Wealth of Wisdom

“As cool water in a desolate place
Evaporates without being drunk,
So when a scoundrel acquires wealth
He neither enjoys himself nor gives.

“But when the wise man obtains wealth
He enjoys himself and does his duty.
Having supported his kin, free from blame,
That noble man goes to a heavenly state.” – SN 3.19

“Amanussaṭṭhāne udakaṁva sītaṁ,
Tadapeyyamānaṁ parisosameti;
Evaṁ dhanaṁ kāpuriso labhitvā,
Nevattanā bhuñjati no dadāti.

“Dhīro ca viññū adhigamma bhoge,
So bhuñjati kiccakaro ca hoti;
So ñātisanghaṁ nisabho bharitvā
Anindito saggamupeti ṭhānan”ti.

လူမရှိရာ အရပ်၌ အေးမြသော ရေသည် မသောက်အပ်သည်ဖြစ်၍ ခြောက်ခန်းခြင်းသို့ ရောက်သကဲ့သို့ ထို့အတူ ယုတ်မာသော ယောကျာ်းသည် ဥစ္စာကို ရ၍ မိမိသည်မူလည်း မသုံးဆောင်၊ သူတစ်ပါးကိုမူလည်း မပေး၊ (ထိုဥစ္စာသည် အလိုလို ကုန်ခန်းခြင်းသို့ ရောက်၏)။

သိကြားလိမ္မာသော ပညာရှိသည် စည်းစိမ်ဥစ္စာတို့ကို ရ၍ သုံးဆောင်ခံစား၏၊ ကိစ္စကိုလည်း ပြု၏၊ ထိုပညာရှိသည် ဆွေမျိုးအပေါင်းအား ချီးမြှောက်ထောက်ပံ့ခြင်း ကို ပြုလျက် မကဲ့ရဲ့အပ်သည်ဖြစ်၍ ကောင်းမှုကို ပြုသော သူတို့၏ တည်ရာ ဖြစ် သော နတ်ပြည်သို့ ရောက်၏။

“Như nước trong tươi mát, nằm tại chỗ không người,
Không người uống, người dùng, đi đến chỗ tổn giảm;
Cũng vậy là tài sản, kẻ hạ liệt có được,
Không tự mình thọ hưởng, lại không cho một ai.

“Kẻ trí tuệ sáng suốt, tài sản thâu hoạch được,
Biết thọ dụng, phục vụ, với bà con, đoàn thể,
Trở thành như ngưu vương, nuôi dưỡng và giúp đỡ,
Vô tội khi bị chết, được sanh lên Thiên giới.”

「冷水在無人處,不會被飲用而被蒸乾,
這樣,邪惡人得到財物後,既不自己受用也不施與,
賢者與智者得到財富後,他受用與作應該作的,
他養育親屬眾後,無可責難的,人牛王到達天界處。」

Eurasian Kestrel ©Ashin Sopāka 2018

Learning and the Fool

“Learning arises for a fool only to his disadvantage,
it destroys the fool’s good fortune, it will destroy his very head.” Dhp 72

“Yāvad-eva anatthāya ñattaṁ bālassa jāyati,
Hanti bālassa sukkaṁsaṁ muddham-assa vipātayaṁ.”

သူမိုက်၏ အတတ်ပညာသည် သူမိုက်အား
အကျိုးမဲ့ရန် အတွက်သာ ဖြစ်၏။
ကုသိုလ်အဖို့အစုကို ဖျက်ဆီး၏။
ပညာဦးထိပ်ကို ပြတ်၍ ကျစေတတ်၏။

“Tự nó chịu bất hạnh, khi danh đến kẻ ngu.
Vận may bị tổn hại, đầu nó bị nát tan.”

愚人的各種技倆只會傷害自己,
破壞德行與智慧。

Common Redshank ©Ashin Sopāka 2018

Self Examination

“If, by such self-examination 1, a bhikkhu knows: ‘I am often given to longing, given to ill will, overcome by dullness and drowsiness, restless, plagued by doubt, angry, defiled in mind, agitated in body, lazy, and unconcentrated,’ he should put forth extraordinary desire, effort, zeal, enthusiasm, indefatigability, mindfulness, and clear comprehension to abandon those same bad unwholesome qualities. Just as one whose clothes or head had caught fire would put forth extraordinary desire, effort, zeal, enthusiasm, indefatigability, mindfulness, and clear comprehension to extinguish the fire on his clothes or head, so too that bhikkhu should put forth extraordinary desire, effort, zeal, enthusiasm, indefatigability, mindfulness, and clear comprehension to abandon those same bad unwholesome qualities.” – AN 10.51

“Sace, bhikkhave, bhikkhu paccavekkhamāno 2 evaṁ jānāti: ‘abhijjhālu bahulaṁ viharāmi, byāpannacitto bahulaṁ viharāmi, thinamiddhapariyuṭṭhito bahulaṁ viharāmi, uddhato bahulaṁ viharāmi, vicikiccho bahulaṁ viharāmi, kodhano bahulaṁ viharāmi, sankiliṭṭhacitto bahulaṁ viharāmi, sāraddhakāyo bahulaṁ viharāmi, kusīto bahulaṁ viharāmi, asamāhito bahulaṁ viharāmī’ti, tena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunā tesaṁyeva pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ pahānāya adhimatto chando ca vāyāmo ca ussāho ca ussoḷhī ca appaṭivānī ca sati ca sampajaññañca karaṇīyaṁ. Seyyathāpi, bhikkhave, ādittacelo vā ādittasīso vā. Tasseva celassa vā sīsassa vā nibbāpanāya adhimattaṁ chandañca vāyāmañca ussāhañca ussoḷhiñca appaṭivāniñca satiñca sampajaññañca kareyya. Evamevaṁ kho tena, bhikkhave, bhikkhunā tesaṁyeva pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ pahānāya adhimatto chando ca vāyāmo ca ussāho ca ussoḷhī ca appaṭivānī ca satisati ca sampajaññañca karaṇīyaṁ.”

ရဟန်းတို့ ဆင်ခြင်သော ရဟန်းသည် “(ငါသည်) အခါများစွာ အဘိဇ္ဈာများ၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ စိတ်ဖောက်ပြန်၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ ထိုင်းမှိုင်းမှု ‘ထိနမိဒ္ဓ’ နှိပ်စက်၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ ပျံ့လွင့်၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ ယုံမှားမှုရှိ၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ အမျက်ထွက်၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ စိတ်ညစ်နွမ်း၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ ကိုယ်ပင်ပန်း၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ ပျင်းရိ၍ နေ၏၊ အခါများစွာ မတည်ကြည်ဘဲ နေ၏”ဟု အကယ်၍ သိပါမူ ရဟန်းတို့ ထိုရဟန်းသည် ထိုယုတ်ညံ့သော အကုသိုလ်တရားတို့ကိုသာလျှင် ပယ်ရန် လွန်ကဲသော အလိုကိုလည်းကောင်း၊ လုံ့လကိုလည်းကောင်း၊ အားထုတ်မှုကိုလည်းကောင်း၊ အလွန်အားထုတ်မှုကိုလည်းကောင်း၊ မဆုတ်နစ်မှုကိုလည်းကောင်း၊ အောက်မေ့မှု ‘သတိ’ ဆင်ခြင်ဉာဏ် ‘သမ္ပဇဉ်’ကိုလည်းကောင်း ပြုသင့်၏။ ရဟန်းတို့ ဤအတူပင် ထိုရဟန်းသည် ထိုယုတ်ညံ့သော အကုသိုလ်တရားတို့ကိုသာလျှင် ပယ်ရန် လွန်ကဲသော အလို လုံ့လ အားထုတ်မှု အလွန် အားထုတ်မှု မဆုတ်နစ်မှု အောက်မေ့မှု ‘သတိ’ ဆင်ခြင်ဉာဏ် ‘သမ္ပဇဉ်’ ကို ပြုသင့်၏။

“Này các Tỷ-kheo, nếu Tỷ-kheo quán sát như vậy 3, biết rằng: “Ta sống nhiều với tâm tham; ta sống nhiều với tâm sân; ta sống nhiều với tâm bị hôn trầm thụy miên chi phối; ta sống nhiều với trạo cử; ta sống nhiều với nghi ngờ; ta sống nhiều với phẫn nộ; ta sống nhiều với tâm bị nhiễm ô; ta sống nhiều với thân nhiệt nóng; ta sống nhiều với biếng nhác; ta sống nhiều với không định tĩnh”, thời Tỷ-kheo ấy cần phải quyết định, ước muốn, tinh tấn, nỗ lực, dõng mãnh, bất thối, chánh niệm, tỉnh giác để đoạn tận các pháp ác bất thiện ấy. Ví như, này các Tỷ-kheo, khi khăn bị cháy, hay khi đầu bị cháy, cần phải quyết định, ước muốn, tinh tấn, nỗ lực, dõng mãnh, bất thối, chánh niệm, tỉnh giác để dập tắt khăn hay đầu bị cháy ấy. Cũng vậy này Tỷ kheo, Tỷ kheo ấy cần phải quyết định, ước muốn, tinh tấn, nỗ lực, dõng mãnh, bất thối, chánh niệm, tỉnh giác để đoạn tận các pháp bất thiện ấy.”

比丘們!如果比丘觀察時 4,這麼知道:『我多住於貪婪,我多住於瞋恚心,我多住於被惛沈睡眠纏縛,我多住於掉舉,我多住於疑,我多住於容易憤怒,我多住於心被污染,我多住於身體躁動,我多住於懈怠,我多住於不得定。』比丘們!因為那樣,比丘應該為那些惡不善法的捨斷作極度的意欲、精進、勇猛、努力、不畏縮、正念、正知。比丘們!猶如衣服已被燒,或頭已被燒,就應該為那衣服或頭的熄滅作極度的意欲、精進、勇猛、努力、不畏縮、正念、正知。同樣的,比丘們!因為那樣,比丘應該為那些惡不善法的捨斷作極度的意欲、精進、勇猛、努力、不畏縮、正念、正知。

First: Black Drongo
Second: Crested Myna
©Ashin Sopāka 2018

Notes:

  1. In the previous paragraph, the Buddha instructs that one should ask oneself these ten questions, “‘Am I often given to longing or without longing? Am I often given to ill will or without ill will? Am I often overcome by dullness and drowsiness or free from dullness and drowsiness?  Am I often restless or calm? Am I often plagued by doubt or free from doubt? Am I often angry or without anger? Is my mind often defiled or undefiled? Is my body often agitated or unagitated? Am I often lazy or energetic? Am I often unconcentrated or concentrated?’
  2. “Abhijjhālu nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, anabhijjhālu nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, byāpannacitto nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, abyāpannacitto nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, thinamiddhapariyuṭṭhito nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, vigatathinamiddho nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, uddhato nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, anuddhato nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, vicikiccho nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, tiṇṇavicikiccho nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, kodhano nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, akkodhano nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, sankiliṭṭhacitto nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, asankiliṭṭhacitto nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, sāraddhakāyo nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, asāraddhakāyo nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, kusīto nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, āraddhavīriyo nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, asamāhito nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmi, samāhito nu kho bahulaṁ viharāmī’ti.”
  3. Đức Phật hỏi về mười câu hỏi này trong đoạn trước, “Có phải ta sống nhiều với tham? Có phải ta sống nhiều với không tham? Có phải ta sống nhiều với tâm có sân? Có phải ta sống nhiều vớt tâm không có sân? Có phải ta sống nhiều với hôn trầm thụy miên chi phối, hay ta sống nhiều với hôn trầm thụy miên được từ bỏ? Có phải ta sống nhiều với trạo cử, hay ta sống nhiều với không trạo cử? Có phải ta sống nhiều với nghi ngờ, hay ta sống nhiều vượt qua được nghi ngờ? Có phải ta sống nhiều với phẫn nộ, hay ta sống nhiều không bị phẫn nộ? Có phải ta sống nhiều với tâm bị ô nhiễm, hay ta sống nhiều với tâm không bị ô nhiễm? Có phải ta sống nhiều với thân nhiệt nóng, hay ta sống nhiều với thân không nhiệt nóng? Có phải ta sống nhiều với biếng nhác, hay ta sống nhiều với tinh tấn, tinh cần? Có phải ta sống nhiều với không định tĩnh, hay ta sống nhiều với định tĩnh?”
  4. 佛陀在前一段問這十個問題『我多住於貪婪嗎?我多住於不貪婪嗎?我多住於瞋恚心嗎?我多住於不瞋恚心嗎?我多住於被惛沈睡眠纏縛嗎?我多住於離惛沈睡眠嗎?我多住於掉舉嗎?我多住於不掉舉嗎?我多住於疑嗎?我多住於脫離疑嗎?我多住於容易憤怒嗎?我多住於無憤怒嗎?我多住於心被污染嗎?我多住於心不被污染嗎?我多住於身體躁動嗎?我多住於身體不躁動嗎?我多住於懈怠嗎?我多住於活力已被發動嗎?我多住於得定嗎?我多住於不得定嗎?』

18 Arhats – Part 3

The following are the last six of eighteen arhat images recently installed in the newly renovated garden at Chùa Tảo Sách, Hanoi, Vietnam. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, they are considered to be the original followers of the Buddha to have passed through the four stages of awakening. 1 The poems accompanying each image were written by the Qianlong Emperor (乾隆皇帝) after a visit to see the paintings by a monk named Guan Xiu (貫休). Please click on the images to enlarge.

 

“Buddha of infinite life,
Valuable bag containing secrets of heaven and earth.
Happy and contented,
Cheerful and joyful is he.” – Bố Đại La hán, 布袋羅漢, Aṅgaja, Calico Bag Luohan

 

“Carefree and leisurely,
Disdainfully regards the Great Void.
With celestial airs and religious spirit,
Transcending this mortal world.” – Ba Tiêu La hán, 芭蕉羅漢, Vanavāsa, Plantain Luohan

 

“Compassionate elder,
A monk who has attained enlightenment.
Perceptive of the infinite universe,
With tacit understanding.” – Trường Mi La hán, 長眉羅漢, Asita, Long Eyebrow Luohan

 

“Powerful, husky and tough,
Watching with careful alertness.
With the Buddhist staff in hand.
Valiantly annihilates the evil.” – Khán Môn La hán, 看門羅漢, Cūdapanthaka, Doorman Luohan

 

“In the hands are the spiritual pearl and the holy bowl,
Endowed with power that knows no bounds.
Full of valour, vigour and awe-inspiring dignity,
To succeed in vanquishing the ferocious dragon.” – Hàng Long La hán, 降龍羅漢, Nandimitra, Taming Dragon Luohan

 

“Precious ring with magical powers,
Infinitely resourceful.
Vigorous and powerful,
Subduing a ferocious tiger.” – Phục Hổ La hán, 伏虎羅漢, Dharmatrata, Taming Tiger Luohan

 

All photos ©Ashin Sopāka 2018

Notes:

  1. The four stages are stream-entry, once-returner, non-returner, and arahat, or in Pāḷi sotāpanna, sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī, and arahatta

18 Arhats – Part 2

The following are the second six of eighteen arhat images recently installed in the newly renovated garden at Chùa Tảo Sách, Hanoi, Vietnam. In Mahāyāna Buddhism, they are considered to be the original followers of the Buddha to have passed through the four stages of awakening. 1 The poems accompanying each image were written by the Qianlong Emperor (乾隆皇帝) after a visit to see the paintings by a monk named Guan Xiu (貫休). Please click on the images to enlarge.

 

“Riding an elephant with a dignified air,
Chanting aloud the sutras.
With a heart for the humanity,
Eyes scanning the four corners of the universe.” – Kỵ Tượng La hán, 騎象羅漢, Kālika, Elephant Riding Luohan

 

“Playful and free of inhibitions,
The lion cub leaps with joy.
Easily alternating tension with relaxation,
Rejoicing with all living things.” – Tiếu Sư La hán, 笑獅羅漢, Vajriputra, Laughing Lion Luohan

 

“Open the heart and there is Buddha,
Each displaying his prowess.
The two should not compete,
For Buddha’s power is boundless.” – Khai Tâm La hán, 開心羅漢, Jīvaka/Gobaka, Open Heart Luohan

 

“Easy and comfortable,
Yawning and stretching.
In a state of omniscience,
Contented with his own lot.” – Thám Thủ La hán, 探手羅漢, Panthaka, Raised Hand Luohan

 

“Pondering and meditating,
Understanding it all.
Above this world and free from conventions,
Compassion conveyed up to the Ninth Heaven.” – Trầm Tư La hán, 沉思羅漢, Rāhula, Thinking Luohan

 

“Leisurely and contented,
Happy and knowledgeable.
Full of wit and humour,
Exuberant with interest.” – Oát Nhĩ La hán, 挖耳羅漢, Nāgasena, Scratch Ear Luohan

 

All photos ©Ashin Sopāka 2018

Notes:

  1. The four stages are stream-entry, once-returner, non-returner, and arahat, or in Pāḷi sotāpanna, sakadāgāmī, anāgāmī, and arahatta