The supreme Buddha assumes a foremost place among teachers, professors and savants who have an expert mastery over educational science, educational technique and educations psychology.
Buddhists characterize the Buddha as ‘Tiliguru’ the The Teacher of three Worlds. A teacher who has won the genuine affection, genuine respect and the genuine devotion from his countless pupils as much as the Buddha has never appeared in the line of teachers in the whole of human kind.
At first he had only five pupils at the time of his great demise the number of his disciples who were scattered over hundreds of miles in various cities and provinces of India, exceeded hundreds of thousands. In the whole history of mankind the only lecturer the only speaker the only preceptor the only teacher who converted a vast multitude towards him through his discourses through his talks through his advice and through his teachings was the supreme Buddha.
Hearing his discourses the devotees of other religious teachers began to take refuge in him in their hundreds and thousands. Those religious teachers who lost their followers started saying that the Buddha was a magician and that he knew how to hypnotize.
Hearing this, the Licchavi King Bhaddiya asked the Buddha.
“is it true that you know the magic of hypnotizing people of attracting and holding them to you?”
The Buddha replied,
“O Bhaddiya, please do not accept anything simply because you heard it or because it came down through generations or because it was so recorded in history or because it is stated so in the text or because it squares with the logic and the theory. You must accept something only when you yourself see it as the truth when you youself understand it as the truth and when you yourself realize it as the truth’.– Anguththara nikaya – Catukka Nipata – Bhaddiya Sutta
So saying the Buddha stated that what he does is only showing what is virtuous and what is evil and that he has never asked anyone to become his disciple. This indicates clearly that seeing their disciples seeking the Buddha in their thousands the other religious teachers were jealous of him. The principal teaching mode utilized at the time was the format in which the disciple listened while the teacher lectured. The pali for disciple is ‘savaka’ which signifies ‘listener’. Those who listened to the Buddha were described as ‘ Buddha Savakas ‘. As the Buddha is all compassionate he never threatened the disciples. Nor did he reprimand them or intimidate them. He never chased them out. Nor did he give them corporal punishment.
In the course of his teaching he never used a single word that the disciples would not understand. The Buddha who was adept in educational science and psychology obtained a penetrating view of their character and their thoughts and taught in a manner that befitted them. Those who came to see him and to question him assuming that they were more learned and more knowledgeable than the Buddha become his obedient disciples at the end.
The great teacher possessed the power to see minds of others and to recall past births ( Paracitta vijanana pubbe nivasanussati) . in consequence he could figure out immediately on seeing a person that he had such and such character traits his thoughts and ideas were such and such and that he has had such and auch a past. This was not all. The Buddha could see several of his past births too.
The worst punishment that the Buddha imposed on avery stubborn student was ‘Brahma Danda’ . the expression ‘ Brahma Danda’ implies the ‘nobele punishment’. In the course of this punishment the friends and associates of the punished person boycott him and refrain from talking to him.
Ven. Channa was given this punishment Channa was born the same day as Prince Siddartha. He was the person who become Prince Siddartha’s closest associate from childhood on. Being inordinately proud of this ecen after becoming am onk he did not show due deference to such great arahants as Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggallana. He showed no deference to anyone other than the Buddha. in order to dispel his inordinate pride the Buddha imposed ‘ Brahma Danda’ on him.
A special characteristic in the Buddha’s teaching style was his method of driving home a point using similes metaphors examples and instances. If calculated the number of similes and metaphors he has used exceeds thousands. He has derived all these similes and metaphors from daily life and from his environment.
Here are some instances :
- As a cart – wheel following the bull’s hoofs like a shadow that constantly accompanies a body.
- Like a serpent sloughing off its old skin
- Like the moon emerging from a cloud
- Just as the wind topples the weak tree
- Just as the spoon does not know the taste of currues
- Fattens like a bull
- Just as milk does not curdle immediately on being milked
- Experts in water – management direct the water to any place they want
- Just as the cowherd directs the cattle to the pasture with his goad
- Weed are a threat to the field
To be continued…
From “ The greatest man who ever lived” – Ven Weragoda sarada maha thero