Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seeing Dharma, Seeing Buddha

Now the Venerable Vakkali saw the Blessed One coming from a distance, and tried to get up from his sickbed. Then the Blessed One said to the Venerable Vakkali: "Enough, Vakkali, do not try to get up. There are these seats made ready. I will sit down there." And he sat down on a seat that was ready. Then he said:

"Are you feeling better, Vakkali? Are you bearing up? Are your pains getting better and not worse? Are there signs that they are getting better and not worse?”

“No, Blessed One, I do not feel better, I am not bearing up. I have severe pains, and they are getting worse, not better. There is no sign of improvement, only of worsening.”

 “Have you any doubts, Vakkali? Have you any cause for regret?”

“Indeed, Blessed One, I have many doubts. I have much cause for regret.”

“Have you nothing to reproach yourself about as regards morals?”

“No, Blessed One, I have nothing to reproach myself about as regards morals.”

“Well then, Vakkali, if you have nothing to reproach yourself about as regards morals, you must have some worry or scruple that is troubling you.”

“For a long time, Lord, I have wanted to come and set eyes on the Blessed One, but I had not the strength in this body to come and see the Blessed One.”

“Enough, Vakkali! What is there to see in this vile body? He who sees Dharma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dharma. Truly seeing Dharma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dharma.”

 (Vakkali Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya 22:87, Tipitaka. Notes: ‘Blessed One’ refers to the Buddha; ‘Dharma (sometimes ‘Dhamma’) refers here to the Buddhist teachings)

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