Merit from Offering Drinking Water to the Lord Buddha
Edited from Dhamma for People Program broadcasted on DMC
Due to the merit I have accumulated, my skin is beautiful and all my wishes have come true. Moreover, all my treasures have come to me because of my merit.
To reach nirvana is the ultimate goal of every life. No matter whether you’re a king, a millionaire, a poor person or an animal, every living being in this world all have a soul. And all every living beings that have a soul in this world all have the same ultimate goal, which is to strive for happiness and purification of mind.
Every living being that are born in this world should uses their diligence to purify themselves in order to get rid of their desires and reach thus, reach nirvana. However, the only way to reach nirvana is to still our mind and meditate until reaching the Pra Dhammakaya inside ourselves.
There is a term that appears in the Pali
"Tena me tādiso vaṇṇo tena me idhamijjhati,
Uppajjanti ca me bhogā ye keci manaso piyā"
Translation: "Due to the merit I have accumulated, my skin is very beautiful. Because of my merit, all my wishes have come true. Moreover, all my treasures have come to me because of merit."
These statements were made by a proud angel, who dedicated her life toward making merits. As a result of her accumulated merits, her life changed toward the better. She was a great witness that the results of merit can help bring great miracles and treasures. Readers of this story are very lucky to know the truth and are strongly advised to be aware of and love merit. Moreover, they should be encouraged to continue making merits endlessly. So whenever merit-making opportunities appear, we should grasp it tightly in our hands so we can become the owner of that merit.
Long time ago in one era, the Lord Buddha and his monastic disciples travelled to the rural countryside until they reached the village of the Brahmins called “Puna,” which is located in Goson district. Furthermore, the news of the Lord Buddha’s arrival was spread throughout the Goson district.
During that time period, it was only the beginning of the spread of Dhamma teachings. News of the worshippers and disciples of Lord Buddha that had asked for ordination, and as a result, achieved the Triple gems was spread throughout the world. However, there was one wealthy Brahmin governor who lived in “Puna.” He was wrongful-minded, and did not have faith in Lord Buddha’s teachings. Moreover, he was also a very selfish person. When he heard the news of the Lord Buddha’s arrival, instead of being happy, he was very worried that the Lord Buddha will gain more of his villagers as followers. He was also afraid that the villagers with lose respect in the Brahmins’ teachings and turn to listen to the Buddha’s teachings instead if the Buddha stay in this village for 2-3 days. Moreover, he was also afraid that the Brahmins’ culture and traditions will be destroyed by the Buddha’s teachings.
After the Brahmin governor thought to himself like this, he began scheming plots to destroy all the water sources, so that the Lord Buddha could not resided in the Brahmins’ village. For example, the Brahmins took all the boats that were parked at the harbor away so that that the Lord Buddha and his monastic disciples could not crossed the river. In addition, all the life necessities were either kept in a hidden place or completely destroyed. Even the water ponds in this area were filled-up with grass and straws, leaving the only one pond left for the Brahmins’ uses. Their main intention is to prevent the Lord Buddha from drinking the water sources, so that he will not be able to stay in their village. Even in the past, there were people who committed sinful acts because they were afraid of losing their power, status, and benefits. These kinds of acts continually happened in all eras of humankind.
The Lord Buddha knew with his knowledge about the twisted thoughts of those wrongful-minded people and thought to himself, “The Brahmins have committed sins that should not have happened. I will try to rear everyone in this village into the right direction, so that they will turn around to make merit.” The Lord Buddha’s mind was filled with mercy and kindness to spread Dhamma teachings, so he with his monastic disciples float in the air across the river and finally reached the village called “Puna.” Upon arrival, the Lord Buddha sat upon the seat that was already prepared under the shade of the tree. In the old days, female servants passed by the Lord Buddha, each carrying a bowl of water, but none of them paid any interest to the Lord Buddha’s arrival. This is because the Brahmin governor forbade everyone in his village to greet or give any kind of offering for the Lord Buddha. Even if the Lord Buddha visited the villagers at their doors, the villagers were also forbade to give any kinds of offerings. Because of the villagers’ fear of being punished, none of them dared to give any offerings to the Lord Buddha.
Many females’ servants had walked passed by Lord Buddha, but none of them dared to give any offerings because they do not wanted to cross the Brahmin governor’s order and be punished. However, there was one female servant, who was also the wife of one of the Brahmins, but dared to do otherwise. She was carrying a bowl of water above her shoulder when she first laid eyes on the Buddha and his monastic disciples’ arrival. She thought to herself that the Lord Buddha and his monastic disciples must be tried after a long journey. She was also worried about staying motionless when the Knowledge One had already come to her village. However, the all other villagers were shocked and had agreed not to give alms to the Lord Buddha and his monastic disciples. However this one female servant was clever, and realized how difficult it is to find perfect merit-making opportunities to give alms to the Lord Buddha and so many of his monastic disciples. She thought further to herself, “If I didn’t give alms to the Lord Buddha today, I will never know when I will get this great chance to make merit again.” Finally, after thinking for a while, she decided to give alms to the Lord Buddha and his monastic disciples. This lady servant was also very brave and courageous. She was not afraid of dying. She was willing to pay with her life for not letting this golden opportunity float away from her hands. She kept on thinking that, “If I don’t hurry to make merit today, I will never find the faith that I can rely on, and will never escape from burdens and misery of my life. Therefore, even if the other villagers will punish me with death, I will still offer the water in my bowl as an offering for the Lord Buddha and is monastic disciples. Whatever will be will be.” After she thought to herself, she began to put the bowl she carried on her head downwards, and went to greet and offer drinking water to the Lord Buddha.
With his knowledge, the Lord Buddha was able to see through the lady’s pure heart. Therefore, the Lord Buddha poured water from the bowl to wash his feet and hands and drink the leftover water. Suddenly, there was a miracle. The water in the bowl had never disappeared, but was continuously refilled. After the lady had seen the miracle, she then offered drinking water to all the Lord Buddha’s monastic disciples. Surprisingly, not even one drop of water disappeared from her bowl.
When all the monks had finished drinking the water, the lady went home carrying the bowl filled with water on her head. When her husband heard the news, he was furious with her and started beating her up until she was dead. After she had departed from this world, she went to the realm of 2nd level of heaven. This was due to the merit she accumulated in her previous life of offering drinking water to the Lord Buddha.
The Lord Buddha called upon Pra Anon, his closest monastic disciple, and commanded him to bring back water from the pond. However, Pra Anon replied that all the ponds had been filled-up with either straw or grass and there was no water left; nevertheless, the Lord Buddha continued to insist. Pra Anon, was then left to do his duty. He carried the Lord Buddha’s bowl and went to refill it from the pond. Suddenly, more miracles had occurred as water began spouring out from the pond, and flooded the entire village.
The Brahmins were shocked with the new disaster. In the end, they all came out to apologize to the Lord Buddha. After the Brahmins had finished saying their apologies, another miracle occurred causing the floods to disappear. This caused the Brahmins to be amazed and respect the Lord Buddha. So the Brahmins organized a great offering event for the Lord Buddha. At the same time, the angel who was just departed from the world was able to see all her magical treasures in the 2nd realm of heaven. So she decided to come forth to greet the Lord Buddha on the same day as the Brahmins’ great offering. The Lord Buddha had conversed with her, and praised her for her good deeds, bravery and courage. When all the villagers had seen the results of the angel’s merit, their faith for the Lord Buddha grew.
We can see that those who are clever, brave and courageous in accumulating merit will get large amount of beautiful treasures when they go to the heaven realm. Whoever dedicated their whole entire live on accumulating merit, they will receive great treasures in the future.
We should follow this true story’s example of making merit this way and apply it to ourselves. We should dedicate our whole entire life on accumulating merit. When we are determined to do something, we should dedicate ourselves fully, without fearing any obstacles. We should not worry, but rather we should also be more confident toward accumulating merit. This is because the merit we have accumulated in our present lives will follow and affect us through our future lives. Therefore, we can use our current treasures, which were a result of merit accumulation in our previous lives, to create more merit further that will result in treasures for our future lives. By doing this, we can continue to follow Luang Phaw and our group to Nirvana together.By the Most Ven. Phrarajbhavanavisudh (Dhammajayo Bhikkhu)
Translated by Pichayapa Suenghataiphorn