I hope the day of rest and meditation on the full moon has earned much merit for all of you! I missed 2 weeks of upasathas or improperly observed them ( once I even forgot the day
)-- and I was feeling tired and drained...I observed yesterday -- next morning I was full of energy again! It just showed me how important these days are! For lay followers, it is a must as we become tired due to work, stress etc.!
Just a small note on the above quotes:
Asvaghosa's writing is from his Sutralamkara, "the Embellishment of the Sayings" of Buddha.
The Question of King Milinda comes from the Sutra of Nagasena (in Chinese: Nasien King), a Chinese version of the Milinda-panha ;
Now a few more statements of conviction from the seers of Mahayana!
Dhammapada: He who takes refuge in the Buddha will not depart to a bad destiny; when he gives up his body, he will go to the assembly of the gods
Ekottara Agama: He who has sinned in deed, word or thought, if at the hour of his death he thinks of the merits of the Tathagata, he will be preserved from the three bad destinies, and though most vile, will be reborn in heaven
Asvaghosa: Even if you possess no more than a grain of worthiness, you must look to Buddha for your salvation. A man of little merit appealing to Buddha receives ambrosia from him. hence, let us wholeheartedly take refuge in the Buddha
Mahaprajnaparamita-sastra: Plant your merits in the field of the Buddha, and the reward that you will reap from it will be like these lotuses which fill innumerable earths,
Dasabhumivibhasa- sastra,Among the ways of this world, there are easy ones and hard ones. To walk on the way of the land is arduous, to steer by the way of the water is pleasant. So it is with the ways of the Bodhisattvas: some jealously practice the spiritual energy; others, by the easy practice of the means of faith rapidly arrive at the avaivarti. 46
Nagarjuna writes, by getting into the boat of the Eightfold Way, one can cross the sea difficult to cross over, cross it oneself and cause others to cross it. The smallest roots of good related to Buddha spring up as great Trees of Blessing. I earn merit by virtue. I transfer this merit, and in so doing earn more merit, which I transfer and so on to infinity!
Mahakarmavibhanga: narrating the legend of the young and poor Malini, it says:She gave a garland of straw to the monument of Sugata, and she gained the best of garlands of gold and precious stones, the garland of the Members of the Illumination (the Holy Sangha)