The Debate Of King Milinda

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The Debate Of King Milinda

Postby yawares » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:25 am

Dear Members

Tep gave me this book to read. Just 1 page and I'm hooked! Please let me share with you all.

The Milinda Panha is, with good reason, a famous work of
Buddhist literature, probably compiled in the first century
B.C. It presents Buddhist doctrine in a very attractive and
memorable form as a dialogue between a Bactrian Greek
king, Milinda, who plays the ‘Devil’s Advocate’ and a
Buddhist sage, Nàgasena. The topics covered include most
of those questions commonly asked by Westerners such as
“If there is no soul, what is it that is reborn?” and “If there
is no soul, who is talking to you now?”

*************************
The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]

King Milinda went up to Nàgasena, exchanged
polite and friendly greetings, and
took his seat respectfully to one side. Then
Milinda began by asking:

1. “How is your reverence known, and what sir, is your
name?”

“O king, I am known as Nàgasena but that is only a
designation in common use, for no permanent individual
can be found.”

Then Milinda called upon the Bactrian Greeks and the
monks to bear witness: “This Nàgasena says that no
permanent individual is implied in his name. Is it possible
to approve of that?” Then he turned to Nàgasena and said,
“If, most venerable Nàgasena, that is true, who is it who
gives you robes, food and shelter? Who lives the righteous
life? Or again, who kills living beings, steals, commits
adultery, tells lies or takes strong drink? If what you say is
true then there is neither merit nor demerit, nor is there any
doer of good or evil deeds and no result of kamma. If,
venerable sir, a man were to kill you there would be no
murder, and it follows that there are no masters or teachers
in your Order. You say that you are called Nàgasena; now
what is that Nàgasena? Is it the hair?”

“I don’t say that, great king.”

“Is it then the nails, teeth, skin or other parts of the
body?”

“Certainly not.”

“Or is it the body, or feelings, or perceptions, or
formations, or consciousness? Is it all of these combined?
Or is it something outside of them that is Nàgasena?”

Still Nàgasena answered: “It is none of these.”

“Then, ask as I may, I can discover no Nàgasena.
Nàgasena is an empty sound. Who is it we see before us? It
is a falsehood that your reverence has spoken.”

“You, sir, have been reared in great luxury as becomes
your noble birth. How did you come here, by foot or
in a chariot?”

“In a chariot, venerable sir.”

“Then, explain sir, what that is. Is it the axle? Or the
wheels, or the chassis, or reins, or yoke that is the chariot?
Is it all of these combined, or is it something apart from
them?”

“It is none of these things, venerable sir.”

“Then, sir, this chariot is an empty sound. You spoke
falsely when you said that you came here in a chariot. You
are a great king of India. Who are you afraid of that you
don’t speak the truth?” Then he called upon the Bactrian
Greeks and the monks to bear witness: “This King Milinda
has said that he came here in a chariot but when asked what
it is, he is unable to show it. Is it possible to approve of that?”
Then the five hundred Bactrian Greeks shouted their
approval and said to the king, “Get out of that if you can!”

“Venerable sir, I have spoken the truth. It is because it
has all these parts that it comes under the term chariot.”

“Very good, sir, your majesty has rightly grasped the
meaning. Even so it is because of the thirty-two kinds of
organic matter in a human body and the five aggregates of
being that I come under the term ‘Nàgasena’. As it was said
by Sister Vajãra in the presence of the Blessed One, ‘Just as
it is by the existence of the various parts that the word
“Chariot” is used, just so is it that when the aggregates of
being are there we talk of a being’.”

“Most wonderful, Nàgasena, most extraordinary that
you have solved this puzzle, difficult though it was. If the
Buddha himself were here he would approve of your
reply.”

******************
yawares :anjali:
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The Debate Of King Milinda

Postby GraemeR » Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:41 pm

It's interesting that this is set not long after Alexander the Great and there were Greek kings in Afghanistan in those days!

Graham
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Re: The Debate Of King Milinda

Postby yawares » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:55 pm

GraemeR wrote:It's interesting that this is set not long after Alexander the Great and there were Greek kings in Afghanistan in those days!

Graham

Dear Graham,
I so love this book by Bhikkhu Pesala :heart: Tep just gave me yesterday. :thumbsup:

Are you sure you teach MATH not HISTORY?? :tongue: ....Well just like a song " Don't know much about history, don't know much biology, don't know much about science book , don't know much about french I took :jumping: ......WELL, THAT'S ME....yawares :tongue:
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Re: The Debate Of King Milinda

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:29 pm

I hope you have the latest edition — The Debate of King Milinda

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AIM WebsitePāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)
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Re: The Debate Of King Milinda

Postby yawares » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:11 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I hope you have the latest edition — The Debate of King Milinda

Image


Dear Bhikkhu Pesala,

I have the one with the hand...but I'll download the new one right now..Thank you so very much :thanks: ..I'll post the debates every other day :heart: Tep/I love your book. :heart:

With respect,
yawares :anjali:
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The Debate: 7 Rains/Discuss As A Scholar

Postby yawares » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:06 pm

Dear Members,

I think I will post the debate daily @ DW/DSG/Triplegem....(and SD/JTN in colors) ...all the debates are so wonderful :heart:

***************
:candle: The Debate Of King Milinda :candle:
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#2. King Milinda went up to Nàgasena, exchanged polite
and friendly greetings, and took his seat respectfully to one
side. Then Milinda began by asking:

“How many ‘rains’ do you have Nàgasena?”

“Seven, your majesty.”

“How can you say it is your seven; is it you who are
seven or the number that is seven?”

Then Nàgasena said, “Your shadow is now on the
ground. Are you the king, or is the shadow the king?”

“I am the king, Nàgasena, but the shadow comes into
being because of me.”

“Just so, O king, the number of the years is seven, I am
not seven, but it is because of me that the number seven
comes into being and it is mine in the same sense as the
shadow is yours.”

Note:(A bhikkhu’s seniority is reckoned by the number of rainy seasons that have passed since
his ordination)

“Most wonderful, Nàgasena, and extraordinary. Well
has this puzzle been solved by you, difficult as it was.”

---------
#3. Then the king said, “Venerable sir, will you discuss
with me again?”

“If your majesty will discuss as a scholar, yes; but if
you will discuss as a king, no.”

“How is it then that scholars discuss?”

“When scholars discuss there is a summing up and an
unravelling; one or other is shown to be in error. He admits
his mistake, yet he does not become angry.”

“Then how is it that kings discuss?”

“When a king discusses a matter and advances a
point of view, if anyone differs from him on that point he is
apt to punish him.”

“Very well then, it is as a scholar that I will discuss.
Let your reverence talk without fear.”

“It is well your majesty.”

“Nàgasena, I will ask a question”, said the king.

“Ask it sir.”

“I have asked it, your reverence.”

“Then I have answered.”

“What have you answered?”

“What have you asked?”

Thinking, “This monk is a great scholar, he is quite
able to discuss things with me”, the king instructed his
minister, Devamantiya, to invite him to the palace with a
large company of monks and went away muttering,
“Nàgasena, Nàgasena.”

***********
yawares :anjali:
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The Debate: Soul In The Breath?/Going Forth

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:57 pm

Dear Members,

I truly love/admire Bhikkhu Nagasena :heart: :anjali:

**************
The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#4. So, Devamantiya, Anantakàya and Mankura went to
Nàgasena’s hermitage to accompany the monks to the
palace. As they were walking along together Anantakàya
said to Nàgasena, “When, your reverence, I say, ‘Nàgasena’
what is that Nàgasena?”

“What do you think that Nàgasena is?”

“The soul, the inner breath, which comes and goes.”

“But if that breath, having gone out, should not return
would that man still be alive?”

“Certainly not.”

“And when those trumpeters and the like have blown
their trumpets does their breath return to them?”

“No venerable sir, it doesn’t.”

“Then why don’t they die?”

“I am not capable of arguing with you sir, pray tell me
how it is.”

“There is no soul in the breath. These inhalations and
exhalations are merely constituent powers of the bodily
frame.” Then the elder talked to him on the Abhidhamma
and Anantakàya was satisfied with his explanation.

Note: Thera (elder) is nowadays normally used only for bhikkhus of ten or more years standing
but Nàgasena was only seven rains.

---------------

#5. Then, after the monks had arrived at the palace and
finished their meal, the king sat down on a low seat and
asked, “What shall we discuss?”

“Let our discussion be about the Dhamma.”

Then the king said, “What is the purpose, your
reverence, of your going forth and what is the final goal at
which you aim?”

“Our going forth is for the purpose that this suffering
may be extinguished and that no further suffering may
arise; the complete extinction of grasping without
remainder is our final goal.”

“Is it, venerable sir, for such noble reasons that
everyone joins the Order?”

“No. Some enter to escape the tyranny of kings,
some to be safe from robbers, some to escape from debt
and some perhaps to gain a livelihood. However, those
who enter rightly do so for the complete extinction of
grasping.”

***************
yawares :anjali:
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The Story Of Nagasena

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:15 pm

Dear Members,
This lovely Monday I proudly present the story of Thera Nagasena :heart: :anjali:

**************
:candle: Nagasena:The Great Debater :candle:
[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia]


Nāgasena was a Brahmin who became a Buddhist sage lived about 150 BCE. His answers to questions about Buddhism posed by Menander I (Pali: Milinda), the Indo-Greek king of northwestern India (now Pakistan), are recorded in the Milinda Pañha.

Etymology of Name
Sanskrit in origin, Nāga means cobra, snake, serpent, or dragon, and also can refer to snake-human hybrids, an ancient super-race who were the mythological founders of many Asian countries. Sena means army. Therefore the name can be translated as "Army of Nāga" or "Host of Dragons", signifying a very powerful supernatural presence.

Milinda Panha
There is almost universal agreement that this text was later expanded by numerous other authors, following the "Question and Answer" pattern established in the early books. The version extant today is very long, and has signs of inconsistent authorship in the later volumes. There is no agreed-upon point at which Nagasena's authorship may be said to end (and the work of other hands begins), nor has this been perceived as an inherently important distinction by monastic scholars.

The text mentions that Nagasena learned the Tripitaka under the Greek Buddhist monk Dhammarakkhita near Pātaliputta. He also reached enlightenment and became an arhat under his guidance.

Other personalities mentioned in the text are Nāgasena's father Soñuttara, his teachers Rohaa, Assagutta of Vattaniya and another teacher named Āyupāla from Sankheyya near Sāgala.

Thai tradition
There is a tradition that Nagasena brought to Thailand the first representation of the Buddha, the Emerald Buddha. According to this legend, the Emerald Buddha would have been created in India in 43 BCE by Nagasena in the city of Pataliputra (today Patna).

Nagasena is not known through other sources besides the Milinda Panha and this legend.

Depictions
Nagasena is one of the 18 Lohans or Arhats, similar to the Apostles in Christianity. Statues show a bald, elderly monk scratching his ear with a stick to symbolize purification of the sense of hearing. An adherent of Buddhism should avoid listening to gossip and other nonsense so that they are always prepared to hear the truth.

*************************
:heart: Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya :heart:
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Re: The Debate: 7 Rains/Discuss As A Scholar

Postby yawares » Mon Oct 22, 2012 2:33 pm

I'm so happy to see replies from members @ DSG

Dear Yawares,
Sadhu! He was so wise. So happy u appraciate milindhapanha. I got this recently
from Sarah and Jon as a dhamma gift. Very very helpful.

Best wishes
Lukas
------------
Dear Lukas,

Oh..I'm happy that you got a great gift! This book is so precious!

yawares
--------------
Dear Yawares,
> >
> > I find the Milindapanha to be a wonderful text also.

Josh
------------
> Dear Josh,
>
> Thank you very much for reading...I love love Milindapanha..Bhikkhu Nagasena
was so wise...I'll try to find Nagasena story to post real soon..I so love him.
>
> yawares
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The Debate:Rebirth/Escape Rebirth/Illustration

Postby yawares » Tue Oct 23, 2012 1:00 pm

Dear Members,
Today is Uposatha Day. :anjali:

********
The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


6. The king said, “Is there anyone who is not reborn
after death?”

“Yes there is. The one who has no defilements is not
reborn after death; the one who has defilements is reborn.”

“Will you be reborn?”

“If I die with attachment in my mind, yes; but if not,
no.”

---------------

7. “Does one who escapes from rebirth do so by the
power of reasoning?”

“He escapes both by reasoning and by wisdom, confidence,
virtue, mindfulness, energy and concentration.”

“Is reasoning the same as wisdom?”

“No. Animals have reasoning but they do not have
wisdom.”

----------

8. “What, Nàgasena, is the characteristic mark of
reasoning; and what the mark of wisdom?”

“Taking hold is the mark of reasoning, cutting off is
the mark of wisdom.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“How do barley reapers reap the barley?”

“They grasp the barley into a bunch with the left
hand and, with a sickle in the right hand, they cut the
barley.”

“Just so, O king, the recluse takes hold of his mind
with reasoning and cuts of the defilements with wisdom.”

***********
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The Debate: #9 The Characteristic Mark Of Virtue?

Postby yawares » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:28 pm

Dear Members.

The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#9. “What, Nàgasena, is the characteristic mark of virtue?”

“Supporting, O king, for it is the basis of all good
qualities: the five controlling faculties14 and the five moral
powers,15 the seven factors of enlightenment16 the eight
factors of the noble path,17 the four foundations of
mindfulness18 the four right efforts,19 the four bases of
success,20 the four absorptions,21 the eight freedoms,22 the
four modes of concentration23 and the eight great attainments.
24 Each of these has virtue as its support and in
him who builds on it as the foundation all these good
conditions will not decrease.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“Just, O king, as all forms of animal and plant life
flourish with the earth as their support, so does the recluse,
with virtue as the support, develop the five controlling
faculties and so on.25 And this was said by the Blessed One:

“When a wise man, established well in virtue,
Develops concentration and understanding,
Then as a bhikkhu, ardent and sagacious,
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle.”26

------
Note:
14. Confidence, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.
15. Confidence, energy, mindfulness, concentration, and wisdom.
16. Mindfulness, investigation, energy, joy, tranquillity, concentration, and equanimity.
17. Right view, –thought, –speech, –action, –livelihood, –effort, –mindfulness, and
–concentration.
18. Mindfulness of the body, feelings, thoughts, and mind-objects.
19. Effort to prevent and remove unwholesome states and to develop and maintain
wholesome states.
20. Eagerness, energy, tenacity, wisdom.
21. Four stages of one-pointedness or jhàna.
22. Eight stages of release of the mind by intense concentration.
23. Meditations on love, compassion, sympathetic-joy, and equanimity.
24. Four formless jhànas and four form jhànas.
25. cf. S. v. 45.
26. S. i. 13, 165, Vism. (opening verse).

***********to be continued**********
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The Debate Of King Milinda : #10 - #11

Postby yawares » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:12 pm

Dear Members.

The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#10. “What is the characteristic mark of confidence?”

“Clarification and inspiration. As confidence springs
up in the mind it breaks through the veil of the five
hindrances and the mind becomes clear, serene and
undisturbed; thus confidence clarifies. Inspiration is the
mark when the meditator, perceiving how the minds of
others have been set free, aspires to the attainment of what
he has not yet reached, to the experience of what he has not
yet felt and the realisation of what he has not yet
understood. For this was said by the Blessed One:

“By confidence he crosses over the flood,
By vigilance the sea of life,
By steadfastness all grief he stills,
By wisdom he is purified.”27

Note: 27. S. i. 214; Sn. v 184.
----------

#11. “What, venerable sir, is the characteristic mark of
energy?”

“Reinforcing, O king, so that those good qualities,
which it supports, do not fall away.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“Just as, O king, when his army has been broken up
by a larger one the king would call to mind every possible
ally to reinforce his army and break up the large army.
Thus reinforcing is the mark of energy. For this was said by
the Blessed One:
“The energetic noble disciple, O monks,
Puts away unwholesomeness and cultivates good,
Shuns the blameworthy and develops the blameless,
And thus does he keep his mind pure.”28

Note: 28. A. iv. 110.

------to be continued------
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King Milinda And His Conversion

Postby yawares » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:33 pm

Dear Members,
The more I read about Thera Nagasena :anjali: and King Milinda the more I wish to find their stories. And now I found what I need to know.

*************
THE QUESTIONS OF KING MILINDA
[Translated from the Milindapañha]

As a consequence of the conquest of the Persian empire, the Greeks gained control of Bactria, modern Afghanistan, together with northern India. The local Greek rulers managed to establish their independence from the Seleucid empire which first held control over the area. Greek rule of Bactria continued until about 165 BC when the Shakas destroyed the Bactrian kingdom. Greeks continued to rule, however, in southern Afghanistan and northwestern India for another 150 years. The most important of these kings was Menander, known as Milinda in Buddhist sources, who ruled about 115-90 BC. Buddhism had reached the area as a consequence of the missionaries which the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka had sent more than a century earlier.

Why Nagasena went to Bactria

In the land of the Bactrian Greeks there was a city called Sagala, a great center of trade. Rivers and hills beautified it, delightful landscapes surrounded it, and it possessed many parks, gardens, woods, lakes and lotus-ponds. Its king was Milinda, a man who was learned, experienced, intelligent and competent, and who at the proper times carefully observed all the appropriate Brahminic rites, with regard to things past, future and present. As a disputant he was hard to assail, hard to overcome, and he was recognized as a prominent sectarian teacher.

One day a numerous company of Arhats, who lived in a well-protected spot in the Himalayas, sent a messenger to the Venerable Nagasena, then at the Asoka Park in Patna, asking him to come, as they wished to see him. Nagasena immediately complied by vanishing from where he was and miraculously appearing before them. And the Arhats said to him: "That king Milinda, Nagasena, constantly harasses the order of monks with questions and counter-questions, with arguments and counter-arguments. Please go, Nagasena, and subdue him!" But Nagasena replied: "Never mind just this one king Milinda! If all the kings of India would come to me with their questions, I could well dispose of them, and they would give no more trouble after that! You may go to Sagala without any fear whatever!" And the Elders went to Sagala, lighting up the city with their yellow robes which shone like lamps, and bringing with them the fresh breeze of the holy mountains.

The Venerable Nagasena stayed at the Sankheyya hermitage together with 80,000 monks. King Milinda, accompanied by a retinue of 500 Greeks, went up to where he was, gave him a friendly and courteous greeting, and sat on one side. Nagasena returned his greetings, and his courtesy pleased the king's heart.

Said the king, "Bhante Nagasena, will you converse with me?"


"Your majesty, if you will converse with me as the wise converse, I will, but if you converse with me as kings converse, I will not."

"Bhante Nagasena, how do the wise converse?"

"Your majesty, when the wise converse, whether they become entangled by their opponents’ arguments or extricate themselves, whether they or their opponents are convicted of error, whether their own superiority or that of their opponents is established, nothing in all this can make them angry. Thus, your majesty, do the wise converse."

"And how, bhante, do kings converse?"

"Your majesty, when kings converse, they advance a proposition, and whoever opposes it, they order his punishment, saying, ‘Punish this fellow!’ Thus, your majesty, do kings converse."

"Bhante, I will converse as the wise converse, not as kings do. Let your worship converse in all confidence. Let your worship converse as unrestrainedly as if with a monk or a novice or a lay disciple or a keeper of the monastery grounds. Be not afraid!"

"Very well, your majesty," said the elder in assent.
-----------
Conversion of the King

The king, as a result of his discussions with the Venerable Nagasena, was overjoyed and humbled; he saw the value in the Buddha's religion, gained confidence in the Triple Jewel, lost his spikiness and obstinacy, gained faith in the qualities of the Elder -- in his observation of the monastic rules, his spiritual progress and his general demeanor -- became trusting and resigned, free from conceit and arrogance. Like a cobra whose fangs have been drawn, he said: "Well said, well said, Nagasena! You have answered my questions, which would have given scope to a Buddha, you have answered them well! Apart from the Elder Sariputra, the supreme general of the Dharma, there is no one in this religion of the Buddha who can deal with questions as well as you do. Forgive my transgressions, Nagasena! May the Venerable Nagasena accept me as a lay-follower, as one who takes his refuge with the Triple Jewel, from to-day onwards, as long as I shall live!"


**********
:heart: Love Buddha's dhamma,
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The Debate: the characteristic mark of Energy/Mindfulness

Postby yawares » Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:58 pm

Dear Members.

The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#12. “What, venerable sir, is the characteristic mark of energy (vīriya)?”

“Reinforcing, O king, so that those good qualities, which it supports, do not fall away.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“Just as, O king, when his army has been broken up by a larger one the king would call to mind every possible ally to reinforce his army and break up the large army. Thus reinforcing is the mark of energy. For this was said by the Blessed One:

“The energetic noble disciple, O monks,
Puts away unwholesomeness and cultivates good,
Shuns the blameworthy and develops the blameless,
And thus does he keep his mind pure.”17

[17 . S. i. 214; Sn. v 184]
-------------------------
#13. “What, Nāgasena, is the characteristic mark of mindfulness (sati)?”

“Noting and keeping in mind. As mindfulness springs up in the mind of the recluse, he repeatedly notes the wholesome and unwholesome, blameless and blameworthy, insignificant and important, dark and light qualities and those that resemble them thinking, ‘These are the four foundations of mindfulness, these the four right efforts, these the four bases of success, these the five controlling faculties, these the five moral powers, these the seven factors of enlightenment, these are the eight factors of the noble path, this is serenity, this insight, this vision and this freedom.’ Thus does he cultivate those qualities that are desirable and shun those that should be avoided.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“It is like a king’s treasurer who reminds his master of the size of the army and the amount of wealth in his treasury.”

“How is keeping in mind a mark of mindfulness?”

“As mindfulness springs up in the mind, he searches out the categories of good qualities and their opposites thinking, ‘Such and such qualities are beneficial and such are harmful.’ Thus does he make what is unwholesome in himself disappear and maintain what is good.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“It is like the Prime Minister of the king who advises him on the right course of action. And this was said by the Blessed One:

“Mindfulness, I declare, O monks, is helpful everywhere.”18

[18. A. iv. 110.2 S. v. 115]

********to be continued************
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The Past Lives Of Thera Nagasena/ King Milinda

Postby yawares » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:34 pm

Dear Members,

This so.. so cold Texas Friday, I proudly present the amazing past lives of King Milinda/Nagasena. :anjali:

*********
:candle: THEIR PREVIOUS HISTORY (PUBBA-YOGA) :candle:
[ From sacredtexts.com ]

By Pubba-yoga is meant their past Karma (their doings in this or previous lives). Long ago, they say, when Kassapa the Buddha was promulgating the faith, there dwelt in one community near the Ganges a great company of members of the Order. There the brethren, true to established rules and duties, rose early in the morning, and taking the long-handled brooms, would sweep out the courtyard and collect the rubbish into a heap, meditating the while on the virtues of the Buddha.

One day a bhikkhu told a novice to remove the heap of dust. But he, as if he heard not, went about his business; and on being called a second time, and a third, still went his way as if he had not heard. Then the bhikkhu, angry with so intractable a novice, dealt him a blow with the broom stick.

This time, not daring to refuse, he set about the task crying; and as he did so he muttered to himself this first aspiration: 'May I, by reason of this meritorious act of throwing out the rubbish, in each successive condition in which I may be born up to the time when I attain Nirvâna, be powerful and glorious as the midday sun!'

When he had finished his work he went to the river side to bathe, and on beholding the mighty billows of the Ganges seething and surging, he uttered this second aspiration: 'May I, in each successive condition in which I may be born till I attain Nirvâna, possess the power of saying the right thing, and saying it instantly, under any circumstance that may arise, carrying all before me like this mighty surge!'

Now that bhikkhu, after he had put the broom away in the broom closet, had likewise wandered down to the river side to bathe, and as he walked he happened to overhear what the novice had said. Then thinking: 'If this fellow, on the ground of such an act of merit, which after all was instigated by me, can harbour hopes like this, what may not I attain to?' he too made his wish, and it was thus: 'In each successive condition in which I may be born till I attain Nirvâna, may I too be ready in saying the right thing at once, and more especially may I have the power of unravelling and of solving each problem and each puzzling question this young man may put-carrying all before me like this mighty surge!'
-----
Then for the whole period between one Buddha and the next these two people wandered from existence to existence among gods and men. And our Buddha saw them too, and just as he did to the son of Moggalî and to Tissa the Elder, so to them also did he foretell their future fate, saying: 'Five hundred years after I have passed away will these two reappear, and the subtle Law and Doctrine taught by me will they two explain, unravelling and disentangling its difficulties by questions put and metaphors adduced.'

-----
The novice re-incarnation as King Milinda

Of the two the novice became the king of the city of Sâgala in India, Milinda by name, learned, eloquent, wise, and able; and a faithful observer, and that at the right time, of all the various acts of devotion and ceremony enjoined by his own sacred hymns concerning things past, present, and to come. Many were the arts and sciences he knew--holy tradition and secular law; the Sânkhya, Yoga, Nyâya, and Vaiseshika systems of philosophy; arithmetic; music; medicine; the four Vedas, the Purânas, and the Itihâsas; astronomy, magic, causation , and spells; the art of war; poetry; conveyancing --in a word, the whole nineteen .

As a disputant he was hard to equal, harder still to overcome; the acknowledged superior of all the founders of the various schools of thought. And as in wisdom so in strength of body, swiftness, and valour there was found none equal to Milinda in all India. He was rich too, mighty in wealth and prosperity, and the number of his armed hosts knew no end.

Now one day Milinda the king proceeded forth out of the city to pass in review the innumerable host of his mighty army in its fourfold array (of elephants, cavalry, bowmen, and soldiers on foot). And when the numbering of the forces was over, the king, who was fond of wordy disputation, and eager for discussion with casuists, sophists 1, and gentry of that sort, looked at the sun (to ascertain the time), and then said to his ministers: 'The day is yet young. What would be the use of getting back to town so early? Is there no learned person, whether wandering teacher 2 or Brahman, the head of some school or order, or the master of some band of pupils (even though he profess faith in the Arahat, the Supreme Buddha), who would be able to talk with me, and resolve my doubts?'

Thereupon the five hundred Yonakas said to Milinda the king: 'There are the six Masters, O king!--Pûrana Kassapa, Makkhali of the cowshed 1, the Nigantha of the Nâta clan, Sañgaya the son of the Belattha woman, Agita of the garment of hair, and Pakudha Kakkâyana. These are well known as famous founders of schools, followed by bands of disciples and hearers, and highly honoured by the people. Go, great king! put to them your problems, and have your doubts resolved 2.'

So king Milinda, attended by the five hundred Yonakas, mounted the royal car with its splendid equipage, and went out to the dwelling-place of Pûrana Kassapa, exchanged with him the compliments of friendly greeting, and took his seat courteously apart. And thus sitting he said to him: 'Who is it, venerable Kassapa, who rules the world?'

'The Earth, great king, rules the world!'

'But, venerable Kassapa, if it be the Earth that rules the world, how comes it that some men go to the Avîki hell , thus getting outside the sphere of the Earth?'

When he had thus spoken, neither could Pûrana Kassapa swallow the puzzle, nor could he bring it up; crestfallen, driven to silence, and moody , there he sat.

Then Milinda the king said to Makkhali of the cowshed 3: 'Are there, venerable Gosâla, good and evil acts? Is there such a thing as fruit, ultimate result, of good and evil acts?'

'There are no such acts, O king; and no such fruit, or ultimate result. Those who here in the world are nobles, they, O king, when they go to the other world, will become nobles once more. And those who are Brahmans, or of the middle class, or workpeople, or outcasts here, will in the next world become the same. What then is the use of good or evil acts ? '

'If, venerable Gosâla, it be as you say then, by parity of reasoning, those who, here in this world, have a hand cut off, must in the next world become persons with a hand cut off, and in like manner those who have had a foot cut off or an ear or their nose!'

And at this saying Makkhali was silenced.

Then thought Milinda the king within himself : 'All India is an empty thing, it is verily like chaff! There is no one, either recluse or Brahman, capable of discussing things with me, and dispelling my doubts.' And he said to his ministers: 'Beautiful is the night and pleasant! Who is the recluse or Brahman we can visit to-night to question him, who will be able to converse with us and dispel our doubts 3?' And at that saying the counsellors remained silent, and stood there gazing upon the face of the king.

Now at that time the city of Sâgala had for twelve years been devoid of learned men, whether Brahmans, Samanas, or laymen. But wherever the king heard that such persons dwelt, thither he would go and put his questions to them. But they all alike, being unable to satisfy the king by their solution of his problems, departed hither and thither, or if they did not leave for some other place, were at all events reduced to silence. And the brethren of the Order went, for the most part, to the Himâlaya mountains.

*****************Tomorrow..The Bhikkhu re-incarnation as Nagasena :anjali: ***********
:heart: Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya :heart:
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The Debate : Concentration/Wisdom

Postby yawares » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:52 pm

Dear Members.

The Debate Of King Milinda
[Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala]


#14. “What, Nāgasena, is the characteristic mark of concentration (samādhi)?”

“Leading, O king, for all good qualities have concentration as their chief; they incline to it, lead up towards it.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“As the rafters of a house incline and lead up to the ridge-pole and the ridge-pole is the highest point of the roof. So too all good qualities incline and lead up to concentration. And this was said by the Blessed One:

“Monks, develop concentration, a monk who is
concentrated sees things as they really are.”19


[NOTE: 19. S. iii. 13, v. 414; cf. Asl.162.]

------------
#15. “What, Nāgasena, is the characteristic mark of wisdom?”

“Illuminating (obhāsana),20 O king. When wisdom springs up in the mind it dispels the darkness of ignorance, causes the radiance of vision to arise, makes the light of knowledge shine forth and makes the noble truths plain. Thus does the meditator perceive with the clearest wisdom, the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and soullessness of all formations.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“It is like a lamp, O king, which in a dark room would illuminate it and make the objects there plainly visible.”

“These qualities that are so different, Nāgasena, do they bring about one and the same result?”

“They do, the destruction of the defilements of the mind, just as the various parts of an army such as elephants, cavalry, war chariots, and archers bring about one result — the conquest of the opposing army.”

“Well put Nāgasena, you are clever in reply.”

[NOTE: 20. As well as cutting off already given above.]

***********to be continued************
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'Mahasena Deva(the Bhikkhu)' Re-incarnation as Nagasena

Postby yawares » Sat Oct 27, 2012 1:30 pm

Dear Members,
This super cold Texas Saturday, I proudly present the amazing past life of the great Thera Nagasena. :heart: :anjali:

*********
THEIR PREVIOUS HISTORY (PUBBA-YOGA).
[ From sacredtexts.com ]

:candle: 'Mahasena Deva(the Bhikkhu)' Re-incarnation as Nagasena :candle:

Now at that time there dwelt, in the mountain region of the Himâlayas, on the Guarded Slope, an innumerable company of Arahats (brethren who, while yet alive, had attained Nirvâna). And the venerable Assagutta, by means of his divine power of hearing, heard those words of king Milinda. And he convened an assembly of the Order on the summit of the Yugandhara mountain, and asked the brethren: 'Is there any member of the Order able to hold converse with Milinda the king, and resolve his doubts?'

Then were they all silent. And a second and a third time he put the same question to them, and still none of all the number spake. Then he said to the assembled Order: 'There is, reverend Sirs, in the heaven of the Thirty-three, and east of the Vegayanta palace, a mansion called Ketumatî, wherein dwells the god Mahâsena. He is able to hold converse with Milinda the king, and to resolve his doubts.' And the innumerable company of Arahats vanished from the summit of the Yugandhara mountain, and appeared in the heaven of the Thirty-three.

And Sakka, the king of the gods, beheld those brethren of the Order as they were coming from afar. And at the sight of them he went up to the venerable Assagutta, and bowed down before him, and stood reverently aside. And so standing he said to him: 'Great, reverend Sir, is the company of the brethren that has come. What is it that they want? I am at the service of the Order. What can I do for you?'

And the venerable Assagutta replied: 'There is, O king, in India, in the city of Sâgala, a king named Milinda. As a disputant he is hard to equal, harder still to overcome, he is the acknowledged superior of all the founders of the various schools of thought. He is in the habit of visiting the members of the Order and harassing them by questions of speculative import.'

Then said Sakka, the king of the gods, to him: 'That same king Milinda, venerable one, left this condition to be born as a man. And there dwells in the mansion Ketumatî a god, Mahâsena by name, who is able to hold converse with him and to resolve his doubts. That god we will beseech to suffer himself to be reborn into the world of men.'


So Sakka, the king of the gods, preceded by the Order, entered the Ketumatî mansion; and when he had embraced Mahâsena the god, he said to him: 'The Order of the brethren, Lord, makes this request of you-to be reborn into the world of men.'

'I have no desire, Sir, for the world of men, so overladen with action (Karma). Hard is life as a
man. It is here, Sir, in the world of the gods that, being reborn in ever higher and higher spheres, I hope to pass away!'

And a second and a third time did Sakka, the king of the gods, make the same request, and the reply was still the same. Then the venerable Assagutta addressed Mahâsena the god, and said: 'On passing in review, Lord, the worlds of gods and men, there is none but thee that we find able to succour the faith by refuting the heretical views of Milinda the king. The whole Order beseeches thee, Lord, saying: "Condescend, O worthy one, to be reborn among men, in order to lend to the religion of the Blessed One thy powerful aid."'

Then was Mahâsena the god overjoyed and delighted in heart at the thought that he would be able to help the faith by refuting the heresy of Milinda; and he gave them his word, and said: 'Very well then, venerable ones, I consent to be reborn in the world of men,'


Then the brethren, having thus accomplished the task they had taken in hand, vanished from the heaven of the Thirty-three, and reappeared on the Guarded Slope in the Himâlaya mountains. And the venerable Assagutta addressed the Order, and said: 'Is there, venerable ones, any brother belonging to this company of the Order, who has not appeared in the assembly?'

Thereupon a certain brother said there was, that Rohana had a week previously gone into the mountains, and become buried in meditation, and suggested that a messenger should be sent to him. And at that very moment the venerable Rohana aroused himself from his meditation, and was aware that the Order was expecting him. And vanishing from the mountain top, he appeared in the presence of the innumerable company of the brethren.

And the venerable Assagutta said to him: 'How now, venerable Rohana! When the religion of the Buddha is in danger of crumbling away, have you no eyes for the work of the Order?'

'It was through inadvertence, Sir,' said he.

'Then, venerable Rohana, atone for it.'

'What, Sir, should I do?'

'There is a Brahman village, venerable Rohana, called Kagangala, at the foot of the Himâlaya mountains, and there dwells there a Brahman called Sonuttara. He will have a son called Nâgasena. Go to that house for alms during seven years and ten months. After the lapse of that time thou shalt draw away the boy from a worldly life, and cause him to enter the Order. When he shall have abandoned the world, then shalt thou be free of the atonement for thy fault.'

'Let it be even as thou sayest,' said the venerable Rohana in assent.

Now Mahâsena the god passed away from the world of the gods, and was reborn in the womb of the wife of the Brahman Sonuttara. And at the moment of his conception three strange, wonderful things took place:--arms and weapons became all ablaze, the tender grain became ripe in a moment, and there was a great rain (in the time of drought). And the venerable Rohana went to that house for alms for seven years and ten months from the day of Mahâsena's re-incarnation, but never once did he receive so much as a spoonful of boiled rice, or a ladleful of sour gruel, or a greeting, or a stretching forth of the joined hands, or any sort of salutation. Nay rather it was insults and taunts that fell to his share: and there was no one who so much as said, Be so good, 'Sir, as to go on to the next house.'

But when all that period had gone by he one day happened to have those very words addressed to him. And on that day the Brahman, on his way back from his work in the fields, [9] saw the Elder as he met him on his return, and said: 'Well, hermit, have you been to our place

'Yes, Brahman, I have.'

'But did you get anything there?'

'Yes, Brahman, I did.'

And he was displeased at this, and went on home, and asked them: 'Did you give anything to that hermit?'

'We gave him nothing,' was the reply.

Thereupon the Brahman, the next day, seated himself right in the doorway, thinking to himself: 'To-day I'll put that hermit to shame for having told a lie.' And the moment that the Elder in due course came up to the house again, he said: 'Yesterday you said you had got something at my house, having all the while got nothing! Is lying allowed to you fellows?'

And the Elder replied: 'Brahman, for seven years and ten months no one even went so far as to suggest politely that I should pass on. Yesterday this courtesy was extended to me. It was to that that I referred.'

The Brahman thought to himself: 'If these men, at the mere experience of a little courtesy, acknowledge in a public place, and with thanks, that they have received an alms, what will they not do if they really receive a gift!' And he was much struck by this, and had an alms bestowed upon the Elder from the rice and curry prepared for his own use, and added furthermore: 'Every day you shall receive here food of the same kind.' And having watched the Elder as he visited the place from that day onwards, and noticed how subdued was his demeanour, he became more and more pleased with him, and invited him to take there regularly his midday meal. And the Elder gave, by silence, his consent; and daily from that time forth, when he had finished his meal, and was about to depart, he would pronounce some short passage or other from the words of the Buddha.

Now the Brahman's wife had, after her ten months, brought forth her son; and they called his name Nâgasena. He grew up in due course till he became seven years old, and his father said to the child: 'Do you want, dear Nâgasena, to study the learning traditional in this Brahmanical house of ours?'

'What is it called, father?' said he.

'The three Vedas are called learning (Sikkhâ), other kinds of knowledge are only arts, my dear.'

'Yes, I should like to learn them, father,' said the boy.

Then Sonuttara the Brahman gave to a Brahman teacher a thousand pieces as his teaching fee, and had a divan spread for him aside in an inner chamber, and said to him: 'Do thou, Brahman, teach this boy the sacred hymns by heart.'

So the teacher made the boy repeat the hymns, urging him to get them by heart. And young Nâgasena, after one repetition of them, had learnt the three Vedas by heart, could intone them correctly, had understood their meaning, could fix the right place of each particular verse 1, and had grasped the mysteries they contained 2. All at once there arose in him an intuitive insight into the Vedas, with a knowledge of their lexicography, of their prosody, of their grammar, and of the legends attaching to the characters in them. He became a philologist and grammarian, and skilled alike in casuistry and in the knowledge of the bodily marks that foreshadow the greatness of a man 3.

Then young Nâgasena said to his father: 'Is there anything more to be learned in this Brahmanical family of ours, or is this all?'

'There is no more, Nâgasena, my dear. This is all,' was the reply.

And young Nâgasena repeated his lesson to his teacher for the last time, and went out of the house, and in obedience to an impulse arising in his heart as the result of previous Karma, sought a place of solitude, where he gave himself up to meditation. And he reviewed what he had learnt throughout from beginning to end, and found no value in it anywhere at all. And he exclaimed in bitterness of soul: 'Empty forsooth are these Vedas, and as chaff. There is in them neither reality, nor worth, nor essential truth!'

That moment the venerable Rohana, seated at his hermitage at Vattaniya, felt in his mind what was passing in the heart of Nâgasena. And he robed himself, and taking his alms-bowl in his hand, he vanished from Vattaniya and appeared near the Brahman village Kagangala. And young Nâgasena, as he stood again in the doorway, saw him coming in the distance. At the sight of him he became happy and glad, and a sweet hope sprang up in his heart that from him he might learn the essential truth. And he went [11] to him, and said: 'Who art thou, Sir, that thou art thus bald-headed, and wearest yellow robes?'

'They call me a recluse, my child' (Pabbagita: literally, 'one who has abandoned;' that is, the worldly life).

'And why do they call thee "one who has abandoned?"'

'Because a recluse is one who has receded from
the world in order to make the stain of sinful things recede. It is for that reason, my child, that they call me a recluse.'

'Why, Sir, dost thou not wear hair as others do?'

'A recluse shaves off his hair and beard on the recognition of the sixteen impediments therein to the higher life. And what are those sixteen 1? The impediments of ornamenting it, and decking it out, of putting oil upon it, of shampooing it, of placing garlands round it, of using scents and unguents, and myrobalan seeds, and dyes, and ribbons, and combs, of calling in the barber, of unravelling curls, and of the possibility of vermin. When their hair falls off they are grieved and harassed; yea, they lament sometimes, and cry, and beat their breasts, or fall headlong in a swoon--and entangled by these and such impediments men may forget those parts of wisdom or learning which are delicate and subtle.'

'And why, Sir, are not thy garments, too, as those of other men?'

'Beautiful clothes, my boy, such as are worn by worldly men, are inseparable from the five cravings 2. But whatsoever dangers lurk in dress he who wears the yellow robes knows nothing of. It is for that reason that my dress is not as other men's.'

'Dost thou know, Lord, what is real knowledge?'

'Yes, lad, the real knowledge I know; and what is the best hymn (mantra) in the world, that too I know.'

'Couldst thou teach it, Lord, to me too?'

'Yes, I could.'

'Teach me, then.'

'Just now is not the right time for that; we, have come down to the village for alms.'

Then young Nâgasena took the alms-bowl the venerable Rohana was carrying, and led him into the house, and with his own hand supplied him with food, hard and soft, as much as he required. And when he saw that he had finished his meal, and withdrawn his hand from the bowl, he said to him: 'Now, Sir, will you teach me that hymn?'

'When thou hast become free from impediments, my lad, by taking upon thee, and with thy parents' consent, the hermit's dress I wear, then I can teach it thee.'

So young Nâgasena went to his father and mother, and said: 'This recluse says he knows the best hymn in the world, but that he cannot teach it to any one who has not entered the Order as his pupil. I should like to enter the Order and learn that hymn.'

And his parents gave their consent; for they wished him to learn the hymn, even at the cost of retiring from the world; and they thought that when he had learned it he would come back again.

Then the venerable Rohana took Nâgasena to the Vattaniya hermitage, to the Vigamba Vatthu, and having spent the night there, took him on to the Guarded Slope, and there, in the midst of the innumerable company of the Arahats, young Nâgasena was admitted, as a novice, into the Order.

26. And then, when he had been admitted to the Order, the venerable Nâgasena said to the venerable Rohana: 'I have adopted your dress; now teach me that hymn.'

Then the venerable Rohana thought thus to himself: 'In what ought I first to instruct him, in the Discourses (Suttanta) or in the deeper things of the faith (Abhidhamma)?' and inasmuch as he saw that Nâgasena was intelligent, and could master the Abhidhamma with ease, he gave him his first lesson in that.

And the venerable Nâgasena, after hearing it repeated but once, knew by heart the whole of the Abhidhamma--that is to say, the Dhamma Sangani, with its great divisions into good, bad, and indifferent qualities, and its subdivisions into couples and triplets--the Vibhanga, with its eighteen chapters, beginning with the book on the constituent elements of beings--the Dhâtu Kathâ, with its fourteen books, beginning with that on compensation and non-compensation--the Puggala. Paññatti, with its six divisions into discrimination of the various constituent elements, discrimination of the various senses and of the properties they apprehend, and so on--the Kathâ Vatthu, with its thousand sections, five hundred on as many points of our own views, and five hundred on as many points of our opponents' views--the Yamaka, with its ten divisions into complementary propositions as to origins, as to constituent elements, and so on--and the Patthâna, with its twenty-four chapters on the reason of causes, the reason of ideas, and the rest. And he said: 'That will do, Sir. You need not propound it again. That will suffice for my being able to rehearse it.'

Then Nâgasena went to the innumerable company of the Arahats, and said: 'I should like to propound the whole of the Abhidhamma Pitaka, without abridgement, arranging it under the three heads of good, bad, and indifferent qualities.' And they gave him leave. And in seven months the venerable Nâgasena recited the seven books of the Abhidhamma in full. And the earth thundered, the gods shouted their applause, the Brahma gods clapped their hands, and there came down a shower from heaven of sweet-scented sandal-wood dust, and of Mandârava flowers! And the innumerable company of the Arahats, then and there at the Guarded Slope, admitted the venerable Nâgasena, then twenty years of age, to full membership in the higher grade of the Order.

Now the next day after he had thus been admitted into full membership in the Order, the venerable Nâgasena robed himself at dawn, and taking his bowl, accompanied his teacher on his round for alms to the village below. And as he went this thought arose within him: 'It was, after all, empty-headed and foolish of my teacher to leave the rest of the Buddha's word aside, and teach me the Abhidhamma first!'

And the venerable Rohana became aware in his own mind of what was passing in the mind of Nâgasena, and he said to him: 'That is an unworthy reflection that thou art making, Nâgasena; it is not worthy of thee so to think.'

'How strange and wonderful,' thought Nâgasena, 'that my teacher should be able to tell in his own mind what I am thinking of! I must ask his pardon.' And he said: 'Forgive me, Sir; I will never make such a reflection again.'

'I cannot forgive you, Nâgasena, simply on that promise,' was the reply. 'But there is a city called Sâgala, where a king rules whose name is Milinda, and he harasses the brethren by putting puzzles to them of heretical tendency. You will have earned your pardon, Nâgasena, when you shall have gone there, and overcome that king in argument, and brought him to take delight in the truth.'


'Not only let king Milinda, holy one, but let all the kings of India come and propound questions to me, and I will break all those puzzles up and solve them, if only you will pardon me!' exclaimed Nâgasena. But when he found it was of no avail, he said: 'Where, Sir, do you advise me to spend the three months of the rains now coming on 1?'

'There is a brother named Assagutta dwelling at the Vattaniya hermitage. Go, Nâgasena, to him; and in my name bow down to his feet, and say: "My teacher, holy one, salutes you reverently, and asks whether you are in health and ease, in full vigour and comfort. He has sent me here to pass the three months of the rains under your charge." When he asks you your teacher's name, tell it him. But when he asks you his own name, say: "My teacher, Sir, knows your name."'

And Nâgasena bowed down before the venerable Rohana, and passing him on his right hand as he left him, took his bowl and robe, and went on from place to place till he came to the Vattaniya hermitage, begging for his food on the way. And on his arrival he saluted the venerable Assagutta, and said exactly what he had been told to say, [15] and to the last reply Assagutta said: 'Very well then, Nâgasena, put by your bowl and robe.' And the next day Nâgasena swept out the teacher's cell, and put the drinking water and tooth-cleansers ready for him to use. The Elder swept out the cell again, threw away the water and the tooth-cleansers, and fetched others, and said not a word of any kind. So it went on for seven days. On the seventh the Elder again asked him the same questions as before. And on Nâgasena again making the same replies, he gave him leave to pass the rainy season there.

Now a certain woman, a distinguished follower of the faith, had for thirty years and more administered to the wants of the venerable Assagutta. And at the end of that rainy season she came one day to him, and asked whether there was any other brother staying with him. And when she was told that there was one, named Nâgasena, she invited the Elder, and Nâgasena, with him, to take their midday meal the next day at her house. And the Elder signified, by silence, his consent. The next forenoon the Elder robed himself, and taking his bowl in his hand, went down, accompanied by Nâgasena as his attendant, to the dwelling-place of that disciple, and there they sat down on the seats prepared for them. And she gave to both of them food, hard and soft, as much as they required, waiting upon them with her own hands. When Assagutta had finished his meal, and the hand was withdrawn from the bowl, he said to Nâgasena: 'Do thou, Nâgasena, give the thanks to this distinguished lady.' And, so saying, he rose from his seat, and went away.

And the lady said to Nâgasena: 'I am old, friend Nâgasena. Let the thanksgiving be from the deeper things of the faith.'

And Nâgasena, in pronouncing the thanksgiving discourse 1, dwelt on the profounder side of the Abhidhamma, not on matters of mere ordinary morality, but on those relating to Arahatship 2. And as the lady sat there listening, there arose in her heart the Insight into the Truth 3, clear and stainless, which perceives that whatsoever has beginning, that has the inherent quality of passing away. And Nâgasena also, when he had concluded that thanksgiving discourse, felt the force of the truths he himself had preached, and he too arrived at insight 4--he too entered, as he sat there, upon the stream (that is to say, upon the first stage of the Excellent Way to Arahatship).

Then the venerable Assagutta, as he was sitting in his arbour, was aware that they both had attained to insight, and he exclaimed: 'Well done! well done, Nâgasena! by one arrow shot you have hit two noble quarries!' And at the same time thousands of the gods shouted their approval.


Now the venerable Nâgasena arose and returned to Assagutta, and saluting him, took a seat reverently apart. And Assagutta said to him: 'Do thou now go, Nâgasena, to Pâtaliputta. There, in the Asoka Park, dwells the venerable Dhamma-rakkhita. Under him you should learn the words of the Buddha.'

'How far is it, Sir, from here to Pâtaliputta.'

'A hundred leagues 1, Nâgasena.'

'Great, Sir, is the distance. It will be difficult to get food on the way. How shall I get there?'

'Only go straight on, Nâgasena. You shall get food on the way, rice from which the black grains have been picked out, with curries and gravies of various sorts.'

'Very well, Sir!' said Nâgasena, and bowing
down before his teacher, and passing him on the right side as he went, he took his bowl and his robe and departed for Pâtaliputta.

At that time a merchant of Pâtaliputta, was on his way back to that city with five hundred waggons. And when he saw the venerable Nâgasena coming in the distance, he stopped the waggons, and saluted Nâgasena, and asked him: 'Whither art thou going, father?'

'To Pâtaliputta, householder.'

'That is well, father. We too are going thither. It will be more convenient for thee to go with us.'

And the merchant, pleased with Nâgasena's manners, provided him with food, hard and soft, as much as he required, waiting upon him with his own hands. And when the meal was over, he took a low seat, and sat down reverently apart. So seated, he said to the venerable Nâgasena: 'What, father, is your name?'

'I am called Nâgasena, householder.'

'Dost thou know, father, what are the words of Buddha?'

'I know the Abhidhamma.'

'We are most fortunate, father; this is indeed an advantage. I am a student of the Abhidhamma, and so art thou. Repeat to me, father, some passages from it.'

Then the venerable Nâgasena preached to him from the Abhidhamma, and by degrees as he did so there arose in Nâgasena's heart the Insight into the Truth, clear and stainless, which perceives that whatsoever has in itself the necessity of beginning, that too has also the inherent quality of passing away.

And the Pâtaliputta merchant sent on his waggons in advance, and followed himself after them. And at a place where the road divided, not far from Pâtaliputta, he stopped, and said to Nâgasena: 'This is the turning to the Asoka Park. Now I have here a rare piece of woollen stuff, sixteen cubits by eight. [18] Do me the favour of accepting it.' And Nâgasena did so. And the merchant, pleased and glad, with joyful heart, and full of content and happiness, saluted the venerable Nâgasena, and keeping him on his right hand as he passed round him, went on his way.

But Nâgasena went on to the Asoka Park to Dhamma-rakkhita. And after saluting him, and telling him on what errand he had come, he learnt by heart, from the mouth of the venerable Dhamma-rakkhita, the whole of the three baskets 1 of the Buddha's word in three months, and after a single recital, so far as the letter (that is, knowing the words by heart) was concerned.. And in three months more he mastered the spirit (that is, the deeper meaning of the sense of the words).

But at the end of that time the venerable Dhamma-rakkhita
addressed him, and said: 'Nâgasena, as a herdsman tends the cows, but others enjoy their produce, so thou too carriest in thy head the whole three baskets of the Buddha's word, and still art not yet a partaker of the fruit of Samanaship.'

'Though that be so, holy one, say no more,' was the reply. And on that very day, at night, he attained to Arahatship and with it to the fourfold power of that Wisdom possessed by all Arahats (that is to say: the realisation of the sense, and the appreciation of the deep religious teaching contained in the word, the power of intuitive judgment, and the power of correct and ready exposition) 1. And at the moment of his penetrating the truth all the gods shouted their approval, and the earth thundered, and the Brahma gods clapped their hands, and there fell from heaven a shower of sweet-scented sandal dust and of Mandârava flowers.


Now at that time the innumerable company of the Arahats at the Guarded Slope in the Himâlaya mountains sent a message to him to come, for they were anxious to see him. And when he heard the message the venerable Nâgasena vanished from the Asoka Park and appeared before them. And they said: 'Nâgasena, that king Milinda is in the habit of harassing the brethren by knotty questions and by argumentations this way and that. Do thou, Nâgasena, go and master him.'

'Not only let king Milinda, holy ones, but let all the kings of India, come and propound questions to
me. I will break all those puzzles up and solve them. You may go fearlessly to Sâgala.'

Then all the Elders went to the city of Sâgala, lighting it up with their yellow robes like lamps, and bringing down upon it the breezes from the heights where the sages dwell.
***************** :anjali:
:heart: Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya :heart:
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The Debate : Reborn/Not Reborn

Postby yawares » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Dear Members,

:candle: The Debate of King Milinda :candle:
[ Edited by Bhikkhu Pesala ]

#16. “He who is reborn, Nāgasena, is he the same person or another?”

“Neither the same nor another.”

“Give me an illustration.”

“In the case of a pot of milk that turns first to curds, then to butter, then to ghee; it would not be right to say that the ghee, butter and curds were the same as the milk but they have come from that so neither would it be right to say that they are something else.”

----------
#17. “Is the man who will not be reborn aware of the fact?”

“Yes, O king.”

“How does he know it?”

“By the cessation of all that is cause or condition of rebirth. As a farmer who does not plough or sow or reap would know that his granary is not getting filled up.”


------
#18. “Does he who will not be reborn feel any painful feeling?”

“He may feel physical pain, O king, but not mental pain.”

“If he feels painful feelings then why doesn’t he just die and attain the extinction of grasping, and put an end to suffering?”

:candle: :heart: “The Arahant has no fondness for or aversion to life. He does not shake down the unripe fruit but awaits the time of its maturity. For this was said by Venerable Sāriputta, the Buddha’s chief disciple:

“It is not death, nor life I cherish;
As the hireling his wage, so I bide my time.
It is not death nor life I long for,
Mindful and clearly comprehending, I bide my time.”
:candle: :heart:
--------to be continued---------- :anjali:
yawares
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Re: The Debate : Reborn/Not Reborn

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:18 pm

That's a great verse from Sariputta...

Unfortunately it's not in the collection here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .olen.html
I wondered if it appears in any other Suttas.

:anjali:
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Re: The Debate : Reborn/Not Reborn

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:11 pm

This is the Pali text from the Theragāthā.

2. Sāriputtattheragāthā wrote:1002.
“Nābhinandāmi maraṇaṃ, nābhinandāmi jīvitaṃ.
  Kālañca paṭikaṅkhāmi, nibbisaṃ bhatako yathā.

1003.
“Ubhayena midaṃ maraṇameva, nāmaraṇaṃ pacchā vā pure vā.
  Paṭipajjatha mā vinassatha, khaṇo vo mā upaccagā.
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