Monday, 28 March 2011

Employing the Disciples in Propagating in the Dhamma and Encouraging Them in Preaching


The Buddha decided to acknowledge the society with his teaching in order to show the path of liberation to all the human beings. The biography of the Buddha says that he was reluctant to preach the dhamma for he realized the truth and doctrine would against current. Then the master again realized that all the beings are not alike, some have more strains (mahArajakkha) while some others have less stains (apparajakkha), some beings have sharp faculties (tikkhindriya), while some beings are in soft faculties (mudindriya), some beings are wise (suvipaJJAya), while some others are unwise (duvipaJJAya). Inthis manner the Buddha realized the human world with similar to word pond. In a pond there are lotuses of difference maturity levels in human world also, there are different levels of maturity in human wisdom. Hence then the Buddha decided himself although all not at least those mutual human beings would understand the dhamma if the Buddha preaches. 

Having decided to preach dhamma to apt listeners who are would understand it quickly. The Buddha looks forth ĀlArakAlAma and UddakarAmaputta who were his previous teachers and had attained seven and eight trances respectively. But then they were death and gone so the Buddha went to MagadAya at Isipatana where his former five are living. To them the first discourse of the Buddha the Dhammacakkapavatana was preached. Since they are becoming arahants, Yasa and his fifty four (54) friends joined the order making the total disciples of the Buddha up to sixty (60). To this group of sixty arahants the Buddha gave the following advice.

Caratha bhikkhave cArikaM bahujanahitAya bahujanasukhAya lokAnukampAya atthAya hitAya sukhAya sadevamanussAnaM. ∂esetha bhikkhave dhammaM AdikalyAnaM majjhekalyAnaM pariyosAnakalyAnaM satthaM sabyaJjanaM kevelaparipuaNNaM parisuddhaM brahmacariyaM pakAsetha

=O monks! Go on tour for good of many people, for happiness of many people out of compassion to the world, for the good well being and happiness gods and men. O monks! Preach the doctrines good at the beginning, good at the middle and good at the end, proclaim the pure noble life with meaning, in full and completely

In the same advice the Buddha asked his disciples not to go in one way and he himself went to Urulela there he preached and converted the three kassapa brothers Uruvelakassapa, GayAkassapa and Nidikassapa. This is the first literally evidence of sending disciples out for propagating the truth which he found for over coming of this terrible suffering. Since then the Buddha he himself engaged in propagating the truth for benefit, happiness and welfare of many beings not only that he encouraged his disciples as well. Because of that encouragement there are many skillful disciples in both clergy as well as lay devotees. The eighty great disciples are found within these four individuals.

According to literally evidences that are available in pAli, there has been a system of learning the dhamma from the very beginning of the sAsana. The ålagaddUpamasutta of the MN has the following record.

Idhacca kulaputtA dhammaM pariyApunanti suttaM, geyyaM, veyyAkaraNaM, gAthA…”

=Here ceatain sons of family learn the dhamma as discourses, stanzas, analysis, verses…

This shows one the early classification of the dhamma and they are record to have an understanding by those who entered the order. The ßaddhammasamosasutta of AN says the following.

YathA sutaM pariyantaM dhammaM na vitthArenaM paresaM desenti ahaM bhikkhave dutiyo dhammo saddhammassa sammosAya antaradhAnAya samvattati

=they don’t preach others in detail as they heard and learnt the dhamma. O monks! This is the second factor for misunderstanding and disappearance of the true doctrine.

This factor shows that the Buddha considered the preaching of the dhamma to be essential for the dhamma to live long.

In preaching the dhamma the Buddha introduced his disciples to preach it in such a way the listeners grasp it completely. In the India in the time of the Buddha there were many languages among them the Buddha permitted his disciples to learn and preach the doctrine in a language as easy for them. In contemporary Buddhism the mediums of instruction to was Sanskrit and it was considered to be the divine language. So learning and preaching religious scriptures were limited to that language and to one caste namely the Brahmin. The Buddha being a democratic religious teacher instructed on the use of language as follows, recorded in CullavaggapAli.

ånujAnAmi bhikkhave sakAya niruttiya buddhavacanaM pariyApuNituaM

=O monks! I allow you to learn the doctrine in your own language.

This instruction was given when the two monks named Yamelu and Tekula who were sons Brahmina families. They had mastered the Sanskrit language – the divine language (DaivIbhAsA), requested the permission of the Buddha to be translated his language into the divine language. But the Buddha did not allow them to be translated his teaching into divine language thinking that if it was translated it will be for only some particular amount. 

In this instruction to his disciples to preach and propagate the dhamma to make effective and productive the Buddha outlined characteristics of a good sermon. In his view the preacher always should organized his sermon looking at it in the listener point of view. On the other hand the preacher should not arrange his sermon in order to highlights his own personality. The following four factors are the characteristics of good sermon.

1.   DhammasuddhammantaM paTicca paresaM dhammaM deseti – preaching the dhamma taking its purity into consideration. The purity of the dhamma is considered from its characteristic svAkhato etc.
2.  KAruJJaM paTicca paresaM dhammaM deseti preaching the dhamma out of compassion to the being who are subjected to suffering. When one preaches the dhamma he should have the compassion towards the listener beings.
3.  ånuddayaM paTicca paresaM dhammaM deseti preaching the dhamma  out of loving kindness to others. This means preaching the dhamma to the listeners without anger or hatred toward them.
4.  ånukampaM upAdAya paresaM dhammaM deseti preaching the dhamma wishing the good of listeners.
These four factors are given in the CandUpamasutta of SN. In the same discourse the Buddha showing Ven. Kassapa says these to others monks.

Kassapo bhikkhave evaM citto paresaM dhammaM deseti Kassapena vA hi bhikkhave ovdissAmi yo vA panassa Kassapa sadiso ovaditena ca pana vo tathatthAya patipajjhattaM

=O monks! Kassapa preach the dhamma having a mind like this. I advise you to be like Kasspa. Thus advise you should follow accordingly.

In the µahAparinibbAnasutta of DN the Buddha says that he would not pass away until his disciples are able to dishearten the wrong views of others seasonable with preaching.

UppannaM parapparAdaM sahadhammena suniggahItaM nigahetvA sppatihAriyaM dhammaM deeti

From this information we can see the Buddha dissemination of the disciples for preaching and encourage in preaching the doctrine.

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