Alavaka Sutta – Part 10

In Part 9, Alavaka asked about the preoccupation in the minds of sentient beings. It relates to our daily endeavors. In our quest to find meaning in life and our attempt to live a meaningful one, each one of us attempted to accumulate wealth. Wealth is not limited to material and monetary stuff, it also includes other forms of accumulation. Such as experiences, knowledge, and various other mundane pursuits. Besides being preoccupied with accumulating wealth, we also desire fame (recognition, praise, acknowledgment, respect, etc), and friendship (kinship/relationship/love/clanship, etc).

In post 9, we talked about wealth; now let us continue reading the rest.

Kathaṁsu labhate paññaṁ? – Kathaṁsu vindate dhanaṁ?
Kathaṁsu kittiṁ pappoti? – Kathaṁ mittāni ganthati?
Asmā lokā paraṁ lokaṁ – Kathaṁ pecca na socati

Alavaka: How does one gain wisdom? How does one obtain wealth? How does one achieve fame? How does one win many friends? When passing from this world to the next, how does one not sorrow?

Patirūpakārī dhuravā – Uṭṭhātā vindate dhanaṁ
Saccena kittiṁ pappoti – Dadaṁ mittāni ganthati

Buddha: Who is tactful and energetic,
And gains wealth by his own effort;
Fame will he acquire by truth,
And friendship by his giving

In the previous post, we discussed how we can enhance or increase our wealth (利)through our initiative, diligence, discipline, faith, patience, forbearance, and doing things that are befitting our goals. In this post, Buddha explained that fame is acquired by truth.

Fame (名)

Fame refers to a good name. When we have fame, that means we are viewed favorably by the community and society. That good name of ours can be easily tarnished when people discover that we are actually fake.

For example, the good name of a businessman can crash because of their untruthful business dealings. A start-up can crash when the investors discover that their funds were untruthfully used for other purposes. A spokeswoman for domestic abuse can lose her popularity when it was found that she was the abuser. A religious teacher suffer shame when it was discovered that his “holiness” was only a charade.

In summary, nobody likes to be lied to because nobody enjoys being fooled. Therefore, fame or a good name can only be acquired by truth.

The above refers to our mundane sphere of acitivites. In the same manner, great masters had also advised us that the same applies to the spiritual worlds. When we practice truthfulness in our words and heart, we enjoy the patronage of higher spiritual beings. Our prayers and mantra will have more efficaciousness.

Friendship (情)

To acquire friendship, we need to give. Friendship refers to any positive relationship with others. The basis of a relationship is goodwill. And the basis of goodwill is to care and give.

If we desire the goodwill of others, then we need to practice giving. We give others our mental goodwill, we give them good and kind words, and we give them help and material comforts. All of these three must be offered to others.

If we only take and do not know how to give, then we are bound to lose the goodwill of others. Even if that person is our spouse or children.

The above completed, Alavaka’s question relates to our “purpose in life”. If you think about it, the above 3 are our preoccupations in life. The next question by Alavaka deals with our afterlife. To be continued.

May all be well and happy.

Yasse’te caturo dhammā – Saddhassa gharamesino
Saccaṁ damo dhitī cāgo – Sa ve pecca na socati

If a faithful householder is truthful, wise, energetic, and fond of giving, by virtue of these four qualities, he will not sorrow when he passes on.

 Iṅgha aññe’pi pucchassū – Puthu samaṇabrāhmaṇe
Yadi saccā damā cāgā – Khantyā bhiyyo na vijjati

If you wish, ask of other recluses and brāhmins, if there is anything better in this world than truth, self-control generosity, and patience.

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