DHARMA IN EVERYDAY LIFE
- FOUR CLASSES OF WOMEN
By Nhat Quan
The path of
cultivation towards the top, towards the good, is the path
of practice to transform unwholesome karma, towards the end
of suffering, to attain peace in the present, and the fruit
of liberation in the future. In that upward path, each
person is their own master and must walk on their own.
teachings of the Buddha, you must be aware that whether each
person's life is happy and holy or not, does not lie in
prayer and supplication, or depending on any other divine
force. Or wish for some protection from outside forces, but
in your own practice, if you know how to practice
transforming bad karma into good karma.
born in this life, there are you who live happily and
peacefully, there are you who suffer a lot of suffering and
unhappiness, there are you who are rich and rich, and there
are you who are hungry and suffering. All suffering or
happiness is affected by your thoughts, words, and deeds. If
you know how to practice kusala dhammas, you will enjoy a
peaceful and happy life, while if you practice unwholesome
dhammas, you will bring yourself suffering. Thus, whether
life is happy or miserable is up to you to decide, not for
someone else to interfere. This is evidenced by the teaching
of the Enlightened One more than two thousand five hundred
and sixty-two years ago, which is recorded in the sutras
handed down to this day. Thereby, in the Agama Sutra, there
is recorded a passage about the story of the pagan nun
Sundarī and the prostitute Ciñcā-māṇavikā who had great
beauty but had low and low status, and both died tragically.
One was killed and then buried in the garbage, and the other
was retribution in hell. These two events raised in Queen
Mallika's heart countless questions, about cause, and effect
in this life, and in the next life as well as the secret of
So, one day,
Queen Mallika and about a hundred maids brought offerings to
the Jetavana Vihara to make offerings to the Buddha and the
monks. After that, she asked to bow down to the Buddha and
World-Honored One! Today, disciples are asked about the
similarities and differences, related to the beauty,
ugliness, richness, poverty, luxury, and cowardice of all
women in this world.
- Just ask,
Mallika! Does the queen want to ask about the cause, effect,
condition, and karma; from which arise the similarities and
differences of karma?
Mallika's questions were summed up, summarized as follows:
because of what causes and conditions, there are some women
in this world with ugly figures, slanted facial features,
and rough, dry skin. Giving off an unpleasant odor, but
still living a life of poverty and hunger in the condition
of a servant, lowly making everyone want to stay away, not
to be close?
due to causes and conditions, there are women as ugly as
above. But live a rich life, have fame, high status, full of
fortune, children and servants have a happy and prosperous?
due to causes and conditions, there are women with five
senses of balance. Graceful; the beauty is extremely
beautiful, the skin is white and ivory and the scent is
fragrant, everywhere everyone goes to admire and praise. But
living a life of poverty, lack of food, lack of clothes, no
property, no position, and no reputation in society?
due to causes and conditions, there are women who are almost
comprehensive in terms of the five senses, comfort, and
beauty as above. Still living a rich and glorious life, full
of wealth, full of fortune, position, fame, husband, and
children, servants, often worshiped, respected, and admired
by the world!
World-Honored One! So there are four types of women in this
world, ask the Blessed One to compassionately open up the
dark veil that is covering the disciple's mind, to untangle
all doubts and questions for the disciples.
question of Queen Mallkila, it can be summarized that there
are four types of women:
class, ugly, poor, and unhappy.
- The second
class, though ugly, is rich and glorious.
- The third
rank, although beautiful and beautiful, but unhappy and
- And the
fourth place, having both beautiful beauty and living in
wealth and glory!
the Buddha's teaching, the reason for such differences is
that thoughts and actions create such a life span:
poor & unhappy
these women are ugly, poor, and unhappy is due to two
women who were born into lowly families, such as slaves,
hunters, fishers, bamboo makers, rickshaw drivers, and
professionals in other low-key crafts. Poor, short life,
emaciated body, but living with a low job, also being
ordered by lowly people. In such miserable circumstances,
these women do evil deeds with their bodies, speak evil
words with their mouths, and think evil thoughts.
Temperament, unusual anger, easily angered when someone
intrudes, even if it is just a petty and trivial matter.
Something touched their ego, they immediately expressed
dissatisfaction. So anger, and fierceness erupts
immediately, often causing enmity with others. In addition,
their temperament is often jealous of those who have wealth.
Be envious of the good deeds of others. Jealous of people
who have many benefits, who are respected and admired by the
masses; and who also do many other wrong and evil things.
poverty & unhappiness
miserable women do not believe in good and evil, and add
anger, wrong views, and delusion, creating many negative
karmas. Not respecting monks, nuns, Taoists, and people who
uphold the precepts, many disparaging words, and not
praising also obstruct the wise. These women do not believe
in cause and effect, do not have faith in kusala, do not
rejoice in creating a field of merit, and never know how to
give rice, water, fruit, medicine, fragrant things,
ointments, and need means. , cloths, clothes, oil lamps,
lodgings, places to lie down, to sit... to monastics,
brahmins, or to the hungry.
reasons, these women, after their death, suffer many
retributions of suffering in the evil paths: hell, hungry
ghosts, and animals. If under the influence of a certain
blessing in the past, one is reborn as a human, then it will
fall into the case of the first class of women: Both ugly,
poor, and living a low and unhappy life.
type of woman is a person of low merit. In the past, they
have sown unwholesome causes, so now they encounter evil
retribution. However, they also do not know how to do good
to change the cause of suffering, so they have to suffer the
consequences forever. This way of life and behavior is like
going from the latrine to the latrine, washing the blood
with blood, leaving evil, and then taking evil again.
According to the Agama Sutra, these are the people who go
from dark to dark.
2- Ugly, but
rich and glorious:
women born into a lowly family, with an aggressive, fierce
temperament, easily angered as in the first case….
- The cause
of wealth and glory
they have ugly bodies, they are poor and ugly women with
faith, little anger, and often feel ashamed and embarrassed.
Knowing giving away from greed. Seeing those monks, those
who uphold the precepts, and those who are educated, they
bow down to greet and visit. Skillfully helping and advising
others to give alms. Praise the giver and the recipient of
alms. People who cultivate such virtue from here to the next
life are reborn in heaven: These people are from the dark to
have faith, have a mind to create a field of merit, and know
how to give food and clothes to ascetics, brahmins, or the
needy and poor. These women also have other good qualities,
such that they are not jealous of those who have many
benefits, and are not jealous of those who are respected and
praised. Do not be envious of those who receive respect and
offerings. But the body always does good deeds, the mouth
often speaks good words, and the thoughts are good. In
addition, they also do many other rights and good deeds. For
these reasons, this type of woman, after dying, is often
born into auspicious realms; to be reborn in a good path, to
be reborn in a heavenly realm. However, if you are born
again as a human, you will fall into the second case:
Although the body is ugly, it will be noble and rich.
category of women is also in the bad situation of past
karma, but they know how to turn bad karma into good karma.
When they do good deeds with their bodies, speak good deeds
with their mouths, and with good thoughts in their minds,
they immediately cease suffering because of these causes and
conditions. When they die, they are reborn in a good realm
and are reborn in heaven. It's like you step from the ground
onto a palanquin, from a palanquin to a horse, from a horse
to an elephant... In the Agama Sutra, these people are
called people from dark to bright.
Beautiful, but unhappy & poor:
- The reason
for being beautiful:
about women who were born into wealthy families or royal
families or wealthy Brahmins. The bourgeois and the rich
families have a lot of money, many servants, many
intellectuals, a good body, intelligence, and wisdom.
Despite being in such rich conditions, these women have no
or little anger, are always gentle, cool, and always look
good. If anyone accidentally says something harsh, touching,
or insulting them, they will not be angry or indignant.
Never hold a grudge against anyone.
- Causes of
unhappiness & poverty:
they are gentle people, they have no faith, and no mind to
create a field of merit. Not knowing how to respect monks
and nuns, those who practice and uphold the precepts.
Criticism does not praise but also hinders the giver, and
also insults the recipient of the alms. Do not know how to
give food, clothing, and shelter to the monks, brahmins, or
the poor and hungry! Moreover, they are jealous of people
with many benefits; envy those who receive praise, love,
affection, reverence, and offerings from others. At the same
time, these women also have other wrong and evil actions.
That person's body is always doing evil, speaking evil
words, and thinking evil thoughts.
This type of
woman, because of such causes and conditions, when dies, her
body will be reborn in an evil realm and fall into hell. It
is like a person coming down from a high floor to ride an
elephant, from an elephant to a horse's back, from a horse
to a cart, from a cart to a palanquin, from a palanquin to
the ground, and from the ground to a pit. If there is a
little blessing to be reborn as a human, they fall into the
third case: Having a very beautiful face but living a dark,
poor, unhappy life,
type of woman is a person with merit and virtue, created by
good causes in her previous life, this life enjoys good
results, and is pure and beautiful. But because they do not
know how to cultivate, they are free to enjoy sensual
pleasures, create evil karma, and then have to reap the
results of suffering. The Agama Sutra calls this type of
woman someone who goes from bright to dark.
4. Beauty &
wealth and glory
- The cause
women born into wealthy families who have good bodies. In
this wealthy family, there is a heart to do good, a mouth to
say good things, and thoughts of good deeds. Moreover, these
women have no or little anger and are always gentle, loving,
cool, and always cheerful like the third person above.
- Causes of
wealth and glory:
they live rich and happy life, they still have faith, have a
mind to create a field of merit, and know how to give food
and clothes to monks, brahmans, or the needy and poor. These
women also have other good qualities, such that they do not
have jealousy towards people with many benefits; do not envy
those who are praised; do not be envious of those who
receive respect and offerings. In addition, they also do
many other rights and good deeds.
rich in faith and without anger, often have a mind of shame,
are generous, have wisdom, and are free from envy. Seeing
Monks, Nuns, and Brahmins, seeing people who practice
precepts, study well and understand widely, they first greet
them respectfully, then provide accommodation at their
discretion, and advise others to make offerings. These women
always do good deeds, speak good words, and think good
thoughts. For this reason, after death, one is reborn on a
good path and is reincarnated in the heavenly realm. It's
like you going from the shop floor to the restaurant floor,
from a tall house with a wide door entering a taller, wider,
this type of woman is often reborn in good realms. If they
want to be reborn as a human, they fall into the fourth
case: Having an extremely beautiful face, but the blessings
of wealth, fame, position, husband and children, and
servants are all perfect. Loved and respected by everyone.
category of women is those who have both merit and virtue
and know how to practice good karma and stay away from bad
karma. These people are progressing day by day, their minds
are bright, and in the future, they will attain liberation
without difficulty. In the Agama Sutra, this class of women
is referred to as one who goes from bright to bright.
the Buddha's teachings on the law of cause and effect, and
the merits of karma, from which you can summarize the causes
leading to the result as follows:
1- Due to a
hot temper or anger, a lot of anger, easily provoked
resentment, hatred, always frowning, angry: This is the
cause, the condition, creates karma, produces retribution
with a pattern ugly face, slanted five senses, rough skin,
unpleasant odor, hard to see, unpleasant.
2- Due to
not having faith, not keeping the precepts, not knowing how
to give: That is the cause, the condition, the action that
leads to the result of having a miserable life, hunger, lack
of food, lack of clothes.
3- Due to
jealousy and envy towards people with status, fame, and
fortune: That is the cause, the condition, the action that
leads to low retribution in the status of a servant or a
slave, female prostitution... is the lowest ladder in
there is little anger, always gentle, peaceful, cool, and
always cheerful: That is the cause, the condition, the karma
that leads to the retribution, having a beautiful body, and
smooth skin, radiating fragrance, balanced and beautiful
five senses like the embodiment of a fairy in this world.
5- By having
faith, having the mind to create a field of merit, knowing
how to give food and clothing to ascetics, brahmins, or
those in need and poverty: That is the cause, the condition,
the auspicious karma for rich retribution, full of fortune
there is no envious mind towards people with many benefits;
do not envy those who are praised and praised; do not be
envious of those who receive respect and offerings. In
addition, they can also do many other rights and good deeds:
That is the cause, the condition, the action leading to
noble retribution, and achieving the supreme position and
fame that everyone in the world respects esteemed!
six causes, six conditions, and six karmic actions that lead
to six retributions. According to the thorough, thoughtful,
perfect explanation of the Buddha, as a Buddhist disciple,
you know for sure that the three bad causes and effects
should be eliminated, and the three good causes and effects
should be practiced sincerely. So for the sake of long-term
benefit and diligence on the way to enlightenment, perhaps
you should also make a vow:
- From now
on, the disciple vows to give up his temper, or anger, a lot
of anger, easily provokes resentment, generates hatred,
always frowning, and being angry. The disciple must set up a
mind to practice with less anger, always be gentle,
peaceful, cool, and always excited and happy to have a more
perfect beauty than this life!
- From now
on, disciples vow to leave the mind stingy, hissing; living
a life full of faith, having a mind to create a field of
merit, knowing how to give food and clothes to ascetics,
brahmins, or the needy and poor in order to enjoy the wealth
and perfection of their possessions wealth, and more
possessions throughout this lifetime!
- From now
on, disciples vow not to be jealous of people with many
benefits; do not be jealous or envious of those who receive
praise and offerings. Moreover, disciples will respect them,
and rejoice with them so that in the future I will gain fame
and a noble position in the realms beyond this!
references to the scriptures, you can recognize your own
abiding place. That is, you are most self-aware of your own
karma, whether you are walking in the dark, or walking in
the light. Besides, each of you also knows that your life in
the present as well as in the future is determined by you.
In other words, the high or low life of each of you is
created by your own karma, through the daily training of
your consciousness, words, and deeds. Therefore, you need to
purify and transform unwholesome minds, always watering the
seeds of good, so that happiness is present in you, and
around you right in this life.
you must be aware that your life is happy and holy, not in
prayer and supplication, depending on any other divine
force, wishing, or hope for some protection from outside
forces. But in your own practice, if each of you knows how
to convert bad karma into good karma. Because karma
determines your present destiny and karma also changes your
present destiny of you and determines your future destiny,
you should be remembered that:
- It is not
by being born into a rich or poor family that a person
becomes noble or lowly, but by Kamma or intentional action
that makes him or her noble or lowly.
This view of
the Buddha shows people his new perspective on man and the
value of human life. Especially the value of an upward path
towards good. The path to the top, is the path to practice,
to transform unwholesome karma, to the end of suffering, to
reach the fruit of liberation. In that upward path, each
person is their own master and must walk on their own.
what I introduce to you, you have seen that the cause and
effect of Buddhism are very broad and liberal. While a large
number of people in the world have misconceptions: When
people die, they are reborn in the human realm, when people
in heaven die, they are reborn in heaven, when animals die,
they are reborn in the animal realm, etc. You don't know
your life is a stream of changes, change continuously moment
by moment. From the moment you were born, you have suffered
the karmic retribution of the past. Gradually becoming a
human, you have created new karma. If you meet good
conditions in good circumstances, are close to good
knowledge, and teach good things, you will advance to good
realms. On the contrary, if you are close to evil people,
bad circumstances are infected with evil karma, and you will
fall into the evil realms. Thus you go on ups and downs from
life to life, never-ending. So you continue to cause karma
to pay retribution, pay retribution and then cause karma..
Of the four
types of women above, there are two classes that know how to
progress, the second and the fourth. And the two classes
that do not know progress are the first and the third. So in
life, whether you create good causes or create bad karma, is
up to you to practice changing karma, not anyone's decision.
And karma is not fixed for good or evil, but it's up to you
to change it.
this, you should strive to cultivate good and cut off evil,
as soon as possible.
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