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11/19/07
For The Gain of the Many and For the Welfare of the Many-
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:19 am

For The Gain of the Many and For the Welfare of the Many


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Monday, Nov 19, 2007

“Provide quota for poor among upper castes”

Mayawati wants Constitution amended



Mayawati

Jammu: The Bahujan Samaj Party on Sunday asked the UPA government at the Centre to amend the Constitution to provide reservation to the poor among the upper castes.

“I have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the need to amend the Constitution to provide reservation to the poor among the upper castes,” BSP supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati told a rally here.

“We are still waiting for his response,” Ms. Mayawati said and added that she also discussed the issue with Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he was Prime Minister. She said her party was never against the upper castes and was concerned over the plight of the poor among them.

She said the UPA government had also not responded to her letter demanding reservation for the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes in the private sector. “In U.P., we have already announced 10 per cent reservation in private sector jobs for the SCs and the poor among the upper castes,” she said.

Ms. Mayawati said her party would provide reservation to the poor among the upper castes if it was voted to power at the Centre. — PTI

 

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Right View-The definition-Its relation to the other factors of the path-The consequences of wrong view…-…and of right view-A thicket of wrong views-When one’s knowledge is truly one’s own-Abandoning the unskillful, cultivating the skillful
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:08 am

 Right View

samma ditthi
 

Right View is the first of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the wisdom division of the path.

The definition

“And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view.”

Its relation to the other factors of the path

“And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one’s right view. And what is wrong view? ‘There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.’ This is wrong view…

“One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one’s right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.”

The consequences of wrong view…

“In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.

“This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success.”

…and of right view

“When a person has right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration, right knowledge, & right release, whatever bodily deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds… whatever mental deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever fabrications, all lead to what is agreeable, pleasing, charming, profitable, & easeful. Why is that? Because the view is auspicious.

“Just as when a sugar cane seed, a rice grain, or a grape seed is placed in moist soil, whatever nutriment it takes from the soil & the water, all conduces to its sweetness, tastiness, & unalloyed delectability. Why is that? Because the seed is auspicious. In the same way, when a person has right view… right release, whatever bodily deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever verbal deeds… whatever mental deeds he undertakes in line with that view, whatever intentions, whatever vows, whatever determinations, whatever fabrications, all lead to what is agreeable, pleasing, charming, profitable, & easeful. Why is that? Because the view is auspicious.”

A thicket of wrong views

“There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person… does not discern what ideas are fit for attention, or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas fit for attention, and attends instead to ideas unfit for attention… This is how he attends inappropriately: ‘Was I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Shall I be in the future? Shall I not be in the future? What shall I be in the future? How shall I be in the future? Having been what, what shall I be in the future?’ Or else he is inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: ‘Am I? Am I not? What am I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?’

“As he attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or the view I have no self… or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive self… or the view It is precisely by means of self that I perceive not-self… or the view It is precisely by means of not-self that I perceive self arises in him as true & established, or else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and will endure as long as eternity. This is called a thicket of views, a wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. He is not freed, I tell you, from suffering & stress.

“The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones… discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention… He attends appropriately, This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices.”

When one’s knowledge is truly one’s own

[Kaccayana:] “Lord, ‘Right view, right view,’ it is said. To what extent is there right view?”

[The Buddha:] “By & large, Kaccayana, this world is supported by (takes as its object) a polarity, that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the world as it actually is with right discernment, ‘non-existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one. When one sees the cessation of the world as it actually is with right discernment, ‘existence’ with reference to the world does not occur to one.

“By & large, Kaccayana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings (sustenances), & biases. But one such as this does not get involved with or cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or obsessions; nor is he resolved on ‘my self.’ He has no uncertainty or doubt that, when there is arising, only stress is arising; and that when there is passing away, only stress is passing away. In this, one’s knowledge is independent of others. It is to this extent, Kaccayana, that there is right view.”

Abandoning the unskillful, cultivating the skillful

“Don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering’ — then you should abandon them…

“When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.”

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Right Speech-The definition-Five keys to right speech-The danger in lying-Speak only words that do no harm-Self-purification through well-chosen speech-Its relation to the other factors of the path-The criteria for deciding what is worth saying-Reflect on your speech, before, during, and after speaking-Kinds of speech to be avoided by contemplatives-Ten wholesome topics of conversation-How to admonish another skillfully-
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:02 am

Right Speech

samma vaca
 

Right Speech is the third of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the virtue division of the path.

The definition

“And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.”

Five keys to right speech

“Monks, a statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five?

“It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will.”

The danger in lying

“For the person who transgresses in one thing, I tell you, there is no evil deed that is not to be done. Which one thing? This: telling a deliberate lie.”

The person who lies,
who transgress in this one thing,
transcending concern for the world beyond:
there’s no evil
he might not do.

Speak only words that do no harm

“One should speak only that word by which one would not torment oneself nor harm others. That word is indeed well spoken.

“One should speak only pleasant words, words which are acceptable (to others). What one speaks without bringing evils to others is pleasant.”

Self-purification through well-chosen speech

“And how is one made pure in four ways by verbal action?

“There is the case where a certain person, abandoning false speech, abstains from false speech. When he has been called to a town meeting, a group meeting, a gathering of his relatives, his guild, or of the royalty, if he is asked as a witness, ‘Come & tell, good man, what you know’: If he doesn’t know, he says, ‘I don’t know.’ If he does know, he says, ‘I know.’ If he hasn’t seen, he says, ‘I haven’t seen.’ If he has seen, he says, ‘I have seen.’ Thus he doesn’t consciously tell a lie for his own sake, for the sake of another, or for the sake of any reward. Abandoning false speech, he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world.

“Abandoning divisive speech he abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create concord.

“Abandoning abusive speech, he abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear, that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing & pleasing to people at large.

“Abandoning idle chatter, he abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, & the Vinaya. He speaks words worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the goal.

“This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.”

Its relation to the other factors of the path

“And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong speech as wrong speech, and right speech as right speech. And what is wrong speech? Lying, divisive tale-bearing, abusive speech, & idle chatter. This is wrong speech…

“One tries to abandon wrong speech & to enter into right speech: This is one’s right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right speech.”

The criteria for deciding what is worth saying

[1] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] “In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings.”

Speak only the speech
that neither torments self
nor does harm to others.
That speech is truly well spoken.
	
Speak only endearing speech,
speech that is welcomed.
Speech when it brings no evil
to others
 is pleasant.

Reflect on your speech, before, during, and after speaking

[The Buddha speaks to his son, Rahula:] “Whenever you want to perform a verbal act, you should reflect on it: ‘This verbal act I want to perform — would it lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal act, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it would lead to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it would be an unskillful verbal act with painful consequences, painful results, then any verbal act of that sort is absolutely unfit for you to do. But if on reflection you know that it would not cause affliction… it would be a skillful verbal action with happy consequences, happy results, then any verbal act of that sort is fit for you to do.

“While you are performing a verbal act, you should reflect on it: ‘This verbal act I am doing — is it leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unskillful verbal act, with painful consequences, painful results?’ If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both… you should give it up. But if on reflection you know that it is not… you may continue with it.

“Having performed a verbal act, you should reflect on it… If, on reflection, you know that it led to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it was an unskillful verbal act with painful consequences, painful results, then you should confess it, reveal it, lay it open to the Teacher or to a knowledgeable companion in the holy life. Having confessed it… you should exercise restraint in the future. But if on reflection you know that it did not lead to affliction… it was a skillful verbal action with happy consequences, happy results, then you should stay mentally refreshed and joyful, training day and night in skillful mental qualities.”

 

Kinds of speech to be avoided by contemplatives

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to talking about lowly topics such as these — talking about kings, robbers, ministers of state; armies, alarms, and battles; food and drink; clothing, furniture, garlands, and scents; relatives; vehicles; villages, towns, cities, the countryside; women and heroes; the gossip of the street and the well; tales of the dead; tales of diversity [philosophical discussions of the past and future], the creation of the world and of the sea, and talk of whether things exist or not — he abstains from talking about lowly topics such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.

“Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — ‘You understand this doctrine and discipline? I’m the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You’re practicing wrongly. I’m practicing rightly. I’m being consistent. You’re not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You’re defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!’ — he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.”

Ten wholesome topics of conversation

“There are these ten topics of [proper] conversation. Which ten? Talk on modesty, on contentment, on seclusion, on non-entanglement, on arousing persistence, on virtue, on concentration, on discernment, on release, and on the knowledge & vision of release. These are the ten topics of conversation. If you were to engage repeatedly in these ten topics of conversation, you would outshine even the sun & moon, so mighty, so powerful — to say nothing of the wanderers of other sects.”

How to admonish another skillfully

“O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another should do so after investigating five conditions in himself and after establishing five other conditions in himself. What are the five conditions which he should investigate in himself?

[1] “Am I one who practices purity in bodily action, flawless and untainted…?

[2] “Am I one who practices purity in speech, flawless and untainted…?

[3] “Is the heart of goodwill, free from malice, established in me towards fellow-farers in the holy life…?

[4] “Am I or am I not one who has heard much, who bears in mind what he has heard, who stores up what he has heard? Those teachings which are good alike in their beginning, middle, and ending, proclaiming perfectly the spirit and the letter of the utterly purified holy life — have such teachings been much heard by me, borne in mind, practiced in speech, pondered in the heart and rightly penetrated by insight…?

[5] “Are the Patimokkhas [rules of conduct for monks and nuns] in full thoroughly learned by heart, well-analyzed with thorough knowledge of their meanings, clearly divided sutta by sutta and known in minute detail by me…?

“These five conditions must be investigated in himself.

“And what other five conditions must be established in himself?

[1] “Do I speak at the right time, or not?

[2] “Do I speak of facts, or not?

[3] “Do I speak gently or harshly?

[4] “Do I speak profitable words or not?

[5] “Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly malicious?

“O bhikkhus, these five conditions are to be investigated in himself and the latter five established in himself by a bhikkhu who desires to admonish another.”

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Right Mindfulness-The definition (the four frames of reference)-Abandoning the wrong factors of the path-Like balancing a pot of oil on one’s head-Meditation on death-Meditation on breathing-
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:53 am

Right Mindfulness

samma sati
 

Right Mindfulness is the seventh of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the concentration division of the path.

The definition (the four frames of reference)

“And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… the mind in & of itself… mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called right mindfulness…

“This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of Unbinding — in other words, the four frames of reference.”

Abandoning the wrong factors of the path

“One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one’s right mindfulness…

“One is mindful to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve: This is one’s right mindfulness…

“One is mindful to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech: This is one’s right mindfulness…

“One is mindful to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one’s right mindfulness…

“One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one’s right mindfulness…”

Like balancing a pot of oil on one’s head

“Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, ‘The beauty queen! The beauty queen!’ And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, ‘The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!’ Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, ‘Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.’ Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?”

“No, lord.”

“I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.’ That is how you should train yourselves.”

Meditation on death

“Mindfulness of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit & great benefit. It plunges into the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end. Therefore you should develop mindfulness of death.”

Meditation on breathing

“Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed & pursued, bring the seven factors for Awakening to their culmination. The seven factors for Awakening, when developed & pursued, bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.

“Now how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

“There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

“[1] Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long. [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short. [3] He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body, and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body. [4] He trains himself to breathe in calming the bodily processes, and to breathe out calming the bodily processes.

“[5] He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to rapture, and to breathe out sensitive to rapture. [6] He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to pleasure, and to breathe out sensitive to pleasure. [7] He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to mental processes, and to breathe out sensitive to mental processes. [8] He trains himself to breathe in calming mental processes, and to breathe out calming mental processes.

“[9] He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the mind, and to breathe out sensitive to the mind. [10] He trains himself to breathe in satisfying the mind, and to breathe out satisfying the mind. [11] He trains himself to breathe in steadying the mind, and to breathe out steadying the mind. [12] He trains himself to breathe in releasing the mind, and to breathe out releasing the mind.

“[13] He trains himself to breathe in focusing on inconstancy, and to breathe out focusing on inconstancy. [14] He trains himself to breathe in focusing on dispassion [literally, fading], and to breathe out focusing on dispassion. [15] He trains himself to breathe in focusing on cessation, and to breathe out focusing on cessation. [16] He trains himself to breathe in focusing on relinquishment, and to breathe out focusing on relinquishment.”

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Right Livelyhood-The definition-A balanced livelihood-Its relation to the other factors of the path—Wrong livelihood for lay followers-Wrong livelihood for contemplatives-Considering becoming a soldier? You may want to reconsider…Considering a career in acting? You may want to reconsider…Considering a career in acting? You may want to reconsider…
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:47 am

Right Livelyhood

samma ajivo
 

Right Livelihood is the fifth of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the virtue division of the path.

The definition

“And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood: This is called right livelihood.”

A balanced livelihood

“Herein, Vyagghapajja, a householder knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.

“Just as the goldsmith, or an apprentice of his, knows, on holding up a balance, that by so much it has dipped down, by so much it has tilted up; even so a householder, knowing his income and expenses leads a balanced life, neither extravagant nor miserly, knowing that thus his income will stand in excess of his expenses, but not his expenses in excess of his income.”

Its relation to the other factors of the path

“And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain. This is wrong livelihood…

“One tries to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter into right livelihood: This is one’s right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right livelihood.”

Wrong livelihood for lay followers

“A lay follower should not engage in five types of business. Which five? Business in weapons, business in human beings, business in meat, business in intoxicants, and business in poison.”

Wrong livelihood for contemplatives

… reading marks on the limbs [e.g., palmistry]; reading omens and signs; interpreting celestial events [falling stars, comets]; interpreting dreams; reading marks on the body [e.g., phrenology]; reading marks on cloth gnawed by mice; offering fire oblations, oblations from a ladle, oblations of husks, rice powder, rice grains, ghee, and oil; offering oblations from the mouth; offering blood-sacrifices; making predictions based on the fingertips; geomancy; laying demons in a cemetery; placing spells on spirits; reciting house-protection charms; snake charming, poison-lore, scorpion-lore, rat-lore, bird-lore, crow-lore; fortune-telling based on visions; giving protective charms; interpreting the calls of birds and animals … [The list goes on and on]

Considering becoming a soldier? You may want to reconsider…

Then Yodhajiva the headman went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of warriors that ‘When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, if others then strike him down & slay him while he is striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of devas slain in battle.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.”

A second time… A third time Yodhajiva the headman said: “Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of warriors that ‘When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, if others then strike him down & slay him while he is striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of devas slain in battle.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Apparently, headman, I haven’t been able to get past you by saying, ‘Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’ So I will simply answer you. When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, his mind is already seized, debased, & misdirected by the thought: ‘May these beings be struck down or slaughtered or annihilated or destroyed. May they not exist.’ If others then strike him down & slay him while he is thus striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the hell called the realm of those slain in battle. But if he holds such a view as this: ‘When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, if others then strike him down & slay him while he is striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of devas slain in battle,’ that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb.”

When this was said, Yodhajiva the headman sobbed & burst into tears. [The Blessed One said:] “That is what I couldn’t get past you by saying, ‘Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’”

“I’m not crying, lord, because of what the Blessed One said to me, but simply because I have been deceived, cheated, & fooled for a long time by that ancient teaching lineage of warriors who said: ‘When a warrior strives & exerts himself in battle, if others then strike him down & slay him while he is striving & exerting himself in battle, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of devas slain in battle.’

Considering a career in acting? You may want to reconsider…

Then Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: “Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.”

A second time… A third time Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, said: “Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’ What does the Blessed One have to say about that?”

“Apparently, headman, I haven’t been able to get past you by saying, ‘Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’ So I will simply answer you. Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor — himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless — with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter. But if he holds such a view as this: ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,’ that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb.”

When this was said, Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, sobbed & burst into tears. [The Blessed One said:] “That is what I couldn’t get past you by saying, ‘Enough, headman, put that aside. Don’t ask me that.’”

“I’m not crying, lord, because of what the Blessed One said to me, but simply because I have been deceived, cheated, & fooled for a long time by that ancient teaching lineage of actors who said: ‘When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.’

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Right Intention-
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Posted by: @ 10:39 am

Right Intention

 (Samma Sankappa)

The second factor of the path is right intention. “Sankappa” means purpose, intention, resolve, aspiration, motivation. This factor of right intention follows as the natural consequence of right view. Through right view, we gain an understanding of the real nature of existence, and this understanding changes our motivation, our purposes in life, our intentions and inclinations. As a result, our minds become shaped by right intentions as opposed to wrong intentions.

In his analysis of this factor, the Buddha explains that there are three kinds of right intentions:

a) The intention of renunciation
b) The intention of non-aversion or loving kindness.
c) The intention of non-injury or compassion.

These are opposed to the three wrong intentions, the intention of sensuality, the intention of aversion and intention of harmfulness or cruelty.

Right intention, as we said, follows naturally from right view. Whenever we gain right view, insight into the fact of Dukkha, then we become motivated to renounce our attachments, our clinging to pleasure, wealth, power and fame. We don’t have to suppress the desire for them. The desire falls off naturally by itself. When we look at other beings through the lens of the Four Noble Truths, we see that others are also caught up in the net of suffering. This perception brings about a deep identification with others, a feeling of oneness with them, which leads to loving kindness and compassion. As these attitudes arise they motivate us to renounce aversion and hatred and all violence and cruelty.

This second factor counteracts the two unwholesome roots of actions, greed and aversion.

With the next three factors, we learn to translate right intention into action. These we get the three factors of right speech, right action, and right livelihood.

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Right Effort-The definition (the four Right Exertions):-Abandon the unskillful, develop the skillful-Abandoning the wrong factors of the path-Like fine-tuning a musical instrument
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Posted by: @ 10:34 am

Right Effort

samma vayamo
 

Right Effort is the sixth of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the concentration division of the path.

The definition (the four Right Exertions):

“And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] “There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] “He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort.”

Abandon the unskillful, develop the skillful

“Abandon what is unskillful, monks. It is possible to abandon what is unskillful. If it were not possible to abandon what is unskillful, I would not say to you, ‘Abandon what is unskillful.’ But because it is possible to abandon what is unskillful, I say to you, ‘Abandon what is unskillful.’ If this abandoning of what is unskillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, ‘Abandon what is unskillful.’ But because this abandoning of what is unskillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, ‘Abandon what is unskillful.’

“Develop what is skillful, monks. It is possible to develop what is skillful. If it were not possible to develop what is skillful, I would not say to you, ‘Develop what is skillful.’ But because it is possible to develop what is skillful, I say to you, ‘Develop what is skillful.’ If this development of what is skillful were conducive to harm and pain, I would not say to you, ‘Develop what is skillful.’ But because this development of what is skillful is conducive to benefit and pleasure, I say to you, ‘Develop what is skillful.’”

Abandoning the wrong factors of the path

“One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one’s right effort…

“One tries to abandon wrong resolve & to enter into right resolve: This is one’s right effort…

“One tries to abandon wrong speech & to enter into right speech: This is one’s right effort…

“One tries to abandon wrong action & to enter into right action: This is one’s right effort…

“One tries to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter into right livelihood: This is one’s right effort.”

Like fine-tuning a musical instrument

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

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

“Yes, lord.”

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

“Yes, lord.”

“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too taut, was your vina in tune & playable?”

“No, lord.”

“And what do you think: when the strings of your vina were too loose, was your vina in tune & playable?”

“No, lord.”

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

“Yes, lord.”

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

“Yes, lord,” Ven. Sona answered the Blessed One. Then, having given this exhortation to Ven. Sona, the Blessed One — as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm or bend his outstretched arm — disappeared from the Cool Wood and appeared on Vulture Peak Mountain.

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

 

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Right Concentration-Purification depends on concentration-The four developments of concentration-Noble right concentration-What are you waiting for?
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Posted by: @ 10:27 am

Right Concentration

samma samadhi
 
Right Concentration is the last of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the concentration division of the path.

“And what is right concentration? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful (mental) qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, is mindful & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.’ With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is called right concentration.”

Purification depends on concentration

“I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the first jhana… the second jhana… the third… the fourth… the dimension of the infinitude of space… the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the dimension of nothingness. I tell you, the ending of the mental fermentations depends on the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.”

The four developments of concentration

“These are the four developments of concentration. Which four? There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness. There is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

(1) “And what is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now? There is the case where a monk — quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities — enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & pleasure born of composure, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation — internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, is mindful & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.’ With the abandoning of pleasure & pain — as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is the development of concentration that… leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now.

(2) “And what is the development of concentration that… leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision? There is the case where a monk attends to the perception of light and is resolved on the perception of daytime [at any hour of the day]. Day [for him] is the same as night, night is the same as day. By means of an awareness open & unhampered, he develops a brightened mind. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the attainment of knowledge & vision.

(3) “And what is the development of concentration that… leads to mindfulness & alertness? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to mindfulness & alertness.

(4) “And what is the development of concentration that… leads to the ending of the effluents? There is the case where a monk remains focused on arising & falling away with reference to the five clinging-aggregates: ‘Such is form, such its origination, such its passing away. Such is feeling… Such is perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.’ This is the development of concentration that, when developed & pursued, leads to the ending of the effluents.

“These are the four developments of concentration.”

Noble right concentration

“Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, & right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports & requisite conditions.”

What are you waiting for?

Get up!
Sit up!
What’s your need for sleep?
And what sleep is there for the afflicted,
	pierced by the arrow (craving),
oppressed?
	
Get up!
Sit up!
Train firmly for the sake of peace,
Don’t let the king of death,
 —  seeing you heedless  —
deceive you,
bring you under his sway.

 

“Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, monks. Don’t be heedless. Don’t later fall into regret. This is our message to you.”

 

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Right Action-The definition-Its relation to the other factors of the path-A life lived skillfully-A layperson’s skillfulness
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Posted by: @ 10:17 am

Right Action

Right Action
samma kammanto

Right Action is the fourth of the eight path factors in the Noble Eightfold Path, and belongs to the virtue division of the path.



The definition

“And what is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from unchastity. This is called right action.”

Its relation to the other factors of the path

“And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong action as wrong action, and right action as right action. And what is wrong action? Killing, taking what is not given, illicit sex. This is wrong action…

“One tries to abandon wrong action & to enter into right action: This is one’s right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action: This is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right action.”

A life lived skillfully

“Having thus gone forth, following the training & way of life of the monks, abandoning the taking of life, he abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, kind, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only what is given, accepts only what is given, lives not by stealth but by means of a self that has become pure. Abandoning uncelibacy, he lives a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager’s way.”

A layperson’s skillfulness

“And how is one made pure in three ways by bodily action? There is the case where a certain person, abandoning the taking of life, abstains from the taking of life. He dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful, compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. Abandoning the taking of what is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He does not take, in the manner of a thief, things in a village or a wilderness that belong to others and have not been given by them. Abandoning sensual misconduct, he abstains from sensual misconduct. He does not get sexually involved with those who are protected by their mothers, their fathers, their brothers, their sisters, their relatives, or their Dhamma; those with husbands, those who entail punishments, or even those crowned with flowers by another man. This is how one is made pure in three ways by bodily action.”

 

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Stream-enterer-
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Posted by: @ 10:08 am

Stream-enterer

Stream-enterers
Stream-enterers contribute to much good in the world. They are no longer reborn in the lower realms; animal realms, hells, realms in between etc. They are destined to attain enlightenment within seven lifes. They are uncapable of committing a great wrong and they can and do hear kind words of the Sangha and the Buddha. They know how and perhaps even where to associate with Sangha-members. They are part of the incomparable field of merit for the world. They can make gifts, hospitality, respect and many other acts fruitfull. The sangha speaks favourable about them!

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Once-returner-
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Posted by: @ 10:04 am

 Once-returner

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Non-returner-To the Sakyans (on the Uposatha)
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Posted by: @ 9:56 am

Non-returner

Sakka Sutta
To the Sakyans (on the Uposatha)
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
 

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Kapilavatthu at the Banyan Park. Then many Sakyan lay followers, it being the Uposatha day, went to the Blessed One. On arrival, having bowed down to him, they sat to one side. As they were sitting there, the Blessed One said to them, “Sakyans, do you observe the eight-factored uposatha?”

“Sometimes we do, lord, and sometimes we don’t.”

“It’s no gain for you, Sakyans. It’s ill-gotten, that in this life so endangered by grief, in this life so endangered by death, you sometimes observe the eight-factored uposatha and sometimes don’t.

What do you think, Sakyans. Suppose a man, by some profession or other, without encountering an unskillful day, were to earn a half-kahapana. Would he deserve to be called a capable man, full of initiative?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Suppose a man, by some profession or other, without encountering an unskillful day, were to earn a kahapana… two kahapanas… three… four… five… six… seven… eight… nine… ten… twenty… thirty… forty… fifty… one hundred kahapanas. Would he deserve to be called a capable man, full of initiative?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Now what do you think: earning one hundred, one thousand kahapanas a day; saving up his gains, living for one hundred years, would a man arrive at a great mass of wealth?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Now what do you think: would that man, because of that wealth, on account of that wealth, with that wealth as the cause, live sensitive to unalloyed bliss for a day, a night, half a day, or half a night?”

“No, lord. And why is that? Sensual pleasures are inconstant, hollow, false, deceptive by nature.”

“Now, Sakyans, there is the case where a disciple of mine, spending ten years practicing as I have instructed, would live sensitive to unalloyed bliss for a hundred years, a hundred centuries, a hundred millennia. And he would be a once-returner, a non-returner, or at the very least a stream-winner.

“Let alone ten years, there is the case where a disciple of mine, spending nine years… eight years… seven… six… five… four… three… two years… one year practicing as I have instructed, would live sensitive to unalloyed bliss for a hundred years, a hundred centuries, a hundred millennia. And he would be a once-returner, a non-returner, or at the very least a stream-winner.

“Let alone one year, there is the case where a disciple of mine, spending ten months… nine months… eight months… seven… six… five… four… three… two months… one month… half a month practicing as I have instructed, would live sensitive to unalloyed bliss for a hundred years, a hundred centuries, a hundred millennia. And he would be a once-returner, a non-returner, or at the very least a stream-winner.

“Let alone half a month, there is the case where a disciple of mine, spending ten days & nights… nine days & nights… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two days & nights… one day & night practicing as I have instructed, would live sensitive to unalloyed bliss for a hundred years, a hundred centuries, a hundred millennia. And he would be a once-returner, a non-returner, or at the very least a stream-winner.

“It’s no gain for you, Sakyans. It’s ill-gotten, that in this life so endangered by grief, in this life so endangered by death, you sometimes observe the eight-factored uposatha and sometimes don’t.”

“Then from this day forward, lord, we will observe the eight-factored uposatha.”

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Arahant-Nibbana as Living Experience / The Buddha and The Arahant
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Posted by: @ 9:39 am

Arahant

Nibbana as Living Experience / The Buddha and The Arahant
Two Studies from the Pali Canon
by
Lily de Silva
 

Nibbana as Living Experience

Nibbana [nibbaana] is the culmination of the Buddhist quest for perfection and happiness. In order to understand the meaning of this term it is useful to refer to the verse attributed to Kisa Gotami when she saw Prince Siddhattha returning to the palace from the park on the eve of his great renunciation. She declared:

Nibbutaa nuuna saa maataa, nibbuto nuuna so pitaa,
Nibbutaa nuuna saa naarii, yassaayam iidiso patii
.1

“Happy/contented/peaceful indeed is the mother (who has such a son), happy indeed is the father (who has such a son), happy indeed is the woman who has such a one as her husband.”

Nibbuta (from nir + v.r) is often treated as the past participle of the verb nibbaayati, and nibbaana is the nominal form of that verb. It means happiness, contentment, and peace. Nibbaayati also means to extinguish, to blow out as in the blowing out of a lamp.2 Nibbana is so called because it is the blowing out of the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion (raagaggi, dosaggi, mohaggi) .3 When these fires are blown out peace is attained, and one becomes completely cooled — siitibhuuta .4 It is sometimes conjectured that Nibbana is called cool because the Buddha preached in a warm country, where the cool was appreciated as comfortable. Had he taught in a cold climate, he might have described Nibbana in terms of warmth. But it is certain that the term “cool” was chosen to convey a literal psychological reality.5 Anger makes us hot and restless. We use expressions such as “boiling with anger,” and they clearly express the intensity of the aggressive emotion. When such negative emotions are completely eradicated, never to arise again, the temperament has to be described as cool.

Nibbana is a state to be attained here and now in this very life6 and not a state to be attained only after death. In terms of living experience Nibbana can be characterized by four special attributes: happiness, moral perfection, realization, and freedom. We shall take these up for discussion one by one.

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