14 December, 2013

Part II—His Enemies.- Charge of Conversion by Glamour. - Buddha and his dhamma,

:: 1. Charge of Conversion by Glamour. ::
1. Once the Exalted One dwelt at Vesali, in the Gable-roofed Hall in the Great Wood. Now Bhaddiya the Licchavi came to the Exalted One and said: " Lord! People say ' Gotama the recluse is a charmer and knows a trick of glamour, whereby he entices the followers of other sects.' 
2. "They who say this disclaim any desire to misrepresent the Exalted One. Indeed, Lord, we Licchavis do not believe in this charge. But we would like to know what the Exalted One has to say about it." 
3. The Lord said: "Come now, Bhaddiya, accept not on hearsay, nor by tradition, nor by what people say. Accept not because it is in the scriptures, by mere logic, nor by inference, nor by consideration of appearances, nor because it accords with your view, nor because you think it must be right, nor out of respect, with the thought that ' One must revere a recluse." 
4. "But, Bhaddiya, if at any time you know of yourself by examination of facts that what is being done is sinful or wrongful, that it is reproached by the wise and the result is loss or injury, then, Bhaddiya, eschew them. 
5. "Now as to your question, Bhaddiya, what think you; Are not those who accuse me of performing conversion by glamour ambitious persons ? " " They are. Lord," replied Bhaddiya. 
6. "What think ye, Bhaddiya; Does not an ambitious person, overcome by avarice and with mind overpowered, tell lies or commit crime to achieve his ambition ? " " It is so. Lord," replied Bhaddiya.
7. " What think you, Bhaddiya, when thoughts of ill-will and vindictiveness arise in the mind of such a person, does he not instigate others to level
accusations against those who come in the way of his ambition?" "That' is so Lord," said Bhaddiya. 

8. " Now, Bhaddiya, all I do is to exhort my pupil thus: ' Come you, my dear man, dwell controlling (thoughts of) avarice. So dwelling you will not commit acts born of avarice, either by body, work or thought. Dwell controlling ill-will and ignorance.' 
9. "So, Bhaddiya, those recluses and Brahmins, who wrongly reproach me with being a teacher and proclaimer of such views, are false, empty liars, when they say: ' The recluse Gautama is a charmer and knows a trick of glamour, whereby He entices the followers of other sects.' " 
10. " A lucky thing indeed, 0 Lord—a fair find is this trick of glamour ! Lord would that my beloved blood-relations were enticed by this same trick of glamour ! It would indeed conduce to their advantage and happiness! Lord, would that all the classes the Brahmins, the Khatiyas, the Vessas and the Suddas were enticed by this same trick of glamour, it would indeed conduce to their advantage and happiness for a long time." 
11. "It is so, Bhaddiya ! It is so Bhaddiya ! If all the classes enticed by this trick of glamour, were to eschew sinful conditions, my trick would result in great advantage and happiness to the world. "

Munificence of Vishakha. - Buddha and his dhamma,

:: 5. Munificence of Vishakha.::
1. Vishakha was a wealthy woman of Shravasti. She had many children and grandchildren.
2. When the Blessed One stayed at Shravasti, Vishakha went up to the place where the Blessed One was, and tendered Him an invitation to take his meal at her house, which the Blessed One accepted. 

3. And heavy rain fell during the night and the next morning; and the bhikkhus doffed their robes to keep themselves dry and let the rain fall upon their bodies. 
4. When the next day the Blessed One had finished his meal, she took her seat at his side and spoke thus; " Eight are the boons, Lord, which I beg of the Blessed One." 
5. Then the Blessed One said: " The Tathagatas, 0 Vishakha, grant no boons unless they know what they are." 
6. Vishakha replied: "Proper, Lord, and unobjectionable are the boons I ask." 
7. Having received permission to ask the boons, Vishakha said: " I desire. Lord, through all my life to bestow robes for the rainy season on the Sangha, and food for incoming bhikkhus, and food for outgoing bhikkhus and food for the sick, and food for those who wait upon the sick, and medicine for the sick, and a constant supply of rice-milk for the Sangha, and bathing robes for the bhikkhunis, the sisters." 
8. "But," said the Lord, "What, 0 Vishakha, have you in view in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata ?" 
9. And Vishakha replied: "I gave command, Lord, to my maid-servant, saying, ' Go thou and announce to the fraternity that the meal is ready,' and my maid went, but when she came to the vihara, she observed that the bhikkhus had defied their robes, while it was raining, and she thought: ' These are not bhikkhus, but naked ascetics letting the rain fall on them.' So she returned to me and reported accordingly and I had to send her a second time. 
10. " Impure, Lord, is nakedness, and revolting. It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view in desiring to provide the Sangha throughout my life with special garments for use in the rainy season.
11. "As to my second wish. Lord, an incoming bhikku, not being able to take the direct roads, and not knowing the places where food can be procured, comes on his way wearied out by seeking for alms. It was this circumstance, Lord, that I had in view in desiring to provide the Sangha throughout my life with food for incoming bhikkhus. 

12. " Thirdly, Lord, an outgoing bhikkhu, while seeking about for alms, may be left behind, or may arrive too late at the place whither he desires to go, and will set out on the road in weariness. 
13. " Fourthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable food, his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die. 
14. "Fifthy, Lord, a bhikkhu who is waiting upon the sick will lose his opportunity of going out to seek food for himself. 
15. " Sixthly, Lord, if a sick bhikkhu does not obtain suitable medicines, his sickness may increase upon him, and he may die. 
16. " Seventhly, Lord, I have heard that the Blessed One has praised rice-milk, because it gives readiness of mind, dispels hunger and thirst; it is wholesome nourishment for the healthy and for the sick as a medicine. Therefore I desire to provide the Sangha throughout my life with constant supply of rice-milk. 
17. " Finally, Lord, the bhikkhunis are in the habit of bathing in the river Archiravati with the courtesans, at the same landing-place, and naked. And the courtesans. Lord, ridicule the bhikkhtmis, saying, 'What is the good, ladies, of your maintaining chastity when you are young? When you are old, maintain chastity then; thus will you be obtainers of both ends.' Impure, Lord, is nakedness for a woman, disgusting, and revolting. 
18. " These are the circumstances, Lord, that I had in view." 
19. The Blessed One said: " But what was the advantage you had in view for yourself, 0 Vishakha, in asking these eight boons of the Tathagatha ?" 
20. Vishakha replied: "Bhikkhus who have spent the rainy season in various places will come, Lord, to Shravasti to visit the Blessed One. And on coming to the Blessed One they will ask, saying: * Such and such a bhikkhu. Lord, has died. What, now, is his destiny?' Then will the Blessed One explain that he has attained the fruits of conversion; that he has entered Nirvana or attained arhantship, as the case may be.
21. " And I, going up to them, shall ask, ' Was that brother, sirs, one of those who had formerly been at Shravasti,' then shall I arrive at the conclusion, 'For a certainty did that brother enjoy either the robes for the rainy season, or the food for the incoming bhikkhus, or the food for the outgoing bhikkhus, or the food for the sick, or the food for those that wait upon the sick, or the medicine for the sick, or the constant supply of rice-milk.' 22. "Then will gladness spring up within me; thus gladdend joy will come to me; and so rejoicing all my frame will be at peace. Being thus at peace I shall experience a blissful feeling of content; and in that bliss my heart will be at rest. That will be to me an exercise of my moral powers, an exercise of the seven kinds of wisdom ! This, Lord, was the advantage I had in view for myself in asking those eight boons of the Blessed One." 

23. Then the Blessed One said: " It is well, it is well, Vishakha. Thou hast done well in asking these eight boons of the Tathagata with such advantage in view. Charity bestowed upon those who are worthy of it is like good seeds sown in good soil that yields an abundance of fruits. But alms given to those who are yet under the tyrannical yoke of the passions are like a seed deposited in bad soil. The passions of the receiver of the alms choke, as it were, the growth of merits." 
24. And the Blessed One gave thanks to Vishakha vi in these verses ; " Whatsoever donation a woman upright in life, a disciple of the Blessed One, may bestow in gladness of heart and without stint, her gift is heavenly, destructive of sorrow, and productive of bliss." " A blissful life does she attain entering upon the path that is from corruption and impurity." "Aiming at good, happy does she become; and she rejoices in her charitable actions." 
25. Vishakha gave to the Order the Purva-Aram or Eastern Garden, and was the first to become a matron of the lay-sisters.

10 December, 2013

Gift from Ambrapali. - Buddha and his dhamma,

:: 4. Gift from Ambrapali. ::
1. Now the Exalted One was staying at Nadika and was wishing for a change. He addressed Ananda, and said: " Come, Ananda, let us go on to Vesali." 
2. " So be it. Lord," said Ananda, in assent, to the Exalted One. 
3. Then the Exalted One proceeded, with a great company of the brethren, to Vesali, and there at Vesali, the Exalted One stayed at Ambrapali's grove. 
4. Now the courtesan Ambrapali heard that the Exalted One had arrived at Vesali and was staying there at her mango grove. And ordering a number of state vehicles to be made ready, she mounted one of them, and went forth with her train from Vesali towards her garden. She went in the carriage as far as the ground was passable for carriages; there she alighted and she proceeded on foot to the place where the Exalted One was, and took her seat respectfully on one side. And when she was thus seated the Exalted One instructed her with religious discourse.
5. Then she addressed the Exalted One, and said: " May the Exalted One do me the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at my house tomorrow ? " 

6. And the Exalted One gave, by silence, his consent. Then when Ambrapali the courtesan saw that the Exalted One had consented, she rose from her seat and bowed down before him, and keeping him on her right hand as she passed him, she departed thence. 
7. Now the Licchavis of Vesali heard that the Exalted One had arrived at Vesali, and was staying at Ambrapali's grove. They too wanted to invite the Buddha to their place for a meal. And ordering a number of state carriages to be made ready, they each mounted one of them and went forth with their train from Vesali. 
8. They and Ambrapali crossed on the way. 
9. And Ambrapali drove up against the young Licchavis, axle to axle, wheel to wheel, and yoke to yoke, and the Licchavis said to Ambrapali the courtesan, " How is it, Ambrapali, that thou drivest up against us thus ? " 
10. " My Lords, I have just invited the Exalted One and his brethren for their morrow's meal," said Ambrapali. 
11. "Ambrapali, sell this honour to us fora hundred thousand," said they. 
12. " My Lords, were you to offer all Vesali with its subject territory, I would not give it up." 
13. The Licchavis cast up their hands, exclaiming: "We are outdone by this mango girl. We are out-reached by this mango girl," and they went on to Ambrapali's grove. 
14. Knowing that they were outdone they still thought of approaching the Blessed One in the hope that he might reconsider and give their invitation first preference. So they went on to Ambrapali's grove. 
15. When the Exalted One saw the Licchavis approaching in the distance, he addressed the brethren and said: "Brethren, let those of the brethren who have never seen the devas, gaze upon this company of the Licchavis, behold this company of the Licchavis, compare this company of the Licchavis—-for they are even a company of next-world devas."
16. And when they had ridden as far as the ground was passable for carriages the Licchavis alighted there, and then went on foot to the place where the Exalted One was, and took their seats respectfully by his side. 

17. Then they addressed the Exalted One, and said : " May the Exalted One do us the honour of taking his meal, together with the brethren, at our house tomorrow ? " 
18. "I have promised, Licchavis, to dine tomorrow with Ambrapali," was the reply. 
19. Then the Licchavis knew that they had failed. And after expressing their thanks and approval of the words of the Exalted One, they rose from their seats and bowed down before the Exalted One, and keeping him on their right hand as they passed him, departed thence. 
20. And at the end of the night Ambrapali the courtesan made ready in her mansion sweet rice and cakes, and announced the time to the Exalted One, saying: "The hour. Lord, has come, and the meal is ready." 
21. And the Exalted One who had dressed himself early in the morning, took his bowl, and his robe and went with the brethren to the place where Ambrapali's mansion was ; and when he had come there he seated himself on the seat prepared for him. And Ambrapali, the courtesan, set the sweet rice and cakes before the order, with the Buddha at their head, and waited upon them till they refused any more. 
22. And when the Blessed One had quite finished his meal and had cleansed the bowl and his hands, the courtesan had a low stool brought, and sat down-at his side, and addressed the Exalted One, and said : 
23. " Lord, I present my pleasance to you and to the order." And the Exalted One accepted the gift; and after giving a religious discourse he rose from his seat and took her leave.

Gift from Jeevaka. - Buddha and his dhamma,

:: 3. Gift from Jeevaka. ::
1. Jeevaka the physician visited the Blessed One twice a day whenever the Blessed One happened to be in Rajagraha. 
2. Jeevaka found the Veluvana gifted away to the Blessed One by King Bimbisara too far away. 
3. Jeevaka had his own park in Rajagraha, known as Ambavana, which was much nearer from his place. 
4. He thought of building a Vihara with all its adjuncts and present the Ambavana and the Vihara to the Blessed One. 
5. With this idea in his mind he approached the Blessed One and requested him to let him fulfil his wishes. 
6. The Blessed Lord showed his acceptance by remaining silent.