Monday, October 16, 2017

Upagupta: "Worship" the Buddha?

Tenzin Youdon (OneIndia via Buddhist Channel, Sept. 3, 2008) corrected, expanded, and interpreted by Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly Wiki edit

Mara is more Lucifer than Satan
NEW DELHI, India - This story will help us understand why the Buddha image is important to inspire and to recollect the Buddha, but not as a form of "worship."

This story is found in the Buddhist literature but not in the Pali language texts.
 
A few hundred years after the final passing into nirvana of the Buddha, there was a devout monk in India named Ven. Upagupta. He was the most popular preacher of the time. Whenever he gave a sermon on the Buddha's Dharma, the Teachings of the Buddha, thousands of people would flock to listen to his preaching.
  • Who is Upagupta? Ven. Upagupta (circa 3rd century BCE) was an Indian Buddhist monk. According to stories in the Sanskrit text Ashokavadana, he was the spiritual teacher of the Mauryan Buddhist, the Emperor of India Ashoka. Ven. Upagupta's teacher was Ven. Sanavasi, who was a disciple of Ven. Ānanda, the Buddha's cousin and personal attendant. Due to the absence of his name from Theravada Pali literature, it is assumed that Ven. Upagupta was a Sarvāstivāda (an extinct Buddhist school) monk. In Southeast Asian countries and Bangladesh, Ven. Upagupta is a great cult figure (Relics of the Buddha, John S. Strong, 2007, p. 145). In Burma he is known as Shin Upagutta. In the Lokapannatti Ven. Upagupta is sent by King Ashoka to tame Mara during an enshrinement ceremony festival. Afterwards, he asks Mara to take the material form (rupakaya, physical shape) of the historical Buddha so that everyone at the festival can see what the Buddha looked like (John S. Strong, The Legend of King Aśoka: A Study and Translation of the Aśokāvadāna, 1989). In literature: Rabindranath Tagore in his poem "Abhisar" collected in Katha relates a story of Ven. Upagupta. In the story, in the month of Sraban, the monk was sleeping in Mathura when Vasavdatta, the city's diva or courtesan, trips over and notices the monk. Enchanted by his handsome appearance, Vasavdatta invites him to go with her to her house. But Ven. Upagupta tells her that he cannot go with her at this point. But when the time comes, he will go. After seven months, in the month of Chaitra, the city folks go to a festival in the forest. Alone in the city, Ven. Upagupta goes beyond the precincts and finds Vasavdatta severely deformed by a disease with pustules covering her body. The city people had cast her out of the city's wall in disgust. The monk nurses her with care -- telling her that the time for their togetherness has come (Rabindranath Tagore, অভিসার). Tagore adopted the story with some changes from the Vodhisattwavadanakalpalata by Kshemendra (translated by Nobin Chandra Das, 1895, Calcutta), the 10th-11th century Kashmiri poet.
Mara as Kamadeva (Eros, Cupid)
One day Mara, the tempter, became jealous of Ven. Upagupta's popularity. Mara knew that Upagupta's popularity was helping spread the Teachings of the Buddha. He was unhappy to see the words of Buddha filling the minds and hearts of the people.

So he used a cunning method to influence the people. He made a plan to stop the people from listening to Ven. Upagupta's sermons.
 
One day, as Ven. Upagupta began his sermon, Mara organized an alluring drama next to the place where Ven. Upagupta was teaching.

 
A beautiful stage show suddenly appeared. It had pretty dancing girls and lively musicians. The people soon forgot about the sermon and crossed over to see Mara's show and enjoy the performances.

Ven. Upagupta watched the people slowly drift away then he decided to join them. After sitting with the crowd, he decided to teach Mara a lesson.

When the performance ended, Ven. Upagupta presented Mara with a garland of flowers.
 
"You have organized a wonderful performance," Ven. Upagupta said.
 
Mara was, of course, happy and proud of his achievement. He gladly accepted the flower garland from Ven. Upagupta and held his head up high. Suddenly it happened that the garland changed into a snake-like coil. Slowly the coil tightened until it choked Mara's neck.
 
So painful was the coil gripping his neck that Mara tried to pull it off. But no matter how hard he pulled, he could not take the coil off his neck. He decided to ask help from Sakka, King of the Devas (minor gods) to remove the coil. But Sakka could not remove it.

"I cannot remove this coil," admitted Sakka. "Go see Maha Brahma [Great God/Great Supreme]," he advised, "who is the powerful one."  So Mara went to see Maha Brahma and asked his help, but he also could not do anything. "I cannot remove this coil," admitted Maha Brahma. "The only one who can remove this coil is the person who put it on you." So Mara had to go back to Ven. Upagupta.
 
"Please remove this coil; it is so painful!" he begged.
 
"Yes, I can do that but only under two conditions," said Ven. Upagupta. "The first is that you must promise to no more disturb Buddhist devotees in the future.

"The second is that you show me the real image of the Buddha. For I know that you have seen him on many occasions, but I have never seen him. I would like to see the real Buddha image exactly like him, with the special 32 characteristics of his physical body."
 
Mara was overjoyed. He agreed to Ven. Upagupta's conditions. "But one stipulation," pleaded Mara. "If I change myself into the image of the Buddha, you must promise that you will not worship me, for I am not a holy person like you."
 
"I will not worship you," promised Ven. Upagupta.

One of the earliest depictions (Gandhara)
Suddenly Mara transformed [shape shifted] himself into an image that looked exactly like the Buddha. When Ven. Upagupta saw the image, his mind was filled with great inspiration. Profound devotion arose in his heart. With folded hands, he at once paid homage to the Buddha figure.
 
"You're breaking your promise!" shouted Mara. "You promised you would not worship me! Now why do you pay homage to me?"
 
"I am not worshiping you. You have to understand. I am paying homage to the Buddha," explained Ven. Upagupta.

Explanation
The next Buddha's physical form
From this story we can understand why the Buddha image is important. It inspires us and helps us  recall (buddha-anussati) the many sublime qualities of the Buddha, bringing them and him to mind so that we can venerate that ideal, which is our own potential and possibility for enlightenment and complete liberation, bodhi and nirvana. Buddhists do not "worship" the material symbol or forms that only represent the Buddha. We express confidence (saddha) and joyfully pay our respects to the Buddha, who alone in the world made known the Middle Way, the path to complete freedom, to going beyond all suffering. More

Alien girl body and city found on Moon (video)

Universe Inside You; Pfc. Sandoval, Seth Auberon (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly




Alien girl and city discovered on our Moon created by aliens
The Moon (Luna, Chandra, Soma Deva) holds many secrets: the well preserved body of a girl dubbed "Mona Lisa" by the American and Russian astronauts who discovered her, alien bases, secret spacecraft fleet, extraterrestrial colonies, [color, atmosphere, pyramids], and much more. Apollo crews, on missions that were  not publicly disclosed by officials but were revealed by a public NASA whistleblower, discovered countless things on the surface of the Moon. The Moon seems to be artificial. Was it created and positioned by aliens?  💜

Strange things in the sky (video)

Pfc. Sandoval, Pat Macpherson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; John Kocalis; Amazing Facts Videos
(John Kocalis, 6/22/11) NGO News: The sky is an LCD screen/hologram (2)
 
UPDATE: The sun is a hologram/LCD screen, more proof. Lightning with no thunder (youtube.com/3iXVE...), facebook.com/NGO-News, Sun is an LCD screen (youtube.com/watch?v=82W3XY...), REASONING: I filmed the sun in infrared HD, which came out as lines from an LCD screen. I think they are projecting images onto gasses. They have figured out how to keep it in the atmosphere from Fukushima. The isotopes from Iodine 133 and uranium decay into barium and strontium.

The military has a new application for these isotopes. They can project 3D images onto the gasses. Our sky is being blocked, but they still can't keep the heat out. Are we seeing heat signatures from SOHO?

LINKS: Sky coming through hologram (youtube.com...FmNaU1...), sun NOT setting in the west (youtube.com...X2CHPt...), sun does a 360 (youtube.com...jLGmmq...), sun goes dark 1 (youtube.com...N0gDbW...), sun goes dark 2 (youtube.com...kP0ys9...).

Real copter, fake sun(s) or other suns over neighboring systems (dvipas)

(RichieFromBoston) Proof the Moon is NOT 238,900 miles away
We are being sprayed, leading to epidemic  rates of Alzheimer's, autism, ADD.

(Amazing Facts Videos, July 3, 2017) Fired NASA officials have revealed best kept secret about Moon for 40 years to public!
 

The earth’s moon has always been a much talked about subject. Speculation about what it may be has always been present. Two recently fired NASA officials have revealed the US government's best kept secret that it had kept safe for 40 years: There are traces of archeological constructions on the moon! More

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ancient Mysteries and Men in Black (audio)

Coasttocoastam.com; Editors, Wisdom Quarterly

Damon T. Berry is a film director, screenwriter, and producer best known for writing and directing The Knowledge of the Forever Time, a documentary film series that has presented a completely different history of humankind.

He joined Guest Host Jimmy Church to discuss some of the greatest mysteries, including the meaning of UFO sightings, why there are crop circles, and what is behind the Nazca Lines. He said that his latest film in the series was so difficult to complete that he will not be doing another.

(FB) In this invitation to the Age of Enlightenment a 5,000-year-old mystery is a mystery no more. The Great Pyramid of Egypt is without a doubt the greatest enigma in the world [next to the larger Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico]. However, in this New Age its mystery is revealed, and it is so powerful that nothing will ever be the same. In this episode Damon T. Berry unveils the pyramid in a way that no one ever has. It is the holiest knowledge ever found in the ancient world, and it completely forces every archaeologist, scientist, and Egyptologist to completely abandon all that they have learned. This knowledge is so powerful and so divine that it will change everything in the entire world. If you have ever pondered the what and why of the Great Pyramid of Egypt, after seeing this film you will know it all.
 
This is because he reports that someone or some group was trying to keep him from releasing it by intimidation, breaking into his home, stealing files from his computer, and even physically keeping him from mailing a copy to his distributor.

Berry resorted to leaving an audio recorder running in his home. The recording revealed someone moving around his office and turning on his computer. He now believes that certain people have the "ability to come in whenever they feel like it."

Berry says the harassment continued even after the film was released on Amazon. He believes that there is a coordinated program to flood the listing with one-star reviews. He now thinks that "it was the worst decision in my life" to ignore warnings from UFO researchers that he would be subject to harassment.

Berry believes (and has revealed in his films) that he has solved many mysteries by looking at them in new ways. He has discovered that UFOs hover in the formation of star constellations as a way to communicate to humanity, and that crop circles "contain really high technological information" for those that can decode them.

Berry said that one of his first heroes was Carl Sagan, who he said inspired him by asking "What if?" More + AUDIO
-----------------------
During the call-in portion, Open Lines, Richard from North Dakota offered his opinion that the people who are harassing Berry are some group that are keeping us all from "opening something in ourselves" and that happiness and spiritual and material advancement "all comes down to belief." Danny in California believes that the root cause of the recent Las Vegas shooting was "anti-depressant pills" taken by the culprit. Stephanie called from New Mexico to relate a strange story of an "auditory haunting." She recalled a trip to Pompeii and a visit to the coliseum ruins there, where she heard the sound of lions roaring. No one else could hear the sound and others who she asked about it looked at her like she "was crazy." 


Mocha from California said she believed that we might be the most advanced race in the universe. Jimmy replied that, cosmically, he thinks we are "about 21 years old." Howard called with the story of the son of a friend of his who grew up obsessed with death and horror movies and ended up working in a mortuary as an adult. He sponsored secret parties in the mortuary on Halloween until he was caught or perhaps scared out of the job by something he witnessed after one of the parties. Chris from Missouri said that shadow people live "in the 4th dimension" and "want to terrorize us and coerce us into depression or murder."

Disclosure: One Love Music & Art Fest (video)

Ananda, Wisdom Quarterly; Meetup.com/Zen-07; DisclosureFest.com
One Love Music and Art Festival LIVE MEDITATION: disclosurefest.org/one-love
This weekend, Oct. 20-22, 2017 with live global meditation  (disclosurefest.com)


What is "disclosure"?
It is the revelation ("unveiling") of truths that have long been covered up. We are wise to listen to whistleblowers to find out. The platform Disclosure Fest launched a Mass Meditation Initiative, the main topic of this radio broadcast. It is also bringing a vegan (high vibration plant-based) food program to the needy in Los Angeles. And it's all about cleaning up our environment and letting the truth be known, which includes extraterrestrial (ET) intelligences contacting earth. In this episode (#670) of "Fade to Black" with Host Jimmy Church, occasional guest host on Coast to Coast, it is all explained. The last ten minutes are the most fascinating as they explain how humanoid life on earth began.

Friday, October 13, 2017

When God met the Buddha (sutra)

Edited by Dhr. Seven, Amber Larson, and Ananda from (buddhasutra.com), "Sakka's Questions," Sakkapanha Sutra, for Wisdom Quarterly


God consults the Buddha
Sakka in Christian lore is Archangel Michael
Thus have I heard. Once the Buddha was staying in Magadha, east of Rajagaha (Rajgir, India), by a Brahmin village called Ambasanda, to the north of the village on Mount Vediya, in the Indasala Cave.

And at that time Sakka/Indra, King of the Gods (Devas) [Sakka Devanam Indo, another form of Sakya, the Buddha's clan name] felt a strong desire to see the Buddha. And Sakka thought: "Where is the Blessed One, the fully-enlightened Buddha, now staying?" Then, perceiving where the Buddha was, Sakka said to the other devas of the Realm of the Thirty-Three:

"Gentlemen, the Blessed One is now staying Magadha, to the east of Rajagaha, by a Brahmin village called Ambasanda, to the north of the village on Mount Vediya, in the Indasala Cave [which must not have been called that yet, as it means the "Hall Where Inda or the Lord Was Greeted"]. How would it be if we were to go and visit the Blessed One?"
 
"Very good, Inda, and may good fortune go with you," replied the lords of the World of the Thirty-Three.
 
Then Sakka said to [the angel] Pancasikha of the gandhabbas: "The Blessed One is staying in Magadha, to the east of Rajagaha, by a Brahmin village called Ambasanda, to the north of the village on Mount Vediya, in the Indasala Cave. I propose to go visit him."
 
"Very good, Inda,’ said Pancasikha and, taking his yellow beluva-wood lute, he followed in attendance on [the deva King] Sakka. And just as swiftly as a strong person might stretch a flexed arm or flex a straight arm Sakka, surrounded by the Thirty-Three Gods and attended by Pancasikha, vanished from the space World of the Thirty-Three and appeared in Magadha, to the east of Rajagaha, by a Brahmin village called Ambasanda, to the north of the village on Mount Vediya.
 
Then a tremendous light shone over Mount Vediya illuminating the village of Ambasanda -- so great was the power of the [extraterrestrial archangels or] gods -- so that in the surrounding villages they were saying: "Look! Today, Mount Vediya is on fire! It’s burning! It’s engulfed in flames! What is the matter that Mount Vediya and Ambasanda are lit up like this?" And they were so terrified that their hair stood on end.
 
Then Sakka said: "[Angel] Pancasikha, it is hard for the likes of us to get near the Tathágata [the Wayfarer, the Buddha] when they are enjoying the bliss of meditation and therefore withdrawn into the seclusion of absorbed meditation]. But if you, Pancasikha, were first to attract the ear of the Blessed One, then we might afterwards be able to approach and see the Blessed One, the fully enlightened Buddha."
 
"Very good, lord," said Pancasikha. And carrying his yellow beluva-wood lute, he approached the Indasala Cave, thinking: "As far as this is neither too far nor too near to the Buddha for him to hear my voice." Then he stood respectfully to one side. Then accompanying the strains of his lute, he sang these verses extolling the Buddha, the Dharma, the Arhat-Sangha, and love:

 
Lady, your good father Timbaru greet,
O, sunshine fair, I give him honor due
By whom was sired a maid as fair as you
Who is the cause of my dear heart’s delight.
 
Delightful as the breeze to one who sweats,
Or as cooling drink to one who thirsts,
Your radiant beauty is to me as dear
As the Dharma is to Arhats
[as the Liberating-Teaching is to Liberated Ones].
 
Just as medicine to one who’s ill
Or nourishment to one who’s starving still,
Bring me, gracious lady, sweet release
With cool water from my consuming flames.
 
The elephant, oppressed by summer heat,
Seeks a lotus-pool upon which float
Petals and pollen of that flower
So into your bosom sweet I’d plunge.
 
As an elephant, urged by the goad [whip],
Pays no heed to [opposing pricks of lance and spear,
So I, unheeding, know not what I do,
Intoxicated by your beauteous form.
 
By you my heart is tightly bound in bonds,
All my thoughts are transformed, and I
Can no longer find my former course:
I’m like a fish that’s caught by baited hook.
 
Come, embrace me, maiden fair of thighs,
Seize and hold me with your lovely eyes,
Take me in your arms, it’s all I ask!
My desire was slight at first, O maid
 
Of waving tresses, but it grew apace,
As grow the gifts that Arhats [worthy ones] receive.
Whatever merit I have gained by gifts
To those noble ones, may my reward
 
When it ripens, be your love, my sun!
Just as that Sage would be rejoiced, if he
Were to gain supreme enlightenment,
So I’d rejoice to be made one with you.
 
If Sakka, Lord of Three and Thirty Gods,
Were perchance to grant a boon to me,
It’s you I’d crave, my love for you so strong.
Your father, maid so wise, I venerate
 
Like a sal tree fairly blossoming,
For his offspring’s sake, so sweet and fair."
 
 
When he heard this, the Buddha said: "Pancasikha, the sound of your lute strings blends so well with your song [voice], and your song with the strings, that neither prevails excessively over the other. When did you compose these verses on the Buddha, the Dharma, the Arhat-Sangha, and love?’
 
"Venerable sir, it was when the Blessed One was staying on the bank of the river Neranjara, under the goatherd’s banyan tree prior to his [your] enlightenment. At that time I fell in love with the Lady Bhadda, bright as the sun, the daughter of King Timbaru of the gandhabbas. But the lady was in love with someone else. She favored Sikhaddi, the son of Matali the Charioteer. And when I found out that I could not win the lady by any manner or means, I took my yellow beluva wood lute and went to the home of King Timbaru of the Gandhabbas, and there I sang those verses. And, venerable sir, having heard the verses the Lady Bhadda Suriyavaccasa said to me:

There is a "Hall of Truth" for the Sakiyans and another in heaven for the devas: Sudhamma

"'Sir, I have not personally seen that Blessed One, though I heard of him when I went to the Sudhamma Hall of the Gods of the Thirty-Three to dance. And since, sir, you praise that Blessed One so highly, let us meet today." And so, venerable sir, I met the lady, not then but later."
 
Then Sakka thought, "Pancasikha and the Blessed One are in friendly conversation," so he called to Pancasikha:

"My dear Pancasikha, salute the Blessed One from me, saying, "Lord Sakka, King of the Gods, together with his ministers and followers, pays homage at the feet of the Blessed One."
 
"Very good, lord," said Pancasikha, and did so.
 
"Pancasikha, may Sakka, King of the Devas, his ministers and followers be happy, for they all desire happiness: shining ones (devas), humans, titans (asuras), reptilians (nagas), (angels) Gandhabbas, and whatever other groups of beings there are!" for that is the way the Tathagatas greet such mighty beings.

After this greeting, Sakka entered the Indasala Cave, saluted the Buddha, and stood respectfully to one side, and the Devas of the Thirty Three, with Pancasikha, did the same.
 
Then in the Indasala Cave the rough passages became smooth, the narrow parts become wide, and the pitch-dark cavern became bright, owing to the power of the shining ones (devas). Then the Buddha said to Sakka:

"It is wonderful, it is marvelous that the venerable Kosiya [referring to King Sakka], with so much and so many things to do, should come here!"

"Venerable sir, I have long wished to visit the Blessed One, but I have always been so busy on behalf of the Devas of the Thirty Three that I was unable to come. Once the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Salala hut, and I went to Savatthi to see the Blessed One.
  
"At that time the Blessed One was seated in some form of profound meditation (jhana), and King Vessavana’s wife, Bhunjatu, was waiting on him, venerating him with palms together [in anjali mudra].

"I said to her: 'Lady, please salute the Blessed One for me and say, "Sakka, King of the Gods [of the World of the Thirty Three], with his ministers and followers, pays homage at the Blessed One’s feet."

"But she said, "Sir, it is not the right time to see the Blessed One; he is in retreat."

"Well then, lady, when the Blessed One rises from his meditation, please tell him what I have said."

"Venerable sir did the lady salute you on my behalf, and does the Blessed One remember what she said?"
 
"She did salute me, King of the Devas, and I remember what she said. I also remember that it was your reverence’s chariot-wheels [chariots of the gods, space ship, vimana] that roused me from my meditation."
 
"Venerable sir, those gods who were reborn in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three before I was have told and assured me that whenever a Tathagata, a fully-enlightened arhat Buddha arises in the world, the ranks of the devas increase, and those of the titans [their enemies] decline in numbers. In fact I have witnessed this myself.

"There was, venerable sir, right here in Kapilavatthu [one of the Buddha's three hometowns, likely modern Bamiyan, Mes Aynak, and Kabul, Afghanistan] a Sakyan girl called Gopika, who had confidence/faith in the buddhas, the Dharma, and the Sangha [the Three Jewels or Treasures, the Enlightened Teacher, the Teaching of Enlightenment, and the Enlightened Students] who observed the precepts scrupulously.

"She rejected the status of a woman and developed the thought of becoming a man. Then, after her death, at the breaking up of the body, she went to a happy [rebirth] destination, being reborn in a heavenly state among the Devas of the Thirty-Three, as one of our sons (deva-putras), becoming known as Gopaka the devas’ son [lit., Gopaka Devaputra, which means "Gopaka-reborn-among-the-devas"].

Also, there were three monks who, having observed the supreme-life (brahmachaya or "way that leads to brahma," to the supreme, the worlds higher than the Sensual Sphere) under the Blessed One, had been reborn in the inferior condition of angels (gandhabbas). They lived indulging in the pleasures of the five senses as our attendants and servants.

"At this, Gopaka rebuked those five, saying: 'What were you about, sirs, that you did not listen to the Blessed One’s teaching? I was a woman who had confidence in the Buddha… I rejected the[lure and] status of a woman… and was [therefore] reborn among the Devas of the Thirty-Three and am known as Gopaka Devaputta.

"But you, after having observed the supreme-life under the Blessed One, have been reborn in the inferior life condition of messengers/servants/entertainers of the devas (which is what the lowly gandhabbas are, better than ordinary mortals, longer-lived and more beautiful than humans, but certainly not immortal)!" And being thus rebuked, two of those devas immediately [began to meditate and] developed mindfulness, and so attained to the Realm of the Retinue of Brahma. But one of them remained addicted to sensual pleasures.
 
Gopaka spoke:
 
"Disciple once of the One-Who-Sees,
The name I bore then, Gopika.
The Buddha and Dharma firmly trusting,
I served the Sangha [of monastics] cheerfully.
 
For loyal duty paid to him
See me now, a Sakka son,
Mighty in the Threefold World
Resplendent, Gopaka by name.
 
Then former monks I saw, who’d reached
No higher than angel’s rank,
Who before had human birth
And led the supreme-life the Buddha taught.
 
We supplied [donated] their food and drink
And waited on them in our homes.
Had they no ears, that they thus blessed
Still could not grasp the Buddha’s Teaching?
 
Each for himself must understand
That Dharma taught by One-Who-Sees,
And well-proclaimed. I, serving you,
Heard the Noble-One’s good words,
 
And so I’m reborn, a Sakka son,
Mighty in the Threefold Heaven
Resplendent, whereas you,
Though you studied under the Prince of Men
 
And led the matchless-life he taught,
Have reappeared in a humble state
And not attained appropriate rank.
A sorry sight it is to see!
 
One’s Dharma-fellows sunk so low
That, angel-spirits you,
But come to wait upon the gods,
While as for me -- I am transformed!
 
From household life and female, I
Am now reborn a male, a god,
Rejoicing in celestial bliss!"
When thus rebuked by Gopaka,
 
Disciple true of Gautama [the Buddha],
In sore distress they all replied,
"Alas, let’s go, and strive amain
And be no longer others’ slaves!"
 
And of the three, two struggled well,
And bore in mind the Teacher’s word.
They purified their hearts of lust,
Perceiving peril in desires,
 
And like the elephant that bursts
All restraining bonds, they broke
The fetters and the bonds of lust,
Those fetters of the Evil One [Mara]
 
So hard to overcome -- and thus
The very gods, the Thirty-Three
With Indra and Pajapati,
Who sat enthroned in Council Hall,
 
These two heroes, passions purged,
Outstripped and left them far behind.
On seeing which, Vasava, dismayed,
Chief amidst that throng of gods
 
Cried: "See how these of lesser rank
outstrip the gods of the Thirty-Three!"
Then hearing of his ruler's fears,
Gopaka said to Vasava:
 
Lord Indra, in the world of men
A Buddha, called the Sakyan Sage [Sakyamuni],
Has gained mastery over lust,
And these his pupils, who had failed
 
In mindfulness when claimed by death,
Have now regained it with my help.
Though one of them is left behind
And still among angels dwells,
 
These two, on highest wisdom set,
In deep absorption (jhana) spurn the gods!
Let no [Buddhist] disciple ever doubt
That truth may yet be realized
 
By those who dwell in these abodes.
To one who has crossed the flood and made
An end of doubts, our homage is due.
To the Buddha, Victor, Blessed One, we give it.
 
Even here, they gained the truth, and so
Have passed beyond to greater eminence.
Those two have gained a higher place than this
In realms of Brahma’s Retinue. And we
 
Have come, O Lord [Vasava], in hope that we may gain
That truth, and, if the lord will give us leave,
To put our questions to the Blessed One."
 
Then the Buddha thought: "Sakka has lived a pure life for a long time. Whatever questions he may ask will be to the point and not frivolous, and he will be quick to understand my answers.’ So the Buddha replied to Sakka with this verse:

"Ask me, Sakka, all that you desire!
On what you ask, I’ll put your mind at rest."
  
Sakka's questions
Being thus invited, Sakka, King of the Devas, put his first question to the Buddha:

1. "By what fetters, sir, are beings bound -- gods (devas), humans, titans, reptilians, angels, and whatever other kinds of beings there may be -- whereby, although they wish to live without hate, harming, hostility or aggression, and in peace, they yet live in hate, harming one another, hostile and aggressive?"

This was Sakka’s first question to the Buddha, who replied: 

"King of the Gods, it is the bonds of jealously and avarice that bind beings so that, although they wish to live without hate… they yet live with hate, harming one another, hostile and aggressive.’ This was the Buddha’s reply.

And Sakka, delighted, exclaimed: "So it is, venerable sire! So it is, Wayfarer! Through the Buddha’s answer I have overcome my doubt and uncertainty!"
 
Then Sakka, having expressed his appreciation, asked another question: 

"But sir, what gives rise to jealousy and avarice? What is their origin, how are they born, how do they arise? Owing to the presence of what do they arise, and owing to the absence of what do they arise?

"Jealousy and avarice, King of the Gods, arise from like and dislike. This is their origin, this is how they are born, how they arise. When these are present, they arise. When these are absent, they do not arise."
 
"But, sir, what gives rise to like and dislike?… Owing to the presence of what do they arise, and owing to the absence of what do they not arise?"
 
"They arise, King of the Gods, from desire (craving, tanha)… Owing to the presence of desire, they arise, and owing to the absence of desire they do not arise."
 
"But, sir, what gives rise to desire?"
 
"Desire, King of the Gods, arises from thinking [reflecting]… when the mind/heart thinks about something [reflects in an unmindful way], desire [craving] arises. When the mind does not, desire does not arise."

"But, sir, what gives rise to [unmindful attention, reflection]?"
 
"[Unmindful reflection] arises from the tendency to proliferation… when this tendency is present, unmindful reflection arises. When it is absent, unmindful reflection does not arise."

"Well, sir, what practice has that disciple undertaken who has reached the right way which is heedful and leading to the cessation of the tendency to proliferation?"
  
Two Kinds of Happiness
Fake Buddha quotes are fun, often clever, yet completely non-canonical.

"King of the Gods, I declare that there are two kinds of happiness -- the kind to be pursued and the kind to be avoided. The same applied to unhappiness and equanimity.
  
"Why have I declared this in regard to happiness? This is how I understood happiness: When I observed that in the pursuit of some happiness, unwholesome factors increased and wholesome factors decreased, then that happiness was to be avoided.

"And when I observed that in the pursuit of some happiness unwholesome factors decreased and wholesome ones increased, then that happiness was to be pursued and sought after.

"Now, of such happiness as is accompanied by unmindful reflection and pondering, and of that which is not so accompanied, the latter is the more excellent. The same applies to unhappiness and to equanimity.

"And this, King of the Gods, is the practice that disciple has undertaken who has reached the right way… leading to the cessation of the tendency to proliferation." Sakka expressed his delight at the Buddha’s answer.
 
Then Sakka, having expressed his appreciation, asked another question:

2 "Well, sir, what practice has that disciple undertaken who has acquired the restraint required by the training rules?"

"King of the Gods, I declare that there are two kinds of bodily conduct -- the kind to be pursued and the kind to be avoided. The same applies to conduct of speech and to the pursuit of goals. Why have I declared this in regard to bodily conduct?

"This is how I understood bodily conduct: When I observed that by the performance of certain actions, unwholesome factors decreased and wholesome ones increased, then such bodily action was to be followed. That is why I make this distinction.

"The same applies to conduct of speech and the pursuit of goals. And this, King of the Gods, is the practice that disciple has undertaken who has acquired the restraint required by the training rules." And Sakka expressed his delight at the Buddha’s answer. Then Sakka asked another question: 

3. "Well, sir, what practice has that disciple undertaken who has acquired control of one's own sense faculties?’
 
"King of the Gods, I declare that things perceived by the eye are of two kinds -- the kind to be pursued and the kind to be avoided. The same applies to the things perceived by the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind.’

At this, Sakka said, "Venerable sir, I understand in full the true meaning of what the Blessed One has outlined in brief. Venerable sir, whatever object is perceived by the eye, if its pursuit leads to an increase of unwholesome factors and a decrease of wholesome ones, that is not to be pursue. If its pursuit leads to a decrease of unwholesome factors and an increase of wholesome ones, such an object is to be pursued.

"After the same applies to things perceived by the ear, the nose, the tongue, the body, and the mind. Thus I understand in full the true meaning of what the Blessed One has outlined in brief, and through the Buddha’s answer I have overcome my doubt and rid myself of uncertainty." Then Sakka asked another question:

4. "Sir, do all wandering ascetics and Brahmins teach the same doctrine, practice the same discipline, want the same thing, and pursue the same goal?’
 
‘No, King of the Gods, they do not."
 
"But, sir, why not?"
 
"The world, King of the Gods, is made up of many and various elements. This being the case, beings adhere to one or other of these various things. And whatever they adhere to they become powerfully addicted to, and they declare: ‘This alone is the truth; everything else is false!’ Therefore, they do not all teach the same thing or pursue the same goal."
 
"Sir, are all wandering ascetics and Brahmins (temple priests) fully proficient, freed from bonds, perfect in the supreme-life? Have they perfectly reached the goal?"
 
"No, King of the Gods."
 
"Why is that, sir?"

"Only those who are liberated by the destruction of craving are fully proficient, freed from the bonds, perfect in the supreme-life, and have perfectly reached the goal.’
 
Then Sakka, having delighted in and expressed his approval of the Blessed One's words, said to him:

"Craving (clinging, yearning, pining) is a disease, craving is a boil, craving is an arrow. It seduces one, drawing one into this or that state of being (rebirth), which is why one is reborn in high states and low. Whereas other outside [non-Buddhist] Brahmin priests and wandering ascetics gave me no chance to ask them these questions, the Blessed One has answered at length, so that he has removed the arrow of my uncertainty and perplexity."
 
"King of the Gods, do you recall having asked other priests and wanderers these questions?"
 
"Yes, venerable sir, I recall having asked other priests and wanderers these questions."
 
"If it is no inconvenience, could you tell me how they answered?"
  
"It is no inconvenience when sitting with the Blessed One or one like him."
 
"Then tell me, King of the Gods."

"Having gone to those whom I considered to be Brahmins (temple priests teaching the Vedas) and wandering ascetics (Buddhist monastics practicing the Dharma) living in isolated dwellings in the wilderness, I asked them these questions. But when asked by me, they were at a loss. Being at a loss, they asked me in return, 'What is your name?'
 
"Being asked, I responded, 'I, dear sir, am Sakka, the King of the Gods.'
 
"So they questioned me further, 'But what karma did you do to attain to this state?'
 
"So I taught them the Dharma as far as I had heard and mastered it [explaining the good actions and merit I had accrued that resulted in me being reborn as Sakka, King of the Gods]. And they were gratified with just this much: 'We have seen Sakka, King of the Gods, and he has answered our questions!'

"So, instead of my becoming their disciple, they simply became mine. But I, venerable sir, am the Blessed One's disciple, a stream-winner (first stage of enlightenment), steadfast (of unshakeable confidence in the Buddha's enlightenment and the Dharma/Enlightening Teaching, and the other enlightened-disciples' enlightenment), never again destined for [subhuman] states of woe but headed for full-awakening."
 
"King of the Gods, do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness and joy?"

"Yes, venerable sir, I do."
 
"How and when do you recall ever having previously experienced such happiness and joy?"

The war in heaven rages on.
"Once, venerable, the gods and the titans (devas and asuras) were arrayed in battle. And in that battle the devas won when the titans lost. Having won the battle, as the victor in the battle, this thought occurred to me: 'Whatever has been the divine nourishment of the titans, whatever has been the divine nourishment of the devas, the devas will now enjoy them both.'

"But my attainment of happiness and joy was in the sphere of violence and weapons. It did not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calm, direct knowledge, enlightenment, to nirvana.

"But my attainment of happiness and joy on hearing the Blessed One's Dharma is in the sphere free of violence, the sphere free of weapons. It leads to disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, calm, to direct knowledge, enlightenment, to nirvana."
 
"And, King of the Gods, what things do you call to mind when you are experiencing such satisfaction and happiness as this?"

"Venerable sir, at such a time, six things come to mind at which I rejoice:

"I who merely as a god (deva) exist, have gained
The chance, by karma, of another earthly life."
That, venerable sir, is the first thing that occurs to me.

"Leaving this suprahuman realm of gods (devas) behind,
Unerringly I’ll seek the [human] womb I wish to find.’
That, venerable sir, is the second thing…
 
"My problems solved, I’ll gladly live by the Buddha’s Dharma,
Controlled and mindful, and with clear mindfulness filled.
That, venerable sir, is the third thing…
 
"And should thereby enlightenment arise in me,
As one-who-knows I’ll dwell and there await the end.
That, venerable sir, is the fourth thing…
 
"Then when I leave the human world again, I’ll be
Once more a deva, one of highest rank.’

That, venerable sir, is the fifth thing…
‘More glorious than devas are the peerless gods,
Among whom dwelling I shall make my final home.’
That, venerable sir, is the sixth thing that occurs to me.

"And these are the six things at which I rejoice:
‘Long I wandered, unfulfilled, in doubt,
In quest of the Tathagata [the Buddha]. I thought
Hermits who lived in seclusion and austere
 
Must surely be enlightened: I’ll seek them.
"What must I do to gain success, and what
Course but leads to failure?" -- But thus asked,
They could not tell me how to tread the path.
 
Instead, when they found out that I am king
Of the gods, they asked me why I’d come to them,
And it was I who taught them what I knew
Of Dharma, and at that, rejoicing, they
 
Cried: "It’s Vasava, the lord, we’ve seen!"
But now -- I’ve seen the Buddha, and my doubts
Are all dispelled, my fears are allayed,
And now to the Enlightened One I pay
Homage due, to him who’s drawn the dark
 Of craving, to the Buddha, peerless,
Mighty Hero, Kinsman of the Sun!
Just as Brahma’s honored by the gods,
 
So likewise today we honor you,
Enlightened One, and Teacher unsurpassed,
Whom none can equal in the human world,
Or in space, dwelling place of the gods!

Then Sakka, King of the Gods, said to Pancasikha of the gandhabbas: "My dear Pancasikha, you have been of great help to me for gaining the ear of the Blessed One. For it was through your gaining his ear that we were admitted to the presence of the Blessed One, the Arhat, the supremely enlightened Buddha. I will be a father to you; you shall be king of the gandhabbas, and I will give you in marriage to Bhadda Suriyacaccasa, whom you desire."
 
Then Sakka, King of the Gods, touched the earth with his hand and said three times:
 
Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Awakened One!
Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Awakened One!
Homage to the Worthy One, the Blessed One, the Rightly Awakened One!
 
While this explanation was being given, there arose in Sakka the dustless, stainless Dharma eye: "Whatever is subject to origination is subject to cessation" -- as it also arose in his following of devas.

Such were the questions tht the Blessed One answered at Sakka's bidding. So this discourse is called "Sakka's Questions."