Buddha Teaching

Positive thinking in every situation - Buddha Questions


Punna: "Lord, there is a country by the name of Sunaparanta. I want to go to live there."

 

Buddha: "Punna, the people living in Sunaparanta are very violent. They are rough. If they insult and laugh at you, what will you think?"

 

Punna: "If they insult and laugh at me, I will think, 'These people of Sunaparanta are civilized, so civilized that they are just insulting and laughing at me, they are not beating me with their hands.' That is what I will think, Lord. That is what I will think.

 

Buddha: "But what will you think if they hit you with their hands?" 

 

Punna: "If they start hitting me with their hands I will think, 'These people of Sunaparanta are civilized, so civilized that they are only hitting me with their hands they are not hitting me using earth lumps.' " 

 

Buddha: "But if they hit you with earth lumps, what will you think?"

 

Punna: "If they start hitting me with earth lumps I will think, 'These people of Sunaparanta are civilized, so civilized that they are only using earth lumps to hit me, they aren't beating me with a stick.'"

 

Buddha: "But what will you think if they start hitting you with a stick?"

 

Punna: "If they start hitting me with a stick I will think, 'These people of Sunaparanta are civilized, so civilized that they are only using sticks to beat me and they aren't hitting me with a knife.'" 

 

Buddha: "But if they hit you with a knife?"

 

Punna: "If they start hitting me with a knife I will think, 'These people of Sunaparanta are civilized, so civilized that they are just hitting me with a knife they are not taking my life with a sharp knife.' "

 

Buddha: "But if they take your life with a sharp knife? " 

 

Punna: "If they take my life with a sharp knife, I will think, 'There were some disciples of Buddha who were repelled and disgusted by their own body and life and they had searched for some murderers who could kill them. But now I have met my murderers without searching for them.' This is what I will think Buddha! This is what I will think Lord!"

 

Buddha: "Excellent Punna Excellent! With such peace and self-control, you are now fit to go and live even in a country like Sunaparanta. Now you can do whatever you want."

 

After that Venerable Punna being delighted in the words of Lord Buddha, rose up from his seat and after prostrating Buddha he went for the preparation of the journey. After that picking his begging bowl and clothes he started to move forward towards Sunaparanta. Crossing various phases of the road he finally reached Sunaparanta and started to live there. In the rainy season, he gathered five hundred male disciples and five hundred female disciples and he obtained the ultimate knowledge while remaining there and finally got Parinirvana (death).

After that, a huge group of monks gathered around Buddha and after prostrating Buddha they sat aside. While sitting there they asked Buddha, "Lord a monk by the name of Punna whom you have taught Dhamma in short, he has died. What has happened to him? What is his future state?"

Buddha: "Monks, Punna was very intelligent! He practiced Dhamma as taught by Dhamma, he didn't cause any obstacle in things related to Dhamma! He is fully liberated."

Punna Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya, Tripitaka



The above conversation is from Punna Sutta of Samyutta Nikaya of Tripitaka. It is very interesting to read. Here Buddha is checking the mental state of Punna who wants to go to live in a country called Sunaparanta where very violent people live. Buddha tests Punna by asking him what will he think in various situations. Punna displays calmness in his answer and his thoughts and Buddha finally considers him worthy to go and live even in a country like Sunaparanta where such violent people live. Punna goes and he had a thousand followers there. Punna displays extremely positive thoughts in every question asked by Buddha in the question-answer session! Punna considers that every such circumstance as positive thinking that even though worse than this could happen but still only this is happening! So, this is good.

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