Win, win, win and win, and the Velāma Sutta (AN. 9:20)

If ever you are lucky- striking jackpots, winning lotteries, or even winning while having some fun gambling in casinos, please do not give it back to the casinos by thinking that the winnings are “no good” as a good Buddhist. If a Buddhist were able to win money continuously in casinos, my advice to him would be to carry on winning. I think it is not a bad thing. He is actually doing something wonderful, being one of the very few in the world that could cause the casino bosses to feel restless, panic and sweating.

If a person intends to win, it is very important for him to know about the law of karma. In the law of karma, a person’s luck depends very much on the past good action or deeds that he has done. When a person have accumulated much merit in the past, it is impossible for him to be poor. Wealth will come to him without much need to struggle hard for it. He could amass wealth easily. He could be born rich or could gain much wealth through business investments or even through winning lotteries, jackpots or any type of gaming activities. But, if a person has not accumulated much merit in the past, the opposite situation will happen and no amount of good feng shui,good lucky stones, good lucky amulets, good lucky mantras or other so called good lucky gadgets that has been advertised to be so, would really help I am sorry.

In order for us to be a person of great luck, we must try to accumulate as much merits as possible. Today, I would like to tell you all about a sutta called Velāma. This sutta will teach those who wants to come back to this world again in the future to be one of the few person that can cause any casino bosses to tremble, panic and fret, due to his ability to win, win, win and win as and when as he likes and wish. And now, pay close attention and I will talk about the Velāma Sutta.

In one of His past lives, the Buddha was a very rich brahmin called Velāma. Judging from the gifts that he had given as that brahmin, it is very possible that he was richer than that computer guy, Mr. Gates. The gifts that he had given out as charities, I would say are valued more than our Petronas Twin Towers.
As recorded in the sutta, the gifts given by him were such as these:

● eighty- four thousand golden bowls, filled with silver;
● eighty-four thousand silver bowls, filled with gold;
● eighty-four thousand copper bowls, filled with treasures;
● eighty-four thousand steeds, with trappings of gold, with banners of gold, covered with nets of gold threads;
● eighty-four thousand chariots, spread with lion-skins, tiger-skins, leopard-skins, saffron-coloured blankets, with

golden trappings, golden banners, covered with nets of gold threads;
● eighty-four thousand milk cows, with tethers of fine jute, with milk-pails of silver;
● eighty-four thousand maidens adorned with jeweled ear-rings;
● eighty-four thousand couches, spread with fleecy covers, white blankets and woolen flower-embroidered 

coverlets, covered with rugs of antelope skins, with awnings above and crimson cushions at each end;
● eighty-four thousand lengths of cloth, of finest flax, of finest silk, of finest wool, of finest cotton.
● And who shall tell of the food and the drink that he gave, food both hard and soft, sweetmeats and syrups! They

all flowed, like rivers!

Now, all of you might think that he must have accumulated much merit as a result of that rich gifts and it would be impossible for all of us to match him in merit making. Actually it is not so. When the alms were given by that brahmin, there were no wise and holy person around to receive the gifts. It is said that,
even if one were to feed a person who possesses the right view (sotapanna), it would be more fruitful than what the Brahmin, Velāma had done.

Further in the sutta, it is clearly implied that if one were to feed a person who is higher in wisdom, starting upwards from a person who possesses the right view ( a sakadagami, an anagami, an arahant, a pacekkhabuddha and finally a Sammasambuddha ), the merit gained from this action, will increase to more than a hundred times for each subsequent ascent. This means, if someone was lucky enough to have fed a Sammasambuddha, he would have earned the merit of more than the amount of = 100 x 100 x 100x 100 x 100 times than the merit earned for feeding a person who possesses the right view. ( sotapanna )

But for now, we can all forget about making any offerings to a Sammasambuddha, because in the past ninety-one eons, before Gotama Buddha, there had only been 6 Sammasambuddhas (DN 14). In the future, in this same eon of ours, there will arise anotherSammasambuddha named Metteyya (DN 26). However, that will be millions of years later. So for now, one could only hope to make offerings to someone ranking below a Sammasambuddha. But this is only possible if he is lucky enough to meet any of them.

Anyway, don’t worry as we are very lucky because the Buddha did not impart His teachings and then left us hanging halfway in the air. Whatever He taught, can be practiced. Thus, in the same sutta the Budhha taught us that if one were to feed the Sangha headed by the Buddha, the merits gained would be greater. And if someone were to build a dwelling place for the Sangha from the four directions, the merits would even be greater still. And if one with a confident mind takes refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, the merits gained would be much greater.

And if one has the devotion and dedication to keep the 5 precepts, the merits would be even greater. And if one was to develop a mind of loving- kindness even for the time it takes to pull a cow’s udder, the merit would again be greater than any of the previous meritorious deeds. Lastly, the champion of all meritorious acts is to acquire the understanding of impermanence, even for just the amount of time needed to snap one’s fingers.
And this is the end of the Velāma Sutta.

May you all continue with all your good work and be happy always, sadhu.

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