Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Five Infinite Venerables

Buddhists usually pay homage to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha, Parents and Teachers. Precisely, these are the Five Infinite Venerables, worth to revere.
  1. Buddha: the Enlightened one who expounded the Four Noble Truths that lead to Nibbana.
  2. Dhamma: the Teachings of the Buddha by which all beings can distinguish between the bad and the good deeds, and can win Arahantship.
  3. Sangha: the community of those who are Ariyas. They may help the practising Buddhists to do the same.
    So the Buddhists regard these three as ' Triple Gem' or 'Tri-ratana'.
  4. Parents: they restrain their children from doing evil, give care and food, educate for livelihood, arrange marriage and handover their inheritance.
  5. Teachers: they thoroughly instruct, ensure comprehension, provide well-roundedness, provide referrals and ensure safety.

Literature shows that Buddha repaid His parents and teachers.

After enlightenment, Buddha visited His father King Suddhodana. The king attained various stages of fruition and finally won Arahantship after hearing Buddha's Dhamma.

On the Seventh Lent, Buddha went to Tavatimsa Devaloka, where His mother had been reborned. He preached the Abhidhamma Pitika there.

Buddha did not neglect His foster mother, Prajapati Guatami. His Samkhitta Sutta made her Arahant.

Emphasizing the funeral occasion of Prajapati Guatami, Radhika Abeysekera wrote: ''The Buddha walked behind the carriage that carried her body. In this way, by example, the Buddha showed us that we should respect and honour our mothers for the care and love they had given us when we were too young to take care of ourselves.''

Buddha also looked for His former teachers, Alara Kalama and Udaka Ramaputta. They taught Him the ecstatic meditation when He was Bodhisatta. Unfortunatelly, they were dead.

Indeed, paying homage is not enough. We ought to act reciprocally, that is, we must repay them.

Posted by Aye Sat

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