Wednesday, 18 May 2016 03:46

Dhp 01:05 - Quarrels Cease Through Right Thinking

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Dhp 01:05 - Quarrels Cease Through Right Thinking

The others know not
that in this quarrel we perish;
those of them who realize it,
have their quarrels calmed thereby. (6)

 


A trivial incident led to an unfortunate dispute amongst the bhikkhus of Kosambi. One group followed the master of Vinaya and the other followed the teacher of the Dhamma and they were often quarrelling among themselves.  They did not even listen to the Buddha’s advice, but the Buddha knew that eventually they would realise their mistake. So he left them and went to spend the vassa (the rainy season retreat) all alone in the forest, where an elephant and a monkey attended to him. **

The lay disciples of Kosambi, on learning the reason for the absence of the Buddha, refused to make offerings to the bhikkhus. This made the latter realise their folly and reconciliation took place. Still, the lay followers would not treat the monks as respectfully as they had done before, until they admitted that it was their fault that the Buddha had left the vicinity. They were told to ask the pardon of the Buddha. But the Buddha was away and it was in the middle of the vassa; so the bhikkhus of Kosambi spent the vassa in misery and hardship.

At the end of the vassa, Venerable Ananda and many other bhikkhus conveyed the message to the Buddha and implored him to return assuring him that they had realised the error of their ways. In due course, the Buddha returned to the Jetavana monastery in Savatthi. When the bhikkhus saw the Buddha, they paid their respects and admitted their faults. The Buddha then admonished them that life is impermanent and therefore, they must stop their quarrels and not act as if they would never die.


Teaching Focus: Most of us are not prepared to face the reality of impermanence and death. It is because we forget this fact that our lives are transitory, that we quarrel with each other, as if we are going to live for ever. But, if we face the fact of death, our quarrels will come to an end. We will then realize the folly of fighting when we ourselves are doomed to die. Excited by emotions our thoughts being clouded, we cannot see the truth about life. When we see the truth, however, our thoughts become free of emotions. (6)


Footnote:  ** There is an interesting account of how the monkey attended to the Buddha. When the monkey saw how the elephant was performing his duties to the Buddha, he also decided to perform some service for the Buddha. One day, as he was swinging from tree to tree, he happened to see some stick-honey free from flies. He broke the stick off, took the honeycomb, stick and all and placed the honey on a leaf and offered it to the Buddha. The Buddha accepted his offering.

The monkey watched to see whether the Buddha would eat the honey. He observed that the Buddha did not eat the honey. On investigation and turning the stick-honey over and over, the monkey discovered that there were some insect - eggs. Having removed the eggs gently, he again offered the honey to the Buddha. This time, the Buddha took the honey.


Verse Translation (best effort)
Tiến Việt Và người khác không biết, Chúng ta đây bị hại. Chỗ ấy, ai hiểu được Tranh luận được lắng êm. (6)
Le Français Les autres ne connaissent pas qu'ici nous périssons, ceux qui connaissent cela en ont leurs querelles apaisées. (6)
Deutsch Die anderen begreifen nicht : "Laßt uns den Tod hier immer sehn!" Doch denen, die begreifen dort, die Kämpfe werden endlich still. (6)
Español Muchos desconocen que al disputar, perecemos; pero aquellos que lo comprenden, refrenan por completo sus disputas. (6)
Pу́сский язы́к Ведь некоторые не знают, что нам суждено здесь погибнуть. У тех же, кто знает это, сразу прекращаются ссоры. (6)
Magyar Nyelv Nem fogja fel sok ember, hogy fékeznie kell önmagát; ám aki ezt felfogja, az megbékél, nem gyűlölködik. (6)
Read 819 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 June 2016 16:27
Rich Wermske

My pedigree and bona fides are published elsewhere. That said, I respect that a few may wish to learn more about the private person behind the writing.  While I accept I am exceptionally introverted (tending toward the misanthropic), I do enjoy socializing and sharing time with like-minded individuals. I have a zeal for integrity, ethics, and the economics of both interpersonal and organizational behavior.

The product of multi-generational paternal dysfunction, I practice healthy recovery (sobriety date December 11, 2001).  I am endogamous in my close personal relationships and belong to a variety of tribes that shape my worldview (in no particular order):

☯ I participate in and enjoy most geek culture. ☯ I am a practicing Buddhist and a legally ordained minister. I like to believe that people of other spiritual/faith systems find me approachable.  I am a member of the GLBTQA community -- I married my long-time partner in a ceremony officiated by Jeralita "Jeri" Costa of Joyful Joinings on November 18, 2013, certificated in King County, Seattle WA. We celebrate an anniversary date of February 2, 2002.  I am a service-connected, disabled, American veteran (USAF).  I am a University of Houston alumnus (BBA/MIS) and currently studying as a post baccalaureate for an additional degree in Philosophy and Law, Values, & Policy.  I am a retired Bishop in the Church of Commerce and Capitalism; the story arch of my prosecuting and proselytizing the technological proletariat is now behind me.  I am a native Houstonian (and obviously Texan).  At 50 years old, I am a "child of the sixties" and consider the 80's to be my formative years.

As I still struggle with humility, I strive to make willingness, honesty, and open mindedness cornerstones in all my affairs. Fourteen years of sobriety has taught me that none of "this" means a thing if I'm unwilling, dishonest, or close minded.  Therefore I work hard on the things I believe in --

  • I believe we can always achieve more if we collaborate and compromise.
  • I believe that liberal(ism) is a good word/concept and something to be proud to support.  The modern, systematic corruption of liberal ideas is a living human tragedy.
  • I believe in a worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The pragmatism of this site and my journey is rooted in both classical and social liberalism.
  • I believe in democratic elections and institutions including a media free of commercial and governmental bias.  Liberty and equality perish when a society becomes uneducated and/or ill-informed.
  • I believe in diversity of life and ideas.  Life and ideas can only flourish when the gene pool is vast and abundantly differentiated.
  • I believe in advancing balance in civil, social, and privacy rights such that all of humanity is continuously uplifted.
  • I believe in separation of church (spirituality) and state (governance) -- with neither in supremacy nor subjugation.
  • I believe in private (real or tangible) property explicitly excluding ideas, knowledge, and methods; such non-tangibles, by natural law, being free for all humanity and emancipated at conception.

While change and the uncertainty of the future may be uncomfortable, I do not fear the unknown; therefore:

    • I believe I must be willing to make difficult choices, that those choices may not be all that I desire, and that such may result in undesirable (or unintended) consequences;
    • I believe we must be willing to make mistakes or be wrong; and I am willing to change my mind if necessary.
I undertake to abide the five precepts of Buddhism; therefore:
  1. I believe it is wrong to kill or to knowingly allow others to kill.
  2. I believe it is wrong to steal or to knowingly allow others to steal.
  3. I believe in abstention from sexual misconduct.
  4. I believe it is wrong to lie or to knowingly allow others to lie.
  5. I believe in abstention from non-medicinal intoxicants as such clouds the mind.

Suicide, major depression, borderline personality, and alcoholism are feral monsters ever howling at my doorstep. However, despite my turbulent and tragic past, rare is the day where I have to rationalize, defend, or justify the actions of that person I see looking back at me in the mirror...

Website: www.wermske.com
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