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11/14/07
Sarvajan Hitay Sarvajan Sukhay-For The Gain of The Many and For The Welfare of The Many-Division level review meeting of four divisions held at Meerut-Mayawati promises UPCA new ground -Riding the train of dreams across India-Manufacturing still limited to select states: Ficci-Maya plans advisory council with SC Mishra at its helm-Be wary of the enemy within: Rahul -Pawar defends fresh wheat import tender - UP shows success in anti-polio drive-Satish Misra steps down as Uttar Pradesh minister
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:12 am
 
 

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

 

Division level review meeting of four divisions held at Meerut

 

Lucknow : November 12, 2007 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Km.Mayawati reviewed the progress of various development programmes and law and order here today. The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh, Chief Secretary Mr. Prashant Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary to C.M Mr. V.K. Sharma and Kunwar Fateh Bahadur, Principal Secretary Home Mr. J.N. Chamber and DGP Mr. Vikram Singh were present on the occasion. After the meeting, she directed the officers to acquaint the division and district level officers about her directives so that the development works could be speeded up and the hurdles coming in their way could be removed. She took stock of the situation of the discrepancies surfacing in the spot verification of the development works conducted at the division and district level. She further directed the Cabinet Secretary Mr. Singh to preside over the review meeting at Meerut today along with the team of the senior officers. The Chief Minister directed the Cabinet Secretary that the division and district level officers should be told about her directives and they should themselves conduct the physical verification of the various development works. Besides, they should also take the suggestions of the officers. She said that explicit orders had been issued at the time of the formation of the Government for speeding up the pace of development works and also to strictly follow the directives issued regarding the law and order in the State, but some laxity was observed and therefore strict action was being initiated against careless officers by fixing their responsibility. The Chief Minister extensively reviewed the functioning and works of various programmes, schemes and departments such as, Dr. Ambedkar Gramin Samagra Vikas Yojna, Manyawar Shri Kanshiram Ji Shahri Samagra Vikas Yojna, construction of roads funded by State finance, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna, creation of employment, Rashtriya Gramin Rozgar Guarantee Yojna, Sampoorana Gramin Rozgar Yojna, Rural Drinking Water Supply, replacement of defunct transformers, checking power pilferage, ensuring presence of doctors, construction of primary schools and junior high schools, ensuring presence of teachers, mid-day-meal, distribution of scholarship and pension, verification of BPL card holders, PDS, rural housing, running of Government tube-wells, availability of water till the tail-end of canals, restoring possession to original lease-holder by removing illegal encroachers, allotment of agriculture and housing land, organising tehsil diwas and recovery of tax and non-tax revenue. Taking a look at the law and order, Km. Mayawati also reviewed the progress of the action taken on the F.I.Rs registered under the special drive during 22 June to 22 August, 2007, situation of the heinous crimes occurred after 13 May 2007 and action taken under the cases like murder, dacoity, ransom, kidnapping, transformer and wire theft, action taken in the cases registered under the SC/ST harassment, women harassment, eve-teasing, rape etc., progress of the pending investigations, action taken against the wanted criminals, action taken against criminals carrying reward on their heads, identification of white collar criminals, land mafias, mining, contract, transport and other mafias, criminals indulging into illegal liquor trade, preventive action, action taken in the cases against illegal encroachers of leased lands, disposal of various complaints of people by officers, details of the various F.I.Rs. registered at the SSP and SP offices after 17 August 2007, action taken regarding the arms licences, cancellation of the arms licences issued to the persons with criminal background and representation of various categories in the posts of the Station-in-charge. The Chief Minister directed for immediate suspension and for taking departmental action against Superintending Engineers of Electricity Department Mr. P.K. Sharma and Mr. Rishi Pal Singh of Bulandshahr and Bagpat respectively, besides the Executive Engineers E.D.D. Mr. S.K. Jain of Electricity Department- Bagpat , Mr. Subhash Chandra-Mawana, Mr.S.K.Agarwal-Khurja, and Mr. Kamlesh Kumar-J.P. Nagar for their careless approach towards the development programmes running in Saharanpur, Moradabad, Bareilly and Meerut divisions, presenting false data, non-completion of development works according to the standard within stipulated period, ineffective checking of power theft, failure for replacement of non-functional transformers and irresponsibility towards duty. Km. Mayawati also directed for giving censure entries to CDO Budayun Mr. Hari Kant Tripathi and CDO Gautambuddha Nagar Mr. P.K. Pandey for poor quality works and their failure in completion of development works within time running under Rural Development Department. She also directed for the suspension of District Development Officer of Moradabad Mr. R.D. Sharma besides giving censure entries to project directors DRDA Bareilly Mr. Ram Naresh, Moradabad Mr. Pramod Kumar Srivastava, Bijnour Mr. Suresh Chandra (II). The Chief Minister directed for suspension and departmental action against Executive Engineer Jal Nigam J.P. Nagar Mr. J.K. Karnwal, Asst. Engineer Jal Nigam Gautambuddha Nagar Mr. S.K. Jain and Junior Engineer Jal Nigam J.P. Nagar Mr. Atul Rastogi for careless approach towards solving drinking water problems and implementation of drinking water schemes within stipulated period. She also directed for suspension and departmental action against Executive Engineer Tubewell Zone I, Bareilly Mr. Chandrabali Maurya who was found guilty for poor maintenance and repairing of tube-wells besides its non-functioning. The Chief Minister directed the suspension of Executive Engineer P.W.D. National Highway Moradabad Mr. K.P. Singh, Superintending Engineer Bareilly Mr. B.B. Sharma, Executive Engineer Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna Bijnour Mr. Ramesh Chandra and Executive Engineer Shahjahanpur Mr. P.C. Srivastava for their failure in construction and repairing of roads, besides not starting the works of sanctioned roads on time. Km. Mayawati directed for suspension of CO Sardhana Meerut Mr. P.K. Tiwari and adverse entry to CO Parikshitgarh Mr. K.K. Bhalla for failure in maintaining the law and order situation according to the directives of government, failure in taking action in registered cases within time besides curbing crimes. The Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh made aware regarding the directives of the Chief Minister in the review meeting of Meerut division after the review at State level and received the officers’ suggestion. He also made on the spot visit and reviewed the progress of several development works and schemes. The Chief Secretary Mr. Prashant Kumar Mishra, Principal Secretary Home Mr. J.N. Chamber, DGP Mr. Vikram Singh and other government senior officers were present on the occasion, besides the officers of concerning divisions and districts. ********

NDTV.com
 
Mayawati promises UPCA new ground
 
Sambuddha Dutt
Tuesday, November 13, 2007 8:36 AM (Kanpur)
 

However, the UPCA still does not own a cricket ground of its own but they seem to have struck a right chord with Chief Minister Mayawati who has now promised them land for a brand new facility.

 

The UP Chief Minister was the guest of honour at the man of the match ceremony after the Kanpur ODI between India and Pakistan. Apparently, the state government machinery got into full swing after the invite was sent to CM Mayawati to make sure that the Green Park stadium was spruced up.

“We had a lot of co-operation from the administration, a lot of co-operation and support from Mayawati. Two of her principal secretaries came to the ground seven times to view each and every thing,” said Premdhar Pathak, Secretary, UP Cricket Association.

 

In the past, the stadium has been in the news for many wrong reasons, a slow pitch, dilapidated facilities and general neglect. The UPCA has always said that their hands were tied because they did not own the stadium.

 

In fact, the condition of the ground has cost the UPCA several international fixtures. But now that the Chief Minister is on their side, UPCA seems all set to get a new stadium in Lucknow.

 

“She’ll be giving us land to make an international ground. It will be UPCA’s ownership, because only then will the BCCI give us Rs 30 crore. Now their conditions will start coming in. in fact, they had asked us how they are going to benefit from the free land that they give us,” said Pathak.

 

“BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla has said that they will make an enclosure of 5,000 for the CM and her officials.”

A separate enclosure for the Chief Minister and other officials will of course mean lesser seats for the fans. In fact on Sunday, 60,000 people turned up at the Green Park even though the capacity is just 40,000.

 

It’s quite surprising that an area as large as the former Uttar Pradesh has just one cricket association. The challenges ahead are many, like getting their own stadium and promoting the game at all levels so that more Kaifs’, Rainas’ and RP Singhs’ can be produced

 

Multimedia

 

 
 
 

Maya plans advisory council with SC Mishra at its helm

Express news service

Lucknow, November 13 To accommodate close lieutenant Satish Chandra Mishra after he resigned from the Cabinet on Monday due to procedural compulsions, Chief Minister Mayawati plans to make him head of the yet-to-be-formed Uttar Pradesh State Advisory Council — a position that will restore to Mishra all the trappings of a Cabinet minister, red beacon et al.

 

Such a council will be formed for the first time in Uttar Pradesh after a similar council set up by former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav — the Uttar Pradesh Development Council — was dissolved by Mayawati herself after she came to power. Mayawati had questioned the utility of such a council which had the powers to advise the state government on investment and industrial activities in the state. This council had Amar Singh as its chairman. However, the new body will give recommendations to the state on development and other issues too.

 

Mishra, a Rajya Sabha member from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), was sworn in as Cabinet minister on May 17 this year, four days after Mayawati took oath as Chief Minister. Mishra was not given any portfolio. Soon after being made a Cabinet minister, Mayawati had made it clear she would not send S C Mishra to any of the Houses.

 

A few months on, when allegations surfaced against Mishra that he had promoted the interests of his relatives, the Chief Minister came out openly in his defence. However, in September she announced that Mishra will step down from the Cabinet after six months and will be deployed in an organisational capacity.

 

BSP leaders said there was no option left for Mishra but to resign because he was not member of any of the Houses in the state Assembly. In Mulayam Singh’s Cabinet too, irrigation minister Merajuddin had to resign after he failed to get entry to a House. Meraj was minister from the Rashtriya Lok Dal’s (RLD) quota in the Mulayam Cabinet.

 

At the moment, there are no vacant seats in the Houses, either in the Assembly or in the legislative council. There will be 10 vacancies only in April next year but those will be seats reserved for teachers or graduate voters. When the Mayawati government was formed, there were two vacant seats in the legislative council. While one was occupied by Mayawati, she nominated close aide Swami Prasad Maurya to the other seat. BSP leaders, when contacted, confirmed that a council will be formed but also said that S C Mishra will spend more time away in other states where elections are due.


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Tuesday, Nov 13, 2007

 

Be wary of the enemy within: Rahul

Special Correspondent

 

LUCKNOW: All-India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here on Monday that the biggest threat to the party was from the “enemy within.” He emphasised that the only opposition to the Congress was its incapability to represent people, and biggest drawback — failure to connect with people.

 

The Amethi Member of Parliament, who attended the first meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Coordination Committee, stressed on connectivity with people and accountability to bring the Congress back on the rails.

Talking to mediapersons after the meeting, he pointed out that organisational weaknesses were the bane of the party which had kept it out of power in the State for 18 years.

 

Mr. Gandhi said that all these years the party was unable to attract youth. He would endeavour to make youth the vehicle of accountability. He wanted more youth inducted into the party.

 

While asserting that he did not believe in vote banks and cared little what the Bahujan Samaj Party and other parties were doing in the State, he said every talented youth should have the ability to enter politics. Besides, the party should be able to take up people’s issues.

 

On the perennial problem of factionalism and groupism plaguing the party in the State, Mr. Gandhi felt that this could be overcome by fixing accountability and displaying the propensity to identify with people.

 

The coordination committee, attended by 31 members, including Mr. Gandhi, lasted for four hours. Mr. Gandhi gave a patient hearing to the views and suggestions of the committee members.

 

In fact, at his behest the meeting agreed to organise the general body meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee in Kanpur by December-end or January next.

Mr. Gandhi would be present at the two-day meeting. Its concluding session will be addressed by party president and United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Thereafter, a public meeting will be held in the industrial metropolis.

 

Mr. Gandhi met the members of 16 delegations drawn from former MPs. MLAs, frontal units and party cells.

This was Mr. Gandhi’s first visit to the Nehru Bhawan, headquarters of the Pradesh Congress Committee, where the day’s programme was held. Mr. Gandhi spent the entire day at the office.

 

Signalling its intent to take on the Bahujan Samaj Party government, the Congress has decided to convert an issue related to alleged insult of Mahatma Gandhi by a ruling party functionary into a State-wide agitation.

 


Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2007

 

Pawar defends fresh wheat import tender

 

New Delhi, Nov. 13 The Union Agriculture and Food Minister, Mr Sharad Pawar, on Tuesday, defended the floating of a fresh wheat import tender on Government account, even while noting that domestic prices are ruling lower compared to last year.

 

Addressing the Economic Editors’ Conference here, Mr Pawar said wheat, in the wholesale market, was currently selling at around Rs 1,070 a quintal in Delhi, against over Rs 1,120 during this period last year.

 

But the Government was still keen to import up to 10 lakh tonnes (lt) — over and above 55 lt in 2006-07, and the 13-lt already contracted during the current fiscal — “as we have to build up a sufficient buffer stock to meet any emergency”.

The Government, he added, was committed to protect the interests of farmers, but “we cannot also bypass the interest of consumers”.

 

Delay in crushing

 

Mr Pawar also referred to the delay in starting of crushing operations by sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh (UP), which, in turn, was preventing farmers to harvest cane and sow wheat in the vacated area (Mills have refused to crush, citing high State Advised Prices of cane fixed by the UP Government and taking the matter to the Allahabad High Court. The latter has reserved its judgment, having concluded its hearings on Monday).

 

“We cannot take any risks and imports have to be resorted to ensure that the public distribution system is not starved of foodgrains,” Mr Pawar stated.

 

MMTC Ltd, on Monday, floated a global tender for import of 3.5 lt of wheat for delivery before February 10.

This is part of the total 10 lt to be imported on Government account by MMTC, State Trading Corporation of India (STC) and PEC Ltd. Asked whether there were plans to import beyond 10 lt, Mr Pawar said, “I do not think that will be required”.

 

Wheat is currently quoting at over $7.6 a bushel ($280 a tonne) at the Chicago Board of Trade, with the January contract at the Euronext.liffe exchange similarly ruling at €215 or $316 a tonne. Adding freight and other handling costs would translate into a landed cost of around $375 a tonne.

 

As on October 1, wheat stocks in the Central pool, at 101.21 lt, stood below the normative minimum buffer of 110 lt for this date. Rice stocks, at 54.89 lt, were marginally above the buffer norm of 52 lt.

 

Meanwhile, official rice procurement during the ongoing 2007-08 marketing season (October-September) has touched 82.49 lt as on Tuesday. This is lower than the 87.81-lt bought during the corresponding period of the 2006-07 season.

 

Bonus for paddy

 

When asked whether the Centre was planning to grant an additional bonus for paddy — over and above the already announced Rs 50 on a minimum support price of Rs 645 per quintal for common and Rs 675 for Grade ‘A’ varieties — Mr Pawar stated: “The Government has not taken any final decision on this”.

 



UP shows success in anti-polio drive
14 Nov 2007, 0307 hrs IST,TNN

 

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh has shown a remarkable improvement on the front of polio eradication this year. The Lucknow and Kanpur sub-regions have recorded only four cases of P1 polio viruses transmission and five cases of P3 virus so far.
 

Addressing Polio workers at a ceremony to mark the occasion Dr Nimal Hettiaratchy, state representative, UNICEF, UP said, “Uttar Pradesh is close to eradicating polio and we know we can do it. Here your role is most significant. We should not be complacent. We have to walk that extra mile to achieve the goal of ‘a polio-free India’.”

 

UNICEF is involved in eradicating polio from the state through its frontline polio workers or community mobilisation coordinators (CMCs). The immediate concern now is to deal with families who have missed polio doses in CMC areas in Farrukhabad, Sitapur and Faizabad.

 

The routine immunization is also needed to be strengthened to increase the percentage of fully immunised children in the CMC areas of Farrukhabad, Kannauj and Hardoi.

 

Speaking on the occasion, assistant chief medical officer, Lucknow, Jai Singh said, “Better coordination between
UNICEF and government is the way to make progress in the field of polio eradication.”

 

The function was attended by hundreds of CMCs who were enthusiastic about their role and accomplishment. Rekha, a CMC, said, “It feels great to see that our hard work has borne fruit and today we are celebrating the occasion.”

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Buddha-Seclusion-Reverence
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 8:11 am

Buddha

Viveka Sutta
Seclusion
 

I have heard that on one occasion a certain monk was dwelling among the Kosalans in a forest thicket. Now at that time, as he had gone to spend the day [in the thicket], he was thinking unskillful thoughts, connected with the household life.

Then the devata inhabiting the forest thicket, feeling sympathy for the monk, desiring his benefit, desiring to bring him to his senses, approached him and addressed him with this verse:

“Desiring seclusion
you’ve entered the forest,
and yet your mind
goes running outside.
You, a person:
subdue your desire for people.
Then you’ll be happy, 	free
from passion.
Dispel discontent,
be mindful.
Let me remind you
of that which is good —
for the dust
of the regions below
is hard to transcend.
Don’t let the dust
of the sensual
pull
you
down.
	
As a bird
spattered with dirt
sheds the adhering dust with a shake,
so a monk
— energetic & mindful —
sheds the adhering dust.”

The monk, chastened by the devata, came to his senses.

Garava Sutta
Reverence
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
 

I have heard that on one occasion, when the Blessed One was newly Self-awakened, he was staying at Uruvela on the bank of the Nerañjara River, at the foot of the Goatherd’s Banyan Tree. Then, while he was alone and in seclusion, this line of thinking arose in his awareness: “One suffers if dwelling without reverence or deference. Now on what priest or contemplative can I dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him?”

Then the thought occurred to him: “It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of virtue that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in virtue than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

“It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of concentration that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in concentration than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

“It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of discernment that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in discernment than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

“It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of release that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in release than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

“It would be for the sake of perfecting an unperfected aggregate of knowledge and vision of release that I would dwell in dependence on another priest or contemplative, honoring and respecting him. However, in this world with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, in this generation with its priests and contemplatives, its royalty and common-folk, I do not see another priest or contemplative more consummate in knowledge and vision of release than I, on whom I could dwell in dependence, honoring and respecting him.

“What if I were to dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened, honoring and respecting it?”

Then, having known with his own awareness the line of thinking in the Blessed One’s awareness — just as a strong man might extend his flexed arm or flex his extended arm — Brahma Sahampati disappeared from the Brahma-world and reappeared in front of the Blessed One. Arranging his upper robe over one shoulder, he saluted the Blessed One with his hands before his heart and said to him: “So it is, Blessed One! So it is, One-Well-Gone! Those who were Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the past — they, too, dwelled in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it. Those who will be Arahants, Rightly Self-awakened Ones in the future — they, too, will dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it. And let the Blessed One, who is at present the Arahant, the Rightly Self-awakened One, dwell in dependence on the very Dhamma itself, honoring and respecting it.”

That is what Brahma Sahampati said. Having said that, he further said this:

Past Buddhas,
future Buddhas,
& he who is the Buddha now,
removing the sorrow of many — 
	
all have dwelt,
will dwell, he dwells,
revering the true Dhamma.
This, for Buddhas, is a natural law.
	
Therefore one who desires his own good,
aspiring for greatness,
should respect the true Dhamma,
recollecting the Buddhas’ Teaching.
\"buddha
	
Dhamma-Questions and Answers -1
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 8:06 am

Dhamma

Questions and Answers

1.Question: I’m trying very hard in my practice but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.

Answer: This is very important. Don’t try to get anywhere in the practice. The very desire to be free or to be awakened will be the desire that prevents your freedom. You can try as hard as you wish, practice ardently night and day, but if it is still with the desire to achieve in mind, you will never find peace. The energy from this desire will be a cause for doubt and restlessness. No matter how long or how hard you practice, wisdom will not arise from desire. So, simply let go. Watch the mind and body mindfully but don’t try to achieve anything. Don’t cling even to the practice of awakenment.

 

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Sangha-II. Readings -II. Readings -MAHA BODHI SOCIETY-Questionnaire No 2 and Answers of First Year Diploma Course conducted by Mahabodhi Academy for Pali and Buddhist Studies
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:47 am

Sangha

II. Readings

‘Indeed, the Blessed One [the Buddha] is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge and conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine and human beings, awakened, blessed.’

‘The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here and now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.’

‘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.’

 

MAHA BODHI SOCIETY-Questionnaire No 2 and Answers of First Year Diploma Course conducted by Mahabodhi Academy for Pali and Buddhist Studies

 

1.       Write an essay on Buddha’s own definition of Boodhahood as given in Donna Sutta.

 

Buddha’s own definition of Buddhahood

 

In the Dona Sutta, found in Anguttara Nikaya of the Tipitaka, the Sacred Pali canon, the Buddha defines the nature of a Buddha.

 

Once a certain Brahman named Dona, noticing the characteristic marks of the footprint of the Buddha, approached Him and questioned Him.

 

 ”Your Reverence will be a Deva (god)?”
“No, indeed, brahman, a Deva am I not,” replied the Buddha.

“Then Your Reverence will be a Gandhabba (demi-god)?”

“No indeed, brahman, a Gandhabba am I not.”

“A Yakkha (celestial being) then?”

“No, indeed, brahman, not a Yakkha.”

“Then Your Reverence will be a human being?”

“No indeed, brahmin, a human being am I not
.”
“Who, then, pray, will Your Reverence be?”


The Buddha replied that He had destroyed Defilements which condition rebirth as a Deva, Gandhabba, Yakkha, or a human being and added:

“As a lotus, fair and lovely,
By the water is not soiled,
By the world am I not soiled;
Therefore, brahman, am I Buddha.”

 

2.       Elaborate on this sutta in your own words.

 

Dona saw on the footprints of the Lord, the wheel mark complete with thousand spokes, rim and hub in perfect condition, clear in every respect. Having seen this mark he thought to himself: “ O, how marvelous! Indeed how miraculous! This footprint mark certainly cannot be that of a human being!”

 

Dona phrases his question in the future tense, which has led to a great deal of discussion as to what this entire dialogue means: Is he asking what the Buddha will be in a future life, or is he asking what he is right now? The context of the discussion seems to demand the second alternative — Dona wants to know what kind of being would have such amazing footprints, and the Buddha’s image of the lotus describes his present state — but the grammar of Dona’s questions would seem to demand the first. However, the future tense is often used to express perplexity, surprise, or wonder about something in the present: “What might this be?” “What on earth is this?” This seems to be the sense of Dona’s questions here. His earlier statement — “These are not the footprints of a human being” — is also phrased in the future tense, and the mood of wonder extends throughout his conversation with the Buddha.

It’s also possible that the Buddha’s answers to Dona’s questions — which, like the questions, are put in the future tense — are a form of word-play, in which the Buddha is using the future tense in both its meanings, to refer both to his present and to his future state.

 

The Buddha’s refusal to identify himself as a human being relates to a point made throughout the Canon, that an awakened person cannot be defined in any way at all. Because a mind with clinging is “located” by its clinging, an awakened person takes no place in any world: this is why he/she is un smeared by the world (loka), like the lotus un smeared by water.

 

 

 

3.Why did the brahmin Dona put those four questions based on his knowledge of the footprint?

 

On one occasion the Blessed One was traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya, and Dona the brahman was also traveling along the road between Ukkattha and Setabya. Dona the brahman saw, in the Blessed One’s footprints, wheels with 1,000 spokes, together with rims and hubs, complete in all their features. On seeing them, the thought occurred to him, “How amazing! How astounding! These are not the footprints of a human being!”

 

Then the Blessed One, leaving the road, went to sit at the root of a certain tree — his legs crossed, his body erect, with mindfulness established to the fore. Then Dona, following the Blessed One’s footprints, saw him sitting at the root of the tree: confident, inspiring confidence, his senses calmed, his mind calmed, having attained the utmost control & tranquility, tamed, guarded, his senses restrained, a naga.1 On seeing him, he went to him and said, “Master, are you a deva?”2

 

“No, brahman, I am not a deva.”

“Are you a gandhabba?”

“No…”

“… a yakkha?”

“No…”

“… a human being?”

“No, brahman, I am not a human being.”

“When asked, ‘Are you a deva?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a deva.’ When asked, ‘Are you a gandhabba?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a gandhabba.’ When asked, ‘Are you a yakkha?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a yakkha.’ When asked, ‘Are you a human being?’ you answer, ‘No, brahman, I am not a human being.’ Then what sort of being are you?”

“Brahman, the fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a deva: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. The fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a gandhabba… a yakkha… a human being: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising.

“Just like a red, blue, or white lotus — born in the water, grown in the water, rising up above the water — stands un smeared by the water, in the same way I — born in the world, grown in the world, having overcome the world — live un smeared by the world. Remember me, brahman, as ‘awakened.’

“The fermentations by which I would go
to a deva-state,
or become a gandhabba
 in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
 Those have been destroyed by me,
 ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,
I’m awake.”



4.       Is astrology or the knowledge about bodily marks essential for spiritual development? What do you think about it? Mention clearly.

 

Dona was an expert in astrology and related subject by which a spiritually awakened person could be identified. For instance the footprints on the ground or the various other bodily marks representing Buddha’s spiritual evolution.

Dona first met the Buddha on the road between Ukkatthā and Setavyā. He saw the Buddha’s footprints and, following them, he came upon the Buddha seated at the foot of a-tree. Dona asked him various questions as to his identity and the Buddha explained to him his Buddha-hood (A.ii.37f). The Commentary (AA.ii.505f) states that Dona was a teacher with a large following, and that the Buddha’s journey to Setavyā was undertaken for the purpose of meeting him. (In today’s scientific terminology such meetings are called as telepathy. At the end of the Buddha’s discourse, Dona became an anāgāmÄ« and composed a poem of twelve thousand words in praise of the Buddha. This poem became known as the Donagajjita. Dona was held in very high esteem as a teacher, and it is said (DA.ii.607f) that, at some time or other practically all the chiefs of JambudÄ«pa had sat at his feet.

We believe “face is the index of mind”.

 

5.       Why did the Buddha give negative answers to all the four questions and what was his explanation regarding cankers?

“Brahman, the fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a deva: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising. The fermentations by which — if they were not abandoned — I would be a gandhabba… a yakkha… a human being: Those are abandoned by me, their root destroyed, like an uprooted palm tree, deprived of the conditions of existence, not destined for future arising.

“The fermentations by which I would go
to a deva-state,
or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
 Those have been destroyed by me,
 ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,
I’m awake.”



 

 

6.       What do you understand by the word i) ‘canker’ and ii) by the lotus analogy?

 

i)          canker

noun

Anything that is injurious, destructive, or fatal: bane, contagion, poison, toxin, venom, virus. See help/harm/harmless.

verb

  1. To have a destructive effect on: envenom, infect, poison. Archaic empoison. See help/harm/harmless.
  2. To ruin utterly in character or quality: animalize, bastardize, bestialize, brutalize, corrupt, debase, debauch, demoralize, deprave, pervert, stain, vitiate, warp. See clean/dirty, help/harm/harmless.
The fermentations by which I would
 go
to a deva-state,
or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
 Those have been destroyed by me,
 ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
unsmeared by water,
unsmeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,

I’m awake.”s a lotus, fair and lovely,
By the water is not soiled,
By the world am I not soiled;
Therefore, brahman, am I Buddha.”

7.       What do you understand about Buddha-nature as compared with the lotus? Elaborate as clearly as you can.

 

Similar doctrines are encountered in the Tathagatagarbha sutras, which tell of the immanent presence of the Buddha Principle (Buddha-dhatu/ Buddha-nature) within all beings. Here, the Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-Matrix) is tantamount to the indwelling transformative and liberational power of Bodhi, which bestows an infinitude of unifying vision. The Buddha of the Shurangama Sutta states:

“My uncreated and unending profound “Awake-ness” or “Awakening” accords with the Tathagatagarbha, which is absolute Bodhi, and ensures my perfect insight into the Dhamma realm [realm of Ultimate Truth], where the one is infinite and the infinite is one.”

Buddha-nature (originally in Sanskrit, Buddha-dhatu - “Buddha Element”, “Buddha-Principle”) is a doctrine important for many schools of Mahayana Buddhism. The Buddha Nature or Buddha Principle (”Buddha-dhatu”) is taught to be a truly real, but internally hidden, eternal potency or immortal element, present in all sentient beings, for awakening and becoming a Buddha. In some Mahayana sutras it is equated with the eternal Buddhic Self, Essence or Soul (atman). However, Nagarjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka, presents a view that states that Buddha-nature is empty-nature. This view does not necessarily contradict the Buddhist notion of reality, as the Buddha-nature sutras make clear that what the Buddha-nature is empty of is not its own ever-enduring reality but impermanence, impurity and suffering - in other words, the painful constrictions of samsara.

The Buddha-nature doctrine relates to the possession by sentient beings of the innate, immaculate buddha-mind or buddha-element (”Buddha-dhatu”), which is, prior to the full attainment of buddhahood, not fully realised, or at least not clearly seen and known in its full radiance. Buddha-nature is considered incorruptible, uncreated, and indestructible. It is eternal bodhi (”Awake-ness”) indwelling Samsara, and thus opens up the immanent possibility of Liberation from all suffering and impermanence. It is indicated in the Angulimaliya Sutra that if the Buddhas were to try to seek for any sentient being who lacked the Buddha-nature, not one such person would be found. In fact, it is stated in that sutra that it is impossible for Buddhas NOT to discern the presence of the everlasting Buddha-nature in each and every being: “Even though all Buddhas themselves were to search assiduously, they would not find a tathāgata-garbha(Buddha-nature) that is not eternal, for the eternal dhātu, the buddha-dhātu (Buddha Principle, Buddha Nature), the dhātu adorned with infinite major and minor attributes, is present in all beings.”

The eternality, stability and immutability of the Buddha-nature (often referred to as “Tathagatagarbha“) is also frequently stressed in the sutras which expound this Buddhic Element. The Srimala Sutta, for example, says:

“The Tathagatagarbha is not born, does not die, does not transfer [Tib: ’pho ba], does not arise. It is beyond the sphere of the characteristics of the compounded; it is permanent, stable and changeless.”

The development of the Buddha-nature doctrine is closely related to that of tathagatagarbha (Sanskrit: “womb of the thus-come one”), as mentioned above, which the Buddha of the “Anunatva-Apurnatva-Nirdesa” sutra links to the Dharmadhatu (true, all-equal, unfabricated essence of all phenomena) and essential being, stating: “What I call ‘be-ing’ [”sattva”] is just a different name for this permanent, stable, pure and unchanging refuge that is free from arising and cessation, the inconceivable pure Dharmadhatu.”

This eternal refuge of the Dharmadhatu / Buddha-dhatu (transcendentally void of all that is contingent, afflicted, defective, and productive of suffering) is equated in the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra” with Buddhic Knowledge (”jnana”), which perceives both non-Self and the Self, Emptiness (”sunyata”) and non-Emptiness, where (according to the Buddha of the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra“) “the Empty is the totality of Samsara [birth-and-death] and the non-Empty is Great Nirvana”.

A central aspect of the Buddha-dhatu (sometimes called the Tathagata-dhatu) is that it is utterly indestructible, impervious to all harm, and truly everlasting. It is the innermost, irreducible core within the being that cannot be eradicated or killed. The Buddha says so in terms in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Tibetan version):

“The Tathagata-dhatu is the intrinsic nature of beings. Therefore, it cannot be killed by having its life severed. If it could be killed, then the life-force (jivaka) could be annihilated; but it is not possible for the life-force to be annihilated. In this instance, the life-force refers to the Tathagatagarbha. That Dhatu [immanent Buddha Element, Buddha Principle] cannot be destroyed, killed or annihilated.”

Buddha-nature is not at all accepted by Theravada Buddhism and was not universally accepted in Indian Mahayana, but did become a cornerstone of East Asian Buddhist soteriological thought in terms of the essence-function paradigm or of a vision of an ultimate, undying Buddhic Element within all beings, as explained in texts such as the Tathagatagarbha Sutra, the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra“, the Srimala Sutra, the Buddha-nature Treatise and the Ratna-gotra-vibhaga treatise. The “Buddha Nature” remains a widespread and significant doctrine in much of Mahayana Buddhism today.

8.       The message of the Buddha in this sutta can be briefly expressed thus: “Though I am born in the world, I am above it. It cannot soil me.” How would you interpret it?

 

“The fermentations by which I would go
to a deva-state,
or become a gandhabba in the sky,
or go to a yakkha-state & human-state:
 Those have been destroyed by
 me,
 ruined, their stems removed.
Like a blue lotus, rising up,
Un smeared by water,
Un smeared am I by the world,
and so, brahman,

I’m awake.”s a lotus, fair and lovely,
By the water is not soiled,

By the world am I not soiled;

Therefore, brahman, am I Buddha

 

9.       How would you apply this message in your daily life? Please write clearly.

 

By raining the mind to be unattached but not detached, like a blue lotus rising up un smeared by water is not soiled. To train the mind not to be soiled.

 

10.   Please clarify:-

 

1.   What is Bodhi and how many kinds of Bodhi are there?

 

Bodhi, the Pāli and Sanskrit word for “awakening” or “enlightenment”, is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (Pāli) and bodhati or budhyate (Sanskrit).

Bodhi in Buddhism specifically means the awakening experience attained by Gautama Buddha and his disciples. It is sometimes described as complete and perfect sanity, or awareness of the true nature of the universe. After attainment, it is believed one is freed from the cycle of Samsāra: birth, suffering, death and rebirth (see moksha). Bodhi is most commonly translated into English as enlightenment, though this translation is problematic, since Awakening (the soul being “lit” by a higher power) is originally a concept from Christian mysticism or conversely evokes notions of the 18th century European Age of Enlightenment that are not identical with the Buddhist concept of Bodhi. There is no image of “light” contained in the term, “Bodhi” - rather, it expresses the notion of awakening from a dream and of being aware and Knowing (Reality). It is thus preferable to think of Bodhi as spiritual “Awake-ness” or “Awakening”, rather than “enlightenment” (although it is true that imagery of light is extraordinarily prevalent in many of the Buddhist scriptures).

Bodhi is attained only by the accomplishment of the Paramitas (perfections), when the Four Noble Truths are fully grasped, and when all karma has reached cessation. At this moment, all greed (lobha), aversion (dosa), delusion (moha), ignorance (avijjā), craving (tanha) and ego-centered consciousness (attā) are extinguished. Bodhi thus includes anattā, the absence of ego-centeredness.

 

Bodhi thus includes anattā, the absence of ego-centeredness.

Certain Mahayana Buddhist sutras stress that Bodhi is always present and perfect, and simply needs to be “uncovered” or disclosed to purified vision. Thus the “Sutra of Perfect Awakening” has the Buddha teach that, like gold within its ore, Bodhi is always there within the being’s mind but requires the obscuring mundane ore (the surrounding defilements of samsara and of impaired, unawakened perception) to be removed. The Buddha declares:

“Good sons, it is like smelting gold ore. The gold does not come into being because of smelting … Even though it passes through endless time, the nature of the gold is never corrupted. It is wrong to say that it is not originally perfect. The Perfect Enlightenment of the Tathagata [Buddha] is also like this.”

Similar doctrines are encountered in the Tathagatagarbha sutras, which tell of the immanent presence of the Buddha Principle (Buddha-dhatu/ Buddha-nature) within all beings. Here, the Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-Matrix) is tantamount to the indwelling transformative and liberational power of Bodhi, which bestows an infinitude of unifying vision. The Buddha of the Shurangama Sutra states:

“My uncreated and unending profound Awakening accords with the Tathagatagarbha, which is absolute Bodhi, and ensures my perfect insight into the Dhamma realm [realm of Ultimate Truth], where the one is infinite and the infinite is one.”

3.      Who is a Bodhisatta and how many Bodhisattas are there?

 

Bodhisatta – aspirant working towards attaining the Buddhahood in order to save others..

Theravada ideal is – Arahat ideal; and Mahayana Ideal is – Bodhisatta ideal. That is the distinction between the two Buddhist sects. According to Arahat ideal, Theravada, only Sangha (Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni) could work to attainan arahatship; and laeity householder could at most attain Sotappanna, the first stage of sainthood.

 

Arahatship – Only sangha – Bhikkhu or Bhikkhuni could attain arahatship

 

Pecceka – Bodha – Private Buddha, those who attained enlightenment through their own effort could appear in the world where no Buddha will appear in the world. The period between the two Buddhas, there mat arise several Peccaka Bodhas.

 

Samma-Sambodha – Only one teaching Buddha could appear at any one time. No Peccaka Buddha will appear during the Buddha dispensation (sasana). According to Buddhism there are three types of Bodhisattas — namely, Intellectual Bodhisattas (Paññā-dhika). Devotional Bodhisattas (Saddhādhika) and Energetic Bodhisattas (Viriyādhika). Our Gotama Buddha is – Panna-dhika) Buddha.

 

 

4.       Who is a Buddha and how many types of Buddhas are there?

Though born a human being, the Buddha is a Super Man, not just a Great Man. He embodies the highest virtue, infinite supernormal power and wisdom. His attainment reflects the climaxing of a process of spiritual development begun as Bhodisatta, a would-be-Buddha (lit. Awakened one), meaning one who is committed to the attainment of Supreme Awaken-ness.

 

 

  The term Buddha means “Awakened”. As he fully comprehended the Four Noble Truths and as he arose from the slumbers of ignorance he is called a Buddha. Since he not only comprehends but also expounds the doctrine and awake others, He is called a Samma-Sambuddha –a Fully Enlightened One.

“Monks, there is one person  whose birth into this world is for the welfare and happiness of many, out of compassion for the world, for the gain and welfare and happiness of gods and humanity. Who is this one person? It is the Tathâgata, who is a Worthy One, a Fully Enlightened One  ~ Anguttara Nikaya”

There have been many Buddhas in the past and there will be many in future. We have the account of 28 Buddhas of the past.. The present Buddha, Lord Gotama, met and received spiritual guidance and prophecy from each of the past Buddhas. The name of the future Buddha will be Lord Metteyya, who also received the prophecy and blessings from previous Buddhas including the Buddha Gotama.

Attainment of Buddhahood

 

“The Tathagatas are only teachers.” 

- The Dhammapada

 


 

Characteristics of the Buddha

After a stupendous struggle of six strenuous years, in His 35th year the ascetic Gotama, unaided and unguided by any supernatural agency, and solely relying on His own efforts and wisdom, eradicated all defilements, ended the process of grasping, and, realizing things as they truly are by His own intuitive knowledge, became a Buddha — an Awakened One.

 

Thereafter he was known as Buddha Gotama, one of a long series of Buddhas that appeared in the past and will appear in the future.

He was not born a Buddha, but became a Buddha by His own efforts.

 

The Pali term Buddha is derived from “budh”, to understand, or to be awakened. As He fully comprehended the four Noble Truths and as He arose from the slumbers of ignorance He is called a Buddha. Since He not only comprehends but also expounds the doctrine and enlightens others, He is called a Samma-Sambuddha –a Fully Enlightened One — to distinguish Him from Pacceka (Individual) Buddhas who only comprehend the doctrine but are incapable of enlightening others.

 

Before His Enlightenment He was called Bodhisatta which means one who is aspiring to attain Buddhahood.

 

Every aspirant to Buddhahood passes through the Bodhisatta Period — a period of intensive exercise and development of the qualities of generosity, discipline, renunciation, wisdom, energy, endurance, truthfulness, determination, benevolence and perfect equanimity.

 

In a particular era there arises only one Samma-Sambuddha. Just as certain plants and trees can bear only one flower even so one world-system (lokadhatu) can bear only one Samma-Sambuddha.

 

The Buddha was a unique being. Such a being arises but rarely in this world, and is born out of compassion for the world, for the good, benefit, and happiness of gods and men. The Buddha is called “acchariya manussa” as He was a wonderful man. He is called “amatassa data” as He is the giver of Deathlessness. He is called “varado” as He is the Giver of the purest love, the profoundest wisdom, and the Highest Truth. He is also called Dhammassami as He is the Lord of the Dhamma (Doctrine).

 

As the Buddha Himself says, “He is the Accomplished One (Tathagata), the Worthy One (Araham), the Fully Enlightened One (Samma-Sambuddha), the creator of the unarisen way, the producer of the unproduced way, the proclaimer of the unproclaimed way, the knower of the way, the beholder of the way, the cognizer of the way.”

 

The Buddha had no teacher for His Enlightenment. “Na me acariyo atthi” — A teacher have I not — are His own words. He did receive His mundane knowledge (from His lay teachers, but teachers He had none for His a supramundane knowledge which He himself realized by His own intuitive wisdom.

 

If He had received His knowledge from another teacher or from another religious system such as Hinduism in which He was nurtured, He could not have said of Himself as being the incomparable teacher (aham sattha anuttaro). In His first discourse He declared that light arose in things not heard before.

 

During the early period of His renunciation He sought the advice of the distinguished religious teachers of the day, but He could not find what He sought in their teachings. Circumstances compelled Him to think for Himself and seek the Truth. He sought the Truth within Himself. He plunged into the deepest profundities of thought, and He realized the ultimate Truth which He had not heard or known before. Illumination came from within and shed light on things which He had never seen before.

As He knew everything that ought to be known and as He obtained the key to all knowledge, He is called Sabbannu — the Omniscient One. This supernormal knowledge He acquired by His own efforts continued through a countless series of births.




Who is the Buddha?

Once a certain Brahmin named Dona, noticing the characteristic marks of the footprint of the Buddha, approached Him and questioned Him.

“Your Reverence will be a Deva ?”
“No, indeed, brahmin, a Deva am I not,” replied the Buddha.

“Then Your Reverence will be a Gandhabba?”

“No indeed, branmin, a Gandhabba am I not.”

“A Yakkha then?”

“No, indeed, brahmin, not a Yakkha.”

“Then Your Reverence will be a human being?”

“No indeed, brahmin, a human being am I not.”

“Who, then, pray, will Your Reverence be?”

The Buddha replied that He had destroyed Defilements which condition rebirth as a Deva, Gandhabba, Yakkha, or a human being and added:

“As a lotus, fair and lovely,
By the water is not soiled,
By the world am I not soiled;
Therefore, brahmin, am I Buddha.”

The Buddha does not claim to be an incarnation (Avatara) of Hindu God Vishnu, who, as the Bhagavadgita charmingly sings, is born again and again in different periods to protect the righteous, to destroy the wicked, and to establish the Dharma (right).

According to the Buddha countless are the gods (Devas) who are also a class of beings subject to birth and death; but there is no one Supreme God, who controls the destinies of human beings and who possesses a divine power to appear on earth at different intervals, employing a human form as a vehicle.

Nor does the Buddha call Himself a “Saviour” who freely saves others by his personal salvation. The Buddha exhorts His followers to depend on themselves for their deliverance, since both defilement and purity depend on oneself. One cannot directly purify or defile another. Clarifying His relationship with His followers and emphasizing the importance of self- reliance and individual striving, the Buddha plainly states:

“You yourselves should make an exertion. The Tathagatas are only teachers.

The Buddha only indicates the path and method whereby He delivered Himself from suffering and death and achieved His ultimate goal. It is left for His faithful adherents who wish their release from the ills of life to follow the path.

“To depend on others for salvation is negative, but to depend on oneself is positive.” Dependence on others means a surrender of one’s effort.”

“Be an island unto yourselves; be a refuge unto yourselves; seek no refuge in others.”

These significant words uttered by the Buddha in His last days are very striking and inspiring. They reveal how vital is self-exertion to accomplish one’s ends, and how superficial and futile it is to seek redemption through benignant saviours, and crave for illusory happiness in an afterlife through the propitiation of imaginary gods by fruitless prayers and meaningless sacrifices.

The Buddha was a human being. As a man He was born, as a Buddha He lived, and as a Buddha His life came to an end. Though human, He became an extraordinary man owing to His unique characteristics. The Buddha laid stress on this important point, and left no room for any one to fall into the error of thinking that He was an immortal being. It has been said of Him that there was no religious teacher who was “ever so godless as the Buddha, yet none was so god-like.” In His own time the Buddha was no doubt highly venerated by His followers, but He never arrogated to Himself any divinity.




 

 

 

The Buddha’s Greatness

Born a man, living as a mortal, by His own exertion He attained the supreme state of perfection called Buddhahood, and without keeping His Enlightenment to Himself, He proclaimed to the world the latent possibilities and the invincible power of the human mind. Instead of placing an unseen Almighty God over man, and giving man a subservient position in relation to such a conception of divine power, He demonstrated how man could attain the highest knowledge and Supreme Enlightenment by his own efforts. He thus raised the worth of man. He taught that man can gain his deliverance from the ills of life and realize the eternal bliss of Nibbana without depending on an external God or mediating priests. He taught the egocentric, powerseeking world the noble ideal of selfless service. He protested against the evils of caste-system that hampered the progress of mankind and advocated equal opportunities for all. He declared that the gates of deliverance were open to all, in every condition of life, high or low, saint or sinner, who would care to turn a new leaf and aspire to perfection. He raised the status of down-trodden women, and not only brought them to a realization of their importance to society but also founded the first religious order for women. For the first time in the history of the world He attempted to abolish slavery. He banned the sacrifice of unfortunate animals and brought them within His compass of loving kindness.

He did not force His followers to be slaves either to His teachings or to Himself, but granted complete freedom of thought and admonished His followers to accept His words not merely out of regard for Him but after subjecting them to a thorough examination,

“… as the wise would test gold by burning, cutting, and rubbing it on a piece of touchstone.”

He comforted the bereaved mothers like Patacara and Kisagotami by His consoling words. He ministered to the deserted sick like Putigatta Tissa Thera with His own hands. He helped the poor and the neglected like Rajjumala and Sopaka and saved them from an untimely and tragic death. He ennobled the lives of criminals like Angulimala and courtesans like Ambapali. He encouraged the feeble, united the divided, enlightened the ignorant, clarified the mystic, guided the deluded, elevated the base, and dignified the noble. The rich and the poor, the saint and the criminal, loved Him alike. His noble example was a source of inspiration to all. He was the most compassionate and tolerant of teachers.

His will, wisdom, compassion, service, renunciation, perfect purity, exemplary personal life, the blameless methods that were employed to propagate the Dhamma and His final success — all these factors have compelled about one fifth of the population of the world to hail the Buddha as the greatest religious teacher that ever lived on earth.

Paying a glowing tribute to the Buddha, Sri Radhakrishnan writes:

“In Gotama the Buddha we have a master mind from the East second to none so far as the influence on the thought and life of the human race is concerned, and sacred to all as the founder of a religious tradition whose hold is hardly less wide and deep than any other. He belongs to the history of the world’s thought, to the general inheritance of all cultivated men, for, judged by intellectual integrity, moral earnestness, and spiritual insight, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest figures in history.”

In the Three Greatest Men in History H.G. Wells states:

“In the Buddha you see clearly a man, simple, devout, lonely, battling for light, a vivid human personality, not a myth. He too gave a message to mankind universal in character. Many of our best modern ideas are in closest harmony with it. All the miseries and discontents of life are due, he taught, to selfishness. Before a man can become serene he must cease to live for his senses or himself. Then he merges into a greater being. Buddhism in different language called men to self-forgetfulness 500 years before Christ. In some ways he was nearer to us and our needs. He was more lucid upon our individual importance in service than Christ and less ambiguous upon the question of personal immortality.”

The Poet Tagore calls Him the Greatest Man ever born.

In admiration of the Buddha, Fausboll, a Danish scholar says — “The more I know Him, the more I love Him.”

A humble follower of the Buddha would modestly say: The more I know Him, the more I love Him; the more I love Him, the more I know Him.

 

Buddha

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For other uses, see Buddha (disambiguation).

A stone image of the Buddha.

 

In Buddhism, a Buddha (Sanskrit, Pāli) is any being who has become fully awakened or enlightened, has permanently overcome anger, greed, and ignorance, and has achieved complete liberation from suffering, better known as Nirvana. It is commonly used to refer to Siddhartha Gautama, the historical founder of Buddhism. Buddha literally means “awakened” or “that which has become aware”. It is the past participle of the Sanskrit root budh, i.e. “to awaken”, “to know”, or “to become aware”. The word Buddha is simply a title that means ‘The Awakened One’.

 

A typical misconception tends to link Buddha as the Buddhist counterpart of the entity known as God; however, Buddhism is non-theistic, in the sense of not generally teaching the existence of a supreme Creator God (see God in Buddhism). The commonly accepted definition of the term “God” refers to a being who not only rules but actually created the Universe in the Beginning. The Buddha never claimed to have this ability. Besides, normal humans can never become God, while any enlightened one can be referred to as a Buddha.

 

In the Pali Canon Buddha refers to anyone who has become Enlightened (i.e. having awakened to the truth, or Dharma) on their own, without a teacher to point out the Dharma, in a time when the teachings on the Four Noble Truths or the Eightfold Path do not exist in the world. Later teachings of the Mahayana have sometimes widened this meaning to also include the disciples of a Buddha as a separate type of Buddha.

 

Generally, Buddhists do not consider Siddhartha Gautama to have been the only Buddha. In the Pali Canon there is a mention of Gautama Buddha as being the 28th Buddha (see List of the 28 Buddhas). A common buddhist belief is that the next Buddha will be one named Maitreya.

 

Buddhism teaches that anyone can become awakened and experience Nirvana. Theravada Buddhism teaches that one doesn’t need to become a Buddha to become awakened and experience Nirvana, since an Arahant also has those qualities. Some Buddhist texts such as the Lotus Sutra imply that all beings will become Buddhas at some point in time.

Types of Buddhas

Main article: Types of Buddhas

 

In the Pali Canon, there are considered to be two types of Buddhas: Samyaksambuddha (Sammasambuddha) and Pratyeka Buddha (Paccekabuddha).

 

1. Samyaksambuddhas (Pali: Sammasambuddha) attains Buddhahood and decides to teach others the truth that he has discovered. They lead others to awakening by teaching the Dharma in a time or world where it has been forgotten or has not been taught before. The Historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, is considered a Samyak-sambuddha. See also the list of 28 sammasambuddhas

 

2. Pratyekabuddhas (Pali: Paccekabuddha), sometimes called Silent Buddhas) are similar to Samyaksambuddhas in that they attain Nirvana and acquire the same powers as a Sammasambuddha does, but they choose not to teach what they have discovered.

 

They are second to the Buddhas in their spiritual development. They do ordain others; their admonition is only in reference to good and proper conduct (abhisamācārikasikkhā).

In some texts, he is described as one who understands the Dharma by his own efforts, but does not obtain omniscience nor mastery over the Fruits (phalesu vasībhāvam).[1]

 

3.       Shravakabuddhas, (Pali:Savakbuddha or Anubuddha), Disciples of a Sammasambuddha are called Savakas (hearers or followers) or Arahants (Noble One). These terms have slightly varied meanings but can all be used to describe the enlightened disciple. Anubuddha is a rarely used term, but was used by the Buddha in the Khuddakapatha[1] as to those who become Buddha’s after being given instruction. Enlightened disciples attain Nirvana as the two types of Buddhas do. The most generally used term for them is Arahant.

 

Some Mahayana scriptures (and one 12th century Theravadin commentary) use the term Shravakabuddha to describe the enlightened disciple. According to these scriptures there are 3 types of Buddhas. In this case, however, the common definition of the meaning of the word Buddha (as one who discovers the Dhamma without a teacher) does not apply any more.

 

Characteristics of a Buddha

Nine characteristics

Buddhists meditate on (or contemplate) the Buddha as having nine characteristics:

“The Blessed One is:

1.      a worthy one

2.      perfectly self enlightened

3.      stays in perfect knowledge

4.      well gone

5.      unsurpassed knower of the world

6.      unsurpassed leader of persons to be tamed

7.      teacher of the Divine Gods and humans

8.      the Enlightened One

9.      the Blessed One or fortunate one.”

These 9 characteristics are frequently mentioned in the Pali Canon, and are chanted daily in many Buddhist monasteries.

Spiritual realizations

All traditions hold that a Buddha has completely purified his mind of greed, aversion and ignorance, and that he has put an end to samsara. A Buddha is fully awakened and has realized the ultimate truth of life (Dharma), and thus ended (for himself) the suffering which unawakened people experience in life. Also, a Buddha is complete in all spiritual powers that a human being can develop, and posesses them in the highest degree possible.

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The Nature of Buddha

The various buddhist schools hold some varying interpretations on the nature of Buddha.

Pali Canon: Buddha was human

Main article: Buddha - God or Man

From the Pali Canon emerges the view that Buddha was human, endowed with the greatest psychic powers (Kevatta Sutta). The body and mind (the five khandhas) of a Buddha are impermanent and changing, just like the body and mind of ordinary people. However, a Buddha recognizes the unchanging nature of the Dharma, which is an eternal principle and an unconditioned and timeless phenomenon. This view is common in the Theravada school, and the other early Buddhist schools.

Eternal Buddha in Mahayana Buddhism

Main article: Eternal Buddha

Some schools of Mahayana Buddhism believe that the Buddha is no longer essentially a human being but has become a being of a different order altogether and that the Buddha, in his ultimate transcendental “body/mind” mode as Dharmakaya, has an eternal and infinite life (see eternal Buddha) and is possessed of great and immeasurable qualities. In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra the Buddha declares: “Nirvana is stated to be eternally abiding. The Tathagata [Buddha] is also thus, eternally abiding, without change.” This is a particularly important metaphysical and soteriological doctrine in the Lotus Sutra and the Tathagatagarbha sutras. According to the Tathagatagarbha sutras, failure to recognise the Buddha’s eternity and - even worse - outright denial of that eternity is deemed a major obstacle to the attainment of complete Awakening (bodhi).

 

Depictions of the Buddha in art

Buddha statues at Shwedagon Paya

Jade Buddha statue at Shwedagon Paya

Buddhas are frequently represented in the form of statues and paintings. Commonly seen designs include:

  • Seated Buddha
  • Reclining Buddha
  • Standing Buddha
  • Hotei, the obese, Laughing Buddha, usually seen in China. This figure is believed to be a representation of a medieval Chinese monk who is associated with Maitreya, the future Buddha, and it is therefore not technically a Buddha image.
  • The ‘Emaciated Buddha’, which shows Siddartha Gautama during his extreme ascetic practice of starvation.

The Buddha statue shown calling for rain is a pose common in Laos.

Markings

Most depictions of Buddha contain a certain number of markings, which are considered the signs of his enlightenment. These signs vary regionally, but two are common:

  • A protuberance on the top of the head (denoting superb mental accuity)
  • Long earlobes (denoting superb perception)

In the Pali Canon there is frequent mention of a list of 32 physical marks of Buddha.

 

Hand-gestures

The poses and hand-gestures of these statues, known respectively as asanas and mudras, are significant to their overall meaning. The popularity of any particular mudra or asana tends to be region-specific, such as the Vajra (or Chi Ken-in) mudra, which is popular in Japan and Korea but rarely seen in India. Others are more universally common, for example, the Varada (Wish Granting) mudra is common among standing statues of the Buddha, particularly when coupled with the Abhaya (Fearlessness and Protection) mudra.

 

1.                      What is Bodhi and how many kinds of Bodhi are there?

Bodhi

Bodhi, the Pāli and Sanskrit word for “awakening” or “enlightenment”, is an abstract noun formed from the verbal root budh (awake, become aware, notice, know or understand), corresponding to the verbs bujjhati (Pāli) and bodhati or budhyate (Sanskrit).

 

Bodhi in Buddhism specifically means the awakening experience attained by Gautama Buddha and his disciples. It is sometimes described as complete and perfect sanity, or awareness of the true nature of the universe. After attainment, it is believed one is freed from the cycle of Samsāra: birth, suffering, death and rebirth (see moksha). Bodhi is most commonly translated into English as enlightenment, though this translation is problematic, since enlightenment (the soul being “lit” by a higher power) is originally a concept from Christian mysticism or conversely evokes notions of the 18th century European Age of Enlightenment that are not identical with the Buddhist concept of Bodhi. There is no image of “light” contained in the term, “Bodhi” - rather, it expresses the notion of awakening from a dream and of being aware and Knowing (Reality). It is thus preferable to think of Bodhi as spiritual “Awake-ness” or “Awakening”, rather than “enlightenment” (although it is true that imagery of light is extraordinarily prevalent in many of the Buddhist scriptures).

 

Bodhi is attained only by the accomplishment of the Paramitas (perfections), when the Four Noble Truths are fully grasped, and when all karma has reached cessation. At this moment, all greed (lobha), aversion (dosa), delusion (moha), ignorance (avijjā), craving (tanha) and ego-centered consciousness (attā) are extinguished. Bodhi thus includes anattā, the absence of ego-centeredness.

Certain Mahayana Buddhist sutras stress that Bodhi is always present and perfect, and simply needs to be “uncovered” or disclosed to purified vision. Thus the “Sutra of Perfect Awakening” has the Buddha teach that, like gold within its ore, Bodhi is always there within the being’s mind but requires the obscuring mundane ore (the surrounding defilements of samsara and of impaired, unawakened perception) to be removed. The Buddha declares:

“Good sons, it is like smelting gold ore. The gold does not come into being because of smelting … Even though it passes through endless time, the nature of the gold is never corrupted. It is wrong to say that it is not originally perfect. The Perfect Enlightenment of the Tathagata [Buddha] is also like this.”

Similar doctrines are encountered in the Tathagatagarbha sutras, which tell of the immanent presence of the Buddha Principle (Buddha-dhatu/ Buddha-nature) within all beings. Here, the Tathagatagarbha (Buddha-Matrix) is tantamount to the indwelling transformative and liberational power of Bodhi, which bestows an infinitude of unifying vision. The Buddha of the Shurangama Sutra states:

“My uncreated and unending profound Enlightenment accords with the Tathagatagarbha, which is absolute Bodhi, and ensures my perfect insight into the Dharma realm [realm of Ultimate Truth], where the one is infinite and the infinite is one.”

Queen Maya holding the branch of a Bodhi tree, during the birth of Siddhartha Gautama, Gandhara, 2-3rd century CE.

 

The Bodhi tree is a specimen of the Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa) in what is now the town of Bodhgaya. It was while sitting in meditation under this tree that Siddhartha Gautama became enlightened. In the legends of Mahayana Buddhism, it was said that Queen Maya held a branch of one of these trees while resting in Lumbini Garden and her son, Siddhartha, was born.

 

2.                   Who is a Bodhisatta and how many Bodhisattas are there?

3.                   Who is a Buddha and how many types of Buddhas are there?

 

Note:

i.          The candidates should reply the above questions clearly and legibly within twenty days.

ii.         please study the textbook well and give answers that reflect your understanding of the questions.

iii.           Answers can be sent also by e-mail to: mapbs@manabodhi.info

iv.        If you have any doubt about any question you may ask for clarification. Doubting for argument’s sake is counter-productive and wasteful intellectual exercise. Sincere doubts are always welcome.

v.            Comparison with other religions is not encouraged at this stage of study. It is wiser to grasp the subject fully before comparing with other systems.

vi.        Keep your answers short

Buddha-nature (originally in Sanskrit, Buddha-dhatu - “Buddha Element”, “Buddha-Principle”) is a doctrine important for many schools of Mahayana Buddhism. The Buddha Nature or Buddha Principle (”Buddha-dhatu”) is taught to be a truly real, but internally hidden, eternal potency or immortal element, present in all sentient beings, for awakening and becoming a Buddha. In some Mahayana sutras it is equated with the eternal Buddhic Self, Essence or Soul (atman). However, Nagarjuna, the founder of Madhyamaka, presents a view that states that Buddha-nature is empty-nature. This view does not necessarily contradict the Buddhist notion of reality, as the Buddha-nature sutras make clear that what the Buddha-nature is empty of is not its own ever-enduring reality but impermanence, impurity and suffering - in other words, the painful constrictions of samsara.

The Buddha-nature doctrine relates to the possession by sentient beings of the innate, immaculate buddha-mind or buddha-element (”Buddha-dhatu”), which is, prior to the full attainment of buddhahood, not fully realised, or at least not clearly seen and known in its full radiance. Buddha-nature is considered incorruptible, uncreated, and indestructible. It is eternal bodhi (”Awake-ness”) indwelling Samsara, and thus opens up the immanent possibility of Liberation from all suffering and impermanence. It is indicated in the Angulimaliya Sutra that if the Buddhas were to try to seek for any sentient being who lacked the Buddha-nature, not one such person would be found. In fact, it is stated in that sutra that it is impossible for Buddhas NOT to discern the presence of the everlasting Buddha-nature in each and every being: “Even though all Buddhas themselves were to search assiduously, they would not find a tathāgata-garbha(Buddha-nature) that is not eternal, for the eternal dhātu, the buddha-dhātu (Buddha Principle, Buddha Nature), the dhātu adorned with infinite major and minor attributes, is present in all beings.”

The eternality, stability and immutability of the Buddha-nature (often referred to as “Tathagatagarbha“) is also frequently stressed in the sutras which expound this Buddhic Element. The Srimala Sutra, for example, says:

“The Tathagatagarbha is not born, does not die, does not transfer [Tib: ’pho ba], does not arise. It is beyond the sphere of the characteristics of the compounded; it is permanent, stable and changeless.”

The development of the Buddha-nature doctrine is closely related to that of tathagatagarbha (Sanskrit: “womb of the thus-come one”), as mentioned above, which the Buddha of the “Anunatva-Apurnatva-Nirdesa” sutra links to the Dharmadhatu (true, all-equal, unfabricated essence of all phenomena) and essential being, stating: “What I call ‘be-ing’ [”sattva”] is just a different name for this permanent, stable, pure and unchanging refuge that is free from arising and cessation, the inconceivable pure Dharmadhatu.”

This eternal refuge of the Dharmadhatu / Buddha-dhatu (transcendentally void of all that is contingent, afflicted, defective, and productive of suffering) is equated in the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra” with Buddhic Knowledge (”jnana”), which perceives both non-Self and the Self, Emptiness (”sunyata”) and non-Emptiness, where (according to the Buddha of the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra“) “the Empty is the totality of Samsara [birth-and-death] and the non-Empty is Great Nirvana”.

A central aspect of the Buddha-dhatu (sometimes called the Tathagata-dhatu) is that it is utterly indestructible, impervious to all harm, and truly everlasting. It is the innermost, irreducible core within the being that cannot be eradicated or killed. The Buddha says so in terms in the Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Tibetan version):

“The Tathagata-dhatu is the intrinsic nature of beings. Therefore, it cannot be killed by having its life severed. If it could be killed, then the life-force (jivaka) could be annihilated; but it is not possible for the life-force to be annihilated. In this instance, the life-force refers to the Tathagatagarbha. That Dhatu [immanent Buddha Element, Buddha Principle] cannot be destroyed, killed or annihilated.”

Buddha-nature is not at all accepted by Theravada Buddhism and was not universally accepted in Indian Mahayana, but did become a cornerstone of East Asian Buddhist soteriological thought in terms of the essence-function paradigm or of a vision of an ultimate, undying Buddhic Element within all beings, as explained in texts such as the Tathagatagarbha Sutra, the “Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra“, the Srimala Sutra, the Buddha-nature Treatise and the Ratna-gotra-vibhaga treatise. The “Buddha Nature” remains a widespread and significant doctrine in much of Mahayana Buddhism today.

·         Dona


1. Dona.-A brahmin. He was at Kusinārā at the time of the Buddha’s death, and it was his intervention which prevented a quarrel among the kings who assembled there to claim the Buddha’s relics. He pointed out to them the impropriety of a quarrel over anything connected with the Buddha, the teacher of Peace. The claimants thereupon asked Dona to undertake the distribution of the relics. He divided them into eight parts, one of which he gave to each king. He himself kept the vessel used for collecting and dividing the relics, and over it he built a thÅ«pa, celebrating a feast in its honour (D.ii.166f; Bu.xxviii.4; UdA.402).

 

Dona first met the Buddha on the road between Ukkatthā and Setavyā. He saw the Buddha’s footprints and, following them, he came upon the Buddha seated at the foot of a-tree. Dona asked him various questions as to his identity and the Buddha explained to him his Buddha-hood (A.ii.37f). The Commentary (AA.ii.505f) states that Dona was a teacher with a large following, and that the Buddha’s journey to Setavyā was undertaken for the purpose of meeting him. At the end of the Buddha’s discourse, Dona became an anāgāmÄ« and composed a poem of twelve thousand words in praise of the Buddha. This poem became known as the Donagajjita. Dona was held in very high esteem as a teacher, and it is said (DA.ii.607f) that, at some time or other practically all the chiefs of JambudÄ«pa had sat at his feet. Therefore he was able to dissuade them from quarrelling over the Buddha’s relics. On that occasion he stood on a hill and recited the Donagajjita. At first his voice could not be heard through the uproar, but, by degrees, they recognised his voice and listened with rapt attention.

At the distribution of the relics, Dona, watching his opportunity, hid, in his turban, the right eye-tooth of the Buddha, but Sakka saw this, and thinking that Dona was incapable of rendering suitable honour to this relic, removed it and placed it in the Cūlāmani-cetiya (DA.ii.609).




2. Dona.-A Nāga king. See Mahādona.




3. Dona.-A bathing place in Jambudīpa, where sacrifice was offered to the gods. J.v.388f.




4. Dona.-A Tamil stronghold captured by Dutthagāmanī. It was commanded by Gavara. Mhv.xxv.11.

·         Dona Sutta

A brahmin, Dona (probably identical with Dona 1 above), visits the Buddha and asks if it be true that the Buddha does not honour brahmins. The Buddha tells him that there are five kinds of brahmins - the Brahma-like, the deva-like, the bound, the breaker of bonds, and the brahmin-outcast - and, at Dona’s request, describes these in detail (A.iii.223ff). The classification of brahmins given in this sutta is often referred to. E.g., SNA.i.318, 325, etc.

THE BODHISATTA IDEAL

 

In the teachings of the Buddha, for the realization of the ultimate Goal, there are three modes of Enlightenment (Bodhi) one of which an aspirant may choose in accordance with his particular temperament. They are Sāvaka [1]- Bodhi, Pacceka-Bodhi and the Sammā-Sambodhi.

 Sāvaka-Bodhi

 

Sāvaka-Bodhi is the Enlightenment of a disciple. This is known as the Arahant [2] ideal. He who aspires to become an Arahant usually seeks the guidance of a superior enlightened instructor. A slight indication from an understanding teacher would alone be sufficient for a morally advanced aspirant to progress on the upward path of Enlightenment. Venerable Sāriputta, for instance, attained the first stage of Sainthood, hearing only half a stanza from the Arahant Assaji. The sorrow-afflicted Patācāra, who lost all those dear to her under tragic circumstances, attained Arahantship by watching the water that washed her feet. The child-like Kisāgotamī who implored the Buddha for a cure for her dead infant, attained Sainthood by watching a lamp that was being extinguished. Cūla Panthaka, who could not memorize a verse for four months, attained Arahantship by meditating on imper-manence while handling a clean piece of white cloth in his hand, gazing at the sun.

 

After achieving his goal, an Arahant devotes the remainder of his life to serving other seekers of peace by example and by precept. First he purifies himself, and then he tries to purify others by expounding to them the teachings which he himself has followed. An Arahant is more qualified to teach the Dhamma than ordinary worldling teachers, who have no realization of Truth, since he speaks from personal experience.

 

There is nothing selfish in the noble ideal of Arahantship, for Arahantship is gained only by eradicating all forms of selfishness. Self-illusion and Egoism are some of the fetters that have to be discarded in order to attain Arahantship. The wise men and women who lived in the time of the Buddha, and others later, benefited by the golden opportunity offered by Him to gain their enlightenment in this present life itself.

 

Pacceka-Bodhi

 

Pacceka-Bodhi is the independent Enlightenment of a highly evolved person who achieves his goal by his own efforts without seeking any external aid. Such a holy person is termed a Pacceka (Private) Buddha because he lacks the power to purify and serve others by expounding the Dhamma which he himself has discovered. Nevertheless he teaches morality.

 

Pacceka Buddhas arise only during those periods when the Teaching does not exist. Their number is not limited only to one at a particular time as in the case of Sammā-Sambuddhas.

Although the Buddha Gotama of the present era has passed away we are still living in a Buddha cycle, for the Teaching still exists in its pristine purity. Accordingly no Pacceka Buddhas arise during this period. In the Khaggavisāna Sutta of the Sutta Nipāta are treasured some beautiful sayings of Pacceka Buddhas. A few of their wise utterances are quoted below:–

 

1. Leaving aside the cudgel towards all beings, harming none of them, let him not yearn for sons or friends, but wander alone like a rhinoceros.

 

2. Affection arises from intimacy, and sorrow results thereby. Realizing the evil born of affection wander alone like a rhinoceros.

 

3. We certainly praise the value of comradeship. One should associate with superiors or equals. Failing them, lead a blameless life and wander alone like a rhinoceros.

4. Variegated, sweet, and enchanting are sensual pleasures. In diverse forms they seduce the heart. Recognizing their menace, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

5. Cold and heat, hunger, thirst, wind, sun, mosquitoes and snakes — overcome them all, and wander alone like a rhinoceros.

 

6. Like a lion that does not tremble at every sound, like the wind that does not cling to the meshes of a net, like the lotus that is unsoiled by the mud, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

 

7. In due season cultivate loving-kindness, equanimity, compassion, release, appreciative joy, and unthwarted by the world, wander alone like a rhinoceros.

 

Sammā-Sambodhi

 

Sammā-Sambodhi is the supreme Enlightenment of a most developed, most compassionate, most loving, all-knowing perfect being. He who attains this Bodhi is called a Sammā-Sambuddha, literally, a fully self-enlightened One. He is so called because he not only comprehends the Dhamma by his own efforts and wisdom but also expounds the doctrine to seekers of truth to purify and save them from this ever-recurring cycle of birth and death. Unlike the Private Buddhas, only one Supreme

Buddha arises at a particular time, just as on certain trees one flower alone blooms.

He who aspires to attain Sammā-Sambuddhahood is called a Bodhisatta. This Bodhisatta ideal is the most refined and the most beautiful that could ever, in this ego-centric world, be conceived for what is nobler than a life of service and purity?

 

Those who, in the course of their wanderings in Samsāra, wish to serve others and reach ultimate perfection, are free to pursue the Bodhisatta ideal, but there is no compulsion that all must strive to attain Buddhahood, which, to say the least, is practically impossible. Critics who contend that the Bodhisatta ideal was evolved to counteract the tendency to a cloistered, placid and inert monastic life, only reveal ignorance of the pure Buddha-Dhamma.

 

The Abbisamayālankāra-Āloka, a later Samskrit work, a sub-commentary to the Prajnā Pāramitā, states:-

 

“The great disciples (Srāvakas), having attained the two kinds of Enlightenment (i.e., of the Srāvaka proper and the Pratyeka Buddha) with and without residue, remain with their minds full of fear, since they are deprived of great compassion and highest wisdom (uru karunā prajnā vaikal-yena). Owing to the cessation of the force of life, produced by the previous Biotic force, the attainment of Nirvana becomes possible. But in reality (the Hinayānist saints) are possessed only of that seeming Nirvana which is called the Nirvana resembling an extinguished light. The births in the three spheres of existence have ceased, but, after their worldly existence has taken an end, the Arahants are born in the most pure sphere of Buddhist activity in the unaffected plane (anāsravadhātu), in state of perpetual trance and abiding within the petals of lotus flowers (padmaphutesu jāyante). Thereafter the Buddha Amitābhā and other Buddhas resembling the sun arouse them in order to remove the undefiled ignorance (akilishta ñāna). Thereupon the Arahants make their creative effort for Supreme Enlightenment and, though they abide in a state of deliverance, they act (in the phenomenal world) as if they were making a descent to hell. And gradually, having accumulated all the factors for the attainment of Enlightenment, they become teachers of living beings (i.e., Buddhas).”

 

This is an absolutely fantastic view completely foreign to the spirit of the original teachings of the Buddha.

 

It is argued that Arahantship is selfish and that all must strive to attain Buddhahood to save others. Well, one might ask:– What is the object of attaining Buddhahood ? Is it to make others attain Arahantship and save them? If so, the logical conclusion is that Buddhahood itself fosters selfishness which is absurd.

 

Buddhahood is indisputably the best and the noblest of all the three ideals, but all are not capable of achieving this highest ideal. Surely all scientists cannot be Einsteins and Newtons. There must also be lesser scientists who help the world according to their capabilities.

The Pāli term Bodhisatta is composed of Bodhi which means “wisdom” or “enlightenment”, and “Satta” which means “devoted to” or “intent on.” A Bodhisatta, therefore, means one who is devoted to, or intent on, wisdom or enlightenment. The Samskritised form should be Bodhishakta but the popular term is Bodhisattva which means “wisdom being” or a being aspiring to become a Buddha.

 

This term is generally applied to anyone who is striving for Enlightenment, but, in the strictest sense of the term, should be applied only to those who are destined to become supremely Enlightened Ones.

 

In one sense all are potential Buddhas, for Buddhahood is not the special prerogative of specially graced persons.

 

It should be noted that Buddhists do not believe that there lies dormant in us all a divine spark that needs development, for they deny the existence of a Creator, but they are conscious of the innate possibilities and the creative power of man.

 

Buddhism denies too the existence of a permanent soul that transmigrates from life to life, acquiring all experiences. Instead of an unchanging soul, the so-called essence of man, it posits a dynamic life-flux where there is an identity in process.

 

As a man Prince Siddhārta, by his own will, wisdom and love, attained Buddhahood, the highest state of perfection any being could aspire to, and He revealed to mankind the only path that leads thereto. A singular characteristic of Buddhism is that anyone may aspire to the state of the teacher himself if only he makes the necessary exertion. The Buddha did not claim any monopoly of Buddhahood. It is not a sort of evolutionary process. It may be achieved by one’s own effort without the help of another. The Buddha does not condemn men by calling them wretched sinners, but, on the contrary, encourages them saying that they are pure in heart at conception. Instead of disheartening followers, creating an inferiority complex, and reserving the exalted state of Buddha to Himself, He encourages them and inspires them to emulate Him.

 

A Bodhisatta need not necessarily be a Buddhist. We may find ever-loving Bodhisattas among Buddhists today, though they may be unaware of their lofty aspirations, and Bodhisattas may also be found among other religionists as well.

Three Types of Bodhisattas

According to Buddhism there are three types of Bodhisattas — namely, Intellectual Bodhisattas (Paññā-dhika). Devotional Bodhisattas (Saddhādhika) and Energetic Bodhisattas (Viriyādhika). These three kinds of Bodhisattas correspond to māna Yogi, Bhakti Yogi and Karma Yogi of the Hindus.

 

Intellectual Bodhisattas are less devotional and more energetic; devotional ones are less energetic and more intellectual; energetic ones are less intellectual and more devotional. Seldom, if ever, are these three characteristics harmoniously combined in one person. The Buddha Gotama is cited as one of the intellectual group.

 

According to the Books the intellectual ones attain Buddhahood within a short period, devotional ones take a longer time, and energetic ones take longer still.

 

Intellectual Bodhisattas concentrate more on the development of wisdom and on the practice of meditation than on the observance of external forms of homage. They are always guided by reason and accept nothing on blind belief. They make no self-surrender, and are not slaves either to a book or to an individual. They prefer lonely meditation. With their silent but powerful thoughts of peace radiating from their solitary retreats they render moral help to suffering humanity.

 

The element of piety — Saddhā or Trustful Confidence– is predominant in the Devotional Bodhisattas. With Saddhā as their companion they achieve their goal.

 

These Bodhisattas take a keen interest in all forms of homage. The image of the Buddha is a great inspiration to them.

 

It should be understood that Buddhists do not worship an image. They pay homage to what it represents and reflect on the virtues of the Buddha. The more they think of the Buddha the more they love Him. This is the reason why Buddhism does not denounce these external forms of homage (āmisa pūjā) though undoubtedly practice (patipatti pūjā) is more commendable and indisputably superior. But dry intellect has to be flavoured with Saddhā (faith) to obtain satisfactory results. As excessive Saddhā might also sometimes be detrimental, it has to be restrained by wisdom.

 

The energetic ones always seek opportunities to be of service to others. Nothing gives them greater delight than active service. “For them work is happiness, and happiness is work.” They are not happy unless they are active. As King Sanghabodhi of Sri Lanka said they “bear this body of flesh and blood for the good and happiness of the world.” They live not only for themselves but for others as well.

 

This spirit of selfless service is one of the chief characteristics of all Bodhisattas.

With relentless energy they work not as slaves but as masters. They crave for neither fame nor name. They are interested only in service. It is immaterial to them whether others recognize their selfless service or not. They are utterly indifferent to praise or blame,

 

They forget themselves in their disinterested service to others. They would sacrifice even life itself could such action save another fellow-being.

 

A Bodhisatta who forgets himself in the service of others should practise Karunā and Mettā (compassion and loving-kindness) to an exceptionally high degree.

 

A Bodhisatta desires the good and welfare of the world. He loves all beings as a mother loves her only child. He identifies himself with all. To him nothing gives more delight than to think that all are his brothers and sisters. He is like a mother, a father, a friend, a teacher, to all beings.

 

“The compassion of a Bodhisatta consists in realizing the equality of oneself with others (para ātma-samatā) and also the substitution of others for oneself (para-ātma-parivartana).” When he does so he loses his I-notion and finds no difference between himself and others. He returns good for evil, and helps even unasked the very persons who have wronged him, for he knows that “the strength of a religious teacher is his patience.”

 ”Being reviled, he reviles not; being beaten, he beats not; being annoyed, he annoys not. His forgiveness is unfailing even as the mother earth suffers in silence all that may be done to her.”

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