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About the Buddhist Assembly (Buddhist Lay Followers)

Mãtikã 156. The following persons were the first Upãsaka (laymen) and Upãsikã (laywomen) in Buddhism.
(1) Tapussa and Bhallika who were brothers living in Uggala and they were
merchants who vowed to be Upãsaka (laymen) including taking refuge in the Lord Buddha and his teaching (Dhamma) all their lives while the Lord Buddha was attaining the Bliss of Emancipation at Rajãyatana Tree after he became enlightened in 4 weeks. Tapussa and Bhallika were the first laymen who took refuge in the double Gems.
(2) Yasa’s father who was a millionaire listened to the sermon at
Isipatanamarugadãyavana Forest in Bhãrãnฺasĩ and he received the Eye of Truth.
He declared that he was the first layman who took refuge in the Triple Gems.
(3) Yasa’s mother, Sujãdã, who was a millionaire and his wife listened to the
Lord Buddha’s sermon at their house and they receives the Eye of Truth. They declared that the first laywomen who took refuge in the Triple Gems.

Mãtikã 157. The Lord Buddha praised the great laymen for their specialization in various skills called Etadagga. There were 10 specialized laymen as follows:
(1) Tapussa and Bhallika were the first ones who took refuge in Buddhism.
(2) Anฺãthฺapindika was a great one who donated to monks.
(3) Cittagaruhapatĩ was a great sermon giver.
(4) Hatthaka was a great one who supported Buddhist assemblies.
(5) Mahãnãma was a great one who gave fine foods to monks.
(6) Ugog Garuhapatĩ was a great one who gave favorite food to monks.
(7) Ugagta Garuhapatĩ was a great one who supported the Saṅgha.
(8) Sũrambatฺtฺhasetฺhĩputta was a great one who believed whole–heartedly.
(9) Jĩvakakomãrabhacca was a great doctor who believed whole-heartedly.
(10) Nakulpitã Garuhapatĩ was a great one of familiarity.

Mãtikã 158. The Lord Buddha praised the great laywomen for their specialization in various skills called Etadagga. There were 10 specialized laywomen as follows:
(1) Sujãdã was the first one who took refuge in Buddhism.
(2) Visakhã was a great one who donated to monks.
(3) Khujuttrã was a great one who has great knowledge.
(4) Sãmãvadĩ was a great one of mercy.
(5) Uttrã (Nandamãtã) was pleased with Jhãna (absorption).
(6) Supapãvãsã was a great one who gave fine foods to monks.
(7) Suppiyã was a great one who supported sick monks.
(8) Kãtiyãnĩ was a great one was believed whole-heartedly.
(9) Nakulmãtã Gahapatãnĩ was a great one who was familiar with the Lord
Buddha.
(10) Kãlĩ was a great one who believed whole-heartedly (only heard through
the grapevine).

Mãtikã 159. Upãsaka and Upãsikã (Buddhist lay followers) in Buddhism must possess the five qualities, as followers:
(1) They have faith and confidence in the Triple Gems (the Buddha, the
Dhamma and the Sanฺgha) and they are unfaltering.
(2) They have morality, donate, refrain from evils and practice meditation in
order to decrease defilements.
(3) They lead their lives with wisdom; they are not given to blind faith; they are
not excited by wildly rumors; and they are self-reliant ( they live independently).
(4) They do not seek fields of merit outside the Triple Gems.
(5) They support charity in accordance with the teaching of the Lord Buddha.

Mãtikã 160. Upãsaka and Upãsikã (Buddhist lay followers) should refrain from the following occupations:
(1) Refrain from merchandising weapons which harm other people.
(2) Refrain from trafficking in human beings.
(3) Refrain from selling animals to be killed for food.
(4) Refrain from sale of alcohol and additive substance.
(5) Refrain from merchandising poisons.

Mãtikã 161. Buddhists should visit the Saṅvejanĩyasathãna (the Four Holy Places of Buddhism) once in their lives. They should pay homage to the following places:
(1) The Lord Buddha’s place of birth.
(2) The Lord Buddha’s place of enlightenment.
(3) The Lord Buddha’s place of the First Sermon.
(4) The Lord Buddha’s place of death.
Bhikkhu, Bhikkunĩ, Upãsaka and Upãsikã who travel to pay homage to the
Four Holy Places of Buddhism with belief of whole-heartedly will be reborn in blissful states of existence.

Mãtikã 162. Anupubbapatฺipadã (mode of progress) means the path which Buddhists should undertake in order to achieve Dhamma. It is called Anupubbasikkhã. It refers to the disciplinary rules to study in sequence, as follows:
(1) Undertake moral discipline as prescribed by the Patimokkha (moral
discipline as regarded by the Fundamental Precepts).
(2) Undertake discipline in regards to by sense-restraint (Indrĩya) such as
eye-restraint.
(3) Eat food, but do not over eat.
(4) Continue to awaken awareness.
(5) Be conscious and mindful at all times. Do not become careless.
(6) Meditate in order to destroy Nĩvaranฺa (Obstacles) in the mind.
(7) Progress from the first Jhãna to the fourth Jhãna (mental absorption).

 
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