THE FOREMOST IN KEEPING THE PRECEPTS
Born of the Sudra Caste (the lowest caste in ancient India) and not allowed to receive any education, but gained enlightenment as quickly as the other educated monks and was one of the well respected ones among the Order.
Everyone has the capability to achieve success in one way or another. We shouldn’t undermine ourselves just because our status, talents and education are no match against others. Be determined, focus on your goals and success is equally yours.
Has great concentration and mindfulness. It is said that he attained all four stages of meditation during a conversation between his mother and Lord Buddha about Venerable Upali himself, just by concentrating his attention towards his bodily posture and his breath.
To put it mathematically, FOCUS is directly proportional to SUCCESS. The MORE FOCUS you put in, the HIGHER THE SUCCESS rate. You’ll be surprised how much you can achieve just be increasing your determination and concentration.
Just because Venerable Upali is so disciplined in observing the precepts, he is viewed as a thorn in their flesh and often treated badly by the other monks and nuns who are careless in their observance. But knowing that it was just the right thing to do, Ven. Upali ignores the negative treatment he received. The Buddha later on criticized the Brethren upon their wrong doing against Ven. Upali.
In life, there would be certain occasions in which we would be ill treated by others. In such circumstances, we must have the wisdom to determine why is this happening. If our actions are the cause, then we must accept our fault, and change for the better. But if sometimes it is just the right thing to do, we must be courageous enough to execute it, and react wisely to negativity spawn by jealousy or ill will.
“Upali was an outcaste, but he enjoyed high prestige in the community of monks. He success was a stimulus to people in distress. His success symbolized the glory of equality that shines forever.”
Sadly, Kevin didn't shave bald for that session. But he DID have a haircut recently!