DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- ARYA LONGEVITY VAKKULA
By Nhat Quan
translates into Chinese as Thien Dung. Thien Dung is beautiful
in appearance, his appearance is exceptionally good, and his
face makes people feel happy at first sight. Thanks to the
merits of observing the precept of not killing, he obtained
the five immortals:
- Not being
burned to death by fire,
water does not burn the body,
- Do not drown
- Do not get
bitten by fish,
- Don't get
cut by a knife.
up, in just 3 days, he attained Arahantship. He did not suffer
retribution due to illness, did not die prematurely, he lived
at the age of 160, so he was called the First Longevity.
The reason why
he was like this was that in the past time of Vipasyin Buddha,
at that time the forerunner of venerable Vakkula was staying
in a temple, he saw rich people belonging to the aristocracy
coming to the temple to make offerings to the Sangha. At that
time, he was drunk, lying in bed, thinking:
- I am very
poor, so what should I give? I have just obtained a Haritaki
(the yellow Myrobalan tree and fruit, grown in East India,
used for medicine) fruit that can be used for eye disease,
headache, or urinary retention. If one of the Sangha is sick,
I can give alms to cure the disease.
Arya Vakkula hit the Small bell, announcing that he wanted to
give away the medicine. At that time a monk with a very bad
headache came to ask for Haritaki fruit to cure his illness.
The physician immediately brought Arya Vakkula's Haritaki
fruit and gave it to the other monk. When the bhikkhu finished
using it, he recovered from his illness, and that bhikkhu
attained the fruit of the Pratyekabuddha. For this reason,
during the ninety-one kalpas, Arya Vakkula, born in heaven or
the human world, never got sick.
Legend has it
that in this last life, before leaving home to follow the
Buddha. When he was young, his stepmother tried to kill him
many times without success:
The story is
that he was born in a Brahmin house, his mother died early,
and his father got married. At that time, when Arya Vakkual
was a child, seeing his stepmother making cakes, he
immediately demanded to eat. The stepmother had a bad temper
and hated her husband's child, so she put Vakkula in the oven
while frying bread, the fire was powerful, she also took a
frying pan with the bottom and placed it on top. The father
came home from work, and looked for his son everywhere, but
couldn't find it. Finally, he found out that Vakkula was in
the oven cooking and dragged him out. Although he was put in
the furnace, the boy was unharmed.
his stepmother was cooking meat, Vakkula came to ask for food.
The stepmother got angry and threw him in the pot. The water
in the pot was boiling, but there was no way to break him. The
father looked everywhere, but could not find him shouting:
- My son!
Where are you?
Vakkula in the
pot responded, the father hurriedly pulled his son out, but he
was not injured at all. Finally, one day, when the stepmother
went to the river, Vakkula grabbed her shirt and ran after
her. The mother was so angry that she said:
- What kind of
monster are you, but you can't burn it, but you won't die even
if you cook it?
Then she threw
him into the river. Before long, a large shark swam to swallow
him in the stomach. A fisherman caught this fish and brought
it to the market to sell. But because the price is too high,
no one can buy it. In the afternoon, the fish was about to go
bad when he met Vakkula's father at the market. Seeing fish,
- This fish
has a lot of meat but it will go bad, probably not very
expensive, I can buy it. Then he paid and brought the fish
When he got
home, he used a sharp knife to cut open the fish's belly.
Vakkula in the fish's belly cried out:
- Dad! Be
careful! Don't hurt me!
The father was
so happy, he cut open the fish's belly and hugged his son.
up following the Buddha's ordination, within 3 days he
attained Arahantship, full of merit, and lived to be one
hundred and sixty years old without being sick, even having a
headache or a fever. In addition to the blessings of a long
life, and no illness, he is also a very contented person, with
very little desire, preferring to live in peace and quiet.
According to the Vakkula Sutra of Majjhima-Nikaya, Book 8
- I have been
in the Dharma, the Law, have studied the Way for 80 years, but
have never had a disease, even if it is a headache in the span
of a fingernail; never took medicine even a piece of haritaka
a long period of study, Venerable Vakkula
- Never had
- Do not start
with high culverts, conceit
received the robes of a layperson,
- Never cut
- Never asked
someone else to sew for him,
- Never used a
needle to sew clothes, never used a needle to sew a bag, not
even a thread.
received an invitation from a layperson,
out-of-order begging for alms
- Never begged
for alms in large houses to receive hard and soft foods that
are plentiful, pure, and delicious;
- Never looked
at a woman; never entered the bhikkhuni's area, never asked a
question with the bhikkhuni, nor even talked in the middle of
- Never raised
Sa-di, never preached to white robes; until never told them
only four verses.
- Never been
sick, even if it was just a headache from the snap of a
finger; never took any medicine, not even a haritaka fruit
- When sitting
cross-legged, never leaned against a wall or against a tree.
Asokaraja Sutra, King Asoka, who was a believer in the
Buddhadharma, practiced human rights, unified the world, and
founded the Peacock Dynasty. One day, the king and Venerable
Upagupta visited the stupas, giving alms. When he reached the
stupa of Arya Vakkula, Venerable Upagupta told the king that
this was the stupa of Arya Vakkula, the king should make an
offering. Asoka then asked:
outstanding merit does this venerable one have to make such an
Venerable is the number one disease-free person among the
Buddha's disciples, practicing quietly, with little desire for
the king took a coin as an offering from the tower. However,
the coin just offered flew back to Ashoka's feet. Then the
- This Arahant
has the capacity of meritorious virtue to minimize desire,
until he reaches Nirvana, but still does not receive a single
His example of
diligent study, the practice of giving, and results are always
worth reminding people to enlighten people to study and
cultivate blessings. In this regard, according to the Mahayana
sutras, Hinayana Buddhism often teaches you. The wishes of all
sentient beings are many, but in general, there are three
- The first is
- Second is
The third is
to be healthy and live a long life.
life, there is no one who does not want these three things.
But you have to know, these three things are all blessings and
good deeds. When you want fruit, you should cultivate it.
Cause and effect must be proportional. The proverb often says:
- In Buddhism,
when there is prayer, there is definitely an induction.
If you can't
pray elsewhere, you can pray in the Buddha's house. Do you
Buddha knows cause and effect, how cause and effect are like
that, Buddha understands. The Buddha taught that people of
merit and wisdom must practice together, and must put the
conditions of cultivation of merit and wisdom first. The
Buddha often said:
wisdom without cultivating merit is like an Arhat holding an
cultivate wisdom, you will attain Arahantship, but you will
not practice meritorious virtues. When you go begging for
food, you will not receive offerings from anyone, you will be
hungry every day. On the contrary, if you only cultivate merit
and virtue without cultivating wisdom, you may have full
blessings, but it is not certain that you will be reborn in
the human realm. So say:
virtue without cultivating wisdom, like a big elephant wearing
a Keruva or a Necklace of pearls.
means that although you have great blessings and rewards,
without wisdom, in the next life you may fall into the animal
realm and be reborn as a great elephant. That big elephant had
the good fortune and was raised by the king. The king wants to
go out and ride that big elephant, the whole elephant's body
is covered with a Necklace of pearls, jewels, and pearls that
shine bright, blessed but not wise, so he has to become an
Buddha taught that if you are blessed with wisdom and
practice, your retribution will be both wise and blessed. If
both things are not cultivated, then you are of course
impoverished for eternity. You must trust the Buddha's word,
which is more important than anything else.
there are many books and guides to discover how to get rich.
But you read carefully and look at the author of the book or
the teacher. They study and teach, all focusing on conditions
without cause! Like business and trade management, all
techniques for relationships, are based on statistics showing
how many billionaires in the world, where do they start?
Business how? How do you earn so much money? They study those
things, want to learn, and want to imitate.
experts and professors explain everything clearly, but they
themselves are not rich, even their lives are quite difficult.
There are people who have taught in universities all their
lives, and if they teach well, they will be promoted to the
rank of Professor. When he retired, he was invited to be a
consultant by companies, but he was not rich! The reason why
you understand the way to get rich like that, but don't
develop wealth, is because what you learn, and teach is all
predestined, but bạn don't teach creating any cause!
Like a farmer
planting a crop. As for cultivation techniques, it can be said
that they study very carefully, and analyze the soil, water
composition, fertilizers, climate, sunlight, and air, with
these they all research very carefully, but their disadvantage
is no seed. As Experts, nothing can be grown without seeds!
The seed that I mean is that your own must have wealth. There
is no wealth in your body, no matter how good the technique or
method is, it is impossible to be rich! In the real body,
there is wealth, no matter what method, and no matter how
wealth and resources are still pouring in.
only the Buddha knew, the Buddha spoke very clearly. In your
body there is money, in divination, this is called a treasure
of wealth. The store of wealth that I speak of here comes from
almsgiving! In the past, you practiced giving a lot, so your
finances were rich and very large. No matter what job you do,
you will get rich. In the past, regretting wealth, and refused
to give alms, in this life the warehouses were empty, no
matter how well you learn, you still can't make money. At
most, you finish the course, graduate, and then join the
company to help people make money, and work as an employee for
them, but you are not the boss!
You must know,
intelligently, the wisdom of giving the dharma. Health and
long life by giving fearlessness. Venerable Vakkula lived a
life of the highest order, you see, and know that he gave a
lot of fearless alms in the past life after life. He is
benevolent, has great mercy, great compassion, save suffering,
rescues, sees all sentient beings suffering from accidents, he
gladly helps out, thus, enjoying long life retribution.
wealth or poverty, health or disease, and suffering, are not
available at birth, but all must have a new cause to arise.
Buddha-Avatamsaka Sutra teaches that:
- Having an
evil mind, you look at the person who generates the Bodhi
mind, so you have to suffer the retribution of blindness.
Using bad words to slander those who have generated the Bodhi
mind should suffer the retribution of being born without a
Liang Wu Ti
Repents also says that:
- Born as a
dumb person, it is because the previous life slandered others.
Born as a short person, is due to the previous life's contempt
for others. Born as ugly and unlucky people, it is because
their previous life blocked the light of the Buddha's
teachings. The painful boils of the body are caused by the
beatings and tortures of other sentient beings in previous
Suddharma-Pundarika Sutra or The Lotus Sutra teaches that:
suffering from edema diseases, headaches, scabies, leprosy...
are due to the previous life's destruction of this sutra, so
they must bear such retribution.
you can know that each disease has a cause to create karma in
a previous life, so:
medicine for treatment, that is to help people after the
illness has arisen,
people not to create evil karma, that is to help people since
the illness has not arisen.
medicine to save people is the practice of giving and
medicine to people, that is also practicing charity.
for the poor does not calculate the cost of benefits, it is
also the practice of generosity, joy, and equanimity.
others not to sell fake medicine, that is also the practice of
giving and rejoicing.
clear example is worth it for you to regularly encourage each
other on the path of learning, through which is the method of
practicing generosity, rejoicing, and diligence... Although
there are many cultivation methods, the most important thing
is to come from a compassionate heart.
If you have any recommendations,
please e-mail to: