By Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema
82,000 Teachings from the Buddha i've got received;
2,000 extra from his disciples; Now, 84,000 are widespread to me.1
Who not anything has heard2 and not anything understood, He a long time simply oxen-like:
His belly simply grows and grows,
But his perception deepens not.
Who has a lot heard and learned,
But does despise him who's bad in studying, Is like one blind who holds a lamp.
So needs to i feel of one of these one.
Thou persist with him who has heard much,
Then what's heard shall no longer decline.
This is the tap-root of the holy life;
Hence a Dhamma-guardian thou should’st be!
Knowing what comes first and final, figuring out good the that means, too,
Skilful in grammar and in different items,3 The well-grasped that means he examines.
Keen in his sufferer application,
He strives to weigh the which means good. on the correct time he makes his attempt, And inwardly collects his mind.
— the Venerable Ánanda, Thag XVII.3 (vv. 1024-29)
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Extra resources for Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma
26 Even today in modern Burma there are monks who remember by heart the Discipline, Discourses, and Abhidhamma—the Three Baskets of the Buddhist Scriptures—and can recite them. Printed they fill fortyfive volumes! 27 At one time the Buddha was staying in the park of the Gosinga sála tree, also described as the Gosinga Wood, or Forest, with a number of experienced elder disciples. The venerable Sáriputta mentions that this wood is a delightful place, with the sála trees all in bloom and their scent pervading the air as if in heaven.
King Pasenadi of Kosala had just been overthrown and the Sakya clan had come to its tragic end in which Ánanda’s brother, Prince Mahánáma, was killed. At that time, three famous warrior clans lived north of the Ganges, near the Himalayas. They were the Koliyas, the Mallas and the Vajjians, all of which had retained relative independence from the Maháraja Ajátasattu. He had the intention of destroying the Vajjians and to incorporate their land in his. While the Buddha could not prevent the ruin of those Sakyans who had not entered the Order, because they had to pay a kammic debt, he did help the Vajjians and later indirectly also the Mallas.
Now one of his ministers carried on an intrigue in his harem. The gentle king waived the death penalty, only banished him and allowed him to take his family and fortune along. The minister then went to live at a neighboring king’s court, became his confidant and told him one could easily occupy Benares, because its king was much too gentle. But the neighboring king, Ánanda, was suspicious, because he was well acquainted with the strength and power of the State of Benares. The minister advised him to experiment.
Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma by Hellmuth Hecker, Sister Khema