The Triple Gem (Part 1) Precious gems like diamonds are desired by mankind as they represent status and wealth. The follower of the Triple Gem finds peace within his heart and a wondrous light within his/her mind. More precious than these gems are the Triple Gem which has inspired great acts of compassion, peace, courage and virtue. The truth and joy embodied in the precious Gem dispel all his fears, doubts, sorrow and tears.
Triple Gem A devotee takes refuge in the Triple Gem not for material gain nor out of fear nor for love of fame nor gaining worldly powers. He is drawn by the power of boundless love of the Buddha and the peerless and all embracing Dhamma and Sangha to guide him across the vast sea of suffering ( Samsara ).
The Buddha “ A unique Being, an extraordinary man arises in this world for the benefit and happiness of the many, out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit and happiness of gods and men. Who is this Unique Being? It is the Tathagata, the Exalted, Fully Enlightened One.” (Anguttara Nikaya)
The Buddha The Buddha arose at a time when the world was undergoing spiritual and philosophical changes.
Queen Mahaa Maayaa’s dream Birth of the Prince His marriage to Princess Yasodhara The Four Sights Bidding farewell to wife & son The Great Renunciation
Learning from Uddaka Ramaputta Accepting milk porridge from Sujata Enlightenment His body became emaciated
The Enlightenment His mind was so clear, like a polished mirror. It was a full-moon night in the month of May, 588 B.C. Then the realization - The Four Noble Truths. The ascetic Gotama was thirty-five years old. He sat under a Bodhi tree and started to meditate. He saw His previous births …first one, then two, then five, then hundreds, and thousands. And he saw the cycles of birth of others…. He gazed in wonder as world cycles unfolded before His eyes. He wondered “How infinite was this samsara? Was there no beginning of time? “ He had become the Enlightened One, the Fully Awakened One, the Samma Sambuddha.
Learning from Uddaka Ramaputta Accepting milk porridge from Sujata First sermon Parinirvanna of Buddha Buddha sending out a mission of 60 Arahants. Enlightenment His body became emaciated
The Buddha’s Greatness The 10 virtues: Generosity Morality Renunciation Wisdom Energy Patience Truthfulness Determination Loving-kindness Equanimity He spent countless lifetimes perfecting the 10 virtues (Paramis) before attaining Buddhahood.
The Buddha’s Greatness On His Enlightenment, He found the Truth which was beyond all that was taught by His former religious teachers. The Buddha had eradicated all greed, hatred and delusion. It has been said: “ Known are the things to be known, Cultivated are the things to be cultivated, Destroyed are the things to be destroyed, Therefore, Brahman, I am the Buddha.”
The Buddha’s Greatness During His 45 years ministry, the Buddha Taught the power-seeking world, the noble ideal of selfless service Protested against the caste system and advocated equal opportunities for all. Declared that the gates of deliverance were open to all who would care to turn into a new leaf and aspire to perfection.
The Buddha’s Greatness During His 45 years ministry, the Buddha Raised the status of down-trodden women and also founded the first religious order for women. Attempted to abolish slavery for the first time in history. Pointed out the cruelty and futility of the sacrifice of animals.
The Buddha’s Greatness During His 45 years ministry, the Buddha Comforted bereaved women like Patacara who went insane after losing her entire family on the same day, and Kisa Gotami at the death of her only son. Ministered the deserted sick like Putigatta Tissa Thera who had a contagious disease. Helped the poor and neglected like Rajjumala and Sopaka and saved them from an untimely and tragic death.
The Buddha’s Greatness During His 45 years ministry, the Buddha Transformed the lives of criminals like Angulimala who was about to kill his own mother for his one-thousandth victim.
The Buddha’s Greatness What Can We Learn From His Life Story? The Buddha was a man of quiet majesty, of wisdom and pleasant humour, consistent in thought, word and deed. He was of perfect equanimity and moral fervour, free from every prejudice, overcome evil with good and was of tenderness for all beings. We can take the Buddha as our model so that the recollection of His heroic and saintly life may assist us to be a hero and saint as well.
The gift of Dhamma excels all gifts the taste of Dhamma excels all taste, the delight in dhamma excels all delights, The Craving-Freed vanquishes all suffering. - Dhammapada verse 354 End of Lesson 4
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