Three Vajras

Cula Hatthipadopama Sutta, Elephant Tracks, Majjhima Nikaya 27

Praising the Buddha Hermit Pilotika greatly praised and glorified the wisdom of the Buddha. Pilotika told that the wisdom of the Buddha is clearly visible, like elephant footprints. Sometimes hermits, Brahmans, householders or noble people come to Buddha to argue with Him, to catch Him at any mistake, but, after talking with the Blessed One, they become His followers. Impressed by Pilotika story, the Brahman Janussonin went to the Buddha to talk with Him. Elephant and its footprints Having met with the Buddha, Janussonin told Him about the praises of…read more

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Vattha Sutta, The Cloth, Majjhima Nikaya 7

The Cloth and the Paint In the conversation with disciples, the Buddha compares a mind to a cloth, and the state of mind after the dissolution of the body – with the paint. If dirty cloth is dipped into the paint – it will be painted badly and the color will deteriorate. If a clean cut of the fabric is dipped into the paint, the paint will dye the cloth well, and the cloth will keep bright, clear color. The same can be said about the mind: if it is…read more

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Akankheyya Sutta, Fulfillment of Noble Desires, Majjhima Nikaya 6

The name of the Sutta The literal translation of the name of the Sutta is “If anyone desires”. The Buddha explains the essence of right effort to realize non-egoistic desires. Regardless of the nobility of these desires, the Buddha speaks of them not as the goals, on which the mind of the seekers should be focused, but as the natural stages of purification of consciousness. Even the three Super-knowledges (of past lives, future reincarnations and the knowledge of eliminating hindrances and consciousness impurities) appear as the result of the impassive…read more

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Manjushri

Bodhisattva Manjushri belongs to the family of the Beautiful Gods. Soft, calm light emanates from him, absorbing all desires. Manjushri’s appearance is magnificent and shining. His fiery sword of wisdom is a sword of deliverance, not destruction, a sword that cuts the fetters, releasing the Great Void from which then the Shining Gods arise. Manjushri is the leader of the army of Shining Gods and is also their elder. He sits on the lotus throne, because the Beautiful Deities are born in the iridescent glow of the practitioners’ hearts. His…read more

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Anangana Sutta, Absence of vices, Majjhima Nikaya 5

Introduction This Sutta tells us about two Nagas (the great beings), Shariputra and Mahamoggallana, the senior disciples of the Buddha, preaching the doctrine of eliminating vices. Vice is the presence of sensual thirst, anxiety and ill-will in one’s mind. The development of vices leads to rebirth in the Lower Worlds. The awareness of presence and absence of vices Shariputra said: when a person who has vices believes that they do not have one, they will not make efforts to purify the mind and, as a result, they will die with…read more

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Bhaya-Bherava Sutta – Fear and Terror, Majjhima Nikaya 4

The Brahman’s Question The Brahman Janussonin asked the Buddha about what happens to the hermits, who retire in terrible, deserted places in the forest thicket. It is difficult to remain in seclusion to those who have not mastered the art of concentration. Is not the mind of the hermits who are inexperienced in the concentration, abducted with fear and horror that arise in solitude? The Buddha’s Answer The Buddha replied to the Brahman: “When I was young and only started looking for the Truth, I also asked this question. And…read more

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Dhammadayada Sutta – Inheritance of the Dhamma, Majjhima Nikaya 3

Introduction The Buddha explains the difference between the inheritance of the Dhamma and getting the worldly benefits from the Dhamma, to his disciples. He instructs them in the Way of obtaining the true inheritance. Advantage of Ascetics A person who is content with being small and is patient with temporary samsaric difficulties has the advantage in inheriting the Dhamma. The Buddha compares two disciples – the first one, dependent on the feeling of being full (with food) and being dependent on energy bursts, striving to be satiated every day, and…read more

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Sabbasava Sutta – Spots of Excitement, Majjhima Nikaya 2

Introduction In a conversation with disciples, the Buddha calls bad, darkened qualities of consciousness “spots” and explains seven ways to overcome them. The spots that are discussed in the conversation are not visible by ordinary sight, but are perceived by the Eye of Wisdom. Therefore, the explanations given by the Buddha are not only addressed to the listeners’ human level of perception, but also to their divine sight. The order in which these spots are eliminated, presented in this sutta, is convenient for the sequential purification of the seven energy…read more

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18. Janavasabha Sutta

The attainment of the higher worlds by the deceased The Buddha repeatedly explained to the local people of those places where He preached, in what worlds the followers of His Dhamma, who left the body, are being reborn. Depending on the degree of purification of the mind, they rise higher and higher, into the worlds, increasingly free from unwholesome qualities of existence. Listening to these explanations, Ananda thinks thus: “It has been for a long time, that the Buddha did not preach in Magadha, where He attained Awakening. Therefore, nothing…read more

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Mulapariyaya Sutta – The Root of All Things, Majjhima Nikaya 1

The Buddha’s Sermon In aconversation with his disciples, the Buddha states that an untrained person, an advanced disciple, an Arhat and a Tathagata, perceive phenomena in different ways. They perceive the elements of form (earth, water, fire and air), bodily beings, gods, Prajapati, Brahma, the gods of Radiance, the Beautiful gods, the gods of the Perfect Fruit, the ruling gods, infinite space, infinite consciousness, emptiness, nonduality, activity of senses and mind, unity and division, the totality of all phenomena and nibbana – differently. Worlds listed by the Buddha First, the…read more

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17. Mahasudassana Sutta

Introduction The Mahasudassana Sutta returns the reader to that place and moment of the Mahaparinibbana Sutta (Digha Nikaya 16) where the Buddha, preparing to leave the body, lay down in a lion pose between the twin sal trees in Kusinara. Ananda asks the Buddha not to leave the body in such a remote, lost in a jungle village, but the Buddha stops the disciple. “Do not say that, Ananda. After all, there were times, when this place was the capital of a kingdom of a great king, the world-bearer.” King…read more

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16. Mahaparinibbana Sutta

Introduction The Mahaparinibbana Sutta tells us about the last period of the Buddha’s life, about how He gave the last instructions, left his body, and how His disciples behaved, being left without the Teacher. The content of the sutta is imbued with Ananda’s confusion (based on his impressions, the basis of the sutta is recorded). In general, it can be said that this sutta is written not so much about the Buddha as about the Sangha. Advice for Brahman Vassakara Already known from Samaññaphala sutta (Digha Nikaya 2), King Ajatasattu…read more

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15. Mahanidana Sutta

Buddha and Ananda talk about the Interdependent Origin of Suffering One day, Ananda said to the Buddha that although the doctrine of the Nidanas (the links in the chain of the interdependent origin of suffering) is deep and difficult, but he, Ananda, understands it as clearly as possible. In response, the Buddha warns Ananda: you should not say that, because misunderstanding of this doctrine makes the minds of people entangled and restless (one should not become flattered by the understanding he has reached, he must strive to penetrate the thought…read more

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14. Mahapadana Sutta

The Buddhas of the Past The disciples of the Buddha are talking about past lives. Hearing about their conversation, Buddha narrates about the Buddhas of the past. Buddha lists the six Buddhas who were born before him. The first of these Buddhas, Vipassi (“attentive”) lived in an age when a lifespan reached 80,000 years, the next Buddha – in an era with a lifetime of 70,000, then – 60,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, until in the Shakyamuni era, life became brief, rarely reaching 100 years. With all the Buddhas described by…read more

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13. Tevijja Sutta – The Three Knowledges

Introduction At a time when the Buddha was in the village Manasakata, He stopped in a mango grove by the river Acharavati. At that time, many noble and wealthy Brahmins lived in Manasakata. They, each in their own way, preached the teachings of the Three Vedas. (The Vedas are ancient scriptures, consisting mainly of hymns accompanying ritual actions. The study and singing of the Vedic texts was practiced in among Brahmans). The two young Brahmans Vasettha and Bharadwaja had a dispute about which one of the known Brahmans’ paths leads…read more

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12. Lohicca Sutta

Lohicca and his doubt Brahman Lohicca is in doubt that a person who has attained liberation from suffering can help another being. After all, he cannot convey to someone else the good qualities of his mind. And if it is so, when someone claims to be able to help another, is not this statement caused by greed (the desire to get this or that kind of personal gain)? Experiencing this doubt, the Brahmana decides to see the Buddha. Lohicca sends the barber Bhesika to consult about the state of Buddha’s…read more

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11. Kevaddha Sutta (Kevatta Sutta)

Kevaddha’s Request Once, when the Blessed one was in the village of Nalanda, he was approached by a layman Kevaddha. Kevaddha asked the Buddha if He himself or one of His disciples could reveal some miracle to Nalanda’s laymen. Kevaddha says that in Nalanda – a large village abundant with forest, water, cattle and grain – there are many followers of the Buddha. If the Buddha or one of His disciples could reveal a miracle, then the people of Nalanda would believe even more in the Teachings of the Blessed….read more

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10. Subha Sutta

Introduction Soon after the Buddha left the body, His closest disciple, Ananda, was asked about the orderly presentation of the Teaching. The request comes from the young layman Subha. Ananda meets with Subha and tells him about the three sets of instructions that the Buddha taught his followers. In the same form, these three sets are repeated in an overwhelming number of the Digha Nikaya suttas, but it is in this text that the detailed exposition of the three sets of instructions seems most natural. Set of moral precepts Ananda’s…read more

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9. Potthapada Sutta

A wandering ascetic Potthapada, in a group of other ascetics, rests in a cloister intended for disputes. The ascetics talk about a variety of insignificant topics: politics, food, jewelry and amenities, behavior of men and women, dangers, trade, places they visited, etc. At this time, the Buddha approaches the cloister. Potthapada, who is familiar with the Tathagata, knows that the Buddha does not like noise and idle chatter. Therefore, he asks the ascetics to be quiet, and invites the Buddha to enter the meeting. The Buddha asks Potthapada about the…read more

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8. Kassapa Sihanada Sutta (The Lion’s Roar to Kassapa)

Kassapa’s Question The naked ascetic Kassapa asks the Buddha a question: Is it true that the Buddha condemns all kinds of asceticism (austerity)? The Buddha’s Answer It is not so, – the Buddha answers. By divine vision, the Buddha sees the following: there are hermits who subject themselves to severe trials (of asceticism), and some of them are reborn in the lower worlds after their death, and a part – in the higher. There are also hermits living only with insignificant burdens (without serious restrictions), and some of them are…read more

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