Dear Dhamma Friends:     Last updated on 2014/2558 9 8, a full moon day;

We have a saying in Burmese that "We will, together, live ever after to the end of Samsara"。  I never knew that this stanza came from the Buddha teaching "Nakulamata"。 There are two types of suttas in the Pali Canon; one addressed to the Monks and the other to the householders。 This sutta is especially addresses to the Buddha's former lives parents "Nakulapati and Nakulamata", the householder (applicable to the laity like us)。

When people are born to a family in one life time, it is possible and most probable for them to reunite again in the life-times that follow。  When Nakulapati and Nakulamata met the Buddha, they addressed the Buddha as "my Son"。 In Burmese we say - "Ye Set Sone te" or "Pathan set"。  So Buddha said in this sutta that a couple living in harmony in this life with same liberality (Saddha), morality (Sila), faith and confidence would be together again living in the blissful abodes (Deva world) to the end of Samsara。 That is how a Burmese aged elder will wish to their younger generation- "(Thantaya Sone Thine - Pone hnine par Se" - May you both live in harmony in the blissful world to the end of the life cycle"。   Buddha expounded on how and what a couple should do to fulfill that aspiration。

Do not forget that our Theravada ideal was to support the Monks and as a result of that merits we accomplish two things:

a. The monks could sit in meditation to attain Arahatship, while

b. We the laity could live in the blissful world, until the end of our life cycle。

We as laity could attain Sotapanna, the first stage of holiness and live through the seven more rebirths in the blissful world until the end of our life-cycle。 That would be the results of offering alms food, the four requisites to the Sanghas while we look after the family as a bread winner, householder, unlike the Monks (dedicated their life career to strive for arahatship)。 

Note, we should be pragmatic, not to aim for arahatship as a laity。 We could not part our family and the obligation to the family like a Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni, the homeless ascetic who could practice dutangas (Dutin Sauk Thi) - Austerity practice in seclusion in the forest。 WE as laity should first attain Sotapanna and enter the Ariya stream first  (Sotapanna) and not to be misled by some that say, you could attain Nibbana in this very life practicing Vipassana。   

Ananta Metta

Maung Paw