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Between Master and Disciples

Buddhist Stories: Cinca the Brahmin Girl, Part 1 of 5, Sep. 27, 2015

2021-07-28
Language:English

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They didn't understand what the Buddha truly was. They didn’t know His power. Their preachings (were) just from outside, telling people, maybe repeating from the Vedas or from some other scripture. But the Buddha is the inner realization, powerful from inside. Can bless people, can save people, can liberate souls, even from hell. Different.

Let's go Buddha business, or… My God, just eating all day. Only because today is festival, OK? (Yes.) Don't expect this every day. You don't come here for this, right? (Yes.) Man, I never know. Maybe you specially came for Moon Festival. You wait until the last minute. Come here just on time to eat the (vegan) cakes.

The Buddha, when He was alive He had also been blamed for things that were not true. You want to know about that? (Yes.) Because I had some bad names, because I thought I was born in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), just a small Aulacese (Vietnamese) woman. And Âu Lạc (Vietnam) is not, like, famous or anything about anything. All you heard about Âu Lạc (Vietnam) is war and refugees and poverty and all that. Just recently, they rise up already, international standard. Even they are in World Trade, how to say… (Organization. WTO.) World Trade Organization, before even Russia. At that time Russia was not admitted, Âu Lạc (Vietnam) already inside.

You don't have any translation? You understood English? You understand? Oh, you have? Good, good.

And I had no back support, nothing. I was all alone, I went (at) it all alone. If I was born in India and all that, then they would call me Guru Mataji, Maharaji Mataji, Babu, Baba. Sami, Samiji. (Swami.) Yeah, Swami, Swami Maharaji, whatever. But I was born in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), so I had nothing to be proud of. At that time, even the war was just recently fresh and Âu Lạc (Vietnam) was still embargoed. Now it's better. The country is much, much better. And the government is open, more open so people can come in and out of the country, foreigners and Aulacese (Vietnamese) alike. It's very good. Bravo for that. It's even easier to go out of the country for doing tourism now than during the war. So the Communist regime in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) is not so bad, very open. Younger generation, open. (The) war's over.

All right, I’ll read you this story. It’s called “Ciñcā, the Brahmin Girl.”

Whoever gives false speech, he transgresses one principle, meaning not telling lies. We have five principles, main principles, like, shall not kill or harm anyone else, and not tell lies, and not steal, and not commit illicit sex, and not take intoxicants. So, telling lies is one of the main principles that we transgress if we tell lies. We should tell the truth only. So, this story was given by the Buddha while He was in residence at Jetavana with reference to Ciñcā Mānavikā.

Stretch your legs, stretch your legs. Oh, I forgot. Stretch it, stretch it. Oh, God, ouch, ouch, I'm also getting old like you two. Oh! My knees are telling me that they exist. (Let me give You a massage, Master.) No. Why bother? It’s too much trouble. What if you’re gone tomorrow? I’ll get used to it and no one to give me a massage. I’ll keep looking and find no one. It’s troublesome!

This probably is told by Ananda also. Most of the stories were told by Ananda and it says, “Thus I have heard.” But this one, translated, he omitted that. It just says, “This instruction was given by the Teacher.” He doesn't even say the Buddha. What a translation! Of course, Buddha means “Teacher,” “Master,” but different. Wise, compassionate, powerful, not just any teacher. So he should not translate it as “Teacher” here. He should have said just “Buddha” then. “Buddha” or “Master.”

Like, for example, Guru Nanak would have been much different from any other Sikh guru at that time. Or Krishna would be a different guru than any other Hindu master at that time, or teacher at that time. There is a big difference. But the inside is different. The outside doesn’t look different; therefore, people cannot tell. Unless you are initiated by that guru, and then you can tell. You can tell because (of) inside experience.

OK, this one is about a girl from a Brahmin family. “For the first period after Enlightenment, the disciples of the Master,” means the Buddha, “multiplied and innumerable gods and men entered on the plane of the Noble Ones.” Spiritual practice. “And as the glory of His virtues became widely known, rich gain and high honor were bestowed upon Him. But, as for the sectarians, lost to them were gain and honor alike.” Meaning the Buddha has become more and more famous. But the sectarians, the non-Buddhist practitioners outside, lost. They lost their fame, they lost their gain, they lost the trust from their disciples, maybe the public at large, because they all flocked to the Buddha then.

So, “Even as the fireflies lost their brilliance before the coming of the sun, and they gathered together in the street and cried out, ‘Is the monk, Gautama, the only Buddha? We also are Buddhas!’” They proclaimed like that. They felt so frustrated, disappointed because the Buddha became so much famous and many people followed Him. And people also left them. “They said, ‘We are also the Buddhas. Does that alone which is given to him, yield abundant fruit?’” They’re asking questions. “That which is given to us brings also abundant fruit.” Meaning don't just give offerings to the Buddha, give offerings to us, you’ll also have merit just the same. That's what they meant. OK, jealousy. Also ignorance.

They didn't understand what the Buddha truly was. They didn’t know His power. Their preachings (were) just from outside, telling people, maybe repeating from the Vedas or from some other scripture. But the Buddha is the inner realization, powerful from inside. Can bless people, can save people, can liberate souls, even from hell. Different. These other teachers, they just talk, they just preach, but they don't have enough power to liberate people. They don't have the inner realization to manifest true wisdom. That is the difference. But they don't know that. So you can't even blame them. They're ignorant. They did not understand the true inner power of the Buddha. They just think, “He looks like me, He looks like us. He also shaves His head and wears the monk’s robe and goes begging like us. So, what's the difference? Why make offering and praise to the Buddha, and not to us?” This is similar like that. Because they really did not understand. They probably did not mean bad, they just did not understand what Buddha, what an enlightened Saint, really means.

“Therefore, you, all people, give alms to us, bestow honor upon us.” Means go praise them and (make) offering to them. “With such words as these did they appeal to the multitude, but for all their appeal they got neither gain nor honor.” They did go out and make propaganda for themselves, but they got nothing out of that. “Accordingly, they met together in secret and considered within themselves, ‘By what means can we cast reproach upon the monk, Gautama, in public, and so put an end to the gain and honor bestowed upon Him?’”

They were thinking of some wicked scheme, trying to defame the Buddha, in secret, these people, these mundane sectarian teachers, who had no wisdom, no enlightenment, no power, just wanted fame and name. Maybe like one of you, one of the people you mentioned before. Maybe some of them. Of course, everywhere in every country there are such people. It takes some great affinity and sincerity in order to discern who is who. Because outside looks the same anyway, right? Outside looks the same, all humans look the same. I look like her and she looks like me. I look like her, and she looks like me. The hair only, but she's a Quebecois. Quebecois. Yeah, Quebecois.

Qeebec or Quebec? (Quebec.) Quebecois. They speak different French. I had some friends, I met some of them before, in Cayman. They're Quebecois. They said they spoke French, but I understood nothing. They did speak French, it's just a different accent. You don't understand a thing what they are saying. I thought they’re speaking Greek or something.

“Now, at that time there lived in Sravasti a certain wandering nun named Ciñcā Mānavikā.” A nun. Mark this. Not a normal girl, a nun. “She possessed such surpassing beauty and loveliness.” Wow! “A very celestial nymph was she. From her body proceeded forth rays of light even.” Wow! She's not a normal nun. She had some good aura, some spiritual gain already.

So, listen. “Now, a certain harsh counselor made this proposal to them,” to this group of jealous teachers, sectarian teachers. “They said, ‘OK. If we engage the assistance of this woman, we shall be able to cast reproach upon the monk Gautama.’” “Gautama” means the…? (Buddha.) The Buddha. They did not call Him the Buddha or Master respectfully. They were just jealous. They called Him by His worldly name, Gautama, the Prince Gautama.

But you see, I thought because I was a Vietnamese (Aulacese) woman, born in Vietnam (Âu Lạc) and a small woman, don't look anything special, so some people don't like. But the Buddha also, you see, had problems. Jesus also had problems. Buddha was even a prince and He forsook all His kingdoms and richness and 500 wives, or some more, and His winter palace, summer palace, just to become a monk, to seek enlightenment. Still, they thought He just wanted fame and gain.

People are not all very reasonable because of ignorance. So now, they wanted to defame Him before all of His disciples, in the public even, disciples and followers. So they were trying to get this woman to do just that. Because this woman, though she was a nun and had light even, and she was beautiful, beautiful and lovely. So all these sectarian teachers agreed to this proposal.

“Ciñcā Mānavikā went to the monastery of the sectarians, saluted them and stood waiting. But the sectarians had nothing to say to her. So thereupon she said, ‘What fault do you find in me?’” She was thinking they brought her there to scold her or something. “This question she repeated three times. Then she said, ‘Noble sirs, I appeal to you for an answer. Noble sirs, what fault do you find in me?’” Means, “What's wrong? What wrong do you think about me? Why do you not speak to me?” I wonder why. I think they were too ashamed to say anything. They didn't know what to do.

“So at the end they said, ‘Sister…’” They explained to her. “They said, ‘Sister, don’t you know the monk Gautama, who goes about doing us harm?’” They’re also the same sect, same Brahmin. So maybe that's why they said He goes around doing “us” harm, meaning, including her.

“‘Depriving us of gain and honor alike?’ So the woman said, ‘No, sir, I do not know Him. But is there anything I can do to help you in this matter?’ So they said…” The teachers, the sectarian teachers said, “‘Sister, if you wish us well, summon all your resources, contrive to cast reproach upon the monk Gautama, and so put an end to the gain and honor that people bestow upon Him.’ So Ciñcā Mānavikā replied, ‘Very well, noble sirs, I will take all the responsibility. Have no anxiety as to the outcome.’” Meaning, “Consider it done.” What a nun, and what monks they are, the whole group of them. “So then she departed.”

“From that time on…” Because they called her to come because somebody advised them that this woman, if you engage her, you can defame the Buddha. But they also didn't know what to do. So they just called her there, and then she stood there, and they stood there, and they didn't know what to say.

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