Knowing qualities of a worthy student

Report by Stephanie Chua.

Sis. Santi speaking on the qualities of a “worthy student” of Dhamma during the Sunday Service.

On Sunday July 23, Sis. Santi was invited to give a Dhamma sharing on the qualities of a “worthy student” of Dhamma.  We often hear that, “when a student is ready, the teacher will appear”.  It means that when we are mentally ready for the Dhamma, anything around us can be the teacher, be it a person or an incident.

Sis. Santi made references to several discourses of the Buddha on the subject matter.

Referring to the Sigalovada Sutta, Sis. Santi explained five ways in which a pupil should administer to a teacher.  When serving teachers, we should rise from our seats in salutation, wait upon them, be eager to learn their teachings, offer them our personal service, and master the skills taught by them.

We should also cultivate wholesome qualities to support our learning, such as being humble, respectful, and not impudent towards our teachers, as well as by establishing genuine, loyal and sincere relationship with them.

Though reverence towards our teacher is a wholesome quality, we should exercise restraint from becoming attached to them.  In the Sekha Sutta, it is mentioned that a noble disciple is virtuous, guards the doors of his sense faculties, is moderate in eating, devoted to wakefulness, possesses the “seven good qualities”, and obtains the four jhanas without trouble or difficulty. As learners of the Dhamma, we should gradually develop our personal qualities to the standards of a noble disciple.

In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta the Buddha said, “One who honours me most is he who practises my teaching best”.  As students of Dhamma, Sis. Santi encouraged us to keep learning and practising the teachings and progress towards liberation.  Sadhu anumodana!

Devotees got into smaller groups to discuss what they have learned from the Sunday talk.

Sunday host Sis. Queenie getting everyone to stretch their muscles after a long day of sitting.