Mission Impossible

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Mission Impossible

Post by yawares » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Dear Members,

No no no , this is not Tom Cruise's movie!!
This Uposatha Day, I would love to tell you the story of Kisagotami's mission impossible, sad but quite impressive.Theri Kisagotami was declared "etadagga" among bhikkhunis with respect to the wearing of coarse robes (luukhaciivara-dharaanam).


Kisagotami: Mission Impossible
[Translated from the Pali by Daw Mya Tin, MA]

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, thc Buddha uttered Verse (114) of this book, with reference to Kisagotami.

Kisagotami came from a poor family in Saavatthi. Gotami was her name; she was called Kisa because of her thinness. She was married into a rich family, by whom she was disdainfully treated; but as soon as she bore a son she was shown respect. The boy died when he was just a toddler and Kisagotami was stricken with grief. Carrying the dead body of her son, she went about asking for medicine that would restore her son to life from everyone she happened to meet. People began to think that she had gone mad. But a wise man seeing her condition thought that he should be of some help to her. So, he said to her, "The Buddha is the person you should approach, he has the medicine you want; go to him." Thus, she went to the Buddha and asked him to give her the medicine that would restore her dead son to life.

The Buddha told her to get some mustard seeds from a house where there had been no death. Carrying her dead child in her bosom. Kisagotami went from house to house, with the request for some mustard seeds. Everyone was willing to help her, but she could not find a single house where death had not occurred. Then, she realized that hers was not the only family that had faced death and that there were more people dead than living. As soon as she realized this, her attitude towards her dead son changed; she was no longer attached to the dead body of her son.

She left the corpse in the jungle and returned to the Buddha and reported that she could find no house where death had not occurred. Then the Buddha said, "Gotami, you thought that you were the only one who had lost a son. As you have now realized, death comes to all beings; before their desires are satiated death takes them away." On hearing this, Kisagotami fully realized the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and insubstantiality of the aggregates and attained Sotapatti Fruition.

Soon afterwards, Kisagotami became a bhikkhuni. One day, as she was lighting the lamps she saw the flames flaring up and dying out, and suddenly she clearly perceived the arising and the perishing of beings. The Buddha, through supernormal power, saw her from his monastery, and sent forth his radiance and appeared to her in person. Kisagotami was told to continue meditating on the impermanent nature of all beings and to strive hard to realize Nibbana.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows

Verse 114.Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not perceive the Deathless (Nibbana), is a day in the life of one who perceives the Deathless (Nibbana).

At the end of the discourse Theri Kisagotami attained arahatship.

Love Buddha's dhamma,
yawares/sirikanya :heart:

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Re: Mission Impossible

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:22 pm

Thanks yawares, that is a great story with a great message.
There is an interesting discussion of the attribution of this story here:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A couple of years ago I based a "moral of the story" talk to a non-religious group on this story, without mentioning the exact source. It went down very well...


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Re: Mission Impossible

Post by yawares » Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:16 pm

Dear Mike,

Thanks for the article, I have true respect for bhikkhu Thanissaro. 5 years ago, I and my husband drove to visit bhikkhu Thanissaro 's temple in San diego "Wat Mettavanaram" on top of the mountain, the roadway up was very steep. We reached the temple early in the morning, just like we were in heaven with cloud all around us, the temple surrounded with beautiful avocado and kiwi plants, we walked around the premise carefully not to fall off the mountain(no fence). As soon as the sun shined brighter, we saw many people start to come up to give alms-food to the 8 Thai and American monks.

I must say that I love the temple pretty much eventhough we didn't get to meet Bhikkhu Thanissaro(he went to India).

Thanks for reading my story,
yawares :heart:

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