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Buddha’s Wisdom, Chapters 22-28
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Buddha’s Wisdom, Chapters 22-28.
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Burning Away Anger
When the wife of a brahmin slips she calls out praise of the Buddha, which angers her husband. He sets out to question and refute the Buddha, but he converts, ordains and soon becomes a Worthy One.
A King takes away an ascetic’s former wife, but the ascetic, the Bodhisatta, doesn’t get angry, and the wife refuses the King’s advances. The King enquires as to why the ascetic doesn’t get angry.
The Dangers of Anger
The Buddha explains the things that foes wish upon each other, and then speaks some verses about the dangers of getting angry.
Quarreling leads to Loss
Two otters catch a huge carp but can’t decide how to divide it. They ask a jackal to arbitrate. He gives the tail to one, the head to another and runs off with the rest.
The Truly Happy One
The King of Kosala is defeated three times by his nephew Ajātasattu, the King of Magadha, and takes to his bed in sorrow and despair.
The Benefits of Friendliness
A crow sees a ruddy goose, the Bodhisatta, and wonders why he is so handsome, thinking it must be because of his food. The goose explains it is because of good deeds that he is beautiful and the crow is ugly.
Hatred overcome by Love
A barren woman brings home a young woman for her husband, but everytime the young wife conceives the barren wife contrives an abortion. Through life after life they consume each other’s children, until brought to the Buddha.
No Happiness through Hatred
A young girl steals a hen’s eggs, and thereafter through 500 existences they destroy each other’s offspring.
Comparing Oneself with Others
The group of six monks chase off and attack the group of seventeen monks and take their rooms, which left the latter screaming.
The Results of Unity and Division
Quails, led by the Bodhisatta, manage to foil a hunter by flying off together with their heads in the net, until one day they argue and the hunter catches them all.
Fools cannot Learn
A monk lives with the Buddha, but when questioned by visiting monks it is found he does not know even the fundamentals of the teaching. They tell this to the Buddha.
The Fool who knows He’s a Fool
Two thieves go to listen to the Dhamma. One of them attains path and fruit, the other manages to undo a knot in someone’s clothes and steal some pennies.
Learning only hurts a Fool
A young man learns the art of stone-throwing, but uses it to kill a Paccekabuddha; he is reborn in Avīci hell, and later as a ghost who is constantly having his head crushed by sixty-thousand sledgehammers.
Fame brings the Unintelligent to Ruin
A king, Devadatta, is jealous of his elephant, the Bodhisatta, and tries to have it fall to its death. The elephant leaves for another Kingdom.
Good done by the Fool causes Ruin
A King wants to enjoy himself at a festival and asks some monkeys to water his saplings. They agree, but not having much water, pull each one up first to measure the water needed. All the trees die.
Fools do more Bad than Good
A maid is asked by her Mother to clear the mosquitoes from her body. She does so with a pestle, killing her Mother at the same time.
Never Seeing a Fool is Best
The Bodhisatta is an ascetic who lives far from the haunts of men, when Sakka offers him a boon, this is part of what he asks for.
The Truly Wise Man
Sakka asks the Bodhisatta who is the truly wise man.
Fools are Noisy
The Buddha explains to Nālaka the things conducive to becoming a sage, one of which is not being talkative.
Wisdom brings Respect
A King makes fun of his elders so Sakka, the Bodhisatta, makes fun of him to teach him a lesson.div class="photocell center">
Wisdom is Best say the Good
When asked by Sakka what is the highest virtue this was the Bodhisatta’s reply.
The Authority of the Mind
Asked three questions by a god, this is how the Buddha responds.
The Dangers of a Badly-Directed Mind
A herdsman offers alms to the Buddha and his disciples for seven days, and soon afterwards is killed by a hunter. The commentary notes that no explanation was given as to why this was so as the monks did not ask.
The Benefits of a Well-Directed Mind
A man develops lust for an Arahant and is instantly changed into a woman. Later he asks for forgiveness and he changes back into a man!
An Unagitated Mind sees Clearly
A teacher’s mind is overcome by worldly affairs and he begins to forget his teaching. The Bodhisatta advises him thus.
The Unwavering Mind is Free from Pain
A passing yakkha hits Ven. Sāriputta on the head with a mighty blow, which he hardly feels, but afterwards the yakkha falls into hell.
The Fruit of Careful Thought
A quail, the Bodhisatta, is caught by a fowler but refuses to take food and no one will buy him. When examined by the fowler he manages to fly away.
A demon will only release people he has captured if they know what is true godliness. The Bodhisatta is captured, answers correctly and is released, as are his brothers, and the demon renounces his evil ways.
An ascetic falls in love with a courtesan and is admonished by his brother.
A Follower of the Path
The Bodhisatta is captured by a yakkha who has been convinced to tear out his heart and give it to a nāga queen. He offers to teach the Dhamma of Good People before he dies. The nāga agrees and this is the exchange.
Those who are Not Good
A King judges a case without considering both sides and his councillor, the Bodhisatta, reproves him.
The Four Great Powers
A sage who has great attainments is beguiled by the sight of a naked Queen and falls into wrong thereby losing his attainments. When questioned by the King he cannot lie, and admits he was overcome by defilements.
Craft brings Reward
A King hires a disabled man who is skilled in shooting pellets to fill up the belly of his talkative Family Priest, who thereby learns his lesson. The King gives him a village in each of the four directions.
A woman eases herself modestly in public which greatly impresses the King, and he decides to make her his wife.
The Gods visit the Virtuous
The Bodhisatta is a childless King and he asks his Queen to pray for a son. Sakka hears her prayer and goes to question her about her virtues. Hearing her answers he readily grants her request.
Wives and Husbands
The Bodhisatta is banished to the forest when the people decide he is over-generous with the wealth of the Kingdom. His wife goes along with him, and this is part of what she says.
A Wife’s Duties
The householder Uggaha invites the Buddha for a meal and asks him to give advice to his daughters who are going to their husbands’ homes to live.
The Seven Types of Wife
The Buddha describes the seven types of wife that are found in the world, and what their destiny is.
Four Types of Couples
The Buddha explains the four ways in which a husband and wife may live together.
The Ideal Householder
A King is about to lose the Bodhisatta, his wise minister, before he goes he asks him about the life of a householder.
Respect for Mother and Father
The Buddha explains why parents should be respected and by what names they are known, and summarises it with a verse.
The Three Types of Children
The Buddha explains the three types of children that are found in the world.
The Buddha explains the five reasons parents want a child.
The Elder Brother’s Burden
The Buddha explains the five reasons parents want a child.
Friendship with the Wise
More of the conversation with the man-eating King by which the Bodhisatta persuades him to give up his evil inclination.
Truth knows no Caste
A young brahmin learns a charm for producing mangoes out of season from an outcaste, the Bodhisatta, who warns him not to deny him or his charm would disappear. Nevertheless, ashamed, he does deny him, loses his charm and dies forlorn.
A poor brahmin ordains with Ven. Sāriputta and proves to be amenable to correction. In no long time he attains Awakening.
The Good like Those who Advise
Some monks are behaving badly, the Buddha sends the two Chief Disciples to reprove them; some amend their ways and some leave the Community.
Following Good Advice
A student, against the advice of his teacher, the Bodhisatta, keeps a viper named Bamboo as a pet. One day the snake gets angry and kills him.
Heeding Good Advice
Some merchants are shipwrecked and seduced by demonesses (rakkhasī). The Bodhisatta is a cloud-horse and offers to carry them away. Half agree and are taken to safety, half stay behind and are devoured.
Giving Advice Carefully
An ascetic gives advice on controlling one’s anger to a King and the King rewards him royally; he gives the same advice to a boatman and gets thumped in the mouth!
Practicing before Teaching
A monk is very good at preaching, but is greedy and doesn’t follow his own advice. The Buddha reproves him.
Paying Homage to Elders
An elephant, a monkey and a partridge find out who is the elder amongst them and pay him due homage.
People follow their Leaders
A King rules justly and travels incognito through his Kingdom to find out if anyone blames him. He meets the Bodhisatta, an ascetic, who explains that when the King rules justly everyone follows suit.
Enquiring before Punishment
The King goes to quell a disturbance at the borders leaving the Bodhisatta to rule in his absence. The Queen, his step-mother, tries and fails to seduce him. When the King returns she makes false allegations and the Bodhisatta is taken out for execution.
The Power of Wisdom
A childless King adopts three birds as his children, which his courtiers scorn. To prove their worth he asks them for advice in ruling the Kingdom, and this is part of what his ‘son’ says.
Four Deserving Respect
Questioned by King Pasenadi the Buddha claims to be Fully Awakened, but the King doubts it as he is still so young. The Buddha explains there are four things deserving respect whether young or not.
One Who Gives is Held Dear
The General Sīha pays a visit to the Buddha at Vesālī and asks him what is the visible result of giving, and the Buddha explains these four benefits.
Selfishness and Selflessness
Two verses by two different gods spoken before the Buddha on the subject of generosity. The Buddha commends them.
A Person is made by Deeds
Two brahmins are discussing what really makes one a brahmin but they cannot settle the question so they go to see the Buddha, and this is part of what he said.
The Heedful are Happy in both Worlds
King Pasenadi asks the Buddha if there is one thing that is beneficial both for this world and the next.
The Heedful attain the Deathless
King Udena’s Queen Sāmavatī and 500 of her court die in a fire started by the Uncle of her rival Māgaṇḍiyā. The King tricks Māgaṇḍiyā and sends for her relatives and has them all slaughtered. The monks ask about their respective fates.
Text by Ānanadajoti, Photos by Andreas Dīpaloka
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