November 2017 edition


Article summary

In another word “begging” or we also can say “demanding”. Sometimes it can be material stuffs, or sometimes it can be money. Or sometimes it can be as a prayer. In whatever form “asking” for something from someone is a good thing or what? Let’s see what Samma Sambuddha had to say about this topic in brief.

In one occasion, there were bunch of monks who were asking for equipment and other material stuffs from the villagers to build their meditation huts.  As it was so irritating, the villagers have even stopped giving food to those monks.  This incident spread fast and Samma Sambuddha got to know about it.  The blessed one first explained about the result of “Asking, begging, demanding” through some stories. 

The blessed one said;

Once upon a time there were two ascetics.  A huge king cobra used to visit the younger ascetic. When it comes, it encircled him with seven coils and spread his large hood over his head. Because of his fear of that snake, the younger sage became thin, haggard, and pale, his veins protruding all over his limbs. The elder ascetic asked the reason.  He explained how he afraid for the king cobra and his behaviors.  Then elder ascetic told him to ask his jewel from that cobra.  So, next time when the king cobra came, younger ascetic asked for the jewel.  King cobra said there is no use of jewel for the ascetics.  But the younger ascetic kept insisting for the jewel.  King cobra said the jewel is the most useful thing for me and I can’t give it to you.  And king cobra departed and never returned to the younger ascetic. 

Then again Samma Sambuddha said, another story of a forest monk who got disturbed by a flock of birds & their noise.  Samma Sambuddha guided the forest monk as follows; ‘Well then, go back to that forest grove. In the first watch of the night, call out three times, “Listen to me, good birds. From whoever roosts in this forest grove, I want a feather. Each one of you must give me a feather.” And in the second and third watch of the night do the same thing.’.  The birds were vanished and never return to that forest. 

After these stories the most important fact said by the Samma Sambuddha was;

“One will be disliked even by animals, monks, for asking and begging, let alone by human beings.”

Along with these stories Samma Sambuddha explained many other incidents which discourage the attitude of asking / begging / demanding.  Samma Sambuddha said,

“It’s hard, monks, for householders to acquire and protect their possessions. And still, foolish men, you kept on asking and begging for all sorts of things. You shouldn’t do this”

The blessed one never encourages the habit of “asking / begging / demanding” in purest Buddhist teachings.   

So, as a wise being one should deeply think about these purest teachings.  All what we can see in these days are misuse of these wonderful teachings.  Many are now practicing a habit of “asking / begging / demanding” for things or donations for the name of Buddhism.  But that’s not right. 

One should be wise enough to be happy with what he / she got.  Whether it is a monk or nun or a lay being who is a practitioner of a mundane life, shouldn’t ask or beg for things or money or anything.  If one is on the right practice he or she will have received what deserved.  And one should be happy from that.  Shouldn’t seek for more or what needful.  The needs should be adjustable according to what receive as gifts or donations.  Never to be asked or never to expect more. 

It’s a part of the noble practice itself.  So, let’s discuss further about this topic in other sections in future.  Till then be happy, be content, never beg or ask or demand!  Have a blessed time with the wisdom!

Rajitha Viduransi | Kelaniya, Sri Lanka