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05 01 2012 LESSON 485 Dhammapada Verses 26 and 27 Balanakkhattasanghuttha Vatthu Meditation Leads To Bliss This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: “There are these three fermentations. Which three? The fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of ignorance. These are the three fermentations.”
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05 01 2012
LESSON 485
Dhammapada Verses 26 and 27 Balanakkhattasanghuttha
Vatthu
Meditation Leads To
Bliss
This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I
have heard:
“There are these three fermentations. Which three? The
fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the fermentation of
ignorance. These are the three fermentations.”



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 LESSON 484

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Verse 27. Meditation Leads To Bliss

Don’t indulge in heedlessness!
Don’t come near to sexual joys!
The heedful and contemplative
attains abundant bliss.

Explanation: Do not indulge in heedlessness.
Avoid craving for sensual pleasures, whatever their nature. The mindful person
is tranquil in mind. He will attain the great bliss.

Verse 26. Treasured Mindfulness

Foolish folk of little wit
in heedlessness indulge,
the one who’s wise guards heedfulness
kin to the greatest wealth.

Explanation: Those who are foolish and
indiscriminating indulge in heedlessness. But the wise cherish mindfulness as a
great treasure. The foolish people live a life of sensual pleasure. They
indulge in pursuits that are not at all conductive to spiritual advancement. To
obtain worldly acquisitions, people need wealth. In the same way, to obtain
high spiritual acquisitions we need some wealth, and that wealth is
mindfulness.

 

Dhammapada Verses 26 and 27
Balanakkhattasanghuttha Vatthu

Pamadamanuyuñjanti
bala dummedhino jana1
appamadañca medhavi
dhanam setthamva rakkhati.

Ma pamadamanuyuñjetha
ma kamaratisanthavam
appamatto hi jhayanto
pappoti vipulam sukham.

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).


1. 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 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).

§ 55. {Iti 3.6; Iti 48}
  

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the
Arahant, so I have heard:
“There are these three searches. Which
three? The search for sensuality, the search for becoming, the search for a
holy life. These are the three searches.”

Sensual search, becoming-search, together with the holy-life
search — i.e., grasping at truth based on an accumulation of viewpoints:
through the relinquishing of searches & the abolishing of viewpoints of one
dispassionate to all passion, and released in the ending of craving, through
the ending of searches, the monk is devoid of perplexity & desire.

§ 56. {Iti 3.7; Iti 49}
  

This was said by the Blessed One, said by the
Arahant, so I have heard:
“There are these three fermentations.
Which three? The fermentation of sensuality, the fermentation of becoming, the
fermentation of ignorance. These are the three fermentations.”

 

05112 BUDDHIST CEREMONIES FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL DAYS



Festivals and
Special Days



There are many special or holy days held throughout the year
by the Buddhist community. Many of these days celebrate the birthdays of
Bodhisattvas in the Mahayana tradition or other significant dates in the
Buddhist calendar.
The most significant celebration happens every
May on the night of the full moon, when Buddhist all over the world celebrate
the birth, awakenment and death of the Buddha over 2,500 years ago. It has
become to be known as Buddha Day.

Buddhist Festivals are always joyful
occasions. Typically on a festival day, lay people will go the local temple
or monastery and offer food to the monks and take the Five Precepts and
listen to a Dhamma talk. In the afternoon, they distribute food to the poor
to make merit and in the evening join perhaps in a ceremony of
circumambulation a stupa three time as a sign of respect to the Buddha,
Dhamma, Sangha. The day will conclude with evening chanting of the Buddha’s
teachings and meditation. 

Some holy days are specific to a particular
Buddhist tradition or ethnic group (as above). There are two aspects to take
into consideration regarding Buddhist festivals: Most Buddhists, with the
exception of the Japanese, use the Lunar Calendar and the dates of Buddhist
festivals vary from country to country and between Buddhist traditions. There
are so many Buddhist festivals, here are some of the more important ones:

Buddhist New Year
In Theravadin
countries, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Lao, the new year is
celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April (06-04-2012
 01:47 AM)
. In Mahayana countries
the new year starts on the first full moon day in January (9-1-2012 13:39
Hrs).
However, the Buddhist New Year depends on
the country of origin or ethnic background of the people. As for example,
Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese celebrate late January or early February
according to the lunar calendar, whilst the Tibetans usually celebrate about
one month later.

Vesak or
Visakah Puja (”Buddha Day”)
Traditionally, Buddha’s Birthday is known as
Vesak or Visakah Puja (Buddha’s
Birthday Celebrations).
Vesak is the major Buddhist festival of the
year as it celebrates the birth, awakenment and death of the Buddha on the
one day, the first full moon day in May(06-05-2012 09:51)
,
except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. This celebration is
called Vesak being the name of the month in the Indian calendar.

Magha Puja Day (Fourfold
Assembly or “Sangha Day”)
Magha Puja Day takes places on the full moon day of the third lunar month
(March 08-03-2012 16:40 Hrs). This holy day is observed to commemorate an
important event in the life of the Buddha. This event occurred early in the
Buddha’s teaching life.

After the first Rains Retreat (Vassa) at the
Deer Park at Sarnath, the Buddha went to Rajagaha city where 1250
Arahats,(Awakened saints) who were the Buddha’s disciples, without prior
appointment, returned from their wanderings to pay respect to the Buddha.
They assembled in the Veruvana Monastery with the two chief disciples of the
Buddha, Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggalana.

The assembly is called the Fourfold Assembly
because it consisted of four factors: (1) All 1250 were Arahats; (2) All of
them were ordained by the Buddha himself; (3) They assembled by
themselves without any prior call; (4) It was the full moon day of Magha
month (March). 

Asalha Puja Day (”Dhamma
Day”)
Asalha Puja means to pay homage to the Buddha on the full moon day of the 8th
lunar month (approximately July 03-07-2012 01:10 AM). It commemorates the
Buddha’s first teaching: the turning of the wheel of the Dhamma
(Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta) to the five ascetics at the Deer Park (Sarnath)
near Benares city, India. Where Kondanna, the senior ascetic attained the
first level of enlightenment (the Sotapanna level of mind purity).   

Uposatha (Observance
Day)
The four monthly holy days which continue to be observed in Theravada
countries - the new moon, full moon, and quarter moon days. Known in Sri
Lanka as Poya Day.
[ Web Link: Uposatha or Observance Days
]

Pavarana Day

This day marks the conclusion of the
Rains retreat (vassa). In the following month, the kathina ceremony is held,
during which the laity gather to make formal offerings of robe cloth and
other requisites to the Sangha.

Kathina Ceremony (Robe
offering ceremony)
Is held on any convenient date within one month of the conclusion of the
Vassa Retreat, which is the three month rains retreat season (Vassa) for the
monastic order. It is the time of the year when new robes and other
requisites may be offered by the laity to the monks.

Anapanasati Day
At the end of one rains retreat
(vassa), the Buddha was so pleased with the progress of the assembled monks
that he encouraged them to extend their retreat for yet another month. On the
full-moon day marking the end of that fourth month of retreat, he presented
his now-famous instructions on mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati),
which may be found in the Anapanasati Sutta
(MN
118) -
The Discourse on Mindfulness of
Breathing
.

Abhidhamma Day
In the Burmese
tradition, this day celebrates the occasion when the Buddha is said to have
gone to the Tushita Heaven to teach his mother the Abhidhamma. It is held on
the full moon of the seventh month of the Burmese lunar year starting in
April (06-04-2012 01:47 AM)which corresponds to the full moon day in October
(29-10-2012 01:41 AM).

Songkran
This Thai Buddhist
festival goes on for several days during the middle of April (06-04-2012
01:47 AM 13 &14-14-2012). People clean their houses and wash their
clothes and enjoy sprinkling perfumed water on the monks, novices and
other people for at least two or three days. They gather around the
riverbank, carrying fishes in jars to put into the water, for April is so hot
in Thailand that the ponds dry out and the fish would die if not rescued.
People go to the beach or river bank with jars or buckets of water and splash
each other. When everyone is happily wet they are usually entertained by boat
races on the river.

Loy Krathong (Festival of
Floating Bowls)
At the end of the Kathin Festival season, when the rivers and canals are full
of water, the Loy Krathong Festival takes place in all parts of Thailand on
the full moon night of the Twelfth Lunar month(28-12-2012 04:14 Hrs). People
bring bowls made of leaves (which contain flowers) candles and incense
sticks, and float them in the water. As they go, all bad luck is supposed to
disappear. The traditional practice of Loy Krathong was meant to pay homage
to the holy footprint of the Buddha on the beach of the Namada River in
India.

The Ploughing
Festival


In May(13-05-2012), when the moon is
half-full, two white oxen pull a gold painted plough, followed by four girls
dressed in white who scatter rice seeds from gold and silver baskets. This is
to celebrate the Buddha’s first moment of awakenment, which is said to have
happened when the Buddha was seven years old, when he had gone with his
father to watched the ploughing.  (Known in Thailand as Raek Na)

The Elephant
Festival

The Buddha used the example of a wild
elephant which, when it is caught, is harnessed to a tame one to train. In
the same way, he said, a person new to Buddhism should have a special
friendship of an older Buddhist. To mark this saying, Thais hold an elephant
festival on the third Saturday in November (17-11-2012).

The Festival of the
Tooth

Kandy is a beautiful
city in Sri Lanka. On a small hill is a great temple which was especially
built to house a relic of the Buddha - his tooth. The tooth can never be
seen, as it is kept deep inside may caskets. But once a year in August
(02-08-2012 -9:39 AM), on the night of the full moon, there is a special
procession for it.

Ulambana (Ancestor
Day)
Is celebrated throughout the Mahayana tradition from the first to the
fifteenth days of the eighth lunar month(03-07-2012 01:10 AM to 18-07-2012).
It is believed that the gates of Hell are opened on the first day and the
ghosts may visit the world for fifteen days. Food offerings are made during
this time to relieve the sufferings of these ghosts. On the fifteenth day,
Ulambana or Ancestor Day, people visit cemeteries to make offerings to the
departed ancestors. Many Theravadins from Cambodia, Laos and Thailand also
observe this festival.

Ulambana is also a Japanese Buddhist
festival known as Obon, beginning on the thirteenth of July and lasting for
three days, which celebrates the reunion of family ancestors with the living.

Avalokitesvara’s (Kuan
Yin) Birthday

This is a festival which celebrates
the Bodhisattva ideal represented by Avalokitesvara. Who represents the
perfection of compassion in the Mahayana traditions of Tibet and China. It
occurs on the full moon day in March (08-03-2012 (16:40 Hrs).


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