On Thursday 7 April, Bro. Tan shared with us the story of one of Sri Lanka’s great Buddhist kings – King Dutthagamani – who is mentioned in the Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicles of Sri Lanka. Besides defeating the enemies of Sri Lanka, King Dutthagamani is remembered for being instrumental in the development and preservation of Buddhism on the island as well as for the building of great Buddhist stupas, expanding many temples, and supporting the Sangha during his reign.
However, on his death bed, when asked to recollect the good deeds he had done in his lifetime, one would expect him to remember his monumental contributions to Buddhism, but he could not remember them clearly. Instead, he only recalled the time when he personally served a meal to a monk which had brought him great joy. This is because, when he was serving the monk, his mind was fully attentive on the act of Dāna, whereas when he was busy with his great projects, his mind was not totally concentrated on them.
The quality of our deeds depends on the quality of our cetana. When we perform meritorious deeds, however big or small they may be, we should do them with mindful attention. They will bring us great joy, in the present and future. We thank Bro. Tan for his interesting and insightful teaching. Sadhu anumodana.