Reply To: Useful Essays from DRARISWORLD and Other Websites

#47309
Gad
Participant

So sir, that means a person can become sotāpanna in this sāsana and become arahant in the time of Lord Buddha Metteya?? I believed that one cannot become sotāpanna until a Lord Buddha appears. The only ariyas who can see several Lord Buddha are the anagami brahmas.

The fact that they were born as humans cannot be true proof that they have reached the sotāpanna stage. One can be puthujunas and grasp several human bhavas and deva. Cultivating paramis can be a temporary protection against apayas.

Simply teaching the 5 worldly precepts is very meritorious. Offering the 4 necessities to monks, practicing the 10 meritorious actions and practicing the 10 paramis are temporary protections against bad rebirths. Of course reaching the sotāpanna stage is a permanent protection. In the suttas, we can find the example of many disciples of Lord Buddha who tell how their meritorious deeds led them to the Dhamma.

Arahant Santati narrated how during the time of Lord Buddha Vipassi, he was a teacher of the precepts. Lord Vipassi is the first of the 7 Buddhas. I very much doubt that one can be sotāpanna for such a long period of time.

Santati the King’s Minister

Therefore, the Teacher said to Santati the king’s minister, “Well then, explain to us all the meritorious deeds you did in a previous state of existence. Do not, however, reveal it to us standing on the ground, but explain it to us poised in the air. “Very well,” replied Santati the king’s minister.

Then he saluted the Teacher once more and rising gradually into the sky, he seated himself cross-legged in the air, and said, “Listen, Reverend Sirs, to the meritorious deed I performed in a previous state of existence.” So saying, he related the following

Story of the Past: The preacher of the Dhamma and the King

Ninety-one eons ago, in the dispensation of the Buddha Vipassī, I was reborn in a certain household in a city named Bandhumati.

I decided to live without troubling and harming nor disturbing anyone and decided to preach Dhamma.

I taught the Buddha’s teachings: “Please do meritorious deeds…protect the precepts. Practice generosity. Respect the triple gem.” I taught Dhamma in many ways.

And the following thought occurred to me, “What action will do away with the want and sufferings of others?” While I was pondering this thought, I observed the actions of those who went about proclaiming the Dhamma, and from that time forth I worked at that very task. I encouraged others to perform works of merit, and I performed works of merit myself.

On uposatha days I took upon myself the obligations of the uposatha: I gave alms. I listened to the Dhamma. And I went about proclaiming, “There are no jewels comparable to the Three Jewels which are named the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha; therefore do honor to the Three Jewels.”

Now the great King Bandhumati, father of the Buddha Vipassī, hearing my voice, sent for me and asked, “Friend, on what business are you going about?“I replied, “Your majesty, I am going about proclaiming the virtues of the Three Jewels, and encouraging the populace to perform works of merit.”

“How do you do that?” asked the King. I replied, “I travel about on my two legs, your majesty.” Thereupon the King said, “Friend, it is not fitting that you should go about in that fashion. Decorate yourself with this string of flowers and seat yourself on the back of a horse and go about in this fashion. “So saying, he gave me a string of flowers similar in appearance to a string of pearls, and at the same time he gave me a horse.

After the King had done me this kindness, I went about as before proclaiming the teachings of The Buddha. Thereupon the King called me again and asked me, “Friend, on what business are you going about?” “The same as before, your majesty,“I replied. “Friend,” said the King, “A horse is not good enough for you; sit herein as you go about. “So saying, he presented me with a chariot drawn by four horses. In this way I went about preaching Dhamma.

Again, a third time the King heard my voice, whereupon he sent for me and asked me, “Friend, on what business are you going about?” “The same as before, your majesty,” I replied. “Friend,” said the King, “A chariot is not good enough for you.” And right away he presented me with a mansion, great wealth and a splendid set of jewels and at the same time he gave me an elephant.

Accordingly, I decorated myself with all my jewels and seated myself on the back of the elephant, and in this manner for eighty-four thousand years I went about performing the meritorious work of proclaiming The Buddha’s Dhamma.

And during all that time there was diffused from my body the fragrance of sandal and from my mouth the fragrance of the lotus.

“This was my meritorious deed in a previous state of existence.”

As Santati the king’s minister thus related the story of his meritorious deed in a previous state of existence, sitting cross-legged in the air, he applied himself to meditation on the element of heat and entered therein and straightway passed into Nibbāna.

Lord Buddha does not do things in vain. He told Arahant Santati to tell this story because it would benefit the listeners. He wanted to show them how a merit can be so powerful that it lasts 91 kappas. It is this merit that allowed Arahant Santati to achieve Nibbāna in a few verses. This merit probably protected him from the apayas for a long period of time. Of course these cases apply to puthujunas who have encountered a sāsana and who have made a lot of effort to develop their paramis. The vast majority sink into the apayas.