Monday, May 24, 2010


Veluvana grew in to a huge monastery with the growing needs of the Sangha but the area designated as Kalandakanivapa was still the Buddha’s favorite place. The interesting legend that gave this place the name and a justification for the high number of squirrels present in this grove starts with an unnamed king. According to which once while the unnamed king was here on a picnic and after a few extra drinks decided to take shelter under a tree. King’s men left him alone to let him rest in peace and quiet while they checked out the rest the forest. While the king was snoozing, a snake was attracted to him because the smell of the alcohol he had drank and could have bit him but loud chirping from a squirrel under the tree woke the king up and he could then shoo the snake away without being bitten. It is said that the squirrel was actually the spirit residing in the tree and took the form of squirrel to save the king’s life. Full of respect for the spirit that saved him and as a gesture of thankfulness, the king ordered that squirrels should be fed here regularly. Kalandaka means squirrel and hence the name of this area within Veluvana.

Rajgir attracted as many Paribbajaka as the monks and learned ascetics. The many Paribbajaka visited various teachers and exchanged knowledge while burying them with extensive queries. Sometimes the queries were reasonable and the teachers could answer them with the wisdom that they have so far acquired but there were times when the Buddha had to intervene and explain the things in way that all can comprehend. One time Potaliputta a Paribbajaka visited Samiddhi at the Kalandakanivapa and asked him to clarify these words of the Buddha.

"I heard and learned this, friend Samiddhi, from the monk Gotama's lips: 'Bodily kammas are vain, verbal kammas are vain, only mental kammas are true.' But there is actually that attainment having entered upon which nothing (of result of kammas) is felt at all."

Samiddhi tried his best to explain the concept but when Potaliputta wasn’t satisfied with any of his answers, they both resorted to seeking the Buddha’s help. The Buddha then explained Dhamma with a pattern that even a lay person could understand. The teaching he thus delivered are known as the Maha-kammavibhanga Sutta.

"Ananda, there are four kinds of persons existing in the world. What four?
1. A man may be wicked in this world and yet, at death, pass into heaven
2. A man may be wicked in this world and at death, pass into hell
3. A man may be good and yet, go into hell
4. A man may be good and he goes into heaven.

He further explained that as there are many types of people so are the many kinds of Karma and no human should rush into judging another person based on his conduct and the lifestyle he lives. Because the consequences of bad karmas might not be reflected instantly, sometimes the justice is done at the same time and at other times it shows up later and may be in the next life altogether. Hence it’s best to continue to do the right thing despite the consequence and should not be inspired by the bad karmas of the people who are not reprimanded in this lifetime for them.

Karma thus can be classifies in these four categories:
1. not only in operation, but also having the appearance of being so;
2. in operation, though not appearing so;
3. in operation, and appearing so;
4. not in operation, and not appearing so

Next Post: Another Paribbajaka at Kalandakanivapa

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