Lord Buddha (a Tathagatha, Exalted One, Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One)

 is The Incomparable Teacher of Human And Gods (Deities/Devas)

"Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa"

"Veneration to the Exalted One, the Homage Worthy, the Perfectly Self-Enlightened"

 

Last Days of the Buddha  - Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16)

"And what, Ananda, is that teaching called the Mirror of Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple may thus declare of himself?

I go for refuge to the Buddha (Teacher) : "In this case, Ananda, the noble disciple possesses unwavering faith in the Buddha thus: 'The Blessed One is an Arahat, the Fully Enlightened One, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the Happy One, the knower of the world, the paramount trainer of beings, the teacher of gods and men, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.'

I go for refuge to the Dhamma (the Buddha’s Teaching) : "He possesses unwavering faith in the Dhamma thus: 'Well propounded by the Blessed One is the Dhamma, evident, timeless, inviting investigation, leading to emancipation, to be comprehended by the wise, each for himself.'

I go for refuge to the Sangha (the monks community/not any particular monk) : "He possesses unwavering faith in the Blessed One's Order of Disciples thus: 'Well faring is the Blessed One's Order of Disciples, righteously, wisely, and dutifully: that is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight classes of persons. The Blessed One's Order of Disciples is worthy of honor, of hospitality, of offerings, of veneration -- the supreme field for meritorious deeds in the world.'

"And he possesses virtues that are dear to the Noble Ones, complete and perfect, spotless and pure, which are liberating, praised by the wise, uninfluenced (by worldly concerns), and favorable to concentration of mind.

10. "This, Ananda, is the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, whereby the noble disciple may thus know of himself: 'There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'"

 

The Four Great References

 Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16) & Anguttara Nikáya Sutta 4.180

7. And there the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Now, bhikkhus, I shall make known to you the four great references. Listen and pay heed to my words." And those bhikkhus answered, saying:

"So be it, Lord."

8-11. Then the Blessed One said: "In this fashion, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu might speak: 'Face to face with the Blessed One, brethren, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a community with elders and a chief. Face to face with that community, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name live several bhikkhus who are elders, who are learned, who have accomplished their course, who are preservers of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with those elders, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation'; or: 'In an abode of such and such a name lives a single bhikkhu who is an elder, who is learned, who has accomplished his course, who is a preserver of the Dhamma, the Discipline, and the Summaries. Face to face with that elder, I have heard and learned thus: This is the Dhamma and the Discipline, the Master's Dispensation.'

"In such a case, bhikkhus, the declaration of such a bhikkhu is neither to be received with approval nor with scorn. Without approval and without scorn, but carefully studying the sentences word by word, one should trace them in the Discourses (Suttas) and verify them by the Discipline (Vinaya). If they are neither traceable in the Discourses (Suttas)  nor verifiable by the Discipline, one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is not the Blessed One's utterance; this has been misunderstood by that bhikkhu -- or by that community, or by those eldeers, or by that elder.' In that way, bhikkhus, you should reject it. But if the sentences concerned are traceable in the Discourses (Suttas) and verifiable by the Discipline (Vinaya), then one must conclude thus: 'Certainly, this is the Blessed One's utterance; this has been well understood by that bhikkhu -- or by that community, or by those elders, or by that elder.' And in that way, bhikkhus, you may accept it on the first, second, third, or fourth reference. These, bhikkhus, are the four great references for you to preserve."

 

“Whatever Dhamma-Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone."

In the Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16),  Then the Blessed One said to Ven. Ananda, "Now, if it occurs to any of you -- 'The teaching has lost its authority; we are without a Teacher' -- do not view it in that way. Whatever Dhamma-Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone." This is a very important statement the significance of which has been overlooked by many Buddhists. Because many Buddhists have not heard this advice or grasped its significance, they search far and wide for a teacher; a teacher they can be proud of and brag about his attainments, etc.. Some even travel halfway round the world or more in such a search. These people create personality cults based on the perceived goodness of the teacher rather than on the Dhamma-Vinaya itself.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/dn-16.htm
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/digha/dn16.html

Nikayas is also known as Agama Sutras in the Mahayana Buddhism

Nowadays, the Buddha’s teachings are often referred to as Tipitaka or Tripitaka (Three Treasuries), although they were called "Dhamma-Vinaya" by the Buddha in the discourses. In Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16) & Anguttara Nikáya Sutta 4.180, the Buddha specifically refers to Dhamma as the Suttas (discourses). Vinaya is the disciplinary code of monks and nuns. In the Nikáyas, it is also implied that the Suttas are "Saddhamma" which means "true Dhamma".

In Anggutarra Nikaya 8.51,(Refer also to The First Sangha Council-The Thera Mahakassapa has made the blessed Buddha’s message to endure 500 years - from the Mahavamsa book) the Buddha warned that the true Dhamma would remain unadulterated for 500 years after his passing into Nibbána. Thereafter, it will become very difficult to distinguish the true teachings from the false. Why? Because although many of these later books contain a lot of Dhamma, some adhamma (i.e. what is contrary to the Dhamma) are added here and there. These alterations scattered throughout these texts are only noticeable if one is sharp and very well versed in the earliest suttas. Otherwise, one would find it very difficult to distinguish the later books from the earlier ones.

 

Analogy to Gold Trading

In this same Sutta, the Buddha likened this situation to gold trading. He said that at that time people still wanted to buy gold because only pure gold was being sold in the market. But one day, people would make counterfeit gold of such quality that it would be indistinguishable from real gold. Under these circumstances, people will become wary. They will be reluctant to buy gold because they are afraid what they buy may be counterfeit gold. In the same way, the Buddha said in the future the Dhamma would become polluted. When that happens, it will be very difficult to distinguish the true Dhamma from the false, and people will lose interest in the Dhamma. Therefore, we must take the trouble to find out what is the true Dhamma, and not become confused.


Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 5.88 (The Buddha Gave Us This Warning For The Future)

It is possible that a world-renowned monk of very senior status, with a huge following of lay & monastic disciples & who is highly learned in scriptures, can have wrong views.


Sure this is not the word of the Fully Enlightened One

“In this case. “Monks, a monk might say : “Face to face with the Exalted One, your reverence, your reverence, did I hear it; face to face with him did I receive it. This is Dhamma, this is Vinaya, this is the Master’s teaching.” Now, monks, the words of that monk are neither to be welcomed nor scorned, but without welcoming, without scorning, the words & syallables are to be closely scrutinized, laid beside Sutta & compared with Vinaya. If, when thus laid beside Sutta & compared with Vinaya, they lie not along with Sutta & agree not with Vinaya, to this conclusion must ye come: Sure this is not the word of that Exalted One, Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, & it was wrongly taken by that monk. So reject it, monks. Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16) & Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 4.180


The Disappearance Of The Discourses That Are Words (Sutta) Of The Buddha

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn20-7.htm

"… in the course of the future there will be monks who won't listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness -- are being recited. They won't lend ear, won't set their hearts on knowing them, won't regard these teachings as worth grasping or mastering. But they will listen when discourses that are literary works -- the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric, the work of outsiders, words of disciples -- are recited. They will lend ear and set their hearts on knowing them. They will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering. "In this way the disappearance of the discourses that are words of the Tathagata -- deep, deep in their meaning, transcenddent, connected with emptiness -- will come about.

Therefore, monks, train yourselves thus: To these very Suttas will we listen, give a ready ear, understand, recite and master them." Samyutta Nikaya Sutta XX.7


The Cause The True Dhamma Does Not Last A Long Time

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Anguttara-Nikaya/an7-54-64.htm 

“…when a Tathagata has become totally unbound, the monks, nuns, male lay followers, & female lay followers live without respect, without deference, for the Teacher (The Buddha); live without respect, without deference, for the Sutta(The Buddha’s Teachings)... the Sangha (community of The Buddha’s disciples and not any particular monk)... the Training(Vinaya/Discipline/Virtue)... concentration (samadhi/Jhanna in meditation)... heedfulness; live without respect, without deference, for hospitality. This is the cause, this is the reason why, when a Tathagata has become totally unbound, the true Dhamma does not last a long time” (Anguttara Nikaya Sutta VII.56, Samyutta Nikáya Sutta 16.13)


In Buddhism there are no dogmas or beliefs that one has to accept on blind faith without question

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Anguttara-Nikaya/an3-62-71.htm#65

(Dhammapada, 115) Better it is to live one day seeing the Supreme Truth

than to live a hundred years without ever seeing the Supreme Truth.

http://dhammapada.buddhistnetwork.com/   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Dhammapada2all

 


'Monks, those monks who point out what is not Dhamma as Dhamma,-such conduct of theirs is to the loss of many folk, to the misery of many folk, to the loss, the injury, the misery of devas and mankind. Moreover, such beget great demerit & cause the disappearance of this TRUE Dhamma.

Those monks who point to Dhamma as not Dhamma ... who point to what is not the Discipline as the Discipline... to what is the Discipline as not the Discipline... who point out things not uttered & proclaimed by the Tathagatahim as having been uttered by him...... who point out what was uttered and proclaimed by him as not having been so uttered & proclaimed... who point out something not practised by the Tathagatha as having been practised by him... and the reverse... who point out what was not ordained by the Tathagatha as having been ordained by him... and the reverse... such monk' conduct is to the loss of many folk, to the misery of many folk, to the loss, injury and misery of devas and mankind. Moreover, such monks beget great demerit and cause the disappearance of this true Dhamma' - Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 1.10


Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 1.12 On unpardonable offences etc ‘Those monks who point to what is not an offence as being an offence… to an offence as not being such… to a slight offence as being a serious offence… to a serious as being slight… to an offence against chastity as not being such… to what is no offence against chastity as an offence… who point to a partial offence as a complete one… to a complete offence as a partial one…to a pardonable offence as unpardonable and the reverse…such… cause the disappearance of this true Dhamma.

‘Those monks who point out what is not Dhamma as not Dhamma,- such conduct of theirs is to the profit of many folk, to the good, profit and happiness of devas and mankind. Moreover, such monks beget great merit and establish this true Dhamma. Those monks who point out what is Dhamma as being such… to what is not the Discipline as not being such (the whole the reverse of the above sutta)… the conduct of those monks is to the profit …’


Lohicca Sutta (Digha Nikaya 12) – A non-Buddhist poses some good questions: If Dhamma is something that one must realize for oneself, then what is the role of a teacher? Are there any teachers who don't deserve some sort of criticism? The Buddha's reply includes a sweeping summary of the entire path of practice.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/dn-12.htm

Maha-satipatthana Sutta - Digha Nikaya 22 "And what is the noble truth of the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress? Just this very noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. 

"And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk -- quite withdrawn from sensuality, withddrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation -- internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.' With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/dn-22.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/digha/dn22.html


 

Nowadays, the Buddha’s teachings are often referred to as Tipitaka or Tripitaka (Three Treasuries), although they were called "Dhamma-Vinaya" by the Buddha in the discourses. In Anguttara Nikáya Sutta 4.180, the Buddha specifically refers to Dhamma as the Suttas (discourses). Vinaya is the disciplinary code of monks and nuns. In the Nikáyas, it is also implied that the Suttas are "Saddhamma" which means "true Dhamma".


The Boddhisatta or Arahant is praised by The Buddha?

"Bhikkhus, associate Sariputta and Moggallana. They are wise and helpful to those leading the holy life.

Sariputta is like the mother who gives birth and Moggallana is like the father. Sariputta trains until the fruition of the entry into the stream of the Teaching and Moggallana until the highest aim is attained. Bhikkhus, Sariputta can announce, detail, establish and explain the four noble truths. "

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-141.htm

Maha-Saccaka Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya 36) -- The Greater Discourse to Saccaka - "Before my Awakening, when I was sstill an unawakened Bodhisatta

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-36.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/majjhima/mn036.html

 

Samyutta Nikaya 12.65  "Monks, before my Awakening, when I was just an unawakened Bodhisatta,

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn12-65.htm  

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn12-065.html

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 1.13.1

‘Monks, there is one person whose birth into the world is for the welfare of many folk, for the happiness of many folk : who is born out of compassion for the world, for the profit, welfare of devas and mankind. Who is that one person? It is a Tathagatha who is Arahant, a fully Enlightened One. This, monks is that one person.

‘Monks, I do not know of any other single person who so perfectly keeps rolling the wheel supreme of Dhamma set rolling by the Tatagatha as doth Sariputta. Sariputta, monks, is the one who perfectly keeps rolling…’ Chief among those great wisdom is Sariputta. … of supernormal powers is Great Moggallana. … who uphold minute observance of forms is Kassapa the Great. … who are clairvoyant, is Anuruddha. … who are wide knowledge, is Ananda … of retentive memory, is Ananda. … of good behaviour, is Ananda

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 2.12.1 - 'The believing monk, if he would aspire perfectly, should thus aspire : May I be like Sariputta and Mongollana. Monks, these are a sort of scale and standard (whereby estimate) my disciples who are monks,- namely,Sariputta and Mongollana.

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 2.6 - ‘Monks, these two persons born into the world are born to the profit and happiness of many, to the profit, happiness and welfare of many folk. What two? A Tatagatha, an Arahant who is a Fully Enlightened One, and a world-ruling monarch. These are two so born. Monks, these two persons born into the world are worthy of a relic shrine. What two? (As above) Monks, these two are enlightened. What two? A Tatagatha, an Arahant who is a Fully Enlightened One, and one enlightened for himself.

 


 

[Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 55] Jivaka Sutta: To Jivaka

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-55.htm
The Buddha explains the regulations he has laid down concerning
meat-eating and defends his disciples against unjust accusations.


 

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 3.45  Duties

‘Monks, these three things have been enjoyed by the wise and good. What three? Charity, going forth (from the home to the homeless life, support of mother and father. These are the three duties.

Giving and harmlessness and self-restraint,

Control of sense and service to the parents

And holy ones who live the righteous life,-

If any one be wise to do these things

By good men favoured, he an Ariyn

Clear sighted, will attain the world of bliss.


Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 3.103  Lamentation

‘This, monks, is reckoned to be lamentation in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, singing. This is reckoned as causing madness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, dancing. This is reckoned as childishness in the discipline of the Ariyan, namely, immoderate laughter that displays the teeth.

Wherefore, monks, away with the bridge that leads to singing and dancing! Enough for you, if you are pleased righteously, to smile just to show your pleasure.’


 

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 4.3.22 A Foolish Elder Or A Wise Elder ?

‘… Then, monks, I thought to myself: In truth these reverend ones understand not either the elder, or the things which make an elder.

Though a man be old, monks, eighty or ninety or a hundred years of age, yet if he be one who speaks out of due season, who speaks things untrue and unprofitable, things contrary to Dhamma and contrary to Discipline: if he be one who utters words unworthy to be treasured in the heart, words unseasonable and void of reason, words undiscriminating and not concerned with welfare,-then that one is reckoned just a foolish elder.

Though a man be young, monks,- a youth, a mere lad, black haired and blessed with his lucky prime, one in the first flush in life,- if he be one who speaks in due season, who speaks things true and profitable, things according to Dhamma and Discipline: if he be one who utters words worthy to be treasured in the heart, words seasonable, reasonable, discriminating and concerned with welfare,- then that one is reckoned a wise elder.

Now, monks, there are these four things which make the elder. What four? Herein a monk is virtuous, perfect in obligations, restraint of the obligations, perfect in the practice of right behaviour, seeing danger in the slightest faults. He undertakes and trains himself in the training of the precepts, he has learned, is full up with learning, is a accumulate of learning. Those doctrines which, lovely at the beginning, lovely in the middle, lovely at the end (of life) both in the meaning and the letter of them, which preach the utterly fulfilled, the perfectly purified way of the Noble-life, -  such doctrines are much heard by him, borne in mind, repeated aloud, pondered over and well penetrated by his vision. The four stages of Jhanna which are of the clear consciousness, which are concerned with the happy life in this very world,- these he wins easily, without effort. By the destruction of the asavas, in this very life thoroughly understanding the heart’s release, the release by wisdom, he realizes it, attains it and dwells therein.

These monks, are the four things which make the elder.


Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 3.42 ‘Monks, a believer is to be recognized by 3 characteristics. What 3?

            He desires to see the virtuous; he desires to hear Saddhamma (true dhamma/Suttas); with heart free from taint of stinginess he dwells at home, a generous giver, clean handed, delighting in giving up, one ask a favour of, one who delights to share gifts with others. By these 3 characteristics a believer is to be recognized as such.

            Let him desire to see the virtous, Let him desire to hear Saddhamma preached, Let him remove the taint of stinginess, If he would be by men “believer” called.’


Mahavamsa – The 1st Sangha Council (The Original Suttas& Whole Dhamma)

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahavamsa/chap003.html

 

There are many pressures in the world today to modify the Teachings of the Buddha. The Buddha foresaw that this would happen and warned his disciples to be careful to maintain the practice just as he had taught them. Ven. Maha-Kassapa convened the First Buddhist Council shortly after the Buddha's demise in order to rehearse the Teachings.

Then the thera (Mahakassapa) taking (the task) upon himself questioned concerning the dhamma, him the chief of those who had most often heard (the word), him the treasurekeeper of the Great Seer (the Buddha); and the them Ananda, taking (the task) upon himself, taking his seat in the preacher's chair, expounded the whole dhamma. And all the (theras) knowing all that was contained in the doctrine repeated the dhamma in turn after the sage of the Videha country.

Thus in seven months was that compiling of the dhamma to save the whole world completed by those (theras) bent on the whole world's salvation. 'The thera Mahakassapa has made the blessed Buddha's message to endure five hundred years,' rejoicing in this thought, at the end of the council, the earth encircled by the ocean trembled six times and many wondrous signs were shown in the world in many ways. Now since the canon was compiled by the theras it was called the ' Thera tradition.' The theras who had held the First Council and had (thereby) brought great blessing to the world, having lived their allotted span of life, entered, all, into nibbana.


Mahavamsa – The 2nd Sangha Council

the history of Mahasanghika / Mahayana (The Great Community bikkhus)

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahavamsa/chap004.html

 

Let us consider what happened after the Buddha’s passing away. About 100 years after the Buddha passed into Nibbána, conflict (bhikkus of the Vajji-clan who did shamelessly teach the 10 points were lawful) arose among the monks (Yasa & theras; All free from Asavas or known as Arahant nowadays with the bhikkus of the Vajji-clan (- which bears the name Mahasamghika (The Great Community bikkhus) in the The Third Sangha Council ). The Second Sangha Council (eleven hundred ninety thousand bikkhus under Thera Revata) was consequently called to resolve these differences. Ten points were disputed, one of which concerned whether we should always follow the advice of our Teacher. In this case, it was decided that if a monk's teachings or instructions were in accordance with the Buddha's teachings (i.e. the earliest Suttas and Vinaya), then his words should be followed. However, if his instructions contradicted the Buddha's teachings, they should be ignored.


Mahavamsa – The 3rd Sangha Council (The Mahasamghika)

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahavamsa/chap005.html

THAT redaction of the true dhamma, which was arranged at the beginning by the great theras Mahäkassapa and others, is called that of the theras. One and united was the school of the theras in the first hundred years. But afterwards arose other schools of doctrine.' The heretical bhikkhus, subdued by the theras who had held the Second Council, in all ten thousand, founded the school which bears the name Mahasamghika.


The TRUE Dhamma is embodied in the earliest discourses of the Buddha found in the Digha, Majjhima, Samyutta and Anguttara Nikáyas, and the six books of Khuddaka Nikáya (is also known as Agama Sutra in the Mahayana Buddhism)(These Nikáyas are generally accepted by all schools of Buddhism to be the original teachings of the Buddha, unlike other books which are controversial because they contain some contradictions with the Nikáyas. The earliest discourses in the Nikáyas are very consistent and contain the flavor of liberation from suffering. Khuddaka Nikáya, the fifth, is the "minor" or "small" collection. Although termed "small", it is in fact the largest as more and more books have been added to it over the years. It has grown to fifteen books in the Thai and Sri Lankan versions. In 1956, the Sangha Council in Burma added another three books, which are not the Buddha’s own words. These three additions are Milinda Panha, Petakopadesa and Nettipakarana. This is how the Khuddaka Nikáya grew from a minor collection to become a major collection! In the future, say in 500 or 1,000 years’ time, this would definitely create even more confusion. Out of the eighteen books now, probably only six are reliable in that they do not contradict the four Nikáyas. These six reliable books are the Dhammapada, Sutta Nipata, Theragatha, Therigatha, Itivuttaka and Udana.


 

In the Maha parinibbána Sutta (Digha Nikáya Sutta 16),

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/dn-16.htm

 

which details the demise of the Buddha, the Buddha advised the monks: "Whatever Dhamma (Sutta)-Vinaya I have pointed out and formulated for you, that will be your Teacher when I am gone." This is a very important statement the significance of which has been overlooked by many Buddhists. Because many Buddhists have not heard this advice or grasped its significance, they search far and wide for a teacher; a teacher they can be proud of and brag about his attainments, etc.. Some even travel halfway round the world or more in such a search. These people create personality cults based on the perceived goodness of the teacher rather than on the Dhamma-Vinaya itself.

Again, in Digha Nikáya Sutta 16, the Buddha said: "Monks, be a lamp unto yourselves, be a refuge unto yourselves, with no other refuge. Take the Dhamma as your lamp, take the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other refuge." In other words, we should depend solely on ourselves and on the Buddha’s words. In the Suttas, the Buddha referred to a monk as a kalyanamitta (good friend). A monk is a good friend who introduces you to the Buddha’s teachings and encourages you in the spiritual path. It is you, however, who have to take the three refuges (i.e. dependence) in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. But nowadays, some people have added a fourth refuge (i.e. refuge in a monk or a teacher) which contradicts the Buddha’s teachings. This is made very clear in the Suttas.


[Digha Nikáya Sutta 7] Jaliya Sutta - Where is Soul? Same as the body or separate?

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/dn-7.htm

[Digha Nikáya Sutta 20] Mahasamaya Sutta- The Great Meeting (Is Asura Lower Realm/Place than Human?)


 

Ariyan Eightfold Path (traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times.- Samyutta Nikaya 12.65)

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn12-65.htm

www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn12-065.html

 

(i) Right View

Right View is the understanding of the Four Ariyan Truths. It includes having the right view or understanding of the law of kamma-vipaka. Right View is attained by listening to the Dhamma (Sutta), and having thorough consideration or attention. A person with Right View is already an Ariya. There is a state of cessation of dukkha called nibbana. In passing into parinibbana, nothing is eternalized nor is anything annihilated. (Samyutta Nikaya 22.85)

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn22-85.htm

 


 

The Third Ariyan Truth: Cessation

(cessation of unpleasantness)

 “There is a state of cessation of dukkha called nibbana”. This is the Third Ariyan Truth proclaimed by the Buddha. The Buddha declared “Nibbana is the highest bliss” even though there is cessation of all perception and feeling when one experiences nibbana. The Buddha explained: “Nay, monks, the Tathagata does not recognize bliss merely because of pleasurable sensation, but monks, wherever bliss is attained, there and there only does the Accomplished One recognize bliss.” Parinibbana. In passing into parinibbana, nothing is eternalized nor is anything annihilated because even here and now in this very life there is no core of unchanging self (Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 22.85) this body and mind is a constant flux.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn22-85.htm


Friends, this is the noble truth of the path and method for the cessation of unpleasantness."

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn22-85.htm

Ariyan Eightfold Path (traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times.- Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 12.65) “...Just this”

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn12-65.htm

www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn12-065.html

 


Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 12.65 - an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times.  Just this noble eightfold path

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn12-065.html

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn12-65.htm

"Monks, before my Awakening, when I was just an unawakened Bodhisatta, the realization came to me: 'How this world has fallen on difficulty! It is born, it ages, it dies, it falls away & rearises, but it does not discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death. O when will it discern the escape from this stress, from this aging & death?'

"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

"Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among celestial & human beings."

Saccavibhanga Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 141) -- Discourse on The Analysis of the Truths Ven. Sariputta gives a detailed explanation of the Four Noble Truths.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-141.htm

www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/majjhima/mn141.html

Vera Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 10.92) -- Animosity What it takes for a lay person to become a stream-winner.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an10-092.html

 

Nowadays, the Buddha’s teachings are often referred to as Tipitaka or Tripitaka (Three Treasuries), although they were called "Dhamma-Vinaya" by the Buddha in the discourses. In Anguttara Nikáya Sutta 4.180, the Buddha specifically refers to Dhamma as the Suttas (discourses). Vinaya is the disciplinary code of monks and nuns. In the Nikáyas, it is also implied that the Suttas are "Saddhamma" which means "true Dhamma".

 

Nikayas is also known as Agama Sutra in the Mahayana Buddhism

 

1. Digha Nikaya Suttas

Collection of Long Discourses of the Buddha.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Digha-Nikaya/digha-nikaya.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/digha/index.html

 

2.      Majjhima Nikaya Suttas

3.      Collection of Medium Length Discourses of the Buddha

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/majjhima-nikaya.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/majjhima/index.html

http://www.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/majjhima/index.htm

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/majjhima/index.htm

 

3. Samyutta Nikaya Suttas

Collection of the Kindred Sayings

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/samyutta-nikaya.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/samyutta/index.html

 

4. Anguttara Nikaya Suttas

A Collection of Gradual Sayings

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/anguttara-nikaya.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/anguttara/index.html

http://www.metta.lk/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/4Anguttara-Nikaya/index.html

http://uk.geocities.com/bhikkhu_samahita/Canon/Sutta/AN/Numerical.htm

 

 

5. Khuddaka Nikaya Suttas

The Smaller Collection

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Khuddaka-nikaya.htm

http://www.saigon.com/~anson/ebud/ebsut027.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/khuddaka/index.html

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/ebsut027.htm


Kamma (Karma) Vs Prayers, Praise & Vows

Paccha-bhumika Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 42.6) -- [Brahmans] of the Western Land

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn42-6.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/index.html

The Buddha explains how the principles of kamma and rebirth are as inviolable as the law of gravity. Choose your actions with care, lest you sink like a stone!

-- because of the prayers, praise, & circumambulation of that great crowd of people -- at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world?"

The Blessed One (Buddha), worthy & rightly self-awakened, can arrange it so that all the world, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappears in a good destination, the heavenly world.?"

"So it is with any man who takes life, steals, indulges in illicit sex; is a liar, one who speaks divisive speech, harsh speech, & idle chatter; is greedy, bears thoughts of ill-will, & holds to wrong views. Even though a great crowd of people, gathering & congregating, would pray, praise, & circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart -- [saying,] 'May this man, at the break-up of the body, after death, reappear in a good destination, the heavenly world!' -- still, at the break-up of the body, after death, he would reappear in destitution, a bad destination, the lower realms, hell.


Mahayana Sutra :

THE REAL MEANING OF PURE LAND

http://www.purifymind.com/drfu24.htm

 

PURE Land means No Land, and No Land means No Mind, No Mind means Pure Mind, when the mind is pure, the rebirth in pure land will be the next step.

THE real way of chanting the name of Buddha is to destroy the attachment or delusion first, then reaching the realm of chanting the name of Buddha of “without form or sign”. In this realm of “without form or sign”, the result of chanting the name of one Buddha equals the result of chanting the name of all Buddhas in ten directions(space) and three times(past, present, and future).

CHANTING the name of Buddha with “without form or sign”, one means all and all means one, one chanting means all chanting, chanting means no chanting and no chanting means chanting, to awaken to the truth with seeing or touching anything, this is the elevation of spirit of Samadhi (putting together, composing the mind, intent contemplation, perfect absorption, union of the meditator with the object of meditation).

DIAMOND Sutra says: {If they want to see me with form, or talk to me with sound, they are going the wrong way, and cannot see me (get enlightened)}. Therefore, the difference between Mahayana and Hinayana is the attachment. The practitioners of Pure Land should understand that we have to purify our mind with our own effort, Buddhas cannot destroy the attachment or delusion for us. We have to get rid of all kinds of delusion and attachment our selves, then the mind is pure and the land is pure, the utmostjoy is here.

The Buddha Sikyamoni once said "The repetition of the name Amitabha Buddha is meritorious only if thou speak it with such a devout attitude of mind as will cleanse thy heart and attune thy will to do works of righteousness."


Jivaka Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 8.26) -- To Jivaka (On Being a Buddhist)

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Anguttara-Nikaya/an8-21-30.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an08-026.html


Cula-kammavibhanga Sutta (Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 135) -- The Shorter Exposition of Kamma Why do some people live a long life, but others die young? Why are some people born poor, but others born rich? The Buddha explains how kamma accounts for a person's fortune or misfortune.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-135.htm

 


Tirokudda Kanda (Khp 7) -- Hungry Shades Outside the Walls

Dedication to our Departed Next-of-Kin

Tirokudda Sutta, Khuddaka Nikaya ~ Ven Indaratana Thera~

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-library/tirokudda.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/khuddaka/khp/index.html

 

Important points on theTirokudda Sutta

1. People are born as petas due to evil actions they have performed.

2. Only the petas who know that their condition can be solved by the receiving of the dedication of merits to them, are able to begin to find a way to solve their suffering. Merits (punna) are the only things that departed next-of-kin petas can receive in order that they can help themselves; not joss-sticks, sacrificial livestock, wine, chanting of mantras, etc.

3. Petas are not spirits but are real beings inhabiting one of the 31 planes of existence.

4. As the Ariya Sangha is the unsurpassable field of merit, the offering of alms to the Buddha and his Sangha and the dedication of the merits therefrom to the petas is the most effective way.


MEDITATION :

Yuganaddha Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 4.170) -- In Tandem Ven. Ananda describes the paths to arahantship by which insight (vipassana) and tranquillity (samatha) work hand-in-hand.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Anguttara-Nikaya/an4-161-170.htm 

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/anguttara/an04-170.html

 

Ananda Sutta (Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 54.13) -- To Ananda (on Mindfulness of Breathing)

The Method taught & recommended by the Buddha, Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One to ALL the monks & practiced by Himself. (attainment of first Jhanna till fourth Jhanna and above)

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/sn54-13.htm

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn54-13.htm

The Buddha explains to Ven. Ananda how the sustained practice of mindfulness of breathing (anapanasati) leads, by stages, to full Awakening.

Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 14: 'Even though a noble disciple has seen clearly as it actually is with proper wisdom how sensual pleasures provide little gratification, much suffering . . . , as long as he still does not attain to the delight and pleasure that are apart from sensual pleasures, apart from unwholesome states (the first jhana) or to something more peaceful than that (the higher jhanas), he may still be attracted to sensual pleasure.'

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-14.htm

 

No jhana, the wrong path. Right concentration is the Four Jhanas, the eighth factor of the Noble Eightfold Path. When jhana is attained, the Five Hindrances are eliminated. This is the type of meditation praised by the Buddha because it is conducive to liberation, Nibbana. In Majjhima Nikaya 31, 'a superhuman state, a distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones' is defined as the first jhana . . . second jhana . . . third jhana . . . fourth jhana . . . .' To say that jhana is not necessary is the same as saying that right concentration is not necessary for liberation. In effect, this means we are only practising a sevenfold path, which is not the path laid down by the Buddha to win Nibbana.

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-31.htm

 

In Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 16.13, this is mentioned as one of the factors leading to the disappearance of the true Dhamma. Thus in Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 6.64 the Buddha said: 'Concentration is the path; no-concentration, the wrong path.'

 


No jhana, no asava-destruction. As the suttas describe, the most important of the six higher knowledges (abhinnas), which include various types of psychic power, is asava-destruction -- the attainment of aarahantship. Asavas, as explained earlier, mean uncontrolled mental outflows. So an arahant is one whose uncontrolled mental outflows have ceased permanently. Jhana is a state where the uncontrolled mental outflows cease temporarily. For instance, unwholesome thoughts cease in the first jhana; and all thoughts cease, a state of 'ariyan silence', in the second and higher jhanas. If one cannot attain jhana and cause the asavas to cease temporarily, how can one possibly make the asavas cease permanently?

Advice to indulge in Jhana. In Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 66, the Buddha describes the bliss of jhana: 'This is called the bliss of renunciation, the bliss of seclusion, the bliss of peace, the bliss of enlightenment. I say of this kind of pleasure that it should be pursued, that it should be developed, that it should be cultivated, that it should not be feared.'

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-66.htm

 

The Buddha further explains in Digha Nikaya Sutta 29: '. . . these four kinds of life devoted to pleasure which are entirely conducive to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to Nibbana. What are they? . . . the first jhana . . . second jhana . . . third jhana . . . fourth jhana . . . . So if wanderers from other sects should say that the followers of the Sakyan are addicted to these four forms of pleasure-seeking, they should be told: 'Yes', for they would be speaking correctly about you . . . .

Well then, those who are given to these four forms of pleasure-seeking -- how many fruits, how many benefits can they expect? . . . They can expect four fruits . . . they become a sotapanna . . . sakadagami . . . anagami . . . arahant . . . .'

 


Samatha and Vipassana

In the practice of right recollection, one can either recollect one object or several objects. Recollection of one object, e.g. recollection of the breath (anapanasati), leads to tranquility and concentration of mind -- the precondition for wisdom. Recollection of several objects, e.g. body, feeling, mind and Dhamma, leads to wisdom -- provided there is concentration of mind[29] , and also the other factors of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Generally speaking, recollection of one object is called samatha, tranquility meditation, and recollection of several objects is called vipassana, contemplation meditation.[30]

Nowadays there is a popular belief that Buddhist meditation consists only of vipassana. However, even a nodding acquaintance with the suttas should make it clear that samatha is also an important and integral part of it. In fact in Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 54.1.8 and 54.2.1 the Buddha said that before enlightenment, and even after that, he would generally spend his time on intent recollection of breathing, calling it 'The Ariyan way of life, the best of ways, the Tathagata's way of life'. Both samatha and vipassana are needed for final liberation. But the order of practice is not important. One can practise samatha or vipassana first, or practise them simultaneously.

 

The necessity of both samatha and vipassana is obvious from the following suttas:

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 4.170: In this sutta, Venerable Ananda says that monks and nuns who informed him that they had attained arahantship all declared that they did so by one of the four categories, i.e. there are only these four ways to arahantship:

 

o Samatha followed by vipassana - after which the path is born in him/herr,

o Vipassana followed by samatha[31] - after which the path is born in him/herr,

o Samatha and vipassana together, simultaneously - after which the path is born in him/her, and

o The mind stands fixed internally (i.e. on the cognizant consciousness or 'self') until it becomes one-pointed[32] - after which the path is born in him/her.

 

Majjhima Nikaya Sutta 43: After right view is attained, five other supporting conditions are necessary for final liberation, namely:

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/Majjhima-Nikaya/mn-43.htm

 

Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 35.204: Here the Buddha gives the parable of a swift pair of messengers (samatha and vipassana) who bring the message of reality (Nibbana).

Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 9.4 and 10.54: These two suttas also say that both samatha and vipassana are necessary.


The Importance of Understanding the Suttas

Attaining Right View. The importance of understanding the earliest suttas, found in the nikayas, cannot be overemphasized.[35] Why? Because they are the authoritative means for right view. It is said in Majjhima Nikaya 43 that right view arises from listening to the Dhamma and having thorough consideration. Gaining right view is crucial because it is synonymous with becoming an ariya.[36] Thus the Buddha put right view as the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, saying that the cultivation of the Noble Eightfold Path starts with right view.[37] Hence we see in the Suttas and Vinaya that every person who attained stream-entry (first path ariya) did so by listening to the Dhamma. After right view is attained, five other supporting conditions are necessary for final liberation -- among them, listening to the Dhamma and discussing the Dhamma. This means that to practise meditation without studying the discourses (suttas) is a great mistake if one's aim is liberation from suffering.

 

Liberation. In addition, Anguttara Nikaya Sutta 5.26 gives the five occasions when liberation is attained:

o Listening to the Dhamma,

o Teaching the Dhamma,

o Repeating the Dhamma,

o Reflecting on the Dhamma, and

o Some concentration sign (samadhi nimitta) is rightly reflected upon and understood.

 

Of these five occasions, only the last possibly refers to formal meditation. This shows that understanding the Dhamma is of paramount importance for liberation. Two synonymous Pali terms frequently recur in the suttas: (i) bahusacca - much hearing of the Truths (Dhamma), and (ii) bahussuta - much hearing of Dhamma. And in Majjhima Nikaya Sutta  53, bahussuta is said to be one of the possessions of a noble one.

Penetrative insights only possible with jhana. We find in the suttas that people often attained the various levels of ariyahood while listening to the Dhamma, especially the sotapanna stage. Depending on how developed their mind is, i.e. the degree of concentration they possess, their attainment corresponds to their concentration level when they heard the Dhamma. Thus one without jhana could become a sotapanna or sakadagami on hearing, teaching, repeating or reflecting on the Dhamma; whereas another possessing jhana would have become an anagami or arahant. Why? Because they possess the pure and developed mind, owing to jhana with its supports and requisites, for penetrative insights to be possible.

 

Chapter One of the Mahavagga (Vinaya-pitaka) makes this quite clear. After the Buddha converted 1,000 matted-hair ascetics (jatilas) to become his disciples, he preached to them the Adittapariyaya Sutta, whereupon all 1,000 of them became arahants. Thereafter the Buddha brought them to Rajagaha, where King Bimbisara led 12 nahutas of lay people to visit the Buddha. According to Pali dictionaries, a nahuta is 'a vast number, a myriad'; and according to the Vinaya Commentary is 10,000. The Buddha gave them a graduated discourse on the Dhamma, basically on the Four Noble Truths, and all 12 nahutas (120,000) of them attained the Dhamma-eye -- the first path ariya attainment. Some of them may have practised meditation, but it is highly improbable that everyone in this large number of people would have done so.


LIV. Anapana-samyutta -- Mindfulness of breathing (Anapanasati) Samyutta Nikaya Sutta 54.13

http://www.mahindarama.com/e-tipitaka/samyutta-nikaya/sn54-13.htm

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn54-013.html

 

 


 

Links :

THE MEDITATION INSTRUCTIONS

Given In The Satipatthana Sutta & Anapanasati Sutta

(The Actual Practice Of Meditation And

HOW The Buddha Instructed Us To Do This Practice)

 

 For more information about meditation retreats and the Buddha’s Teachings according to the Suttas and Vinaya, please go to our website at http://www.dhammasukha.org or contact Bhante Vimalaramsi at Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center, RR1 Box 100, Annapolis, MO. 63620, U.S.A. or write an email to bhantev4u@yahoo.com or khantikhema@yahoo.com May all beings always be happy and may you attain Nibbana quickly and easily, in this very life!

 

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MP3 Dhamma & Sutta Talks By Ven Dhammavuddho Maha Thera

 http://www.vbgnet.org  Vihara Buddha Gotama

 

KUCHING DHAMMA TOUR 

 

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(10) The Story of the Questions Raised by Sakka, king of the devas (gods)

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (354) of this book, with reference to four questions raised by Sakka, king of the devas.

On one occasion, at a meeting of the devas in the Tavatimsa realm, four questions were raised, but the devas failed to get the correct answers. Eventually, Sakka took these devas to the Buddha at the Jetavana monastery. After explaining their difficulty, Sakka presented the following four questions:

(a) Among gifts, which is the best?

(b) Among tastes, which is the best?

(c) Among delights, which is the best?

(d) Why is the eradication of craving said to be the most excellent?

To these questions, the Buddha replied, "Oh Sakka, the Dhamma is the noblest of all gifts, the best of all tastes and the best of all delights. Eradication of Craving leads to the attainment of arahatship and is, therefore, the greatest of all conquests."Dhammapada Verse 354.

At the end of the discourse, Sakka said to the Buddha, "Venerable Sir, if the gift of the Dhamma excels all gifts why are we not invited to share the merit whenever gifts of the Dhamma are made? Venerable Sir! I pray that, from now on, we may be given a share in the merit of good deeds". Then the Buddha asked all the bhikkhus to assemble and exhorted them to share the merit of all their good deeds with all beings.

Since then, it has become a custom to invite all beings from the thirty-one realms (bhumis) to come and share merit whenever a good deed is done.

The Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Dhammapada Verse 354. The gift of tile Dhamma excels all gifts; the taste of the Dhamma excels all tastes; delight in the Dhamma excels all delights. The eradication of Craving (i.e., attainment of arahatship) overcomes all ills (samsara dukkha).

 

 

 

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