Live A Great Life
The Buddha’s words: Those who live a righteous life are more independent than others in this world.
In Buddhism, to live a righteous life is the aim of the Buddhist. To gain that goal, right understanding is the first step because it is very important to have it. It can protect human beings from major wrong doings. The Buddha gave the most importance to right understanding which would lead human beings to understand the reality of life and lead to the state of the stream-enterer.
The Buddha explained the qualification of the stream-enterer; he had unmovable faith in the triple gem, the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha and observed five precepts at all points in life. He might do some evil kamma but only a little. He abandons the three fetters or bondages; 1) false view of individuality, 2) skeptical doubt about triple gem, and 3) adherence to rules and rituals.
Without false view of individuality he does not talk back to the blamer, does not hit back to the one who attacks and does not take revenge even though he still has greed, aversion, and delusion. Without skeptical doubt about triple gem, he has confidence in it and intends to learn and practice the Dhamma of the Buddha and he might see temporally Nibbana. Without adherence to rules and rituals, he observes monastic disciplines and practices meditation dedicated to enlightenment. He will not do six great mistakes; 1) matricide, 2) patricide, 3) killing an Arahant, 4) causing a Buddha to suffer a contusion or to bleed, 5) causing schism in the Order, and 6) misunderstanding the religious teaching. On the contrary, he does the opposite of those six things such as being grateful to parents and so on.
The section in the Anguttara Nikaya known as the Dasa-nipata says that there are three types of stream-enterers; 1) the Single-Seed, 2) the Clan-to-Clan, and 3) the seven-Times-at-Most. This is the explanation: the Single-Seed is to be reborn just once and then attain Nibbana in the next life. This is because he has enough wisdom but he lacks some of the perfections. It is like the case of a novice monk, even if he has wisdom he cannot join the order of monks because he is fewer than 20 years of age and so he cannot become a monk. He will be able to do so when he is fully 20 years old and become a monk. The Clan-to-Clan has a middle amount of wisdom and so he will be reborn from family to family two to three times in order to accumulate wisdom and perfection for attaining Nibbana. Finally, the seven-Times-at-Most has normal amount wisdom and so will need seven rebirths at most to accumulate sufficient wisdom for the attaining of emancipation.
Regarding living a righteous life, the great lay disciple of the Buddha, Anatha, was worried about his son, Kala, who had never done good kamma even though he had taught him. He thought, “Kala has wrong view so when I’m here, I should do something to break his wrong view” and planned that he would hire his son to observe monastic discipline and listen to the Buddha’s dhamma in the temple. He said to his son, “Kala, if you observe monastic discipline and listen to the Buddha’s dhamma in the temple, I’ll give you 100 Kahapana.” Kala accepted his father’s word and went to the temple to observe the monastic discipline but he did not intend to listen to the Buddha’s Dhamma, instead he just sat and slept at the back of the temple’s hall. As for his father, when he saw his son coming back from the temple, he gave him the money. The next day he asked him to go to the temple again and remember something of the Buddha’s Dhamma for 1000 Kahapana. He accepted the arrangement with pleasure.
Kala tried to remember one of the Buddha’s points of Dhamma and so he listened to the Dhamma in front of the Buddha. It was very hard for him to remember the Dhamma, so he used more intention to listen to it and spent the whole night in the temple until he remembered and understood it. The next morning, he came home with the Buddha and the monks. Anatha saw his son coming with the Buddha and he was very happy. He offered food to the Buddha and the monks and in front of the Buddha and his Sangha, he gave the reward to his son, saying, “Kala this is your reward.” Rather embarrassed, he refused his father’s offer and that matter was told to the Buddha and his Sangha. The Buddha explained to Anatha, “Kala would not take the reward because in fact he had received something of much greater value, which was his right understanding of the Dhamma. Now he lives a righteous life.”
This story shows that to live a righteous life is praised by the Buddha and his Sangha. The teaching of the Buddha mainly taught mankind to live a righteous life in this very life rather than worry about the next life. Anyway, if people live a righteous way of life in this life, surely their next lives will be good because of their previous good kamma. As the story above illustrates, the observation of monastic discipline and hearing of dhamma are the foundations, the first step of the progress in the righteous path. This is always seen in the teaching of the Buddha, for instance, three basic trainings; morality, meditation, and training the mind. The path is open up to all so by just committing oneself to learning and practicing it, all can live a righteous life.