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09/15/07
The Awakened One-The Wings to Awakening -An Anthology from the Pali Canon-Part II: The Seven Sets-E. The Five Faculties
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The Awakened One

The Wings to Awakening

An Anthology from the Pali Canon

Translated and Explained
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
(Geoffrey DeGraff)

Part II: The Seven Sets

E. The Five Faculties

Indriya — the Pali word translated here as “faculty” — is connected with the name of the dominant Vedic god, Indra. Thus it carries connotations of dominance or control. Buddhist texts contain several lists of faculties, both physical and mental, but here the word denotes a list of five mental factors that must reach a state of dominance in the mind for Awakening to take place. This set is one of the most comprehensive in the Wings to Awakening, as it covers all of the factors explicitly mentioned in the sets we have covered so far, and in addition lists conviction, which the other sets imply but never specifically mention. This is why this set forms the framework for Part III of this book, in which all of the main factors of the Wings to Awakening will be discussed in detail.

As we noted in II/A, the faculties in this set form a loop in the causal progression of the mind along the path, as opposed to the “holographic” formulae of the sets we have discussed so far. Two of the faculties — the frames of reference and right exertion — we have covered in detail already. The other three — conviction, concentration, and discernment — we will discuss in detail in Part III. Here we will limit ourselves to some general observations about the set as a whole.

In the causal loop depicted by five faculties, the emphasis is on how the elements of the “concentration aggregate” in the noble eightfold path — right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration — can lead the mind from a state of conviction to one of discernment. To borrow terminology from §106, this is the process by which the mind goes from the preliminary level to the noble or transcendent level of right view. This set can also be regarded as a description of how conviction, when put into action, inherently leads through the concentration aggregate to transcendent discernment.

Passage §69 defines the faculty of conviction as the four factors of stream-entry. Other passages define these four factors in two separate ways: one [§70] listing the factors leading to stream-entry, another [§71] giving the factors that characterize the person who has already entered the stream. Both lists are relevant here, as the person working toward stream-entry must act on conviction, while a person who has entered the stream is endowed with the unwavering conviction that comes with the first glimpse of the Deathless.

In both cases, the factor of conviction has several dimensions: trust in the ability of wise people to know the ideal path of practice, belief in their teachings, and a willingness to put those teachings into practice. Western analyses of faith tend to separate these aspects of conviction, and some writers have tried to decide which aspect is dominant in the Buddhist tradition. In practice, however, all three must work together, for in Buddhism the object of conviction inherently involves all three at once. The primary focus of conviction is the Awakening of the Buddha, and this in turn ultimately comes down to a conviction in the primacy of the mind in creating kamma, a conviction in the efficacy of kamma in shaping experience in the round of rebirth, and a belief that the Buddha made use of mental qualities accessible to all in using the laws of kamma to bring about an end to kamma and thus escape from the round. Kamma and the use of kamma to transcend kamma constitute both the truth that the Buddha taught and the explanation of how he discovered it. Thus, trust in the Buddha and belief in his teaching are two sides of the same coin. At the same time, these truths concerning kamma are also the situation in which the listener is currently placed: the causal nexus that determines both the dynamic of continued life in the cycle of rebirth and the way out of that cycle. So, by definition, conviction in the Buddha’s Awakening is something that must be acted on. If one is convinced that one is entangled in a kammic web that can nevertheless be unraveled, one will naturally try to learn from the example of the Buddha or his disciples, developing the same mental qualities they did and attaining release oneself. Thus, unlike a religion where trust involves the belief that the deity will provide for one’s salvation — either through grace or as a reward for unquestioning obedience — trust in the Buddha and belief in his teachings means that one’s salvation is ultimately one’s own responsibility. In this way, trust, belief, and a willingness to act are inseparably combined.

This is why conviction, the first member of the set of five faculties, leads naturally to persistence, the second. Persistence here is equal to right exertion, which develops mindfulness as the most essential skillful quality in the mind. As we saw under the frames of reference, the proper development of mindfulness leads to concentration, or the four jhanas, while the jhanas provide the foundation for the arising of discernment, the fifth and final member of this set. When discernment is strengthened to the point of transcendence, leading to the attainment of stream-entry, it then confirms the truths that were previously taken as a matter of conviction and faith [§74]. This confirmation feeds back into the causal loop, strengthening conviction, which provides the basis for developing the faculties still further until Arahantship is attained. At that point there is no need to be convinced that the practice leads to release into the Deathless, for one has fully realized that release through direct experience [§89].

The underlying element throughout the development of this causal loop is the mental quality of heedfulness [§78]. The texts explain heedfulness as a combination of right effort and relentless mindfulness, but as a quality of mind it goes deeper than that. Heedfulness realizes the dangers inherent in the round of rebirth and redeath, and the fact that those dangers are inherent in each careless act of the mind. It thus fosters conviction in the possibility of a release from those dangers and a sense of urgency and precision in the practice. This combination of urgency and precision provides the impetus for the full and thorough development of the faculties as one seriously pursues the possibility of release through the skillful development of the mind. This pattern of heedfulness developing the five faculties in the quest of the security of Deathlessness mirrors Prince Siddhattha’s own quest, which began with his conviction that there was no need to resign himself to the tyranny of aging, illness, and death, and ended with the discernment that brought about his actual escape from that tyranny. This pattern also calls to mind the famous verse from the Dhammapada, that heedfulness is the path to the Deathless [§80]. The five faculties can be taken as an elaboration of that verse.

Because the five faculties are means to Deathlessness — rather than ends in themselves — they must not only be developed skillfully but also used skillfully as they are developed. The texts emphasizing this point focus on two of the faculties: persistence and discernment.

The passage dealing with persistence [§86] is probably the Canon’s most explicit analogy between the performance of music and the practice of meditation [I/A]. One should tune one’s effort so that it is neither too intense nor too slack, just as the main string of a musical instrument should be neither too sharp nor too flat. (We have already encountered this issue of balance in the proper development of the four bases of power, and we will encounter it again in the factors of Awakening.) One then tunes the remaining faculties to the pitch of one’s effort, just as one would tune the notes of one’s scale to the tonic. Only then can one take up the theme of one’s meditation — the four frames of reference [§148] — just as one would take up and develop the basic theme of one’s musical piece.

As for discernment, passage §88 brings out the point that one’s mastery of the faculties is not complete until one discerns the “escape” from them. Normally the texts make this comment only about deceptively attractive objects or unskillful qualities in the mind, but here they use it in connection with skillful qualities. What this means is that there comes a point in the practice where one must go beyond even such skillful qualities as concentration and discernment. They are skillful precisely because their full development allows one to go beyond them. This point is made explicit in §187, which shows exactly why the right view constituting discernment is right: it is the only view that opens the way going beyond attachment to views. D.1 [MFU, p. 111] adds that an awakened person — through regarding views not in terms of their content, but in terms of the effect they have on the mind — comes to discern what lies beyond views, and yet does not hold even to that act of discernment. As a result of knowing but not holding, the mind experiences Unbinding in the here and now. This “knowing but not holding” is yet another reference to the perceptual mode of emptiness verging on non-fashioning: the culminating point for each set in the Wings to Awakening.


Passages from the Pali Canon [go to top]

§ 69. Monks, there are these five faculties. Which five? The faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, the faculty of concentration, and the faculty of discernment.

Now where is the faculty of conviction to be seen? In the four factors of stream-entry…

And where is the faculty of persistence to be seen? In the four right exertions…

And where is the faculty of mindfulness to be seen? In the four frames of reference…

And where is the faculty of concentration to be seen? In the four jhanas

And where is the faculty of discernment to be seen? In the four noble truths…

– S.XLVIII.8

§ 70. Factors of Stream-entry. Association with good people is a factor of stream-entry [§115]. Listening to the true Dhamma is a factor of stream-entry. Appropriate attention is a factor of stream-entry [§51]. Practice in accordance with the Dhamma is a factor of stream-entry.

– S.LV.5

§ 71. Now with what four factors of stream-entry is the disiciple of the noble ones endowed? There is the case where the disiciple of the noble ones is endowed with unwavering faith in the Awakened One: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’

He is endowed with unwavering faith in the Dhamma: ‘The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.’

He is endowed with unwavering faith in the Sangha: ‘The Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced well… who have practiced straight-forwardly… who have practiced methodically… who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One’s disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.’

He is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration.

A.X.92

§ 72. Analysis. Now what, monks, is the faculty of conviction? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, has conviction, is convinced of the Tathagata’s Awakening: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ This, monks, is called the faculty of conviction.

And what is the faculty of persistence? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities. He is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. He generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen… for the sake of the abandoning of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen… for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen… (and) for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen. This is called the faculty of persistence. [§§49-50]

And what is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… the mind in & of itself… mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness. [§§29-30]

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go, attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thought & evaluation, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture he remains in equanimity, mindful & alert, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.’ With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called the faculty of concentration. [§150]

And what is the faculty of discernment? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is discerning, endowed with discernment of arising & passing away — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. He discerns, as it is actually present: ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’ This is called the faculty of discernment. [§§184-240]

S.XLVIII.10

§ 73. Just as a royal frontier fortress has a foundation post — deeply rooted, well embedded, immovable, & unshakable — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones has conviction, is convinced of the Tathagata’s Awakening: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ With conviction as his foundation post, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful & develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy & develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has a large army stationed within — elephant soldiers, cavalry, charioteers, bowmen, standard-bearers, billeting officers, soldiers of the supply corps, noted princes, commando heroes, infantry, & slaves — for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones keeps his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities, is steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. With persistence as his army, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful & develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy & develops what is unblameworthy, and looks after himself with purity…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has a wise, experienced, intelligent gate-keeper to keep out those he doesn’t know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. With mindfulness as his gate-keeper, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful & develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy & develops what is unblameworthy, and looks after himself with purity…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has ramparts that are high & thick & completely covered with plaster, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, endowed with discernment leading to the arising of the goal — noble, penetrating, leading to the right ending of stress. With discernment as his covering of plaster, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful & develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy & develops what is unblameworthy, and looks after himself with purity…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of grass, timber & water for the delight, convenience, & comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones… enters & remains in the first jhana… for his own delight, convenience, & comfort, and to alight on Unbinding…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of rice & barley for the delight, convenience, & comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones… enters & remains in the second jhana… for his own delight, convenience, & comfort, and to alight on Unbinding…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of sesame, green gram, & other beans for the delight, convenience, & comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones… enters & remains in the third jhana… for his own delight, convenience, & comfort, and to alight on Unbinding…

Just as a royal frontier fortress has large stores of tonics — ghee, fresh butter, oil, honey, molasses, & salt — for the delight, convenience, & comfort of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way the disciple of the noble ones… enters & remains in the fourth jhana… for his own delight, convenience, & comfort, and to alight on Unbinding…

– A.VII.63

§ 74. The Buddha: Tell me, Sariputta: A disciple of the noble ones who is thoroughly inspired by the Tathagata, who has gone solely to the Tathagata [for refuge], could he have any doubt or uncertainty concerning the Tathagata or the Tathagata’s teachings?

Sariputta: No, lord… With a disciple of the noble ones who has conviction, it may be expected that he will keep his persistence aroused for abandoning unskillful mental qualities and taking on skillful mental qualities, that he will be steadfast, solid in his effort, not shirking his duties with regard to skillful mental qualities. Whatever persistence he has, is his faculty of persistence.

With a disciple of the noble ones who has conviction, who is resolute & persistent, it may be expected that he will be mindful, highly meticulous, remembering and able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. Whatever mindfulness he has, is his faculty of mindfulness.

With a disciple of the noble ones who has conviction, who is resolute & persistent, and whose mindfulness is established (’tuned‘), it may be expected that — making it his object to let — he will attain concentration & singleness of mind. Whatever concentration he has, is his faculty of concentration.

With a disciple of the noble ones who has conviction, who is resolute & persistent, whose mindfulness is established, and whose mind is rightly concentrated, it may be expected that he will discern: ‘From an inconceivable beginning comes transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. The total fading & cessation of ignorance, of this mass of darkness, is this peaceful, exquisite state: the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.’ Whatever discernment he has, is his faculty of discernment.

And so this convinced disciple of the noble ones, thus striving again & again, recollecting again & again, concentrating his mind again & again, discerning again & again, becomes thoroughly convinced: ‘Those phenomena that once I had only heard about, I here & now dwell touching them with my body and, through discernment, I see them clear through.’ Whatever conviction he has, is his faculty of conviction.

– S.XLVIII.50

§ 75. Just as, in a house with a ridged roof, the rafters are not stable or firm as long as the ridge beam is not in place, but are stable & firm when it is; in the same way, four faculties are not stable or firm as long as noble knowledge has not arisen in a disciple of the noble ones, but are stable & firm when it has. Which four? The faculty of conviction, the faculty of persistence, the faculty of mindfulness, & the faculty of concentration.

When a disciple of the noble ones is discerning, the conviction that follows from that stands solid. The persistence that follows from that stands solid. The mindfulness that follows from that stands solid. The concentration that follows from that stands solid.

– S.XLVIII.52

§ 76. It is through the development & pursuit of two faculties that a monk whose effluents are ended declares gnosis: ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.’ Through which two? Through noble discernment & noble release. Whatever is his noble discernment is his faculty of discernment. Whatever is his noble release is his faculty of concentration.

– S.XLVIII.46

§ 77. Just as, of all scented woods, red sandalwood is reckoned the chief, even so of all the mental qualities that are wings to self-awakening, the faculty of discernment is reckoned the chief in terms of leading to awakening. And what are the mental qualities that are wings to self-awakening? The faculty of conviction is a mental quality that is a wing to self-awakening leading to awakening. The faculty of persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment is a mental quality that is a wing to self-awakening leading to Awakening.

– S.XLVIII.55

§ 78. When one quality is established in a monk, the five faculties are developed & developed well. Which one quality? Heedfulness.

And what is heedfulness? There is the case where a monk guards his mind in the midst of mental effluents & their concomitants. When his mind is guarded in the midst of mental effluents & their concomitants, the faculty of conviction goes to the culmination of its development. The faculty of persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment goes to the culmination of its development.

This is how when one quality is established in a monk, the five faculties are developed & developed well.

– S.XLVIII.56

§ 79. Just as the footprints of all legged animals are encompassed by the footprint of the elephant, and the elephant’s footprint is reckoned their chief in terms of size; in the same way, all skillful qualities are rooted in heedfulness, lie gathered in heedfulness, and heedfulness is reckoned their chief…

Just as all the light of the constellations does not equal one sixteenth of the light of the moon, and the light of the moon is reckoned their chief; in the same way, all skillful qualities are rooted in heedfulness, lie gathered in heedfulness, and heedfulness is reckoned their chief.

– A.X.15

§ 80.

Heedfulness: the path to the Deathless;
Heedlessness: the path to death.
The heedful do not die.
The heedless are as if
    already dead.

DHP.21

§ 81.

He wouldn’t chase after the past,
or place expectations on the future.
What is past
    is left behind.
The future
    is as yet unreached.
Whatever quality is present
he clearly sees     right there,
        right there.
Unvanquished, unshaken,
that’s how he develops the mind.

Ardently doing his duty today,
for — who knows? — tomorrow
    death may come.
There is no bargaining
with Death & his mighty horde.

Whoever lives thus ardently,
    relentlessly,
    both day & night,
has truly had an auspicious day:
So says the Peaceful Sage.

M.131

§ 82. The Buddha: ‘Mindfulness of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit & great benefit. It plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end. Therefore you should develop mindfulness of death.’

When this was said, a certain monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I already develop mindfulness of death.’

‘And how do you develop mindfulness of death?’

‘I think, “O, that I might live for a day & night, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.” This is how I develop mindfulness of death.’

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I, too, already develop mindfulness of death.’

‘And how do you develop mindfulness of death?’

‘I think, “O, that I might live for a day, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.” This is how I develop mindfulness of death.’

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I, too, develop mindfulness of death…’I think, “O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to eat a meal, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal”…

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I, too, develop mindfulness of death…’I think, “O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up four morsels of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal”…

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I, too, develop mindfulness of death…’I think, “O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal”…

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, ‘I, too, develop mindfulness of death…’I think, “O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.” This is how I develop mindfulness of death.’

When this was said, the Blessed One addressed the monks. ‘Whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, “O, that I might live for a day & night… for a day… for the interval that it takes to eat a meal… for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up four morsels of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal” — they are said to dwell heedlessly. They develop mindfulness of death slowly for the sake of ending the effluents.

‘But whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, “O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food… for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, that I might attend to the Blessed One’s instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal” — they are said to dwell heedfully. They develop mindfulness of death acutely for the sake of ending the effluents.

‘Therefore you should train yourselves: “We will dwell heedfully. We will develop mindfulness of death acutely for the sake of ending the effluents.” That is how you should train yourselves.’

A.VI.19

§ 83. Then the Blessed One addressed the monks, ‘I exhort you, monks: All fabrications are subject to decay. Attain consummation through heedfulness.’ Those were the Tathagata’s last words.

D.16

§ 84. These are the four modes of practice. Which four? Painful practice with slow intuition, painful practice with quick intuition, pleasant practice with slow intuition, & pleasant practice with quick intuition.

And what is painful practice with slow intuition? There is the case where a certain individual is normally of an intensely passionate nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of passion. Or he is normally of an intensely aversive nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of aversion. Or he is normally of an intensely deluded nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of delusion. His five faculties — the faculty of conviction… persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment — are present in a weak form. Because of their weakness, he attains only slowly the immediacy [Comm: the concentration forming the Path] that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called painful practice with slow intuition.

And what is painful practice with quick intuition? There is the case where a certain individual is normally of an intensely passionate… aversive… deluded nature. He perpetually experiences pain & distress born of delusion. His five faculties… are present in an acute form. Because of their acuity, he attains quickly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called painful practice with quick intuition.

And what is pleasant practice with slow intuition? There is the case where a certain individual is normally not of an intensely passionate nature. He does not perpetually experience pain & distress born of passion. Or he is normally not of an intensely aversive nature… normally not of an intensely deluded nature. He does not perpetually experience pain & distress born of delusion. His five faculties… are present in a weak form. Because of their weakness, he attains only slowly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called pleasant practice with slow intuition.

And what is pleasant practice with quick intuition? There is the case where a certain individual is normally not of an intensely passionate nature… normally not of an intensely aversive nature… normally not of an intensely deluded nature. He does not perpetually experience pain & distress born of delusion. His five faculties… are present in an acute form. Because of their acuity, he attains quickly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called pleasant practice with quick intuition.

– A.IV.162

§ 85. These are the four modes of practice. Which four? Painful practice with slow intuition, painful practice with quick intuition, pleasant practice with slow intuition, & pleasant practice with quick intuition.

And what is painful practice with slow intuition? There is the case where a monk remains focused on unattractiveness with regard to the body. Percipient of loathsomeness with regard to food & non-delight with regard to the entire world, he remains focused on impermanence with regard to all fabrications. The perception of death is well established within him. He dwells in dependence on the five strengths of a learner — strength of conviction, strength of conscience, strength of concern, strength of persistence, & strength of discernment — but his five faculties… are present in a weak form. Because of their weakness, he attains only slowly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called painful practice with slow intuition.

And what is painful practice with quick intuition? There is the case where a monk remains focused on unattractiveness with regard to the body… focused on impermanence with regard to all fabrications. The perception of death is well established within him. He dwells in dependence on the five strengths of a learner… and his five faculties… are present in an acute form. Because of their acuity, he attains quickly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called painful practice with quick intuition.

And what is pleasant practice with slow intuition? There is the case where a monk… enters & remains in the first jhana… second jhana… third jhana… fourth jhana. He dwells in dependence on the five strengths of a learner… but his five faculties… are present in a weak form. Because of their weakness, he attains only slowly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called pleasant practice with slow intuition.

And what is pleasant practice with quick intuition? There is the case where a monk… enters & remains in the first jhana… second jhana… third jhana… fourth jhana. He dwells in dependence on the five strengths of a learner… and his five faculties… are present in an acute form. Because of their acuity, he attains quickly the immediacy that leads to the ending of the effluents. This is called pleasant practice with quick intuition.

These are the four modes of practice.

– A.IV.163

§ 86. As Ven. Sona was meditating in seclusion [after doing walking meditation until the skin of his soles was split & bleeding], this train of thought arose in his awareness: ‘Of the Blessed One’s disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the effluents through lack of clinging/sustenance. Now, my family has enough wealth that it would be possible to enjoy wealth & make merit. What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, and to enjoy wealth & make merit?’

Then the Blessed One, as soon as he perceived with his awareness the train of thought in Ven. Sona’s awareness — as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — disappeared from Mount Vulture Peak, appeared in the Cool Wood right in front of Ven. Sona, and sat down on a prepared seat. Ven. Sona, after bowing down to the Blessed One, sat down to one side. As he was sitting there, the Blessed One said to him, ‘Just now, as you were meditating in seclusion, didn’t this train of thought appear to your awareness: “Of the Blessed One’s disciples who have aroused their persistence, I am one, but my mind is not released from the effluents… What if I were to disavow the training, return to the lower life, and to enjoy wealth & make merit?”‘

‘Yes, lord.’

‘Now what do you think, Sona. Before, when you were a house-dweller, were you skilled at playing the vina?’

‘Yes, lord.’

‘…And when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?’

‘No, lord.’

‘…And when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?’

‘No, lord.’

‘…And when the strings of your vina were neither too taut nor too loose, but tuned (lit: “established”) to be right on pitch, was your vina in tune & playable?’

‘Yes, lord.’

‘In the same way, Sona, over-aroused persistence leads to restlessness, overly slack persistence leads to laziness. Thus you should determine the right pitch for your persistence, attune (’penetrate, ‘ferret out’) the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there pick up your theme.’

‘Yes, lord,’ Ven. Sona answered the Blessed One. Then, having given this exhortation to Ven. Sona, the Blessed One — as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — disappeared from the Cool Wood and appeared on Mount Vulture Peak.

So after that, Ven. Sona determined the right pitch for his persistence, attuned the pitch of the [five] faculties [to that], and there picked up his theme. Dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.’ And thus Ven. Sona became another one of the Arahants.

A.VI.55

§ 87. There is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner,’ and whereby a monk who is an adept (Arahant), standing at the level of an adept, can discern that ‘I am an adept.’

…There is the case where a monk is a learner. He discerns, as it actually is, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.’ This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner.’

Furthermore, the monk who is a learner reflects, ‘Is there outside of this [doctrine & discipline] any priest or contemplative who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One?’ And he discerns, ‘No, there is no priest or contemplative outside of this doctrine & discipline who teaches the true, genuine, & accurate Dhamma like the Blessed One.’ This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner.’

Furthermore, the monk who is a learner discerns the five faculties: the faculty of conviction… persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment. He sees clear through with discernment their destiny, excellence, rewards, & consummation, but he does not touch them with his body. This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is a learner, standing at the level of a learner, can discern that ‘I am a learner.’

And what is the manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that ‘I am an adept’? There is the case where a monk who is an adept discerns the five faculties: the faculty of conviction… persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment. He touches with his body and sees clear through with discernment what their destiny, excellence, rewards, & consummation are. This is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that ‘I am an adept.’

Furthermore, the monk who is an adept discerns the six sense faculties: the faculty of the eye… ear… nose… tongue… body… intellect. He discerns, ‘These six sense faculties will disband entirely, everywhere, & in every way without remainder, and no other set of six sense faculties will arise anywhere or in any way.’ This too is a manner of reckoning whereby a monk who is an adept, standing at the level of an adept, can discern that ‘I am an adept.’

– S.XLVIII.53

§ 88. When a disciple of the noble ones discerns, as they actually are present, the origination, the disappearance, the allure, the drawbacks — and the emancipation from — these five faculties, he is called a disciple of the noble ones who has attained the stream, not subject to perdition, certain, destined for self-awakening… When, having discerned as they actually are present, the origination, the disappearance, the allure, the drawbacks — and the emancipation from — these five faculties, he is released from lack of clinging/sustenance, he is called an Arahant

– S.XLVIII.3, 5

§ 89. The Buddha: Sariputta, do you take it on conviction that the faculty of conviction, when developed & pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation? Do you take it on conviction that the faculty of persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment, when developed & pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation?

Sariputta: It’s not that I take it on conviction in the Blessed One that the faculty of conviction… persistence… mindfulness… concentration… discernment, when developed & pursued, plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction… discernment… has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction… discernment… has the Deathless as its goal & consummation. And as for me, I have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment. I have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction… discernment… has the Deathless as its goal & consummation.

S.XLVIII.44

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True Teachings of The Awakened One-Seasonable Gifts-Gifts given at the proper time bear the greatest fruit. Here the Buddha describes five such occasions. -[Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]
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True Teachings of The Awakened One

 

Seasonable Gifts

Translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Gifts given at the proper time bear the greatest fruit. Here the Buddha describes five such occasions.

 

[Often chanted by monks as a blessing after receiving food or other offerings.]

 

“There are these five seasonable gifts. Which five? One gives to a newcomer. One gives to one going away. One gives to one who is ill. One gives in time of famine. One sets the first fruits of field & orchard in front of those who are virtuous. These are the five seasonable gifts.”

In the proper season they give —

               those with discernment,

               responsive, free from stinginess.

Having been given in proper season,

with hearts inspired by the Noble Ones

               — straightened, Such —

their offering bears an abundance.

Those who rejoice in that gift

               or give assistance,

they, too, have a share of the merit,

               and the offering isn’t depleted by that.

So, with an unhesitant mind,

one should give where the gift bears great fruit.

               Merit is what establishes

               living beings in the next life.

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Spiritual Community of The True Followers of The Path Shown by The Awakened One-Study Guides
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Spiritual Community of The True Followers of The Path Shown by The Awakened One

 

Kindly visit:

http://www.wayofdesign.com/thaipics/jataka-5.htm

Temples of Gold: Seven Centuries of Thai Buddhist Paintings

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index.html

 

Study Guides
 

These anthologies on particular topics are designed as aids for individual or group study. The texts are drawn from the Pali canon, teachings of the great Thai forest ajaans, and other sources. Unless otherwise indicated, they were prepared and introduced by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.


Beyond Coping: The Buddha’s Teachings on Aging, Illness, Death, and Separation
Body Contemplation

An overview of the Buddha’s teachings on contemplation of the body, and its role in the development of mindfulness, jhana, and discernment.

The Five Aggregates

This anthology of short readings from the suttas explains how the teachings on the five aggregates (pañcakkhandha) — form, feeling, perception, mental fabrications, and consciousness — function in the Buddhist path to liberation.

The Four Noble Truths

An introduction to the Four Noble Truths, the basic framework on which all the Buddha’s teachings are built.

Kamma

An overview of the Buddha’s teachings on kamma (karma; intentional action).

Merit

Often misunderstood in the West as quaint and irrelevant to serious practice, the Buddha’s teachings on puñña (merit) actually play an essential role in the development of a wise sense of self. This anthology explores the meaning of merit and how it functions to instill in the practitioner the qualities necessary to carry him or her to stream-entry and beyond.

Noble Conversation

An exploration of right speech, based on the Buddha’s list of ten ideal topics for conversation.

Non-violence
Recognizing the Dhamma

In an age when the marketplace is teeming with spiritual books and teachings of every description, it is reassuring to know that the Buddha left behind clear guidelines by which we can judge the validity of a spiritual teaching. These eight principles, sometimes called the “Constitution of Buddhism,” show us that any teaching must finally be judged by the results that come from putting it into practice.

Stream-entry

“Stream-entry” (sotapatti) is the first of the four stages of Awakening. This study guide is in two parts:

  • Part 1: The Way to Stream-entry. Sutta readings in this guide are organized around the four factors that lead to the attainment of stream-entry and address questions of interest to all meditators, whether or not their practice aims all the way to Awakening.
  • Part 2: Stream-entry and After. Selections from the Canon that explore stream-entry from several angles: How is stream-entry experienced? What transformations of mind and character occur as a result? What are its rewards? Once it is attained, what next? Also included is some helpful advice to meditators who have been “certified” as stream-winners.
The Ten Perfections

The ten paramis (perfections) are skillful qualities that develop — perhaps over many lifetimes — as one follows the Buddha’s path of practice. This study guide includes readings both from the Pali canon and from the teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo.

The Ten Recollections

The ten anussati (recollections) are a set of practical tools for meditators to use when confronted with particular challenges (physical pain, for example) or unskillful states of mind (doubt, restlessness, complacency, etc.).


16-10-2007-Sarvajan Hitaya Sarvajan Sukhaya-C.M. constitutes 6-member committee for suggestion of pending cases in the High Court - No foul play, says UP police chief -
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Sarvajan Hitaya Sarvajan Sukhaya

Kindly visit:



Buddhacarita


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMohOrbFohY&NR=1



C.M. constitutes 6-member committee for suggestion of pending cases in the High Court





Lucknow : September 15, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister, Km. Mayawati here today constituted a six member committee for
suggesting methods for quick disposal of cases in the High Court. The
Committee would be headed by the Cabinet Minister, Mr. Satish Chandra
Mishra. The Advocate General Mr. Jyotindra Mishra, Chief Secretary Mr.
Prashant Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to C.M. Mr. Shailesh Krishna
and Secretary Parliamentary Affairs Mr. Pradeep Dubey have been
nominated as the member of the Committee. Syed Mazhar Abbas Abdi,
Principal Secretary Law, has been nominated as the member-secretary of
the Committee. The C.M. said that owing to ever-increasing number of
pending cases in the courts, the petitioners were facing a lot of
difficulties and it was not a good sign for the society. The plaintiffs
were feeling harassed because of delay in justice, she pointed out. The
decision to constitute this Committee had been taken with a view to
keeping the interests of the petitioners, she stated. Km. Mayawati said
that to control the challenge of mounting number of cases it was the
duty of the judiciary, executive and advocates to remove all the hurdles
coming in way of the quick disposal of the cases. The Chief Minister
said that the Committee would make recommendations and suggestions for
the quick disposal of the cases and to accelerate the process of
justice. The Principal Secretary to C.M. Mr. Shailesh Krishna gave this
information and said that the necessary G.O. had been issued in this
regard. *******



 
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Saturday, Sep 15, 2007



No foul play, says UP police chief




1982 सूर्य सितं, 11 2016 और अधिक पढ़ें
सबक

यह गूगल अनुवाद के लिए कृपया हिंदी और उर्दू में सही अनुवाद कर

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMohOrbFohY&NR=1

से.मी। उच्च न्यायालय में लंबित मामलों के सुझाव के लिए 6 सदस्यीय समिति का गठन किया

लखनऊ: 15 सितम्बर, 2007 के उत्तर प्रदेश के मुख्यमंत्री, किमी। मायावती ने आज यहां उच्च न्यायालय में मामलों के त्वरित निपटान के लिए तरीके सुझाव के लिए एक छह सदस्यीय समिति का गठन किया। समिति कैबिनेट मंत्री, श्री सतीश चंद्र मिश्रा की अध्यक्षता में किया जाएगा। महाधिवक्ता श्री ज्योतिंद्र मिश्रा, मुख्य सचिव श्री प्रशांत कुमार मिश्रा, प्रमुख सचिव सी.एम. को श्री शैलेश कृष्ण और सचिव संसदीय कार्य श्री प्रदीप दुबे समिति के सदस्य के रूप में मनोनीत किया गया है। सैयद मजहर अब्बास आब्दी, प्रमुख सचिव विधि, समिति के सदस्य सचिव के रूप में नामित किया गया है। सी.एम. कहा
है कि अदालतों में लंबित मामलों की बढ़ती संख्या के कारण, याचिकाकर्ताओं
काफी परेशानियों का सामना कर रहे थे और यह समाज के लिए एक अच्छा संकेत नहीं
था।
अभियोगी न्याय में देरी की वजह से परेशान महसूस कर रहे थे, वह बाहर बताया। इस समिति का गठन करने का निर्णय याचिकाकर्ताओं के हितों को ध्यान में रखते हुए की दृष्टि से लिया गया था, उसने कहा। किमी। मायावती
ने कहा कि मामलों की संख्या बढ़ते की चुनौती को नियंत्रित करने के लिए यह
न्यायपालिका, कार्यपालिका और अधिवक्ताओं की ड्यूटी सभी बाधाओं मामलों के
त्वरित निपटान के रास्ते में आने वाले दूर करने के लिए किया गया था।
मुख्यमंत्री
ने कहा कि समिति मामलों के त्वरित निपटान के लिए सिफारिशों और सुझावों के
लिए करना होगा और न्याय की प्रक्रिया में तेजी लाने के लिए।
सी.एम. के प्रधान सचिव श्री शैलेश कृष्ण ने यह जानकारी दी और कहा कि आवश्यक G.O. इस संबंध में जारी किया गया था। *******



1982 اتوار ستمبر 11 2016
سبق

براہ مہربانی اس گوگل ترجمہ کے لیے ہندی اور اردو میں درست ترجمہ بنانے

http://www.youtube.com/watch؟v=RMohOrbFohY&NR=1

سینٹی میٹر. ہائی کورٹ میں زیر التوا مقدمات کی تجویز کے لئے 6 رکنی کمیٹی تشکیل

لکھنؤ: ستمبر 15، 2007 کو اتر پردیش کے وزیر اعلی، کلومیٹر. مایاوتی نے آج یہاں ہائی کورٹ میں مقدمات کی فوری ضائع کرنے کے لئے طریقوں کی تجویز کے لیے ایک چھ رکنی کمیٹی تشکیل. کمیٹی کابینہ وزیر ستیش چندر مشرا کی سربراہی میں کیا جائے گا. ایڈووکیٹ جنرل جناب Jyotindra مشرا، چیف سیکرٹری مسٹر پرشانت کمار مشرا، C.M. کے پرنسپل سیکرٹری جناب شیلیش کرشنا اور سیکرٹری پارلیمانی امور مسٹر پردیپ دوبے کمیٹی کے رکن کے طور پر نامزد کیا گیا ہے. سید مظہر عباس عابدی، پرنسپل سیکرٹری قانون، کمیٹی کے رکن سیکریٹری کے طور پر نامزد کیا گیا ہے. C.M. کہا
تھا کہ عدالتوں میں زیر التواء مقدمات کی بڑھتی ہوئی تعداد کے باعث،
پٹیشنرز مشکلات کی ایک بہت سامنا کر رہے تھے اور یہ معاشرے کے لیے ایک اچھی
علامت نہیں تھا.
مدعیان کیونکہ انصاف میں تاخیر کے ہراساں کیا محسوس کر رہے تھے، وہ اس کی نشاندہی. اس
کمیٹی کا قیام کرنے کا فیصلہ درخواست گزاروں کے مفادات کو مدنظر رکھتے
ہوئے کے لئے ایک نقطہ نظر کے ساتھ لیا گیا تھا، انہوں نے کہا.
کلومیٹر. مایاوتی
کے بڑھتے ہوئے واقعات کی تعداد کے چیلنج پر قابو کرنے کے لئے کہ یہ عدلیہ،
ایگزیکٹو اور وکالت کا فریضہ مقدمات کی فوری ضائع کرنے کی راہ میں آنے
والے تمام رکاوٹوں کو دور کرنا تھا.
وزیراعلی
نے کہا کہ کمیٹی کے مقدمات کی فوری ٹھکانے لگانے کے لئے سفارشات اور
تجاویز بنا دے گا اور انصاف کے عمل کو تیز کرنے کے لئے کہا.
C.M. کے پرنسپل سیکرٹری جناب شیلیش کرشنا یہ معلومات دی اور ضروری G.O. اس سلسلے میں جاری کیا گیا تھا. *******

 

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Saturday, Sep 15, 2007

No foul play, says UP police chief

Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: The Uttar Pradesh Director-General of Police, Vikram Singh, has rejected allegations of foul play in the findings of the inquiry committee which led to the dismissal of 6500 police and PAC recruits and the suspension of 12 IPS officers.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Singh said transparency was ensured by the probe panel.

Regarding the head of the inquiry committee, Shailaja Kant Mishra, ADG, Special Task Force, who was the then IG, PAC Eastern Zone, not submitting his report to the headquarters, the DGP said not a single paper was referred to Mr. Mishra for reviewing the recruitment.

Mr. Singh said 55 constables were selected in the PAC in 2005-2006 but no reminders for reviewing the recruitment were sent to Mr. Mishra either by the DGP office or by the PAC Headquarters.

As regards, Javed Akhtar, DIG, who conducted the selection exercise in Sitapur no anomaly was detected in the recruitment process, the DGP added.

He said no anomaly had been detected in the selection of constables by about half a dozen recruitment boards. Declining to give their numbers,

Mr. Singh said the appointment of these recruits will not be annuled.

Kadkol Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath to launch fast

Staff Correspondent

BIJAPUR: The once ostracised Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath  from Kadkol village, about 60 km from here, have decided to launch an indefinite hunger strike at their taluk headquarters of Basavanabagewadi from Monday, to draw the attention of the Government to their plight.

They are to carry out the agitation under the banner of Karnataka Moola Asprushyara Manava Hakkugala Rakshana Vedike, headed by Ramanna Chalwadhi, which has been fighting for their cause for over a year.

The issue drew nationwide attention after The Hindu published a series of stories on their plight in October 2006. The Government announced a number of relief measures of temporary and permanent nature.

However, according to the Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath , most of the relief of the permanent nature remained unfulfilled.

This had caused them to agitate once again.

Letter

In a letter to Basavanabagewadi tahasildar, copies of which were released to the press here on Friday, Raju Kale, the district convenor of the Vedike, drew the attention of the Government about the unfulfilled promisesit made last year.

. . They sought the implementation of all relief measures, including distribution of residential sites, cultivable land to the affected Original Inhabitants of The Great Prabuddha Bharath , rehabilitation of bonded labourers and Devadasis, assistance to animal husbandry and self-employment schemes.

The also sought the suspension of district manager of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Corporation, who they alleged had indulged in irregularities.

BUDDHA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaiB3pXY-ss&NR=1

If you want to lead a life of happiness, free from troubles and difficulties, you have to follow Vinaya, the remover of all obstacles. There is no need to go to any temple. Vinayaka has derived from the Vinaya teachings of The Buddha who dwells in each one of you as your intelligence (buddhi) and wisdom (vijnaana). When you make proper use of your inherent intelligence and wisdom, you will be successful in life.

Vinayaka drives away all sorrows, difficulties, and miseries. He is the enemy of all obstacles. He will not allow any obstacles to come in the way. He is the destroyer of obstacles. He confers happiness and peace (on his devotees). He is the master of all these powers (intellect (buddhi) and fulfillment self-realization. When there is purity of mind, you achieve peace.Vinayaka is thus the Lord of the intellect and self-realization. Hence, every human being should acquire control over the mind …

Vinayaka is the Lord of all learning. Does learning mean bookish scholarship? No. Everything pertaining to the cosmos is included in the term learning. Walking, talking, laughing, sitting, eating, strolling, thinking –every kind of activity is related to learning. Vinayaka is the master of every kind of learning. Today, learning is identified with acquisition of information. But apart from knowledge of the physical world, we have many other kinds of knowledge, relating to chemistry, the fine arts and other skills.

Vinayaka is the master of every kind of knowledge. Learning is related to the intellect (buddhi). It is not mere scholarship. Familiarity with books is not knowledge. One’s entire life is a continuous process of learning. Any process of inquiry is related to learning. But basically our inquiry should be concerned with finding out what is transient and what is permanent. This is true knowledge.

Vinayaka means that he is totally master of himself. He has no master above him. He does not depend on anyone.

Hence, today, students follow Vinaya with zeal. Vinayaka is not the one who merely comes to the aid of those who read their books. He helps everyone at every step in life’s journey. ”

Hence You will find Vinayaka (Buddha) under all the Bodhi Trees all over The Great Prabuddha Bharath. Buddha always loved Elephants as His mother dreamt of a White Elephant before His birth.

For anything to go well, we follow Vinaya. He is the first to be worshipped whenever we start anything. He relieves us from all our difficulties. He solves our problems.

Vinayaka

Recipes

Greetings

Vinayaka likes a dish called mothagam(kozhukkattai). So different varieties of kozhukkattai are prepared and offered to the lord on this day. It is the special item on this day. .

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The Vinaya (a word in Pāli, with literal meaning ‘leading out’, ‘education’, ‘discipline’) is the regulatory framework for the Buddhist monastic community, or sangha, based in the canonical texts called Vinaya Pitaka. The teachings of the Buddha, or Buddhadharma can be divided into two broad categories: ‘Dhamma’ or doctrine, and ‘Vinaya’, or discipline. Another term for Buddhism is dhammavinaya.

At the heart of the Vinaya is a set of rules known as Patimokkha (Pāli), The Vinaya was orally passed down from the Buddha to his disciples. Eventually, numerous different Vinayas arose in Buddhism, based upon geographical or cultural differences and the different Buddhist schools that developed. Three of these are still in use. The Vinayas are the same in substance and have only minor differences. Buddhists in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Thailand follow the Theravadin Vinaya, which has 227 rules for the bhikkhus (male monastics) and 311 for the bhikkhunis (female monastics, though the female order died out centuries ago and recent attempts to restore it from the Chinese tradition are controversial). Buddhists in China, the few bhikkhus and bhikkhunis in Japan, and those in Korea and Vietnam follow the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya, which has 250 rules for the bhikshus and 348 rules for the bhiskhunis. Buddhists in Tibet and Mongolia follow the Mūlasarvāstivāda Vinaya, which has 253 rules for the bhikshus and 364 rules for bhikshunis (in theory, though the female order was never introduced in Tibet; it has recently been authorized by the Dalai Lama. In addition to these patimokkha rules there are many supplementary rules.

Surrounding the rules is a range of texts. Some of these explain the origins of the rules - it is possible to trace the development of the rules from responses to specific situations or actions to a general codification. There are also a number of sutta-like texts which are more general statements about Buddhist doctrine, or which give biographical details of some of the great disciples and their enlightenment. Other sections detail how the rules are to be applied, how breaches are to be dealt with, and how disputes amongst the monks are handled.

It is thought that originally there were no rules and the Buddha and his disciples just lived in harmony when they were together. Most of the time they would have been wandering alone, but every year, during the monsoon season when travelling became impossible, the bhikkhus would come together for a few months. As the sangha became bigger and started accepting people of lesser ability who remained unenlightened, it became necessary to begin having rules.

It seems that initially these were quite flexible and were adapted to the situation. By the time of the Buddha’s death there would have been a body of rules which bhikkhus were expected to follow. In the Mahaparinibbana Sutta the Buddha, as part of his last teaching, tells the bhikkhus that they can abandon some minor rules, but that they should stick to the major ones, but there appears to have been some confusion over which was which. It was therefore decided that they would keep all of the rules. Immediately after the Buddha’s death there was a council at which all of the teachings were recited, collected and sorted. Legend has it that the huge volume of teachings was recited from memory, with Ananda reciting the dhamma and Upali reciting the Vinaya.

Vinaya Pitaka

The Basket of the Discipline

The Vinaya Pitaka, the first division of the Tipitaka, is the textual framework upon which the monastic community (Sangha) is built. It includes not only the rules governing the life of every Theravada bhikkhu (monk) and bhikkhuni (nun), but also a host of procedures and conventions of etiquette that support harmonious relations, both among the monastics themselves, and between the monastics and their lay supporters, upon whom they depend for all their material needs.

When the Buddha first established the Sangha, the community initially lived in harmony without any codified rules of conduct. As the Sangha gradually grew in number and evolved into a more complex society, occasions inevitably arose when a member would act in an unskillful way. Whenever one of these cases was brought to the Buddha’s attention, he would lay down a rule establishing a suitable punishment for the offense, as a deterrent to future misconduct. The Buddha’s standard reprimand was itself a powerful corrective:

It is not fit, foolish man, it is not becoming, it is not proper, it is unworthy of a recluse, it is not lawful, it ought not to be done. How could you, foolish man, having gone forth under this Dhamma and Discipline which are well-taught, [commit such and such offense]?… It is not, foolish man, for the benefit of un-believers, nor for the increase in the number of believers, but, foolish man, it is to the detriment of both unbelievers and believers, and it causes wavering in some.

— The Book of the Discipline, Part I, by I.B. Horner (London: Pali Text Society, 1982), pp. 36-37.

The monastic tradition and the rules upon which it is built are sometimes naïvely criticized — particularly here in the West — as irrelevant to the “modern” practice of Buddhism. Some see the Vinaya as a throwback to an archaic patriarchy, based on a hodge-podge of ancient rules and customs — quaint cultural relics that only obscure the essence of “true” Buddhist practice. This misguided view overlooks one crucial fact: it is thanks to the unbroken lineage of monastics who have consistently upheld and protected the rules of the Vinaya for almost 2,600 years that we find ourselves today with the luxury of receiving the priceless teachings of Dhamma. Were it not for the Vinaya, and for those who continue to keep it alive to this day, there would be no Buddhism.

It helps to keep in mind that the name the Buddha gave to the spiritual path he taught was “Dhamma-vinaya” — the Doctrine (Dhamma) and Discipline (Vinaya) — suggesting an integrated body of wisdom and ethical training. The Vinaya is thus an indispensable facet and foundation of all the Buddha’s teachings, inseparable from the Dhamma, and worthy of study by all followers — lay and ordained, alike. Lay practitioners will find in the Vinaya Pitaka many valuable lessons concerning human nature, guidance on how to establish and maintain a harmonious community or organization, and many profound teachings of the Dhamma itself. But its greatest value, perhaps, lies in its power to inspire the layperson to consider the extraordinary possibilities presented by a life of true renunciation, a life lived fully in tune with the Dhamma.

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