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Friday, November 2, 2007

Strive to come out of the quagmire of defilement

Strive to come out of the quagmire of defilement

By Ven.Ketawala Indasara Thera, Parivenadhipathi of Kananke Rajamahaviharaya, Sri Poorvaramaya, Kokmaduwa, Weligama.

---- Lakbima News

“Appamada Rathahotha - Sachittha Manurakkhathe,
Dugga Uddharatha Atthanan - Panke Sakkocha Kunjarothi.”
(Dhammapada -Nagavagga)

This is the wap full moon period., Wap full moon is significant to Buddhists because certain important events connected with Buddhism took place on the Wap full moon day. The return of the Buddha to the city of Sankassa, Dambadiva, from the “Thusitha” divine land where he spent the previous rainy season, ending of “vas” precepts by Bhikkus of higher ordination, beginning of the “Cheevara maasaya” and Maithri Bodhisaththa entering the Bhikku order during the lifetime of the Buddha are among such important events according to the Buddhist calendar. In view of this significance, it is deemed appropriate to deliver a sermon based on the stanza mentioned at the beginning.
Like an elephant striving hard to come out of a muddy pit, we should practice meditation and endeavour dauntlessly to rid ourselves of defilement, is themeaning in brief of the stanza,.
Buddha delivered this discourse referring to the elephant Baddheraka, belonging to King Kosala. Baddheraka during its youth was a valiant and able elephant capable of carrying King Kosala on its back to the battle field and bringing victory upon the king. In the course of time, this elephant grew old and feeble. One day Baddheraka while trekking through the jungle path fell in to a pit of mud and was struggling to come out of the quagmire. When the news of the elephant’s misery reached the king, he summoned the mahout and ordered him to rescue the elephant. The mahout who was skillful used his intelligence and created an atmosphere similar to a battlefield near the muddy pit. On hearing the cries of a battlefield the elephant regained its lost vigour and courage and summoning all its might and came out of the muddy pit in order to take its place in the battlefield. Some disciples of the Buddha who witnessed this scene, told this tale to the Buddha. Taking this incident as an example, the Buddha delivered a discourse on the theme as mentioned in the opening stanza.
In this stanza, the various defilements emanating from impure thoughts based on greed, malice and illusion are simulated to mud that constantly keeps soiling the mind of worldly beings.
To come out of this quagmire, there are two tactics that must be made use of. One is the control of the mind through meditation. The other, is through the intelligent disposal of day-to-day affairs with presence of mind. Buddhism appreciates this approach to achieve the goal of wisdom. The final word of the Buddha is Appamadena Sampadhetha The individual who acts with presence of mind is well fortified. Such a person’s mind is not open to commiting sins. It encourages the accruing of merits and dispels ignoble thoughts and action. It promotes the well-being of an individual both in this life and in the life hereafter.
Therefore may all beings strive incessantly to eradicate defilements and be vigilant to reach the ultimate and everlasting bliss of nibbana.

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