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The story of a Buddhist God – Sakka (Final)

In the previous post, Buddha taught Sakka how to work with his mind. Practice and train the mind until it becomes refined. At the conclusion of Q&A 8, Sakka became a Sotapanna (1st level enlightenment) He furthered question Buddha on how to practice in daily life.

Q9, 10 & 11 – Sakka: ” How does a practitioner practice”

Buddha: ” A practitioner has conduct, speech and intention (Questing). Conduct, speech and intention that give rise to skilfull qualities should be pursue. Those that leads to unskillful qualities should be avoided.

From the above, we can see that the Buddha is teaching us to be responsible for our ownself. If we wish enlightenment, we need to work on ourselves and transform ourselves. As a general rule of thumb, skillful qualities is focused on the mind qualities. Such as developing compassion, loving kindness, equanimity, appreciative joy and etc. Removing craving, hatred and ignorance.

Intention (questing) refers to our daily pursuit. The driver that causes us to act and speak. Perhaps another term to use is wanting. We all have wanting. Wanting for livelihood, wanting for happiness etc. when we want something, it causes us to act or speak.

Q12 How do we guard against bad influences?

Buddha: Senses of Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought each has two types. Those that leads to skillful qualities and those that leads to unskillful qualities. Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thoughts that leads to unskillful qualities should be avoided whereas those that lead to skillful qualities should be pursued.

By now, it should be pretty clear that we have to take stock of our mind. How our actions, speech and adopted objectives influence us. How we should be mindful of how our senses, how experience gathered through our senses influence us.

Q13 Sakka: “Do all religious teachers teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal? “

Buddha:” Nope”

Sakka:”Why is that so?”

Buddha:
The world is made up of many properties (circumstances, environments, situations etc), various properties. Because of the many & various properties in the diverse world, then whichever property living beings get fixated on, they become entrenched & latch onto it, saying, ‘Only this is true; anything else is worthless.’ This is why not all religious teachers teach the same doctrine, adhere to the same precepts, desire the same thing, aim at the same goal.”

Q14 Sakka:”Have all religious teachers reached the ultimate end, the ultimate sanctuary, the ultimate spiritual life, the ultimate goal?” (In another word, are all religious teachers enlightened?”

Buddha: “Nope”

Note: Have you ever come across people who held the belief that all religions teach man to be good and therefore all religions are the same? If you ever wondered what Buddha’s reply would be, then see above. Are all enlightened? Not everyone.

Sakka: “Why not?”

Buddha :” Only those who are released through the total ending of craving are the ones who are utterly complete, utterly free from bonds, followers of the utterly holy life, utterly consummate.”

Note: Again, it is convenient to simply claim that all religions leads to enlightenment and all religious founders are enlightened. However, that is not true. Although the Buddha did not identify which one of his contemporaries are enlightened, he did left a tip for us to be wise. We just need to see if there are any presence of craving in the personality and teachings.

After the above Q&A, Sakka expressed his complete acceptance of Buddha’s teachings. He also recounted that nobody else was able to answer his questions before Buddha.

Sakka:”
I am the Buddha’s disciple, a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld(lower realm of existence), bound for awakening.”

Above is summarised and extracted from the Sakka Panha Sutta, also famously known as Sakka’s Questions. For full traditional translation, please visit
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.21.2x.than.html or
https://suttacentral.net/dn21/en/sujato

There you have it. How Sakka is now one of us. Fellow Buddhist. Since we are all disciples of Buddha, that is why I say, Sakka is like the rich kid in the neighbourhood. or the rich kid in class. However, do note that Sakka had already obtained Streamwinner. Thus he is bound for enlightenment.

May all be well and happy.

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My Buddhist name is Ratna Jamyang Puntsog. I first encountered Buddhism in this life when I was 12. Formally took ceremonial refuge in the triple gem when I was 19. I believe the different spiritual methods were taught by Buddha to suit various beings who each have their own unique characteristic. The various sects and practices that arose are just a naming convention invented by disciples out of communication necessity. Had read and studied different forms of Buddhism. Volunteered in Buddhist organization. Until it last, I hope to share my views on Buddhism and find like minded practitioners around the world. May we practice Buddha's instruction together and connect through cyber space!

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