Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa
The previous introductions have tried to present an appreciative review of how saddhamma has been maintained till today through enduring efforts of so many saintly people. Thus Bhante Nagasena could resolve King Milinda’s dilemma (see lesson 2.1.1) why the Buddha had said that the Sāsana would only last five-hundred years but also said Arahants would dwell in this world for five-thousand, by replying:
“If, oh great King, there was a great fire and someone was to supply it constantly with dry grass, wood or cowdung, what do you think, great King, would that mass of fire expire?” “No, Bhante, that mass of fire would burn more and more, it would radiate forth even more.” “Idha pana, mahārāja, mahati mahā-aggikkhandhe jalamāne aparāparaṃ sukkhatiṇakaṭṭhagoma* yāni upasaṃhareyyuṃ, api nu kho so, mahārāja, aggikkhandho nibbāyeyyā”ti? “Na hi, bhante, bhiyyo bhiyyo so aggikkhandho jaleyya, bhiyyo bhiyyo pabhāseyyā”ti.“ - In the same way radiates the excellent Sāsana of the conqueror through the ten-thousen world system, oh great King, if there is proper behaviour, fulfillment of sīla, development of qualities and the practice of paṭipatti. If, great King, the sons of the Buddha are established and constantly striving in the five factors of endeavor (see 5.1.10), applying with full zeal the three trainings and fulfilling perfectly the moral precepts in performing and avoiding, than the excellent sāsana of the conqueror will survive a very long and even longer time and the word will not be bereft of Arahants. This is the reason why the Bhagava has said: “As long as, Subaddha, the Bhikkhus live perfectly, as long the world will not be bereft of Arahants.” “Evameva kho, mahārāja, dasasahassiyā lokadhātuyā jinasāsanavarampi ācārasīlaguṇavattapaṭipattiyā* jalati pabhāsati. Yadi pana, mahārāja, taduttariṃ buddhaputtā pañcahi padhāniyaṅgehi* samannāgatā satatamappamattā padaheyyuṃ, tīsu sikkhāsu* chandajātā sikkheyyuṃ, cārittañca sīlaṃ samattaṃ paripūreyyuṃ, evamidaṃ jinasāsanavaraṃ bhiyyo bhiyyo ciraṃ dīghamaddhānaṃ tiṭṭheyya, asuñño loko arahantehi assāti imamatthaṃ bhagavatā sandhāya bhāsitaṃ ‘ime ca, subhadda, bhikkhū sammā vihareyyuṃ, asuñño lokoarahantehi assā’ti.
It is the strong belief that the Sāsana has started with its second circle. The next fivehundred years of pañña are about to enrol. May we all be enabled to make all efforts to apply the teaching of the Buddha. May the following chapter of this presentation enable to delve deeper with proper understanding and right endeavour to practice and realize all the eight links of the Eightfold Noble Path:
Añjalikatva, kataññū katavedī saṅghaṃ taṃ paṇamāmyahaṃ