|The Academy Awards, when Hollywood pats itself on the back with golden Oscar statues.|
|We're hot, so hot. Well, not you. You're going down, but I'm coming up. Jennifer Lawrence (the new Artemis) and Anne "Crew Cut" Hathaway at Academy Awards with Oscars (WN).|
|Not Oscar, but the Buddha (Debdamone/flickr)|
|Glory, but the wrong kind: Burma Military Academy Gate, Pyin Oo Lwin, in the police state the ruling junta calls Myanmar (marcopolosrhino.com/marcopolosrhino/flickr.com).|
|The Buddha holding mudra (Ponz666/flickr.com)|
And the Buddha taught, as he had much to say for ordinary success in the world and dealing with the day-to-day joy of being a human. Buddhism is about the path to enlightenment in this very life, but not everyone aims for that. Most would seem to be happy to do well, be safe, and get to some heaven or other. Those are legitimate goals, not the ultimate goal, but very common wishes:
Instructions to the multimillionaire
Hellmuth Hecker, Anathapindika: The Great Benefactor (edited by Wisdom Quarterly)
- the bliss of ownership,
- the bliss of wealth,
- the bliss of debtlessness,
- the bliss of blamelessness.
"...A person by means of wealth acquired...both enjoys wealth and does meritorious deeds with it. At the thought, 'By means of wealth acquired...I both enjoy my wealth and do meritorious deeds,' bliss comes, satisfaction comes. This, housefather, is called 'the bliss of wealth.'
"... A person owes no debt either small or great to anyone. At the thought, 'I am free of debt, small or great, to anyone,' bliss comes, satisfaction comes. This, householder, is called 'the bliss of debtlessness.'
"...The noble disciple [enlightened follower] is blessed with blameless action of body, blameless action of speech, blameless action of mind. At the thought, 'I am blessed with blameless action of body, speech, and mind,' bliss comes, satisfaction comes. This is called 'the bliss of blamelessness.'
"Such, housefather, are the four kinds of bliss to be won by the householder..."
|The Buddha in wood (Daklub/flickr)|
- long life,
- fame, and
- (rebirth in) a heaven.
"For a noble disciple, O householder, who wishes to have long life, it is not fitting to pray for long life or take delight in so doing. One should instead follow a path of practice that is conducive to longevity. By following such a path, one will obtain long life, be it divine or human.
"For a noble disciple, O householder, who wishes to have beauty...happiness...fame, (rebirth in) a heaven, it is not fitting that one should pray for them or take delight in so doing. One should instead follow a path of practice that is conducive to beauty...happiness...fame...(rebirth in) a heaven. By following such a path, one will obtain beauty, happiness, fame, and (rebirth in) a heaven."
|Row of golden heroes, previous buddhas, Thailand (Chanarthip Siriviriyapoon/flickr)|
|Quid pro quo: Sleep with me, and I'll make you a star! ("American Dad"/Seth MacFarlane)|
|Caveat emptor: Yeah, right, dummy! I lied!|
"Once [upon a time] a large family of turtles had lived a long time in a lake. One turtle said to another, 'My dear turtle, do not go to that area.' Nevertheless, the turtle went to that area, and because of that a hunter lanced it with a harpoon. So injured the turtle went back to the first turtle. The first turtle, seeing it coming from afar, said: 'I hope, dear turtle, that you did not go to that area.'
"'I went to that area, dear turtle.'
"'Then I hope you have not been hurt or harmed.'
"'I have not been hurt or harmed, but there is this cord that keeps dragging around behind me.'
"Dear turtle, you are hurt, you are harmed! It was because of that cord that your father and grandfather fell into misfortune and disaster. Now go, dear turtle. You are no longer one of us.'
"The 'hunter,' meditators, represents Mara [Cupid, Eros, Kamadeva]. The 'harpoon' represents gains, offerings, and fame. The cord represents delight and passion. Any meditator who relishes and revels in gains, offerings, and fame that have arisen is called a meditator lanced by the harpoon, who has fallen into misfortune and disaster. Mara can do with that person as he wills. That is how cruel gains, offerings, and fame are -- a harsh and bitter obstacle to the attainment of the unexcelled liberation from all bondage.
"So train yourselves: 'We will set aside any gains, offerings, or fame that have arisen, and we will not let any gains, offerings, or fame that have arisen keep our minds/hearts consumed.' That is how you should train yourselves [for the sake of gaining liberation, enlightenment, nirvana in this very life]."
Five Reasons for Getting Rich
|Wait! The Buddha approves of people being rich, enjoying money, and human pleasures?|
(AN 5.41) "Householder, there are five reasons for getting rich. What are the five?
- "...A noble disciple with riches gotten by work and zeal, gathered by the strength of the arm, earned by sweat of brow, justly obtained in a lawful way, makes oneself happy, glad, and keeps that happiness. One makes his parents happy, glad, and keeps them so. So likewise one's spouse and children and servants.
- "...When riches are thus gotten, one makes friends and companions happy, glad, and keeps them so.
- "...When riches are thus gotten, ill-luck... is warded off, and one keeps one's goods in safety.
- "...When riches are thus gotten, one makes the five oblations to kin, guests, spirit, rulers, and devas.
- "...When riches are thus gotten, the noble disciple institutes offerings of lofty aim, celestial, ripening in happiness, leading heavenward, for all those recluses and good persons who abstain from pride and indolence, who bear all things in patience and humility, each mastering self, each calming self, each perfecting self.
The Dung Beetle
|I'm much cooler than other bugs (NPR)|
"Thus train yourselves: 'We will set aside any gains, offerings, and fame that have arisen, and we will not let any gains, offerings, or fame that have arisen keep our minds/hearts consumed.' That is how you should train yourselves."
|I got this mange problem. It's driving me crazy, the itching, scratching, shedding.|
"Yes, venerable sir."
"That jackal is suffering from mange [a painful skin condition]. It finds no pleasure whether it goes to a bluff, the foot of a tree, or the open air. Wherever it goes, wherever it stands, wherever it sits, wherever it lies down, it is sunk in misery.
|Canine heaven (theinspirationroom.com)|
"Thus train yourselves: 'We will set aside any gains, offerings, or fame that have arisen, and we will not let any gains, offerings, or fame that have arisen keep our minds/hearts consumed.' That is how you should train yourselves."
- The Buddha's Advice to Lay People (Narada)
- OTHER TRANSLATIONS:
- Sigalovada Sutta (The Dharmafarers) ...such a popular source of religious inspiration drawn from antiquity, it has served as .... The Dīghajānu Sutta (A 8.54) explains the Four Bases of Worldly Welfare...
- Buddhist Studies: Texts of Buddhist Scriptures - BuddhaNet Practise in accordance with this sutra on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness)... The Sigalovada Sutta: The Layperson's Code of Discipline (DN 31)
- How to Live as a Buddhist (Sigalovada Sutra)