Author Topic: Heedfulness (Appamadavagga)  (Read 3253 times)

Offline Dharmakara

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Heedfulness (Appamadavagga)
« on: November 03, 2015, 11:28:04 am »
Dhammapada Verses 21, 22 and 23 -  Samavati Vatthu

Appamado[1] amatapadam[2]
pamado maccuno padam[3]
appamatta na miyanti[4]
ye pamatta yatha mata.[5]

Evam visesato natva
appamadamhi pandita
appamade pamodanti
ariyanam gocare rata.

Te jhayino[7] satatika
ni ccam dalhaparakkama
phusanti dhira nibbanam
yogakkhemam[9] anuttaram.

Mindfulness is the way to the Deathless (Nibbana); unmindfulness is the way to Death. Those who are mindful do not die; those who are not mindful are as if already dead.

Fully comprehending this, the wise, who are mindful, rejoice in being mindful and find delight in the domain of the Noble Ones (Ariyas).

The wise, constantly cultivating Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice, being ever mindful and steadfastly striving, realize Nibbana: Nibbana, which is free from the bonds of yoga; Nibbana, the Incomparable!

[1] appamada: According to the Commentary, it embraces all the meanings of the words of the Buddha in the Tipitaka, and therefore appamada is to be interpreted as being ever mindful in doing meritorious deeds; to be in line with the Buddha's Teaching in Mahasatipatthana Sutta, "appamado amatapadam", in particular, is to be interpreted as "Cultivation of Insight Development Practice is the way to Nibbana."

[2] amata: lit., no death, deathless; it does not mean eternal life or immortality. The Commentary says: "Amata means Nibbana. It is true that Nibbana is called "Amata" as there is no ageing (old age) and death because there is no birth."

[3] pamado maccuno padam: lit., unmindfulness is the way to Death. According to the Commentary, one who is unmindful cannot be liberated from rebirth; when reborn, one must grow old and die; so unmindfulness is the cause of Death.

[4] appamatta na miyanti: Those who are mindful do not die. It does not mean that they do not grow old or die. According to the Commentary, the mindful develop mindful signs (i.e., cultivate Insight Development Practice); they soon realize Magga-Phala (i.e., Nibbana) and are no longer subject to rebirths. Therefore, whether they are, in fact, alive or dead, they are considered not to die.

[5] ye pamatta yatha mata: as if dead. According to the Commentary, those who are not mindful are like the dead; because they never think of giving in charity, or keeping the moral precepts, etc., and in the case of bhikkhus, because they do not fulfil their duties to their teachers and preceptors, nor do they cultivate Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice.

[6] ariyanam gocare rata: lit., "finds delight in the domain of the ariyas." According to the Commentary the domain of the ariyas consists of the Thirty-seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bodhipakkhiya) and the nine Transcendentals, viz., the four Maggas, the four Phalas, and Nibbana.

[7] jhiyino: those cultivating Tranquillity and Insight Development Practice.

[8] phusanti dhira nibbanam: the wise realize Nibbana. Lit., phusati means, to touch, to reach. According to the Commentary, the realization takes place, through contact or experience, which may be either through Insight (Magga-Nana) or through Fruition (Phala). In this context, contact by way of Fruition is meant.

[9] yogakkhemam: an attribute of Nibbana. Lit., it means free or secure from the four bonds which bind people to the round of rebirths. The four bonds or yoga are: sense pleasures (kama), existence (bhava), wrong belief (ditthi), and ignorance of the Four Noble Truths (avijja).

The Story of Samavati

While residing at the Ghosita monastery near Kosambi, the Buddha uttered Verses (21), (22) and (23) of this book, with reference to Samavati, one of the chief queens of Udena, King of Kosambi.

Samavati had five hundred maids-of-honour staying with her at the palace; she also had a maid servant called Khujjuttara. The maid had to buy flowers for Samavati from the florist Sumana everyday. On one occasion, Khujjuttara had the opportunity to listen to a religious discourse delivered by the Buddha at the home of Sumana and she attained Sotapatti Fruition. She repeated the discourse of the Buddha to Samavati and the five hundred maids-of-honour, and they also attained Sotapatti Fruition. From that day, Khujjuttara did not have to do any menial work, but took the place of mother and teacher to Samavati. She listened to the discourses of the Buddha and repeated them to Samavati and her maids. In course of time, Khujjuttara mastered the Tipitaka.

Samavati and her maids wished very much to see the Buddha and pay obeisance to him; but they were afraid the king might be displeased with them. So, making holes in the walls of their palace, they looked through them and paid obeisance to the Buddha everyday as he was going to the houses of the three rich men, namely, Ghosaka, Kukkuta and Pavariya.

At that time, King Udena had also another chief queen by the name of Magandiya. She was the daughter of Magandiya, a brahmin. The brahmin seeing the Buddha one day thought the Buddha was the only person who was worthy of his very beautiful daughter. So, he hurriedly went off to fetch his wife and daughter and offered to give his daughter in marriage to the Buddha. Turning down his offer, the Buddha said, "Even after seeing Tanha, Arati and Raga, the daughters of Mara, I felt no desire in me for sensual pleasures; after all, what is this which is full of urine and filth and which I don't like to touch even with my foot."

On hearing those words of the Buddha, both the brahmin and his wife attained Anagami Magga and Phala. They entrusted their daughter to the care of her uncle and themselves joined the Order. Eventually, they attained arahatship. The Buddha knew from the beginning that the brahmin and his wife were destined to attain Anagami Fruition that very day, hence his reply to the brahmin in the above manner. However, the daughter Magandiya became very bitter and sore and she vowed to take revenge if and when an opportunity arose.

Later, her uncle presented Magandiya to King Udena and she became one of his chief queens. Magandiya came to learn about the arrival of the Buddha in Kosambi and about how Samavati and her maids paid obeisance to him through holes in the walls of their living quarters. So, she planned to take her revenge on the Buddha and to harm Samavati and her maids who were ardent devotees of the Buddha. Magandiya told the king that Samavati and her maids had made holes in the walls of their living quarters and that they had outside contacts and were disloyal to the king. King Udena saw the holes in the walls, but when the truth was told he did not get angry.

But Magandiya kept on trying to make the king believe Samavati was not loyal to him and was trying to kill him. On one occasion, knowing that the king would be visiting Samavati within the next few days and that he would be taking along his lute with him, Magandiya inserted a snake into the lute and closed the hole with a bunch of flowers. Magandiya followed King Udena to Samavati's quarters after trying to stop him on the pretext that she had some presentiment and felt worried about his safety. At Samavati's place Magandiya removed the bunch of flowers from the hole of the lute. The snake came out hissing and coiled itself on the bed. When the king saw the snake he believed Magandiya's words that Samavati was trying to kill him. The king was furious. He commanded Samavati to stand and all her ladies to line up behind her. Then he fitted his bow with an arrow dipped in poison and shot the arrow. But Samavati and her ladies bore no ill wills towards the king and through the power of goodwill (metta), the arrow turned back, although an arrow shot by the king usually went even through a rock. Then, the king realized the innocence of Samavati and he gave her permission to invite the Buddha and his disciples to the palace for alms-food and for delivering discourses.

Magandiya realizing that none of her plans had materialized, made a final, infallible plan. She sent a message to her uncle with full instructions to go to Samavati's place and burn down the building with all the women inside. As the house was burning, Samavati and her maids-of-honour, numbering five hundred, kept on meditating. Thus, some of them attained Sakadagami Fruition, and the rest attained Anagami Fruition.

As the news of the fire spread, the king rushed to the scene, but it was too late. He suspected that it was done at the instigation of Magandiya but he did not show that he was suspicious. Instead, he said, "While Samavati was alive I had been fearful and alert thinking I might be harmed by her; only now, my mind is at peace. Who could have done this? It must have been done only by someone who loves me very dearly." Hearing this, Magandiya promptly admitted that it was she who had instructed her uncle to do it. Whereupon. the king pretended to be very pleased with her and said that he would do her a great favour, and honour all her relatives. So, the relatives were sent for and they came gladly. On arrival at the palace, all of them, including Magandiya, were seized and burnt in the palace court yard, by the order of the king.

When the Buddha was told about these two incidents, he said that those who are mindful do not die; but those who are negligent are as good as dead even while living.

Then the Buddha spoke the aforementioned verses.

* The bonds of yoga are four in number, viz., sense-pleasures (kama), existence (bhava), wrong belief (ditthi) and ignorance of the Four Noble Truths (i.e., avijja).

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Heedfulness (Appamadavagga)
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2015, 03:35:00 am »
Dhammapada Verse 24 - Kumbhaghosakasetthi Vatthu

Utthanavato satimato
sucikammassa nisammakarino
sannatassa dhammajivino
appamattassa yaso bhivaddhati.

If a person is energetic, mindful, pure in his thought, word and deed, and if he does everything with care and consideration, restrains his senses, earns his living according to the Law (Dhamma) and is not unheedful, then, the fame and fortune of that mindful person steadily increase.

The Story of Kumbhaghosaka, the Banker

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered this verse with reference to Kumbhaghosaka, the banker.

At one time, a plague epidemic broke out in the city of Rajagaha. In the house of the city banker, the servants died on account of this disease; the banker and his wife were also attacked by the same. When they were both down with the disease they told their young son Kumbhaghosaka to leave them and flee from the house and to return only after a long time. They also told him that at such and such a place they had buried a treasure worth forty crores. The son left the city and stayed in a forest for twelve years and then came back to the city.

By that time, he was quite a grown up youth and nobody in the city recognized him. He went to the place where the treasure was hidden and found it was quite intact. But he reasoned and realized that there was no one who could identify him and that if he were to unearth the buried treasure and make use of it people might think a young poor man had accidentally come upon buried treasure and they might report it to the king. In that case, his property would be confiscated and he himself might be manhandled or put in captivity. So he concluded it was not yet time to unearth the treasure and that meanwhile he must find work for his living. Dressed in old clothes Kumbhaghosaka looked for work. He was given the work of waking up and rousing the people to get up early in the morning and of going round announcing that it was time to prepare food, time to fetch carts and yoke the bullocks, etc.

One morning, King Bimbisara heard him. The king, who was a keen judge of voices, commented, "This is the voice of a man of great wealth." A maid, hearing the king's remark, sent someone to investigate. He reported that the youth was only a hireling of the labourers. In spite of this report the king repeated the same remark on two subsequent days. Again, enquiries were made but with the same result. The maid thought that this was very strange, so she asked the king to give her permission to go and personally investigate.

Disguised as rustics, the maid and her daughter set out to the place of the labourers. Saying that they were travellers, they asked for shelter and was given accommodation in the house of Kumbhaghosaka just for one night. However, they managed to prolong their stay there. During that period, twice the king proclaimed that a certain ceremony must be performed in the locality of the labourers, and that every household must make contributions. Kumbhaghosaka had no ready cash for such an occasion. So he was forced to get some coins (Kahapanas) from his treasure. As these coins were handed over to the maid, she substituted them with her money and sent the coins to the king. After some time, she sent a message to the king asking him to send some men and summon Kumbhaghosaka to the court. Kumbhaghosaka, very reluctantly, went along with the men. The maid and her daughter also went to the palace, ahead of them.

At the palace, the king told Kumbhaghosaka to speak out the truth and gave him assurance that he would not be harmed on this account. Kumbhaghosaka then admitted that those Kahapanas were his and also that he was the son of the city banker of Rajagaha, who died in the plague epidemic twelve years ago. He further revealed the place where the treasure was hidden. Subsequently, all the buried treasure was brought to the palace; the king made him a banker and gave his daughter in marriage to him.

Afterwards, taking Kumbhaghosaka along with him, the king went to the Buddha at the Veluvana monastery and told him how the youth, though rich, was earning his living as a hireling of the labourers, and how he had appointed the youth a banker.

Then the Buddha spoke the aforementioned verse and, at the end of the discourse, Kumbhaghosaka attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Offline Dharmakara

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Re: Heedfulness (Appamadavagga)
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2015, 10:32:00 am »
Dhammapada Verse 25 - Culapanthaka Vatthu

Utthanena' ppamadena
samyamena damena ca
dipam kayiratha medhavi
yam ogho[2] nabhikirati.

Through diligence, mindfulness, discipline (with regard to moral precepts), and control of his senses, let the man of wisdom make (of himself) an island which no flood can overwhelm.

[1] dipam kayiratha medhavi = island + make + the wise, meaning let the man of wisdom make an island. The 'island', in this context stands for arahatship. Arahatship is here linkened to an island because it enables one to escape from the stormy waters of Samsara (round of rebirths).

[2] ogho: flood or torrent. It is used metaphoxically of evils or passions which overwhelm humanity.

The Story of Culapanthaka

While residing at the Veluvana monastery, the Buddha uttered this verse with reference to Culapanthaka, a grandson of a banker of Rajagaha.

The banker had two grandsons, named Mahapanthaka and Culapanthaka. Mahapanthaka, being the elder, used to accompany his grandfather to listen to religious discourses. Later, Mahapanthaka joined the Buddhist religious Order and in course of time became an arahat. Culapanthaka followed his brother and became a bhikkhu. But, because in a previous existence in the time of Kassapa Buddha, Culapanthaka had made fun of a bhikkhu who was very dull, he was born a dullard in the present existence. He could not even memorize one verse in four months. Mahapanthaka was very disappointed with his younger brother and even told him that he was not worthy of the Order.

About that time, Jivaka came to the monastery to invite the Buddha and the resident bhikkhus to his house for a meal. Mahapanthaka, who was then in charge of assigning the bhikkhus to meal invitations, left out Culapanthaka from the list. When Culapanthaka learnt about this he felt very much frustrated and decided that he would return to the life of a householder. Knowing his intention, the Buddha took him along and made him sit in front of the Gandhakuti hall. He then gave a clean piece of cloth to Culapanthaka and told him to sit there facing east and rub the piece of cloth. At the same time he was to repeat the word "Rajoharanam", which means "taking on impurity." The Buddha then went to the residence of Jivaka, accompanied by the bhikkhus.

Meanwhile, Culapanthaka went on rubbing the piece of cloth, all the time muttering the word "Rajoharanam". Very soon, the cloth became soiled. Seeing this change in the condition of the cloth, Culapanthaka came to realize the impermanent nature of all conditioned things. From the house of Jivaka, the Buddha through supernormal power learnt about the progress of Culapanthaka. He sent forth his radiance so that (to Culapanthaka) the Buddha appeared to be sitting in front of him, saying:

"It is not the piece of cloth alone that is made dirty by the dust; within oneself also there exist the dust of passion (raga), the dust of ill will (dosa), and the dust of ignorance (moha), i.e., the ignorance of the Four Noble Truths. Only by removing these could one achieve one's goal and attain arahatship". Culapanthaka got the message and kept on meditating and in a short while attained arahatship, together with Analytical Insight. Thus, Culapanthaka ceased to be a dullard.

At the house of Jivaka, they were about to pour libation water as a mark of donation; but the Buddha covered the bowl with his hand and asked if there were any bhikkhus left at the monastery. On being answered that there were none, the Buddha replied that there was one and directed them to fetch Culapanthaka from the monastery. When the messenger from the house of Jivaka arrived at the monastery he found not only one bhikkhu, but a thousand identical bhikkhus. They all have been created by Culapanthaka, who by now possessed supernormal powers The messenger was baffled and he turned back and reported the matter to Jivaka. The messenger was sent to the monastery for the second time and was instructed to say that the Buddha summoned the bhikkhu by the name of Culapanthaka. But when he delivered the message, a thousand voices responded, "I am Culapanthaka." Again baffled, he turned back for the second time. Then he was sent to the monastery, for the third time. This time, he was instructed to get hold of the bhikkhu who first said that he was Culapanthaka. As soon as he got hold of that bhikkhu all the rest disappeared, and Culapanthaka accompanied the messenger to the house of Jivaka. After the meal, as directed by the Buddha, Culapanthaka delivered a religious discourse confidently and bravely, roaring like a young lion.

Later, when the subject of Culapanthaka cropped up among the bhikkhus, the Buddha said that one who was diligent and steadfast in his striving would certainly attain arahatship.

Then the Buddha spoke the aforementioned verse.

Offline Samana Johann

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Re: Heedfulness (Appamadavagga)
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2017, 09:26:54 am »
Balanakkhattasanghuttha Vatthu

bālā dummedhino janā [12];
Appamādañca medhāvī,
dhanaṃ seṭṭhaṃva rakkhati.

Mā pamādamanuyuñjetha,
mā kāmaratisanthavaṃ;
Appamatto hi jhāyanto,
pappoti vipulaṃ sukhaṃ.

VERSES 26 & 27: The foolish and the ignorant give themselves over to negligence; whereas the wise treasure mindfulness as a precious jewel. 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).

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).

12. 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 Dhammapada - Verses and Stories, translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin edited by Editorial Committee, Burma Tipitaka Association
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