At one time, the Buddha traveled in the city of Vajrasattva, in the bamboo forest, in the garden of Calanda. At that time, Venerable Lavan was also living in the city of Vuong Xa, in the On-quan forest.
10 paintings of Buddha with childhood by teacher Nhuan Duc
At that time, the Blessed One, after the night had passed, in the early morning, put on his robe, took his bowl, and entered the city of Rajagaha for alms. After his alms round, he went to On-quan forest, where the venerable Lavan lived. Venerable Lavan from afar, seeing the Blessed One coming, immediately went to receive him, took the Buddha’s robes and bowls, spread his seat, and drew water to wash his feet. After the Buddha washed his feet, he sat on Lavan’s seat. At that time, the Blessed One took the basin of water and poured it away, leaving only a little, and then asked:
– Lavan, do you see me now taking this basin of water away, leaving only a little?
– World-Honored One, do you see?
– I say that the other person’s religion is also less so, that is, knowing and telling lies without shame, no remorse, no dishonesty, no respect. O Lavan, that person also has no evil not to do. Therefore, Lavan, should learn like this, not to joke and lie.
The Blessed One took the basin that was left with a little water, poured it out, and asked:
– Hey Lavan, did you see me holding the basin and some of the water spilled out?
Lavan replied that:
– I see, venerable sir.
– Lavan, I say that the other person’s religion is also lost. That is, knowing and still lying, without shame, without remorse, without dishonesty, without esteem. This man, Lavan, has no evil deed that he does not do. Therefore, Lavan, you should learn like this: Do not play tricks and lie.”
(The Middle A-Ham Sutra, Chapter of Corresponding Karma, Lavan Sutra, No. 14 [trích])
Discussion: This Dharma talk is one of the Buddha’s teachings to children. At that time, Venerable La Van (La-Hula) had just entered the temple, still young, so he was quite mischievous and especially had a habit of lying. In this case, the Blessed One did not reason much, did not say anything profound, but only borrowed the image of a basin (brass) containing water for washing feet as a visual aid. Thanks to specific images, Lavan understood the intention of the Blessed One and stopped joking and lying.
After washing the feet, the Blessed One poured out most of the water, leaving only a little at the bottom of the basin. This meager portion of water represents the not much piety of those who “know and still lie, but are not ashamed, not repentant, not guilty, not precious”. Then the Blessed One poured out all the water, leaving only the empty basin. Right there he taught: “I say that the other person’s religion is lost in the same way. That is, knowing and still lying, without shame, without repentance, without dishonesty, without esteem.”
Buddha taught Rahula how to practice and behave
It is easy to see and extremely understandable to young people. If you speak falsely or lie without shame, there is no morality. More importantly, the person whose virtue is empty carries the potential risk of “no evil deeds not to be done”. Every evil in the world has a cause, small bad things, petty errors, if ignored and not transformed, will later be a big disaster. Finally, the Blessed One concluded: “O Lavan, do not play tricks and lie.”
New or good, the way of education of the Blessed One does not impose, does not borrow the authority of the master, but gradually suggests and leads to help students understand the problem and then practice voluntarily. At that time, Lavan himself understood that “not to joke and lie” was not the Buddha’s command, but because he understood the dangers of lying, he practiced self-discipline to avoid suffering in the future.