Scriptural

Alavaka Sutta – Part 3

In this post, I will match Buddha’s answer to the questions of Alavaka, which was discussed in Part 2. That way, we have a better recollection of what was discussed. I will also color code the questions by Alavaka in green and Buddha’s reply in yellow.

1. Kiṁsū’dha vittaṁ purisassaseṭṭhaṁ? – Kiṁsū suciṇṇo sukhamā’vahāti?
Kiṁsū have sādhutaraṁ rasānaṁ? – Kathaṁ jīviṁ jīvitamāhu seṭṭhaṁ’ti?

Saddhī’dha vittaṁ purisassaseṭṭhaṁ— Dhammo suciṇṇo sukhamā’vahāti
Saccaṁ have sādhutaraṁ rasānaṁ— Paññājīviṁ jīvitamāhu seṭṭhaṁ’ti.
 

What wealth here is best for man?

Faith here is a person’s best wealth

As mentioned previously, wealth is not limited to money and can include anything that we spend our time accumulating. In short, it refers to our possession. So what is the best thing for us to possess?

The Buddha replied that the best thing we can possess is faith or conviction. From a Buddhist perspective, faith in the Triple Gems causes us to be reborn in a better place. It also brings us closer to enlightenment.

However, Buddha’s reply is not limited to the Buddhist perspective.

This is because faith or conviction provides us that fortitude to strive for what we want! For example, if we wish to attain enlightenment, not only must we have faith in the possibility of enlightenment, we also need to have faith or conviction that we can do it.

On a mundane level, if we desire to possess a university degree, then we need conviction and faith that it is worthwhile pursuing and also have faith in our capability to complete our studies satisfactorily. Likewise for the other mundane pursuits such as money, fame, and other gains.

What well practiced will bring happiness?

Dhamma well practised shall bring happiness

Embracing Dharma into our life brings happiness. Not only in this life, but also in our afterlife as well.

We practice Dharma through our actions, speech, and thoughts. For example, we observe the 5 Buddhist precepts to regulate our actions and speech. We adopt the right views in our minds to regulate our thoughts so that we will not develop unwholesome thoughts. We practice the right livelihood so that we earn a living without harming others. All these create good karma.

Ultimately, our practice of Buddha Dharma will lead us to Enlightenment (Ultimate Happiness). If we cannot attain enlightenment in this life, the merits of our practice will lead us towards enlightenment in our future ones.

What is the sweetest of all tastes?

 Truth indeed is the sweetest of all tastes

Truth refers to the Ultimate Truth. In this instance, the experience of enlightenment is the sweetest of taste or the best experience.

Even if we bring this down a notch to the mundane level, it will still make sense.

Suppose truth refers to the absence of lies. This verse will still be logical. This is because if there are no lies in this world, then the stress associated with discerning lies is absent. Our relationship with fellow humans become open and forthright.

How lived is the life they say is best?

One living life with wisdom, they say is best

Buddhists are very fortunate because Buddha had already taught us the Noble Eightfold path. By living accordingly, we will be living life with wisdom. This way of living is the best because it creates the dynamic for us to proceed, life after life, towards Enlightenment.

May all be well and happy.

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