Saturday, November 27, 2010

The First Community of Sangha: Pancavaggi (2)

On the Fullmoon day of Waso, the other members of Pancavaggi namely, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji listened to the Buddha's first discourse Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta together with their leader Kondanna. But on that day they did not win any Fruition like Kondanna did.

Vappa became Sotappana on the next day while Bhaddiya did so on the second day. With great compassion, the Buddha preached the discourse again in detail to the rest of the Pancavaggi.The other three went for alms round and shared food among themselves including the Buddha. Only then, Mahanama on the third day and Assaji on the fourth day attained Sotapatti Fruition respectively. They were all ordained as monks by the Buddha's saying 'Ehi Bhikkhu'.

All of the Pancavaggi gained arahatship at the end of the Anattalakkhana Sutta which the Buddha delivered five days after the Full-moon day of Waso. And among human beings, the Pancavaggi were the first to have attained the arahatship. It is said that, from then on the fifth waxing day of Waso was commemorated as an 'Arahat Day'.

Later Yasa, the son of a very rich man became the sixth arahat and likewise his friends after him. The Buddha sent Pancavaggi, Yasa and his companions, the total of sixty arahats, each of them to different regions to propagate the Buddha Sasana.

Once, Thera Assaji went alms round in Rajagaha. Upatissa (future Sariputta) saw him and was pleased with the Thera's behaviour. So he approached the Thera and inquired about the Thera's teacher and the doctrines he followed. Then he urged Thera Assaji to preached him.

Thera Assaji uttered the key note of the Buddha's teaching as:

Ye dhamma hetuppa bhava te sam hetum Tathaggato ca yo nirodha, evam vadi mahasamano which denotes_ “of things that proceed themselves and from a cause, their cause the Buddha has told and their cessation”.

After hearing the verse, Upatissa became Sotapanna. He happily went to meet his best friend Kolita (future Moggallana) and repeated the verse which also made Kolita to attain Sotapatti fruition. And thereby,Thera Assaji unexpectedly happened to be the teacher of future two chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana.

One of the Pancavaggi, Thera Mahanama met a house-holder, Citta on his alms round and was offered alms food in his house. Citta won Sotappanahood after Thera Mahanama delivered a discourse.

In this way, Pancavaggi, the first community of  Sangha strived for themselves and helped others to be like them.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The First Community of Sangha: Pancavaggi

The first community of Sangha had five members. The leader was Kondanna and the rests of them were Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji.

The leader Kondanna

Kondanna was the son of a wealthy Brahmin. They lived in Brahmin village of Donavatthu near Kapilavatthu city. He was educated in three vedas and became a great Brahmin.

King Suddhodana selected Kondanna together with other seven wise Brahmins to attend the naming day of his son Siddhattha. Kondanna, the youngest Brahmin among eight, foretold that the prince would surely become a Buddha.

All these Brahmins told their sons to take up an ascetic life and follow the prince when he became one. But seven of the Brahmins died in their old age before Siddhattha renounce the world. Only Kondanna was left in perfect health.

When Kondanna heard about the Bodhisatta's renunciation, he persuaded the late seven Brahmins' sons to follow the Bodhisatta. Four agreed to go forth. They became ascetics and chose Kondanna as their leader. From then on, they were called "Pancavaggi" meaning "A Group of Five".

Pancavaggi attended the Bodhisatta who was practising Dukkaracariya in Uruvela forest for six years. Then Bodhisatta changed his mind to perform the middle-way (Majjimapatipada) instead of the wrong extreme practice. So, he took the alms food to keep himself strong. But Pancavaggi misunderstood him of material accumulation. They abandoned the Bodhisatta and moved to the Deer Park (Migadaya).

Buddha went to the Deer Park soon after his enlightenment. At first, Pancavaggi intended to neglect the Buddha, but spontaneously, they all attended to the Buddha with due respect. The Buddha delivered his first Dhamma, "Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta" to them. Kondanna attained Sotapatti Fruition upon hearing the discourse. He requested the Buddha to ordained him as a monk. The Buddha called 'Ehi Bhikkhu' and Kondanna became a monk with neatly shaven head, wearing the yellow rope in proper manner and carrying monk's bowl. Thus, he was the earliest monk who realized the 'Four Noble Truths' and started the community of Sangha whence the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha were first introduced as 'Three Refuges'.

Thera Kondanna again won Arahatship at the end of the Buddha's discourse "Anatta lakkhana Sutta". All these achievements of Arahat Kondanna were the effects of his great meritorious deeds and aspiration in his past existences. During the periods of Padumuttara and Vipassi Buddha, he aspired to become a monk and realized the 'Four Noble Truths' before all others do in the dispensation of a future Buddha.The Buddhas gave definite prophecy that his aspiration would be fulfil.

He got a new name 'Annasi Kondanna' when the Buddha uttered, 'Annasi vata bho Kondanna' which means 'Kondanna has penetrated the Four Noble Truths'. Also, Gotama Buddha conferred on Arahat Kondanna, 'the foremost among monks in long standing', the 'Rattannu Etadagga' title.

However, Arahat Kondanna liked to stay blissfully only in the attainment of Phalasamapatti. So he asked the Buddha to permit him to live in the 'Chaddanta' forest. He succeeded his plan.

In Chaddanta forest, he resided near the Mandakini lake. Eight thousand elephants living around the region took turns to serve the Arahat Kondanna respectfully without fail.

After twelve years of peaceful life, Arahat Kondanna found out that his life span was coming to an end. He then went to the Buddha and requested permission to attain Parinibbana. When the Buddha granted his request by keeping silent, he paid his final obeisance to the Buddha and returned to the Chaddanta forest. There, he was engaged in Phalasamapatti meditation. On the third watches of that night Arahat Kondanna entered Parinibbana.

Cremation ceremony of Arahat Kondanna was a tremendous one. Brahmas and Devas of all realms, five hundred monks led by Anuruddha and elephants participated in the occasion. It is said that when the Buddha stretched out his hands holding the Arahat Kondanna's relics towards the earth, a cetiya emerged and the Buddha enshrined them in it.

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Half brother of the Buddha, Prince Nanda

Nanda was the son of King Suddhodana and Mahapajapati Gotami. King Suddhodana was also the father of Siddharttha Gotama. So, they were half brothers. They were cousins too, as their mothers were sisters. He was born three days after the birth of Siddharttha Gotama, who was fostered by his mother.

During his stay in Kapilavathu, the Buddha went to the marriage ceremony of Nanda for alms. The Buddha handed over the alms bowl to Nanda and left without taking it back. Thus, Nanda had to follow the Buddha. Seeing this, his bride, Janapada Kalyani rushed forth and cried out to him, to hurry back home.

When they arrived to the monastery, the Buddha asked Nanda that whether he liked to be a bhikkhu. Being respectful to his brother, Nanda said, "Yes". But Nanda was unhappy in his holy life. He could not erase the image and the words of his bride from his memory.

The Buddha, who foreseen that Nanda would become an arahat, took him to Tavatimsa. On the way, Nanda saw a she-monkey with scalds all over its body. It held tightly to the charred stump on the land razed by fire. There at Tavatimsa, Nanda saw female devas with surpassing beauties.

The Buddha questioned Nanda that who were prettier, Janapada Kalyani or those devas. Without delay, Nanda answered that the devas were prettier and Janapada Kalyani was like that she-monkey.

Then the Buddha promised him to get those devas for him if he works hard in the Dhamma practice. Again, Nanda said, "Yes".

Nanda was teased by the other bhikkhus for this agreement. He felt ashamed and suffered very much. So, he isolated himself and strove very hard in the practice of the Dhamma. Finally, he won arahatship.

The Buddha explained to those bhikkhus, who were uncertain about Nanda's detachment of desires, in the following verses:

"Just as rain penetrates a badly-roofed house, so also passion (raga) penetrates a mind of not cultivated Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana)".

"Just as rain cannot penetrate a well-roofed house, so also passion (raga) cannot penetrate a mind well cultivated in Tranquillity and Insight Development (Samatha and Vipassana)".

Posted by Aye Sat

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Audiography on Theravada Dhamma Discourses [12]

ကံတရား၏ ဆန္းၾကယ္ပံု တရားေတာ္ / U Eindavudabhivamsa (Htoogyi Sayadaw). Aungpan, Jun 9, 2005.
The relationship between living beings and kamma; consequences of kamma, example story: Todeya and Suba; conversation of Venerable Ananda and Suba. <Dhammadownload Mp3 DVD Disc 01: 03>
စိတၱာႏုပႆနာရႈပြားနည္း အလုပ္ေပးတရား() / U Vimala (Mogok Sayadaw). [no date]
Description of Cittanupassana meditation method, giving “a spider in its web” as a reference to observe. <Dhammadownload အလုပ္ေပး (): 06>
စိတ္ယဥ္ေက်းက ခ်မ္းသာရ တရားေတာ္ / Ashin Janakabhivamsa (Chanmyay Sayadaw). Yangon, May 14, 1997.
What Nibbana is; bhavana; training the mind to be pure and attain happiness. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 02: 04>
ဆြမ္းစားဆင္ျခင္ရန္ / Ashin Pannajota (Taunsunn, Dhammaduta). Yangon, [no date]
Way to meditate while eating food; facts to consider by vegetarian; ten kinds of meat which should not be eaten; qualities to maintain before praying for the well-being of others; five extra rules for monks that Devadatta proposed to the Buddha and what the Buddha advised. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 03: 08>
နီးစပ္ရာပါတတ္သည္ / Ashin Pannajota (Taunsunn, Dhammaduta). Yangon, 1356 (B.E.)
Human realm: a junction to Nibbana and nether worlds; three vatta; whom to make friend; ways to attain Nibbana; the best consciousness among three. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 03: 07>
ဘာအေရးႀကီးဆုံးလဲ / Dr Ashin Pannissara (Dhammaduta). Bago, Aug 3, 2006.
The most important matter to do; causes that lead beings to nether world (greed, anger and delusion), to rescue oneself from becoming in nether world; practising Vipassana to attain Nibbana which is devoid of aging, sickness and death. <Dhammadownload 030>
မွားေနရင္ ၿပင္လိုက္ပါ / Dr Ashin Pannissara (Dhammaduta). Bago, Aug 5, 2006.
Practising the middle way. To observe own self with nana eye and correct immediately if there is any evil deeds. Accept and pay gratitude to those who correct one's wrong-doing. Importance of Noble eightfold Path. <Dhammadownload 031>
ေရွ႕ေရးကိုေမွ်ာ္ပါ တရားေတာ္ / U Eindavudabhivamsa (Htoogyi Sayadaw). Aungpan, Jun 8, 2005.
Basis of jati; to strive to attain the Noble Eightfold Path which can reduce one from cycling in samsara; how to scrutinise oneself of attaining the Noble Eightfold Path. <Dhammadownload Mp3 DVD Disc 01: 02>
ဣေျႏၵငါးပါး တရားေတာ္ / Ashin Janakabhivamsa (Chanmyay Sayadaw). Yangon, [no date]
Description of five indrias, defining three nana_Sutamaya nana, Cintamaya nana and Bhavanamaya nana. Sequence of indria. Sabhava lakkhana (Natural characteristics) and Saminnya lakkhana (Ordinary characteristics). Nature of four basic elements: earth, water, fire and air. <Dhammadownload Mp3 Disc 03: 09>
ဣေႁႏၵၫွိနည္း အလုပ္ေပးတရား (-) / U Vimala (Mogok Sayadaw). [no date]
Balancing five indria: Viriya and Samadhi, Sadda and Panna, with constant Sati; example event of Venerable Ananda. <Dhammadownload အလုပ္ေပး (): 04-05>

Posted by Nyan U, Aye Sat