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Buddha's Routine

 

The Buddha – The Seven Weeks After Enlightenment

by Ms Khema Goh 

First Week

One posture sitting cross-legged and enjoyed the Bliss of Emancipation (Vimutti Sukha)

End of the week, during the first watch, the Buddha arose from the state of Concentration and thoroughly reflected on the “Dependent Origination” (Paticca Samuppada) in direct order.

Having perceived the meaning of this theory, the Buddha uttered forth this verse:

“When the truths become manifest to the strenuous,
meditative Brahmana then do all his doubts vanish away,
since he knows the truth together with its cause.”

Middle watch of the night, thoroughly reflected on the “Dependent Origination” (Paticca Samuppada) in reverse order.

Having perceived the meaning of this theory, the Buddha uttered forth this verse:

“When the truths become manifest to the strenuous,
meditative Brahmana then do all his doubts vanish away,
since he realised the cessation of causes.”

Last watch of the night, fully contemplated on the Cause and Effect of things both in their direct and reverse order.

Having perceived the meaning of this theory, the Buddha uttered forth this verse:

“When the truths become manifest to the strenuous,
meditative Brahmana then he dispels the forces of Mara,
and remains like the sun which illuminates the sky.”

Second Week

  • Remained one week gazing at the Bodhi tree with motionless eyes as a mark of profound gratitude to the inanimate Bodhi tree that sheltered him during his struggle.
  • Uneventful, but had silently taught a great moral lesson to the world.

Third Week

  • Certain deities resided at the Bodhi tree doubted His attainment to Buddhahood. To dispel their doubts, He created by His psychic power, a jewelled ambulatory (ratana camkamana) and paced up and down for a week.

Fourth Week

  • Created a jewelled chamber (ratanaghara)
  • Spent in the jewelled chamber contemplating the intricacies of the Abhidhamma (Higher Doctrine).
  • Mind and body were so purified when he pondered on the Relations (Patthana).
    Seven treatise of the Abhidharma.
  • Six coloured rays namely blue, yellow, red, white, orange and a mixture of these five colours emitted from His body.

Fifth Week

  • Enjoyed the Bliss of Emancipation under the Ajapala banyan tree.
  • Questioned by a conceited Brahmana on how one becomes a Brahmana and the conditions that make a Brahmana. Buddha’s reply:

“That Brahmin who has discarded evil,
without conceit (huhumka),
free from Defilements, self-controlled,
versed in knowledge and who has led the Holy life right,
would call himself a Brahmana.
For him, there is no elation anywhere in this World.”

  • Temptation by daughters of Mara – Tanha, Arati and Raga which was unsuccessful.

Sixth Week

  • Enjoyed Bliss of Emancipation under the Mucalinda tree.
  • Arose untimely a great shower with a cold storm.
  • Naga (Serpent) King Mucalinda came out of his abode, coiled round the Buddha’s body in seven tiers and kept his wide hood over the head of the Buddha to protect HIM from the elements.
  • End of week, Naga King gave up his form, and appeared before the Buddha as a young man, paid obeisance to Him.
  • Buddha gave utterance to this verse of joy:

“Happy is seclusion to him who is contented,
to him who has heard the truth,
and to him who sees.
Happy is goodwill in this world,
And so is restraint towards all beings.
Happy is this world is non-attachment,
The passing beyond of sense desires.
The suppression of the ‘I am’ conceit
Is indeed the highest happiness.”

Seventh Week

  • Enjoy Bliss of Emancipation under the Rajayatana tree.
  • During the last day, alms offered by two merchants, Tapassu and Bhalluka from Ukkala. This was his first meal after fasting for 49 days.
  • Two merchants were the first lay disciples of the Buddha by taking refuge in the Buddha and Dharma (Sangha was not in existence then).
  • They requested object of worship and was presented with some head hair from the Buddha.

The Buddha’s Daily Routine

An Overview 

After the Buddha’s Enlightenment,
He endeavoured his best to enlighten others and liberate them from the ills of life.
Buddha considered the most energetic and the most active religious teacher that ever lived;
Buddha’s day is occupied with His religious activities except when He has to Attend to His own physical needs;
Buddha was methodical and systematic in the performance of His daily activities;
Buddha’s inner life was one of meditation and experiencing of Nibbanic bliss while His outer life was one of selfless service for the moral upliftment for the world.
Buddha’s Day Was Divided Into 5 Sessions

1. The Forenoon Session (6a.m. – 12 noon)
Spiritual Assistance to all Beings;
As a rule, He went in search of the Vicious and the Impure; e.g. Anguilimala, and the Wicked Demon Alavaka. The Pure and Virtuous came in search of Him, e.g. Visakha, Anathapindika ‘the generous millionaire’ and Intellectual Sariputta and Moggallana came up to Him for Spiritual Guidance.Immediately after Lunch
2. The Afternoon Session (12 noon – 6 p.m.)
Buddha takes a seat in the Monastery. Bhikkhus assemble to listen to Dhamma. Some approach Him for suitable objects of meditation, others retire to their cells.
After Discourse, He retires to His Perfumed Chamber to rest.
Attains to the Ecstasy of Great Compassion, surveys the World with His Divine Eye, provides spiritual advice to Bhikkhus, admonishes the erring disciples and retires to His Chamber.

Evening
Lay followers flock to Him to hear the Dhamma. Buddha preaches for one hour. As a rule, Buddha converts others through homely illustrations and parables, appealing more to the intellect than to emotion.
Only on rare occasions as in the case of Anguilimala and Khema did the Buddha resort to His Psychic Powers to effect a change of Heart in His Listeners.

3. The First Watch (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.)
Exclusively reserved for instructions to the Bhikkhus :-
Questions on the intricacies of the Dhamma;
Suitable objects of meditation;
Clarification of doubts.

4. The Middle Watch (10 p.m. – 2 a.m.)
Celestial Beings such as Devas and Brahmas question Him on the intricacies of the Dhamma. Several discourses and answers given to their queries recorded in Samyutta Nikaya.

5. The Last Watch (2.a.m. – 6 a.m.)
The wee hours of the morning comprise of :-

2-3 a.m. – Paces, as a mild form of exercise;
3-4 a.m. – Sleeps mindfully on the right side;
4-5 a.m. – Attains to the Fruit of Arahantship and enjoys Nibbanic Bliss;
5-6 a.m. – Attains the Ecstasy of Great Compassion radiating thoughts of loving kindness towards all Being and surveys the World with His Buddha Eye to see if He could be of service to any.

Conclusion
Buddha’s teachings appealed both to the masses and the intelligentsia alike;

  • Buddha’s selfless service for the moral upliftment of the world;
  • For two hours once in the morning and once at dawn, He pervades the world with thoughts of boundless compassion and loving kindness to bring happiness to millions;
  • Buddha taught Dhamma;
    to lay persons (before 6 p.m.);
    to His disciples (6 – 10 p.m.);
    to Celestial Beings, Devas and Brahmas (10 – 2 p.m.)
  • He led a life of voluntary poverty seeking His alms without inconveniencing any, wandering from place to place for 8 months throughout the years preaching His sublime Dhamma.
  • He worked tirelessly for the good and happiness of all until His 80th year, preferring to traverse the long and tardy way on foot accompanied by His attendant Ananda.
  • His last words before entering Parinibbana :-
    “Transient are all elements of being.
    Strive with earnestness.”

Buddha’s Ministery (First 20 Years)

by Ms Tan Lai Kheng 

Introduction

Buddha’s ministry lasted for 45 years.

During the time, he walked widely throughout the Northern Districts of India.
But during the Vassana, he generally stayed in one place and preached Dhamma to the people.

Vassana :  Rainy season starting from Jul to Oct / Nov (3 months).

Place of Vassana /Events

Year 1     Deer Park at Isipatana, Baranasi (Benares)

  • No special place for him to reside
  • Dhammacakka
  • Birth place for the Sangha Society
  • Convert Yassa and his 54 friends
  • 60 disciples send to propagate the Dhamma

Year 2,3 and 4     Bamboo Grove, Veluvana Monastery (Rajagaha)

  • Rajagaha during that time was a centre for philosophy
  • Came here because of King Bimbisara’s request before enlightenment
  • Admission of 30 young men into the Order
  • Admitted Kassapa Brothers, Sariputta and Moggallana into the Order
  • Sudatta / Anathapindika – chief lay supporter of Buddha who built the Jetavana Monastery at Savathi for the Buddha

Year 5     Pinnacled Hall, Vesali

  • King Suddhodana fell ill
  • How He overcome the rude Sakyas
  • Dispute over River Rohini
  • The Order of Nun

Year 6     Mankula Hall

Performed the Twin Miracle under a mango tree

Year 7    Tavatisma Heaven

  • Preach Abhidhamma or the Higher Doctrine to the deities headed by his mother
  • Preach the same to Sariputta who then repeated it to 500 monks

Year 8    Bhesakala forest

Year 9    Ghosita Monastery, Kosambi

Conflict within the Sangha led by Ven. Devadatta

Year 10  Parileyakka forest

Served by an elephant and a monkey which latter passed away and reborn in the Tavatisma Heaven

Year 11  Village of Ekanala

Converted Brahmin farmer Kasibharadvaja (Kasibharadvaja sutta)

Year 12  Veranja

Introduction of Vinaya rules

Year 13  Caliya Rock

Listed down important things for meditation practice :

  • A good friend
  • Virtuous behaviour guided by the essential precept or training
  • Good counsel / teacher
  • Acquiring the wisdom on the rising and falling of thing

Year 14  Jetavana monastery, Savathi

Higher Ordination of Rahula

Year 15  Kapilavastu

Death of King Suppabuddha, the father of Yasodhara

Year 16  City of Alavi

Taming of Alavaka, the demon that devoured human flesh (Alavaka Sutta)

Year 17 Veluvana Monastery, Rajagaha

Auction of Sirima, a beautiful courtesan

“Behold thus painted image,
a body full of wounds, put together, diseased,
the object of thought of many,
in which there is neither permanence nor stability” (Dhammapada 147)

Year 18 & 19 Caliya rock

Expounding Dhamma to a weaver’s daughter (Year 18)

“Blinded in this world;
Few here clearly see.
Like a bird that escape from the net
only a few go to a good state of existence,” (Dhammapada 174)

Year 20 Veluvana Monastery, Rajagaha

  • Framing of the Buddha by heretic monks
  • Conversion of Angulimala
  • Admitting Kisagotami into the Nun Order
  • King Bimbisara’s adoption of Nun Kassapa’s son

 

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