Finding Wealth with the Buddha Dzambala

28 April 2010 - 11:10am Comments Off

On the Sunday before our Dzambala retreat began, David Lai led a class on the practice of Dzambala.

He began first with a sharing of the historical story of Dzambala: Before Dzambala became the Buddha that we know, he actually was a student of the historical Buddha – Shakyamuni Buddha. The Buddha had a cousin by the name of Devadatta, who was jealous of him and plotted to kill him. In one attempt, Devadatta pushed down large boulders from the top of a cliff to the Buddha and his students who were walking down hill. When the boulders came down towards the Buddha, Dzambala ran forward to protect the Buddha and stopped them with his body. He incurred a head injury in the process.

Of course the Buddha was not hurt, he does not have the karma to be hurt. Yet, there was Dzambala unconscious from a rock hit on the head. It is said that the Buddha extended his hand to him and that nectar poured from the Buddha’s hand onto Dzambala’s head healing him in the process. When Dzambala awoke, he thanked the Buddha for healing him.

The Buddha then said to Dzambala, “In the future, when people do your practice and pour water on you as I have done, you shall help to alleviate people’s poverty.

But what poverty are we talking about here? Does this mean Dzambala only helps poor people?

Actually, here, poverty refers to miserliness and a miserly mind.

As such, one could be materially rich but still experience misery by being attached to wealth or material things, grasping to them and not wanting to share. We “suffer” by always wanting more without ever being satisfied.

Miserliness is not defined by how much money one has in a bank account: one can be rich and miserly due to the lack of generosity (and instead, live only to accumulate and hoard), and one can be financially poor and miserly – it eventually amounts to the same.

The practice of Dzambala is an antidote to a miserly mind. This is achieved by helping us to practise generosity and giving, and by that, we gradually let go of the causes for miserliness. Generosity of body, speech and mind is therefore, a key to spiritual practice. After all, Dzambala did not hesitate to give up his body – that was a supreme act of generosity.

So, Dzambala, known as the Buddha of Wealth can also be referred to as the Buddha of Generosity.

The practice of Dzambala is not merely about doing the ritual; this is just a support to our practice of generosity. More importantly, it is a practice for developing a generous mind.

The practice of making offerings is also a practice of generosity – for example, we can make offerings to our Gurus, or on our altar. David even gave a brief explanation of the various offerings we can make, which represent the things we are attached to by our five senses: beautiful sounds, smells, foods, flowers, light etc.

However, ultimately, the real offering we can make is when we stop being miserly, when we overcome our laziness to give and our laziness to practise. The best offering we can make is a heart of generosity. And it is by this that we can gain all the “wealth” in the world.

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