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What is Not Dhamma-7-Reading Books of Dhamma is Not Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

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What is Not Dhamma-7-Reading Books of Dhamma is Not Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

Post  Admin on Mon May 23, 2011 4:35 pm

What is Not Dhamma - 7- Reading Books of Dhamma is Not Dhamma (From "Buddha And His Dhamma" by Dr. BR Ambedkar)

1. The Brahmins put all their emphasis upon knowledge. They taught that knowledge was the be-all and end-all of every thing. Nothing further was to be considered.

2. The Buddha was on the other hand an upholder of education for all. Besides, he was more concerned with the use of knowledge a man is likely to make than with knowledge itself.

3. Consequently he was very particular to emphasise that he who has knowledge must have Sila (Virtue) and that knowledge without Sila (Virtue) was most dangerous.

4. The importance of Sila as against Prajna is well illustrated by what he told the Bhikku Patisena.

5. In olden times when Buddha was residing at Sravasti, there was an old mendicant called Patisena who being by nature cross and dull, could not learn so much as one Gatha by heart.

6. The Buddha accordingly ordered 500 Arahatas day by day to instruct him, but after three years he still was unable to remember even one Gatha.

7. Then all the peoples of the country (the four orders of people) knowing his ignorance, began to ridicule him, on which the Buddha, pitying his case, called him to his side, and gently repeated the following stanza : " He who guards his mouth, and restrains his thoughts, he who offends not with his body, the man who acts thus shall obtain deliverance."

8. Then Patisena, moved by a sense of the Master's goodness to him, felt his heart opened, and once he repeated the stanza.

9. The Buddha then addressed him further— " You now, an old man, can repeat a stanza only, and men know this, and they will still ridicule you, therefore, I will now explain the meaning of the verse to you, and do you on your part attentively listen."

10. Then the Buddha declared the three causes connected with the body, the four connected with the mouth, and the three connected with the thoughts, by destroying which men might obtain deliverance, on which the mendicant, fully realizing the truth thus explained, obtained the condition of an Arahat.

11. Now, at this time, there were 500 Bhikkhunis dwelling in their Vihara, who sent one of their number to the Buddha to request him to send them a priest to instruct them in the Dhamma.

12. On hearing their request the Buddha desired the old mendicant Patisena to go to them for this purpose.

13. On knowing that this arrangement had been made, all the nuns began to laugh together, and agreed on the morrow, when he came, to say the Gatha wrong (backward), and so confuse the old man and put him to shame.

14. Then on the morrow when he came, all the Bhikkhunis, great and small, went forth to salute him and as they did so, they looked at one another and smiled.

15. Then sitting down, they offered him food. Having eaten and washed his hands, they then begged him to begin his sermon. On which the aged mendicant ascended the elevated seat, and sitting down, began:

16. " Sisters! My talent is small, my learning is very little. I know only one Gatha, but I will repeat that and explain its meaning. Do you listen with attention and understand."

17. Then all the young nuns began to attempt to say the Gatha backwards; but lo! they could not open their mouths ; and filled with shame, they hung down their heads in sorrow.

18. Then Patisena having repeated the Gatha, began to explain it, as the Buddha instructed him.

19. Then all the Bhikkhunis hearing his words, were filled with surprise, and rejoicing to hear such instruction, with one heart they received it, and became Arahatas.

20. On the day after this, the King Prasenjit invited the Buddha and the whole congregation of priests to assemble at his palace to partake of hospitality.

21. The Buddha therefore recognizing the superior and revered appearance of Patisena, desired him to bear his alms-dish and follow him as he went.

22. But when they came to the palace gate, the porter, knowing his character (antecedents), would not let him go into the hall, saying: "We have no hospitality for a priest who knows but one Gatha ; there is no room for such common fellows as you— make place for your betters and begone."

23. Patisena accordingly sat down outside the door.

24. The Buddha now ascended the dais, after having washed his hands, and to the arm of Patisena, with the alms-dish in its hand, entered the room.

25. Then the king, the ministers, and all the assembly seeing this sight, were filled with astonishment, and said, " Ah ! Who is this ? "

26. On which the Buddha replied, " It is Patisena, the mendicant. He has but just obtained enlightenment, and I desired him to bear my alms-dish behind me; but the porter has refused him admission."

27. On this he was admitted and entered the assembly.

28. Then Prasenjit, turning, to Buddha, said : " I hear that this Patisena is a man of small ability, and knows only one Gatha, how, then, has he obtained the supreme wisdom ?"

29. To which Buddha replied : " Learning need not be much, conduct (Sila) is the first thing.

30. "This, Patisena, has allowed the secret virtue of the words of this one Gatha to penetrate his spirit ; his body, mouth, and thoughts have obtained perfect quietude; for though a man knows ever so much, if his knowledge reaches not to his life, to deliver him from the power which leads to destruction, what benefit can all his learning be ? "

31, Then the Buddha . " Although a man repeats a thousand stanzas (sections), but understands not the meaning of the lines he repeats, his performance is not equal to the repetition of one sentence well understood, which is able when heard to control thought. To repeat a thousand words without understanding, what profit is there in this? But to understand one truth, and
hearing it, to act accordingly, this is to find deliverance.

33. " A man may be able to repeat many books but if he cannot explain them what profit is there in this ? But to explain one sentence of the law and to walk accordingly, this is the way to find supreme wisdom."

34. On hearing these words, the two hundred bhikkhus, the king and his ministers were filled with joy.

Coming Soon: Belief in the infallibility of Books of Dhamma is Not— Dhamma

What is Not Dhamma - 6 Belief Based on Speculation is Not Dhamma

To read complete book or more literature of DR. BR Ambedkar click

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