{[ promptMessage ]}

Bookmark it

{[ promptMessage ]}

La Fleur-Death of the Buddha

La Fleur-Death of the Buddha - J F/el-V e JJ l 0;g wl)Act.I...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
only eating At seventy-nine years of age Sakyamuni, the Buddha, was still an itinerant teacher in India, walking from town to town and stopping for food and shelter at the homes of persons who had become lay members of his growing community of dis- ciples. Among these laymen there was a great eagerness to provide hospitality for the Buddha, not only because such hospitality was considered a great virtue by Indians in general but also because it gave these Buddhists a chance to practice the virtue of giving or dina-a word that, incidentally, is a distant relative of the English word "donation." This virtue was considered the frst step on the road to enlightenment. Such hospitality also gave such laypersons an opportunity to be close to the man they most admired in all the world. It had now been at least forty-five years since that night when Sikyamuni, as a man determined to stay rooted in the lotus posture doing meditation until his goal was realized, had attained enlightenment under a tree outside the city of Bodh Gaya. This, the nirvana that came after a night of the most intense kind of struggle, was the foundation for all he taught during the subsequent decades of his life. It was this transformation that made it possible for people to refer to him as the Buddha or Enlightened One. But now he was almost eighty, not only old but also weary. Since everything terrifying about death had already been met and overcome by him on the night of his great enlightenment, dying was now something he could meet with perfect tran- of mind. Knowing that he would never return to VaisiH, the one city where he had spent much time, he stopped over in a mango grove during his journey. A smith named Chunda heard that the Buddha was nearby and took this opportunity to invite him and his disciples to his home for a meal the next day. He went and issued an invitation. By silence, the sign of consent, Sikyamuni accepted Chunda's offer of hospitality. Being a smith, Chunda was not of high caste in India, although this did not necessarily mean that he was poor. In any case he prepared the best meal he could. It was comprised of sweet rice, cakes, and some additional foodstuff that we today cannot easily identify. Yet this, the mysterious item on the menu, turns out to have been the one of critical importance for the events of the next day. I, therefore, needs some explanation. I was a dish that the texts call sukara-maddhava, and it clearly seems to have something to do with pigs. (The first syllable of this phrase is probably linked by the long ancestral lines of the Indo-European language family to the Latin word "sus," an Old English word "su," and even, perhaps, our modern English word "sow.") It is important to note that the exact meaning of this word has troubled Buddhists for a long time and has been a reason for much disagree- ment among modern scholars as well. The reasons for this are interesting.
Image of page 1

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern