General Buddhism => General Buddhism => Topic started by: vajrastorm on November 02, 2012, 08:33:17 AM

Title: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: vajrastorm on November 02, 2012, 08:33:17 AM
I find the following story from a book of Buddhist parable and stories " Thus Have I Heard" rather awesome and inspiring.

"King Ajatasatru invited the Buddha to preach and offered as a token of his piety several tens of thousands of lamps. At the time, an old woman(named Nanda) who had been begging, and had only managed to collect two coins, bought some oil with them and offered it all in a small lamp to the Buddha. (With this offering she vowed to eliminate the darkness of the sufferings of all people.) Old and hungry, she later collapsed and died. By the next morning the many lamps offered by the king had already burned themselves out, but the lamp of the poor old woman was still burning with increasing brilliance. When it proved impossible to extinguish it, the Buddha explained that it was so because of the donor's extremely fervent faith and transcendental vow. 'The light of a Buddha can never be extinguished' said the Lord who then predicted that she would attain Buddhahood."
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: vajrastorm on November 02, 2012, 09:06:38 AM
The old lady Nanda offered up all of her wealth in that lamp that she offered to the Buddha. She gave with supreme pure faith and sincerety. She offered up the lamp with a supreme Bodhicitta vow and motivation: 'with the offering she vowed to eliminate the darkness of the sufferings of all people'. Her lamp did not extinguish because as the Buddha said, " The light of a Buddha can never be extinguished".The Buddha went on to predict that she would attain Enlightenment/ Buddhahood. It was also a supreme act of pure giving and an illustration of Giving as a Perfection.

This beautiful story is also cited in the Lamrim. Furthermore, it is stated in the Lamrim that the moment you develop Bodhicitta or great compassion that encompasses all mother beings you become a child of the Buddhas, or a Bodhisattva.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: yontenjamyang on November 02, 2012, 10:42:13 AM
This parable is a reminder of how sincere we should be when doing Dharma work, making offerings to the 3 Jewels and even in our daily lives. Sincerity means we really mean it. If we really mean it then it really matters and we will do our best including giving all that we have, be it our wealth, our time, our comfort, our health and our pride.  It is also a sign of our sincerity in how much we are giving relative to what we have. If a child has 1 dollar and gives it all ,it is 100%. If a wealthy person who has say 10million dollar and give 1 million then it is only 10%. We can argue the merits generated from 1million will be more then 1 dollar as the effect should be more. However, the story illustrated a very profound view that the heart of sincerity encompasses the physical side of giving. When we give in relation to compassion and boddhicitta, it is like we are giving all the wealth of the cosmos. That I suspect is the ultimate reality. Because reality come from the mind.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: bambi on November 03, 2012, 05:27:09 AM
The old woman is truly selfless and compassionate. She dedicated the lamp although she had nothing to all beings who are clouded by darkness. Even with no money to survive she did that. Incredible! Her motivation was so pure that even Buddha predicted her future to be a Buddha. May I remember this every time I offer lamps to the Buddhas and be like her, kind and compassionate....

In the Tune of Brahma Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha mentioned the 10 benefits of offering lights:

- One becomes like the light of the world
- One achieves clairvoyance of the pure eye as a human
- One achieves the Deva’s eye
- One receives the wisdom to discriminate virtue from non-virtue
- One is able to eliminate the concept of inherent existence
- One receives the illumination of wisdom
- One is reborn as a human or deva
- One receives wealth of great enjoyment
- One quickly becomes liberated
- One quickly attains enlightenment
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: rossoneri on November 03, 2012, 06:55:32 AM
The King might have the merits be able to offer a lot of expensive candle offerings to the Buddha but it couldn't compare with one candle by the true and honest old lady 'Nanda'. The story is telling me not to be arrogant and show off, whatever we offer must be from our heart and good motivation and not to be other wise. If we can afford we should do more in order to help others and do not be arrogant about it.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: Jessie Fong on November 04, 2012, 02:59:40 PM
The quantity of our offerings cannot be compare to the quality of the offering.  Yes, the Kind offered much much more than the old lady who had only enough to offer one lamp.  She was a beggar yet with only two coins in her name, she managed to buy enough oil to light one lamp to offer.

Whatever we do, we must remember that the motivation behind it must be pure.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: ratanasutra on November 07, 2012, 03:21:47 PM
I rejoice for Nanda, an old woman for her selfless, faith to buddha with pure mind and her sincere offering. I read many stories like this before and its reflect to how importance of our mind which lead to even in the minute we are dying. Its beyond what i can imagine.

Mind play the importance role in our life, where and how we are going to do with our life is come from our mind, and without wisdom we might not go to right directions.
May Dorje Shugden, the buddha of wisdom blessed everyone and be the light to benefit many more people in the world.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: dondrup on November 10, 2012, 01:39:50 PM
Truly inspiring indeed!  Nanda had dedicated the offering to eliminate the darkness of the suffering of all people.  That is the power of bodhichitta – benefiting countless others!  Hence the lamp continues to burn and cannot be extinguished! This story teaches us that we should generate good and perfect motivation before we perform any virtuous action.  We may be poor but poverty does not stop us from making good offering and dedication just like the old woman, Nanda did. 
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: Midakpa on November 11, 2012, 04:45:57 PM
There are two types of offerings, ordinary and sublime. King Ajatasatru's offering of tens of thousands of lamps is considered an ordinary offering because it was offered to obtain something, in this case, a teaching from the Buddha.  Nanda's offering is a sublime offering. A sublime offering is made with a mind of love and compassion. When she offered the lamp with oil bought with the two coins she collected from begging, she dedicated the offering to the elimination of the darkness of the suffering of all sentient beings. This offering was made not to obtain something but to give happiness to others. This is why her lamp continued to burn even though the others have burned themselves out.

This is an example of supreme offering which can lead to Buddhahood.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: DSFriend on November 11, 2012, 05:06:25 PM
Often, achieving Buddhahood seems so far away, the purity of mind, motivation, right view, compassion, wisdom etc... However, reading stories like these brings hope. Mind transformation practices are not easy. How does one even transform their minds when it's filled with blindness and darkness of the three poisons? Light a lamp and offer up with a prayer! Anybody can do that. Our motivation may not be the purest.. but anybody can offer light.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: Q on November 11, 2012, 06:48:43 PM
Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. I heard an almost similar story too... probably the same one. It was a story of a beggar also, whom offered the smallest butterlamp... and because of her sincerity, when the wind blew strongly, all of the candles/butterlamps that belong to other people was blown off, except the beggar's butterlamp.

I truly like the message that is passed in this story. That money/wealth/elaborate gifts don't mean much compared to sincerity. Because merits and good karma cannot be bought with any amount of money.... if it could, then the richest person would be the happiest person. With good motivation, and a sincere offering, it can generate much much more merits for that particular person compared to a King spending his whole kingdom's wealth but without a strong motivation to benefit others.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: buddhalovely on November 17, 2012, 06:59:38 AM
In Buddhism, a sutra is a sermon of the Buddha or one of his principal disciples. Buddhist sutras usually begin with the traditional words, "Thus I have heard." This is a nod to the story of Ananda, who recited all of the historical Buddha's sermons at the First Buddhist Council and was said to have begun each recitation this way.

The Lotus Sutra begins, "Thus I have heard. At one time the Buddha was in Rajagriha, staying on Mount Gridhrakuta." Rajagriha was a city on the site of present-day Rajgir, in northeastern India, and Gridhrakuta, or "Vulture's Peak," is nearby. So, the Lotus Sutra begins by making a connection to a real place associated with the historical Buddha.

However, in a few sentences the reader will have left the phenomenal world behind. The scene opens to a place outside ordinary time and space. The Buddha is attended by an unimaginable number of beings, both human and nonhuman -- monks, nuns, laymen, laywomen, heavenly beings, dragons, garudas, and many others, including bodhisattvas and arhats. In this vast space eighteen thousand worlds are illuminated by a light reflected by a hair between the Buddha's eyebrows.
Title: Re: Parable: Lamp of a Buddha(Sincere Mind)
Post by: Dondrup Shugden on May 27, 2015, 06:16:44 PM
What a beautiful story of an old and poor woman, Nanda offering the best she could not for yourself but that the lamp would be the light for all.

Buddhism is about sincerity and being selfless and giving all to benefit others.

Lovely and inspiring story.