Friday, May 30, 2014


Pali text translation.
Vinaya. Mahavagga. Chapter one, parts of...

This is one of the books in the basket of discipline. Chapter one is quite long, talking about the events after the awakening of the Buddha.

After enlightenment, the Buddha went from tree to tree, staying cross legged for 7 days at each place, enjoying the bliss of liberation. In the first week, he contemplated on dependent origination. In the second week, a brahmin whose practice is to say hum asked the Buddha on what is a Brahmin, and got an answer that the Brahmin. Is not one who says hum, but one who cast out evil.

The third week, there was a great storm that lasted for a week. The serpent king came out of his meditation, coiled around the Buddha 7 times, and spread its hood over Buddha's head, determined to shelter him from cold and heat.

The fourth week, two merchants were advised by their deva relatives to offer barley gruel and honey ball to the Buddha, for their blessing and happiness for a long time. When they offered, the Buddha says that the Tathagatha does not receive with hands. The 4 deva kjngs, having known this, send bowls to the Buddha. The Buddha received bowls made of rock crystals from 4 directions from the 4 deva kings. Thus the Buddha received the food and partook it. The two merchants then took refuge in the Buddha and Dhamma and became the first lay followers of the Buddha.

On the fifth week, the Buddha was reflecting that the Dhamma he had realised is subtle, hard to realise and understand. To teach it would be tiring to him, bringing vexation. To be continued....

I have read the chapter in Sylvia Bay's book in between the lines, an analytical appreciation of the Buddha's life that described the period after Buddha enlightenment and before the first sermon. She contrasted the popular Theravada account of the period with what is said in the Sutta and Vinaya. The Theravada account has 7 weeks, of which a lot of events like staring at the Bodhi tree for a week, walking on a jeweled bridge, contemplating on Abhidhamma, and the three Mara daughters were not found in the Canon. Thus, this remind us to look beyond what we were told and to not attach to even the words of Dhamma, but to practice non attachment in daily life.

No comments: