Living at the Time of a Good / Chaotic Period (Maṅgala Sutta – Protection with Blessing)

revised on 2021-03-16

By Venerable Uttamo Thera(尊者 鄔達摩 長老)

Living at the time of good period:

At the time when countries are governed by good leaders and governments, these leaders and governments have skills, morals, good plannings, etc. for the welfare of the people and the countries, so human beings' good kammas can have the chances to experience good sense objects.

People are free from worries and difficulties. If we study ancient Chinese history, the Chou Dynasty periods were a very good example. It lasted for 800 years and the longest Dynasty in Chinese history. It was prosperous and long-lasting because the emperors and the citizens had moral integrity and virtues.

Why was that? Because they had the education on morality and virtue, starting from the young age, from the emperors to the citizens. They followed the teachings or educations of the sages and wise people handed down from generation to generation. People had these kinds of education in family life, schools, and societies.

By studying and researching Chinese written characters (i.e., Chinese letter or word) will find out the profound wisdom of the sages of the past. Human moral Integrity and virtues are like the root of a tree. If the root is rotten, then the tree will die and does not have the chance to bear fruits. Human mind and behavior not only affect societies greatly but also to the great nature.

Again if we study and research the Buddhist culture in some Theravadin countries such as Burma, etc. until the first half of the 20th century, Burmese were starting their education at a very young age at the village monasteries. Parents were also very close to the monasteries and the monks. Therefore, the whole family, more or less, knew the D hamma , especially in morality and virtues. They had been heard or read the Jātaka stories and the law of kamma. (including the Dhammapada stories). Most Buddhists and scholars overlook the Jātaka Stories and might take them as myths and fairy tales. These bodhisatta’s stories of past lives were more realistic than the Greek mythology, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter’s Stories, etc. It teaches us how to develop the ten perfections in three levels (basic, middle and higher) and become good-hearted, wise and noble human. It will lead us to noble growth and to po ss ess the seven noble treasures.

The well-known International meditation teacher S. N. Goenka once mentioned the moral virtues of Burmese Buddhists in one of his essays in Vipassanā Journal. It mentioned about his grandfather, who was on a business Journey, forgetting his bag of money at the public rest place. He only knew about it after arriving at a weekend marketplace far away. He had no time to go back and get the bag of money; only after he finished his business and went back to get it. The money was still there waiting for him. Even his grandfather mentioned that someone lost a gold ring in the marketplace, no one would take it. This kind of moral integrity was very evident in villages. The farmers went to the fields for work or slept at night; they never closed their home doors and never lost their properties.

Buddhist texts mentioned three kinds of aeon; an interim aeon, an incalculable aeon, and a great aeon. Antarakappa – an interim aeon is from ten years to the maximum of many thousands of years. And they are then falling back to ten years. It is kala-samāpatti for the time when human lifespans are rising. The increasing of human lifespans is depending on moral integrity, virtues, weather, and foods. These were mentioned by the Buddha in the Cakkavatti Sutta (sutta No. 2⑥, Digha Nikāya (DN.26 Cakkavattisuttaṃ).

Now, our human lifespans are falling back towards ten years. Therefore, all human beings have to be very careful with our minds, speech and actions. For human survivals, peace and happiness, we all have the responsibilities.

Living at the time of chaotic periods:

There are the bad periods: evil, unqualified, immoral emperors, kings, and leaders governing the countries. The time is also kala-vipatti when countries are destroyed or in wars. All these things we can see in Africa, in the Middle East and other places. There are also other causes; some foreign superpowers interfere with purposes and made the problems greater and the situations are worsened (e.g., the Iraq war and the Syrian war).

With these kinds of period, the unwholesome kammas of human beings have the chances to come in. People are becoming poor and starving, with diseases and many other sufferings arise. At this time, people with good kammas even their kammas do not have the chances that they have to run for their lives and to hide. They cannot eat what they want and separate with their loved ones, etc.

revised on 2021-03-16; cited from (posted on 2019-09-21)

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According to the translator— Ven. Uttamo's words, this is strictly for free distribution only, as a gift of Dhamma—Dhamma Dāna. You may re-format, reprint, translate, and redistribute this work in any medium.

據英譯者—鄔達摩比丘交待,此譯文僅能免費與大眾結緣,作為法的禮物(Dhamma Dāna)。你可以在任何媒體上重新編製、重印、翻譯和重新發布這部作品。