Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

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Gad
Participant

My psychology teacher says that the brain becomes fully mature at 30. Ordinary people don’t even know what being mature means. For them, maturity means being able to enjoy sensual pleasures independently. Of course, others see the jhanas. It is already a good start but it is not enough. However, in the Buddha Dhamma, maturity is realizing at least one stage of magga phala. Full maturity is at the arahant stage. A seven years old sotāpanna child is more mature than a 100 year old puthujanas. Lord Buddha said: “It is better to live one day seeing the deathless (Nibbāna) than to live 100 years not seeing it.” A sotāpanna saw the deathless, briefly. The novice monk Pandita became an arahant at the age of 7!!

THE MIND CAN BE TAMED WITH DILIGENT PRACTICE

Dhammapada contains 423 verses said by the Buddha in different contexts. Most of the verses have been taken from the discourses of the Buddha. It has been noted that more than two thirds of the verses are taken from the discourses contained in the two collections of the Buddha’s discourses known as the Samyutta Nikāya and Anguttara Nikāya. The 423 verses are divided into 26 chapters or vaggas each with a particular heading. The sixth chapter is named “Pandita vagga” meaning the chapter on “The wise”, which contains 14 verses said by the Buddha. The back ground story of the 80th verse which is the fifth verse of the Pandita vagga, is about a seven year old novice monk who meditated with determination and diligence and enlightened as an Arahant only a few days after becoming a novice monk.

Background story of verse 80

At one time, the Buddha was staying at the Jetavana monastery in Sāvatti which was donated to the Buddha by the chief benefactor named Anāthapindika.

A wealthy person residing in Sāvatti had a young son named Pandita who ordained as a novice monk in the dispensation of the Buddha at the very tender age of only seven years. On the eighth day after becoming a novice monk, as he was following Arahant Sāriputta the Buddha’s chief disciple on the alms round, he witnessed some farmers channeling water into their fields. He then asked Arahant Sāriputta:

“Can water which has no consciousness, be guided to wherever one wishes?”

Arahant Sāriputta replied:

“Yes, it can be guided to wherever one wishes.”

As they continued on their alms round, the novice monk next witnessed some fletchers heating their arrows with fire and straightening them. As they further continued on their alms round, the novice monk next witnessed some carpenters cutting, sawing and planing timber to make into things such as cart wheels. Then he thought to himself:

“If water which has no consciousness can be guided to wherever one wishes, if a crooked bamboo which has no consciousness can be straightened, and if timber which has no consciousness can be made into useful things, why should I who has consciousness, be unable to tame my mind and practise tranquility and insight meditation?”

As soon as he had that thought in his mind, he obtained permission from Arahant Sāriputta and returned to his own room in the Jetavana monastery. Having arrived in his room, he started meditating ardently and diligently contemplating on the body. Sakka the chief of the heavenly deities and the other deities noticed the novice monk meditating ardently and diligently, and helped him to meditate properly by making sure that the monastery and it’s precincts were quiet and still. By meditating with such ardency and diligence, the novice monk Pandita was able to attain the Anāgāmi fruition, which is the third supra mundane stage of the Buddhist spiritual path of liberation from suffering even before his noon meal time.

At that time, Arahant Sāriputta was bringing food to the novice monk for his noon meal. Just then, the Buddha saw through the Buddha’s supernormal power that the novice monk Pandita has already attained Anāgāmi fruition and that if he continued with his meditation, he would soon be fully enlightened as an Arahant. Hence, the Buddha decided to stop Arahant Sāriputta entering the room where the novice monk was meditating. The Buddha went to the door of the room and engaged Arahant Sāriputta in a conversation by asking him some questions. While this conversation was going on between the Buddha and Arahant Sāriputta, the novice monk gained enlightenment as an Arahant. So, the novice monk Pandita became an Arahant on the eighth day after becoming a novice monk at the age of seven years.

While addressing the congregation of monks at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha said to them:

“When one is earnestly practising the Dhamma, even Sakka the chief of the deities and the other deities give protection and keep guard. I myself kept Arahant Sāriputta engaged in a conversation at the door so that the novice monk Pandita will not be disturbed practising his meditation. The novice monk Pandita, having witnessed the farmers irrigating their fields, the fletchers straightening their arrows, and carpenters making cart wheels and other things, tamed his mind and practised the Dhamma; he has now become an Arahant.”

Then the Buddha recited the following verse which is recorded as the 80th verse of the Dhammapada.

Udakaṁ hi nayanti nettikā,

  usukārā namayanti tejanaṁ,

  dāruṁ namayanti tacchakā,

  attānaṁ damayanti panditā.”

“Farmers channel water,

  fletchers straighten arrows,

  carpenters work with the wood,

  the wise men restrain themselves.”

 

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