18-SEP-20 – Dhamma in Action
“I have questions to ask The Buddha.”
Today’s Story Situation (pretend)
- You have traveled several days on foot to arrive to the monastery where The Buddha was staying.
- You arrive and greet a few monks explaining your intent to stay a few days for meditation and training.
- The next morning you wake up early to prepare for morning meditation and a dhamma talk given by The Buddha.
- As you make your way into the dhamma hall, you catch a glimpse of The Buddha walking into the hall and taking a place up front.
- You find a place to sit and wait quietly.
- After the dhamma talk, you decide to approach The Buddha and exchange greetings and introductions.
- He is warm and welcoming and asked your purpose in the visit.
- You explained that you are there for meditation, to receive dhamma teachings, and ask a few questions about how a layperson should practice.
- The Buddha turned and looked at you and said, “What question do you have?”
- You bow and graciously asked …
Key Verse: (Please read the full sutta)
“Sir, we are laypeople who enjoy sensual pleasures and living at home with our children. We use sandalwood imported from Kāsi, we wear garlands, perfumes, and makeup, and we accept gold and money. May the Buddha please teach us the Dhamma in a way that leads to our welfare and happiness in this life and in future lives.”
Dīghajāṇu Sutta AN 8.54
- In this sutta, Dighajanu was blessed to visit The Buddha and ask him about the practice of a layperson. What questions would you want to ask The Buddha?
- The question that Dighajanu asked was of great significance. It sets the purpose of the remainder of the sutta. How would you summarize or describe his question?
- It seems that he recognized that his daily life as a layperson needed something more that sensual pleasures. Something was missing. He wanted to hear The Buddha’s true dhamma teachings on how to be truly happy in this life and the next life. Why do you think he asked this question?
- We will continue to study this sutta in more detail and look further into the answers given by The Buddha. What answers would you have given the young layperson?