By Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema
82,000 Teachings from the Buddha i've got received;
2,000 extra from his disciples; Now, 84,000 are widespread to me.1
Who not anything has heard2 and not anything understood, He a long time in simple terms oxen-like:
His belly merely grows and grows,
But his perception deepens not.
Who has a lot heard and learned,
But does despise him who's bad in studying, Is like one blind who holds a lamp.
So needs to i believe of one of these one.
Thou keep on with him who has heard much,
Then what's heard shall now not decline.
This is the tap-root of the holy life;
Hence a Dhamma-guardian thou should’st be!
Knowing what comes first and final, realizing good the that means, too,
Skilful in grammar and in different items,3 The well-grasped which means he examines.
Keen in his sufferer application,
He strives to weigh the that means good. on the correct time he makes his attempt, And inwardly collects his mind.
— the Venerable Ánanda, Thag XVII.3 (vv. 1024-29)
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Additional info for Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma
The Buddha often addressed Ánanda with a question or teachings, which were either meant for Ánanda’s spiritual growth or gave the occasion for a discourse to all the monks present. It is always more stimulating for the listeners when two experts discuss a subject with each other, rather than only one speaking. In this way many of the conversations between the Buddha and Ánanda are discourses for the instruction of others. One special occasion for a discourse was that the Buddha had smiled when he had came to a certain locality.
When Channa heard this, he became so horrified that he lost consciousness. When he regained his sense, he was deeply ashamed that the Master had proclaimed this penalty against him as his last instruction given to the Order. This gave him the impetus to put forth his most strenuous effort; within a short time he became an arahant. So this penalty showed itself to be the Buddha’s 52 last act of compassion for the benefit and happiness of the monk Channa, being effective even after the Buddha’s death.
1). In this way Ánanda inquired about many aspects of the Dhamma. Sometimes Ánanda reported certain views of his to the Buddha, so that the Buddha could either accept or correct them. For instance he said that good friendship was half of the holy life. Unexpectedly the Buddha disagreed: noble friendship was more than half it was all of it. What would the holy life be like, if they had not all come to the Buddha, as their best friend, to be shown the right way? 57; MN 121). The best-known remark of Ánanda must surely be the one where he said that causal arising 33 was very profound, but it seemed quite clear to him.