969, what does it mean?
969 is numerical shorthand for the core of the Buddha’s teachings. The first 9 are the supreme qualities of the Buddha, the 6 is the six traits of the Dharma, and the last 9 are the traits of the Sangha (the monastic community of Buddhism).
Buddhists should prominently display 969 stickers, posters, flags, and other items at their home and business.
In depth 969 refers to the following traits of Buddhism:
The nine supreme qualities of the Buddha. In the Pali language this is written as: 1. Araham, 2. Samma- sambuddho, 3. Vijjacarana- sampanno, 4. Sugato, 5. Lokavidu, 6. Anuttaro-purisa-dhammasarathi, 7. Sattha-deva-manussanam, 8. Buddho and 9. Bhagava.
1. Araham means that the Buddha is free of all defilement. Defilement, in simple terms, include bad thoughts and bad reactions such as anger, anxiety, hatred, frustration, stress, depression, ignorance, jealousy, gossip, attachment, dogmatism and so on. The Buddha had eradicated all of these and inspires us with his qualities. Because of this, he is Araham.
This means to discover, understand, fully realize the Four Noble Truths without any aid from a teacher. Although we have read, heard, and thought about the Four Noble Truths, most of us are still unable to fully realize them.
It is knowledge and conduct, or theory and practice; the Buddha is endowed with both. He says as he acts and he does as he says.
It is a perfect speaker, who is adept in the art of choosing the right words, saying them at the right time, in such a way as will benefit the listener. The Buddha was a master of that.
The speech of the Buddha was without defect. There are six kinds of speech:
1. True, beneficial, and pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha used on many occasions.
2. True, beneficial, but not pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha used whenever it was necessary to correct those who were deviating from the path.
3. True, not beneficial, and pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha did not use.
4. True, not beneficial, and not pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha did not use.
5. False, not beneficial, but pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha did not use.
6. False, not beneficial, and not pleasing to others. This speech the Buddha did not use.
Of them, only the first and second are the two kinds of speech that the Buddha speaks because those are true, correct, and beneficial.
The term Lokavidu is applied to the Buddha as the one with exquisite knowledge of the world. The Buddha had experienced, known and penetrated into all aspects of worldly life, physical as well as spiritual. He was the first to make the observation that there are thousands of world systems in the universe. He was the first to declare that the world was nothing but conceptual. In his words, it is regarded pointless to speculate on the origin and the end of the world or the universe. He stated that the origin of the world, its cessation and the path to the cessation thereof is to be found within the fathom long body –- the human being with its perception and consciousness.
6. Anuttaro Purisa-Dhamma-Sarathi
Anuttaro means to be matchless and unsurpassed. Purisa-dhamma refers to individuals to whom the gift of the Dhamma is to be endowed, and Sarathi means a leader. These three terms taken together imply an incomparable leader capable of bringing wayward men to the path of righteousness.
7. Satta Deva-Manussanam
The translation of this term means that the Buddha was a Teacher of Devas and men. The Buddha was a remarkable Teacher who was flexible and capable of devising diverse techniques suited to the caliber and different mentalities of devas and human beings. He instructed everyone to lead a righteous way of life. The Buddha was indeed a universal Teacher.
It means that the Buddha, being omniscient, possessed extraordinary powers of being able to convince others of his great discovery though his exquisite art of teaching others his Dhamma. His techniques were unsurpassed by any other teacher. The term Buddho has another meaning: “Awakened.” The ordinary state of man is perpetually in a state of stupor. The Buddha was the Awakened One, who had awakened from ignorance and delusion.
Deserving awe and veneration, blessed is his name. Therefore, the word “Bhagava” had various meanings as suggested by some commentators. The Buddha was termed “Bhagava” or the “Blessed One” because he was the happiest and most fortunate amongst mankind for having managed to overcome all evils, for expounding the highest Dhamma and for being endowed with supernormal and superhuman intellectual faculties.
The Buddha’s teaching is generally called the Dhamma or Dharma. It is neither a revelation from a ‘higher power’ nor a legendary speculation with a theological twist. There are many virtues of the Dhamma that make it sublime and perfect in the highest meaning of the term. However, there are six qualities of Dhamma. In Pali these six qualities are: 1. Swakkhato Bhagavata Dhammo 2. Sanditthiko 3. Akaliko 4. Ehipassiko 5. Opaneyhiko 6. Paccattam Veditabbo Vinnuhi.
1. Swakkhato Bhagavato Dhammo
This term means that the Dhamma was discovered and proclaimed by the Blessed One. The Dhamma is excellent at the beginning, excellent in the middle, and excellent at the end. It has no contradictions and interpolations and does not deviate from its goal of easing suffering in the world. The subject matter of the Dhamma starts with Sila which is equated to right conduct based on the tranquility of the mind. Panna or wisdom follows suit after Samadhi is firmly established.
The Dhamma is universal and is of vital interest to mankind in any part of the world at any time. The noble Dhamma of the Buddha consistently denounced social injustice such as the rigid caste-system, human slavery, and the abuse and discriminatory low status accorded to females. The Buddha was not a dictator but a teacher of spiritual equality before the ultimate reality of existence and is honored for his righteousness with the title Lord Buddha.
The Dhamma is testable by practice and known by direct experience.
The Dhamma is able to bestow immediate results here and now, for which there is no need to wait until the future or other lives. The Dhamma does not change over time and it does not exist relative to time. If there is truth, that truth can never become old.
The Dhamma welcomes all beings to put it to the test and to experience it for themselves. And if need be, even to criticize the Dhamma before accepting it because there is nothing mythical or mysterious about it. The Dhamma is pure and crystal clear. The freedom of thought allowed by the Buddha is unheard of elsewhere in the history of religions. Just to say “I believe” does not mean that you understand and see.
The Dhamma is capable of being entered upon and therefore it is worthy to be followed as a part of your life.
6. Paccattam Veditabbo Vinuhi Ti
The Dhamma is perfectly realized only by the noble disciples who have matured and enlightened enough in supreme wisdom. No one can absorb the Dhamma on behalf of another person, just as no one can help quench the thirst of another person by taking a drink on behalf of the person.
The Buddha is not a savior but an instructor – a teacher who shows the path for others to tread. The Buddha does not grant favours to those who pray to him. The Buddha can guide the way, and tell us its difficulties and beauties which we shall find as we tread the way. The Buddha never puts himself forward as a mediator between us and our final deliverance, but he can tell us what to do because he has done it himself and, therefore, knows the way.
Sangha has nine qualities. Literally, Sangha means community.
The Sangha forms the third component of the Triple Gem. Sangha members represent the embodiment of the Dhamma and they have been, by and large, responsible for the preservation and promotion of the Dhamma, both during and after the time of the Buddha.
There are nine qualities of Sangha as follows: 1.Supatipanno bhagavato savaka sangho 2.Ujupatipanno bhagavato savaka sangho
3.Nayapatipanno bhagavato savaka sangho 4.Samicipatipanno bhagavato savaka sangho yadidam cattari purisa yugani Attha purisa puggala esa bhagavato savaka sangho 5. Ahuneyyo 6.Pahuneyyo 7.Dakkhineyyo 8.Anjalikaraniyo 9.Anuttaram punakkhetam lokassa
1. The disciples of the Blessed One practice the good way because it has been practiced in accordance with the instructions of the well-proclaimed Doctrine and Discipline.
2. The disciples of the Blessed One practice the straightway because it has been practiced by following the middle path and avoiding the two extremes (the self-indulgence and self-mortification).
3. The disciples of the Blessed One practice the true way to Nibbana because Nibbana is known as happiness and peace.
- The disciples of the Blessed One practice the proper way because it is the way of those who are worthy of proper acts. These are the four pairs of noble persons, the eight individuals.
The Blessed One’s disciples are:
5. worthy of offerings
6. worthy hospitality
7. worthy of gifts
8. worthy reverential salutation
9. a supreme field of merit for the world.
Buddhamam Saranam Gacchami
Dhammam Saranam Gacchami
Sangham Saranam Gacchami
The source of this information can be found in http://usamyanmar.net/Buddha/Article/The%20Nine%20Qualities%20of%20Buddha.pdf