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 general to me.1
Who not anything has heard2 and not anything understood, He a while simply oxen-like:
His belly basically grows and grows,
But his perception deepens not.
Who has a lot heard and learned,
But does despise him who's terrible in studying, Is like one blind who holds a lamp.
So needs to i feel of this kind of 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, understanding good the which 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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Additional resources for Ananda: The Guardian of the Dhamma
One day he requested Ánanda to take a sitting mat and to go with him to the Cápála Shrine and pass the day there in meditation. When they were seated the Blessed One looked at the peaceful landscape before him and reminded Ánanda of the many beautiful spots in the vicinity. The reason for this seemingly unmotivated description of the countryside becomes clear later. The Buddha said that anyone who had developed the Four Bases to 41 Success , had made them his vehicle and his foundation could, if he wished, live out the age.
The Buddha replied that he would rather teach him the Dhamma: wherever one follows the Noble Eightfold Path, there one can find the true holy life, there the four fruits of the homeless life would be found. If monks live in the right way, then the world will never be devoid of arahants, or true saints. Over fifty years he has been a monk and had expounded the Dhamma—and apart from adherence to Dhamma there could be no holy life. This short discourse was sufficient for Subhadda, just as it had been for Pukkusa, to realize the Dhamma in its manifold aspects and to go for refuge to the Buddha and ask for admission into the order of monks.
At the age of sixteen, the Bodhisatta became a sincerely striving ascetic while Ánanda became king. Later on the Bodhisatta visited the king. He praised the happiness of asceticism and explained the unsatisfactoriness of the world of the senses. Ánanda admitted that he realized this, but that he could not let go of his desires, that he was held fast like an elephant in a swamp. Thereupon the Bodhisatta advised him that even as a king he could practice virtue, such as not levying unjust taxes, and supporting ascetics and priests.