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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: The Better Wife, Part 4 of 4, Aug. 12, 2015

Lecture Language:English
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“Even though we love each other so much, but even lovers, they also make trouble for each other, attachment and worry about each other, jealousy, all kind of things that happen because we have the bodies. It’s nothing really good for meditation and practitioners who wish to find the Truth. Only the people with great wisdom would really understand that, that the body is really a source of all trouble.”

“Even though we love each other so much, but even lovers, they also make trouble for each other, attachment and worry about each other, jealousy, all kind of things that happen because we have the bodies. It’s nothing really good for meditation and practitioners who wish to find the Truth. Only the people with great wisdom would really understand that, that the body is really a source of all trouble.” After the Buddha said thus, she suddenly opened more of her spiritual power and then rose up her spiritual level, A Na Hàm (Anagamina). That’s a very high one, almost like Arhat. And then she was very happy and she prostrated to the Buddha and, “Thank You, thank You.”

But I ask You, I request four things from World Honored One. Number one, please let me offer medicine, and all the food accordingly when any of the bhiksus are sick. Number two, when the bhiksus need to see a doctor, I offer to pay for that. Number three, any bhiksu that comes from far away, please let me offer them a meal and things first.” Tired, thirsty, you know. That’s why when you come here, you have meals ready on the table and drink. Still have, right? (Yes.) I told them always have food and drink on the table, because people come with different timing. Or some people have not eaten enough at breakfast because morning is too early, don’t want, and later want to eat a little bit more. Then always have something for them. And it’s like that? (Yes.) It’s not like we are greedy or want to eat a lot. It’s just something to calm the stomach. Sometimes it’s too empty. It’s sour and makes trouble. You have pain. So, just something, right? OK. Are you OK there? You can stretch your legs. Looks like you’re suffering. “And number four. Any bhiksus who are going far away, may I offer,” like a club sandwich. (A packed ...) Huh? (A packed sandwich.) A packed, no, not just that, like a lunchbox. “So, praised be the Buddha when the Sangha, when any monks are sick, and then if they don’t have good medicine and appropriate food, then the sickness will not heal so quickly and also may be difficult to recover. And because of that, they would die.” And, she said she wanted to offer for the doctors of the Sangha. She said ... that’s the first reason why she wanted to offer medicine for the monks and food. “And these doctors, we say the doctor monks, because they need to take care of the patients, monks, so they have no time to go out to beg themselves. Therefore, I want to offer to them. And the monks from far away who come here, they do not know anyone yet. They will not know where to beg and maybe there are some dogs, bad dogs could bite them and all that, or maybe bad people will hurt them or maybe scold them, degrade them, so that’s why I want to offer to them first. Until they know where to go and then acquaint themselves with the road.”

I told you, that’s why. If you offer, you have to put yourself in their position. This woman, she was so wise, she knew everything. So, she didn’t just say, “I offer everybody the same.” No, no. She categorized it and she knew why. My God, such a beautiful woman and (her) sons died like that. It’s terrible. It’s not fair, is it? Yesterday you told me it’s not fair. Truly not. But this is all (bad) karma. Maybe the Buddha will explain later. Yeah. There are a lot of pages here. Probably it will explain a lot here. OK. “And the bhiksus who have to travel far away from here, if they don’t have like a lunchbox to take with them, then maybe they cannot beg on the way because you never know where the houses are. Sometimes there are no houses, and then the road may be a dangerous road. Maybe there are a lot of poisonous animals. And then if they have to go, please also dispatch somebody to go with them so they have a friend. It’s better than to go alone — too dangerous. Therefore, I want to offer them something to take with them. So, they are together and go.” The Buddha heard all that, praised her: “Oh, excellent, excellent, precious, precious. Your heart is so good like that. It’s a very great merit. It is as if you make offering to the Buddha.” For the Sangha is as if to the Buddha, means the merit is as big. And then the Buddha and the monks left.

After that, she asked someone to open the coffin to see what the king rewarded her. And then, you know, 30 heads of her sons. Imagine it’s you. Imagine if it’s your sons. But she had already been taught by the Buddha before that, and He opened her wisdom eye already and her heart. Her soul really understood that life, the body is impermanent. Therefore, she didn’t feel attached to anything. She was not crying. And she was just thinking briefly, “Ah, what a pity! How sorrowful. If you’re born, you’re bound to die one day and transmigration in all different ways of life. How come life is so much suffering?” That’s all she said. At that time, all of the family heard that. All the families of the wives of these 30 sons heard that their sons-in-law were killed by the king. And thus, they said to themselves, “There was no reason why the king killed innocent people.” And then they were very angry. All of them brought their own army. And then surrounding the king’s palace, wanting revenge. And the king Ba Tư Nặc (Pasenadi) ran to the Buddha now. And then they also ran after him. And then they also covered the garden of the Buddha, the Kỳ Hoàn (Jetavana) garden. And then at that time I, meaning Ananda, went out and invited them in to ask why they were doing that, why they were surrounding the garden of the Buddha, and running after the king. So, 32. How come this is 32 and that one only 30? Probably 30 only, right? And 32 whips and 32 fathers-in-law. It’s funny. Maybe some wrong typing. OK, never mind. Here 32 fathers-in-law of the sons of Tỳ Xá Ly (Vaisali) lady came in and bowed to the Buddha and then stood on one side.

Ananda knelt in front of the Buddha and asked, “Praised be the World Honored One, the 32 sons of the Vaisali lady, what did they do in the former life so violently or not? How come the king killed all of them in this lifetime? Please tell us.” So the Buddha said, “Oh, this is a karmic story. It’s a long, long time ago it started. At that time, there were 32. Then it is 32 then. At that time, there were 32 friends, very close friends, they were buddy buddies. One time they went out and stole a buffalo and came out, killed it and ate together, a party. Near there, there was a very old and poor woman who had no son, no child. So, these 32 persons brought the buffalo there and asked her to kill it for them, to make a party.” Oh, no, no, no. “They brought it there, to kill the buffalo in the house of that old lady. So, she let them use her yard to do it.” Fine. “And then in her house had enough, everything, wood and pans and pots. Everything, she lent to them. Before they were going to kill the buffalo, the buffalo knelt down on the floor and said to them, ‘Please, please, let me live. Please don’t kill me. Because if you kill me now, in the future life I will not let you live. Even up to the day that you become Buddha, I will definitely revenge on this.’ All of them heard the buffalo begging like that, but they didn’t care. They pushed the buffalo down and killed it and fried and cooked it and everything and ate all together. And at that time the old lady also had some food; because she was poor, normally she didn’t have such meat. And then, Ananda, you should know, the buffalo at that time is the king Ba Tư Nặc (Pasenadi) right now. And the people who stole the buffalo and killed it to eat, they’re the 32 sons of Tỳ Xá Ly (Vaisali) lady. Because of that (bad) karma, so over 500 years, they have been often killed by this king, in former lives even. It’s not finished up until today. The old lady, because she was very glad to help to kill this buffalo and ate it as well, so for 500 lifetimes she must be the mother of these 32 sons and always she had to witness them killed in this way, more or less.”

After hearing all this story, of both sides, Ananda asked the Buddha again, “Praised be World Honored One, but then what kind of merit did these people do in order to be born in a noble and rich family and very powerful body like this. Please tell us.” So, the Buddha said, “Ananda, you should know, it’s also another long time, long, long, long time ago. At the time of the Buddha Kasyapa, there was one woman, an old woman, who was very respectful to the Buddha, Sangha and teaching. Her family was very rich, a very rich house. One time she took out a lot of incense and cream to mix with some colors so that she could repair one of the Buddha’s stupas. Half way there, she saw 32 young men. So, by the way she said, ‘Where are you going? I have something very meritorious. I'm going to repair, to paint the Buddha's stupas. If you help me, then life after life you will be very strong, powerful and muscular.’ ‘Oh, really, really? OK, OK. We’ll come with you.’ Then after painting the old stupa for the Buddha, they said, ‘Because of your advice, we have some meritorious actions today. We want to use that merit. For what? Toward our future lives, so that wherever we will be born in the future life, we will be rich and famous and powerful.’ Etc., etc. And the old lady said, ‘Yeah, of course, of course. The Three Jewels will make your wish come true.’ Ananda, you should know, the old woman at that time is Tỳ Xá Ly (Vaisali) lady, the mother. And the 32...’” Now they say 30. It’s not fair. 30! 30 sons. Now, “thus, at that time became her sons.” At that time, all the soldiers and generals surrounding Buddha’s forest after they heard all that, they also realized this was all karmic retribution. So, suddenly their anger, their hatred… gone. And then they all came in front of the King Ba Tư Nặc (Pasenadi) and said sorry, apologized to the king. At that time, the Buddha, because of that, He preached more things about people, expounded deeper about how to be good, to do good things. And anything that’s violent and bad you should cut off from your life. And told them the Four Noble Truths as well. So, everybody was happy, happy and became friends and went home. End of story. My God! I was thinking something nice and then always the Buddha’s story always something ... If not chop, chop, then it’s chap, chap. OK. All right then. All my dear ones, I let you meditate; we meditate together for a while, and then see how it goes.

Good night. I love you. (I love You, too.) Good night! (I like Your skirt.) Thank you. You like it? (Yes, Master, it’s very nice.) You want it? (Oh, wow…) Here. (Thank You so much. Thank You so much, Master.) Bye bye. Good night. (Master, bye.) I love you. (Master, I love You.) Cannot speak that much, OK? (I love You.) I really love you. I don’t want you to go, but what to do? OK.

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