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Between Master and Disciples

Buddhist Stories: The Story of Magha, Part 6 of 10, Sept. 12-13, 2015

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So having attained so praiseworthy a state, Magha, upon reaching the end of the term of life allotted to him, was reborn in the world of the 33 as Sakra, king of gods. His companions were likewise reborn there. The builder was reborn as the god Vishvakarman.


So now having attained so praiseworthy, like the 33 men that were doing a good job, leveling the road so that everybody walks safely and the cart can drive smoothly. But somebody schemes to... Scheme. Yes, planning, and even succeeded, almost succeeded in killing them, murdering them in such a terrible way. Lucky the god has eyes, and protected them. See, imagine. Imagine that. It’s plain for everyone to see that the 33 of them had good hearts. Even if they didn’t have good hearts, if they even did that because of ego or wanted to have fame or whatever, but it was good for people, benefited the people who walked on it, right? Even then they didn’t want anything. They didn’t proclaim everywhere, so meaning they did not even want any reward. They were just doing it for Heaven’s sake, to have reward in Heaven. Oh, we all want to, no? Yes. But that’s not ego stuff. That’s spiritual stuff, which is good. So having attained so praiseworthy a state, Magha, upon reaching the end of the term of life allotted to him, was reborn in the world of the 33 as Sakra, king of gods. His companions were likewise reborn there. The builder was reborn as the god Vishvakarman.


Now at that time there were asuras dwelling in the world of the 33, and when they learned that new gods had been reborn there, they prepared celestial drink for them, to welcome them. I didn’t know celestial people drink even. It’s probably nectar of some sort. It’s not like liquid, like what we have. But actually maybe, maybe they do have. It just looks similar but it tastes better, because these 33 heavens are the heavens of sensual pleasure, not like a non-desire Heaven. So, probably they have drinks and food. Yes. But Sakra gave orders to his retinue that no one should drink it. The asuras, however, drank freely and became intoxicated. Thereupon Sakra thought to himself, “Why should I share my kingdom with these deities?” Deity or deity? Devas. Somebody says deities, I heard it before. And somebody says deity. Deities? Yes? (A man says it’s deity.) Yes. You see that? Always make trouble for me. (But we understand you.) All right, good. Yes, paradise, paradise. But it makes me unsure, sometimes. Especially when it’s the word I don’t often use. I become not self-confident. Yes, poor me. I was not even born in England. No? Not even grown up in England. I jumped in the middle of my youth life and did not even stay there very long.

Then, giving a sign to his retinue, he caused them to pick up the asuras by the heels and fling them into the great ocean. They were drunk. The asuras were drunk. So the asuras fell headlong into the water. By the power of their merit there sprang up at the foot of Mount Sineru, supposed to be Sumeru, no? Whatever, who cares? Whatever, that mountain named Sineru. The palace of the asuras and tree that is called pie trumpet flower. Wow, what a name! Probably it looks like a pie, apple pie, but it also looked like a trumpet. So, pie trumpet. Yes. Sounds like a German asura lived there, because the Germans are very exact. They don’t mess with the Latin words. They just say what it is. Like television, they just say Fernsehen, means looking far, or far-looking, far-seeing. Yes, of course. Television comes from far away.


When the conflict between the gods and the asuras was over, and the asuras had been defeated, there came into existence the city of the 33. The distance from the eastern gate to the western gate was 10,000 leagues again, maybe miles. And the distance from the southern gate to the northern gate was the same. Now, this city … Or at least, my voice is smooth, like singsong, lullaby, I saw some people enjoying. Good, good, good. Either in samadhi or in “sama-gone.” Now this city was provided. It’s OK. We’re not really laughing at anybody. We’re just laughing with anybody. We laugh at anything, right? We have nothing else to do here, but sit, eat, and laugh. What a good life you have, man! What kind of holiday you’re having? Tell me. Where, where, tell me where you can have a holiday with millions of stars and comedian free of charge, and entertain you every day. And then, first-class cook. And then relax. Nobody ‘hexing’ you around. Hexing? Means pushing you around. Hexing, that’s German really, right? It’s not English. (Heresy?) Actually it’s like, Hexen is witch, in German. Hexing around means, like harassing but it’s worse than harassing. I can’t translate it into English, I don’t know how. That word probably has, but I don’t know it. But ‘hexing,’ it sounds very serious. (Like messing.) No, no, not messing. Like, some people just push you around. (Bully.) Bullying you around, but with such a menace, like a witch. It’s called hexing, hexing. So why not? The English can borrow that word. It’s better than pushing or bullying or forcing around. Hexing. Yes, I feel it’s good. Very good. I mix the German word “hex” and “ing” from the English, so hexing. Like pushing. Yes. I cut the “ing” out and put it into the “hex” and then become “hexing.” Wow, there’s a new word for the Oxford Dictionary! They should write my name on it, attached to the word. OK, now... Where are we? I didn’t sleep the whole night. I’m working the whole day, so it feels a little toll on my system. But I’m OK. If I’m not then you know right away. Then I’ll just join your club. Then we become one. Master and disciples become one. Like Master, like disciples, all enjoying life here.


This city was provided with a thousand gates and was adorned with gardens and pools. And in the midst thereof, as the fruit of the building of the hall, there arose a palace called the Palace of Victory. A Palace of Victory. Its height was 700 miles, whatever, the measurement of that. And it was decked with banners 300 miles long. On staffs of gold were banners of jewels, and on staffs of jewels were banners of gold. Wow, that’s a lot of gold and jewels! Lucky, not a lot of humans can come up; otherwise, there would be no more gold, no more jewel, no banner, nothing. Yes, on staffs of coral were banners of pearls, and on staffs of pearls were banners of coral; on staffs of the seven precious stones were banners... Banners or banners? (Banners.) Banners. You two, you pick one for me. One’s from England, and one from America. All right. And on staffs of the seven precious stones were the ban... I’m lost. On staffs of the seven precious stones were banners of the seven precious stones. Such was the palace that arose as the fruit of the building of the hall; a thousand miles was its height, and it was composed of the seven precious stones, was made, built of, studded with seven precious stones. As the result of the planting of the ebony tree, there arose the coral tree. As the fruit of the planting of the ebony tree, there arose a coral tree, 100 miles in circumference. As the result of the building of the stone seat, there came into existence at the foot of the coral tree the Yellowstone Throne, of a reddish-yellow color like that of the jasmine flower, 60 miles in length, 50 miles in breadth, and 15 miles thick. What kind of god! That must be a very fat one who’d sit on that. When Sakra sits down on this throne, half its mass sinks into the ground. When he rises, it is all above the ground. The elephant was reborn as god Erāvaṇa. There are no animals in the world … Don’t bother him. Let him enjoy his stuff. There are no animals in the world of the gods; so when he went into the garden to play, he would quit his form as a god and become the elephant Erāvaṇa, A hundred and fifty miles in size. Everything is big in Heaven. Imagine what we’d look like when we go up there. We will look like mosquitoes and flies compared to them. And these are even the lower heaven yet, the astral type.


(Maybe warmer than normal.) You are right. Just joking. I can take hot water. People think I’m made of iron, don’t you know? Master can do everything. Master knows everything. Master takes care of everything. Master can work 24 hours. Master picks your garbage. Master, whatever. Master fixes the pipe, the water pipe. Master fixes the roof. Master fixes the other roof. Master cooks, yes, you know. So it doesn’t matter. Iron woman! That probably helps. Where are we? I don’t have a beard. Normally the Indian gurus they grow theirs beards very long. When they’re talking … I saw them. So I’ll grow my hair, to also do it. So it looks like I have something. Hair is hair. It doesn’t matter where it grows, right? I have some, and long. Yes, and golden also, like the old wise person. All right, so you know, right. Even that didn’t wake him up. Very good. He is enjoying. It’s OK. You enjoy yours, he enjoys his. Don’t be jealous. He’s probably gone up to this kind of Heaven. Yes.


For the 33 youths, Erāvaṇa created 33 vessels, each two or three quarters of a mile around. In the center of all, Erāvaṇa created for Sakra a vessel called Beautiful. It was 30 miles in circumference, and above it was a canopy. There arose banners a mile in length, made entirely of the seven precious stones. And from the lower edge of each banner depended a row of tinkling bells...


You don’t have to turn the camera away. People still can hear. And who would be coughing in the microphone if it’s not your Master right now. Don’t worry. I’m not embarrassed. I’m too old now, to be bothered about such things. All right. My God, they keep describing such a mouthwatering world and we’re sitting here on the floor, or getting wet today under the rain, canopy, under the canopy of plastic canvas. And all your thrones have been all wet, soaked through. I saw them hanging on the balcony. And they won’t be dry until maybe three days (later), if the sun comes out at all. Your shoes are all wet. It’s nothing really. When I was in the Himalayas, it’s more soaked, and my feet were swollen because of the water inside the shoes and because of walking all day in it. And it’s like just snow-melt water, it’s not even this. It was in May, but the weather in the Himalayas was still cold, and a lot of snow still there. The army cut through the snow, so that the pilgrims could come. But it was like two walls, white wall on both sides. Because the snow was still very hard, like ice, in some parts.


OK, a row of tinkling bells which, when they were shaken by the gentle wind, gave forth sweet music like the mingled strains of the music of the five kinds of instruments, or the singing of the celestial choir. In the center of the pavilion, pavilion right? Pavilion, pavilion in English, right? Pavillon is French, right? A jeweled couch a mile in length was prepared for Sakra. There Sakra did recline in state. Erāvaṇa created 33 vessels for the 33 gods. Each vessel bore seven tusks, elephant tusks, each 50 miles long. Each tusk bore seven lotus tanks. Each lotus tank bore seven lotus plants, each lotus plant bore seven flowers, each flower, seven leaves, and on each leaf danced seven celestial nymphs. Nymphs, fairies, I guess. Thus on all sides round about for a space of 50 miles, there were dancing assemblies poised on elephants’ tusks. Such was the glory in the enjoyment of which lived Sakra king of gods.


When Goodness, the first girl, died, she was also reborn there. And at the same time, there came into existence Goodness, the meeting hall of the gods, 900 miles. I didn’t cough in my cave so I thought I’m OK to come. Sorry. Probably after talking, and maybe dry air or something here. And it irritates the throat. Where are we now again? My God. I keep interrupting myself with jokes or with a cough. And you probably wonder when will I finish the story ever. You want me to finish quick? OK. Sakra surveyed his wives and considered within himself. Goodness has been born, and… OK, finished. You want that? No? (No.) OK, OK, you are the boss. The guests are the boss. They say so in India.

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