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Venerable K. Sri Dhammananda Maha Thera
Part Two - Buddhism: Essence and Comparative Approaches
Chapter 4 - Timeless Truth of the Buddha
The Lion's Roar
Buddhism is a beautiful gem of many facets, attracting people of diverse personalities. Every facet in this gem has tested methods and approaches that can benefit the Truth seekers with their various levels of understanding and spiritual maturity.
The Buddha Dhamma is the fruit resulting from a most intensive search conducted over a long period of time by a compassionate noble prince whose mission was to help suffering humanity. Despite being surrounded by all the wealth and luxuries normally showered on a crown prince, He renounced His luxurious life and voluntarily embarked on a tough journey to seek the Truth and to find a panacea to cure the sickness of the worldly life with its attendant suffering and unsatisfactoriness. He was bent on finding a solution to alleviate all suffering. In His long search, the prince did not rely on or resort to divine guidance or traditional beliefs as was fashionable in the past. He did an intensive search with a free and open mind, guided solely by His sincerity of purpose, noble resolution, inexhaustible patience, and a truly compassionate heart with the ardent wish to relieve suffering. After six long years of intensive experiment, of trial and error, the noble prince achieved His aim --- He gained Enlightenment and gave the world His pristine teachings known as Dhamma or Buddhism.
The Buddha once said, 'Monks, the lion, king of beasts, at eventide comes forth from his lair. He stretches himself. Having done so, he surveys the four quarters in all directions. Have done that, he utters thrice his lion's roar. Having thrice uttered his lion's roar, he sallies forth in search of prey.
'Now, monks, whatever animals hear the sound of the roaring of the lion, king of beasts, for the most part, they are afraid; they fall to quaking and trembling. Those that dwell in holes seek them; water-dwellers make for the water; forest-dwellers enter the forest; birds mount into the air.
'Then whatsoever ruler's elephants in village, town or palace are tethered with stout leather bonds, they burst out and rend those bonds asunder; void their excrements and in panic run to and fro. Thus potent, is the lion, king of beasts, over animals. Of such mighty power and majesty is he.
'Just so, monks, is it when a Buddha arises in the world, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One, perfect in wisdom and in conduct, wayfarer, Knower of the worlds, the unsurpassed trainer of those who can be trained, teacher of gods and men, a Buddha, an Exalted One. He teaches the Dhamma; "Such is the nature of concept of Self; this is the way leading to the ending of such a Self.'
'Whatsoever gods there be, they too, on hearing the Dhamma of the Tathagata, for the most part are afraid: they fall to quaking and trembling, saying: 'We who thought ourselves permanent are after all impermanent: that we who thought ourselves stable are after all unstable: not to last, though lasting we thought ourselves. So it seems that we are impermanent, unstable, not to last, compassed about with a Self.' Thus potent is a Tathagata over the world of gods and men. (Anguttara Nikaya).
Source: Buddhist Study and Practice Group, http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/Clubs/buddhism/
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