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11/11/07
Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many-Buddha statue to get a facelift -Haj pilgrims to leave today -Buddhist sculpture destroyed-Police to probe role of ‘serial killer’ -She said it will be investigated if the killings were the handiwork of a serial killer.
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 5:34 pm

Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Sunday, Nov 11, 2007

Buddha statue to get a facelift

PHOTO: AFP

The Giant Buddha in China’s southwestern city of Leshan, Sichuan province.

CHENGDU (CHINA): The world’s tallest Buddha in southwest China’s Sichuan Province will receive another facelift to repair damage caused by weathering and acid rain.

The 71-metre-high statue, just outside the city of Leshan, had a blackened nose, and moss and dark streaks coated its face and body, said Peng Xueyi, director of the Leshan Cultural Relics Management Institute. “Our initial research shows the phenomena resulted from the combined effects of blossoming microbes nurtured by high humidity, weathering, and acid rain,” Mr. Peng said.

He said a group of scientists had started research on the exact causes, and were preparing for another “facial” on the giant Buddha next year. “We will fix the wear and tear it suffered over the years, and at the same time, keep its ‘historical coarseness’,” he said.

Carved into cliff

The Buddha statue, carved into a cliff in Leshan Mountain and overlooking three converging rivers, was built over a 90-year period starting the year 713 A.D., during the Tang dynasty.

The U.N.-listed world cultural heritage statue has undergone several repairs and checks. In 2001, a 250-million-yuan project was conducted to clean the body, cement rock structure, and mend cracks and install drainage pipes. But the pace of weathering and damage caused by visitors has outpaced the protection work.

Meanwhile, conservationists have called on the local government to clean up the environment of the statue. “Only through a comprehensive reformation of the surrounding environment can its aging process be delayed,” Mr. Peng said.

The Leshan government has extended the Buddha scenic area from 2.81 square km to 17.88 square km in the last decade.

Since 2003, about 3,000 residents have been relocated from the scenic area, and 20 coal-fired power plants, leather factories and other small workshops have been moved. — Xinhua

Jump on the band vegan

What’s it like to be a vegan? Is it easy to adhere to the high demands it makes on an individual?

Photo: M. Periasamy

substitute We can get all the calcium we need from green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice and soya milk

I eat everything that Nature voluntarily gives: fruits, vegetables, and the products of plants. But I ask you to spare me what animals are forced to surrender: meat, milk and cheese. — Author Unknown

All right. So, we know who a vegan is. Someone who does not include even dairy products in his daily diet. Milk, butter, curd, cheese, paneer and ghee are, therefore, a strict no-no for him.

But why do people go in for veganism in the first place? The reasons are aplenty, just as it is for vegetarianism. Says Ranjit Konkar, trustee of the Pune-based NGO, Beauty Without Cruelty: “It could be for ethical or health reasons, considering the importance given to plant-based diets.” Also, a few consider it a fad to be vegan, adds this faculty member of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.

Embracing veganism is fine, but is it easy to stick to it? Vegetarian Ananya recalls what happened when she tried turning vegan.

“My mother had to prepare roti without ghee and temper rasam with oil. Soy milk did not suit me, and I was nauseous after consuming roasted tofu. Downing a glass of milk was much easier and faster than going in for an assortment of nuts and dry fruits. After a six-month struggle, I gave up.”

Informed choice

However, such instances are rare. N.G. Jayasimha, Campaigns Manager, PETA India, Mumbai, says it is all about making an informed choice. Agrees Konkar, who has been a vegan for 16 years now.

“Our roti, dhal and chawal make for the best vegan diet. In fact, 80 per cent of our diet is vegan. Even when I travel to other countries, I manage with fruits and vegetables.”

Eating out, visiting friends and relatives, and social acceptability could come in the way of being a vegan, but once you decide your path, it is easy walk on it.

If one looks out consciously, there are many vegan-friendly products even in our supermarkets.

Does being a vegan mean giving up on your coffee and ice-cream? “Not at all. Alternatives such as soy milk, tofu and non-dairy creamers, are not only similar in taste, but also healthier,” says Jayasimha.

So, is it a myth that milk is good for your health?

Yes, says Mumbai-based nutritionist and health activist Vijaya Venkat. “Only human beings drink the milk of other animals. We are basically fruitarians, and the first step towards better health should be stopping milk and meat products.” Opt for coconut milk, tender coconut water or milk from nuts instead.

Jayasimha says that according to a joint statement released by the American Dietetic Association and Dieticians of Canada:

“Well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of life, including during pregnancy and lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.”

We can get all the calcium we need from green leafy vegetables, fortified orange juice, tofu and soya milk; protein from oats, brown rice, whole-grain pasta, nuts, seeds, tofu, beans and peanut butter; and iron from raisins, almonds, dried apricots and fortified grain cereals, it adds.

Animals plight

“To promote veganism, the Government should bring to light the appalling condition of the animals in our country’s dairy. Male calves are either killed or starved to death, just so that we get milk,” says Konkar. The Government could also join hands with NGOs for the cause.

Of course, there always arises the question of using medicines that have ingredients of animal origin, or those tested on animals.

Konkar says: “It is about keeping oneself healthy, and making exceptions for emergencies.”

If one goes by the number of members in online vegan communities or the fact that there was a recent vegan festival in our country or that Café Coffee Day actually offers vegan options, this tribe is slowly but surely increasing. But will it take the world by storm, only time will tell.

Till then, if you need inspiration, read this: In an interview to Pritish Nandy, Maneka Gandhi once famously said: “My son has never drunk milk in his life. He is six feet tall and has never been sick for even a single day!”

How can we finish the story without a list of celebrity vegans?

The gorgeous Alicia Silverstone, Drew Barrymore, Natalie Portman, Anoushka Shankar, Pamela Anderson, Bryan Adams, Joaquin Phoenix and Carl Lewis!

W. SREELALITHA

Haj pilgrims to leave today

Lucknow: The first batch of the Haj pilgrims will leave for Saudi Arabia from Amausi airport on Sunday, official sources said.

A group of 270 pilgrims will be leaving by the morning Air India flight, they said

All the pilgrims have arrived at the Haj house in the State capital. A control room has been set up here for the benefit of the pilgrims, they added.

Buddhist sculpture destroyed

Islamabad: Militants have destroyed one of the oldest and most important Buddhist sculptures in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Archaeologists had been pleading for action to save the Buddhist sites.— PTI

Police to probe role of ‘serial killer’

Meerut: A probe will be conducted in recent killings of women, which have striking similarities, a senior police official said on Sunday. In all the cases the bodies of the women were recovered from isolated places and they were found to be raped, Senior Superintendent of Police of Meerut, Jyoti Narayan said.

She said it will be investigated if the killings were the handiwork of a serial killer.

` Frequent jail-break bids worry authorities

Officials directed to ensure fool-proof security in prisons




Recently a 40-feet-long tunnel was found inside in Meerut jail putting the Govt. on its toes

State Govt. has brought the prison administration under the Home department, held by the CM




Allahabad: With increasing incidents of attempted jail-breaks in Uttar Pradesh, authorities here have issued directives to jail officials to take adequate measures for ensuring fool-proof security in prisons across the State.

“Directives have been issued to jail officials across the State to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of U.P. jail manual specifically dealing with strengthening prison administration and preventing inmates’ attempts to flee,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (prison reforms and administration), P.K. Tiwari said.

“The recent incident in Meerut jail, where a 40-feet-long tunnel was found inside some barracks has made us press the alarm button,” he said.

Jail authorities have to ensure that items like ladders, bamboo sticks etc used for various works inside its compounds are stored in safe custody, out of reach of the inmates.

Moreover, drains meant for discharge of waste water from the prisons shall now be inspected on a daily basis and a report in this regard shall be maintained by prison guards,” Mr. Tiwari added.

Jail authorities have been directed to avoid building garbage chutes inside the barracks as these may facilitate escape bids similar to that happened in Meerut.

“Where garbage chutes inside the barracks are unavoidable care is being taken to ensure that it is located far away from the boundary wall and septic tank and that it is visible from a good distance,” Mr. Tiwari said.

“Besides, branches of trees inside the jail premises are being pruned regularly. Barracks lying empty or under construction are being kept under strict vigil to keep a check on inmates’ activities in these secluded spots,” he said.

Visitors or labourers involved in works inside jails would be allowed entry only after intensive checking and thorough verification of their identity, Mr. Tiwari said.

“If forbidden items like mobile phones etc are recovered from inmate, the same shall be deposited with concerned SSP or assistant SP rank officer, who shall destroy the handset and the sim card only after obtaining thorough information about any possible misuse of the device,” he said.

Members of rival criminal gangs would not be lodged in same barrack to prevent brawls, Mr. Tiwari said adding armed guards equipped with walkie-talkie, binoculars and powerful torches are being deployed at search towers to keep tab on inmates’ movements after nightfall.

Meanwhile, the State Government has for the first time brought prison administration under the Home department, a portfolio being held by the Chief Minister.

“In order to send a strong message that no lawlessness would be tolerated inside jails and any type of indiscipline would be tackled sternly, the State Government has, through the Director General of Police (prison reforms and administration), directed the officials to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines,” Mr. Tiwari added. — PTI

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The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata-To Kevatta-sighting shore {seeking the Buddha; meaning of Tathagata}-Conversations with the Gods-Vajira
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:19 am

The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata

To Kevatta

sighting shore {seeking the Buddha; meaning of Tathagata}

Conversations with the Godshttp://www.gotterdammerung.org/photo/photo-of-the-month.html

“Once, Kevatta, Kevättä Rinnassa-kortitthis train of thought arose in the awareness of a certain monk in this very community of monks: ‘Where do these four great elements — the earth property, Google Earth lawthe liquid property, Liquid Stock Photography: Cool Clear Water Flowing Out of a Garden Hosethe fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’ Then he attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the gods of the retinue of the Four Great Kings Mo-Li HungMo-Li ChingMo-Li ShouMo-Li Haisaid to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there are the Four Great Kings who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know where the four great elements… cease without remainder.’

Angel Fire Property Owners Blog

“So the monk approached the Four Great Kings and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the Four Great Kings said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the Thirty-three who are higher and more sublime than we. They should know…’

http://www.tientai.net/teachings/dharma/6realms/33gods.htm

Trayastrimsas
The Heaven of the Thirty-Three Gods

 

The Heaven of the 33 Gods (S. Trayastrimsas) is the heaven that rules over the secular world we live in. It is the realm of the gods that watches over the affairs of humanity. Its lord is Sakra Devendra, wielder of the thunderbolt (vajra) who personifies the will and power of heaven and mastery over the self. As lord of the secular world, he resides in his palace in the City of Beautiful Vision (Sudarsana) atop Mt. Sumeru, the highest point as well as the center of the world. His name means Almighty (Sakra) Divine (Deva) Conqueror (Indra). The name probably originated from the leader of the Aryans who led them in conquering the peoples of southerm Asia in the period prior to the appearance of the Vedas (c. 1000 BCE).

There are 32 Gods who report to him on the good & evil done in the world. These 32 Gods are the rulers of our higher natures as gods of this world. These 32 are divided into:

1. An agent of creation - Prajapati

2. Agents of preservation and stability - the Twelve Adityas, or Sovereign Principles

3. Agents of destruction and transformation - the Eleven Rudras, the Wailers or Screamers

4. The spheres of their activity - the Eight Vasus, or elements

gautam buddha,life of gautam buddha,pictures of gautam buddha,about gautam buddha,history of gautam buddha

1. Prajapati ContentFilmis the lord & master of creation, the creator and producer of all things; He is divine providence; In nature, he is the the one who brings all things into existence in this world. In man, he personifies the boundless creativity of the human spirit.

http://www.geocities.com/takoda_magick/hindudevas.html

2. The Twelve Adityas: The Twelve Sovereign Principles that lead to stability and order in the world

#

Sanskrit

Principle

Realm

Importance

1

Mitra

Friendship; The social contract, the sacred bond between people

Of
This World

Major
Principles

2

Aryaman

Honor; Nobility, honesty, trust, good faith, truth to principles

3

Bhaga

One’s share; The giving, doing & accepting of one’s fair share

4

Varuna

Fate; The relation between god & man, the favor of the gods

Beyond
This World

5

Daksa

Ritual efficacy; The proper rules of ritual skill, of making sacrifices

6

Amsa

The share of the gods; That which is sacrificed

7

Tvastri

The shaper; Industry, craftsmanship, workmanship

Of
This World

Minor
Principles

8

Pusan

The nourisher; Agriculture, abundance, that which offers inner security

9

Visvavat

The righteous; Morality, justice, the laws of man

10

Savitra

The Vitalizer; The power of words as magic weapons

Beyond
This World

11

Sakra

The Potent; Courage, heroism, valor, that which offers outer security

12

Vishnu

The Pervader; Knowledge, wisdom, perception of reality

       

     3. The Eleven Rudras: The agents of destruction, transformation and change.

             A. #1 - #5 represent the manifestation of speech from the mind.
             B. #6 - #10 represent the rulers of space
             C. #11 represents the soul

            A. The Manifestation of speech from the mind:

#

Sanskrit

Meaning

Descrption

Personificaton

1

Ananda

Bliss

The calm, silenced mind beyond thought; The motionless ocean of bliss The Conqueror of Death (Mrityum Jaya) who is beyond desire.

2

Vijnana

Knowledge

Beginning of an idea, the power of intellect, the inner vision the mind tries to express; the first blurring of the waters The Southern Image (Daksina Murti);
The south being the manifestation & the north being the source

3

Manas

Thought

Reduction of idea into word form, into code for the five senses 

The Lord of Lust-Sensory Desire (Kamesvara); Growth and development of the seed of thought

4

Prana

Breath

The word brought forth by vital breath, becoming alive & reined to the five senses and manifested The Herdsman (Pasupati), who reins and guides the flock of the five senses

5

Vac

Voice

Food (Anna) is the fodder of the body & speech (Vac) is the fodder of the mind. The Lord of the Elements (Bhutesvara)
Food is the substance of vital energy & speech is outward projection of the mind

 

          B. The rulers of space, the controllers of destiny.

#

 Sanskrit

 English

 Meaning

 Sense

 Organs

 Element

 Other

6

 Isana

 The Ruler

 Enjoyer of nature, the
learner

 Touch

 Hands

 Wind

 Clarity
Upwards

7

 Tat-Purusa

 Supreme Person

 Nature, that which is
enjoyed and learned

 Smell

 Oral & Anal

 Earth

 Yellow
 East

8

 Aghara

 Fearless

 Intellect, granting benefits
& removing fear

 Hearing

 Organs
of Speech

 Ether

 Blue
 South

9

 Vama-Deva

 The Left Handed
God

Self-consciousness, the ego

 Sight

 The Feet, led
by the Eyes

 Fire

 Red
 West

10

 Satyojata

 Suddenly Born

Soma, the sacrificial elixir

 Taste

 The Organs
 of Sex

 Water

 White
 North

 

          C. The Soul; the higher self

#

Sanskrit

English

Meaning

11

Atma

The Soul

The higher self, the conscience with its aspect of free will

 

 

4. The Eight Vasus:  The Realms of the Gods

#

Sanskrit

English

Meaning

Element

1

Prithivi

Mother Earth

The body and the food of life & source of abundance, in which dwells:

Earth

2

Agni

Fire

The mouth of the gods, which consumes & digests the earth

Fire

3

Antariksa

The Atmosphere
& Oceans

The waters; Sphere between heaven & earth, in which dwells:

Water

4

Vayu

The Wind &
the Currents

The breath of the gods, the powerful & often destructive flows of energy & life

Wind

5

Dyaus

The Sky

Father of sun, moon & stars, fertilizing mother earth with rain, in which dwells:

The Day

The Ether
Space

6

Surya

The Sun

Source of warmth, light, and life
 

7

Naksatra

The Stars &
the Planets

Realm beyond humanity where universe was born, in which dwells:

The Night

8

Soma

The Moon

Vessel of soma elixir, ruling over tides, plants, animals & sexual energy

 

“So the monk approached the gods of the Thirty-three and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the gods of the Thirty-three said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there is Sakka, the ruler of the gods, who is higher and more sublime than we. He should know… ‘

“So the monk approached Sakka, the ruler of the gods, and, on arrival, asked him, ‘Friend, where do these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

STANDING FIGURE OF A MALE DEITY, POSSIBLY SAKKA

http://www.watchai.iirt.net/america1.html

“When this was said, Sakka, the ruler of the gods, said to the monk, ‘I also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there are the Yama gods who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know…’…

Yama the Lord of Death and his Vehicle, the Water Bufallo

“The Yama gods said, ‘We also don’t know… But there is the god named Suyama… He should know…’…

KiKaY_pInK iLaGaN

“Suyama said, ‘I also don’t know… But there is the god named Santusita… He should know…’…

http://www.payer.de/mahavamsa/chronik31.htm

“Santusita said, ‘I also don’t know… But there are the Nimmanarati gods… They should know…’…

“The Nimmanarati gods said, ‘We also don’t know… But there is the god named Sunimmita… He should know…’…

“Sunimmita said, ‘I also don’t know… But there are the Paranimmitavasavatti gods… They should know…’…

 

“The Paranimmitavasavatti gods said, ‘We also don’t know… But there is the god named Paranimmita Vasavatti… He should know…’…

http://home.earthlink.net/~mpaw1238/id63.html

Buddha’s Ministry
Abhidhamma in Daily Life

“So the monk approached the god Vasavatti and, on arrival, asked him, ‘Friend, where do these four great elements… cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the god Vasavatti said to the monk, ‘I also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there are the gods of the retinue of Brahma who are higher and more sublime than I. They should know where the four great elements… cease without remainder’…

[Click to enlarge image]

“Then the monk attained to such a state of concentration that the way leading to the gods of the retinue of Brahma appeared in his centered mind. So he approached the gods of the retinue of Brahma and, on arrival, asked them, ‘Friends, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the gods of the retinue of Brahma said to the monk, ‘We also don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. But there is Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. He is higher and more sublime than we. He should know where the four great elements… cease without remainder.’

“‘But where, friends, is the Great Brahma now?’

“‘Monk, we also don’t know where Brahma is or in what way Brahma is. But when signs appear, light shines forth, and a radiance appears, Brahma will appear. For these are the portents of Brahma’s appearance: light shines forth and a radiance appears.’

Then it was not long before Brahma appeared.

“So the monk approached the Great Brahma and, on arrival, said, ‘Friend, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, the Great Brahma said to the monk, ‘I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.’

A second time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, ‘Friend, I didn’t ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.’

“A second time, the Great Brahma said to the monk, ‘I, monk, am Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be.’

“A third time, the monk said to the Great Brahma, ‘Friend, I didn’t ask you if you were Brahma, the Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-Seeing, All-Powerful, the Sovereign Lord, the Maker, Creator, Chief, Appointer and Ruler, Father of All That Have Been and Shall Be. I asked you where these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder.’

“Then the Great Brahma, taking the monk by the arm and leading him off to one side, said to him, ‘These gods of the retinue of Brahma believe, “There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not know. There is nothing that the Great Brahma does not see. There is nothing of which the Great Brahma is unaware. There is nothing that the Great Brahma has not realized.” That is why I did not say in their presence that I, too, don’t know where the four great elements… cease without remainder. So you have acted wrongly, acted incorrectly, in bypassing the Blessed One in search of an answer to this question elsewhere. Go right back to the Blessed One and, on arrival, ask him this question. However he answers it, you should take it to heart.’

One Pillar Pagoda - Hanoi

“Then — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — the monk disappeared from the Brahma world and immediately appeared in front of me. Having bowed down to me, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to me, ‘Lord, where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder?’

“When this was said, I said to him,2 ‘Once, monk, some sea-faring merchants took a shore-sighting bird and set sail in their ship. When they could not see the shore, they released the shore-sighting bird. It flew to the east, south, west, north, straight up, and to all the intermediate points of the compass. If it saw the shore in any direction, it flew there. If it did not see the shore in any direction, it returned right back to the ship. In the same way, monk, having gone as far as the Brahma world in search of an answer to your question, you have come right back to my presence.

“‘Your question should not be phrased in this way: Where do these four great elements — the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, and the wind property — cease without remainder? Instead, it should be phrased like this:

Where do water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing?
Where are long & short,
coarse & fine,
fair & foul,
name & form
brought to an end?

“‘And the answer to that is:

Consciousness without feature,
without end,
luminous all around:
Here water, earth, fire, & wind
have no footing.
Here long & short
coarse & fine
fair & foul
name & form
are all brought to an end.
With the cessation of [the activity of] consciousness
	each is here brought to an end.’”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Kevatta the householder delighted in the Blessed One’s words.




Notes

1. Viññanam anidassanam. This term is nowhere explained in the Canon, although MN 49 mentions that it “does not partake in the allness of the All” — the “All” meaning the six internal and six external sense media (see SN 35.23). In this it differs from the consciousness factor in dependent co-arising, which is defined in terms of the six sense media. Lying outside of time and space, it would also not come under the consciousness-aggregate, which covers all consciousness near and far; past, present, and future. However, the fact that it is outside of time and space — in a dimension where there is no here, there, or in between (Ud 1.10), no coming, no going, or staying (Ud 8.1) — means that it cannot be described as permanent or omnipresent, terms that have meaning only within space and time. The standard description of nibbana after death is, “All that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.” (See MN 140 and Iti 44.) Again, as “all” is defined as the sense media, this raises the question as to whether consciousness without feature is not covered by this “all.” However, AN 4.174 warns that any speculation as to whether anything does or doesn’t remain after the remainderless stopping of the six sense media is to “complicate non-complication,” which gets in the way of attaining the non-complicated. Thus this is a question that is best put aside.

Vajira

Setting at Savatthi. Then, in the morning, the bhikkhuni Vajira dressed and, taking bowl and robe, entered Savatthi for alms. When she had walked for alms in Savatthi [135] and had returned from her alms round, after her meal she went to the Blind Men’s Grove for the day’s abiding. Having plunged into the Blind Men’s Grove, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara the Evil One, desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in the bhikkhuni Vajira, desiring to make her fall away from concentration, approached her and addressed her in verse:

By whom has this being been created?
Where is the maker of the being?
Where has the being arisen?
Where does the being cease?

Then it occurred to the bhikkhuni Vajira: “Now who is this that recited the verse — a human being or a non-human being?” Then it occurred to her: “This is Mara the Evil One, who has recited the verse desiring to arouse fear, trepidation, and terror in me, desiring to make me fall away from concentration.”

Then the bhikkhuni Vajira, having understood, “This is Mara the Evil One,” replied to him in verses:

Why now do you assume ‘a being’?
Mara, have you grasped a view?
This is a heap of sheer constructions:
Here no being is found.
	
Just as, with an assemblage of parts,
The word ‘chariot’ is used,
So, when the aggregates are present,
There’s the convention ‘a being.’
	
It’s only suffering that comes to be,
Suffering that stands and falls away.
Nothing but suffering comes to be,
Nothing but suffering ceases.

Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhuni Vajira knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.

Doctrine-True Practice of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata-The Four Noble Truths
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Doctrine-True Practice of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata

The Four Noble Truths

Hence we understand that the Buddha’s Teaching is to know suffering and to know what causes it to arise. And further, we should know freedom from suffering and the way of practice which leads to freedom. He taught us to know just these four things. When we understand these four things we’ll be able to recognize suffering when it arises and will know that it has a cause. We’ll know that it didn’t just drift in! When we wish to be free from this suffering, we’ll be able to eliminate its cause.

Why do we have this feeling of suffering, this feeling of unsatisfactoriness? We’ll see that it’s because we are clinging to our various likes and dislikes. We come to know that we are suffering because of our own actions. We suffer because we ascribe value to things. So we say, know suffering, know the cause of suffering, know freedom from suffering and know the Way to this freedom. When we know about suffering we keep untangling the knot. But we must be sure to untangle it by pulling in the right direction. That is to say, we must know that this is how things are. Attachment will be torn out. This is the practice which puts an end to our suffering.

Know suffering, know the cause of suffering, know freedom from suffering and know the Path which leads out of suffering. This is Magga (Path). It goes like this: Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration. When we have the right understanding regarding these things, then we have the Path. These things can put an end to suffering. They lead us to morality, concentration and wisdom (Sila, Samadhi, Pañña).

We must clearly understand these four things. We must want to understand. We must want to see these things in terms of reality. When we see these four things we call this Sacca Dhamma. Whether we look inside or in front or to the right or left, all we see is Sacca Dhamma. We simply see that everything is the way it is. For someone who has arrived at Dhamma, someone who really understands Dhamma, wherever he goes, everything will be Dhamma.

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Spiritual Community of The Followers of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata -Refuge-An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha-Preface
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Spiritual Community of The Followers of The Path Shown by The Blessed,Noble,Awakened One-The Tathagata

Refuge
An Introduction to the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha

Preface

This book is a short introduction to the basic principles of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dhamma (his teachings), and Sangha (the community of his noble disciples), also known as the Triple Gem or the Triple Refuge. The material is divided into three parts: (I) an introductory essay on the meaning of refuge and the act of going for refuge; (II) a series of readings drawn from the earliest Buddhist texts illustrating the essential qualities of the Triple Gem; and (III) a set of essays explaining aspects of the Triple Gem that often provoke questions in those who are new to the Buddha’s teachings. This last section concludes with an essay that summarizes, in a more systematic form, many of the points raised in the earlier parts of the book.

The readings on Dhamma form the core of the book, organized in a pattern — called a graduated discourse (anupubbi-katha) — that the Buddha himself often used when introducing his teachings to new listeners. After beginning with the joys of generosity, he would describe the joys of a virtuous life, followed by the rewards of generosity and virtue to be experienced here and, after death, in heaven; the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, even heavenly ones; and the rewards of renunciation. Then, when he sensed that his listeners were inclined to look favorably on renunciation as a way to true happiness, he would discuss the central message of his teaching: the four noble truths.

My hope is that this introduction will help answer many of the questions that newcomers bring to Buddhism, and will spark new questions in their minds as they contemplate the possibility of developing within their own lives the qualities of refuge exemplified by the Triple Gem.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Metta Forest Monastery
Valley Center, CA 92082-1409
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