One gains confirmed confidence in the Buddha through reflecting upon him in this way -
Confidence in the Teacher and that Enlightenment is possible is what this recollection is for. Although blind faith can be problematic in some cases, faith in the Buddha should also be based on experiential evidence of his teachings, and of Upright Perspective, the view that 'there are those who have practised the Eightfold path and reached the final goal through their own efforts and can declare it as they know it for themselves.'1
Thus it is declaired that he, the fortunate, worthy, Completely Upright Enlightened One;
The buddha is fortunate because he lives equipoised, unmoved my circumstance, or dis-ease.
He is worthy of respect offering, gifts and hospitality due to his accomplishment of enlightenment which is complete and upright.
The Buddhas Enlightenment is complete as there is no falling away from that state, and it is upright because if it was not it would not be complete, like a bowl can not be used when it is overturned it is incomplete to that amount, the same it true here. This part of the line “complete upright enlightened one are emphasising each other, a common oral technique found in oral traditions with older Buddhist texts usually having three synonyms, which mean approximately the same thing just to make it easier to point or highlight something.
is accomplished in conduct & understanding;
This line encompasses both internal and external action, the conduct representing speech & body actions, and understanding representing mental action.
The Buddhas says what he means, and means what he says, the phasing and meaning are in line with each other, even when a phrase can mean more than one thing, its meaning is clarified to specify what is meant, unless he means both, or the classification is not necessary. The Buddha also acts in accord with what he says, not saying one thing then doing another.
The Buddhas Understanding of what is said is in line with the meaning of what is said, always clarifying what happened in legal matters (vinaya) and finding the context of what happens.
A Happy Traveller;
“Sugato” also translates as “Happy”or “Travels Well” although I have opted for a combined rendering as the two seam to inform each other.
The Buddha is a Happy Traveller” as he is not bound by any hindrance of the mind, so is always happy, content, and at peace wherever he is.
The Buddha is also a Happy Traveller as he only treds the complete middle path which includes the full eightfold path with the addition of Upright Wisdom & Upright Enlightenment.
Knower of the World;
His knowledge of this world and the next is a representation of upright perspective, as he has realized the internal world that is the six senses, the world as this being, and the other world of the six sense media, or that of other beings, he understands the cosmos.
Without a superior;
There are no others who like the Buddha reached full enlightenment without his help, and as the Buddha is not human, nor a divine being because of his attainment only the Arahant, those who are also enlightened can be close to equals, yet, because the Buddha through his own effort discovered the path, travelled it to completion without the help of someone who had walked the path to completion he had to find his way in the dark, so discovered all aspects of the samsaric condition not always understood fully by arahants, he developed the full range of meditative states, not needed to break free from the samsaric problems (although useful states to be able to use.)
Guiding those who are to be trained;
Through compassion the Buddha saw that there are those who would understand the deep & profound aspects of what he had discovered, so started to teach and lead by example those who want happiness.
Teacher of divine and human beings;
all beings are worthy of happiness and the buddha does not make a distinction of grant favour because of the class of being, the social standing of the being, or any other reason except for individuals who refuse to train, then they are left aside by the Buddha, because they do not listen to kindness or harshness, they do not take heed, and humble themselves to the truth and discipline the Buddha teaches.
Awake & fortunate.
The Buddha is Awake because his mind no longer distorts reality, like a dream, he sees clearly what is and is not, this is why he is fortunate.
One gains confirmed confidence in the teachings through reflecting upon them in this way -
One should gain confidence in the The teachings as they are a path of truth, central and point to what needs to be understood, not scattered, hard to see, or secret, only pointing to the problem and how to fix it, so able to be put to the test & tested.
The Dhamma is taught well by the Fortunate One;
The Dhamma (Truth) is explained, pointed out, and what is useful taught through all means that lead to dis-passion (calm objectivity), not to passion (intense enthusiasm); to being unfettered (moving with things), not to being fettered (moved by things); to shedding (decrease of troubles), not to accumulating (increase of troubles); to being inwardly content, not to self importance (conceit); to contentment with things, not to discontent (longing for better things); to privacy from external concerns, not to involvement in external concerns; to the application of energy, not to wasting time; to being easily supported (needing little), not to being hard to please (wanting more’).
Visible here and now;
The Dhamma is visible here and now yet not obvious due to our distorting reality based on personal preferences, so a training is needed, this training leads to seeing what needs to be seen, understanding what needs to be understood, and removing what needs to be removed so that reality can be seen as it actually is.
Not pertinent to any one time;
reality is timeless, not dependent upon any conditions to be present for it to be seen, the same is true of the teachings, which at any time when followed fully lead to seeing reality.
Open for all to test
As the Buddha does not teach anything to which all can not be taught everyone can test all aspects of the teachings and test them.
Some teachings may be more appropriate than others at times, but that does not mean that the teachings are not testable, or functional, only that someone with a strong dis-ease needs the appropriate cure.
Leading toward nibbana;
The Teachings lead to peace, to nibbana, or at least in this direction, this is why the teachings should be put to the test, not just handled intellectually, as putting the teachings to the test also tests the claimed outcome, and the Buddhas claim of Enlightenment.
To be understood individually by wise people.
Wise people are those with discernment, who attend appropriately on things, when one attends appropriately they can find the truth of it, while being at peace through the development of dis-passion.
One gains confirmed confidence in the Sangha through reflecting upon them in this way -
Confidence in the community should be developed because they are those who have practiced what we are learning, they have become well grounded on the path and understand what is to be done, so can advise us, listen to us, and assist when the teacher is not present. This confidence is placed in friendship, which is the whole of the path.
The Fortunate One’s assembly of disciples are those who have thoroughly entered upon the path;
The Fortunate One’s assembly of disciples are those who have reached the straight path;
The Fortunate One’s assembly of disciples are those who have followed the right method;
The Fortunate One’s assembly of disciples are those who have entered the proper course -
That is the four pairs & eight kinds of noble being -
These are the Fortunate One’s assembly of disciples.
These are those who have no more than seven more lives before enlightenment, they are the noble disciples which include the path and fruit of the Stream Winner; Once Returner; Non Returner; and Arahant, they practice rightly, and have understanding to learn from, and conduct to emulate.
They are worthy of offerings;
Worthy of hospitality;
Worthy of gifts;
And ought to be respected as they are the best place where skilful qualities can be found in the world.
Because they are striving rightly on the path they are worthy of many things, not that they are entitled to anything more than another, rather because they have merited through their own actions a noble existence, and as such the offering to them of requisites, lodging, & respect brings great reward due to the purity of their heart (minds).
The best gift to them is emulation, and becoming established on the path also, as they can help in this regard.
There are three kinds of gift, the material gift, the gift of fearlessness, and the gift of Dhamma; The material gift is the main responsibility of the lay-people to the sangha as the sangha do not support themselves the way lay people support themselves, they practice and that is their support. But they give the gift of fearlessness, as they are not harmful to anyone, and develop qualities that lead to harmlessness.
The Gift of Dhamma can come in many forms from both the sangha and their supporters, the sangha can make mistakes and the supporters can correct them, just as the sangha can assist the supporters in practice & understanding, the supporters can assist the sangha in their practice so that complacency does not arise in areas, and they stay on the right path until the point they can no longer deteriorate in their training.
1A rendering of “mundane” upright perspective found in AN3.117 Vipattisampadā Sutta “There are also recluses and brahmins who have traversed the upright path until complete perfection, so by their own efforts, realizing this world and the world beyond, can declare it.”