⑾Buddha Meditation Days and Brahmanic Convocation - Did Buddha Hesitate to Preach to People? What is Persuasion by the Indian God Brahman?

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The life of Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha) as seen through local photographs] ⑾
 Buddha's Meditation Days and Brahmanic Convocation - Did Buddha hesitate to preach to the people? What is Persuasion by the Indian God Brahman?

Buddha finally attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya.

Previous ArticleThe Buddha's Victory over the ⑽Mara (Devil) and His Enlightenment. What does he have in common with Jesus Christ?"In this article, I would like to talk about Buddha right after his attainment of enlightenment.

Buddha enjoying the state of enlightenment

Bodhi Tree in Bodh Gaya

Enlightened under the Bodhi tree, Buddha went into deep meditation and enjoyed this wonderful state for seven days.

Then, after seven days, he got up and moved under the Ajapala tree, where Buddha also sat for seven days.

Thus, Buddha would change his seat every seven days for a total of 49 days of immersion in the state of meditation.

And many things happened during these 49 days. (In this article, Hajime Nakamura .Gautama Buddha.(I will introduce my own translation based on)

Protection of the Dragon King Muchalinda

While Buddha was meditating as usual after his enlightenment, heavy rain began to fall and a cold wind blew. However, Buddha was in such a deep state of meditation that he did not mind the bad weather at all. However, feeling sorry for Buddha who was exposed to the wind and rain, a huge cobra named Dragon King Muchalinda came to him. He wrapped himself around Buddha and gently protected him from the wind and rain.

Dragon King and Buddha Statue at Nagadeepa Island, Sri Lanka

In India, belief in the dragon and snake gods has been popular since ancient times. It is significant that these indigenous Indian deities took deep refuge in Buddha and protected him from the wind and rain. It shows that Buddha was a man whom even the gods of ancient India admired.

Birth of the first secular believers

The other was the devotion of the merchants Pussa and Bhallika, which occurred in the fourth week. Two merchants who happened to be passing through the area were led by God to learn of the presence of the Buddha. They were struck by Buddha's divine presence and offered him food. Then they asked Buddha, "Please accept us as your lay believers. Thus they became the first lay believers. It is an interesting tradition in the history of Buddhism that lay believers were born in this way before the establishment of ordained Buddhist orders. A Buddhist order cannot be established only by ordained believers. It is only when there are lay believers who support them that ordained practice is possible. This episode suggests this fact.

Bontenkanjou

One day, while he was enjoying the state of enlightenment, the following thought occurred to him.

The truth I have realized is so profound and difficult that it can only be understood by those who are wise beyond the realm of thought. The people of the world are obsessed with the world of attachment and seek only the pleasures of the world. It is difficult for such people to see my truth. They will have a hard time understanding the meditation that renounces desire and stills the mind. What will happen when I preach my teachings to such people? It will only leave me fatigued and worried..."

What need is there for me to preach now what I have realized with great difficulty? It is not easy for people obsessed with greed and hatred to realize this truth. My teaching may go against the flow of the world.... If that is the case, I would like to continue to enjoy the pleasant state of enlightenment alone. There is no use in struggling to preach..."

The truth that has been so hard to realize will be lost without being conveyed to anyone if things continue as they are. In this pinch, a savior appeared. It was Brahman, the supreme deity of India.

The author purchased this paper from an antique store in India, circa 13th century? This is a piece of paper with a Brahman on it. I am not sure if this is really from the 13th century, but I am sure it is Brahman.

He speaks to Buddha thus.

The Most Venerable One! Please teach us your teachings. There are some people in this world who are born with little defilement. Please preach the truth for them as well. There are many teachings spreading in this world, but it is your enlightened truth that will save the world. As one who stands on the top of a mountain can see in all directions, so do You see those who suffer in the world!

However, even his best efforts at persuasion did not resonate with the Buddha. He said, "No, those who are covered by darkness cannot see my truth. O Brahma, I do not wish to speak anymore."

But Brahman will not give up. He said, "O Venerable One! Teach me your teachings!

No, my enlightened truths are too profound and esoteric. Besides, people are so occupied with their own lives that they do not have the time to give their attention to life's problems. My teachings will not reach them. I have nothing but sorrow..."

O Most Venerable One, teach us your teachings! Teach us your teachings!"

After being beseeched by Brahman three times, Buddha finally, out of compassion for all living beings, began to observe the world as Brahma had told him to do.

As he once did when he attained enlightenment, Buddha entered a state of deep meditation and used his power to contemplate the phases of the world. He saw that in the world there are those who are less defiled and those who are more defiled, those whose spiritual qualities are sharp and those who are weak and dull, those who are easy to teach and those who are hard to teach, and that some people live in fear of the next life and of sin. Just as the blue lotus, the red lotus, and the white lotus all bloom on the surface of the water, grow stems in the water, and take root in the mud, so the Buddha saw that there are many different human aspects.

Yes," he said! Even if the world seems to be out of reach of my teachings, it is only one phase. There is always someone somewhere who is seeking my teachings. Even now, there are people suffering and seeking salvation somewhere!

Thus, Buddha stood up and made up his mind to preach.

There are a number of important points in this episode.

First of all, this episode of Brahman's Buddhist invocation itself is a good example of Buddha's psychological conflicts.

Another is that Brahman, the supreme deity of India, called Buddha "the Venerable One" and encouraged him to preach.

Buddha's teachings were quite different from the teachings of Brahmanism (later Hinduism) of the time. Naturally, the people of the world live with a Brahminical view of the world and life. It is only natural that Buddha would hesitate to preach to them because he was about to teach them something that was completely different from their common sense.

If there is a possibility that his teachings will not be accepted at all, and his preaching will end in drudgery and worry, it is not a bad idea to continue living quietly as a practitioner, alone, enjoying the wonderful conditions of this world. It is not surprising to think so.

However, through the persuasion of Brahman, the Buddha was reminded of the importance of compassion for people. He realized that he must preach not only for his own salvation, but also for the sake of the people of the world, no matter how difficult it may be.

Herein lies the major key to the start of the Buddhist Order. The Buddhist mission is to preach the teachings not only for one's own salvation, but also for the salvation of the people of the world. This is the difference from the traditional ordained practitioners. Of course, groups of ordained practitioners and large Brahmanical orders already existed, but this attitude of Buddha is a major point in considering Buddhism.

And the very existence of Brahman in this Brahma-sambhava is also very important. As I mentioned earlier, Brahman is the supreme deity of India. This supreme deity came all the way to the Buddha's presence and asked him three times to start preaching. For us Japanese, this is reminiscent of the "three visits" to Buddha, isn't it? The fact that he asked so earnestly is expressed here.

As I have told you before, Buddhism was also born in the context of this Indian world. Buddha did not ignore these Indian gods and their teachings. Rather, it can be said that he was aware that he was living in this Indian worldview and sought a way to transcend it.

The Brahma-sangha is also often dismissed as "this is just a legend created in a later period. It is hard to believe that such analytical thinking was done more than 2000 years ago. About this,

periodF. C. Almond, "The Discovery of Buddhism in England: Buddhist Studies Emerges from an English Desk! The Roots of Mahayana Criticism Start Here"
periodTomomichi Nitta, "The Abyss of the Buddha in the Mahayana" - There was no mythologizing of the Buddha! What is Gen Nakamura's Critique of the Historical View of Buddha? From "Series on Mahayana Buddhism, Vol. 5: Buddha and Pure Land - Mahayana Buddhist Scriptures II."
periodYasuaki Nara, "A History of Indian Buddhism as a Culture" - A great book I highly recommend to monks who are troubled by criticism of funeral Buddhism!

We hope you will also refer to our articles such as the following.

Well, this is how Buddha took the first step toward preaching.

In the next article, I will discuss Buddha's first preaching, "First Turning of the Wheel of the Law". Finally, the beginning of the Buddha's cult.

Next Article.

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