Specific Items of Consult

The Old Path

Update: 25/07/2015
The Buddha has discovered the path, practiced and enlightened the path… King Milinda asked Venerable Nāgasena.
 

The Old Path

 

- Venerable, the Dharma has been existed since the past time, hasn’t it?

- That’s correct. Buddhas from previous lives had found it.

- Then why our Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha claimed that “I am a person who makes\r\nthe Dharma from unenlightened to be enlightened”? Is it contrast to the before\r\nword?

- There is nothing wrong here, King! The Dharma was mentioned in previous time\r\nis the Noble Eightfold Path, the path with eight branches, the path\r\nleads to liberation, ending all suffering in the samsara. Buddhas in the past,\r\nafter enlightening this path, had praised and spread it in the way of teaching\r\nto let the human being know and follow it. However, when they entered Nirvana,\r\nthis path  was also forgot by the time, and nobody knows to follow\r\nand practice. At the time of Buddha Shakyamuni, dues to his fulfillment of the\r\nBodhisatva’s paramitas and became a Buddha, he has discovered the old path and\r\nreconstituted it and spread it to all beings to let them know and follow, Hence\r\nit is called the path which was found by Shakyamuni Buddha. What contrast is\r\nfound by you here?

- Venerable, foundation means we create the new thing which have never existed\r\nbefore, but for Dharma is different. Dharma itself already existed then how can\r\nwe state such word!

- O king, you are right. However what do think of the case of Mani gem and\r\nthe Cakravartiràja or the wheel king? With the accumulating merit\r\nof the Cakravartiràja, the Mani gem was appeared; on the other hand,\r\nit can be said the Mani gem gives rise to the Cakravartiràja. But\r\nuntil the merit of the Cakravartiràja was finished, the Mani gem also\r\ndisappeared and comes to hide in the top of Mount Vikula. Spending very long\r\ntime, there was another Cakravartiràja was being and the Mani gem again\r\nhappens and comes to him. From this case can we claim that the Mani gem arises\r\nto theCakravartiràja, king?

- It can be.

- It means the Cakravartiràja did not create the Mani gem but Mani gem\r\nitself already existed?

- Yes,\r\nit is

- The\r\nword “founding” which used by the Buddha also has the same meaning to the case\r\nof the Mani gem. The Buddha himself did not create Dharma but it existed\r\nbefore.

- I’m\r\nclear, venerable.

- The\r\nMani gem is a mysterious thing, always hidden and nobody can see, no one can\r\nmake it happen unless theCakravartiràja’s merit. Just the same way for the\r\nNoble Eightfold Path. It’s transcendent and not easy to found; there is no one\r\nin the three worlds can discover the Noble Eightfold Path, only the complete\r\nmerit and wisdom of the Buddha can do, can make it happen in the world.

- I\r\ngot it, venerable.

- Another\r\ncase for the woman giving a baby. If there is a baby then we call her as a\r\nwoman giving baby. Without baby inside her womb does she give a baby?

- It’s\r\nimpossible!

- The Buddha awakened the Noble Eightfold Path in his mind then he preaches it\r\nfor us, just like the baby in the mother womb, king!

- It’s great, venerable!

- I give to you another example. There is a rich man with wealth and treasure and\r\nhe hides it many places. Later, because of war, turmoil and impermanence, the\r\nman is unable to find those wealth and treasure. Gradually, little by little,\r\nhe tries to recover his mind and finally he can find them. This can be\r\nconsidered as making the property arising or not, king?

-  It can be.

- One more example, there is a man\r\nwho enters in the jungle by himself, orientates the east, west, south, north\r\nand chop the thorny and brushwood to make a road, Incidentally, he found an old\r\nroad whichhad been used by the foot-passengers before. It’s same for the case\r\nof Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha is a man who enters into the forest to find\r\na way for everyone by cleaning up the brushwood and he found the Noble\r\nEightfold Path which is used by the previous Buddhas and now is covered by the\r\ntime. That case gives the same meaning, king!

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- I have doubt no more, venerable!r

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