Date: 04/10/05 18:23:12
Subject: [CASonline] Learnedness and Saintliness --
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (259) of this book, with
reference to a bhikkhu who was an arahat.
This bhikkhu lived in a grove near Savatthi. He was known as Ekudana, because he knew only one
stanza of exultation (Udana) by heart. But the thera fully understood the meaning of the Dhamma as conveyed by the stanza. On each sabbath day, he would exhort others to listen to the Dhamma, and he himself would recite the one stanza he knew. Every time he had finished his recitation, the guardian spirits (devas) of the forests praised him and applauded him resoundingly. On one sabbath day, two learned theras, who were well-versed in the Tipitaka, accompanied by five hundred bhikkhus came to his place. Ekudana asked the two theras to preach the Dhamma. They enquired if there were many who wished to listen to the Dhamma in this out of the way place. Ekudana answered in the affirmative and also told them that even the guardian spirits of the forests usually came, and that they usually praised and applauded at the end of discourses.
So, the two learned theras took turns to preach the Dhamma, but when their discourses ended, there was no applause from the guardian spirits of the forests. The two learned theras were puzzled; they even doubted the words of Ekudana. But Ekudana insisted that the guardian spirits used to come and always applauded at the end of each discourse. The two theras then pressed Ekudana to do the preaching himself. Ekudana held the fan in front of him and recited the usual stanza. At the end of the recitation, the guardian spirits applauded as usual. The bhikkhus who had accompanied the two learned theras complained that the devas inhabiting the forests were very partial.
They reported the matter to the Buddha on arrival at the Jetavana monastery. To them the Buddha said. "Bhikkhus! I do not say that a bhikkhu who has learnt much and talks much of the Dhamma is one who is versed in the Dhamma, (Dhammadhara)." One who has learnt very little and knows only one stanza of the Dhamma, but fully comprehends the Four Noble Truths, and is ever mindful is the one who is truly versed in the Dhamma."
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 259. He is not "one versed in the Dhamma (Dhammadhara)" just because he talks much. He who hears only a little but comprehends the Dhamma, and is not unmindful is, indeed, "one versed in the Dhamma."
A soldier named Nobushige came to Hakuin, and asked, "Is there really a paradise and a hell?"
"Who are you?" inquired Hakuin.
"I am a samurai," the warrior replied.
"You, a soldier!" exclaimed Hakuin. "What kind of ruler would have you as his guard? Your face looks like that of a beggar."
Nobushige became so angry that he began to draw his sword, but Hakuin continued, "So you have a sword! Your weapon is probably much too dull to cut off my head."
As Nobushige drew his sword Hakuin remarked, "Here open the gates of hell!"
At these words the samurai, perceiving the master's disciple, sheathed his sword and bowed.
"Here open the gates of paradise," said Hakuin.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, compiled by Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki
Shambhala Pocket Classics, London, 1994
For updates regarding trip to Tibet with Ken:
Date: 04/10/05 15:47:58
Subject: Fw: Tibet 2005
Dear BB Tan
Thank you for putting my message in your website dated 05 Apr 20005. It will be more complete and informative if you are attach the above plans.
With best regards.