Angulimala Sutta: Truth, Protection and Wuhan Coronavirus

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    • #26916
      firewns
      Participant

      The Wuhan coronavirus (coVID-19) has stricken at least tens of thousands of people (most of them in China) and taken away the lives of more than a thousand. I was reading about the plight of many sufferers, especially those in China where the situation is overwhelming, and was filled with compassion for them.

      Then recently I came across a Buddhist sutta and wondered if it could help.

      In Angulimala Sutta (MN 86), Angulimala mended his ways and became a bhikkhu. One day, while going from house to house for alms, he saw a woman suffering a breech birth. Returning from his alms round, he told The Buddha what he saw.

      The Buddha said to him: “…go to that woman … and say to her, ‘Sister, since I was born in the noble birth, I do not recall intentionally killing a living being. Through this truth may there be wellbeing for you, wellbeing for your fetus.'”

      Angulimala did so, and there was wellbeing for the woman, wellbeing for her fetus.

      Since this protective speech is recorded in the Pali suttas and it worked for the woman and her fetus, I would like to use a similar version of this speech to wish for wellbeing for all those afflicted with the virus, as well as the wellbeing of their loved ones, relatives and friends who are left saddened. It will all be unspoken but only in my thoughts of course, but even so it is no less sincere.

      To all those afflicted with the virus as well as their loved ones, relatives and friends, ‘Brothers and sisters, since I came to know the Pure Dhamma website, I do not recall having proactively (spontaneously), intentionally harmed another human being either physically or emotionally for my own selfish benefit. Through this truth may there be wellbeing for you, wellbeing for your loved ones, relatives and friends who are left saddened, as well as wellbeing for your doctors, nurses and other caregivers.’

      It is truly my sincerest hope that those affected will be able to recover physically, financially and emotionally from the virus and its effects. Even if some unfortunate effects are unavoidable, may other effects be avoided or have their severity lessened.

      If there are any Pure Dhamma readers who would like to use their own adapted version to wish for the wellbeing of those affected, please feel free to do so. May you accumulate much merit for your kind thoughts, and also cultivate a more compassionate gati in the process, very hopefully bringing you closer to Nibbana or any happiness you may wish for.

    • #26961
      firewns
      Participant

      The protective speech seems to come with the structure: Brother(s)/Sister(s), since I (encountered a certain event), I do not recall intentionally (committing a certain unwholesome deed). Through this truth, may there be wellbeing for you.

      I have tried to adhere to this structure, and to be as careful as I can in recalling past events and stating facts truthfully so I really hope it works. If you do decide to do something similar, thank you for being a kind and compassionate person.

      As compassion (karuna) is a sobhana cetasika, according to Abhidhamma, it will invariably be associated with the universal sobhana cetasikas, some of which should at least bring happiness to one in body as well as mind. Do try it if you are inclined to.

      When one cultivates a compassionate gati, then through the condition of repetition, kusala asankhaarika (unprompted) citta should arise more often in one’s daily thoughts. As these spontaneous thoughts have more merit and kammic power than kusala cittas that are prompted, one will be accumulating stronger wholesome kamma. This is my understanding. A positive cycle should then repeat continuously unless something drastic happens to change one’s gati.

      I just read in a wisdomlib.org article about six pairs of universal sobhana cetasikas: passaddhi, lahuta, muduta, kammannata, pagunnata, ujukata depending on whether they pertain to kaya or citta. Here kaya does not seem to refer to the material body but seems to refer to the body of psychic factors, in other words cetasikas like vedana, sanna and sankhara, while citta refers to consciousness.

      Some of these universal sobhana cetasikas help to cultivate meditations on brahmaviharas as well as to develop insight, for example, kaya-kammannata (wieldiness of cetasikas) and citta-kammannata (wieldiness of citta).

      In fact, the universal sobhana cetasikas seem to suppress the five hindrances and some samyojanas (fetters) such as mana (conceit).

      Thus I would think that cultivating these universal sobhana cetasikas through performing meritorious deeds indeed help set the stage for further development of concentration and insight.

    • #26963
      Lal
      Keymaster

      firewns wrote: “Thus I would think that cultivating these universal sobhana cetasikas through performing meritorious deeds indeed help set the stage for further development of concentration and insight.”

      Yes. That is indeed true.

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