The spirit of preaching of the layperson.

Update: 16/09/2021
 

The spirit of preaching of the layperson.

 

The story in the Servants Sutta, Samyukta-āgama, volume 47, sutta No. 1241: Once, the Buddha was in the country of Savatthi, in the Jeta forest, the garden of Anathapindika. At that time, the elder Anathapindika came to the Buddha and said, “Lord Buddha, if the persons who are living in my family have pure faith, when they die, will they all be reborn in heavens?

After Anathapindika finished asking, the Buddha praised him for having a very good question about receiving retribution, like the sound of a lion roaring in his community. He affirms that everyone in his family who has pure faith and when they die, they will all be born in heavens. Then  asked Anathapindika:

- Has a monk with ever divine power said to you: "Whoever is living in your family at the end of their life will be reborn in heaven realms"?

Anathapindika replied:

- No, the World Honoured One.

- Or did a nun, God speak to you, or did you hear it directly from me?

- No, the World Honoured One.

 - Or do you rely on your knowledge to know that the people in your family, when they die, will all be reborn in heavens?

- No, the World Honoured One.

- If so, why do you have such a good question about receiving retribution?

At that time, Anathapindika said to the Buddha:

"Lord Buddha, no spiritual monk, or nun, or God has come to speak to me like that. I have not heard about it directly from the Lord Buddha, nor have I relied on my own views to know: "In my family, everyone who dies will be reborn in heaven realms".

But, when I see someone in my family who is pregnant, I will advise them to take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the five precepts (No killing. No stealing. No adultery. Non-liars. No drinking alcohol).

After the baby was born, I taught the baby about the Three Refuges. When the baby can understand, I teach him to uphold the five precepts. Any servant who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child, I will teach her the same things. If someone sells slaves, I make conditions: if they take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the five precepts, then I will buy their slaves. Or if there are guests or people who come to ask for a job, I first ask them to take the three refuges and uphold the five precepts, and then accept them. If someone comes to ask to be a student, or comes to ask for a loan to get interest, I will also ask him to take the three refuges and uphold the five precepts before I reach my agreement. When I make offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha members, I will always read the names of the people in my family and pray for them.

Moreover, people in my family often donate, give alms to passers-by, or donate rice fields, houses, beds, etc. Because of these conditional causes, they all are reborn in heaven realms." After listening to Anathapindika said the above words, the Buddha praised him:

-You are able to say such things because of your pure faith. If everyone in your family takes refuge in the Three Jewels, upholds the five precepts, and practices good deeds, after death, they will surely be reborn in the heaven realms.

According to your instructions, advice or request, your family members and everyone came with you to take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the five precepts. This is a very good example for us to learn from. In family, if we are parents, we must advise our children to take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the five precepts. Because, if a person takes refuge in the Three Jewels and practices the five precepts correctly, he himself is a very good person. If any family in which husband and wife, children and grandchildren all take refuge in the Three Jewels and uphold the five precepts, that family is truly a great blessing family.

If, a director of a company, after taking refuge in the Three Jewels, realizes the benefits of upholding the five precepts, he must develop a mind that everyone in his company should know the Buddhadharma, take refuge in the Three Jewels, and know how to uphold the five precepts. If we can do that, our company will be a good, strong and developed company. Why? Because the people in our company are good people. If everyone upholds the precepts, there will be no theft – this is the problem which is most feared. A husband fears a company director will flirt with his wife, or a wife worried her husband will flirt with other beautiful young girls in the company causing some bad rumors. If everyone in our company upholds the precept of not committing adultery, surely no one would worry about it, and everyone would want their spouse to work in our company. As for the case of the non-liars, if everyone can keep it, no one will lie to anyone in the company, no one will cheat anyone. And if no one in the company drinks alcohol, all employees will  stay healthy and smart, and their work will gain high efficiency.

 

Master

Translated into English by Huynh Thi Minh Trang

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