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2696 Sat 28 Jul LESSON (38) LESSON Tue Aug 2 2007 [A dm evaa:] A giver of what is a giver of strength? A giver of what, a giver of beauty? A giver of what, a giver of ease? A giver of what, a giver of vision? And who is a giver of everything? Being asked, please explain this to me. Deva The real and original loyal users of the Internet are its owners. No body can succeed in controlling it like the four elements. Certainly the Murderers of democratic institutions (Modi) and all the chamchas, stooges, chelas, slaves, bootlicker and own mother’s flesh eaters can never even dream of control the natural elements. A giver of food is a giver of strength. A giver of clothes, a giver of beauty. A giver of a vehicle, a giver of ease. A giver of a lamp, a giver of vision. And the one who gives a residence, is the one who is a giver of everything. But the one who teaches the Dhamma is a giver of the Deathless.
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2696 Sat 28 Jul LESSON (38) LESSON Tue Aug 2 2007
[A dm evaa:]

A giver of what is a giver of strength? A giver of what, a giver of beauty? A giver of what, a giver of ease? A giver of what, a giver of vision? And who is a giver of everything? Being asked, please explain this to me. Deva

The real and original loyal users of the Internet are its owners. No body can succeed in controlling it like the four elements. Certainly the Murderers of democratic institutions (Modi) and all the chamchas, stooges, chelas, slaves, bootlicker and own mother’s flesh eaters can never even dream of control the natural elements.

A giver of food is a giver of strength.
A giver of clothes, a giver of beauty.
A giver of a vehicle, a giver of ease.
A giver of a lamp, a giver of vision.
And the one who gives a residence,
is the one who is a giver of everything.
But the one who teaches the Dhamma
is a giver of
the Deathless.

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https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.001.than.html

SN 6.1 PTS: S i 136 CDB i 231
A yacana Sutta: The Request
translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
© 1997
X
The updated version is freely available at
This version of the text might be out of date. Please click here for more information
I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Self-awakened, he was staying at Uruvela on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Then, while he was alone and in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness: “This Dhamma that I have attained is deep, hard to see, hard to realize, peaceful, refined, beyond the scope of conjecture, subtle, to-be-experienced by the wise. But this generation delights in attachment, is excited by attachment, enjoys attachment. For a generation delighting in attachment, excited by attachment, enjoying attachment, this/that conditionality and dependent co-arising are hard to see. This state, too, is hard to see: the resolution of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all acquisitions, the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding. And if I were to teach the Dhamma and if others would not understand me, that would be tiresome for me, troublesome for me.”

Just then these verses, unspoken in the past, unheard before, occurred to the Blessed One:

Enough now with teaching
what
only with difficulty
I reached.
This Dhamma is not easily realized
by those overcome
with aversion & passion.

What is abstruse, subtle,
deep,
hard to see,
going against the flow —
those delighting in passion,
cloaked in the mass of darkness,
won’t see.
As the Blessed One reflected thus, his mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma.

Then Brahma Sahampati, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One’s awareness, thought: “The world is lost! The world is destroyed! The mind of the Tathagata, the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One inclines to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dhamma!” Then, just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm, Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he knelt down with his right knee on the ground, saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart, and said to him: “Lord, let the Blessed One teach the Dhamma! Let the One-Well-Gone teach the Dhamma! There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.”

That is what Brahma Sahampati said. Having said that, he further said this:

In the past
there appeared among the Magadhans
an impure Dhamma
devised by the stained.
Throw open the door to the Deathless!
Let them hear the Dhamma
realized by the Stainless One!

Just as one standing on a rocky crag
might see people
all around below,
So, O wise one, with all-around vision,
ascend the palace
fashioned of the Dhamma.
Free from sorrow, behold the people
submerged in sorrow,
oppressed by birth & aging.

Rise up, hero, victor in battle!
O Teacher, wander without debt in the world.
Teach the Dhamma, O Blessed One:
There will be those who will understand.
Then the Blessed One, having understood Brahma’s invitation, out of compassion for beings, surveyed the world with the eye of an Awakened One. As he did so, he saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world. Just as in a pond of blue or red or white lotuses, some lotuses — born and growing in the water — might flourish while immersed in the water, without rising up from the water; some might stand at an even level with the water; while some might rise up from the water and stand without being smeared by the water — so too, surveying the world with the eye of an Awakened One, the Blessed One saw beings with little dust in their eyes and those with much, those with keen faculties and those with dull, those with good attributes and those with bad, those easy to teach and those hard, some of them seeing disgrace and danger in the other world.

Having seen this, he answered Brahma Sahampati in verse:

Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
Perceiving trouble, O Brahma,
I did not tell people the refined,
sublime Dhamma.
Then Brahma Sahampati, thinking, “The Blessed One has given his consent to teach the Dhamma,” bowed down to the Blessed One and, circling him on the right, disappeared right there.

Creative Commons License ©1997 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. The text of this page (”Ayacana Sutta: The Request”, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of the license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. Transcribed from a file provided by the translator. Last revised for Access to Insight on 30 November 2013.
How to cite this document (a suggested style): “Ayacana Sutta: The Request” (SN 6.1), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (BCBS Edition), 30 November 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn06/sn06.001.than.html .
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As the Buddha-to-be, Siddhartha Gautama, was sitting under a tree in deep meditation, he had a series of profound realisations which changed his life - and with it the life of all followers of Buddhism, past and present - for ever. The scriptures relate that he hesitated for a while before starting to spread the word simply because what he had realised was so profound that it seemed to him that no-one would understand. Fortunately for us, however, he saw that there were some beings with “but little dust” on their eyes who would be receptive enough to his teachings to able to attain the same realisations as he had, so he embarked on a career of teaching which was to take him the length and breadth of northern India over the course of the remaining forty or so years of his life.

Both the truth that he had realised and the teachings are referred to by the same Sanskrit word: “Dharma” (the Pali equivalent, more commonly used by practitioners in the old schools of Buddhism, is “Dhamma”). It is in the former sense that Buddhists view the Dharma as the second of the Three Jewels to which they commit themselves. The teachings form a path from the unenlightened state to the state of perfect Enlightenment, or Buddhahood. As Buddhism has spread and developed, the teachings have likewise spread and developed, but what they have in common is that all of them, when practised seriously, lead to freedom from suffering, severing the bonds of craving, aversion and spiritual ignorance. Some of the better known teachings are those which the Buddha is said to have given in his very first discourse to his former friends in the ascetic life in the Deer Park at Benares (modern-day Varanasi): they include the Four Noble Truths of suffering, its cause, its cessation with the attainment of Nirvana, or Enlightenment, and the path which can be followed to lead there, commonly known as the Noble Eightfold Path.

This is not the place to go into detail. However, in the Triratna Community we teach the Dharma as interpreted by our own teacher, Urgyen Sangharakshita, who has studied the Buddha’s teachings very deeply over very many years and created a synthesis that we believe is appropriate for the particular needs and conditioning of people in the modern west. But this is for you to judge - why not come along and participate in one of our ongoing courses? Please refer to the “What’s coming up?” section for more information.

Click here to go to the Sangha section.

After the Buddha had attained Enlightenment, his first action was to seek out people with whom he could share what he had found - after all, if you had discovered a way to eliminate suffering for ever, you wouldn’t want to keep it to yourself, would you? In a way, there was nothing else that he could have done - in the Enlightened Mind, wisdom in respect of the illusory nature of the self is conjoined with compassion in the face of the suffering that beings have to endure as a result of the harmful actions they commit out of ignorance. So the Buddha sought out people - and the scriptures record his elation at the moment when one of his followers, Kondañña, finally grasped the truth and attained Enlightenment for himself. The remaining members of the group of five in turn became Enlightened and formed the first ever Sangha, or community of Buddhist practitioners. The scriptures record that, in the course of the Buddha’s long life as a teacher, many people were so impressed by him that they spontaneously “went for Refuge” to him - committing themselves to practising the Dharma either as lay followers or in the context of ordination as monks and nuns. Many of them achieved deep spiritual realisation, even full Enlightenment.

People continue to commit to the Buddhist path to this day, responding with the same kind of faith and recognition of the truth as the personal followers of the historical Buddha. This doesn’t of course necessarily involve taking monastic ordination: the Buddha taught for people in all walks of life, and this is reflected in the fact that people in the Triratna community practise in a wide range of different situations - in the context of family life, in full-time residential Buddhist communities, in retreat centres, and even, at least for a while, as full-time meditators and hermits! But, whatever your individual context, having a community to practise in is well-nigh essential: anyone who has tried to practise the Dharma will be able to testify that nothing beats having other like-minded people to keep you company on the Buddhist path!

This community of practitioners makes up the Sangha in the sense of fellow travellers on the path and students of the Dharma. But Sangha as the third of the Three Jewels - the most precious values for Buddhists - is something rather different. If we are to Go for Refuge to something, we need to be sure that it will never let us down; as marvellous, committed and well-intentioned as they are, members of the Sangha in the sense outlined above are unlikely to be fully or even partially Enlightened beings and may therefore commit unskilful acts, fall away from the path and let us down - and we them. But happily for us, history is full of practitioners of the Dharma who have attained higher states of realisation and whose progress to full and perfect Enlightenment is assured - and these people, collectively known as the “Arya Sangha” (the word “Arya”, which unfortunately comes with rather negative connotations for modern Westerners, actually has a range of meanings including “noble, kind, honourable, dear, favourable, polite”) are those on whom we really can rely, to whom we can Go for Refuge, who can inspire us and whose example we can follow. And, what is more, our teacher Sangharakshita says that, with a few decades (!) of consistent practice, each and every practitioner can attain sufficient realisation for their eventual Enlightenment to be assured. In other words, each of us can become a member of the Arya Sangha in our own right. Food for thought, don’t you think?

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