Mahāmaṅgala-Sutta: Explanation - Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature


Buddhism, Philosophy, and Khmer Literature

The teachings of the Buddha are aimed solely at liberating sentient beings from suffering. The Basic Teachings of Buddha which are core to Buddhism are: The Three Universal Truths; The Four Noble Truths; and The Noble Eightfold Path.

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Mahāmaṅgala-Sutta: Explanation

Mahāmaṅgala-Sutta: Explanation

*The definition of Maṅgala (Māngaṃ pāpaṃ lunāti cindatīti Maṅgalaṃ)

~     A practice which cuts off evil things (direct/ literal meaning)
~     A factor of the highest/ noble blessings (indirect/ desired meaning)
~     A way to auspiciousness/ prosperity/ welfare/ happiness
~     The most auspicious and lucky actions                                         (LH-29)

*     Five kinds of Rumour/ Uproar/ News (Kolāhala)

1. Buddha-kolāhala              = a rumour of the appearance of the Buddha
                                                (It arises 1000 years ahead of the real event.)
2. Kappa-kolāhala                = a rumour of the dissolution of the world
                                                (A lakh years ahead of the real event)            
3. Maṅgala-kolāhala            = a rumour of the Highest Blessings
                                                (Twelve years ahead of the real event)
4. Moneyya-kolāhala           = a rumour of the austere/strict moral discipline
                                                (Seven years ahead of the real event)  (RF-151, KhA-101)

*     Two worlds in which the practice of Maṅgala is prevalent

      1. Manussa-loka                   = the human world
      2. Deva-loka                         = the divine/celestial world
~     Manussa "Mano ussannaṃ yassāti manusso"
                              A being who has noble mind (a human being)
~     Deva "Attano pabhāya dibbatīti devo"
                              A being who glows with his own radiance (a deity)
~     Loka "Lujjati palujjatīti loko"
A location which is subject to ruins/ changes.

*     Four kinds of human beings (Manussa)

      1. Manussa-nerayika          = An infernal human being, that is, one who always does evil
      2. Manussa-tiracchāna       = An animal-like human being, i.e., one who always indulges in sensual pleasure.
      3. Manussa-peta                   = A peta-like human being, i.e., one who is much attached to one's wealth & family
      4. Manussa-paramattha     = A real/ genuine human being, i.e., one who is virtuous or possessed of morality                  (RF-529, VvA)

*     Three kinds of devas (RF-312)

      l. Visuddhi-deva                   = A pure deva, i.e., the Buddha and Arahants who are free from defilements
      2. Upapatti-deva                   = A spontaneous being, i.e., Devas and Brahmas
      3. Sammuti-deva                  =  A nominal deva, i.e., kings and rulers

*     Four factors of the Divine Assembly

1. Vassupanāyika-saṅgahatthaṃ    = to look after monks who observe rain retreat
2. Pavāraṇa-saṅgahatthaṃ              = to look after monks who leave the rain retreat
3. Dhamma-saṅgahatthaṃ               = to listen to the Dhamma
4. Pāricchattaka-saṅgahatthaṃ       = to enjoy the festivities when the coral tree blooms.
(RF-270, D 11-168)

*     Wrong interpretation of Maṅgala in three ways

1. Diṭṭha-maṅgala     = Visible blessings, such as, seeing a beautiful bird, yellow fruit, a pot full of water a decorated bride, etc.
2. Suta-maṅgala       = Audible blessings, such as, hearing sweet songs of a bird or a girl, etc.
3. Muta-maṅgala      = Tangible blessings, such as, having sweet smell, good food, comfortable contact etc.    (SnA- II ,4)

*     Savatthi

The capital town of Kosala State in India, and one of the six great Indian States/ Cities during the life-time of the Buddha. It was six leagues from Saketa, forty-five leagues northwest of Rajagaha, thirty leagues from Saṅkassa.
(*Dictionary of  Pāḷi Proper Names by G. P. Malalasekera V I l, p 1126)
(1 league = about 3 miles/ 4.8 km in distance.)
The city was called Savatthi because:
a ~The sage Savattha once lived there, and
b ~All kinds of merchandise were available there.
      The Buddha passed the greater part of his monastic life in Savatthi. His first visit there was at the invitation of Anāthapiṇḍika, whose child name was Sudatta, and wife Puññalakkhaṇadevī. He spent twenty-five rainy seasons in this city. (Nineteen of them in the Jetavana and six in the Pubbāma of the Lady Visakha

*     Jetavana

     The mango-grove owned by a prince named Jeta. Later it was sold to the rich man Anāthapiṇḍika for eighteen crores. A monastery was built by this devout follower of the Buddha and so-called Jetavana-vihāra.                                    
                                                                                                            (PP-V1, 963)

*     Six unsuitable places (especially for hearing the Dhamma)

1. Accāsanna (very dear/ close)   ~ It may cause knocking against each other.
2. Atidūra (distant)                        ~ It requires to talk aloud.
3. Unnatappadesa (very high)      ~ It shows disrespect.
4. Uparivāta (against the wind)     ~ It spread the bodily smell around.
5. Atisammukha (right in front)     ~ It causes face-to-face look.
6. Atipacchā (right at the back)     ~ It requires to turn one's head to talk.
*Note* Six suitable places are to be understood by avoiding the defects mentioned above.

*     Four kinds of Posture (Iriyāpatha) (RF-82)

      1. Sayana             = reclining, lying, sleeping
      2. Nissajja           = sitting
      3. Thita                 = standing
      4. Gamana           = walking

*     Deities' preference of Standing Posture

Deities prefer to stand when they approach the Buddha.
~     In order to return quickly as they dislike human bodily odour,
~     Because it is not necessary for them to sit at rest as they have no weariness as human beings,
~     In order to show respect to the Sangha surrounding the Buddha, and
~     In order to show more respect to the Buddha.                              


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