scripture

Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred, or of central importance to their religious tradition. Many religions and spiritual movements believe that their sacred texts are divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired.

Wealth in the Worldly Life

life-of-buddha-10

( The Buddha // Rāsiya, Salāyatanavagga, Gāmanisamyutta )

One may be praised on four grounds who enjoys the worldly life :
1) One seeks wealth lawfully, without violence, with right livelihood. 2) Having done so, one makes oneself happy and pleased. 3) One shares with others, doing meritous deeds. 4) One uses one’s wealth without being tied to it, un-infatuated with it, not blindly absorbed in it, seeing the danger in it, and understanding the escape.

A great rain cloud of mindfulness

( The Buddha //  9. At Vesālī, Anāpānasamyutta, Mahāvagga, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon )

Just as in the last month of the hot season, when a mass of dust and dirt has swirled up, a great rain cloud out of season disperses it and quells it on the spot, so too concentration by mindfulness of breathing, when developed and cultivated, is peaceful and sublime, an ambrosial pleasant dwelling, and it disperses and quells evil unwholesome states on the spot whenever they arise. And how is this so?

Having gone to the forest, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty room, one sits down. Having folded the legs crosswise, straightened the body, and setup mindfulness in front of one’s self, just mindful one breathes in, mindful one breathes out, training thus : “Contemplating detachment, I breath in. Contemplating detachment, I breath out.”

In such a way this ploughing is done

Buddha

( The Buddha //  12. Kasi Bhāradvāja, Brāhmanasamyutta, Sagāthāvagga, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon )

Faith is the seed, austerity the rain,
Wisdom my yoke and plough;
Virtue is the pole, mind the yoke tie,
Mindfulness is my ploughshare and goad.

Guarded in body, guarded in speech,
Controlled in my appetite for food,
I use truth as my weeding-hook,
And gentleness as my unyoking.

Energy is my beast of burden,
Carrying me to security from bondage.
It goes ahead without stopping
To where, having gone, one does not sorrow.

In such a way this ploughing is done
Which has the eternal life as its fruit.
Having finished this work of ploughing,
One is released from all suffering.

I kindle the inner light alone

(The Buddha //  9. Sundarika, Brāhmanasamyutta, Sagāthāvagga, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon)

When kindling wood, do not imagine
This external deed brings purity;
The masters say no purity is gained
By one who seeks it outwardly.

Having given up the fire made from wood,
I kindle the inner light alone.
Always ablaze, my mind is always concentrated,
Fully liberated in the eternal life.

Four Possessions of a Stream-enterer

(The Buddha // 6, Sotāpattisamyutta, Mahāvagga, Samyutta Nikāya, Pali Canon)

The noble disciple who possesses four things is a stream-enterer. What four? Here, a noble disciple possesses confirmed confidence in 1.) the Buddha, 2.) the Dharma and 3.) the Sangha. 4.) One dwells at home with a mind devoid of the stain of stinginess, freely generous, open handed, delighting in relinquishment, one devoted to charity, delighting in giving and sharing. A noble disciple who possesses these four things is a stream-enterer, no longer bound to the nether world, fixed in destiny, with enlightenment as the destination.

For whom you have compassion…

( The Buddha // Samyutta Nikaya )

Wise ones, those for whom you have compassion and who think you should be heeded — whether friends or colleagues, relatives or kinsfolk — these you should teach, clarify and establish in the development of the dharma.

The Spiritual Powers

life-of-buddha-38

( The Buddha // Iddhipādasamyutta )

O wise ones, these four bases for spiritual power, when developed and cultivated, are noble and emancipating; they lead the one who acts upon them to complete enlightenment. What four? Here, wise ones, one develops the basis for spiritual power that possesses concentration due to 1) desire, 2) energy, 3) mind, 4) investigation, with volitional formations of striving. These four bases of spiritual power lead one who acts upon them out to complete enlightenment.

When the four bases of spiritual power have been developed and cultivated in this way, a wise one wields the various kinds of spiritual power: having been one, one becomes many; having been many, one becomes one; one appears and vanishes; ones goes unhindered through a wall, through a rampart, through a mountain as though through space; ones dives in and out of the earth as though it were water; one walks on water without sinking as though it were earth; seated cross legged, ones travels in space like a bird; with the hand one touches and strokes the moon and sun so powerful and mighty; one exercises mastery with the body as far as the supreme spiritual world.

Wise ones, to whatever extent one wishes, one understands the minds of other beings, and persons, having encompassed them with one’s own mind … With the divine eye which is purified and surpasses the human, one sees beings passing away and being reborn, inferior, and superior, beautiful and ugly, fortunate and unfortunate, and understands how beings fare according to their karma … By the destruction of all taints, in this very life, one enters and dwells in the perfected liberation of mind, liberation by wisdom, realizing it for oneself with direct knowledge.

Towards Enlightenment

( The Buddha // Jhānasamyutta )

Just as the river Ganges slants, slopes and inclines toward the ocean, so too a wise one who developes and cultivates the four jhānas of meditative absorbtion slants, slopes and inclines towards enlightenment.

Those who will be entrusted with great tasks…

( Mencius // The Sage )

Those who will be entrusted with great tasks should first endure hardship both in body and mind, suffering hunger and destitution or failure in their undertakings. Only then will they be able to forge their character, develop patience and endurance and attain outstanding abilities, beyond the ken of the multitude.

Turn Afflictions into Bodhi

Mahayana Buddha

( Master Yin Kuang // Pure Land Zen )

If you suffer financial hardship, I suggest you retreat a step. You should reflect thus: “although there are many in this world more fortunate than I, those who are less fortunate are not few in number. I should seek only to escape hunger and cold; why dream of riches and honor?”

Moreover, if you are content and at peace with your circumstances and surroundings, you can even turn afflictions into Bodhi (Enlightenment), and grief into peace and joy!

If you suffer chronic illness, you should reflect deeply that this body is the very source of suffering, develop a revulsion toward it and strive to cultivate the Pure Land path, determined to achieve rebirth in the World of Ultimate Bliss. The Buddhas view suffering as their teacher, thus achieving Ultimate Enlightenment. Likewise, you should consider illness as medicine, to escape Birth and Death.