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02/21/12
22 02 2012 LESSON 532 The Dhammapada Verses and Stories Dhammapada Verse 78 Channatthera Vatthu In The Company Of The Virtuous
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22 02 2012 LESSON 532 The Dhammapada Verses
and Stories
Dhammapada Verse 78
Channatthera Vatthu In The Company Of The Virtuous

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 LESSONS 532

Practice a Sutta a Day Keeps Dukkha Away

Verse 78. In The Company Of The Virtuous

Don’t go around with evil friends,
with rogues do not resort.
Spend your time with noble friends,
and worthy ones consort.

Explanation: Do not associate with people who
have evil ways. Avoid the company of wicked, evil people who are mean and bad.
Associate with worthy friends. Keep the company of noble persons who are
superior in quality and virtue and who will be able to elevate you.

Dhammapada Verse 78
Channatthera Vatthu

Na bhaje papake mitte
na bhaje purisadhame
bhajetha mitte kalyane
bhajetha purisuttame.

Verse 78: One should not associate with bad
friends, nor with the vile. One should associate with good friends, and with
those who are noble.


1. namayanti: to bend, to incline a
person’s heart or will. In the case of fletchers, to make the arrows straight;
in the case of carpenters, to make the timber into things that people want, by
cutting, sawing and planing.


The Story of Thera Channa

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the
Buddha uttered Verse (78) of this book, with reference to Thera Channa.

Channa was the attendant who accompanied
Prince Siddhattha when he renounced the world and left the palace on horseback.
When the prince attained Buddhahood, Channa also became a bhikkhu. As a
bhikkhu, he was very arrogant and overbearing because of his close connection
to the Buddha. Channa used to say, “I came along with my Master when he left
the palace for the forest. At that time, I was the only companion of my Master
and there was no one else. But now, Sariputta and Moggallana are saying, ‘we
are the Chief Disciples,’ and are strutting about the place.”

When the Buddha sent for him and admonished
him for his behaviour, he kept silent but continued to abuse and taunt the two
Chief Disciples. Thus the Buddha sent for him and admonished him three times;
still, he did not change. And again, the Buddha sent for Channa and said, “Channa,
these two noble bhikkhus are good friends to you; you should associate with
them and be on good terms with them.”

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 78: One should not associate with bad friends, nor with
the vile. One should associate with good friends, and with those who are
noble.

In spite of repeated admonitions and advice
given by the Buddha, Channa did as he pleased and continued to scold and abuse
the bhikkhus. The Buddha, knowing this, said that Channa would not change
during the Buddha’s lifetime but after his demise (parinibbana) Channa
would surely change. On the eve of his parinibbana, the Buddha called
Thera Ananda to his bedside and instructed him to impose the Brahma-punishment
(Brahmadanda) to Channa; i.e., for the bhikkhus to simply ignore him and
to have nothing to do with him.

After the parinibbana of the Buddha, Channa,
learning about the punishment from Thera Ananda, felt a deep and bitter remorse
for having done wrong and he fainted three times. Then, he owned up his guilt
to the bhikkhus and asked for pardon. From that moment, he changed his ways and
outlook. He also obeyed their instructions in his meditation practice and soon
attained arahatship.
 

BSP emerges as an alternative to RPIs in Vidarbha polls

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times


Nagpur, February 19, 2012




The increasing might of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the virtual fall


of Republican Party of India (RPI) in its stronghold in Vidarbha,


particularly in Nagpur have raised many eyebrows in the region after


the local bodies’ elections.


Nagpur has been the citadel of RPI where Dr


Babasaheb Ambedkar converted to Buddhism in 1956 but the BSP has dealt


a severe blow to their vote bank in the recent elections.




BSP earned 12 seats in the Nagpur Municipal Corporations alone while 6


seats in the neighbouring Amravati municipal corporation and their


candidates finished second in 30 wards, giving a threat to the RPI


politicians. Moreover, the party got one seat in Akola Municipal


Corporation elections.




In Nagpur, it got 10 seats from north and south Nagpur assembly


constituencies—predominantly dalit areas  which are considered as RPI


citadel and dalit voters are the deciding factor for the state


elections.




In Akola, where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s grandson Dr Balasaheb Ambedkar


has a considerable clout, the party could manage to win only seven


seats and the BSP also made its presence felt in the elections.




The BSP also fared well in entire Vidarbha’s Zilla Parishad elections


and emerged as the top party for Dalits and backward classes by


winning eleven seats while all RPI factions could manage to win only


nine seats.




Milind Pakhale, chief of RPI (Ambedkar) in Nagpur, admitted that the


traditional RPI factions have lost their credibility among the voters


because of their hobnobbing with the ruling class as well as the


saffron combine which was cleverly used by the BSP in the region.




“We are assessing the entire issue and would rectify our mistakes.


This was lesson for us in our stronghold and we would certainly work


to reclaim our share of votes in the next elections,” he said.




Nagpur has been a significant power base of RPI where they ruled the


civic body for several years but all the three RPI factions could


manage only four seats.  RPI (Kawade ) failed to win a single seat


while Prakash Ambedkar faction got two while former state Maharashtra


minister Sulekha Kumbhare and Ramdas Athavale factions received a seat


each.

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