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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: “The Hundred-Headed Fish,” “The Peaceful Heaven Being’s Deeds,” and “The Trayastrimsa Heaven Gatherings,” Part 3 of 8, Aug 09, 2015

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Because if you keep the precepts, then the precepts will avoid you making bad karma in the future. For example, if you keep the precept of not harming others, not killing, then life after life, it depends on how many lives or how clean you keep the precept, you will not get sick.

“So Kapila listened to his mother…” Oh God, what a mother is for! “And then whenever he discussed or debated with the monks, and then when he lost of course on this topic, then he screamed and scolded them and degraded them, ‘You are a stupid person. You are just animals. You know nothing!’ And then he called them like, ‘You’re just like a dog’s head or pig’s head or this animal’s head or that animal’s head,’” meaning stupid, no brain, little brain, something like that. “So every time he was very, very fiercely scolding the monks like that. In this phase of the story, the Buddha reminded everyone that, ‘Ananda, you should know that Ca Tỳ Lê (Kapila), because of his wickedness inside his heart, and has been yelling and defaming the monks at that time, therefore he has become the fish with 100 different animals’ heads on his body.

And then Ananda asked the Buddha, ‘Praised, the World Honored One, Ca Tỳ Lê (Kapila), when will he be able to liberate himself, be liberated from this fishy, hundred-head fish?’ So the Buddha said, ‘Ananda, you should know, even if I use my Buddha Wisdom Eye to check, it’s a long, long, long time still. Maybe in the gentle era when the Buddha comes out, when 1,000 Buddhas already passed away,’” meaning after Him, “‘and then 1,000 Buddhas also come out to the world and then pass away already, still not yet. Still this Ca Tỳ Lê (Kapila) will not be liberated from this kind of incarnation as a fish with 100 heads.’ After I and all the bhiksus heard that,” “I” means Ananda, “All of us had goosebumps and trembled with fear, also were feeling so sorry, so pitiful. And we all said, ‘Please, all beings, take care of your actions, your speech, and your thoughts. Be very careful what you think, what you say, what you do. Always be good, do good, think good.

After the Buddha and the sangha talked with each other as thus, all the 500 fishermen and 500 cowboys, they were all also very scared. They all knelt down, put their palms together and wanted to become monks under His guidance. So of course the Buddha said, ‘Welcome, bhiksus.’” So He had another 1,000 monks. Wow, the riverbank is big! Otherwise, how can they sit all together like that and kneel in front of Him? A thousand people kneel in front of Him at the same time, including other many thousands of monks already kneeling there.

Maybe we should find a riverbank somewhere. We just buy a generator to get electricity. But in that case can we have Internet, broadband like this in order to broadcast the whole world, or not? No, huh? Yes, no? No, yes? Yes? (Maybe.) Maybe? (Yes.) How? (Wireless.) Wireless? You mean the chip? (They have 4G everywhere.) Everywhere, meaning Asia also? (In Asia, in some countries.) Around here because we have cable. (Yeah.) Official connection Internet. But if we have just Internet card, Internet chip, is that good enough? (Can be.) I don’t know. In one of the countries where there is no electricity or water, I told you we have Internet chip, but it’s so difficult, so slow just to download a little, one page of information. Picture, forget it. And had to go all the way on the road. Not on my mountain, cannot. Have to go all the way down to the main, big… not really big road, but the country road for that community. And maybe you can. And if I want to telephone, sometimes I have to go and… “Ah, OK, OK. Oh, no, it’s not OK!” I go all over the place, and looking at the telephone, cannot even talk, keep looking, keep looking for the bars.

Yeah, I’m telling you. And if I text sometime, I’ve told you already, if I’m too excited or forget or my dog comes “wow-wow,” and then I forget, I push the wrong button – everything gone. But that’s not too bad, the buttons sometimes I try to remember. But if those iPod, (iPad.) iPhone, just breathe and it’s gone. Like I look here and I scratch my head, then it’s gone. Just wave your hand, then it’s gone. No, I exaggerate. I exaggerate it. But it’s so difficult. Normally you just swipe your hand and then something changes. Sometimes I don’t know, and I just want to scratch here. Then, the phone thinks I swipe my hand and then everything’s gone. I have to begin all over again. And it was already difficult for me to begin before. I did learn some computer before, a little bit how-to, before, when we had SMTV, Supreme Master TV. I have to check most of the news and stuff when I can. So I learned how to take out the information, but I couldn’t send it back. So I had to write it down, “OK, page one, paragraph two,” then I’d write the whole sentence and I’d put the correction on it. And then after I collected all the corrections, then I ask one of your brothers to come and send it.

And these 1,000 people -- 500 fishermen and 500 cowboys followed the Buddha, became monks, and not too long afterwards, they cleansed all their (bad) karma and they attained Arhant Level. For the sake of the big assembly, the Buddha taught them again about the Four Noble Truths, like, to be born, to die, to be old, and to suffer during the lifetime, and how to erase the suffering, the path to erase the suffering.”

That’s another long story. Like one of the Eight Ways of Purification I told you before, that’s one of the ways to erase suffering and not to be born again. Or to be born but be in a very, very high position, prosperous, happy, happy, etc. Because if you keep the precepts, then the precepts will avoid you making bad karma in the future. For example, if you keep the precept of not harming others, not killing, then life after life, it depends on how many lives or how clean you keep the precept, you will not get sick. You might die of course one day, but during the lifetime you won’t get sick. Or if you keep the precept of non-stealing, then nobody, no robber will ever touch your house, for example like that. Every precept has a consequence, a good, good, good karma to bring with (it).

Anybody wants to hear some more stories? (Everybody.) How many? Raise hands. (Everybody.) This is a better story, for a change. And then maybe after I’ll read that.

“Thus I have heard,” it’s a story from Ananda “computer” again. “One time, the Buddha stayed in Xá Vệ (Sravasti) country in the golden garden of Cấp Cô Độc (Anathapindika) and the Prince Kỳ Đà (Jeta).” Remember? Remember the garden? Yes or no? (Yes.) How many yes? Only three, four? The garden of the Prince Kỳ Đà (Jeta), that the billionaire has to use the gold (gold bricks.) to pave it. Yeah, gold brick, gold bars to pave it, if he wants to buy that garden. Why bother? In Africa, five million square meters (costs) only 500,000 euros. If he knew, he would go there and buy instead. Instead of taking all the gold reserves from your bank and pave that garden, he would go to Africa or some other country that’s cheaper, Siberia, whatever. It’s cheaper, right? (Yes.)

In some of the countries they give you land for free, so that you go develop their land. I know one of it, not Venezuela, somewhere nearby, not Honduras. I forgot, I was there before, I forgot. (Belize?) Belize, for example. They give you land for free. But over there they don’t have soya sauce, they don’t have… Very little things, they sell small, small, in a small little hut. Even Chinese shop I asked, “Do you have any tofu?” “Umm.” So I said, “What do you cook around here?” They said, “We cook whatever the land offers.” If they want to buy tofu sometimes they have to go across to go to Mexico or America. Maybe you go to Belize. Ask the government to give us some free land. They’ll bring tofu, soya sauce; we’ll bring everything inside. Everybody can enjoy together. All right. I don’t know, it’s not like you just have land, you must also have some affinity with it. And any land has to offer us some freedom, freedom of speech, to gather without hindrance. Otherwise, it’s not about land. OK, this time we’re going to Heaven, not on Earth anymore.

This chapter is about a Heaven called Tịnh Cư Thiên (Zuddhàvàsa). Maybe, I think, a very peaceful Heaven. If it is according to this word, means peaceful Heaven. “‘Thus I have heard.’ At one time the Buddha, in the same country Xá Vệ (Sravasti), in the golden garden of the Prince Kỳ Đà (Jeta). At that time, one day about evening, suddenly there was a beam of Light from the Heaven shining down onto the whole garden. And inside this great shining Light, there was one being, very big, very handsome, very strong, and his body emitted like a diamond kind of aura. And he flew down inside where the Buddha resided, knelt down in front of Buddha and then he walked around the Buddha three times and then went back in front of Buddha and knelt there, knelt in front of the Buddha and said, ‘Praised be the Buddha. I am from the Heaven of Peace. I have heard that You came down to the planet Earth to save beings and bring them blessings also from Heaven. I thought it is very rare that the Buddha appears thus, so I am here with utmost respect and sincerity. Please accept my offering tomorrow that I can offer water and a vegan diet.’” Water for bath.

In India, there are many thousand monks; that’s why the Buddha, one of the precepts for the monks is you don’t take a bath more than once every half a month, twice a month. Just to save the water. Just like here, you can’t bathe every day. Yeah, when you need really, but not everybody come and shower every day, my God! So we use a dry cleaning system, remember? I do the same, I do the same. But even if I take a shower, I use a bucket, a kind of low bucket and round. I stand in there so that all the water runs inside there, and I use it to flush the toilet. And I wash my hands also inside, and then I use it, so no problem.

“He pleaded with the Buddha and the sangha to accept his offering of water for bath, shower, as well as vegan food. So the Buddha praised him that he had such sincerity, wanting to do meritorious deeds. So He accepted, the Buddha accepted. So this being flew back to his house, no, his home in Heaven, and he brought all the beautiful food and drinks from Heaven down to Earth. And then he brought a lot of facilities or anything that facilitates the shower and the bath. He brought it all down. And then the water, he even ... He brought all the clothes, bathrobes, towels, everything from Heaven down. And then he even manifested many bath houses, many shower houses, many rooms. And then he made the water already mixed well, not cold, not hot, just fine. With a thermometer, checked it out, how many degrees, it’s good. And then also, these things, even brought these grasses to brush your body. They use this kind of brush, different. Maybe they say grass to brush, but probably special grass, just like we use a brush nowadays. And then he even brought down oil, like body cream, first class, from Heaven’s supermarket, everything down. And then after he arranged everything, he came and invited the Buddha to take a shower. Of course, the sangha also, maybe.

“And then after that the Buddha came back to His own room. Then he came to the Buddha and said, ‘Praised be the World Honored One; the vegan meal is all ready. Please come and enjoy.’ So after the Buddha and all the sangha finished their bath, put back their clothes and everything, they went out and enjoyed the vegan meal. Then they went back. After that, ‘tôi,’” means Ananda, means “I,” “I” means Ananda, “came in front of the Buddha and asked again.” How come no other sangha ever asks Him? Always Ananda asks. I guess other people don’t dare, so they put down a note, and say, “Ananda, go ask, for me. For me. You are the assistant of Buddha, go ask.”

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