Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shakyamuni Buddha Was Sick in Bed

Raoul Birnbaum, in his book The Healing Buddha, relates a story from the Agama Sutras where hearing the recitation of the "seven factors of enlightenment" along with the explanation brought healing to Shakyamuni, and similarly in two other cases when Mahakasyapa or Maudgalyana were sick. Here is Birnbaum's text:

"To emphasize the potent healing power of this fundamental meditation exercise: once when the Buddha lay ill, Cunda the younger brother of Shariputra visited him. The Buddha asked Cunda to recite the seven factors of enlightenment to him. Upon hearing and approving both Cunda's recitation and the teaching itself, '. . . the Exalted One rose up from that sickness. There and then that sickness of the Exalted One was abandoned.'"

1. One recollects the Dharma and thinks it over
2. One discriminates the Dharma, examining and investigating it
3. His energy is aroused without slackening
4. Spiritual rapture arises in him
5. His body becomes tranquil, his mind becomes tranquil
6. His mind becomes concentrated
7. He looks closely at the mind with equanimity

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