Velāma SuttaBy Rajitha Kithuldeniya
As a Buddhist or non-Buddhist we all should understand that every things in our life depends on the merits and sins. If you are in a very comfortable stage in this life that mean you have done merits in previous lives. But you suffer or facing difficulties on this life that mean you haven’t done enough merits. And one important fact you must understand is sins and merits are similar to our salary. That mean what we earn we spend. And far the more when you are living a comfortable life, you are spending the merits what you have earned. So what will happen when we spend our all salary without making a way of income? We are in a trouble isn’t it? Same thing applies for the merits, if we spend all of them without doing any merits in this life, definitely you are in a trouble in next life.
Now you may realize that you have to do merits as much as possible in this life. You all know we can do different kind of merits. When doing merits we should identify the levels of merits. That mean how much of merits you earned when doing good things. That would help in this life and also next lives. So in this post I’m going to tell you interesting story which describes the levels of merits.
This was happened in Our Blessed ones time period. Our Blessed one was at Anāthapiṇḍika’s monastery at that time. And Blessed one started a story which happened in very past, to Anāthapiṇḍika householder.
“Once, householder, there was a Brahman named Velāma. As a gift, He gave
- 84,000 gold trays filled with silver,
- 84,000 silver trays filled with gold,
- 84,000 copper trays filled with gems.
- 84,000 elephants with gold ornaments,
- 84,000 chariots spread with lion skins, tiger skins, and leopard skins.
- 84,000 milk cows
- 84,000 maidens adorned with jeweled earrings.
- 84,000 lengths of cloth of the finest linen, of finest cotton, of finest silk.
- Uncountable amount of food & drinks, staple & non-staple food And so many things as it was like river”
As you do every time can you convert this great gift in to money? It is large isn’t it? But the unhappy part of this story is in that, there was no one worthy of offering, no one purified that gift. Because of that Velāma Brahman earned few amount of merits after donating that much of stuff. After that our Blessed one explained this too.
“If one were to feed one person consummate in view, that would be more fruitful than the gift, the great gift, that Velāma the Brahman gave”
“If one were to feed one once-returner, that would be more fruitful than if one were feed to 100 people consummate in view”
If one were to feed one arahant, that would be more fruitful than, if one were feed to 100 non-returners.”
“If one were to feed one Private Buddha, that would be more fruitful than, if one were feed to 100 arahants.”
“If one were to feed one Tathagata - a worthy one, rightly self-awakened - that would be more fruitful than, if one were to feed 100 Private Buddhas.”
Wow… isn’t it? Now can you imagine how much of merits you can earn by feeding a blessed one. Yes the blessed one is not here now. But you can offer foods to Buddha’s relics. That would be similar as you feed living Buddha. It should not be the foods, you can offer any thing you like. Now think how much you spend a packet of foods, nearly 200rs isn’t it. Can you believe you can gain accountable amount of merits by spending 200rs.
As blessed one said that is the maximum you can gain by feeding one person. But if you like to earn more and more merits there is a way. That is you have to think about community of monks. Now let’s go to the next step.
“If one were to feed a community of monks headed by the Buddha, that would be more fruitful than, if one were feed to a Tathagata.”
“If one were built and dedicated a lodge or stupa to the community of monks of the four directions, that would be more fruitful than, if one were feed to a community of monks headed by the Buddha”
Wow… isn’t it? Have you ever built a lodge or stupa to the community of monks of the four directions. If you answer is ‘No’ don’t worry just right now find a place, get to gather with others, arrange a day and start it. Don’t be late because we don’t know when we die. Even it can be now, how knows it. Before to die at lease build a one lodge or stupa to the community of monks of the four directions. As blessed one said that is the maximum amount of merits you can gain by offering to a group of people. If you think it is so hard and expensive to build a lodge or stupa to the community of monks. Or you think you need more and more merits. Yes there is easy and simple way to earn more than that.
“If one with a confident mind were to go to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha for refuge, that would be more fruitful than if one built and dedicated a lodge or stupa to the Community of monks of the four directions.”
“If one with a confident mind were to undertake the training rules - refraining from taking life, refraining from taking what is not given, refraining from illicit sex, refraining from lying, refraining from distilled and fermented drinks that cause heedlessness - that would be more fruitful than, if one with a confident mind were to go to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha for refuge.”
“If one were to develop even just one whiff of a heart of good will, that would be more fruitful than, if one with a confident mind were to undertake the training rules”
“If one were to develop even for just a finger-snap the perception of inconstancy that would be more fruitful than, if one were to develop even just one whiff of a heart of good will”
It is easy right? Within finger-snap you can go to the maximum amount of merits. Now you know levels of merits and what do you need to do for getting it. So why don’t you starts it now? Don’t be late.
TRIPLE GEM BLESS YOU