Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bimbisara, the Ideal Father

Mother is always known to risk her life for carrying in her womb and giving birth to her child. Actually, father never hesitate to give his life for his child too. Literature showed that Bimbisara, the ideal father sacrificed his life to express his affection towards his son.

Bimbisara was the king of Magadha Empire. He extended his kingdom by defeating powerful kings. He used matrimonial alliances to strengthen his position as well. Thus, his empire was three hundred yojana vast with more than eight million villages. According to Mahavagga, he had five hundred queens, most of which senior ones were from his neighbouring powerful countries. He was also famous to have five unbounded wealthy persons (amitabhoga) in his kingdom.

Buddha visited Bimbisara after His enlightenment. Bimbisara offered meal and donated Veluvana Park to Buddha. After listening to Buddha's Maha Varada Kassapa Jataka, Bimbisara became Sotapanna. From then on, until he departed, he supported the further growth of Buddhism.

No matter how efficient and powerful king he might be, he sacrificed his life for his son, giving an example of the ideal father.

The tragic story started when Bimbisara's chief queen was pregnant. At that time, she had craving to drink the king's blood. When the king knew about that, he willingly cut his palm to ooze blood and fulfilled her desire. Owing to this event, the forecasters warned the king that his unborn child would be his enemy. But Bimbisara did not lessen his love at all. He even told his queen to take good care.

The child was born. The forecasters repeated their saying. Bimbisara neglected. The queen named her son ''Ajatasattu'' meaning ''unborn enemy''.

Once, the baby had an abscess in his thumb. He cried continuously of pain. With great love, Bimbisara carried the baby in his lap, keeping the baby's thumb in his mouth. Comfortably, the baby fell asleep. Soon, the abscess bursted out. Not to awake his son, the king swallowed all the pus and blood.

Ajatasattu fully grown up. One night, he attempted to kill his father. But he was caught. Instead of punishment, Bimbisara handed over the throne to his son.

The cruel son imprisoned his father and starved him. Ajatasattu's mother, the only person allowed to visit the king, brought food secretly in various ways for the king. Before long, Ajatasattu learnt about that and banned her entry.

Being Sotapanna, Bimbisara still survived by walking meditation. Then Ajatasattu ordered his men to cut the sole of his father's feet, put salt and oil mixture into it and let him walked on hot coal. Eventually, Bimbisara, the ideal father gave up his life with no regret.

Bimbisara immediately reborned in the Catumaharajika realm as Janavasabha deva.

Ajatasattu would have suffered in the lowest level of hell (avici), for committing Pancanantariya kamma.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Best Gratitude to Parents

The children need to rethink of the good things done for them by their parents. They must cultivate the four sublime states like parents for the reason that they will also become parents in the future. In this way the children are able to express their gratitude to parents for the present. Through this practice the children should seek how good and compassionate are the parents. Simultaneously they really know how difficult is for parents to boost and bring them up.

Whatever the children do will never be enough to repay what have been done for them by their parents. Hence the wise children should honour their mother and father till death. After their death the children should do meritorious deeds for them. If possible, the children should do whatever they can from now. Therefore the Buddha showed how to repay enough for parents. Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi makes it clear again:

But, monks, one who encourages his unbelieving parents, settles and establishes them in faith; who encourages his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in moral discipline; who encourages his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in generosity; who encourages his ignorant parents, settles and establishes them in wisdom __ such a one, monks, does enough for his parents; he repays them and more than repays them for what they have done.

In addition, the Buddha expounded obviously in the Mangala sutta: Matapitu upatthanam. This Pali stanza means, Looking after one's mother and father.

Let us make quite willingly our repayment of endless debts in response. May every children repay parents by the Buddha's way!

Posted by Nyan U.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Upstream: the Children's Cleverness

Aging will happen to each and every one of us because of its natural process. After the filial duty, their body and mind are tired and become very old. They have been afflicted with physical weakness and mostly illness.

It is the best time for children to repay their parents. The children must strongly wish to show gratitude and give help to their parents. They make sure that their duties to parents have been done completely. In this case, it will take a vast amount of patience not to have any grudge against parents.

If near and preferred, the children have a lot of duties to their parents such as:
[1] paying homage and honour
[2] bathing and anointing
[3] taking care of clean clothing and bedding
[4] preparing food, drink and feeding
[5] washing their feet and massage
[6] telling the words of inspiration and encouragement.

In the 'Buddha's Words', by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, the Buddha said,

Monks, I declare that there are two persons one can never repay. What two? One's mother and father. Even if one should carry about one's mother on one shoulder and one's father on the other, and while doing so should live a hundred years, reach the age of hundred years; and if one should attend to them by anointing them with balms, by massaging, bathing, and rubbing their limbs, and they should even void their excrements thereby that would one not do enough for one's parents, nor would one repay them. Even if one were to establish one's parents as a supreme lords and rulers over this earth so rich in the seven treasures, one should not enough for them, nor would one repay them. For what reason ? Parents are of great help to their children; they bring them up, feed them and show them the world.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Old Age

Grandson: Walk quickly grandpa, why are you so slow?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.
Grandson: Why can't you chew nuts like me grandpa?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.
Grandson: Why do you know more things than me grandpa?
Grandpa: Because I'm old.

Posted by Aye Sat