Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma

Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema

Language: English

Pages: 66

ISBN: 2:00235191

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


82,000 Teachings from the Buddha I have received;
2,000 more from his disciples; Now, 84,000 are familiar to me.1
Who nothing has heard2 and nothing understood, He ages only oxen-like:
His stomach only grows and grows,
But his insight deepens not.
Who has much heard and learned,
But does despise him who is poor in learning, Is like one blind who holds a lamp.
So must I think of such a one.
Thou follow him who has heard much,
Then what is heard shall not decline.
This is the tap-root of the holy life;
Hence a Dhamma-guardian thou should’st be!
Knowing what comes first and last, Knowing well the meaning, too,
Skilful in grammar and in other items,3 The well-grasped meaning he examines.
Keen in his patient application,
He strives to weigh the meaning well. At the right time he makes his effort, And inwardly collects his mind.
— the Venerable Ánanda, Thag XVII.3 (vv. 1024-29)

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Ajátasattu to keep the peace, and to the Vajjians to keep up their virtue. At Vesáli he became ill with a deadly disease. He overcame it by willpower, as he did not want to die without having assembled the disciples once more. That a Buddha can become ill is due to the imperfection of the body, but that he can master the illness at will is due to the perfection of the Awakened One. Ánanda had been extremely grieved about the Buddha’s illness. He was so worried that he could not think properly. He

the seventh and last time. The splendor and magnificence of that kingdom had been destroyed, had disappeared and vanished. This, indeed, was enough to make one weary of all conditioned things as one of the most famous stanzas of the Dhamma taught: 44 Conditions truly they are transient. Their nature is to arise and cease, Having arisen, then they pass away, Their calming and cessation is true bliss. 52 —Thag XX (v. 1159) The Buddha’s discourse about Mahá-Sudassana was the last great teaching

transient.” As a third, Anuruddha gave voice to two verses: Peaceful had been the death of the Master, without mortal pangs, gentle like a lamp he was extinguished. But Ánanda lamented: 47 Then was there terror, and the hair stood up, when he, The all-accomplished one, the Buddha, passed away. And all those of the five-hundred monks who had not yet attained full liberation from passions, lamented like Ánanda. Anuruddha, however, consoled them all. He pointed to the immutable law of impermanence

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that only he had been talking and had not let the wise Ánanda utter a single word. It was, she said, as if the needle salesman had tried to sell his wares in the presence of the needle manufacturer. Ánanda begged Kassapa to forgive her. But Kassapa replied that Ánanda should show restraint, lest an inquiry into his behavior should be initiated (SN XVI.10). This was meant by Kassapa to be a reproach that Ánanda had been overzealous in his teaching, and had overlooked the danger of personal

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