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Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 1

Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the Highest Self—Enlightened One!

Neluwakande Gnanananda Himi

Published: 2017-11-14 — Updated: 2018-08-03

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The foundation of the Buddha—Dhamma is worldly truth. The Buddha—Dhamma shows the nature of the world. This is done in the Nagara Suthra (sutta). This suthra shows how just like a town that has been long buried underground, has been excavated and dug out, the reality / truth can be revealed after has been covered up by wrong—views (miccha—ditthi) and lies. Many do not like to see the truth.

The pleasure they gain while being engrossed in wrong—views (miccha—ditthi) is a happiness for them. The Buddha—Dhamma1 which shows the reality / truth of the world, shows the path to happiness in this life, the next life as well as the escape from this never ending wheel of birth and death (samsara). The Lord Buddha did not have a specific time to teach the Dhamma.1 In the same way there is no indication that the Dhamma was heard with pre—preparation at a specific time.

When King Mundaraja was grieving over the early death of his queen, the advice that was given to console him is contained in the Shoka—Sallaharana Suthra. The details about how the doubts of Anathapindika, as to whether everything can be gained by wishing for them alone, were cleared is contained in the Pancha—Ittadhamma Suthra.

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When the Lord Buddha went to the Bheskala forest, the people of Kalama heard of this, approached him and asked him questions. The answers to these questions is contained in the Kalama Suthra. The debate between the two brahmins (a caste in India) named Wasetta and Bharadwaja as to what factors make a superior brahmin was resolved in the Wasetta Suthra. These are a few examples that demostrate how teachings were not given with prior preparation, but were given as circumstances required.

The Four Occassions the Lord Buddha Taught the Dhamma

On analysing the Buddha—Dhamma carefully, there can be found four occassions when the Lord Buddha taught the Dhamma. They are known (in the Pali language) as i. aththajjhasaya, ii. parajjhasaya, iii. atthupaththika and iv. puchchawasitha.

Dhamma teachings given by Lord Buddha’s own initiative without anyone else inviting him to do so fall into the first category (aththajjhasaya). Most teachings that appear in the sutta pitaka (basket of discourses) are aththajjhasaya. Most of these were taught to bhikkhus (Buddhist monks). Samagamaka, Neevarana Assajaneeya, Sappurisadana Suthras (Suttas) are few such examples from the Anguththara (Anguttara) Nikaya.

Dhamma sermons given due to another or others' request are known as parajjhasaya. Weludwara, Soka Sallaharana and Kalama Suthras are a few such examples.

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There are occassions when certain beings approached the Lord Buddha and asked questions. Maha—Managala and Alawaka Suthras are such examples. These sermons are known as puchchawasitha.

Additionally there are sermons given based on certain events. Sigalowada, Ratana and Karaneeya Meththa Suthras are such examples.

What this shows is that the Lord Buddha did not pre—prepare to give sermons to those who would approach him. On the other hand, those who approached him were not Buddhists, but were bramins, achelakas, paribrajikas and nighantas (people of other religions).

They came in search of the Lord Buddha to find acceptable solutions to their problems. This shows two main points.

A Teaching Given to All

1. The Buddha—Dhamma was given for all humans (and other beings such as devas — divine beings), not just one section of humans.

2. It was given for resolving personal problems.

The Dhamma is an advisory path. A person needs advice when a problem arises, to successfully resolve that issue. The following question; “How happy would the people who told their problems to the Lord Buddha be, when they received a solution from the Lord Buddha?” is answered by the way they responded in the end.

“Maha—Mangala Sutta 1 — Venerable Sayadaw U Jotika.” Click on the video to play it. View Full Video >
This is shown in suttas in this way; they said: “It is as if what was turned upside down, was turned right side up; what was hidden was uncovered; the way was show to someone who could not find their way; light was to someone who was in the dark by lighting a lamp; your sermon was very clear (Venerable Sir).”

Not just that, this paragraph (in the Pali language) shows that they also asked for permission to take refuge in the Triple Gem and become upasakas (or upasikas — male and female Buddhist devotees):

“Ethe mayang bhagawanthang gothamang saranam gachchami dhammancha bhikkhusanghancha, upasakang no bhawang gothamo dharethu, ajja thagge panupethang saranang gathe.”

Two—Fold Benefits

For one who listens to (learns) the Dhamma and live by it, two—fold worldly and non—worldly benefits can be expected. Every being that lives, expects to be happy. They gain happiness by pleasing their five senses. Even though all beings expect to be happy, not all can be happy. Where there is no happiness, there is suffering (dukkha).

People do many things to gain the happiness that they expect. Some use alcohol. Others oppose those who are happy. Some engage in crime. Others do anti—social activities such as drug trafficking, selling, etc. They expect to gain happiness by doing such things. They are satisfied (for a short while) from the impermanent happiness they gain from these. Then they are unhappy again. Then they try another path.

Metta — Loving—kindness or non—romantic love. Click on the image to download a larger version.
Additionally some put their faith in unseen powers like divine beings, and engage in offerings and prayers (to divine beings) to gain happiness. According to Buddhist teachings, one cannot gain happiness by wishing and hoping alone. The path has been shown to being energetic and not being lazy, earning wealth while working righteously in line with the Dhamma and not contradicting the Dhamma.

In today’s world, people toil to earn wealth for a happy life. In the Lord Buddha’s path, there are no barriers to earning how ever much wealth. There are some billionares who have no peace of mind. Because of this, there are instances where they committed suicide.

This shows that happiness lies in the mind and not in material wealth. It is for this reason of giving rise to this happiness that the Dhamma shows that wealth should be earned through righteous means, in line with the Dhamma.

One does not become economically strong by earning wealth alone. The Dhamma shows that in spending one’s earned wealth, one portion should be used to cover one’s costs, two portions should be used for one’s work / business needs and one portion should be saved. This is a best economic practice recognised in the world. If one does not spend in line with what one earns, one falls into debt. Debt causes suffering and is a stress for the mind.

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There are individuals as well as countries in the world that have become strong economically by following this method. It is only through careful control of earned wealth, that all organizations starting from the family unit all the way up to the government, can expect to prosper.

The head of an organization should be a wise person. They should not a waster given to mass use (of resources). They should be wise enough to be aware of the resources within the organization and make proper use of them, while finding new ways to gain new wealth.

Countries regarded as advanced in the world have come into that position by following some (if not all) of these principles shown in the Dhamma.

The Escape from Suffering

We all like to live in freedom, without fear or doubt. Having to face threats from others is a barrier to happiness. Living freely without fear is not only a happiness for Buddhists, but all humans and animals alike. This happiness can be gained by understanding that like oneself, others also like to be happy, and thus acting without taking the lives of others.

While we do not like suffering, there are many occassions when we must suffer (dukkha). Even though we make effort to be free from suffering, this is only temporary. One can only be permanently free from suffering, by understanding the causes of suffering and by removing them. Those who do not know this, use various methods that they like, and fall again and again into suffering.

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The path to win over suffering has been shown in the Dhamma. For this the Dhamma should be learned and understood. The one who has not learned the Dhamma is known as “asruthawath puthajjana.” S/he does not know that all formations (sankhara) change nor that they stay changing and pass away. So s/he thinks that all should be as one likes. Because of this s/he on many occassions falls into suffering, pain and regret.

But the “sruthawath puthajjana” (the one who has learned the Dhamma) is not troubled by painful events, becuase s/he has gained a good understanding of those situations. S/he always lives in happiness. This is a great benefit that can be gained from the Dhamma.

Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 1—5

Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 2—5

Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 3—5

Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 4—5

Those Who Gain from the Buddha—Dhamma 5—5


  1. Buddha—Dhamma — Lord Buddha’s teachings on reality.
Rasika Wijayaratne

May all be happy and well!











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