11. Should any bhikkhu have a felt (blanket/rug) made of a mixture containing silk, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
12. Should any bhikkhu have a felt (blanket/rug) made of pure black wool, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
13. When a bhikkhu is having a
new felt (blanket/rug) made, two parts of pure black wool are to be
incorporated, a third (part) of white, and a fourth of brown. If a
bhikkhu should have a new felt (blanket/rug) made without incorporating
two parts of pure black wool, a third of white, and a fourth of brown,
it is to be forfeited and confessed.
14. When a bhikkhu has had a
new felt (blanket/rug) made, he is to keep it for (at least) six years.
If after less than six years he should have another new felt
(blanket/rug) made, regardless of whether or not he has disposed of the
first, then — unless he has been authorized by the bhikkhus — it is to
be forfeited and confessed.
15. When a bhikkhu is having a
felt sitting rug made, a piece of old felt a sugata span [25 cm.] on
each side is to be incorporated for the sake of discoloring it. If,
without incorporating a piece of old felt a sugata span on each side, a
bhikkhu should have a new felt sitting rug made, it is to be forfeited
16. Should wool accrue to a
bhikkhu as he is going on a journey, he may accept it if he so desires.
Having accepted it, he may carry it by hand — there being no one else
to carry it — three leagues [48 km.=30 miles] at most. If he should
carry it farther than that, even if there is no one else to carry it,
it is to be forfeited and confessed.
17. Should any bhikkhu have wool washed, dyed, or carded by a bhikkhunī unrelated to him, it is to be forfeited and confessed.
18. Should any bhikkhu accept
gold and silver, or have it accepted, or consent to its being deposited
(near him), it is to be forfeited and confessed.
19. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of monetary exchange, it (the income) is to be forfeited and confessed.
20. Should any bhikkhu engage in various types of trade, it (the article obtained) is to be forfeited and confessed.
“Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We
will listen when discourses that are words of the Tathagata — deep,
deep in their meaning, transcendent, connected with emptiness — are
being recited. We will lend ear, will set our hearts on knowing them,
will regard these teachings as worth grasping & mastering.’ That’s
how you should train yourselves.” [SN 20.7]
The Pali canon
contains many thousands of suttas (discourses), of which more than nine
hundred are now available in English translation here at Access to
Insight. When faced with such a vast store of riches, three questions
naturally spring to mind: Why should I read the suttas? Which ones should I read? How should I read them?
There are no simple cookie-cutter answers to these questions; the
best answers will be the ones you discover on your own. Nevertheless, I
offer here a few ideas, suggestions, and tips that I’ve found to be
helpful over the years in my own exploration of the suttas. Perhaps
you’ll find some of them helpful, too.
The short answer is: Whichever ones you like.
It can be helpful to think of the Dhamma as a multi-faceted jewel,
with each sutta offering a glimpse of one or two of those facets. For
example, there are teachings of the four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path; of dana and sila; of mindfulness of breathing and mindfulness of death; of living skillfully as a layperson or as an ordained monk.
No single sutta says it all; each one depends upon all the others to
paint a complete picture of the Buddha’s teachings. The more widely you
can read in the suttas, the more complete your picture of this jewel
As a starting point, every student of Buddhism should study, reflect upon, and put into practice the Five Precepts and the Five Subjects for Daily Contemplation. Furthermore, we should take to heart the Buddha’s advice to his young son, Rahula,
which concerns our basic responsibilities whenever we perform an
intentional act of any kind. From there, you can follow along with the
Buddha’s own step-by-step or “graduated” system of teachings that
encompasses the topics of generosity, virtue, heaven, drawbacks of sensuality, renunciation, and the four Noble Truths.
If you’re interested in a solid grounding on the basics of the
Buddha’s teachings, three suttas are widely regarded as essential
reading: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion (SN 56.11), The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic (SN 22.59), and The Fire Sermon
(SN 35.28). Together, these suttas — the “Big Three” of the Sutta
Pitaka — define the essential themes of the Buddha’s teachings that
reappear in countless variations throughout the Canon. In these suttas
we are introduced to such fundamental notions as: the Four Noble
Truths; the nature of dukkha; the Eightfold Path; the “middle way”; the “wheel” of the Dhamma; the principle of anatta
(not-self) and the analysis of one’s “self” into the five aggregates;
the principle of shedding one’s enchantment with sensual gratification;
and the many planes of being that characterize the vast range of
Buddhist cosmology. These basic principles provide a sturdy framework
upon which all the other teachings in the Canon can be placed.
Furthermore, these three suttas demonstrate beautifully the Buddha’s
remarkable skill as teacher: he organizes his material in clear,
logical, and memorable ways by using lists (the Four Noble Truths, the
Eightfold Path, the five aggregates, etc.); he engages his listeners in
an active dialogue, to help them reveal for themselves the errors in
their understanding; he conveys his points by using similes and imagery
that his listeners readily understand; and, most significantly, time
and again he connects with his listeners so effectively that they are
able to realize for themselves the transcendent results that he
promises. Seeing the Buddha for the extraordinarily capable teacher
that he is encourages us to proceed even deeper into the Canon,
confident that his teachings won’t lead us astray.
A few other fruitful points of departure:
When you find a sutta that captures your interest, look for others like it.1 From there, wander at will, picking up whatever gems catch your eye along the way.
To get the most from your sutta studies, it can be helpful to consider a few general principles before you actually begin reading and, once you’ve begun reading a sutta, to bear in mind a few questions as you read.
It is probably best not to let yourself get too comfortable with
any one particular translation, whether of a word or of an entire
sutta. Just because, for example, one translator equates “suffering”
with dukkha or “Unbinding” with nibbana, doesn’t mean
that you should accept those translations as truth. Try them on for
size, and see how they work for you. Allow plenty of room for your
understanding to change and mature, and cultivate a willingness to
consider alternate translations. Perhaps, over time, your own
preferences will change (you may, for example, come to find “stress”
and “quenching” more helpful). Remember that any translation is just a
convenient — but provisional — crutch that you must use until you can
come to your own first-hand understanding of the ideas it describes.
If you’re really serious about understanding what the suttas are about, you’ll just have to bite the bullet and learn some Pali.
But there’s an even better way: read the translations and put the
teachings they contain into practice until you get the results promised
by the Buddha. Mastery of Pali is, thankfully, not a prerequisite for
To facilitate this slow ripening process, allow yourself plenty of
room for the suttas. Don’t cram your sutta reading in among all your
other activities. Don’t read too many suttas all at once. Make sutta
study a special, contemplative activity. It should be a pleasant
experience. If it becomes dry and irritating, put it all aside and try
again in a few days, weeks, or months. Sutta study calls for more than
simply reading it once or twice and telling yourself, “There. I’ve
‘done’ the Satipatthana Sutta. What’s next?” After you finish reading a
sutta, take a little time out afterwards for some breath meditation to
give the teachings a chance to settle down into the heart.
As you read a sutta, keep in mind that you are eavesdropping on the
Buddha as he teaches someone else. Unlike many of the Buddha’s
contemporaries from other spiritual traditions, who would often adhere
to a fixed doctrine when answering every question [AN 10.93],
the Buddha tailored his teachings to meet the particular needs of his
audience. It is therefore important to develop a sensitivity to the
context of a sutta, to see in what ways the circumstances of the
Buddha’s audience may be similar to your own, so you can gauge how best
to apply the Buddha’s words to your own life situation.
As you read, it can be helpful to keep certain questions circulating
gently in the back of your mind, both to help you understand the
context of the sutta and to help you tune in to the different levels of
teaching that are often going on at once. These questions aren’t meant
to make you into a Buddhist literary scholar; they’re simply meant to
help each sutta come alive for you.
1. There are many ways to find related suttas on this website. If you click on the “About”
link at the top of a sutta page, you will find other suttas that are
located nearby in the Canon. Often these “neighbors” concern related
topics. To find other suttas, articles, or books on related topics,
explore the General Index. If there is a character mentioned in the sutta about whom you’d like to read more, try the Index of Proper Names. If you’d like to find out where else in the Canon a simile appears, try the Index of Similes.
Homage to the Supremely Enlightened One
Homage to the Sublime Teaching
Homage to the Buddha’s Community of Monks
The Abhidhamma forms the third part of the Pali Canon, the
Tipi.taka. The other two parts are the Vinaya Pi.taka, the code of
discipline for monks and nuns, and the Sutta Pi.taka, which contains
the Buddha’s discourses. The word “Abhidhamma” means the higher
teaching because it treats subjects exclusively in an ultimate sense (paramatthasacca),
differing from the Sutta Pi.taka where there is often the use of
expressions valid only from the standpoint of conventional truth (vohaarasacca).
In the Abhidhamma the philosophical standpoint of the Buddha is given
in a pure form without admixture of personalities, anecdotes, or
discussions. It deals with realities in detail and consists of numerous
classifications. These may at first discourage the prospective student.
However, if one perseveres one will be able to derive much benefit in
life-situations from the practical application of the knowledge gained
through study of the Abhidhamma.
Theravaada tradition holds that the Buddha conceived the Abhidhamma
in the fourth week after his enlightenment, while still sitting in the
vicinity of the Bodhi tree. Tradition also has it that he first
preached the Abhidhamma to the assembly of deities in the Taavati.msa
heaven; his mother, reborn as a deity, was present in the assembly.
This can be taken to mean that the Buddha, by intense concentration,
transcended the earth-bound mentality and rose mentally to the world of
the deities, a feat made possible by his attainment of higher powers (abhiññaa)
through utmost perfection in mental concentration. Having preached the
Abhidhamma to the deities, he returned to earth, that is, to normal
human consciousness, and preached it to the venerable Saariputta, the
arahant disciple most advanced in wisdom.
From ancient times doubts have been expressed as to whether the
Abhidhamma was really taught by the Buddha. What is important for us is
to experience the realities described in the Abhidhamma. Then one will
realize for oneself that such profound truths can emanate only from a
source of supreme enlightenment, from a Buddha. Much of what is
contained in the Abhidhamma is also found in the Sutta Pi.taka and such
sermons had never been heard by anyone until they were uttered by the
Buddha. Therefore those who deny that the source of the Abhidhamma was
the Buddha will then have to say that the discourses also were not
uttered by the Buddha. At any rate, according to the Theravaada
tradition, the essence of the Abhidhamma, the fundamentals, the
framework, is ascribed to the Buddha. The tabulations and
classifications may have been the work of later scholars. What is
important is the essence; it is this we should try to experience for
The question is also raised whether the Abhidhamma is essential for
Dhamma practice. The answer to this will depend on the individual who
undertakes the practice. People vary in their levels of understanding
and spiritual development. Ideally all the different spiritual
faculties should be harmonized, but some people are quite content with
devotional practice based on faith, while others are keen on developing
penetrative insight. The Abhidhamma is most useful to those who want to
understand, who want to know the Dhamma in depth and detail. It aids
the development of insight into the three characteristics of
existence-impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self. It will be
found useful not only during the periods devoted to formal meditation,
but also during the rest of the day when we are engaged in various
chores. When we experience realities then we are deriving benefit from
the study of the Abhidhamma. A comprehensive knowledge of the
Abhidhamma is further useful to those engaged in teaching and
explaining the Dhamma to others.
The Abhidhamma deals with realities existing in an ultimate sense, called in Pali paramattha dhammaa. There are four such realities:
Citta, the cetasikas, and ruupa are conditioned realities. They
arise because of conditions and disappear when their conditions cease
to sustain them. Therefore they are impermanent. Nibbaana is an
unconditioned reality. It does not arise and therefore does not fall
away. These four realities can be experienced regardless of what name
we give them. Any other thing — be it within ourselves or without,
past, present, or future, coarse or subtle, low or lofty, far or near —
is a concept and not an ultimate reality.
Citta, cetasikas, and nibbaana are also called naama. The two
conditioned naamas, citta and cetasikas, together with ruupa make up naama-ruupa, the psycho-physical organism. Each of us, in the ultimate sense, is a naama-ruupa,
a compound of mental and material phenomena, and nothing more. Apart
from these three realities that go to form the naama-ruupa compound
there is no ego, self, or soul. The naama part of the compound is what
experiences an object. The ruupa part does not experience anything.
When the body is injured it is not the body, which is ruupa, that feels
the pain, but naama, the mental side. When we are hungry it is not the
stomach that feels the hunger but again the naama. However, naama
cannot eat the food to ease the hunger. The naama, the mind and its
factors, makes the ruupa, the body, ingest the food. Thus neither the
naama nor the ruupa has any efficient power of its own. One is
dependent on the other; one supports the other. Both naama and ruupa
arise because of conditions and perish immediately, and this is
happening every moment of our lives. By studying and experiencing these
realities we will get insight into: (1) what we truly are; (2) what we
find around us; (3) how and why we react to what is within and around
us; and (4) what we should aspire to reach as a spiritual goal.
word ‘Manussa,’ man, had different etymological meanings
given it by eastern scholars in the past. While popular or
general Indian tradition traces the origin of the word to
‘Manu’ the mythical progenitor of the human race, in
the Buddhist texts the derivation of the word is given as
‘manassa-ussannataya=manussa’- man, because of his
highly developed state of mind (as compared to the underdeveloped
or rudimentary mental state of the lower animal). According
to Buddhist thought man ranks as the highest of beings due
to the vast potential of the human mind.
Arthasastra and Brhaspati’s Arthasastra - two
famous ancient treatises on economics - were both written
after the Buddha’s lifetime. They held one common feature,
and that, - under title of Arthasastra both writers
had written on politics and economics, leaving out the most
important factor, of ethics and the moral development of man
the Pali term “Attha“ (-Sanskrit ‘artha’)
- which has more than one meaning according to
Buddhism, the word as signifying success is used at two separate
levels, i.e. ‘attha’ meaning success, and ‘uttamattha’
meaning the highest success. The latter concerns man’s
mental and spiritual development resulting in the realization
of supramundane knowledge of the Four Noble Truths, in the
conquest of Self and attainment to spiritual perfection or
speaking, the word ‘attha’ as success, relates to the
various aspects of man’s socio-economic development - such
as the economy, politics, education, health, law and morality
of a society. It refers to social progress due to the harmonious
unification of all the above factors, contributing to the
prosperity and peaceful co-existence of a people.
in the case of legal administration of the Sangha, no single
discourse of the Buddha deals fully on any one of the above
factors of social progress. Yet reading through the numerous
discourses (or Suttas) it is possible to develop a fully consistent
and complete view-point of the Buddha’s stand on each of the
above topics drawn from the various discourses of the Buddha.
A socio-economic system based on Buddhist principles and practices
could easily be formulated to suit today’s modern progressive
recent times many books have been written on the subject of
economics and economic theory, all of them either from the
Capitalist or Socialist point of view. Neither of these systems
pays attention to, nor considers the inner development of
man as an important factor in the growth of society. Hence
there has been a rapid deterioration in human values and standards
of behaviour in all classes of society. Science and technology
have taken gigantic strides forward to send man to the moon,
and it will not be long before he visits other planets. But
fears are expressed that if the present trend towards moral
degeneration continues, before long it would be impossible
to differentiate human action from that of the animal. This
fear is not baseless. It would be a great tragedy indeed were
man to turn beast even in one of the many bestial aspects
of behaviour belonging to the lower animals. Thus what the
world requires today is a socially stable economic system
which yields the highest place to man’s moral development
and cultivation of human values.
Buddha lived in a society entangled and confused by sixty-two
divergent views and one hundred and eight types of craving.
There were hundreds who went about in search of an escape
from this entanglement of views. Once the Buddha was asked
the question: (Jata sutta)
inner tangle and the outer tangle -
This world is entangled in a tangle.
Who succeeds in disentangling this tangle?
Buddha who explained that all these tangles have mind as the
fore-runner, answered thus
a wise man, established well in virtue, Develops consciousness
and understanding, ‘Men as a bhikkhu ardent and sagacious
He succeeds in disentangling this tangle.
the importance of the external factors in man’s endeavour
towards disentangling himself from the inner tangle, the Buddha
gave many discourses on the ways and means of overcoming the
outer tangle. Some of these teachings were meant only for
the bhikkhus. Others were only for laymen. The rest were meant
for both bhikkhus and laymen, although in the latter case,
the discourses were mainly directed to the bhikkhus. In one
such discourse, he approved the acceptance by the bhdddius
of the four requisites namely robes, food, shelter and medicine.
Man could live without all other modern contraptions but for
life to go on, these four requisites are essential. Wealth
is required by man to obtain these four requisites and to
meet his other needs.
Noble Eightfold Path which could be classified under right
values and right action, enables man to achieve the highest
ends. For economic stability and well-being, the Buddhist
system stresses three factors in the Vyagghapajja Sutta.
Utthana Sampada: Production of wealth through skilled and
2. Arakkha Sampada: Its protection and savings.
3. Samajivikata - Living within one’s means.
Buddha when encouraging the production of wealth makes special
reference to six job ranges prevalent at that time:
3. Cattle breeding
4. Defence services
5. Government services
6. Professional services
was predominantly an agricultural country. Hence many references
in the discourses were made to agriculture. For example in
the ‘Sadapunnappavaddhana Sutta’ it is mentioned that
providing of irrigation facilities results in yielding continuous
merit. In the ‘Samyutta Nikaya’ it is mentioned that
the greatest asset for agriculture is cattle, while in the
Sutta Nipatha cattle from whom man obtains milk, ghee,
curd, butter and whey, of much nutritious value, are described
as the best friends of a country. In developing countries,
water and draught power provided by cattle, are basic needs
the discourse pertaining to a layman’s happiness (domestic
and otherwise) (Cahapati Sukha), foremost is mentioned
the satisfaction derived by a layman from the possession of
wealth obtained through righteous means. (Atthi Sukka).
However, the Buddha warns man against the tendency to
become a slave to the mere accumulation of wealth for its
own sake. Ibis would lead to both physical and mental suffering
later. Adequate means of livelihood to support oneself and
family, to help relatives and friends, and to distribute among
the needy and the deserving, would lead to contentment and
inner satisfaction. This in turn would result in the moral
and spiritual development of man.
the ‘Kutadanta Sutta’ the Buddha shows how peace and
prosperity and freedom from crime comes to a country
through the equitable distribution of wealth among its people.
says: ‘Long ago, 0 Brahman, there was a king by name Wide-realm
(Maha-Vijita), mighty with great wealth and large property
with stores of silver and gold, of aids to enjoyment, of goods
and corn; with his treasure houses and his garners full. Now
when Ying Wide-realm was once sitting alone in meditation
he became anxious at the thought: I have in abundance all
the good things a mortal can enjoy. The whole wide circle
of the earth. is mine by conquest to possess. “Twere
well if I were to offer a great sacrifice that should ensure
me weal and welfare for many days.”
he had the Brahman, his chaplain, called; and telling him
all that he had thought, he said: “So I would fain, 0
Brahman, offer a great sacrifice - let the venerable one instruct
me how - for my weal and my welfare for many days.”
the Brahman who was chaplain said to the king: ‘The king’s
country, Sire, is harassed and harried. There are dacoits
abroad who pillage the villages and townships, and who make
the roads unsafe. Were the king, so long as that is so, to
levy a fresh tax, verily his majesty would be acting wrongly.
But perchance his majesty might think: I will soon put a stop
to these scoundrels’ game by degradation and banishment, and
fines and bonds and death! But their licence cannot be satisfactorily
put a stop to do so. The remnant left unpunished would still
go on harassing the realm. Now there is one method to adopt
to put a thorough end to this disorder. Whosoever, there be
in the king’s realm who devote themselves to keeping cattle
and the farm, to them let his majesty the king give food and
seed corn. Whosoever, there be in the king’s realm who devote
themselves to trade, to them let his majesty the king give
wages and food. Then those men, following each his own business,
will no longer harass the realm; the king’s revenue will go
up; the country will be quiet and at peace; and the populace,
pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children
in their arms, will dwell with open doors.”
King Wide-realm, 0 Brahman, accepted the word of his chaplain,
and did as he had said. And the men, following their business,
harassed the realm no n-tore. And the king’s revenue went
up. And the country became quiet and at peace. And the populace,
pleased one with another and happy, dancing their children
in their arms, dwelt with open doors.
King Wide-realm had his chaplain called, and said: The disorder
is at an end. The country is at peace. (Dialogues of the
Buddha - Part I, pp. 175-6).
means the worldly happiness derived from the constant protection
of one’s wealth (that has been righteously obtained) from
burglary, fire, floods etc. As the Buddha has extolled the
virtue of savings, this factor too could be considered in
money on credit (or loans) was prevalent even during the Buddha’s
time. Persons like Anathapindika were the bankers of the day.
The Buddhist texts make references to instances where he gave
loans both to the state as well as to ordinary people. However,
Buddhism does not approve of excessive borrowing for as the
saying goes “borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry”
- and the Buddha’s advocacy of a life free from debts (anana
sukha) as being conducive to the happiness of a layman
supports this statement.
the ‘Samannaphala Sutta,’ the Buddha compares the SamannaPhala
(or fruit of a recluse’s life) to the happiness derived
by a person, who having been in debt frees himself of all
his debts, and now supports his family and children from the
savings he has managed to put aside. The importance of making
savings from one’s earnings is stressed in this manner. In
general, the Buddha gives details of the proper use of one’s
earnings. But in the ‘Sigalovada Sutta.’ He admonishes
particularly a big magnate, Sigala to apportion his savings
into four and to spend one part of it for his daily upkeep
and that of his family. Two portions were to be invested in
his business; and the fourth put aside for any emergency.
is the third of the three basic principles in the Buddhist
Economic system. A person should spend reasonably in proportion
to his income, neither too much nor too little. In the discourse
relating to the householders’ happiness (gahapati sukha)
enjoyment of one’s income appropriately and wisely
(bhoga sukha) is given as one of the four factors conducive
to lay happiness.
the Pattakamma Sutta the manner in which a person
should spend his wealth is given in detail as follows:
Expenditure on food and clothing and other needs.
2. Maintenance of parents, wife and children and servants.
3. For illness and other emergencies.
4. For charitable purposes.
5. For the performance of the following:
treating one’s relatives;
(ii) treating one’s visitors;
(iii) offering alms in memory of the departed;
(iv) offering merit to the deities;
(v) payment of state taxes and dues in time.
Buddha extols simple living as being more conducive to the
development of one’s mind. A society progresses to the extent
the mind of the individual is developed. Administration of
such a society becomes easier, when law and order is well
established. Knowing this, ancient kings in Sri Lanka gave
much publicity to the contents of the Ariyavamsa Sutta.’
In this Sutta, preached by the Buddha for the benefit
of the bhikkhus, the latter are exhorted to be contented with
The robes (clothes) they receive (whether coarse or fine).
(ii) Alms (food) they receive (whether unpalatable or delicious).
(iii) The abodes (houses) they receive (whether simple or
(iv) Meditation (development of mind).
content with the first three it is possible to reduce economic
restlessness, and at the same time to inculcate the habits
and values of simple living. Through meditation the human
mind develops itself both morally and spiritually, resulting
in reducing social disharmony and insurrection which arise
first in the minds of men and then put into action. Peace
and progress of a country is thus assured.
this modern world although highly advanced in science and
technology, with its rapid expansion of knowledge, there appears
to be a steady deterioration of human values. Present day
politics, the economy, and educational systems are some of
the more important reasons for this state of affairs. In this
context it is considered desirable that the existing political
and economic thought and educational systems should be changed
so as to give priority to the development of human values.
is both a path of emancipation and a way of life. As a way
of life it interacts with the economic, Political and social
beliefs and practices of the people. It is felt that the time
is now most opportune to make known to the world each of the
above aspects of society within the framework of Buddhist
Ethics and the basic principles of Buddhism. The progress
of a country depends ultimately on the progress of the individual.
Over 2500 years ago, the Buddha was born into a confused society
entangled in various views regarding life and thought in general.
Through Buddhism it was possible to disentangle this tangle
of views and to reduce this confusion. Today too, in This
Confused Society it is generally believed that Buddhism
could again help in lighting a path through the darkness of
thanks to Phramaha Somnuek Saksree
can stop me from becoming PM’
After her surprise anointment as the UNPA’s
prime ministerial candidate, BSP supremo Mayawati’s confidence levels have
reached a new high. She told Editor Prabhu Chawla that she is
destined to become the country’s prime minister. An exclusive interview:
Q. Finally a Original Inhabitant of
Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most
communities of the world’s daughter’s name has been finalised for prime
minister. How did this happen?
A. Apart from being a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that
is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world ’s daughter, I am also the daughter of
populated state has given me four chances to be CM. I have worked not just for
the Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath
which is one of the top most communities of the world s but for all sections of
the society. I am born in
so I am not just Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha
Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the world ki beti but also
Q. You said there was a conspiracy
against a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha
Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the world ’s daughter
A. Everyone saw it. And they (my political rivals) have seen
what a good government I have given in UP, so they are scared that if the BSP
forms a government at the Centre and Mayawati becomes PM, they will have to
wait for a long time to come back to power at the Centre.
That is why they thought it is better we
don’t let her come to power at all. Moreover, the BJP and the Congress I think
are alike—whether at the Centre or at the state, their governments have economic
policies that make rich industrialists richer and the poor poorer. So they know
that once they are removed from power, all their rich industrialist friends
will suffer while the poor, the farmers and small industrialists will benefit,
and they don’t want that.
Q. So they won’t let you become the PM?
A. This kind of question was raised even when the BSP was
improving in UP and there was a chance that I could become chief minister. But
I did become UP chief minister, and I think a day will come when the wishes of
the oppressed, the poor, the downtrodden and beloved Dr Ambedkar will come
true. One day, this section will get political power. If I can become UP chief
minister, then I think a day will surely come when the dreams of our people
will come true.
Q. Will the dream be realised through
A. Definitely, it will come true.
Q. So you think that your becoming PM is
only a matter of time. Nothing can stop you now.
A. A movement has begun. When the time comes, no one can stop.
No one could stop me from becoming the chief minister of UP.
Q. Will you be able to run the
government? Can you rule
A. This question was also raised in UP before I became chief
minister. But from
till today, if you compare all the sarkars to my government and ask
the aam janta of UP, they will tell you that Mayawati is the best. So
if I can give UP-which is
largest state—the best sarkar, why can’t I do the same at the Centre?
Q. Do you have an agenda for governance?
A. Of course I have.
Q. But until now you were limited to UP
and you didn’t even meet leaders of other parties.
A. I did meet other leaders, but I also had to run my party. I
Q. If you do become the PM, what is your
agenda for governance? What are your views on privatisation and economic
reforms that Manmohan Singh started?
A. Our sarkar’s economic agenda will benefit the
country’s poor and weaker sections. It will benefit all sections of the
Q. You are talking like Indira Gandhi,
“Gareebi hatao, desh
A. My party is not against privatisation. Like we have done in
UP, at the Centre too we will see that the country’s Scheduled Castes have the
benefits of reservations. When a government office is privatised, reservation
rights should be protected as I have done in UP. Apart from the Scheduled
Castes, we will take care of the minorities, Backward Classes and also the
economically poor among the upper castes. I have written to the Centre about
reservation in government jobs for the economically poor among upper castes.
Q. Should there be foreign investment in retail?
A. There are different castes and religions in
poor and jobless, so we will take all this into account.
Q. Should there be FDI in retail?
A. The interests of the small shopkeepers must be protected.
Q. So you are not against FDI in retail?
A. No I am not.
Q. What about the nuclear deal?
A. The Congress is claiming that because of this deal we will
get cheap electricity. This is wrong. Whatever electricity we get will be much
more expensive and it will take 10-15 years to get it. And the output will be
only 8-10 per cent more than what we are getting. It will be so expensive that
neither the poor nor the small industrialists will be able to use it.
Q. So will you cancel the nuclear deal?
A. When my government is formed, we will rethink this deal and
examine if it’s in the nation’s interests or not. We are told that
Such conditions are meant to make
Q. Before opposing this deal, you must
have read it.
A. We do not agree with this deal. We will rethink it.
Q. But the Left is totally opposed to
they are supporting you.
A. Whenever we do a deal with any country, we must first take
into account the country’s interests. When my party comes to power at the
Centre, we will take into account all sections of the society while making
Q. Opposition parties claim that your
politics is caste-based. Does this suit a prime minister?
A. The people who make such allegations are the ones who are
indulging in caste politics. The BSP has finished jaativaad in this
country and wants to bring together all sections of the society. The charge
that the BSP is jaativaadi is false.
Q. Maybe this is because
you are now being promoted as the leader of UNPA.
A. I am the leader of BSP. The UNPA is different, the Left is
separate. They all have their own leaders.
Q. But they are promoting you as the PM,
no one else.
A. I welcome this suggestion and I am grateful.
Q. But other leaders of the UNPA like
Chandrababu Naidu and Chautala belong to forward castes. How does behen
Mayawati fit into all this?
A. The Left parties and other members of the UNPA have
realised that Mayawati in UP has included all sections of the society in the
BSP’s way of thinking. Along with the backward sections and the minorities, it
has also sent upper castes to Parliament and the state assembly and given them
posts in the ministry. They don’t see her as jaativaadi but as one who
takes all sections of the society together.
Q. Well you do have the slogan. But
these leaders first went to Mulayam. When that did not work out, they came
after you in the hope that by sailing in your boat they too will get somewhere.
And then, they will leave you too?
A. The names that you have mentioned did at first go to
Mulayam, and you say that they will leave me too. But in the UPA and NDA too,
there are many allies who are attracted to the BSP. And there will be a time
when they too will join us.
Q. So there will be some attempt to
A. I am against breaking any party, but those who come on
their own are welcome.
Q. But you will still need the Congress
or the BJP to become PM. How will a Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is
the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world ki beti become PM without their
A. With Lok Sabha elections a few months away, I am sure that
the BJP and Congress, along with their allies, will not get more than 200 seats
together. The rest will be 340. So I will not need the BJP or the Congress.
Q. Their company will come to you?
A. No, I will not need their company. They will come to me on
Q. On one side is the “Note
Gate” and on the other side there is terrorism. But there seems to be
little desire to fight terrorism.
A. I think the way wads of money were placed in Parliament and
MPs are being bought over, this should be condemned.
Q. What about terrorism?
A. The state governments should get together and plan and
strategise to counter it. The borders of our country are not strengthened.
Q. Who do you blame for the rise in
terrorism? Is it minority appeasement, weak governance or the lack of a strong
A. We should not link terrorism with politics, but the states
and the Centre should sit and strategise how to contain it.
Q. For this we need a strong law. But
POTA has been removed. Even you are against POTA.
A. No. I think that central and state governments should make
strict laws. Not POTA, but there can be other strict laws.
Q. Like MCOCA in
A. In UP too we have passed a law but the Centre has not
Q. So would you say the Centre is weak
in formulating laws?
A. Yes. Also, our borders are weak. After all, the terrorists
enter our country from across the borders. So it’s up to the central government
to make the borders strong and make a law along with the states.
Q. A law like POTA?
A. Not necessarily but a strong law.
Q. Our Muslim brothers say they are
against terrorism as much as the rest of us, yet they say that to appease the
Muslim vote we won’t make a strong law.
A. If a person commits a wrong, you should not punish the
Q. Should Mohd Afzal be hanged? The
Supreme Court has said he should be.
A. This is for the courts and the government to decide.
Q. But in the name of terrorism,
politics is being played.
A. That’s not good.
Q. Will you do anything to stop this?
A. When I become PM, we will try and create such a situation
that there will be no terror incidents.
Q. How will you ensure this? Will you
make a strong law?
A. Maybe there will be no need to make a strong law. There
will be such an environment that there will be no need for it.
Q. The terrorists will feel scared of
you and not come out?
Q. The word supremo is often used for
you. It evokes dictatorship more than democracy. It is used for Bal Thackeray
A. That title I didn’t give myself. You keep calling me that,
so ask yourself.
Q. But do you work like a dictator?
A. No, I believe in democracy and take everyone’s views into
Q. It is often said that how a Original
Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of
the top most communities of the world ki
beti could collect so much money and have so many houses.
A. The CBI has given a false affidavit to the court. When my
lawyer presents my case, the truth will come out.
Q. But charges are being laid against
A. This is all because of political pressure, whether it is
the UPA or the NDA. It is all politics.
Q. There was so much bonhomie between
you and Sonia. She came and wished you on your birthday. What happened between
the two sisters suddenly?
A. Milna julna alag cheez hai and politics is
Q. And now Amar Singh is
in the central government indirectly. Are you feeling threatened?
A. I am not but I can say for sure that the Congress will be
feeling threatened that if not today then tomorrow he will do something against
Q. Have you gone soft on Amar Singh?
A. No I have not. The UP assembly results threw them out of
the government and installed me. So if the people of UP have already killed
them then why should I bother to do anything? Mare huey ko kyon maarna?
Q. You had earlier made charges of
corruption against them and said you will send them to jail. Have you forgiven
Q. Or is it that you did not find
A. Whatever the charges of corruption against them, the cases
are going on in the Supreme Court. Why should I come in the middle of that? And
why should I feel scared of weak people?
Q. But Amar Singh and Mulayam have been
reborn. They have become more powerful.
A. They are now more dead than ever.
Q. They sit and eat with the PM and meet
Sonia every day.
A. Dining is not everything. The way this government has been
saved, they will get no political gains out of this.
Q. There is talk of pressing ahead with
the cases against you. Don’t you think they must have made some sort of a deal?
A. Whenever there has been a political attack against me, via
the CBI or others, I have emerged stronger.
Q. So you are ready to fight?
Q. So how do you keep so fit? Do you
A. I don’t. I just keep busy with my work.
Q. No gym or personal trainer?
A. I don’t get the time for exercise, I just do my work.
Q. Do you control your diet?
A. I eat what I get.
Q. I have seen you for the last 15 years
and there is an image makeover. Was this part of a plan to ready yourself for
chief ministership and prime ministership?
A. I have done nothing. All this has happened naturally. I keep
busy with my work and that is my exercise.
Q. What hobbies do you have?
A. All 24 hours of the day, I think about the movement I am
associated with and how to take my party forward. How to help the backward and
weaker sections of our country. I keep making plans for them and that keeps me
Q. Weaving conspiracies?
A. No, plans.
Q. But politics is like conspiracy. How
to get to power etc
A. No, I don’t need to. My party is different from others; it
is both a mission and a movement.
Q. In the end, it is politics only-how
to get power.
A. I agree with Babasaheb Dr Ambedkar, who said that if any
section of the society wants to solve its problems, it has to get political
Q. So to fulfill Babasaheb’s dream, this
Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the Great Prabuddha Bharath which is
one of the top most communities of the world
ki beti is readying her political arsenal.
A. Not just Original Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is the
Great Prabuddha Bharath which is one of the top most communities of the
world ki beti but
ki beti. I will fulfill Babasaheb’s dream, and those who believe in
Babasaheb are working to make this possible.
Q. I will ask you five questions and you
must answer them in one line. Who do you think is your biggest enemy? I am not
taking Amar Singh or Mulayam’s name.
A. I am against discrimination and untouchability and jaativaad.
Q. And your best friend? The one who
will put you in power?
A. The day our society that is divided on caste lines becomes
Q. I am asking about individuals. There
have been 14 prime ministers in
Who do you like the best?
A. If I liked any one then I would not have felt the need to
form my own party.
Q. The worst?
A. They are all the same.
Q. Do you watch films?
A. No, I don’t. I barely get the time. I do watch the news
Q. Do you have a favourite heroine?
A. Well, I don’t watch movies, so how will I have a favourite
Q. Your favourite food? You do eat,
A. (laughs) Yes, otherwise how will I stay alive. Green
Q. Which is your favourite tourist spot?
A. Whenever I travel, I am so busy that I don’t have the time
to do any sightseeing.
Q. If you got a chance, where would you
like to go? After all, even Jawaharlal Nehru took a holiday sometimes.
A. I like natural surroundings. I am very fond of nature.
Q. Whom do you see as a political
villain in the country today?
Q. Is it Amar Singh or anyone other?
A. There is no shortage of such people in the country today.
Q. You don’t want to take a name?
A. Well you have taken the name yourself, so I don’t need to.