Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa
Introduction to 1.1.1
Bahujanahitasuttaṃ (For the Benefit of Many)
The first part of this collection endeavors to point out the rarity of something that seems far too natural: That in the present period of existence we as human beings are able to encounter the magnificent result oriented and beneficial teaching of the Enlightened One. While aeons after aeons pass in darkness, we encounter a remedy not only on the level of theoretical understanding and philosophical satisfaction but also as a real and applicable practice through the gem that is so generously presented in Vipassana.
When the inherent qualities of Dhamma mature within one who walks on the path as described by the Buddha, especially the quality of ehipassiko manifests itself along with the zeal of sharing with many the benefits and the merits one has gained.
The sole desire to help other beings has been the arduous dedication of the Buddha during an unthinkable period of four asaṅkhiye and hundred thousand kappas: Kappe ca satasahasse, caturo ca asaṅkhiye*; amaraṃ nāma nagaraṃ, dassaneyyaṃ manoramaṃ. This desire to help other beings caused him then as Samaṇa Sumedha to prostrate at the feet of Buddha Dīpankara and to express his aspiration to become a Sammasambuddha himself. This desire to help other beings had been the singular reason to relinquish his own possible enlightenment with the thought: Kiṃ me ekena tiṇṇena, purisena thāmadassinā; sabbaññutaṃ pāpuṇitvā, santāressaṃ sadevakaṃ. – What is the use if I alone should cross, a man aware of my possibilities? Once I will have reached omniscience I will help all including devas to cross to the other shore.
It was his desire to help and enable other beings to realise the ultimate benefit, which is nibbāna: Tattha atthāyāti iminā paramatthāya, nibbānāyāti vuttaṃ hoti. It was his desire to help other beings to present the path that, once applied enables one to reach the highest wellbeing, which is nibbāna: Hitāyāti taṃsampāpakamaggatthāyāti vuttaṃ hoti. Nibbānasampāpakamaggato hi uttariṃ hitaṃ nāmanatthi. It was his desire to help and enable other beings to realise that very happiness through the successful attainment of entering the stream towards nibbāna: Sukhāyāti phalasamāpattisukhatthāyāti vuttaṃ hoti, tato uttari sukhābhāvato.
This zeal of sharing one’s merits develops as the result of one’s own walking on the path of Dhamma, which in itself is: -ādikalyāṇaṃ majjhekalyāṇaṃ pariyosānakalyāṇaṃ- beneficial from the very beginning, in the middle and beneficial all through to the very end.
One starts realizing that enormous benefits are already derived by starting observing the moral principles of sīla, these benefits multiply once one starts practicing Vipassana and reach their peak in realizing nibbāna: -sāsanadhammo attano atthabhūtena sīlena ādikalyāṇo, samathavipassanāmaggaphalehi majjhekalyāṇo, nibbānena pariyosānakalyāṇo-. One tastes the beauty of Dhamma from the very beginning through sīla and samādhi, in the middle through Vipassana and the path, in the end by realizing the fruit: -sīlasamādhīhi vā ādikalyāṇo, vipassanāmaggehi majjhekalyāṇo, phalanibbānehi pariyosānakalyāṇo-. The beauty of Dhamma presents itself in the truly enlightened Buddha, in a Dhamma that is pure, and a Saṅgha that practices uprightly: -buddhasubuddhatāya vā ādikalyāṇo, dhammasudhammatāya majjhekalyāṇo, saṅghasuppaṭipattiyā pariyosānakalyāṇo-.
May the Bahujanahitasuttaṃ inspire many beings to walk on the path, realize its benefits and share these with many other beings!
* An asaṅkhiye
: lit.: - not to be calculated: incalculable, a immense long period of time.
: - a fixed period of time, of individual as well as of cosmic life: an aeon. A simile compares the period of a kappa being not even exhausted after someone was to take out one seed every hundred years from a cube like granary of one yojana
(this was the traditional measurement of length and distance, usually understood as the distance a yoke could be drawn by an oxen, about seven miles) in length, breadth and height, filled with tiny mustard seeds.
Pāli lesson (with audio) 1.1.1
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