Insects

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Mahakasyapa and Ananda: A Lesson About Karma and Great Compassion

Published Mayo 13, 2015 by jptan2012

Some people, especially those who are not Buddhist or Taoist might find this post a little extreme because of the belief or teaching about reincarnation and that we humans could be reborn as animals, or insects, or could have come from either animals or insects. Nevertheless, no matter how shocking it is, and some may even consider it ridiculously degrading, the truth is this is a widely accepted belief in Buddhism and Taoism, and thus it is important to be kind and compassionate to all sentient beings.

Today, allow me to share the story of Mahakasyapa (also spelled as Mahakassapa) and Ananda. Mahakasyapa and Ananda are just two of the Sakyamuni Buddha’s (also spelled as Shakyamuni) disciple. Mahakasyapa is an old disciple, and Ananda, who is of the royal family before he became a disciple of Buddha and a monk, is young and famous not just for his astounding memory but also for being handsome.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha's left side (from our point of view - right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha's right side.

In Buddhist temples, Mahakasyapa (Mahakassapa) is usually on the Buddha’s left side (from our point of view – right side) and Ananda is on the Buddha’s right side.

One day, while they were out on a walk, the Buddha instructed Ananda to ask a fruit vendor for a watermelon. Ananda, confidently walked over to the lady who sells watermelon and begged for a watermelon. Remember, during those days it is traditional for monks to beg, and lay people even vendors would be very willing to donate food or whatever they can to the monks. However, much to Ananda’s surprise, the fruit lady not only denied him a watermelon, but also she rudely drove her away.

Ananda went back to the Buddha to report what happened. The Buddha then instructed Mahakasyapa to beg for a watermelon. Both Mahakasyapa and Ananda and other members of the sangha didn’t believe that Mahakasyapa will have better luck, but even before Mahakasyapa got to the fruit lady, the fruit lady ran towards him and offered him a watermelon to quench his thirst from the hot weather.

Needless to say, all the Buddha’s disciples were surprised. Then the Buddha explained to them what happened.

In one of their previous lives, Ananda and Mahakasyapa had come across the fruit lady. However, at that time the fruit lady was a cat. The cat died on the street, and when Ananda (in his previous life) saw the dead cat, he veered away because he didn’t like the smell of the rotting flesh and also he didn’t care about the dead cat. On the other hand, Mahakasyapa (in his previous life) when he saw the dead cat, he prayed for it, and picked it up to give the cat a proper burial. Mahakasyapa with his simple act of compassion and kindness towards the dead cat earned a lot of good karma affinity with the dead cat that now happens to be the fruit lady.

That simple act of compassion that Mahakasyapa did, which didn’t even cost him single money, earned him some good karma. Needless to say, Mahakasyapa did the good act of compassion and not for wanting good merits.

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The Vajrapani Ruel Stories (3): Early Karmic Death was Erased with Good Deeds and the Vajrapani Ruel

Published Enero 25, 2015 by jptan2012

In my post called THE WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL AMULET IN THE BUDDHIST PANTHEON CALLED VAJRAPANI RUEL, I mentioned how I’ve always wanted and desired to get the Vajrapani Ruel, which is technically not an amulet. It is generally called an amulet for the lack of term, but it is one of the highest and most powerful forms of amulet in the world. It is an ‘amulet’ that proves to be one of the most difficult to acquire. In fact, the last time it was made was 40 to 50 years ago.

The Vajrapani Ruel looks simple, maybe even rustic, but this simple amulet is packed with a special talisman paper inside, with various ingredients, which includes Namtso Salt, soil, various herbs and plants, crystal, and a relic from a high lama. It's important to put the ruel inside a amulet holder or something sturdy as to not ruin it. If the cloth had tear which exposes or spill the ingredients inside, the ruel becomes useless.

The Vajrapani Ruel looks simple, maybe even rustic, but this simple amulet is packed with a special talisman paper inside, with various ingredients, which includes Namtso Salt, soil, various herbs and plants, crystal, and a relic from a high lama. It’s important to put the ruel inside a amulet holder or something sturdy as to not ruin it. If the cloth had tear which exposes or spill the ingredients inside, the ruel becomes useless.

The Vajrapani Ruel is just one of 3 different known ruels in the world, and it is said that the Vajrapani Ruel is the most powerful ruel. Not only is it a protective ruel, but it is also a wish and wealth granting ruel.

According to my Guru Lama, I may be the very first person to write about the Vajrapani Ruel for the general public. Meaning on the net. There are some very rare and quite few books written about the Vajrapani Ruel in Tibetan, and ironically in Chinese. I say, ironic because the Chinese government is one reason why the Vajrapani Ruel and other Buddhist holy objects and amulets are even rarer and really scarce these days. In fact, some Buddhist monks, specially the younger ones, might have heard of it but has not actually seen one.

However, I was surprised that when I wrote about the Vajrapani Ruel, there are a few friends and fellow Buddhist students from Malaysia and Singapore who contacted and expressed their excitement about the Vajrapani Ruel. Maybe it is not as ‘unknown’ as my Guru Lama thought it is to be.

One of my Nepalese – Chinese friends from Singapore shared with me a story, which was supposedly shared with him by his grandmother. The story was shared with him because his grandmother was the one who first told him about the Vajrapani Ruel and she also kept on telling my friend to find and get one if he can.

Today, allow me to share that story with you. Please note that given the story was only transmitted orally to my friend who shared it with me also, I cannot vouch for the 100% accuracy.

According to my friend’s grandmother (GM), as told to me by my friend, she first heard about the Vajrapani Ruel when she was a young girl in Nepal. The eldest grandson (EGS) of the their family, which is GM’s cousin, was committed by their grandparents to become a monk. So at the young age of 4 or 5, according to my friend there are times that GM will say 4 but there are times that she will say it’s 5, he was sent to the monastery where GM’s and EGS’s eldest uncle was also a monk (UM/Uncle Monk).

The Venerable Abbot of the said monastery and temple was an enlightened man who has psychic abilities. He was able to divine that EGS will not become a monk because he is destined to die at the age of 7 because of bad karma that he earned in his previous life. However, he also felt that he should still accept him so that he can help prepare EGS for his next life. Venerable Abbot confided this to UM, and they decided that when the time comes, they would send EGS back home for a ‘vacation’ so that he can spend time with his family. They’re doing this because they don’t want EGS’s family to be heartbroken.

Soon the time of his supposed death was about to arrive. So Venerable Abbot and UM decided to send EGS home, but before it happened, Venerable Abbot confided to another old monk about the situation. The old monk then told Venerable Abbot that he would be willing to share his Vajrapani Ruel to EGS, that it may aide him to get a better next life because the Vajrapani Ruel also helps cleanse bad karma.

So EGS was sent back home for a 3 – month long vacation, because as divine by the Venerable Abbot, EGS shall passed on the last week of his 3rd month ‘vacation’ in his family home. To get the Vajrapani Ruel, they decided to tell the family of EGS to bring EGS back to them after the end of the third month. But at that time they decided not to tell EGS’s family what the Venerable Abbot has foreseen.

At the end of the third month, UM will always wait for his brother or any of his family members to go the monastery and temple to inform them of EGS’s death. Then on his 3rd or 4th day of waiting of a family member, he did see his brother, EGS’s father coming, but much to his surprised EGS was with him.

UM was really surprised because their Venerable Abbot is known for his the accuracy of his divinations and he really couldn’t believe that Venerable Abbot will fail in his divination of EGS’s karmic death. Soon, Venerable Abbot did another divination, and saw that indeed his bad karma of an early death has been erased. He also saw that the Vajrapani Ruel didn’t actually changed his life but it did enhanced a good deed of the boy that lead him to eradicate his bad karma.

Venerable Abbot interviewed EGS and asked him what he did when he went home. EGS was unable to share anything specific as to what could have changed in his karma. In fact, he and his father said that aside from doing his duties to chant the mantras, he will just simply go out and play in the pond or lake or the woods everyday, he was just being a boy and sometimes he will help his parents with their chores. Venerable Abbot didn’t think that helping do the household chores is enough good karma to erase his bad karma of an early death. But they were unable to get anything out from the boy and so they just let it go.

Several weeks after EGS went back to the monastery, he asked permission to go to the nearby pond. When asked why, EGS replied that when he went back home for his vacation, he noticed that their pond is full of ants, and a lot of times several of these ants will fall off the water. He felt bad for them so he would save as many as he can. He then said, that while playing in the lake, he would also make sure that the little insects will not fell go near the water so that they won’t drown, furthermore, he’ll sometimes go into the woods to pick up fruits the fell off the trees to feed the various insects.

In Buddhism, all animals or insects are considered to have precious life. So by saving an ant tantamount to saving a life, and thus creates good karma.

In Buddhism, all animals or insects are considered to have precious life. So by saving an ant tantamount to saving a life, and thus creates good karma.

That’s when the Venerable Abbot realized what saved EGS. His good deeds and compassion towards the insects earned him a lot of good karma, and because he has the Vajrapani Ruel at that time, which has the ability to erase bad karma and enhanced good karma, EGS’s karmic death was erased. According to GM, although she has lost touch with her family in Nepal, she believes that EGS who is a few years younger than her is now still a monk in Nepal. The last time she heard EGS was the assistant to the new Venerable Abbot.

This is proof that having the Vajrapani Ruel really helps in making a better life possible.

You can also read the following posts about the Vajrapani Ruel:

For questions, comments and suggestions please email sanaakosirickylee@gmail.com

 

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