A short and simple Sutta is now provided that teaches gentleness in your practice. Do not stop during difficulty, but do not strain at the leash. Progress is made by steady effort only.
This is the Oghataraṇasutta, the Sutta appears in the Samyutta Nikaya, and in English it is called ‘Crossing the Flood’.
Saṃyutta Nikāya 1.1
The Connected Discourses with Devatas
Crossing the Flood
Thus have I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was dwelling at Savatthi in Jeta’s Grove, Anathapiṇḍika’s Park. Then, when the night had advanced, a certain devatā of stunning beauty, illuminating the entire Jeta’s Grove, approached the Blessed One. Having approached, he paid homage to the Blessed One, stood to one side, and said to him:
“How, dear sir, did you cross the flood?”
“By not halting, friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood.”
“But how is it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the flood?”
“When I came to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining I crossed the flood.”
“After a long time at last I see A brahmin who is fully quenched, Who by not halting, not straining, Has crossed over attachment to the world.”
This is what that devatā said. The Teacher approved. Then that devatā, thinking, “The Teacher has approved of me,” paid homage to the Blessed One and, keeping him on the right, disappeared right there.
Meditation on the Breath, or The Mindfulness of Breathing is a main stay of Buddhist meditation. It can be used in so many ways. Your mind calms, your body relaxes and you come to know peace in a way that is not usual in the West.
Breath meditation can be used anywhere, while sitting watching the T.V., whilst walking to the shops, even whilst standing in the queue in the shop. Whenever you have a chance to pause and take time out, breath meditation can come to your aid, and calm you down. It really isn’t complicated at all, as the following instructions will show. Just 15 minutes or half an hour a day, when you can grab it, can make an enormous impact on you day-to-day wellbeing. Continue reading →
Much is made of the Prajñāpāramitā in Mahayana Buddhism. The Suttas are held in very high regard. As a Theravadin, I am not entirely sure how to approach the documents, or whether I actually should. Prajñāpāramitā refers to a method of seeing reality how it actually is and refers to concepts of the Bodhisattva, which plays no part in the Theravadin thought as far as I am aware.
Yet these documents purport to record the words of the Lord Buddha, so should they be ignored by us? Just because they do not fall within the Pali Cannon, should we ignore them? This is a question I have held in mind for some considerable time, and I still don’t have an answer. Continue reading →
I have just published an anthology of the Digha Nikaya made available by the Venerable Thanissaro Bhikkhu. It is made available under a Creative Commons license, meaning you can share it assuming you give due credit to the original author.
The Digha Nikaya contains much longer discourses than the other Nikayas, hence it’s meaning, ‘The Long Discourses’. There are only 34 Suttas in the Nikaya, but they are rather lengthy. This anthology provides complete translations of nine of the Suttas and partial translations of a further two.
It is my intention to provide as much Dhamma as possible. It may sound grandiose but I feel that it is my calling. If I were to live my life again, I would take ordination and live as a Therevadin Monk, hopefully an Ajahn, and thus provide the community with the resources needful to learning the Dhamma. But this life prevents me from doing so, I have other obligations I must tend too, and I enjoy my life as it is, so I have no regrets.
However, the internet allows me to do something for the population of this planet, and so, with promulgation of the Dhamma in mind, I have found four more documents to add to the Sutta Library.
The following documents are all provided and translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu of dhammatalks.org, and are all for free distribution; so I am taking full advantage of being able to provide four popular documents from the fifth division of the Sutta Pitaka, namely the Khuddaka Nikaya, or ‘Division of Short Books’.
The following books are all part of the Khuddaka Nikaya which contains several other documents as well, but these four are a very good beginning. The Dhammapada especially, because of it’s brevity and popularity.
The description of each document has been taken directly from Wikipedia.
The Dhammapada The Dhammapada (Pāli; Prakrit: धम्मपद Dhammapada;) is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.
The Itivuttaka The Itivuttaka (Pali for “as it was said”) is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism and is attributed to Khujjuttara’s recollection of Buddha’s discourses. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka’s Khuddaka Nikaya. It comprises 112 short teachings ascribed in the text to the Buddha, each consisting of a prose portion followed by a verse portion. The latter may be a paraphrase of the former, or complementary. Some scholars consider it one of the earliest of all Buddhist scriptures, while others consider it somewhat later.
The Sutta Nipata The Sutta Nipata (literally, “Suttas falling down”) is a Buddhist scripture, a sutta collection in the Khuddaka Nikaya, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. All its suttas, thought to originate from before the Buddha’s parinibbana, consist largely of verse, though some also contain some prose. It is divided into five sections:
Some scholars believe that it describes the oldest of all Buddhist practices. Others such as Bhikkhu Bodhi and KR Norman agree that it contains much early material.
The Udana The Udana (udāna) is a Buddhist scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. It is included there in the Sutta Pitaka’s Khuddaka Nikaya. The title might be translated “inspired utterances”. The book comprises 80 such utterances, most in verse, each preceded by a narrative giving the context in which the Buddha utters it. The famous story of the Blind men and an elephant appears in Udana, under Tittha Sutta
The above documents are concise compared to other books of the Sutta Pitaka. Their descriptions are taken directly from Wikipedia. It is best to take them in small, bite sized chunks and meditate on the message that is being put across.