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    Tripitaka (or Tipitika) is the collection of the teachings of the Buddha over
    45 years. It consists of Sutra (the conventional teaching), Vinaya
    (Disciplinary code) and Abhidhamma (commentaries).

    The Tripitaka was compiled and arranged in its present form by the disciples
    who had immediate contact with Shakyamuni Buddha.

    The Buddha had passed away, but the sublime Dharma which he unreservedly bequeathed
    to humanity still exists in its pristine purity.

    Although the Buddha had left no written records of his teachings, his
    distinguished disciples preserved them by committing to memory and
    transmitting them orally from generation to generation.

    40.1   Brief historical background

    Immediately after the final passing away of the Buddha, 500 distinguished
    Arahats held a convention known as the First Buddhist Council to rehearse
    the Doctrine taught by the Buddha. Venerable Ananda, who was a faithful
    attendant of the Buddha and had the special privilege of hearing all the
    discourses the Buddha ever uttered, recited the Sutra, whilst the
    Venerable Upali recited the Vinaya, the rules of conduct for the

    One hundred years after the First Buddhist Council, some disciples saw the
    need to change certain minor rules. The orthodox Bhiksus said that nothing
    should be changed while the others insisted on modifying some disciplinary
    rules (Vinaya). Finally, the formation of different schools of Buddhism
    germinated after his council. And in the Second Council, only matters pertaining
    to the Vinaya were discussed and no controversy about the Dharma was reported.

    In the 3rd Century B.C. during the time of Emperor Asoka, the Third Council
    was held to discuss the differences of opinion held by the Sangha community.
    At this Council the differences were not confined to the Vinaya but were
    also connected with the Dharma. The Abhidhamma Pitaka was discussed
    and included at this Council. The Council which was held in Sri Lanka in
    80 B.C. is known as the 4th Council under the patronage of the pious King
    Vattagamini Abbaya. It was at this time in Sri Lanka that the Tripitaka
    was first committed to writing in Pali language.

    40.2   Sutra Pitaka

    The Sutra Pitaka (Sutra Pitaka in Sanskrit) consists mainly of discourses
    delivered by the Buddha himself on various occasions. There were also a
    few discourses delivered by some of his distinguished disciples (e.g. Sariputta,
    Ananda, Moggallana) included in it. It is like a book of prescriptions,
    as the sermons embodied therein were expounded to suit the different occasions
    and the temperaments of various persons. There may be seemingly contradictory
    statements, but they should not be misconstrued as they were opportunely
    uttered by the Buddha to suit a particular purpose.

    This Pitaka is divided into five Nikayas or collections, viz.:-

    1. Dlgha Nikaya (Collection of Long Discourses)
    2. Majjhima Nikaya (Collection of Middle-length Discourses)
    3. Samyuita Nikaya (Collection of Kindred Sayings)
    4. Anguttara Nikaya (Collection of Discourses arranged in accordance
      with number)
    5. Khuddaka Nikaya (Smaller Collection)

    The fifth is subdivided into fifteen books:-

    1. Khuddaka Patha (Shorter Texts)
    2. Dhammapada (The Way of Truth)
    3. Udana (Heartfelt sayings or Paeons of Joy)
    4. Iti Vuttaka (’Thus said’ Discourses)
    5. Sutta Nipata (Collected Discourses)
    6. Vimana Vatthu (Stories of Celestial Mansions)
    7. Peta Vatthu (Stories of Petas)
    8. Theragatha (Psalms of the Brethren)
    9. Therigatha (Psalms of the Sisters)
    10. Jataka (Birth Stories)
    11. Niddesa (Expositions)
    12. Patisambhida (Analytical Knowledge)
    13. Apadana (Lives of Saints)
    14. Buddhavamsa (The History of Buddha)
    15. Cariya Pitaka (Modes of Conduct)

    40.3   Vinaya Pitaka

    The Vinaya Pitaka mainly deals with the rules and regulations of the Order
    of monks (Bhikhus) and nuns (Bhikhunis). It also gives an account of the
    life and ministry of the Buddha. Indirectly it reveals some useful information
    about ancient history, Indian customs, arts, sciences, etc.

    For nearly twenty years since his enlightenment, the Buddha did not lay down
    rules for the control of the Sangha. Later, as the occasion arose, the Buddha
    promulgated rules for the future discipline of the Sangha.

    This Pitaka consists of the following five books:-

    1. Parajika Pali (Major Offences)
    2. Pacittiya Pali (Minor Offences)
    3. Mahavagga Pali (Greater Section)
    4. Cullavagga Pali (Smaller Section)
    5. Parivara Pali (Epitome of the Vinaya)

    40.4   Abhidhamma Pitaka

    The Abhidhamma (Abhidharma in Sanskrit), also known as Shastra, is the most
    important and interesting, as it contains the profound philosophy of the
    Buddha’s teaching in contrast to the illuminating but simpler discourses
    in the Sutra Pitaka.

    In the Sutra Pitaka one often finds references to individual, being, etc., but
    in the Abhidhamma, instead of such conventional terms, we meet with ultimate
    terms, such as aggregates, mind, matter etc.

    In the Abhidhamma everything is analyzed and explained in detail, and as such
    it is called analytical doctrine (Vibhajja Vada).

    Four ultimate things (Paramattha) are enumerated in the Abhidhamma.
    They are Citta (Consciousness), Cetasika (Mental concomitants).
    Rupa (Matter) and Nibbana.

    The so-called being is microscopically analyzed and its component parts are
    minutely described. Finally the ultimate goal and the method to achieve it
    is explained with all necessary details.

    The Abhidhamma Pitaka is composed of the following works:

    1. Dhamma-Sangani (Enumeration of Phenomena)
    2. Vibhanaga (The Book of the Treatises)
    3. Ikatha Vatthu (Point of Controversy)
    4. Puggala Pannatti (Description of Individuals)
    5. Dhatu Katha (Discussion with reference to Elements)
    6. Yamaka (The Book of Pairs)
    7. Patthana (The Book of Relations)

    40.5   Twelve Divisions of Buddhist

    The content of Buddhist canons is divided into twelve divisions, categorized
    by the types of forms of literature (i.e., Sutra, Geya and Gatha) and the
    context (i.e., all other nine divisions). It is known as the Twelve

    1. Sutra (Sutta in Pali) - These are the short, medium, and long
      discourses expounded by the Buddha on various occasions. The whole Vinaya
      Pitaka is also included in this respect.
    2. Geya (Geyya in Pali) - i.e., the metrical pieces. These are
      discourses/proses mixed with Gathas or verses.
    3. Gatha - i.e., verses, chants or poems. These include verses formed
      in the Dharmapada, etc., and those isolated verses which are not classified
      amongst the Sutra.

    4. Nidana - i.e., the causes and conditions of the Buddha’s
    5. Itivrttaka - i.e., the sutras in which the Buddhas tell of the
      deeds of their disciples and others in previous lives.
    6. Jataka - i.e., stories of the former lives of Buddhas. These are
      the 547 birth-stories.
    7. Abbhuta-dharma - i.e., miracles, etc. These are the few discourses
      that deal with wonderful and inconceivable powers of the Buddhas.
    8. Avadana - i.e., parables, metaphors. Illustrations are used to
      facilitate the human beings to understand the profound meanings of the
      Buddhist Dharma.
    9. Upadesa - i.e., dogmatic treatises. The discourse and discussions
      by questions and answers regarding the Buddhist doctrines. It is a synonym
      for Abhidharma Pitaka.
    10. Udana - i.e., impromptu or unsolicited addresses. The Buddha speaks
      voluntarily and not in reply to questions or appeals, e.g., the Amitabha

    11. Vaipulya - i.e., interpretation by elaboration or deeper explanation
      of the doctrines. It is the broad school or wider teachings, in contrast
      with the “narrow” school. The term covers the whole of the specifically
      Mahayana sutras. The Sutras are also known as the scriptures of measureless
      meaning, i.e., infinite and universalistic.

    12. Vyakarana (Veyyakarama in Pali) - i.e. prophecies, prediction by
      the Buddha of the future attainment of Buddhahood by his disciples.

    40.6   Nine Divisions of Buddhist

    The term is generally referred to Hinayana. There are only nine divisions
    excluding Udana, Vaipulya and Vyakarana.

    However, there is also a Mahayana division of nine of the Twelve Divisions,
    i.e., all except Nidana, Avadana and Upadesa.

Vinaya Pitaka

The collection of texts concerning the rules of conduct governing the
daily affairs within the Sangha — the community of bhikkhus (ordained
monks) and bhikkhunis (ordained nuns). Far more than merely a list of
rules, the Vinaya Pitaka also includes the stories behind the origin of each
rule, providing a detailed account of the Buddha’s solution to the question of
how to maintain communal harmony within a large and diverse spiritual community

Thousands of candles can be lit from a single
candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never
decreases by being shared.

Namo Amitabha

piety has profound meanings in Buddhism. It means to take care of
parents physically, mentally and to fulfill their wishes. To further
extend and enhance our respect and care for our parents, we have
compassion for all beings in this world. As stated in a precept sutta,
“All men are my father; all women are my mother”. This is the
broadening of our mind of filial piety so that it encompasses all
beings in the universe, in the past, present and future

The History of Buddhism

Soon after
Buddha’s death or parinibbana, five hundred monks met at the first council at
Rajagrha, under the leadership of Kashyapa.  Upali recited the monastic
code (Vinaya) as he remembered it.  Ananda, Buddha’s cousin, friend, and
favorite disciple — and a man of prodigious memory! — recited Buddha’s
lessons (the Suttas).  The monks debated details and voted on final
versions.  These were then committed to memory by other monks, to be
translated into the many languages of the Indian plains.  It should be
noted that Buddhism remained an oral tradition for over 200 years.

In the next few centuries, the original unity of Buddhism began to fragment.
The most significant split occurred after the second council, held at Vaishali
100 years after the first.  After debates between a more liberal group and
traditionalists, the liberal group left and labeled themselves the Mahasangha
– “the great sangha.”  They would eventually evolve into the
Mahayana tradition of northern Asia.

The traditionalists, now referred to as Sthaviravada or “way of the
elders” (or, in Pali, Theravada), developed a complex set of philosophical
ideas beyond those elucidated by Buddha.  These were collected into the
Abhidhamma or “higher teachings.”  But they, too, encouraged
disagreements, so that one splinter group after another left the fold. 
Ultimately, 18 schools developed, each with their own interpretations of
various issues, and spread all over
Southeast Asia.  Today, only the
school stemming from the Sri Lankan Theravadan survives



One of the most significant events in the history of Buddhism is the chance
encounter of the monk Nigrodha and the emperor Ashoka Maurya.  Ashoka,
succeeding his father after a bloody power struggle in 268 bc, found himself
deeply disturbed by the carnage he caused while suppressing a revolt in the
land of the Kalingas.  Meeting Nigrodha convinced Emperor Ashoka to devote
himself to peace.  On his orders, thousands of rock pillars were erected,
bearing the words of the Buddha, in the brahmi script — the first written
evidence of Buddhism.  The third council of monks was held at Pataliputra,
the capital of Ashoka’s empire.

There is a story that tells about a poor young boy who, having nothing to
give the Buddha as a gift, collected a handful of dust and innocently presented
it.  The Buddha smiled and accepted it with the same graciousness he
accepted the gifts of wealthy admirers.  That boy, it is said, was reborn
as the Emperor Ashoka.

Ashoka sent missionaries all over India and beyond.  Some went
as far as
Egypt, Palestine, and Greece.  St. Origen even
mentions them as having reached
The Greeks of one of the Alexandrian kingdoms of northern
India adopted
Buddhism, after their King Menandros (Pali:  Milinda) was convinced by a
monk named Nagasena — the conversation immortalized in the Milinda
Pañha.  A Kushan king of north
named Kanishka was also converted, and a council was held in
in about 100 ad. Greek Buddhists there recorded the Sutras on copper sheets
which, unfortunately, were never recovered.

Sri Lanka
and Theravada

Emperor Ashoka sent one of his sons, Mahinda, and one of his daughters, Sanghamitta,
a monk and a nun, to Sri Lanka
around the year 240 bc.  The king of Sri Lanka, King Devanampiyatissa,
welcomed them and was converted.  One of the gifts they brought with them
was a branch of the bodhi tree, which was successfully transplanted.  The
descendants of this branch can still be found on the island.

The fourth council was held in Sri Lanka,
in the Aloka Cave, in the first century bc. 
During this time as well, and for the first time, the entire set of Suttas were
recorded in the Pali language on palm leaves.  This became Theravada’s
Pali Canon, from which so much of our knowledge of Buddhism stems.  It is
also called the Tripitaka (Pali:  Tipitaka), or three
baskets:  The three sections of the canon are the Vinaya Pitaka (the monastic
law), the Sutta Pitaka (words of the Buddha), and the Abhidamma Pitaka (the
philosophical commentaries).

In a very real sense, Sri Lanka’s
monks may be credited with saving the Theravada tradition:  Although it
had spread once from
all over southeast Asia, it had nearly died out due to competition from
Hinduism and Islam, as well as war and colonialism.  Theravada monks
spread their tradition from
Sri Lanka
Burma, Thailand, Malaysia,
Cambodia, and Laos, and from these lands to Europe
and the west generally


Mahayana began in the first century bc, as a development of the Mahasangha
rebellion.  Their more liberal attitudes toward monastic tradition allowed
the lay community to have a greater voice in the nature of Buddhism.  For
better or worse, the simpler needs of the common folk were easier for the
Mahayanists to meet.  For example, the people were used to gods and
heroes.  So, the Trikaya (three bodies) doctrine came into being: 
Not only was Buddha a man who became enlightened, he was also represented by
various god-like Buddhas in various appealing heavens, as well as by the Dharma
itself, or Shunyata (emptiness), or Buddha-Mind, depending on which
interpretation we look at — sort of a Buddhist Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

More important, however, was the increased importance of the
Bodhisattva.  A Bodhisattva is someone who has attained enlightenment, but
who chooses to remain in this world of Samsara in order to bring others to
enlightenment. He is a lot like a saint, a spiritual hero, for the people to
admire and appeal to.

Along with new ideas came new scriptures.  Also called Sutras, they are
often attributed to Buddha himself, sometimes as special transmissions that
Buddha supposedly felt were too difficult for his original listeners and
therefore were hidden until the times were ripe.  The most significant of
these new Sutras are these:

Prajñaparamita or Perfection of Wisdom, an enormous collection of
often esoteric texts, including the famous Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra. 
The earliest known piece of printing in the world is, in fact, a copy of the
Diamond Sutra, printed in
in 868 ad.

Suddharma-pundarika or White Lotus of the True Dharma, also often
esoteric, includes the Avalokiteshwara Sutra, a prayer to that Bodhisattva.

Vimalakirti-nirdesha or Vimalakirti’s Exposition, is the teachings of
and stories about the enlightened householder Vimalakirti.

Shurangama-samadhi or Hero’s Sutra, provides a guide to meditation,
shunyata, and the bodhisattva.  It is most popular among Zen Buddhists

Sukhavati-vyuha or Pure Land Sutra, is the most important Sutra for
the Pure Land Schools of Buddhism.  The Buddha tells Ananda about Amitabha
and his Pure Land or heaven, and how one can be
reborn there.

There are many, many others.  Finally, Mahayana is founded on two new
philosophical interpretations of Buddhism: Madhyamaka and Yogachara.


Madhyamaka means “the middle way.”  You may recall that
Buddha himself called his way the middle way in his very first sermon.  He
meant, at that time, the middle way between the extremes of hedonistic pleasure
and extreme asceticism.  But he may also have referred to the middle way
between the competing philosophies of
eternalism and annihilationism — the belief that the soul exists forever and
that the soul is annihilated at death.  Or between materialism and
nihilism….  An Indian monk by the name of Nagarjuna took this idea and
expanded on it to create the philosophy that would be known as Madhyamaka, in a
book called the Mulamadhyamaka-karika, written about 150 ad.

Basically a treatise on logical argument, it concludes that nothing is
absolute, everything is relative, nothing exists on its own, everything is
interdependent.  All systems, beginning with the idea that each thing is
what it is and not something else (Aristotle’s law of the excluded middle),
wind up contradicting themselves.  Rigorous logic, in other words, leads
one away from all systems, and to the concept of shunyata.

Shunyata means emptiness.  This doesn’t mean that nothing exists. 
It means that nothing exists in and of itself, but only as a part of a
universal web of being.  This would become a central concept in all
branches of Mahayana.  Of course, it is actually a restatement of the central
Buddhist concepts of anatman, anitya, and dukkha!


The second philosophical innovation, Yogachara, is credited to two brothers,
Asanga and Vasubandhu,  who lived in India in the 300’s ad.  They
elaborated earlier movements in the direction of the philosophy of idealism or
chitta-matra.  Chitta-matra means literally mind only.  Asanga and
Vasubandhu believed that everything that exists is mind or consciousness. 
What we think of as physical things are just projections of our minds,
delusions or hallucinations, if you like.  To get rid of these delusions,
we must meditate, which for the Yogachara school means the creation of pure
consciousness, devoid of all content.  In that way, we leave our deluded
individual minds and join with the universal mind, or Buddha-mind.


The last innovation was less philosophical and far more practical: 
Tantra.  Tantra refers to certain writings which are concerned, not with
philosophical niceties, but with the basic how-to of enlightenment, and not
just with enlightenment in several rebirths, but enlightenment here-and-now!

In order to accomplish this feat, dramatic methods are needed, ones which,
to the uninitiated, may seem rather bizarre.  Tantra was the domain of the
siddhu, the adept — someone who knows the secrets,  a magician in the
ways of enlightenment.  Tantra involves the use of various techniques,
including the well-known mandalas, mantras, and mudras.  mandalas are
paintings or other representations of higher awareness, usually in the form of
a circular pattern of images, which may provide the focus of one-pointed
meditation.  Mantras are words or phrases that serve the same purpose,
such as the famous “Om mani padme
hum.”  Mudras are hand positions that symbolize certain qualities of

Less well known are the yidams.  A yidam is the image of a god or
goddess or other spiritual being, either physically represented or, more
commonly, imagined clearly in the mind’s eye.  Again, these represent
archetypal qualities of enlightenment, and one-pointed meditation on these
complex images lead the adept to his or her goal.

These ideas would have enormous impact on Mahayana.  They are not
without critics, however:  Madhyamaka is sometimes criticized as
word-play, and Yogachara is criticized as reintroducing atman, eternal soul or
essence, to Buddhism.  Tantra has been most often criticized, especially
for its emphasis on secret methods and strong devotion to a guru. 
Nevertheless, these innovations led to a renewed flurry of activity in the first
half of the first millenium, and provided the foundation for the kinds of
Buddhism we find in China, Tibet, Japan,
Korea, Vietnam, and elsewhere in east


Legend has it that the Chinese Emperor Ming Ti had a dream which led him to
send his agents down the Silk Road — the ancient trade route between China and the
west — to discover its meaning.  The agents returned with a picture of
the Buddha and a copy of the Sutra in 42 Sections.  This Sutra would, in
67 ad, be the first of many to be translated into Chinese.

The first Buddhist community in China
is thought to be one in Loyang, established by
“foreigners” around 150 ad, in the Han dynasty. Only 100 years later,
there emerges a native Chinese Sangha.  And during the Period of Disunity
(or Era of the Warring States, 220 to 589 ad), the number of Buddhist monks and
nuns increase to as many as two million!  Apparently, the uncertain times
and the misery of the lower classes were fertile ground for the monastic
traditions of Buddhism.

Buddhism did not come to a land innocent of religion and philosophy, of
course.  China,
in fact, had three main competing streams of thought:  Confucianism,
Taoism, and folk religion.  Confucianisim is essentially a moral-political
philosophy, involving a complex guide to human relationships.  Taoism is a
life-philosophy involving a return to simpler and more “natural” ways
of being.  And the folk religion — or, should we say, religions –
consisted of rich mythologies, superstitions, astrology, reading of entrails,
magic, folk medicine, and so on.  (Please understand that I am simplifying
here:  Certainly Confucianism and Taoism are as sophisticated as

Although these various streams sometimes competed with each other and with
Buddhism, they also fed each other, enriched each other, and intertwined with
each other.  Over time, the Mahayana of India became the Mahayana of China

and, later, of Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

Pure Land

The first example historically is Pure Land Buddhism (Ching-T’u, J:
Jodo).  The peasants and working people of China were used to gods and
goddesses, praying for rain and health, worrying about heaven and hell, and so
on.  It wasn’t a great leap to find in Buddhism’s cosmology and theology
the bases for a religious tradition that catered to these needs and habits,
while still providing a sophisticated philosophical foundation.

The idea of this period of time as a fallen or inferior time — traditional
in China
– led to the idea that we are no longer able to reach enlightenment on our own
power, but must rely on the intercession of higher beings.  The
transcendent Buddha Amitabha, and his western paradise (”pure land”),
introduced in the Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra, was a perfect fit.


Another school that was to be particularly strongly influenced by Chinese
thought was the Meditation
School — Dhyana, Ch’an,
Son, or Zen.  Tradition has the Indian monk Bodhidharma coming from the
west to China
around 520 ad.  It was Bodhidharma, it is said, who carried the Silent
Transmission to become the First Patriarch of the Ch’an School in China:

From the very beginning, Buddha had had reservations about his ability to
communicate his message to the people.  Words simply could not carry such
a sublime message.  So, on one occasion, while the monks around him waited
for a sermon, he said absolutely nothing.  He simply held up a
flower.  the monks, of course, were confused, except for Kashyapa, who
understood and smiled.  The Buddha smiled back, and thus the Silent
Transmission began.

Zen Buddhism focuses on developing the immediate awareness of Buddha-mind
through meditation on emptiness.  It is notorious for its dismissal of the
written and spoken word and occasionally for his rough-house antics.  It
should be understood, however, that there is great reverence for the Buddha,
the Dharma, and the Sangha, even when they are ostensibly ignoring, poking fun,
or even turning them upside-down.

Zen has contributed its own literature to the Buddhist melting-pot,
including The Platform Sutra, written by Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch, around
700 ad., The Blue Cliff Record, written about 1000 ad., and The Gateless Gate,
written about 1200 ad.  And we shouldn’t forget the famous Ten Ox-Herding
Pictures that many see as containing the very essence of Zen’s message.

The Blossoming of Schools

During the Sui dynasty (581-618) and T’ang dynasty (618-907), Chinese
Buddhism experienced what is referred to as the “blossoming of
schools.”  The philosophical inspirations of the Madhyamaka and
Yogachara, as well as the Pure
Land and Ch’an Sutras,
interacting with the already sophisticated philosophies of Confucianism and
Taoism, led to a regular renaissance in religious and philosophical thought.

We find the Realistic School, based on the “all things exist”
Hinayana School;  the Three-Treatises School, based on Madhyamaka; the
Idealist School, based on Yogachara; the Tantric School; the Flower Adornment
School (Hua-Yen, J: Kegon), which attempted to consolidate the various forms;
and the White Lotus School (T’ien-T’ai, J: Tendai), which focused on the Lotus

All the Chinese Schools had their representatives in neighboring
countries.  Korea
was to develop its own powerful form of Ch’an called Son.  Vietnam developed a form of Ch’an that
incorporated aspects of Pure
Land and Hinayana. 
But it was Japan that would
have a field day with Chinese Buddhism, and pass the Mahayana traditions on to
the US
and the west generally.


Again, we begin with the legendary:  A delegation arrived from Korea with
gifts for the Emperor of Japan in 538 ad., including a bronze Buddha and
various Sutras.  Unfortunately a plague led the Emperor to believe that
the traditional gods of Japan
were annoyed, so he had the gifts thrown into a canal!  But the imperial
court on the 600’s, in their constant effort to be as sophisticated as the
courts of their distinguished neighbors, the Chinese, continued to be drawn to

Although starting as a religion of the upper classes, in the 900’s, Pure Land
entered the picture as the favorite of the peasant and working classes. 
And in the 1200’s, Ch’an, relabeled Zen, came into Japan, where it was
enthusiastically adopted by, among others, the warrior class or Samurai.

Zen was introduced into Japan
by two particularly talented monks who had gone to China for their educations: 
Eisai (1141-1215) brought Lin-chi (J: Rinzai) Ch’an, with its koans and
occasionally outrageous antics;  Dogen (1200-1253) brought the more sedate
Ts’ao-tung (J: Soto) Ch’an.  In addition, Dogen is particularly admired
for his massive treatise, the Shobogenzo.

Ch’an has always had an artistic side to it.  In China and
elsewhere, a certain simple, elegant style of writing and drawing developed
among the monks.  In Japan,
this became an even more influential aspect of Zen.  We have, for example,
the poetry, calligraphy, and paintings of various monks — Bankei (1622-1698),
Basho (1644-1694), Hakuin (1685-1768), and Ryokan (1758-1831) — which have
become internationally beloved.

One last Japanese innovation is usually attributed to a somewhat unorthodox
monk named Nichiren (1222-1282).  Having been trained in the Tendai or
White Lotus tradition, he came to believe that the Lotus Sutra carried all that
was necessary for Buddhist life.  More than that, he believed that even
the name of the Sutra was enough!  So he encouraged his students to chant
this mantra:  Namu-myoho-renge-kyo, which means “homage to the Lotus
Sutra.”  This practice alone would ensure enlightenment in this
life.  In fact, he insisted, all other forms of Buddhism were of little
worth.  Needless to say, this was not appreciated by the Buddhist powers
of the day.  He spent the rest of his life in relative isolation. 
The Nichiren School nevertheless proved to be one of
the most successful forms of Buddhism on the planet!


Finally, let’s turn out attention to the most mysterious site of Buddhism’s
history, Tibet
Its first encounter with Buddhism occurred in the 700’s ad, when a Tantric
master, Guru Rinpoché, came from India
to battle the demons of Tibet
for control.  The demons submitted, but they remained forever a part of
Tibetan Buddhism — as its protectors!

During the 800’s and 900’s, Tibet
went through a “dark age,” during which Buddhism suffered something
of a setback.  But, in the 1000’s, it returned in force.  And in
1578, the Mongol overlords named the head of the Gelug School
the Dalai Lama, meaning “guru as great as the ocean.”  The title
was made retroactive to two earlier heads of the school.  The fifth Dalai
Lama is noted for bringing all of Tibet under his religious and
political control.

The lineage continues down to the present 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso,
born 1935.  In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts
on behalf of his people and nation, which had been taken over by the Communist
Chinese in 1951.

The West

It was in the latter half of the 1800’s that Buddhism first came to be known
in the west.  The great European colonial empires brought the ancient
cultures of India and China back to the attention of the intellectuals
of Europe.  Scholars began to learn Asian
languages and translate Asian texts.  Adventurers explored previously
shut-off places and recorded the cultures.  Religious enthusiasts enjoyed
the exotic and mystical tone of the Asian traditions.

In England,
for example, societies sprang up for devotees of “orientalia,” 
such as T. W. Rhys Davids’ Pali Text Society and T. Christmas Humphreys’
Buddhist Society
.  Books were published, such as Sir Edwin Arnold’s
epic poem The Light of Asia (1879).  And the first western monks
began to make themselves know, such as Allan Bennett, perhaps the very first,
who took the name Ananda Metteya.  In Germany
and France
as well, Buddhism was the rage.

In the United States,
there was a similar flurry of interest.  First of all, thousands of
Chinese immigrants were coming to the west coast in the late 1800’s, many to
provide cheap labor for the railroads and other expanding industries. 
Also, on the east coast, intellectuals were reading about Buddhism in books by
Europeans.  One example was  Henry Thoreau, who, among other things,
translated a French translation of a Buddhist Sutra into English.

A renewal of interest came during World War II, during which many Asian
Buddhists — such as the Zen author D. T. Suzuki — came to England and the U.S.,
and many European Buddhists — such as the Zen author Alan Watts — came to the
As these examples suggest, Zen Buddhism was particularly popular, especially in
the U.S.,
where it became enmeshed in the Beatnik artistic and literary movement as
“beat Zen.”

One by one, European and Americans who studied in Asia returned with their
knowledge and founded monasteries and societies, Asian masters came to Europe

and America to found
monasteries, and the Asian immigrant populations from China, Japan,
and elsewhere, quietly continued their Buddhist practices.

Today, it is believed that there are more than 300 million Buddhists in the
world, including at least a quarter million in Europe, and a half million each
in North and South America.  I say
“at least” because other estimates go as high as three million in the
alone!  Whatever the numbers may be, Buddhism is the fourth largest
religion in the world, after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.  And,
although it has suffered considerable setbacks over the centuries, it seems to
be attracting more and more people, as a religion or a philosophy of life.

BSP mulls changes to foil Cong-SP pact



Oct. 30: With political realignments waiting to crystallise in Uttar
Pradesh, the Bahujan Samaj Party is changing its candidates for the Lok
Sabha elections.

According to party sources, the BSP plans to change candidates in
over a dozen Lok Sabha constituencies in view of the emerging political
equations. The proposed Congress-Samajwadi Party alliance seems to have
forced the BSP to do some rethinking about its candidates and though
the Congress-SP alliance is yet to take off, the BSP is not taking any

According to a senior BSP minister, “The BSP has always benefited in
multi-cornered contests. However, if the Congress-SP alliance
materialises, Uttar Pradesh will see a three-cornered contest
(Congress-SP versus BSP versus BJP) on most seats. We will have to put
up candidates who suit the new political equations and for this, some
changes may be effected.”

According to party sources, BSP president and UP chief minister
Mayawati has already changed candidates in about 10 Lok Sabha
constituencies and is likely to effect changes in another 8-10 segments.

“We cannot announce the changes since the names, in the first place,
had also not been officially announced. Changes are being done to
increase the winnability quotient of BSP candidates and some more
changes will be made once the Congress-SP and BJP announce their
candidates,” said a senior BSP functionary.

Party sources say that the BSP plans to field Muslim candidates in
constituencies where the Samajwadi Party-Congress candidate could be in
a winning position. “A Muslim candidate will attract votes from his own
community and along with the party’s Original Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and Brahmin vote base, he
can easily establish an edge over the rivals,” reasoned the party

The BSP, it is learnt, is also waiting for some “influential”
candidates to defect from other parties in near future. These turncoats
will have to be accommodated as party candidates.

For instance,  Rizwan Zaheer recently
quit the Samajwadi Party to join the BSP and he has been made the party
candidate from Balrampur.

The BSP, it may be recalled, had already finalised candidates on 80
per cent of the Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and the contestants
had even been asked to start preparing for the elections in
coordination with local party workers.

The party has been regularly taking a feedback on the candidates’
image and performance in their respective constituencies. Some
candidates, whose pre-poll performance has not been found to be
satisfactory, may also face the axe.

Maya to launch BSP campaign in four states


New Delhi

Oct. 30: BSP supremo Mayawati is set to launch her election campaign
in the poll-bound states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi with
the capital as her base. She has mobilised most of her ministers and
party MLAs for electioneering.

With a six-seater jet and a chopper at her disposal, Ms Mayawati is set to hop from one state to another.

The BSP chief is set to criss-cross the four states, that she is
looking at the possibility to expand the party’s base and step out of
Uttar Pradesh. Ms Mayawati will spend a day in Chhattisgarh in the
first week of November.

The state BSP in-charge Dauram Ratnakar informed, “Behenji is giving
a day each for first and second phase of elections in Chattisgarh. The
BSP MLAs and ministers from UP will start coming here from tomorrow.”

The BSP supremo has chosen Madhya Pradesh for the most intense electioneering.

Ms Mayawati is tipped to address a minimum of 25 public meetings in
the state. The state is going to the Assembly polls on November 27.

Also, playing the caste cards deftly, Ms Mayawati has pressed into
action the combination of a Muslim (Mr Naseemuddin), a Brahmin (Anant
Kumar Mishra) and a Kayastha (Mr Lalji Verma) leaders to tour the
poll-bound states ahead of her.

The close confidante of the BSP supremo and UP minister Naseemuddin,
who had played a crucial role in breaking the Samajwadi Party ahead of
the July trust vote, is hopping from one state to another to prepare
grounds for Ms Mayawati to give the last “push” before the elections.

Mr Naseemuddin has toured MP and Delhi recently and has asked all the UP ministers and MLAs to move into the poll-bound states.

The BSP supremo has also planned to address five rallies in Delhi in
November. She has stationed a dozen of UP MLAs in the capital who have
been assigned specific roles by Mr Naseemuddin.

The UP ministers are also overseeing party’s election campaign in the capital.

However, speculation is rife that Ms Mayawati is planning to change the candidates’ list announced so far for Rajasthan.

The former external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh’s son Jagat
Singh is set to contest from the Bharatpur Assembly constituency as the
BSP candidate.

Haj flight cancelled

Lucknow: The first flight scheduled to take Haj pilgrims from Uttar
Pradesh on Thursday was cancelled after many passengers failed to get
their visas and Chief Minister Mayawati accused the Centre of giving a
“step motherly treatment” to the State.

Maya plans action against 12 IPS officers

By Our Special Correspondent


Oct. 30: The Mayawati government is planning action against 12 more
IPS officers, found guilty of committing irregularities in the police
recruitment scam. The state government has already forwarded the names
of these IPS officers to the Centre for necessary permission before it
gives the nod for their prosecution to the investigating agency. A
total of about 40 officers, who were heading the selection boards, are
to be prosecuted for their role in the recruitment scam which took
place during the Mulayam Singh regime in 2005-2006.

‘Gifted orator’ Obama on an historic path

The man with the funny man, Barack Obama may make history by becoming the first black US President. (AP)
The man with the funny man, Barack Obama may make history by becoming the first black US President. (AP)

Washington, October 31: :
Barack Obama burst
onto the national stage four years ago with a speech describing himself
self-deprecatingly as a skinny guy with a funny name and an improbable
life story.

On Tuesday, he may make history by becoming the first black man elected US president.

Born in Hawaii to a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Kenya, Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia.

In the 2004 speech to the Democratic National
Convention that vaulted him to rock-star status, he introduced himself
to America as someone who hoped to bridge divisions, political and

This time the white voters would not retract from voting to
Barack Obama, and will prove to the world that they have a Mighty Great Mind.
Just like the poor Upper Caste voters who would also not retract from voting Ms
Mayawati who is vying to become the first Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa,
that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath Prime Minister. The Entire People of both
US and India
will prove to the world that they have Mighty Great Mind

that  will bring the change the US and India needs by seeking people’s involvement in democracy and resurrecting the tattered economy.”For both India and America, the time for change has come.” to equally distribute the National wealth to all sections of the society.For healthy seads and land to the tillers, Government Loans for all those who wanted to start business through honest government employees.

Uttar Pradesh university to team up with Italian university

Lucknow: The Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University (RMLNLU) here will tie up with the University of Naples, Italy, to promote academic research, especially in the field of international law.

“RMLNU and the University
of Naples will enter into an agreement to start an exchange programme
for the academic staff and researchers in compliance with the relevant
laws of two countries,” RMLNLU vice-chancellor Balraj Chauhan said on

“The exchange programme will help our teachers and students to have first-hand knowledge of international law,” he added.

According to university officials, a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) between the two institutes will be signed within a week. The MoU
will enable students and teachers to undertake joint research projects
which in turn will enhance their respective curricula, they said. IANS


one can B a Good Hindu, Muslim or Christian!

go to Heaven!

have a Mighty Great Mind of a Human!

Want 2 B Little Tommy thin or big mommy fat ?
Everything is in UR mouth !
Eat More U R fat !
If its less U R thin and neat !

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