The Perfection of Truthfulness - Thus have I heard II

   We read further on:

“Meanwhile the five hundred Arahants

and many thousand deities applauded the venerable Ånanda,

saying ‘Good (sadhu), good’,

while there was a great earth-tremor with a rain of various kinds of flowers

falling from the sky and many other manifested marvels,

and in many deities a sense of urgency arose (with the thought)

‘What we heard in the Blessed One’s presence

is now reproduced in his absence too!’ ”
The Buddha had finally passed away and the arahats who were present at the first Council for the rehearsal of the teachings had heard these words before. However, even though the words they heard were spoken in the past and they would not hear them any more in the presence of the Blessed One, there was yet an opportunity to hear the Dhamma again. This fact can be recollected with reverence to the Triple Gem by all listeners today. Although these events ccurred a long time ago, each time we hear the Dhamma we can see its benefit and we can understand that the accumulation of kusala in the past is the condition for the kusala vipaka which is hearing the Dhamma again in this life.
Ånanda consoled people who were disappointed at not seeing the Blessed One, assuring them that this was not a teaching of a dead teacher, but that the very Dhamma Vinaya was their teacher.
By the words, evam me suttam, thus have I heard, the venerable Ånanda wanted to console the Buddhists in times to come, who may feel dismay that they cannot see the Buddha in person. However, we should remember that what we hear is not the teaching of a dead teacher, but that the Dhamma Vinaya is now our teacher.
We shall know whether the Buddha is our real teacher if we listen, consider and follow the right practice.
When the venerable Ånanda spoke the word, evam, meaning: thus, he  demonstrated the excellence of the teaching, because there should be a person who teaches and also a person who listens. There cannot be a listener without a teacher.
Just by the word evam, thus, he demonstrated the excellence of the teaching. When he said, me suttam, I have heard, he demonstrated the excellence of the discipleship. This disciple was the venerable Ånanda, not someone else. The venerable Ånanda, the disciple who was five times signalized in the Foremost-in- this (Discourse), said, evam me suttam, thus have I heard.
When he said, ekam samayam, on one occasion, he demonstrated the  excellence of the time, the time when he heard the teaching of the Dhamma.
We should remember that the excellence of the time to hear the Dhamma is now. It is not easy to find the opportunity to hear the Dhamma. When people have important tasks to fulfil they cannot listen to the Dhamma, but they hear other things. With the words, ekang samayang, on one occasion, the venerable Ånanda demonstrated the excellence of the occasion to hear the teaching of the Dhamma.

“When he said the word bhagava, the Blessed One,

he demonstrated the excellence of the teacher,

who was not an ordinary person.

‘Bhagava’, the Arahatta Sammasambuddha, was the person who taught the Dhamma.


With the words, ‘at Savatthí, in the Jeta Grove, at Anathapindika’s Park’,

the venerable Elder demonstrated the support of the layfollowers of the Buddha in mentioning Savatthí,

and he demonstrated the support of the monks in mentioning the Jeta Grove.”


Topic 283