya called Cakka Sutta-The Wheels.

There are four wheels:
(1) living in a civilized land
(2) associating with people of Integrity (wise and noble)
(3) rightly directing oneself
(4) Having done merit in the past.

They are mutually conditioning and supporting each other. Therefore these are like wheels. If human beings are endowed with them will achieve greatness (status, honor, etc.), abundance in terms of wealth and happiness. Most Buddhists have the chances and opportunity to develop them because more or less we have it. Only we do not know the suttas or educate with the suttas that not doing it rightly or properly. Instead, we waste our times with worthless worldly matters.

We can give a very good example of the importance of the (3) wheel with the renegade = the monk Devadatta. He had the wheels of (1), (2), and (4). He could not direct himself rightly that, and at last, fell into the Great Hell(mahā-avici hell-the most severe and terrible one).

If we want to progress and happiness, we need these four conditioned cycles or wheels. In the past, if we had the 4th wheel and in this life, we have the chances of (1), (2), and (3) wheels. In this life, if we have (1), (2), and (3) wheels and will do the (4) again. Therefore it is like a cycle and very important for every human being. By study and understanding the Buddha's teaching clearly, and we know how to use this life properly and wisely. Human beings are using their lives, foolishly that many problems and sufferings arise in societies.

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Nalorakk
文章: 371
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Sampatti (success) and vipatti (failure)

文章 Nalorakk » 2019-09-21, 13:18

In this section, I want to discuss more on kammas. Because it is universal and natural laws, no living beings can escape it or stay away from it. Also, it has a lot of connections with this section. Only we have the right, and good education knows how to live this life for oneself and others and create harmonious, peaceful, and happy societies. In the small booklet: Abhidhamma in Daily Life by Ven. Sayadaw Māhaghandayone was included a section on kamma.

Sampatti (success) and vipatti (failure): complete with related causes and lacking with related causes. In living beings’ minds, there are a lot of kammic result energies or powers latent in them. If they do not have the chances to give the results and always following the living beings in their khandhas’ processes. When the chances and causes are there, wholesome kammas give favorable results, and unwholesome kammas give the uncomfortable results.

The four successes (sampatti):
Gati-sampatti: having a good existence
Upadhi-sampatti: having a good look and physical structure
Kala-sampatti: living at the time of good periods
Payoga-sampatti: the presence of mindfulness, intelligence & perseverance

The four failures (vipatti):
Gati-vipatti: having a bad existence
Upadhi-vipatti: having an ugly look and physical structure
Kala-vipatti: living at the time of chaos, with bad leaders and governments
Payoga- vipatti: lacking with mindfulness, intelligence & perseverance

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