Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/30/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 38

38. Wisdom never becomes perfect in one whose mind is not steadfast, who knows not the Good Teaching and whose faith wavers.


For those who are of unsteady mind,
Who do not know true Dharma,
And whose serenity wavers,
Wisdom does not mature. (translated by Gil Frondsal)

Let’s acknowledge that this verse describes most of us, at least some of the time. Our minds are unsteady and our serenity wavers. The Buddha is describing the goal here, not something that is easily attainable by those of us engrossed in lay life. And yet, there are things we can do to steady our minds and establish more serenity, enabling our wisdom to flourish.

One of the first handicaps we encounter is that we don’t often notice when we’re craving. If our normal state is to be trying to get something or get rid of something, then we’re unlikely to recognize the impermanent nature of our desires, whether they are being fulfilled or frustrated.

Being contacted by painful feeling, [the uninstructed worldling] seeks delight in sensual pleasure. For what reason? Because the uninstructed worldling does not know of any escape from painful feeling other than sensual pleasure. (from SN 4.36, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi)

This short section from the Saṃyutta Nikāya (Connected Discourses of the Buddha) suggests that there is another escape from painful feeling that is not simply seeking out pleasurable feelings. What could that be? We could start finding out by sincerely attempting to become an “instructed” worldling, that is, to learn more about the nature of human experience, at the ground level. We do that through observing the behavior of ourselves and others with an attitude of investigation (what are the causal relationships?), and through the discipline of daily meditation.

Our wisdom is also supported if we familiarize ourselves with some of the Buddha’s teachings. We might find that our attitude towards experience shifts from the me-centered world of getting and rejecting to a wider, more generous perspective. The true Dharma is the way it is, at every level, for all of us, for you, for me, for everyone. It’s not personal; it’s not about “me”; it is unfolding due to causes and conditions interacting in (sometimes) unfathomable ways.

If we want to find our way out of dukkha into wisdom, the only thing to do is to start and then continue.

https://buddhasadvice.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/dhammapada-verse-38/

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/26/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 35

35. Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/25/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 34

34. As a fish when pulled out of water and cast on land throbs and quivers, even so is this mind agitated. Hence should one abandon the realm of Māra.

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/24/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 33

33. Just as a fletcher straightens an arrow shaft, even so the discerning man straightens his mind — so fickle and unsteady, so difficult to guard.

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/23/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 32

32. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness will not fall. He is close to Nibbana.

Verse 32: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence will not fall away; he is, indeed, very close to Nibbana.


1. abhabbo parihanaya: Unable to fall away; here it means, unable to fall away from the practice of Tranquillity and Insight Development and the benefits thereof, i.e., Magga and Phala. (The Commentary)


The Story of Thera Nigamavasitissa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (32) of this book, with reference to Thera Nigamavasitissa.

Nigamavasitissa was born and brought up in a small market town near Savatthi. After becoming a bhikkhu he lived a very simple life, with very few wants. For alms-food, he used to go to the village where his relatives were staying and took whatever was offered to him. He kept away from big occasions. Even when Anathapindika and King Pasenadi(Prasenjit) of Kosala made offerings on a grand scale, the thera did not go.

Some bhikkhus then started talking about the thera that he kept close to his relatives and that he did not care to go even when people like Anathapindika and King Pasenadi(Prasenjit) were making offerings on a grand scale, etc. When the Buddha was told about this, he sent for the thera and asked him. The thera respectfully explained to the Buddha that it was true he frequently went to his village, but it was only to get alms-food, that when he had received enough food, he did not go any further, and that he never cared whether the food was delicious or not. Whereupon, instead of blaming him, the Buddha praised him for his conduct in the presence of the other bhikkhus. He also told them that to live contentedly with only a few wants is in conformity with the practice of the Buddha and the Noble Ones (Ariyas), and that all bhikkhus should, indeed, be like Thera Tissa from the small market town. In this connection, he further related the story of the king of the parrots.

Once upon a time, the king of the parrots lived in a grove of fig trees on the banks of the Ganges river, with a large number of his followers. When the fruits were eaten, all the parrots left the grove, except the parrot king, who was well contented with whatever was left in the tree where he dwelt, be it shoot or leaf or bark. Sakka, knowing this and wanting to test the virtue of the parrot king, withered up the tree by his supernormal power. Then, assuming the form of geese, Sakka and his queen, Sujata, came to where the parrot king was and asked him why he did not leave the old withered tree as the others had done and why he did not go to other trees which were still bearing fruits. The parrot king replied, “Because of a feeling of gratitude towards the tree I did not leave and as long as I could get just enough food to sustain myself I shall not forsake it. It would be ungrateful for me to desert this tree even though it be inanimate.”

Much impressed by this reply, Sakka revealed himself. He took water from the Ganges and poured it over the withered fig tree and instantly, it was rejuvenated; it stood with branches lush and green, and fully decked with fruits. Thus, the wise even as animals are not greedy; they are contented with whatever is available.

The parrot king in the story was the Buddha himself; Sakka was Anuruddha.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:


Verse 32: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence will not fall away(2), he is, indeed, very close to Nibbana.


At the end of the discourse, Thera Tissa attained arahatship.

(2) will not fall away: It means, will not fall away from Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice and is assured of attaining Magga and Phalla.

End of Chapter Two: Mindfulness (Appamdavagga)

https://tipitaka.fandom.com/wiki/Dhammapada_Verse_32_-_Nigamavasitissatthera_Vatthu

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/22/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 31

31. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness advances like fire, burning all fetters, small and large.

Dhammapada Verse 31
Annatarabhikkhu Vatthu

Appamadarato bhikkhu1
pamade bhayadassiva
samyojanam anum thulam

daham aggiva gacchati.

Verse 31: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence, advances like fire, burning up all fetters, great and small.


1. appamadarato bhikkhu: a bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness, i.e., in the practice of Tranquillity and Insight Development.

2. pamade bhayadassi: seeing danger in negligence, i.e., negligence which would lead to continued existence in the round of rebirths (samsara).


The Story of A Certain Bhikkhu

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (31) of this book, with reference to a certain bhikkhu.

A certain bhikkhu, after obtaining a subject of meditation from the Buddha, went to the forest to meditate. Although he tried hard he made very little progress in his meditation practice. As a result, he became very depressed and frustrated. So, with the thought of getting further specific instructions from the Buddha, he set out for the Jetavana monastery. On his way, he came across a big blazing fire. He ran up to the top of a mountain and observed the fire from there. As the fire spread, it suddenly occurred to him that just as the fire burnt up everything, so also Magga Insight will burn up all fetters of life, big and small.

Meanwhile, from the Gandhakuti hall in the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha was aware of what the bhikkhu was thinking. So, he transmitted his radiance and appeared to the bhikkhu and spoke to him. “My son,” he said, “you are on the right line of thought; keep it up. All beings must burn up all fetters of life with Magga Insight.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 31: A bhikkhu who takes delight in mindfulness and sees danger in negligence, advances like fire, burning up all fetters, great and small.

At the end of the discourse that bhikkhu attained arahatship then and there.

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=031

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/20/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 30

30. The monk who delights in heedfulness and looks with fear at heedlessness advances like fire, burning all fetters, small and large.

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/19/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 29

29. Heedful among the heedless, wide-awake among the sleepy, the wise man advances like a swift horse leaving behind a weak jade.

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/18/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 28

28. Just as one upon the summit of a mountain beholds the groundlings, even so when the wise man casts away heedlessness by heedfulness and ascends the high tower of wisdom, this sorrowless sage beholds the sorrowing and foolish multitude.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ds4pZV418WiZVYz_eDXT0YfipwnnJFPJ/view?usp=drivesdk

Posted by: Upāsaka Subhavi | 03/17/2021

Dhammapada Memorization: Verse 27

27. Do not give way to heedlessness. Do not indulge in sensual pleasures. Only the heedful and meditative attain great happiness.

Verse 27: Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures; for he who is established in mindfulness, through cultivation of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, experiences supreme happiness (i.e., realizes Nibbana).


1. bala dummedhino jana: the foolish and the ignorant. The foolish mentioned in the story were the hooligans who were given up to wild revelry and disorder during the Balanakkhatta festival. They were not mindful of others or of the consequence for themselves in this world and the next.


The Story of Balanakkhatta Festival

White residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (26) and (27) of this book, in connection with the Balanakkhatta festival.

At one time, the Balanakkhatta festival was being celebrated in Savatthi. During the festival, many foolish young men smearing themselves with ashes and cow-dung roamed about the city shouting and making themselves a nuisance to the public. They would also stop at the doors of others and leave only when given some money.

At that time there were a great many lay disciples of the Buddha, living in Savatthi. On account of these foolish young hooligans, they sent word to the Buddha, requesting him to keep to the monastery and not to enter the city for seven days. They sent alms-food to the monastery and they themselves kept to their own houses. On the eighth day, when the festival was over, the Buddha and his disciples were invited into the city for alms-food and other offerings. On being told about the vulgar and shameful behaviour of the foolish young men during the festival, the Buddha commented that it was in the nature of the foolish and the ignorant to behave shamelessly.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:Verse 26: The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence; whereas the wise treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel. Verse 27: Therefore, one should not be negligent, nor be addicted to sensual pleasures; for he who is established in mindfulness, through cultivation of Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, experiences supreme happiness (i.e., realizes Nibbana).

https://www.tipitaka.net/tipitaka/dhp/verseload.php?verse=026

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