NEWSLETTER – AUGUST 2018
Taking It Lightly: the Easiest Way to Let It Go
Ambattha was a young, educated Brahmin who strongly disliked the members of the Sakya clan. This aversion could have stemmed from the power struggle between Brahmins and rulers. Both groups believed that they were the social leaders, and each tried to highlight its qualifications. Sakyans being a ruling clan, it is understandable why young Brahmin Ambattha disliked Sakyans.
Ambattha also disliked the Buddha because the Buddha himself was a Sakyan. However, the young Brahmin had heard about the virtues, qualities, and powers of the Buddha, and he was curious. When another Brahmin suggested that he and Ambattha should visit the Buddha, just to test the Buddha’s high reputation, Ambattha agreed.
When the two persons visited the Buddha’s monastery, the Buddha was inside his personal quarters. Following the directions given by the Buddha’s disciples, the visitors approached the Buddha’s residence and knocked on the door. The Buddha opened it, and the visitors entered.
The then custom of a visitor to the Buddha—or to any religious leader—was to sit before the beginning of any serious conversation with the host, but Ambattha would not follow that custom. He was pacing up and down and then standing during the initial stage of his conversation with the Buddha.
The Buddha then interrupted Ambattha and asked him whether that was the way the young Brahmin would talk to the Brahmin teachers as well. Ambattha said in reply, “No, not at all! I would not talk to any Brahmin teacher like this. But, when I talk to a mere head-shaven ascetic, one who is low by birth, this is the way I talk.”
The Buddha then said, “You have come here with a purpose. Keep focus on that purpose,” and cautioned Ambattha about the young Brahmin’s disciplinary problems.
These remarks of the Buddha made Ambattha even more furious. In an angry outburst, he blasted Sakyans, saying that they were the least disciplined, least respectful, and most arrogant people.
“Have the Sakyans done anything wrong to you to hate them so much?” questioned the Buddha.
Yes, that is true,” replied Ambattha. “For instance, when one day I made a business trip to the Sakyan city of Kapilavastu, [your birthplace], I went to their assembly hall. Many young Sakyans were there in the assembly. Seeing me, they began to nudge each other, whisper to each other, and laugh together just as I was the very object of their ridicule.” “They are mean,” he continued. “They do not know how to respect a Brahmin.”
“You know, Ambattha,” the Buddha spoke patiently. “Even the little hen, however little she is, can make sounds at will in her cage. Sakyans were in their own place. You do not have to hate them for such a trivial thing.”
Digha Nikaya: 3: Ambattha Sutta; The Long Discourses of the Buddha: 111-124
Children’s Fall Classes Begin on Sunday, Sept. 9th
Children’s regular Dhamma, Sinhala, music, and dance classes will begin on Sunday Sept. 9th at 8:30 a.m.
Puja begins at 8:30 a.m. followed by Buddhism classes at 9:00 and Sinhala classes at 10:30. Music and dance classes will be held after lunch. You will receive 2018-2019 Vihara calendar next week.
Next Dhamma Talk during the Vas Season Is on Sunday Sept. 2
Next weekly Dhamma talk will be given by Ven. Rahula Thero in Sinhala on Sept. 2 (Sunday) from 7:00 to 8:00 pm. Vihara members in Conroe and Willis area will sponsor this Dhamma talk.
Chanting: From 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.
Puja: From 6:45 to 7:00 p.m
Dhamma talk: From 7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Dinner: From 8:00
Your dinner will also be prepared by the sponsors. The Vihara appreciates their generosity.