New PDF release: Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma

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By Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema

82,000 Teachings from the Buddha i've got received;
2,000 extra from his disciples; Now, 84,000 are customary to me.1
Who not anything has heard2 and not anything understood, He a while purely oxen-like:
His belly basically grows and grows,
But his perception deepens not.
Who has a lot heard and learned,
But does despise him who's terrible in studying, Is like one blind who holds a lamp.
So needs to i believe of the sort of one.
Thou persist with him who has heard much,
Then what's heard shall now not decline.
This is the tap-root of the holy life;
Hence a Dhamma-guardian thou should’st be!
Knowing what comes first and final, figuring out good the which means, too,
Skilful in grammar and in different items,3 The well-grasped which means he examines.
Keen in his sufferer application,
He strives to weigh the which means good. on the correct time he makes his attempt, And inwardly collects his mind.
— the Venerable Ánanda, Thag XVII.3 (vv. 1024-29)

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The splendor and magnificence of that kingdom had been destroyed, had disappeared and vanished. This, indeed, was enough to make one weary of all conditioned things as one of the most famous stanzas of the Dhamma taught: 44 Conditions truly they are transient. Their nature is to arise and cease, Having arisen, then they pass away, Their calming and cessation is true bliss. 52 —Thag XX (v. 1159) The Buddha’s discourse about Mahá-Sudassana was the last great teaching he gave. Subsequently he let Ánanda summon the Mallas of Kusinárá, so that they could bid farewell to him.

So this penalty showed itself to be the Buddha’s 52 last act of compassion for the benefit and happiness of the monk Channa, being effective even after the Buddha’s death. When Channa had become a holy one, he went to Ánanda and begged him for a repeal of the penalty. Ánanda replied that as soon as he had attained release from the passions, the penalty was no longer operative in any case. After the death of the Buddha, the venerable Maha-Kassapa, as the most respected disciple, had taken over the guidance of the Order.

After him Ánanda became the second leading elder, the second most venerated holy one, who was designated to look after the Order. After he had already been a monk for over forty years, he survived the Buddha another forty. And after having been the personal attendant of the Buddha for twenty-five years, he became the foremost of the holy ones for a similar length of time. At the time of the second council (another assembly of arahants), one hundred years after the final Nibbána of the Buddha, a personal disciple of Ánanda was still alive.

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Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma by Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema


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