Saturday, October 30, 2010

Kathina in the Past

In the lifetime of Lord Gotama Buddha, thirty Bhaddavaggi monks from Paveiyaka came to pay homage to the Buddha. At that time the Buddha stayed at Jetavana monastery near Savatthi. On arrival at the monastery, the Buddha allowed them celebrating and receiving the offering of Kathina robes due to a weary journey on the wet and damaging robes. From that day, Kathina ceremony started till today.

In retrospection on past event, after the first rains retreat (vassa), Lord Gotama Buddha lived in Benares in consideration of the Veneyas who are eligible for emancipation there. Then, Lord Gotama Buddha arrived at Uruvela forest and resided under a tree. At the moment, thirty Bhaddavaggi (half brothers of King Kosala) reached the Uruvela forest together with their wives for enjoying in the garden.

A prince, out of thirty princes, had no wife and used a prostitute as a wife. The prostitute stole his properties and went away. So, while they looked for the thief prostitute, they met the Lord Buddha, approaching respectfully, asked_
Bhaddavaggi:Venerable Sir, did you see a woman here?
Buddha: Why did you search for the woman?
Bhaddavaggi: Venerable Sir, we were wandering here and there in the forest and enjoying ourselves together with our wives. One of us hired a prostitute, because of absence of wife. That prostitute had chance to steal properties and ran away because of absent-minded and sensual pleasure. Therefore, we went in search of the lost woman.
As a result of this event_ 
Buddha: How did you think what I would say? Searching the lost woman and searching yourselves; in these twos which one was more worthier?
Bhaddavaggi: “The latter was worthier.

Then the Buddha preached a discourse on five words: concerning with generosity; morality; deva realm; misdeed of sensuality and benefit of liberation from sensuality.

Owing to hear the dhamma discourses, the princes became free from five hindrances (Nivarana).
So, Lord Buddha gave a talk on Four Noble Truths i.e. Dukkha, Samudaya, Nirodha and Magga sacca.

On this account every continuum of the princes was clear, because there were no ditthi and no vicikiccha. According to the dhammic nana they had got, some became Sotapanna; some others gained Sakadhagami and Anagami. They then respectfully made a request to the Buddha for ordination as bhikkhu.

With theEhi bhikkhu! the Buddha conferred ordination upon them at Uruvela forest.

Ehi bhikkhu! means “Come, monk!” In order to do well an end of suffering, practise the holy life rightly. As soon as the Buddha simply calls one a bhikkhu, the human-form naturally transformed one into bhikkhu with clean-shaven head, wearing the yellow robe in a proper manner, and carrying monk's bowl.”

When thirty Bhaddavaggi monks were dwelling in the forest for 13 years, to see Lord Buddha at Jetavana monastery they made a long journey to Savatthi, the capital of the Pasenadi Kosala kingdom. Unfortunately, they could make it only to Saketa, 6 yojana from Savatthi, before the rains retreat (vassa) began. They had to stay there for lent. When vassa came to an end, they set to Jetavana monastery after doing Pavarana meeting without having any delay.

Due to a heavy rain begun to fall en-route the monks became tired with the wet and damaging robes on their arrival at Jetavana. Having seen the unusual condition the Lord Buddha realised a need of new robes for thirty monks. So, He declared a permission to receive new ones which is offered by the devotees ever since, after the rains retreat.

On hearing of their unhappy account of the past, he expounded a dhamma concerning with Samsara (Samyutta Nikaya Anamatagga Samyutta Timsamatta Sutta). They attained enlightenment as arahatship.

Then the Buddha went on saying:
Oh! Bhikkhus. I allowed you who had observed the rains retreat (vassa) to celebrate Kathina ceremony.” 
Reference: About Kathina, by Ashin Kundalabhivamsa (Saddhammaramsi Sayadaw).

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Kathina Ceremony and Benefits

Kathina” is a word of Pali in origin. It means “firm or durable” by the period of time and by consequence of Kathina ceremony. The devotees have to celebrate Kathina festival during the only period which the Buddha recognised.

Kathina is a Buddhist festival which comes at the end of Vassa. The period is fixed to take one month only between the first waning day of Thadingyut (October) and full-moon day of Tazaunmon (November).
On the ceremony donors offer yellow robes to the members of the Buddhist Order for special purpose.

Five benefits allowed by the Buddha continuously exist from the first waning day of Thadingyut (October) to full-moon day of Dabaun (March). It takes five months long for the monks who stayed in a certain monastic one and ended in purima vassa. Monks who stayed in a monastery that has no kathina ceremony can get one month period of benefit. The reasons can confirm the two unchangable conditions, that is, period of time and consequence of Kathina ceremony. Noble offering Kathina robes has only to celebrate once a year; once within a month, and to end by a day for each and every monastery.

Benefits of holding Kathina Ceremony

When the monks (Sangha) participate in Kathina ceremony with the robes offered to them by the devotees, by the act of vinaya kamma, the monks get five Kathina benefits for five months. The donors of the Kathina robes can also get five benefits like the Sangha. They are as follows:

1.The donors of Kathina robes could go freely wherever they wish without any hindrance in every existence.
2.They could go to any place to carry out their tasks. They will be done easily and lightly without having to bear any burden in every existence.
3.They may eat any kind of food, but will not suffer from stomach trouble, diarrhoea, food poison or other dangers in every existence. They will get the benefit of easily digesting whatever is eaten.
4.They may keep lots of properties without having enemies.
5.The property of donors of Kathina robes cannot be taken away by force. If they do not wish to give away their property, nobody with any power can take by force. They get the benefit of making other people get it only when they give.

Offering the kathina robes is very worthy. From whether the parents and the friends, or the inviting donors, the monks may ask for the robe. However, it cannot do so for the Kathina robe. The monks have to perform Kathina Ceremony with the robes offered naturally by the belief of devotees. So, the Buddha honoured the offering of the Kathina robes.

Reference: Noble Kathina Robe Offering but Once a Year / U Kundalabhivamsa (Saddhammaramsi Sayadaw), Dhamma Padetha.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sabba Jaya Mangala Gatha

Diva tapati adicco;
ratti mabhati candima;
sannaddho khattiyo tapati;
jayi tapati brahmano;
atha sabba mahorattim buddho tapati tejasa.
Etena sacca vajjena, sotthi te hotu sabbada;
Etena sacca vajjena, hotu me jaya mangalam.

The sun shines by day;
the moon shines by night;
in regalia the king is bright;
in jhanic meditation purifies the arahat;
but the Buddha in his glory excels at all times, by day and night.
By these true words, may you be happy forever.
By these true words, joyous conquest be mine.

Posted by Nyan U

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Audiography on Theravada Dhamma Discourses [11]

ခႏၶာျဖစ္စဉ္ ဉာဏ္ႏွင့္ယွဉ္ () / Bhaddanta Vayaminda (Myauk-u Sayadaw). Yangon, Dec 4, 2007.
Definition of khanda; continuously damaging khanda with regards to Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta and Asubha; encouraging to strive to attain Vipassana strength; to observe khanda with nana. < Dhammadownload Ratana: 4-12-2007>
ေစာင့္ထိန္းက်င့္မွ တရားရ / Dr Ashin Pannissara (Dhammaduta). Bago, Aug 2, 2006.
Comparing six different animals with six senses; difficulties of controlling six senses which is like a person controlling six different animals; how to observe and control each of the six senses (six tanhas). <Dhammadownload 029>
နာဖ်ား၀င္လွ်င္ သတိယွဉ္ / Ashin Pannajota (Taunsunn, Dhammaduta). Yangon, 1357 (B.E.)
How a sick person can attain arahatship if he meditates with mindfulness and effort; example story: Oudiya Bhikkhu; balancing two viriyas; origin of magga; importance of sila to gain magga and phala; a significant Vipassana magga. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 03: 06>
ပူေဇာ္ထိုက္သူ တရားေတာ္ / Ashin Janakabhivamsa (Chanmyay Sayadaw). Yangon, Aug 4, 2001.
Worthy people to worship; to practise Noble Eightfold Path; advantage of sustained meditation; disadvantage of not meditating. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 02: 03>
ရည္႐ြယ္ခ်က္ႀကီးပါေစ / Bhaddanta Vayaminda (Myauk-u Sayadaw). Yangon, Dec 5, 2007.
Worthy ones to worship; to depend own self; to strive with great ambition of being Ariya; comparison of industrious and lazy yogi. <Dhammadownload Ratana: 5-12-2007>
လႉက်ိဳးသိမူ သက္စြန္ႛလႉ / Ashin Pannajota (Taunsunn, Dhammaduta). Yangon, 1359 (B.E.)
How a rich man Anathapindika made offering; the difference between a virtuous person and dissolute; benefits of donating to noble recipients; explanation of Sappurisa donation. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 03: 05>
သမထႏွင့္ ဝိပႆနာၿပိဳင္ရႈနည္း အလုပ္ေပး / U Vimala (Mogok Sayadaw). [no date]
Ditthi: the cause of getting khanda; to observe consciousness as Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta, disease and harmful one; Vipassana meditation. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc အလုပ္ေပး 02: 03>
အပါယ္တံခါး ပိတ္ထားႀကစို႕ / Dr Ashin Pannissara (Dhammaduta). Bago, May 7, 2006.
The frightful suffering in nether world; why most beings had to suffer in nether world? Example story_Subhama Deva; difference between puthujjana and Sotapanna; importance of dispelling Sakkaya Ditthi and how to dispel it. <Dhammadownload 023>
အျဖစ္ႏွင့္ အပ်က္ တရားေတာ္ / Ashin Janakabhivamsa (Chanmyay Sayadaw). Yangon, Dec 12, 1984.
Four Noble Truths; characteristics of nature and existence; transformation of suffering (dukkha) to happiness (sukha). <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 02: 01>
အရႈခံစိတ္(၁၃)မ်ိဳးကိုအရႈဉာဏ္ေမာဟစိတ္နဲ႕၀ိပႆနာရႈနည္း/UVimala (Mogok Sayadaw). [no date]
Thirteen consciousnesses to observe : six external visitors, five internal visitors and two hosts; what Vipassana, Dukkha sacca and Magga sacca mean; Cittanupassana meditation. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc အလုပ္ေပး 01: 10>

Posted by Nyan U, Aye Sat

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Parents of the Buddha [3]

Mahapajapati Gotami

Mahapajapati Gotami was the younger sister of Maha Maya. The religious officials foretold that she would have a large followers, and thus she was named 'Pajapati'. She was also a queen of King Suddhodana. She became a chief queen after her sister Mayadevi passed away. She had two children, Sundari Nanda, a daughter and a son, Nanda.

Maha Pajapati Gotami nursed her nephew Siddharttha Gotama, the son of her sister Mayadevi. Her son Nanda was three days younger than Siddharttha Gotama. She looked after Siddharttha more than her own children. She had a great affection for him too. For Siddharttha, she was not just an aunt and a foster mother, but she was like his own mother. So, she should be regarded as one of the parents of the Buddha.

After hearing the Buddha's discourse of Mahadhammaphala Jataka, she became a Sotapanna.

She made up her mind to renounce the world after her husband King Suddhodana died. She had five hundred Sakyan women following her. She requested twice to the Buddha to ordain them as monastics. But failed. However, by the initiation of Venerable Ananda, she and her companions became bhikkhunis. Precisely, they had to follow throughout their lives, the eight strict conditions which the Buddha laid down.

Pajapati Gotami Theri had been declared as the foremost among bhikkhuni disciples of the Buddha who were of long-standing in the Order. She attained Arahatship at the end of the Buddha's Samkhitta Sutta.

At her age of one hundred and twenty, she took notice of her life span, coming to an end. She then visited the Buddha and asked his approval of her death. The Buddha asked her to show her supernormal powers for the fools who had doubts about bhikkhunis attaining enlightenment. She did so before she departed.

Funeral procession of Pajapati Gotami Theri was the marvellous one. It was said to be the second to those of the Buddha.

The Buddha showed his respect and honour to his special mother by walking behind the carriage that carried her body for cremation.

Posted by Aye Sat