The Laity

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The Laity

Postby thornbush » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:33 am

http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Thus ... nd_Stories
PARABLE 0157: OUR DEBT TO ANATHAPINDIKA
The name Anathapindika has come to be synonymous with extreme generosity in connection with Buddhist activities.
However, this is not his only claim to fame.
An interesting story about Anathapindika goes like this: at the time of the Buddha, the role of lay people was merely to provide material support to monks and nuns. It was not the practice to teach them the higher truths, which were reserved for those who had joined the Order.
At Anathapindika's deathbed however, the Elder Sariputra made an exception and conveyed to him the Buddha's teaching on Wisdom.
Anathapindika was moved to tears and requested that henceforth, such teachings be shared with lay people also, as some of them could benefit from these ideas. It was as a result of this plea that lay people may now be exposed to the higher wisdom teachings of the Buddha.

Comments? Opinions? :anjali:
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Re: The Laity

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:40 am

thornbush wrote:
http://www.dharmaweb.org/index.php/Thus ... nd_Stories
PARABLE 0157: OUR DEBT TO ANATHAPINDIKA
The name Anathapindika has come to be synonymous with extreme generosity in connection with Buddhist activities.
However, this is not his only claim to fame.
An interesting story about Anathapindika goes like this: at the time of the Buddha, the role of lay people was merely to provide material support to monks and nuns. It was not the practice to teach them the higher truths, which were reserved for those who had joined the Order.
At Anathapindika's deathbed however, the Elder Sariputra made an exception and conveyed to him the Buddha's teaching on Wisdom.
Anathapindika was moved to tears and requested that henceforth, such teachings be shared with lay people also, as some of them could benefit from these ideas. It was as a result of this plea that lay people may now be exposed to the higher wisdom teachings of the Buddha.

Comments? Opinions? :anjali:


Much gratitude to Anathapindika :anjali:
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Re: The Laity

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:43 pm

I suppose in the buddhas time ordaining seems to have been more commonly accepted (the youngest person in the family set out to seek enlightenment?) than it is now. So most people who was serious about the dhamma would have done so. But now the situation is quite different- I see many lay people who are more seriouc about their practice than monks.

I personally dont know at what time of the buddha's dispensation this conversation took place or whether Anathapindika was particurly unlucky as there were lay people like Citta who were so good witht he dhamma that they preached to monks. Many lay people were non-returners. Many more were once-returners and stream enterers. Incidentally Sariputta was admonished by the Buddha for not going far enough in his teaching for the layity.

I recall another sutta where Anathapindika is told by the Buddha that his generosity is adequate and that it is time for him to spend in seclusion. Even Sariputta praises this in the sutta. However it is unclear whether Anathapindika took heed of this advice. I suspect from his crying that he didnt. I cant see the Buddha not giving a teaching if it was asked of him. It is a good lesson to all of us not to wait until we are on our deathbed to practice the dhamma:

Then Anathapindika the householder, surrounded by about 500 lay followers, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said to him, "Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn't rest content with the thought, 'We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick.' So you should train yourself, 'Let's periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture.' That's how you should train yourself."

When this was said, Ven. Sariputta said to the Blessed One, "It's amazing, lord. It's astounding, how well put that was by the Blessed One: 'Householder, you have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick, but you shouldn't rest content with the thought, "We have provided the community of monks with robes, alms food, lodgings, & medicinal requisites for the sick." So you should train yourself, "Let's periodically enter & remain in seclusion & rapture." That's how you should train yourself.'

"Lord, when a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, there are five possibilities that do not exist at that time: The pain & distress dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is skillful do not exist at that time. When a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, these five possibilities do not exist at that time."

[The Blessed One said:] "Excellent, Sariputta. Excellent. When a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, there are five possibilities that do not exist at that time: The pain & distress dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on sensuality do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pleasure & joy dependent on what is unskillful do not exist at that time. The pain & distress dependent on what is skillful do not exist at that time. When a disciple of the noble ones enters & remains in seclusion & rapture, these five possibilities do not exist at that time."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... tml#anatha
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Re: The Laity

Postby thornbush » Wed Jun 17, 2009 4:22 pm

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Re: The Laity

Postby AdvaitaJ » Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:06 am

thornbush wrote:Found this: Anathapindikovada Sutta


Thornbush,

I had read that sutta and not made the connection. I had also not previously been aware of the parables. Thanks for the post!

:anjali: AdvaitaJ
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We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: The Laity

Postby jcsuperstar » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:27 am

rowyourboat wrote: there were lay people like Citta who were so good witht he dhamma that they preached to monks.


do you know more about him?
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the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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