Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Buddha prevents relatives from fighting

Crystal Quintero, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells, Wisdom Quarterly; photographer Inkid (flickr)
Presiding Buddha Image: Pra Buddha Attharos Preventing Relatives from Fighting mudra (posture)
Once there was a great shortage of whater in the small river that ran between two small [Indo-Scythian] kingdoms [in Shakyaland/Sakastan].

The people in the kingdoms were both relatives of the Lord Buddha [members of the Shakya Clan]. But they were going to fight over the water.

The Lord Buddha knew that if he did not [intervene and] prevent them, there was going to be great bloodshed.

So he came and wisely asked, "Which means more to you, water or relatives?" The Lord Buddha's question made the people realize that it is foolish to be fighting over the water.

The Lord Buddha's statement and posture holding his right hand up not only prevents his relatives from fighting but also signifies peace to the world. [The relatives relented at first, but due to their karma, they returned. They relented again. But they returned yet again and the Buddha realized he could not prevent them. It did not end well for the relatives. Sometimes even a Buddha cannot prevent what living beings are intent on.]

The gold accented Jade Buddha and dragons, Bangkok, Thailand (Inkid/
Kaludayin Thera: Crossing the Rohini River
Excerpt by Andrew Olendzki (trans.), Theragatha 10.1
The Buddha prevents a war between hostile neighbors, his relatives, as explained above.
Translator's note: These verses are said to have been uttered by Udayin (nicknamed Kala Udayin or "Dark Udayin"). He was the son of King Suddhodhana's chief minister and is said to have been the childhood companion of Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha Gautama. Soon after the Buddha's great awakening (maha bodhi), his father King Suddhodana sent several messengers to ask him to return home.
Each one, upon hearing the Enlightened One's teaching, apparently joined his movement to gain enlightenment themselves and gave up the king's mission. Finally King Suddhodhana sends Kaludayin, who agrees to the mission on condition that he can become a follower of the Buddha upon getting him to return home for a visit.
The Rohini river runs through the heart of the Buddha's homeland [Indo-Scythia, Central Asia, west of Gandhara], marking the border between the lands of the Shakyas and the Koliyas (his father's and mother's families, respectively).

Crossing the L.A. River (
Since the verses are uttered in Rajagaha (modern Rajgir), well to the southeast of Shakya-land, a returning journey would face the traveler westward. One commentary says that Kaludayin went on for 60 stanzas of this beautiful nature poetry before asking the Buddha to return. But we only have the first few of these. The language is rich and evocative of spring sights and smells. It is composed in a meter of eleven syllables per line.
The Buddha does indeed go home soon after his great enlightenment, where he picks up a number of male and female family members to join his monastic order. These include his half-brother (Nanda), several cousins (Ananda, Anuruddha, and Devadatta), and his son (Rahula). Eventually his wife (Princess Bimba, known more widely as Yasodhara, Rahulamata, and Bhaddhakaccana), the step-mother who raised him (Queen Maha Pajapati), and many other [Indo-Scythian] Shakyas also went on to become nuns and monks.
Crimson now, sir, are the trees of the forest,
Having shed their foliage, they're eager to fruit,
(Their flowers are) blazing forth like brilliant flames, —
It is a luscious time of year, Great Hero.
The blossoming trees, so pleasing to the mind,
Spread their fragrance in every direction,
Surrendering their leaves and longing for fruit; —
The time has come to depart from here, Hero.
It is neither too cold, nor again too hot,
The season is pleasant, suited for travel.
My lord, let the Shakyas and Koliyas see you —
Facing westward and crossing the Rohini.

Tsunami creature
(AlaiNet) During the Japanese tsunami a strange creature was caught on camera. Real footage shows massive onslaught of water then a creature (possibly a giant white slithering cat or macaque monkey) leaps onto a roof.

(CGC) Women need equality. The Iron Maidens, Roland Booth, Namm 2012 (
Fruiting bodies, mushrooms can save the planet, Woodlawn Cemetery (

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