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Sermon – Part 1

Sermon   Part 1
“Dharma is the highest happiness. Dharma bestows heaven and emancipation. Dharma shows the road for crossing the wilderness of samsara. Dharma nourishes like a mother, protects like a father, pleases like a friend, and is loving like a kinsman. Dharma imparts very fine qualities like a guru. Dharma confers a distinguished position like a master. Dharma is a mansion of bliss. Dharma is a shield in danger from enemies. Dharma is heat for the destruction of cold. Dharma knows the weak points of sins. From Dharma* a creature could become a king, from Dharma a Rama, from Dharma an ardhacakrin, from Dharma a cakrin, from Dharma a god, and from Dharma an Indra. From Dharma one attains Ahamindraship in the Graiveyaka and Anuttara heavens. From Dharma one attains Arhatship. What is not accomplished by Dharma? Dharma is socalled from supporting creatures who have fallen into a bad condition of existence. It is fourfold with the divisions of offering (dana), Austerity (Shila), penance (tapas*), and state of mind (bhava).

Now of these, offering (dana) is said to be of three kinds: the gift of knowledge, the gift of fearlessness, and the gift of the support of religion. The gift of knowledge (jnanadana) is said to be the gift to those not knowing Dharma by teaching, preaching, etc., and the gift of means to acquire knowledge. By the gift of knowledge a creature knows right and wrong, and knows the fundamental principles, soul (jiva), etc., and acquires renunciation of worldly objects. From the gift of knowledge one attains splendid omniscience and, having favored the whole world, goes to emancipation.

In the gift of fearlessness (abhayadana) there is the avoidance of injury to living things (jivas) by thought, word, or deed, by doing, causing to be done, or by approving. Jivas are known to be of two kinds: immovable (sthavara) and movable (trasa). In both of these there are two divisions, depending on whether they have faculties to develop (paryapti) or not. There are six faculties to develop, which are the cause of development: eating food* and digesting it, body, senses, respiration, speech, and mind. Creatures that have one sense, two to four, or five senses, have respectively four, five, or six faculties. The immovable jivas having one sense are: earth, water, fire, air, and vegetation. The first four of these may be either fine (invisible) or gross. Plants are of two kinds: those that have one soul visible one body (pratyeka) and those that have infinite Souls in one body (sadharana); and those that have many Souls in one body are also of two kinds, fine and gross.

Sermon   Part 1
The movable souls are of four kinds: two-, three-, four-, and five-sensed. Among these, the five-sensed are of two kinds with rational mind and without rational mind. The ones that know how to learn, teach, and converse, they are rational. They have mind vitality. Others are irrational. The skin, tongue, nose, eye, and ear are the five sense-organs of which touch, taste, smell, form, and sound are the province. Worms, conch-shells, earth-worms, leeches, cowries, and oyster-shells having many forms, are considered to have two senses. Lice, bugs, termites, nits, etc., are considered to have three senses. Moths, flies, bees, gnats, etc., are considered to have four senses. The remainder that have animal-birth-nuclei living in water, on land, or in the air, hell-inhabitants, men, and gods, are all considered five-sensed. The gift of safety is the avoidance of injuring them in three ways: destruction of life, causing physical pain, and mental pain. Whoever gives the gift of safety gives all the objects of life. ‘If one has life, the fourfold object of existence is gained. What is dearer than life to any creature? Certainly not a kingdom, nor universal sovereignty, nor even Indraship of high rank. Fear caused by loss of life is the same to a worm living in impurity on one hand, and to Haris living in heaven on the other hand. Therefore a pious man should by all means be always careful to give the gift of safety desired by the whole world. By making the gift of safety people become charming, long lived, healthy, with beauty of form, and strong in other births.

The gift of supporting Dharma (dharmopagrahadana) is fivefold: purity of giver, receiver, gift, time, and thought. Whatever a giver, who has lawfully acquired wealth, is learned and pious, gives without desire and without regret, in that there is purity of giver. A giver thinks, ‘I have attained my desire, I to whom the wish, the object to be given and a suitable person have come at the same time.’ That gift would have purity of receiver, whose receiver is such a man, a muni as has ceased censurable activity, is lacking in three vanities, has three controls, observes the five kinds of carefulness, is free from love and hate, has no attachment to towns, dwelling, body, clothes, etc., cheerful in observing the eighteen thousand laws of good conduct, possesses the three jewels, is resolute, considers gold and a clod to be equal, is firm in the two kinds of good meditation, has subdued his senses, takes food only for his stomach (i.e., enough to live), is unceasingly devoted to various and manifold penance according to his ability, keeps the seventeen kinds of self-restraint unbroken, and practices the eighteen kinds of chastity. A. thing given, drink, food, fruit, a sweet, clothing, bed, etc., that is free from the forty-two faults is pure. Whatever is given at a suitable time to a suitable person is pure in respect to time. Whatever is given without desire and with faith has purity of intention. Dharma cannot exist without the body, nor the body without food, etc. Therefore the gift of support to Dharma should be practiced constantly. Food, drink, etc., to suitable persons by way of support to Dharma make continuation of the order and obtain emancipation.

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