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Between Master and Disciples / Buddhist Stories

Buddhist Stories: The Story of Magha, Part 5 of 10, Sept. 12-13, 2015

Lecture Language:English
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We humans can take care of these small things. Actually, not really, huh? Not really. It’s true that sometimes the gods and the animals recognize goodness in some humans, but the humans themselves do not.

The dog’s separate hut, the front porch is for dogs also, but the big dog has a separate hut because he likes to be outdoors. Only whenever it is so cold, I have to drag him, really drag him in, and threaten him: “You go in now or not, or else or whatever. No more (vegan) bones, no more (vegan) snacks, nothing. Come now, now.” And then, he and I struggle for supremacy. He thinks I’m small and easy to handle, but I drag him, drag him in. And then I close the door from inside, then he couldn’t get out. But he likes to be outside, very conscientious of his, very conscious of his... duty as a guard dog. Even when it rains, when he hears something, he jumps out, and he’s all wet through, and then it’s I who had to work again, clean him, dry him. And then he went always looking in the bush. Lucky we don’t have many bushes. And then comes back like a flower. These are prickly thorns, very little ones, but they stick everywhere, the whole body is dot, dot, dot … Truly, you know, thick. And I have to work again. He guards me but I’m working like his secretary, picking everything out. Oh, my God.

Talking about unconditional love. People say dogs teach you unconditional love. Correct? Yes, they teach you how to love unconditionally and work unconditionally. He eats my food, he sleeps on my bed. Whenever he likes, he just jumps up and I say, “Hey, hey, it’s mine.” It’s too late. Paw, paw, paw all over, muddy paws printed on my sheet. And then I say, “OK, OK, then stay in bed.” And I go to the front. I stay at the porch. And I stay on one of the little sofas. It’s not really a sofa. It’s those organizing boxes, wooden, flat. And if you put like two rows, six of them or eight of them, and then you put a mattress on them, then it’s a sofa, and inside I put things. Otherwise I have no room, so I sat on that. And later he was fed up with my bed somehow, he came pacing up and down, up and down. I said, “What do you want?” And he looked at my couch. Then I... he was waiting, and then when I came in picking something, up, up on my couch, and then his paws again everywhere. And I have to clean my bed, wipe it or change it. Yes. Unconditional love, indeed. He just guards the house with no need to guard at all. But he makes himself the guardian of the place. Before he came, I went away, locked the house so many years, no problems. And now, he feels like he is guarding it. Then I have to do the rest of the work -- a lot, a lot of work. All he has to do is just walking all around and then I have to do a lot, a lot of work, wiping, cleaning. I cannot keep calling the assistants because sometimes it’s late at night. I let them sleep. Or even in the day I cannot keep calling them. So I do it myself.

But I’m so happy today because both places are fixed. It’s so simple, just span a canvas on top of the whole thing. And then there is no more leaking. See what I mean? The rain just comes down, even there is a gap between but it doesn’t come in. Yes, so simple, same with the dogs’ roof, the dogs’ hut, simple, ten minutes done. And they hadn’t done this all these years. So many brains make light work. But over here, it’s make heavy work. As they say, if you want to do something well, you have to do it yourself, right? But just a leaking roof, my God! It’s not like something very difficult. And we are spanning canvas and plastic roof everywhere so they should know it. At least to protect it until I come back. And if I like it or not, I can always say, “Hey, it’s not good, I don’t like it.” No. It kept leaking all the time, all this time. All my clothes, I came back and had to wash everything and wipe everything, so moldy inside. But you know it because you have children at home, right? Nothing new, right? Is it familiar to you? No wonder you just keep quiet. You did not even smile, not even pull your face, no surprise, nothing, just blank, and inside thinking, “What’s the big deal. We knew all these. How come Master just discovered now? She could have asked us and we would have told her long ago.” I’m telling you, everybody came, a lot of people came into my life, into my ashram, into my surroundings just to be the general, or major, like in the army. They are dictating everybody else what to do, or even sometimes dictate me because it’s habit, dictating everybody already, and when nobody else is around, they dictate to me. Oh, thank you so much. I’m telling you.

So where were we before? Can anybody remember? No? You pray to Ananda, maybe you could remember something? All right, I think we were at the 33 divisions. (Yes.) And the pinnacle from the girl, named Goodness. She is so smart. OK, so now they divided the hall into three parts anyway -- one chamber for the kings, another for the poor, and another for the sick. Yes, all right. So they treated the kings, the poor and the sick the same. Not in the same place, but divided, having equal provision of the lodging there. Then the 33 youths built 33 seats. Oh, just one moment. Oh, God, I forgot. I have to tell (them). In one moment, OK? I told already, but I forgot to tell them to pick the dog’s... because it’s all over his body like a blooming flower in spring time, all over his body. I thought he is not a white dog, he is like one with the spots. What’s the name of that? Forgot. (Dalmatian.) Dalmatian. Oh, God!

Then the 33 youths built 33 seats and having so done, gave the following orders to the elephant. Oh, they’re giving orders to the elephant. “If a visitor comes and sits down in a seat, take him and lodge him in the house of whoever built and owns that seat. It then becomes the duty of the owner of that seat to see that his guest’s feet and back are rubbed.” Oh, wow! I’d like to go there, you know, massage. Yes. “To provide him with food both hard and soft, and with lodging; to perform for him, in fact, all the duties of hospitality.” Wow! Nobody treats me thus. I’m going to complain very soon. Wow. How can they make the orders like this to the elephant? And the elephant, probably would carry it out. Wow! Do you have an elephant like that at home? (No.) All right. I guess it’s just a long-long-time-ago elephant, they still drank clear and pure water from the stream or from the lake. It’s not contaminated water like now. And they were not dosing them with a lot of antibiotics or whatever. Didn’t even try to feed them with GMO food and make him all confused. So the elephants probably understood everything that we said. Or maybe they can communicate with the elephants at that time, telepathically or something, or train him day in day out. Accordingly, whenever a visitor came, the elephant would take him to the elephant, only one elephant there, the elephant that the king gave to them. Remember? So, the elephant would take him and conduct him to the house of the owner of the seat in which he had sat. And the owner of the seat would on that day perform for him all the duties of hospitality. Wow! Owner of the seat. Yes. So the 33 youths are taking turns, whenever it came to them, they went and massaged the customer, the guest.

Magha planted an ebony tree. I have kind of an idea but probably I haven’t seen one. Or maybe I have seen one but I didn’t know that was ebony in English. Ebony or ebony? (Ebony.) Ebony tree near the hall and built a stone seat at the foot of the ebony tree. All those who entered the hall looked at the pinnacle, read the inscription, and said, “This is the Hall of Goodness.” Oh, her name. We mentioned it again, and again and again. The names of the 33 youths did not appear. Joy thought to herself, “The youths who built this hall resolved to deprive us of a share in the building thereof. But Goodness by her own cleverness obtained a share. I also ought to do something. But what can I do?” Joy, you know, one of the girls, thinking to herself thus. Thereupon the following thought occurred to her: “Those who come to the hall should be provided with water for drinking and water for bathing. I will have a place dug for a pool.” Swimming pool. Accordingly, Joy caused a bathing pool to be built. Thoughtful thought to herself, the third girl, “Goodness has given a pinnacle, and Joy has caused a bathing pool to be built. Now, what am I to do?” Thereupon the following thought occurred to her: “After those who came to the hall have drunk water and bathed, they should be decked with garlands, when they are ready to depart. Wow! I will cause a flower garden to be laid out.” You know, to pluck the flowers, make the garlands to put on the necks of the people. Thoughtful caused a beautiful flower garden to be laid out. So many and so various were the flowers that grew therein that it was impossible for anyone to say, “Such and such a flower-bearing or fruit-bearing tree does not grow in this garden.” Meaning she has everything collected in that garden. All the plants and flowers, rare, precious, she collected them all, and put them there, planted them there. Now Wellborn, the fourth girl thought to herself, “I am the daughter of the brother of the mother of Magha, and likewise the wife of Magha.” The daughter of the brother of the mother of Magha? And likewise the wife of Magha? Cousin, right? So they probably marry a cousin in those days? “The merit of the work he has wrought accrues to me only, and the merit of the work I have wrought…” Sounds like rotten. Wrought, like wrought iron. “... I have wrought accrues to him only.” She was not the wife of his yet. But she was thinking she might be the wife of his. Accordingly, she did nothing but spend her time adorning herself, making herself beautiful. Oh man (in German)! Dreaming, huh? A lot of people are like that. Don’t want to sit, don’t want to meditate, don’t even keep the precepts. Don’t want to eat vegan. But want to be a Buddha. Ha, ha. So if you think this girl was a crazy dreamer, maybe she was not that crazy.

Thus did Magha minister to his mother and father, honor his elders in the household? Yes, he is, but … OK, never mind. Speak the truth, avoid harsh words, avoid backbiting, put away avarice, or avarice, huh? I guess hatred stuff. And not become angry. Even thus did he fulfill the seven precepts, as it is said, “If a man supports his mother and father, if he honors his elders in the household, if he be gentle and friendly in conversation, if he avoids backbiting, if he steadfastly puts away avarice, if he be truthful, if he conquers anger, such a man, the gods of the 33 call a good man.” Why? Does he need 33 gods or the Sakra god to call him a good man? We can also call him a good man, right? Can we? Yes, so simple. Always drag the god into it. We humans can take care of these small things. Actually, not really, huh? Not really. It’s true that sometimes the gods and the animals recognize goodness in some humans, but the humans themselves do not.

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