The Buddha's Ministry

How long did the Buddha's ministry last?
Forty-five years.
Was His ministry a success?
His ministry was the most successful and longest of all the religious teachers.
What were the causes of His success?
His noble personality, the greatness of the Dhamma and the methods He used to teach the Dhamma.
Had He many supporters?
Yes, He had many supporters like King Kosala, King Bimbisara, Anathapindika and Visakha.
Had he any opponents?
Yes, Devadatta. His own cousin and pupil, was His chief opponent.
Had He any opposition?
Yes, He had opposition from rival sects but He faced them bravely.
Whose kingdom did the Buddha visit first?
The Kingdom of King Bimbisara.
What did the Buddha preach there?
The Buddha preached the Maha Narada Kassapa Jataka.
Was the king converted?
Yes, the king became a Sotapanna.
Did the king make any offering?
The king offered the Bamboo Grove (Veluvanarama) to the Buddha and the Sangha.
Who were the Buddha's first two chief disciples?
Venerable Sariputta and Moggallana.
Who was Sariputta?
He was the son of a brahmin lady named Sari.
Had He another name?
His other name was Upatissa.
Who was Moggallana?
He was the son of a Brahmin lady named Moggali.
Had he another name?
His other name was Kolita.
What did these two friends, Sariputta and Moggallana do?
They realized the vanity of worldly pleasures and wanted to seek peace.
To whom did they go first?
They went to a teacher named Sanjaya.
Were they pleased with his teaching?
No. Dissatisfied with his teaching, they left him.
Whom did Sariputta meet later?
He met the Arahat Assaji.
Did he preach the Dhamma to him?
Yes, he preached on the law of cause and effect.
Recite the verse he preached.
"Of things that proceed from a cause.
Their cause that Tathagata has told,
And also their cessation :
Thus teaches the Great Ascetic".
Ye dhamma hetupphabhava
tesam tetum tathagato aha
Tesam ca yo nirodho
evam vadi mahasamano

Was Sariputta able to understand the Dhamma?
On hearing the first two lines, he became a Sotapanna.
What happened to Moggallana?
When Sariputta went and repeated the verse to Moggallana he also became a Sotapanna.
Did they go to see the Buddha later?
Yes, they saw the Buddha and after hearing the Dhamma from Him they attained Arahatship.
Did they make any request?
They requested the Buddha to admit them into the Order.
How were they admitted?
By the mere words - Ehi Bhikkhave - Come, O Bhikkhus.
What positions were they given in the Order?
The Buddha made Arahat Sariputta His first chief disciple, and Arahat Moggallana his second chief disciple.
The Buddha Visits His Birthplace

Did the Buddha visit His birthplace?
The Buddha visited His Birth place as desired by His father.
Who urged Him to do so?
The Minister Kaludayi, who was a play-mate of the Bodhisattva.
How long did the Buddha take to walk to Kapilavatthu?
As he went preaching the Dhamma on the way it took two months.
Did the elderly Sakyas give Him due respect?
No, they were proud and they put forward younger ones to salute Him.
How did the Buddha overcome their pride?
By rising into sky and showing the "Twin Wonder". (Yamaka Patihariya)
What is the Twin Wonder?
By His mental powers the Buddha made water and fire issue from the pores of His body at the same time.
Seeing this wonder, what did the King do?
He saluted Him at once saying that it was his third salutation.
What did the other Sakyas do then?
They also paid Him due respect.
What was the name of the Jataka the Buddha preached to His relatives?
Vessantara Jataka.
What did the Buddha do on the day after His arrival?
With bowl in hand He went from house to house seeking alms in the streets of Kapilavatthu.
Hearing that He was seeking alms, what did the king do?
The king went up to Him and asked Him why He was disgracing him thus.
What was the Buddha's reply?
The Buddha replied that it was the custom of all the Buddhas.
Did the king see the light of Truth?
The king af first became a Sotapanna. Then he became a Sakadagami. Hearing the Dhammapala Jataka, he became an Anagami. On his death-bed he became an Arahat.
What do you mean by Sakadagami?
Sakadagami means Once-Returner. He who attains this second Stage of Sainthood in born in this world only once.
What do you mean by Anagami?
Anagami means a "Never-Returner". He who attains this third stage of Sainthood is no more reborn in this world. After death he is born in the Pure Abodes (Suddhavasa) till he attains Arahatship.
What do you mean by an Arahat?
Arahat means a Worthy One. He who attains this fourth stage of Sainthood is no more reborn anywhere. After death he attains Parinibbana.
Did Princess Yasodhara come to salute the Buddha?
She thought : "Surely if there is any virtue in me, the noble Lord Himself will come to see me. Then I will pay my respect".
Did the Buddha go to see her?
Out of compassion the Buddha went to see her.
What did she do seeing the Buddha?
She clasped his ankles and placing her head on His feet, respected Him as she liked.
What did King Suddhodana say about her?
He praised her and told the Buddha about her loyalty.
Did she enter the Order?
She later entered the order and became an Arahat.
What happened to His step-brother Nanda?
He also entered the Order and became an Arahat.
Seeing the Buddha, what did Prince Rahula do?
As advised by the mother, he went up to the Buddha and asked for his inheritance.
Did Rahula say anything?
He said: "O Ascetic, even your shadow is pleasing to me".
What was his age then?
He was only seven years old.
Did he enter the Order?
He was admitted into the Order at seven. Later he became an Arahat.
Who was Ananda?
He was a cousin of the Buddha.
Did he join the Order?
He joined the Order and became a Sotapanna.
What position did he hold in the Order?
He became the Treasurer of the Dhamma. He was also the favourite attendant of the Buddha.
When did he attain Arahatship?
He attained Arahatship after the Death of the Buddha.
Did he do any important thing?
He rehearsed the Dhamma at the first Council.
Did he do any service to women?
He pleaded for the establishment of the Nuns.
Who was Devadatta?
Devadatta was the cousin and brother-in-law of the Buddha.
What can you say of his life?
He joined the Order and was at first a good Bhikkhu. Later he became the greatest enemy of the Buddha.
What did he do to the Buddha?
He tried to kill the Buddha.
What was his end ?
Owing to his evil deeds he was born in a woeful state.
What will be his future state?
He will become a private Buddha named Satthissara.
What happened to Maha Pajapati Gotami?
After the death of King Suddhodana, she joined the Order of nuns and became an Arahat.
Who requested the Buddha to find the order of nuns?
Maha Pajapati Gotami.
Who were the two chief disciples in the Order of nuns?
Khema and Uppalavanna were the two chief female disciples.
Who founded the first society for women?
The Buddha founded the first society for women.
Does the order of nuns still exist?
The order of nuns is extinct now.