# DHARMA | MIRROR

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The Mirror of Dharma

The Mirror of Dharma is an important, but often forgotten teaching in Buddhism. It is found in the “Last Days of The Buddha” suttra. Ananda, Buddha’s closest follower, is troubled by questions about what happened to other followers (Sanga) after they have died.

The Buddha responded to him:
“But truly, Ánanda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. But if each time it happens you should come to the Tathágata and ask about them in this manner, indeed it would be troublesome to him. Therefore, Ánanda, I will give you the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple, should he so desire, can declare of himself: ‘There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.”

As we, or most people do, also Ananda has a very common attachment to questions about the afterlife. Questions that are troubling and imponderable. The teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma will help to silence these troublesome ideas and feelings.

The Mirror of Dharma is a declaration:
”there is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.’

The declaration that this is my last life, my only life and there is no commitment to the idea of an afterlife or a beforelife. In thus taking away the need for questioning and attachment to the concept of after life or even life in it self.

The Mirror of the Dhamma

8. “But truly, Ánanda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die. But if each time it happens you should come to the Tathágata and ask about them in this manner, indeed it would be troublesome to him. Therefore, Ánanda, I will give you the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple, should he so desire, can declare of himself: ‘There is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'”

9. “And what, Ánanda, is that teaching called the Mirror of Dhamma, possessing which the noble disciple may thus declare of himself?

“In this case, Ánanda, the noble disciple possesses unwavering faith in the Buddha thus: ‘The Blessed One is an Arhat, the Fully Enlightened One, perfect in knowledge and conduct, the Happy One, the knower of the world, the paramount trainer of beings, the teacher of gods and men, the Enlightened One, the Blessed One.’

“He possesses unwavering faith in the Dhamma thus: ‘Well propounded by the Blessed One is the Dhamma, evident, timeless, inviting investigation, leading to emancipation, to be comprehended by the wise, each for himself.’

“He possesses unwavering faith in the Blessed One’s Order of Disciples thus: ‘Well faring is the Blessed One’s Order of Disciples, righteously, wisely, and dutifully: that is to say, the four pairs of men, the eight classes of persons. The Blessed One’s Order of Disciples is worthy of honor, of hospitality, of offerings, of veneration — the supreme field for meritorious deeds in the world.’

“And he possesses virtues that are dear to the Noble Ones, complete and perfect, spotless and pure, which are liberating, praised by the wise, uninfluenced (by worldly concerns), and favorable to concentration of mind.

10. “This, Ánanda, is the teaching called the Mirror of the Dhamma, whereby the noble disciple may thus know of himself: ‘there is no more rebirth for me in hell, nor as an animal or ghost, nor in any realm of woe. A stream-enterer am I, safe from falling into the states of misery, assured am I and bound for Enlightenment.'”

11. And also in Nadika, in the Brick House, the Blessed One often gave counsel to the Bhikkhus thus: “Such and such is virtue; such and such is concentration; and such and such is wisdom. Great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of concentration when it is fully developed by virtuous conduct; great becomes the fruit, great is the gain of wisdom when it is fully developed by concentration; utterly freed from the taints of lust, becoming, and ignorance is the mind that is fully developed in wisdom.”

12. When the Blessed One had stayed in Nadika as long as he pleased, he spoke to the Venerable Ánanda, saying: “Come, Ánanda, let us go to Vesali.”

“So be it, O Lord.” And the Blessed One took up his abode in Vesali together with a large community of Bhikkhus, and stayed in Ambapali’s grove.

Via: salted.net