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12/29/08
Mayawati suspects ‘drunkard’ legislator was ‘used’ by opposition -Indian ‘Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (Untouchable(SC/STs))’ aims for top job
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12/26/08
LESSAON 18 - Notable success achieved by police in drive launched against criminals Ten notorious criminals killed last week, 8 out of them carrying reward on their heads 91 award carrying criminals killed this year and 1646 criminals captured -CM lays foundation of 49 schemes worth Rs. 948.98 crore for all round development of Varanasi and Kannauj Foundation of schemes more than Rs. 800 crore for Varanasi and Rs. 148 crore for Kannauj laid Heritage Plan of Varanasi to be completed in next 6 months-Notable success achieved by police in drive launched against criminals Ten notorious criminals killed last week, 8 out of them carrying reward on their heads 91 award carrying criminals killed this year and 1646 criminals captured - Orders given to take punitive action against those responsible for killing of Executive Engineer under Dibiyapur Thana Nobody will be allowed to disturb law and order of the State — CM lays foundation of 49 schemes worth Rs. 948.98 crore for all round development of Varanasi and Kannauj Foundation of schemes more than Rs. 800 crore for Varanasi and Rs. 148 crore for Kannauj laid Heritage Plan of Varanasi to be completed in next 6 months- Government Spokesman Rs. 5 lakh financial assistance for family of deceased, orders also given to provide government job to his wife -C.M. greets people on Christmas Start Recruitment to 66,000 vacant posts of primary teachers for qualitative improvement in primary education sector — News regarding non implementation of pay scales recommended for Centre for teachers confusing : Chief Minister Revised pay structure includes general revised pay scale of the existing pay scales of teachers/non-teaching employees — Laxity in implementation of development related programmes and policies will not be tolerated : Chief Minister Responsibility of officers should be fixed for slow progress of works : Mayawati Legal action will be initiated against officers adopting deliberate careless approach : Chief Minister All development and construction works should be completed by coming February : Chief Minister C.M. reviews progress of development works at high level review meeting-Mayawati-Chief Minister-Maya makes a clarion call for Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath unity -Underhand deals killed engineer, says Mayawati -a) E-Social Engineering in Practice-Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting to BSP, the Nation you save! -b)E-Social Transformation in Practice - c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice - Mayawati’s social engineering Practice has proved successful.- BSP is for all communities: Mayawati-Mayawati: we rely on masses d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice -e)E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practic- f) E-Abhidhamma in Practice-g) E-Noble Eightfold Path in Practice h) E-Jhanas in Practice-BSP is for all communities: Mayawati
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Press
Information Bureau

(C.M. Information Campus)

Information
& Public Relations Department, U.P.

 

Notable success achieved by

police in drive launched against criminals

 

Ten notorious criminals killed last week,

8 out of them carrying reward on their heads

 

91 award carrying criminals killed

this year and 1646 criminals captured

 

Lucknow: December  22 2008

 

The Uttar
Pradesh police has achieved notable success last week in the drive launched
against criminals on the directives of the Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati.
Notorious criminal Kalu alias Narendra, carrying Rs. 20,000 reward on his head
and wanted in ruthless killing of traders in Baghpat district, was killed in a
police encounter in Gautam Buddh Nagar district and his accomplice Sonu was
arrested from Baghpat. He is carrying a reward of Rs. 10,000 reward on his
head. It may be recalled that the Chief Minister has accorded top priority to
establish rule of law by the law and had issued detailed instructions to the
police officers from time to time.

The Chief
Minister, on coming to power, had assured of the people of the State that the
criminals would be put behind the bars. The State police has achieved
remarkable success against criminals by launching an extensive drive against
them during the last one year. Ten notorious criminals were killed last week in
police encounters and 8 out of them were carrying reward on their heads. Lavkush
Kewat and Mool Chandra Kewat carrying a reward of Rs. 10,000 each on their
heads were killed in Lucknow, while Neeraj alias
Titu Gupta and Pawan alias Goldi were killed in Ghaziabad district. Besides, four criminals
in Gorakhpur,
which included Raja Pandey, Dhram Pal Dadhi, Pradeep and Virendra Yadav and
Shokha Yadav, were gunned down by police. Out of these criminals, the first two
were carrying a reward of Rs. 5,000 each on their heads. In Meerut district Upendra alias Chiku carrying
a reward of Rs. 5,000 was killed during this period.

The police
successfully recovered fake currency worth Rs. 3.23 lakh from Maharajganj
district in its drive against counterfeit currency during the last year. Important
success was achieved in action against terrorist and anti-national elements
Abdul Jabbar alias Sikandar, an ISI agent of Pakistan, was arrested by ATS
during this week. Besides, a Hawala accused Mohd. Shoaib alias Sameer was
arrested by ATS in the month of September and Rs. 15 lakh were recovered from
him.

As many as 91
criminals carrying rewards on their heads were killed and 1646 reward carrying
criminals were arrested between January 01 and November 30 this year. Rs. 5
lakh reward carrying dreaded brigand Thokia alias Ambika Patel was gunned down
in a police encounter during this period. It may be recalled that the police
was successful in eliminating notorious dacoit Dadua earlier. Police also
eliminated criminals coming from other states and Musafir Yadav of Bihar, carrying a reward of Rs. 2 lakh on his head, was
killed in Kushinagar district in a police encounter. Four notorious criminals
carrying a reward of Rs. 50,000 each on their heads were killed in police
encounters. These criminals included Naresha (Shahjahanpur), Natthu alias Chela
(Chitrakoot), Umar Kewath (Fatehpur) and Mohd. Shah Alam of Haryana (killed in
Ghazipur district). Besides, police was also successful in eliminating 7
criminals carrying a reward of Rs. 20,000 each on their heads.

The State
police took effective action against terrorists and anti-social elements this
year. Arif alias Abdul Kadeer, an accused of 2007 Lucknow Court Campus bomb blasts and
also an accused of Ahemdabad blasts, was arrested by ATS from Azamgarh in
September last. Earlier, a Pakistani national Imran Ahamad was arrested from Allahabad in the month of
August. In the same month Abul Bashar of Azamgarh, suspect of Ahemdabad blasts,
was arrested from Azamgarh by ATS and Gujarat
police.

Police was
successful in recovering fake currency about worth Rs. 1.56 crore this year.
The STF also unearthed a nexus between fake currency distributors and laid bare
the involvement of a bank cashier of
 
Dumariaganj, Siddharthnagar in fake currency racket. The police came to
know about his involvement in this activity through an arrest made in July. The
officers of the Reserve Bank recovered fake currency worth Rs. 4.2 crore from
the currency chest during their raid on bank premises. Besides, the Reserve
Bank authorities also recovered fake Indian currency from other banks.

On the
directives of the Chief Minister, an extensive drive to check the activities of
police personnel, was carried out. It also aimed to discipline the erring
policemen, so that the entire police set up could be made responsible and
clean. As many as 188 policemen were expelled from the services this year and
3895 policemen were suspended. Owing to strict control, the number of incidents
of accused fleeing from the police custody has come down this year. The police
has also been vigilant towards the cases of human rights and owing to it the
complaints being received from National Human Rights Commission had come down
notably. The number of custodial deaths had also come down as only 3 such
deaths were reported till November 15 this year, while 11 such deaths were
reported in 2007 and 6 incidents were reported 2006.

Notable
success was also achieved in the recovery of drugs/narcotics this year as 83
kg. of heroine, 14 kg. morphine, 9 quintals of charas, 28 quintals of Nepali
charas, 1 quintal opium, 21 kg. smack, 3 kg. brown sugar, 20 quintals of opium
peel/doda, 18 bags of doda opium and 22 quintals of ganja was confiscated.

 

*******


CM lays foundation of 49
schemes worth Rs. 948.98 crore

for all round development
of Varanasi and Kannauj

 

Foundation of schemes more
than

Rs. 800 crore for Varanasi and Rs. 148
crore for Kannauj laid

 

Heritage Plan of Varanasi to be completed
in next 6 months

 

Lucknow : 20 December 2008

 

        The
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati, while laying the foundation of
schemes worth Rs. 948.98 crore for the all-round development of Varanasi and Kannauj,
said that urban regeneration was the top priority of her Government. She said
that during one and a half year long tenure of her Government several important
steps had been taken in this direction. These steps included schemes for the
all-round development of Vrindavan, which is an important tourist place and
laying the foundation of schemes worth Rs. 250 crore on the 6th
August last for providing basic facilities to the poor sections of the society.
She expressed the hope that along with the common people the tourists would
also be benefited by these schemes. She laid foundation of 28 schemes costing more
than Rs. 800 crore for Varanasi
and 21 schemes costing more than Rs. 148 crore for Kannauj.

        Addressing
a function organised at her 5-Kalidas Marg official residence here today for
laying the foundation of these schemes, she said that financial arrangements
had been made for these schemes. She said that the previous governments made
only announcements, but never issued financial sanctions in time, that was the
reason why most of the schemes were confined to paper only. She said that her
Government always honoured its words. She directed the Chief Secretary, Cabinet
Secretary and Additional Cabinet Secretary to monitor these schemes besides
monitoring schemes announced for Mathura-Vrindavan, so that these schemes could
be completed within stipulated time. She said that the Chairman of the State
Advisory Council Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra would review the progress of these
schemes from time to time and apprise her of their progress. She said that
time-bound implementation of development schemes was the top priority of the
Government and any laxity in it would invite tough action against the guilty.
She said that the State Government, despite its limited resources, wanted to
carry out all round development of important cities of the State. She said that
the Government had demanded Rs. 80,000 crore package from the Centre for the
all round development of the State, but the Centre had not provided even a
single penny so far.

        Ms.
Mayawati said that the State Government had decided to develop Varanasi as an international tourist spot. It
has also decided to develop the Buddhist Circuit. Besides, the State Government
also intends to provide high quality infrastructure and community services to
the people of Varanasi.
With this objective, the foundation of flyovers, construction/repair/widening/ strengthening/beautification
of roads, drinking water supply, sewerage, drainage system, solid waste
management, improvement in the power supply of the historical places etc.
costing Rs. 800.68 crore had been laid. She said that on the February 21 last,
on the occasion of Sant Ravidas Jayanti, she had announced several
developmental works for the Varanasi
district, besides completion of works announced by previous governments had also
been ordered in a time-bound and qualitative manner. She said that all these
projects were going on full swing.

        Elaborating
upon the important decisions taken for the development of Varanasi,
the C.M. said that action had been initiated on the Heritage Plan of Varanasi
so that it could be developed as an International Heritage and Tourist City and also to keep its mythological
character intact. The Heritage Plan would be completed in the next six months. The
State Government, with a view to preserving the world famous zari work, had decided to place zari craftsmen along side the weavers
for power dues. She further said that directives had been issued to invite
financial bids for the construction of multi-level underground car parking
projects at Beniabagh, Shaheed Udhyan and Maidagin on
public-private-partnership (PPP) basis costing Rs. 142 crore so that the
traffic system of Varanasi could be improved.

        Ms.
Mayawati said that she had laid foundation of various schemes costing more than
Rs. 148 crore for the development of Kannauj so that the lost glory of this
place could be restored. She reminded that Kannauj was made a district on 18
September 1997 during her second tenure. She had formulated various schemes for
the all round development of Kannauj at that time, but she didn’t get much time
to translate them into reality. She said that now those development schemes
were being launched again and after their completion the people of Kannauj
would get a lot of facilities. She said that the M.P. elected from Kannauj had
also ignored his constituency.

        It may
be recalled that during 2008-09 the Government launched development schemes on
a large scale for the all-round development of the State. Under it, Rs. 396
crore schemes for Agra, Rs. 250 crore schemes
for Vrindavan-Mathura, Rs. 170 crore schemes for Lucknow have been included. Besides, the
Chief Minister inaugurated/laid foundation/announced 48 schemes worth Rs. 8,500
crore on May 13 last on the completion of one year of the present Government. The
State Government has set a target of construction of 1,01,000 houses under the
Manyawar Shri Kanshiram Ji Shahari Garib Awas Yojana to provide two room houses
to the urban poor living below the poverty line for the current financial year.
An amount of Rs. 1800 crore had been sanctioned for the purpose.

        The
Chief Secretary Mr. Atul Kumar Gupta thanked the Chief Minister and the guests.

        Several
members of the U.P. Council of Ministers, Chairman U.P. State Advisory Council
Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra, Cabinet Secretary Mr. Shashank Shekhar Singh and a
large number of senior officers were present on the occasion.

 

*******


Orders given to take
punitive action against those

responsible for killing
of Executive Engineer under Dibiyapur Thana

 

Nobody will be allowed
to disturb law and order of the State

— Government Spokesman

 

Rs. 5 lakh financial
assistance for family of deceased,

orders also given to
provide government job to his wife

 

 

          Lucknow:
December 24, 2008

 

          A
Government spokesman, while terming the killing of Executive Engineer of P.W.D.
Mr. Manoj Gupta under the Dibiyapur police station in Auraiyya district today
as unfortunate, said that orders had been given to take punitive action against
all the guilty persons immediately. He said that all the persons named in this
incident, including the local MLA, would be arrested immediately and brought to
book.

        The spokesman said that the Chief
Minister had given explicit order that nobody was above law even if one
belonged to the ruling party. Therefore, the police officers had been given
clear cut orders that the guilty should be arrested immediately and put behind
the bars. He said that nobody would be allowed to disturb the law and order of
the State and if any one tries to disturb it then he would be booked immediately.
He said that the criminals did not belong to any particular caste or religion.

        The spokesman said that the F.I.R.
against the guilty had been registered under Section 342, 323, 457, 364, 302 of
I.P.C. and Section-7 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act. The crime number is
299/08. Punitive action had been initiated against all the guilty persons. The
I.G. Zone, Commissioner Kanpur, D.I.G.
Range and other senior
officers were present on the spot to maintain peace. Besides, additional police
force has also been deployed.

        The spokesman said that the Chief
Minister has ordered to provide Rs. 5 lakh assistance to the family members of
the deceased and a government job to the wife of the deceased.

 

*******


C.M.
greets people on Christmas
 

­

 

          Lucknow:
December 24, 2008

 

 

        The
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati has extended her heartiest
felicitations and good wishes to the people of the State, especially Christian
brethren, for happiness and prosperity on the occasion of Christmas.

        In a greetings message issued on the eve
of Christmas, Ms. Mayawati said that Jesus Christ’s message of peace and forgiveness
was for the welfare of entire humanity. She said that this festival gave us a
message that we should love our fellow human beings and serve the entire
mankind selflessly.

Ms.
Mayawati said that the birth day of Jesus Christ inspired all of us to help the
needy, establish peace all over the world and kindle ray of hope in the heart
of those drowning in the sea of despair.

The
Chief Minister has appealed to people to celebrate Christmas in an atmosphere
of peace and harmony.

 

********

1
Press Information Bureau
(C.M. Information Campus)
Information & Public Relations Department, U.P.

Start Recruitment to 66,000 vacant posts of primary

teachers for qualitative improvement in primary education sector
— Chief Minister


Chairman, State Advisory Council extensively reviews

progress of Primary and Secondary Education Departments
Committee formed to improve
Courses of primary and secondary education
Lucknow : December 26, 2008
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati directed officers to
start the process of recruitment to 56,000 posts of primary teachers at the
earliest, so that qualitative improvement and elevation of primary
education could be ensured. Besides, timely recruitment on about 10,000
vacancies, created in every session because of retirements, should also be
ensured. The Chief Minister asked the officers to pay special attention to
the qualifications and quality of the primary teachers. The Chief Minister
took this decision at a high level meeting held after the Chairman of the
U.P. State Advisory Council Mr. Satish Chandra Mishra held a review
meeting of primary and secondary education in the forenoon today.
The Chairman held a review meeting of the various schemes being
conducted by the Basic Education and Secondary Education Departments
at the Annexe auditorium here today. The meeting was held on the
directives of the Chief Minister. Mr. Mishra, while informing the Chief
Minister about the important decisions taken at the meeting, said that
about 1.56 lakh posts of teachers were lying vacant at present. Against it,
88,000 vacancies were being filled through Special BTC (Vishisht BTC) and
after imparting them 6 months of training they would be appointed from
January 2009 in the schools. Besides, selection and training of 13,000 Urdu
teachers had also been completed.
The Chief Minister has directed that the recruitment of teachers
should be carried on continuously so that new appointments were made
according to the number of retirement. Thus, process of recruitment on
66,000 posts of teachers through special BTC should be started in the
beginning of the next educational session. For that, a computer database
should be prepared and the payment of the teachers of the Basic Education
Department should be made through computer by preparing bills. Besides,
time bound action should also be ensured on the posts lying vacant in
DIET. Considering the paucity of teachers of Maths, Science and English
2
subjects, the retired teachers should be appointed on contract/fixed
honorarium basis till they attain the age of 65 or an appointment is made,
whichever is earlier. Besides, a well thought-out proposal for
compartmentalisation between basic and secondary education should be
presented jointly by both the departments. Moreover, the re-organisation
of the Basic and Secondary Education Departments was necessary keeping
an eye on the practical problems at the field level.
The Chief Minister also directed to form a committee of subject
experts and officers headed by the Additional Cabinet Secretary for
educational courses and reforms so that the education sector could be
improved. She also gave necessary orders for quick action on ensuring
timely presence of teachers in the primary schools, electrification of
schools, providing land for setting up new schools, better running of
Kasturba Gandhi Girls’ Colleges, qualitative improvement in the secondary
education etc. Besides, rate of literacy should be increased by launching an
extensive drive with the cooperation of people for adult education/literacy
and a time bound scheme should be presented for improving the level of
education and students’ cooperation should be sought in it.
The Additional Cabinet Secretary Mr. Vijay Shanker Pandey, Principal
Secretaries to CM Mr. Shailesh Krishna, Mr. Ravindra Singh, Principal
Secretary Basic Education, Mr. VN Garg, Secretary State Advisory Council
Mr. RP Singh, Secretary to CM Mr. Navneet Sehgal, Secretary Secondary
Education Mr. Jitendra Kumar and other related officers were present at
the meeting.
*******
News regarding non implementation of pay scales
recommended for Centre for teachers confusing : Chief Minister
Revised pay structure includes general revised pay scale of the
existing pay scales of teachers/non-teaching employees
— Mayawati

Recommendations for up-gradation, merger and reorganisation
of posts will be made by pay committee separately
Lucknow: December 16, 2008
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati has said that
owing to publication of news item that appeared in a section of press
regarding the non implementation of the pay scales for the teachers at
par with the scales recommended for the Centre, a situation of
confusion had crept in among the State teachers and because of it the
teachers’ associations had been agitated. She made it clear that the
Pay Committee-2008, in its first report, had recommended pay bands
and grade pays in the revised pay structure, for teachers of
government and aided institutions/technical education institutions
(excluding pay scales of UGC, AICE, ICAR) of various departments and
non teaching staff of the aided educational/technical education
institutions, those pay scales which they were getting before 01
January 2006.
The Chief Minister was addressing media representatives at her
5-Kalidas Marg official residence here today. She said that regarding
the up-gradation of pay scales of the teachers, the Committee would
make recommendations for the same on the basis of parity of posts.
On its basis, the State Government would take decision to implement
the upgraded pay scales for the teachers of the State.
The Chief Minister said that the Pay Committee also
recommended that the general revised pay scale (pay band and grade
pay) for the State employees, teachers and non-teaching employees
had been recommended in its first report. She said that according to
the decision taken on the basis of the recommendations of Sixth Pay
Commission, the post-wise, cadre-wise and departmental
recommendations for up-gradation, merger and re-organisation of
posts would be recommended by the Committee separately.
The Chief Minister said that the revised pay scales of the pay
scales of 01 January 2006 had been implemented.
*******
Laxity in implementation of development related
programmes and policies will not be tolerated : Chief Minister
Responsibility of officers should
be fixed for slow progress of works : Mayawati
Legal action will be initiated against
officers adopting deliberate careless approach : Chief Minister

All development and construction works

should be completed by coming February : Chief Minister
C.M. reviews progress of development
works at high level review meeting


Lucknow: December 17, 2008

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati here today
extensively reviewed the spot verification report of development works
submitted by the task force. The high level review meeting was held at
her official residence.
Expressing her displeasure over slow progress and poor quality of
development works in some districts, the C.M. said that when quality
was being ensured in all the development works being carried out
through out the State, then there should be no flaws in development
works of some districts. She said that the task force report points out
the fact that the quality of development works had improved, but there
was a need to ensure cent per cent achievement of parameters set in
this regard. She directed the officers to initiate legal action against
officers indulging in deliberate carelessness.
Ms. Mayawati said that the current fiscal was going to end,
therefore, the pace of development works should be accelerated so that
the targets could be achieved cent per cent. She said that development
programmes and schemes related to the people were the top priority of
her government. Therefore, any carelessness in the implementation of
these works would not be tolerated, she pointed out. She also fixed the
responsibility of the officers concerned to complete construction works
in a time bound manner.
Ms. Mayawati reviewed the report presented by the task force
regarding CC road/KC drain, Manyawar Shri Kanshiramji Shahari Garib
Awas Yojana, repair/reconstruction of roads, Dr. Ambedkar Gram Sabha
Vikas Yojana, NAREGA, basic education, medical and family welfare,
2
PDS, plantation, repair of assets damaged by floods and distribution of
fertilisers. She directed the officers to ensure time bound completion of
works and immediate removal of all the flaws wherever the same were
detected.
The Chief Minister said that the task force had been set up with an
objective to get a clear picture of the development works being carried
out in the remote areas of the State. She directed the officers to
conduct surprise inspections to know the real progress of the
development works.
Ms. Mayawati directed the officers to ensure that the works
related to CC roads/KC drains were completed on war footing. She
directed them that the construction of the houses under Manyawar Shri
Kanshiramji Shahari Garib Awas Yojana and the development works of
the surroundings of the colonies should be completed by 28 February
2009. She also entrusted road development works to PWD, electricity
works to Energy Department and water/sewerage works to Jal Nigam.
Ms. Mayawati ordered to accelerate pace of repair/reconstruction
of roads at certain places. She directed the officers to complete all the
works/remove all the flaws by 28 February 2009. She also directed the
officers to take punitive/legal action against those officers who had
shown laxity in carrying out works under Dr. Ambedkar Gram Sabha
Vikas Yojana in certain districts as the works were below the parameters
set for the purpose. She said that the removal of flaws which were
detected by the task force should be ensured immediately and pending
works should be completed by 02 January 2009. She asked the officers
to ensure cent per cent electrification of villages by 31 January 2009 so
that people could get power supply.
Ms. Mayawati directed the officers to ensure that the remaining
works of roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana were
completed by 02 January 2009. Besides, she also directed to ensure
cent per cent saturation under pension distribution scheme by 15
January 2009 under the parameters set for the purpose. Directing the
officers to make payment of labour under NAREGA through cheques,
she said that several schemes were to be financed through NAREGA
therefore this scheme should be conducted in a systematic and faultless
manner.
The Chief Minister was apprised at the meeting that important
steps were taken to meet the scarcity of primary teachers. Under it,
63,000 teachers had been appointed and were also being imparted
training. The appointment letters of remaining 38,000 teachers were
being issued. Emphasising the need to improve the level of education,
the C.M. said that construction of all the school buildings and additional
class rooms should be ensured by 28 February 2009.
Reviewing the works of Medical and Family Welfare Department,
the Chief Minister said that the appointment/alternative arrangement of
doctors should be made by 31 January 2009. She said that it should
3
also be ensured that all the equipments of the hospitals were
functioning properly. She said that wherever the cheques were not
provided to the mothers under the Janani Suraksha Yojana, legal action
should be initiated against the guilty after conducting enquiry. She said
that the pending construction works of the CHCs/PHCs should be
completed by 28 February 2009. She directed the officers to ensure
smooth supply of kerosene under the PDS. She said that its distribution
should be ensured through fair price shops on the fixed dates under the
supervision of authorities.
Reviewing the progress of plantation drive, Ms. Mayawati said the
necessary arrangements for the protection of planted saplings should be
made by 31 December 2008 and irrigation arrangements for the same
should be ensured by 31 January 2009. She also directed the officers to
ensure construction/repair of the properties damaged by floods and
ensure that these works were carried out in a qualitative manner. She
directed that action should be initiated against the guilty wherever flaws
were detected in the construction works of the properties after fixing
their responsibility. She directed the officers of the PWD and Irrigation
Department to complete works allocated to these departments by 10
January 2009.
Reviewing the supply of fertilisers for Rabi crops, the C.M. said
that the same was better than the last year’s supply, but complaints
had been received from some districts. She directed the officers to take
necessary action to ensure that the farmers did not have any difficulty
in getting the fertilisers.
The meeting was attended by the State Cabinet Secretary, Chief
Secretary, APC, Social Welfare Commissioner, Additional Cabinet
Secretary, Principal Secretaries to C.M., Principal Secretary Home and
Appointment, besides senior officers of the concerning departments.
*******

Maya makes a clarion call for Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath unity



Mayawati waving to supporters at the Sarvajan Samaj Brotherhood Maha Rally, held in Kottayam.
First Published : 24 Dec 2008 12:06:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Dec 2008 09:30:56 AM IST

KOTTAYAM:
Presenting the Uttar Pradesh model of development and brotherhood for
all sections of the people across the country and holding a promise to
ensure welfare for all including the economically poor among forward
castes, Bahujan Samaj Party national president and UP Chief Minister
Mayawati on Tuesday made a clarion call to supporters to capture power
everywhere including in Kerala and pave the path for the much-needed
social transformation.Addressing the `Sarvajan Samaj Brotherhood
Maha Rally, held under the aegis of the BSP state unit here on Tuesday,
she reminded Dr Ambedkar’s words that political power is the master key
.Testing the political waters down south and closely identifying
with the social realities in the state without hurting the sentiments
of the highly polarised segments of Kerala, Mayawati stressed that the
BSP was putting forward a philosophy for social justice for all and
wanted to carry all sections of the people in a spirit of brotherhood.After
sixty years of Independence, neither the Congress nor the BJP which
ruled the Centre was able to ensure equality and justice for all
sections of the people in the country,” she pointed out. “Under the
rule of the Congress and the BJP, the rich have become richer and the
poor have become poorer,” she criticised.Pointing out that
reservation benefits for the poor among the forward castes had been
ensured in Uttar Pradesh under her rule, Mayawati said that she had
written to the Centre to adopt such a policy across the country.An
appeal has been made to the Centre to grant reservation benefits to Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath Christians also. The same has been sought with the Centre for all
weaker and poor sections in appointments in the private sector also,
she said.Underscoring that the BSP is a party which puts into
practice what it preached, the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath leader,who was hailed as the
`Indian Obama’ ‘and future prime minister of India’ by other speakers,
affirmed that the outfit was not confined to any particular section or
religion but was based on a vision for unity among all.Mentioning
Sree Narayana Guru in her speech, she said that apart from Dr Baba
Saheb Ambedkar, the ideals espoused by all notable leaders of the past
who worked for social transformation across the country are being held
so close by the BSP in a profound way. Universities are being
established in UP in the names of many of them, she noted.“The upper castes in Kerala should also be roped in to the BSP fold,” she said.Even
while giving a diktat to the followers to capture power in Kerala,
Mayawati chose not to ruffle feathers of the CPM and the Left, with
whom the BSP had entered into a strategic political alliance recently,
to benefit from the gains of the latter in red pockets in the event of
the proposed `third alternative’ led by her gets rooted in the coming
Lok Sabha polls.“ Anyway, the party is also nearing to the seat of power in Kerala also,” she said on a confident note.The
thrust of her speech was to broaden the horizons of the BSP philosophy
across the country and take the notable feat of the UP administration
led by her for four times, as a valid proof of the commitment of the
party.BSP national secretary Suresh Mane also addressed the rally. State president Saji K Cheraman presided over the function.

Underhand deals killed engineer, says Mayawati

At a press conference
Mayawati said: ‘Preliminary investigations have revealed that the
murder was the result of some kind of professional tussle and underhand
money.’

She also trained her guns on the opposition for an ‘orchestrated campaign to malign the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government’.

‘The allegation that my party MLA was indulging in extortion to
collect money for my birthday celebrations is absolutely false and
baseless,’ an angry Mayawati told mediapersons here.

‘I do not believe in shielding anyone indulging in any unlawful
activity, no matter however high and mighty he might be. We have done
so in the past and even in this case, we have booked BSP MLA Shekhar
Tiwari under stringent laws and have put him behind bars. I can assure
you he will not be spared under any circumstances,’ she said.

 Her birthday Jan 15 was traditionally observed as
‘arthik sahayog diwas’ (financial cooperation day). ‘We make no bones
about observing my birthday as a day for seeking donations from our
party supporters who shell out their savings with which we sustain our
party,’ she said.

‘Unlike other parties, including the Congress, Samajwadi Party and
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), our party is not supported by big
industrial and business houses. Therefore, we have to depend on small
contributions made by our supporters,’ she said.

 ‘This time I have issued directions for
such funds to come only from party functionaries and not MPs and MLAs
of the party.’

Mayawati declared that her next birthday would be celebrated as ‘dhikkar diwas’ (condemnation day) without the usual bash.

‘BSP workers will stage rallies at all district headquarters across
the state to condemn all political parties which have been making false
and wild allegations about extortion of money for my birthday. They
will expose misdeeds of the Congress-led UPA, BJP-led NDA and their
allies, including the Samajwadi Party.’

The chief minister accused her rivals of indulging in dirty politics

Mayawati has denied link
between the killing and fund collection for her Birthday and has
further ruled out CBI probe into the matter.

Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Shekhar Tiwari,
an accused in the murder of PWD engineer M K Gupta, was today sent to
14-day judicial remand till 7th January.

Three others Putu, Manoj Awasthi and
Vinay Tiwari were also send to Judicial custody till 7th January. They
will be produced in the court on 8th January.

Rejecting the demand for a CBI probe
into the murder of a PWD engineer in Uttar Pradesh allegedly by a BSP
MLA, CM Mayawati strongly condemned it to be a mischievous campaign by
the Opposition to defame her govt by linking the killing to her
birthday celebration.

To counter the campaign, Mayawati told reporters in Lucknow that her party would observe her birthday on 15th January by
organising huge rallies across the state against the Congress, BJP and
SP’s “wrong doings” during their rule in the State.

“Where is the need for a CBI probe when
the state police, on my orders, have arrested all the accused in the
case,” Mayawati told a crowded press conference a day after PWD
engineer M K Gupta’s murder allegedly by MLA Shekhar Tiwari shook the
state.

Quoting preliminary investigation
reports, the BSP chief said it seemed that the prime cause of the
murder was a tussle over the issuance of PWD contracts among the
employees of the department.

“The charges against my party MLA will
be probed. He has already been arrested and sent to jail. No other
party has ever taken such stern action against their own members,” she
said.

In reply to questions, Mayawati
acknowledged that the legislator, Tiwari, earlier belonged to the
Congress party and “had a criminal past”.

“When he wanted to join our party, we
asked him about it. He said he was framed by the opposition parties. …
So, we told him to prove his innocence through his actions after he
joined our party”.

We told him ‘you will have to prove through your work’.

“Strict action will be taken if you are
found to be doing the same things, we also told him. And we took strict
action against him yesterday,” she said.

Claiming that BSP had restored law and
order in the state which was in shambles in the past, Mayawati said
bureaucrats and engineers used to live in an atmosphere of fear when SP
ruled the state.

“Corruption and criminalisation of politics had become chronic then.”

She said it was “criminal and highly
condemnable” to link the engineer’s murder to her birthday celebrations
and alleged fund raising for that occasion.

Mayawati also charged the media with
carrying out the opposition’s campaign “without any evidence” and said
“if you have proof, those can be investigated. But if not, then you
should apologise.”

Describing the incident at Auraiya as
“tragic”, Mayawati blamed the Congress, BJP and SP for trying to take
“political mileage” out of it, instead of condoling along with the
grieving family.

Charging the Congress-led UPA,
supported by SP, and the BJP-led NDA with being “the epitome of
corruption”, she said these opposition parties were so perturbed over
their shrinking mass base, that they had no other issue against the BSP
government but to link the engineer’s murder to her birthday
celebrations.

The Chief Minister accused the
opposition parties of “dancing to the tunes of corporate houses and big
business” and framing policies according to their diktats.

“The UPA government’s policies are made
in the drawing rooms of corporate honchos. The stories of corruption of
SP are on the lips of every citizen. Therefore, these parties should
not open their mouths,” Mayawati said, adding that they have been
thoroughly exposed among the masses.

The BSP supremo said she had asked all her party legislators and MPs not to collect any fund for the upcoming general elections.

“This job will be done by those in the party organisation,” Mayawati said.

a) E-Social Engineering in Practice

 b)E-Social Transformation in
Practice

c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice



 Mayawati’s social engineering Practice has proved successful.

The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which
occupies the frontrunner position in every exit poll, best embodies
this strategy of social coalition building, by mobilising the upper
castes, not so long ago depicted as the arch-enemy of its core
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath  support base.

Despite its tremendous growth since the late 80’s, the BSP has always had difficulties in gathering votes outside its traditional Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath base or having its candidates elected outside reserved constituencies. The strategy consisting of wooing the
upper castes and other groups at local level reveals the necessity of
the BSP to expand its appeal to other fractions of the electorate in
order to capture power.

What is new, however, is the
attempt to form a social coalition of extremes, in order to oust the
incumbent party out of power by directly mobilising the upper castes.
The creation of numerous caste organisations is precisely aimed at
achieving this end.

Notably, the presence of Brahmins within the
party is not a new phenomenon. Mayawati is known to have drawn her
closest advisors from the upper castes, has been allotting tickets to
upper-caste candidates in recent elections and counts a substantial
number of Brahmin MPs in the federal assemblies. Nonetheless, this
transformation reflects more an adaptation of the party to the
socio-political scene in Uttar Pradesh than a profound change of
identity. As such, the party remains dedicated almost exclusively to
the upliftment of
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath communities.

It hardly matters whether
this strategy will or will not generate major shifts in the pattern of
electoral support; in fact, it does not even intend to do that. Given
the fragmentation of the electorate and the party system in place in
Uttar Pradesh and thanks to the cohesiveness and strength of its
traditional
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath base, the BSP only needs a fraction of the support of
other groups to be in a position to form a government.

The Indian voter can throw up surprises as he has done in successive elections.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, who had projected herself as the
alternative to Manmohan during the July 2008 parliamentary crisis,
it would be a projection that only she can solve the
problems by strong governance, and she would target both the Congress
and the Samajwadi Party.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati’s Monday show in the city wasn’t too bad
for a beginner in Tamil Nadu
politics

, for a
person with prime ministerial ambitions, Mayawati has a good reason to look at
Tamil Nadu. It has a 20%
Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath population almost as high as Uttar Pradesh
.Dalits
in Tamil Nadu have never been a critical mass despite their numbers, since they
are scattered too thin to be an
electoral force.


The Mayawati magic worked in
Uttar Pradesh especially because of her ability to bring together
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath,
Brahmins and Christians.




Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath here have been without a good leader.
Mayawati can play that role.She can
turn this need for an
Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharathleader against all other odds.

Asia ReView

Go to know more about Asia with us



BSP is for all communities: Mayawati

BY OUR CORRESPONDENT

CHENNAI

Dec. 22: Insisting that the Bahujan Samaj Party is an “all-community
party” and not meant for any particular group, Uttar Pradesh chief
minister Mayawati on Monday reiterated she was for reservation based on
economic criteria.

Addressing party cadres at the party’s ‘’brotherhood conference’’
here, Ms Mayawati said, “The BSP has already included in its ranks the
marginalised and poor in UP, irrespective of caste and creed. The party
will continue to do the same at the national level, if voted to power.’’

The party’s opponents were spreading the false propaganda that the
BSP was caste-driven, she said adding that her party had embraced and
included the poorer sections of the upper caste in its reservation
model based on economic criteria.

Accusing the Congress and the BJP of being pro-rich in their
policies since Independence and turning a blind eye to the economic
criteria in reservation, she said her representations to the Centre
were ignored. The BSP had captured power to implement a quota system
linked to economic conditions, she said.

Ms Mayawati asserted that unlike the Congress and the BJP that won
elections with the support of the wealthy, the BSP had captured power
with the strength and support of the poor people.

‘’The BSP’s policies will be pro-people and priority would be
accorded to the upliftment of marginalised sections cutting across
caste and religious lines,’’ she said.

The four-time UP chief minister advised her party cadres to take the
lead from UP and emulate it to capture power in Tamil Nadu. She also
urged the cadres to prevent the BJP and the Congress from winning in
the Lok Sabha elections.

Mayawati: we rely on masses

Staff Reporter


Urges BSP’s Kerala unit to mobilise support of poor among FCs

Says BSP does not belong to any caste or community

Claims the poor were let down by the Congress, BJP


KOTTAYAM: Mayawati, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister, on Tuesday called upon the party’s Kerala unit
to draw up plans to mobilise the support of the poor among the forward
communities in preparation for the Lok Sabha elections.

She was addressing a ‘brotherhood rally’ here, wrapping up her
three-day tour of the southern States to galvanise support for the
party. She said the economically backward among all sections of society
had been let down by the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party and their
allies at the Centre and States. Resentment against this betrayal had
been simmering among the poor and the middle class, and the party had
to mobilise their support. Ms. Mayawati said the BSP did not belong to
any caste or community.


‘Focus on all sections’

The philosophy of the party as envisaged by its founder, Kanshi Ram, provided for the wellbeing of all sections of society.

She said the party was elected to power for the fourth time in Uttar
Pradesh and had successfully attended to the needs of all sections of
society.

On job reservation, the BSP leader said she had written to the Union
government several times to provide for separate reservation for the
poor among the forward communities and to extend the status of reserved
community to converted Christians. Neither the BJP nor the Congress-led
governments listened to it.

She said the BSP had always depended on the support of the masses.
It was this difference that had helped her party transform the
government into a pro-people one whenever it came to power in Uttar
Pradesh.

A. Neelalohitha Dasan Nadar, BSP leader, presided. Suresh Mane,
national general secretary and coordinator (southern zone), Saji K.
Cheraman, State president, and others spoke.

d) E-Sutta Pitaka
in Practice

e)E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practic

f) E-Abhidhamma in
Practice

g) E-Noble Eightfold Path in Practice

h) E-Jhanas in Practice

Chulalachomklao of Siam Pali Tipitaka, 1893, 39 Volumes Chulalachomklao of Siam Pali Tipitaka, 1893, Volume 1.
Chulachomklao of Siam Pāḷi Tipiṭaka, 1893, 39 Volumes, in the International Tipitaka Hall


World Tipiṭaka Edition in Roman Script
World Tipiṭaka Edition in Roman Script (40 volumes)

The Royal Coat of Arms of Siam during the Reign of King Chulachomklao
Cabinet No. 1/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Devanagari and Sinhala scripts
Cabinet No. 2/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Palm-leave manuscriptsCabinet No. 3/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka Commentary in Thai script
Cabinet No. 4/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai script in various editionsCabinet No. 5/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai script and its Pāḷi Commentary in Thai scriptCabinet No. 6/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai script and its Pāḷi Sub-Commentary in Thai scriptCabinet No. 7/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai translation with CommentaryCabinet No. 8/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai script and translation in Thai languageCabinet No. 9/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Thai script and its translations Cabinet No. 11/12 Commentary and Sub-Commentary of Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Burmese script
Cabinet No. 11/12 Pāḷi Tipiṭaka in Burmese scriptCabinet No. 12/12 Pāḷi Text in Roman script and translation in English language
JohnnyJX


Image:Tipitaka1..jpg


    Vinaya Pitaka    
   
                                       
Sutta-
vibhanga
Khandhaka Pari-
vara
               
   
    Sutta Pitaka    
   
                                                      
Digha
Nikaya
Majjhima
Nikaya
Samyutta
Nikaya
                     
   
   
                                                                     
Anguttara
Nikaya
Khuddaka
Nikaya
                           
   
    Abhidhamma Pitaka    
   
                                                           
Dhs. Vbh. Dhk.
Pug.
Kvu. Yamaka Patthana
                       
   
         
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Image:Ashoka2.jpg

Ashoka Maurya

Map of the Maurya Empire under Ashoka's rule.

Map of the Maurya Empire under Ashoka’s rule.

The Sanchi stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh established by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.

The Sanchi stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh established by emperor Ashoka in the third century BC.

Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edicts of Ashoka (238 BC), in Brahmi, sandstones. British Museum.

Fragment of the 6th Pillar Edicts of Ashoka (238 BC), in Brahmi, sandstones. British Museum.
The Ashoka Chakra, featured on the flag of the Republic of India

Silver punch-mark coins of the Mauryan empire, bear Buddhist symbols such as the Dharmacakra, the elephant (previous form of the Buddha), the tree under which enlightenment happened, and the burial mound where the Buddha died (obverse). 3rd century BC.


Silver punch-mark coins of
the Mauryan empire, bear Buddhist symbols such as the Dharmacakra,
the elephant (previous form of the Buddha), the tree under which
enlightenment happened, and the burial mound where the Buddha died
(obverse). 3rd century BC.

Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka and Ashokan territorial limits.

Greek Late Archaic style capital from Patna (Pataliputra), thought to correspond to the reign of Ashoka, 3rd century BC, Patna Museum (click image for references).

Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar - Afghan National Museum. (Click image for translation).

Bilingual edict (Greek and Aramaic) by king Ashoka, from Kandahar - Afghan National Museum. (Click image for translation).

This is the famous original sandstone sculpted Lion Capital of Ashoka preserved at Sarnath Museum which was originally erected around 250 BCE atop an Ashoka Pillar at Sarnath. The angle from which this picture has been taken, minus the inverted bell-shaped lotus flower, has been adopted as the National Emblem of India showing the Horse on the left and the Bull on the right of the Ashoka Chakra in the circular base on which the four Indian lions are standing back to back. On the far side there is an Elephant and a Lion instead. The wheel

http://www.knutimes.com/data/photos/200805/pp_992_4_1210042467.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaiB3pXY-ss&mode=related&search=

Mahatma Phule Mayawati Likes Enrique Iglesias


Shahu Chhatrapati

evr

Sri Narayana Guru

[Bahujan Samaj Party Flag]Bahujan Samaj Party

Image:Bahujansamajpartysymbol.png

Symbol- BSP -Bahujan Samaj Party, India

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http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39940000/jpg/_39940741_mayawati203.jpghttp://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42971000/jpg/_42971415_203pink-ap.jpghttp://www.marieclaire.com/cm/marieclaire/images/MCXyear-of-the-woman-1208-7-med-21242308.jpghttp://rulers.org/mayaw.jpghttp://www.standaard.be/Assets/Images_Upload/2008/01/15/BIBU15_G861MI16L.1+mayawati.jpghttp://www.hindu.com/af/india60/images/2007081550170502.jpghttp://images.onesite.com/my.telegraph.co.uk/user/peter_foster/maykumari.jpghttp://english.aljazeera.net/mritems/images/2007/5/12/1_219475_1_5.jpghttp://especial.caminhodasindias.globo.com/files/602/2008/11/kumari1.jpg

Make me PM
Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign !

Two Thousand Nine !

Will Be Mine !

- Says Ms Mayawati Bahen !

Now is all that you have!

By voting to BSP, the Nation you save!


Kindly visit:

http://sarvajan. ambedkar. org
International Federation for Freedom of Aboriginal Inhabitants and
Migrates (IFFAIM)




Our aspiration in life is to see entire people triumph over the suppressive
forces of ignorance, un-satisfactoriness, hatred, anger, jealousy,
delusion, superstition (false religious teaching) and tyranny.
Therefore, we have sworn to confront these influences wherever they
arise. Being spellbound for thousands of years is long enough! In our
age, the battles for freedom and supremacy are being waged on the
mental planes. In order to fulfill prophecy and emerge victorious, we
must be armed with an over standing of our origins, history and the
machinations of those who conspire against us. Any part that we can
play in such a revolution of consciousness is our willing service to a
resurgent Pure Land.

comments (0)
12/22/08
LESSON 17 a) E-Social Engineering in Practice- Mayawati’s social engineering proving successful-Mayawati promises quota for poor among forward communities -Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting to BSP, the Nation you save! -upliftthem: uplift the millions of Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath-Future Prime Minister of India Mayawati is Shaking Up South India: Mangalore and Chennai Rally’s -Cong, BJP responsible for poverty: Mayawati- Supremo and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was today accorded a rousing reception when she arrived here from Bangalore by a specialaircraft. -All eyes on Maya rally today -Mayawati coming on Tuesday -All ruling parties have neglected poor: Mayawati -Woo upper castes: Mayawati-BSP: The elephant is no ambler -Muslim MPs from BSP, support AR Antulay -Electioneering through music albums to woo voters - b)E-Social Transformation in Practice - c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice - d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice -e)E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practic- f) E-Abhidhamma in Practice-Some tainted names figure in Chouhan’s cabinet- ‘The presence of five Brahmins underlines the growing threat of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)’, said analyst Vijay Tiwari. The BSP, a party of the weaker sections, has been wooing the upper castes in a major way.-Political scene in Andhra Pradesh in 2008-Spurred by the tremendous success of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)-model of Dalit-upper caste alignment, some fringe players and caste groups in the state sought to set up platforms for all and sundry to proclaim their political ambitions in 2007. In 2008, all such elements have virtually sunk without a trace.
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:54 am

LESSON 17

 a) E-Social Engineering in Practice


Written by

Gilles Verniers
One
significant trend emerging from the current assembly elections in Uttar
Pradesh is the attempt made by most parties to broaden their support
base by wooing social groups that did not figure in their traditional
support base earlier. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which
occupies the frontrunner position in every exit poll, best embodies
this strategy of social coalition building, by mobilising the upper
castes, not so long ago depicted as the arch-enemy of its core
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath  support base.

Despite its tremendous growth since the late 80’s, the BSP has always had difficulties in gathering votes outside its traditional Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath base or having its candidates elected outside reserved constituencies. The strategy consisting of wooing the
upper castes and other groups at local level reveals the necessity of
the BSP to expand its appeal to other fractions of the electorate in
order to capture power.

What is new, however, is the
attempt to form a social coalition of extremes, in order to oust the
incumbent party out of power by directly mobilising the upper castes.
The creation of numerous caste organisations is precisely aimed at
achieving this end.

Notably, the presence of Brahmins within the
party is not a new phenomenon. Mayawati is known to have drawn her
closest advisors from the upper castes, has been allotting tickets to
upper-caste candidates in recent elections and counts a substantial
number of Brahmin MPs in the federal assemblies. Nonetheless, this
transformation reflects more an adaptation of the party to the
socio-political scene in Uttar Pradesh than a profound change of
identity. As such, the party remains dedicated almost exclusively to
the upliftment of
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath communities.

It hardly matters whether
this strategy will or will not generate major shifts in the pattern of
electoral support; in fact, it does not even intend to do that. Given
the fragmentation of the electorate and the party system in place in
Uttar Pradesh and thanks to the cohesiveness and strength of its
traditional
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath base, the BSP only needs a fraction of the support of
other groups to be in a position to form a government.


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper

Tuesday, Dec 23, 2008

Mayawati promises quota for poor among forward communities

Special Correspondent


Cautions partymen to be wary of both the Congress and the BJP



— Photo : M. Vedhan





MOBILISING THE SOUTH: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister
Mayawati at a BSP rally in Chennai on Monday.

CHENNAI: On the Tamil Nadu leg of her south India tour, Bahujan
Samaj Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday
promised to provide reservation for the economically weaker sections
among the forward communities.

Addressing a ‘brotherhood rally’ organised by the Tamil Nadu unit of
the party, she said the cadre must take along people belonging to the
forward communities to achieve the goal of forming a BSP government in
Tamil Nadu.

Ms. Mayawati pointed out that her party had already written to the
Central government to amend the Constitution to provide for reservation
for the poor among the forward communities. It had also demanded
reservation for the backward classes, the scheduled castes and the
scheduled tribes in the private sector.


Lists welfare schemes

Listing the welfare schemes initiated by her in Uttar Pradesh after
she was elected Chief Minister for a fourth term, Ms. Mayawati said
these included distribution of three acres of government land to the
poor and unemployed.

“We have set up several welfare departments for the social and economic uplift of the weaker sections,” she said.

The BSP government had filled the backlog vacancies in various departments and provided reservation to Muslims, she added.


For inclusive society

Stating that her government is working towards creating an
inclusive society, she said if the electorate in Tamil Nadu wanted to
create a similar environment, it should vote for the BSP.

She cautioned partymen to be wary of both the Congress and the
Bharatiya Janata Party saying that these parties would resort to any
tactic to prevent the BSP from coming to power.

On Sunday, she addressed a rally in Mysore in Karnataka and she is
scheduled to speak at a public meeting in Kottayam in Kerala on Tuesday.




b)E-Social Transformation in
Practice

c)
E-Economic Emancipation in Practice

d) E-Sutta
Pitaka in Practice

e) E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practice

 f) E-Abhidhamma in Practice

g) E-Eightfold Path in
Practice

h) E-Jhanas in Practice

Monday, December 22, 2008

Future Prime Minister of India Mayawati is Shaking Up South India: Mangalore and Chennai Rally’s



The
future Prime Minister of India, BSP chief Mayawatiji is addressing huge
gatherings and meeting party members, future party memebers and
possible MP Candidates in various parts of South India, the following
Pictures are published in the Mangalorean.com as she was visiting
Mangalore, Karnataka. After this rally,

she
has already arrived in Chennai, a spectacular wellcome was given to
Maya at Chennai with Tamil Dance and Music and what not!. In her talk,
check the Mangalore.com, she was clear in trashing the congress and
BJP, claiming these two parties were responsible for the Poverty and
poor becoming poor in India.

Cong, BJP responsible for poverty: Mayawati

By Team Mangalorean Mysore

  • Send more BSP MPs to Delhi from Karnataka says Maya

MYSORE December 21, 2008: Uttar
Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati on
Sunday lashed out at the national parties and said both the Congress
and BJP were responsible for poverty and unemployment in country.

The
National BSP President Mayawati, while addressing the Sarvsamaj Samajik
Bhaichara Banao Maha Sammelan organised by the State Unit of the BSP at
the Town Hall grounds here in Mysore, appealed to the upper caste
people to associate themselves with the BSP on the basis of its
policies and the ideology of the party. She said the “Congress, BJP and
their allies safeguard interests of capitalists as they contest
elections through donations made by them.” She appealed to the people
of the State to ensure victory of maximum number of BSP MPs in coming
Lok Sabha elections. The BSP National President urged the Upper Caste
people of Karnataka to associate themselves with the party for ending
all kinds of problems in the State.

She
said that the Congress and the BJP were responsible for the poverty and
unemployment prevalent in the country. If the people of Karnataka also
wanted prosperity like U.P. then they should ensure that BSP came to
power at the Centre as well as in the States along with Karnataka, she
said.



Mayawati in Chennai: Tamil News 

India, Mayawati in Chennai

Chennai | Sunday, Dec 21 2008 IST;  Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 


Supremo
and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati was today accorded a rousing
reception when she arrived here from Bangalore by a special
aircraftNewly-appointed
Party State President K Selvam, Principal General Secretary and Former
IAS Officer Sivagami and BSP Convenor Armstrong were among the hundreds
of party workers present at the airport to receive her. As soon as the
aircraft touched down at the old airport,Mr Selvam, Ms Sivagami and Mr
Armstrong received her with a bouquet of flowers.

All eyes on Maya rally today



A hoarding erected near St George School ground, the venue of BSP chief Mayawati’s public meeting, in the city on Sunday/Shiba Prasad Sahu.
First Published : 22 Dec 2008 02:52:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 22 Dec 2008 11:04:49 AM IST




CHENNAI:
In what is seen as a show of strength ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,
the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will hold a rally here on Monday in which
over two lakh people from across the State are expected to participate.The ‘Brotherhood Conference’ will be addressed by party chief and Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Mayawati at St George’s school ground, opposite
Pachaiyappa’s College, at 4.30 pm, according to BSP spokesman Rama
Subramaniam.Around 500 members each from about 15 Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath organisations in Tamil Nadu will join the BSP in her presence.Mayawati will also launch the official website of the State unit, besides introducing the party’s candidates for the Lok Sabha elections, the spokesman told Express.In
Tamil Nadu, there are numerous ‘Ambedkar’ outfits and
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath political
parties but none of them have an election symbol, Subramaniam said.
“The Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and the Puthiya Thamizhagam
(PT) fight either on the DMK or the AIADMK symbol. But the BSP has a
national identity. Its ‘elephant’ symbol has been around for 25 years
and can easily be recognised by the masses,” he said.“Besides,
ours is the third largest party in the country. We have a better
understanding of the problems of
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath . Since we have a national
platform, we can raise issues in Parliament.”On the BSP’s
preparations for the Lok Sabha polls, he said efforts were on to
strengthen the party, which has about 1.5 lakh members at present.
“Steps are being taken to broaden the membership base by bringing
Brahmins, Muslims, Christians and OBCs into the party fold on the
principle of ‘Sarvajan samaj’. Our strategy is to consolidate all
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath  votes in the State and we have intensified our efforts in this 
direction.”The BSP’s visibility in the State has increased and
it is now attracting the
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath intelligentsia and the politically
empowered sections of the community. VCK MLA Selvaperunthagai recently
quit his party and joined the BSP. He is now the BSP’s State president.
P Sivagami, an
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath IAS officer and writer, opted for voluntary
retirement and joined the party as its State secretary. L V
Saptharishi, another senior IAS officer, is the party’s candidate from
Mayiladuthurai.Asked about AIADMK Mylapore MLA S Ve Shekher’s
entry, Subramaniam said the party was slated to hold one more round of
talks with the actor. Asked whether he had any plans to call on the BSP
chief during her visit, Shekher replied in the negative. The
public meeting, which will also be addressed by Rajya Sabha member and
BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra, Selvaperunthagai and
Sivagami, will see a three-tier security cover as Mayawati enjoys SPG protection. Uttar Pradesh police will provide the second tier of security. Mayawati
is apparently keen on strengthening her base in the South because of
its sizeable
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath population: 23.5 per cent in Karnataka, 22 per cent
in Tamil Nadu and 12.5 per cent in Kerala.She addressed a rally in Mysore on Sunday and will leave for Kochi from Chennai.

Mayawati coming on Tuesday



First Published : 20 Dec 2008 09:33:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 20 Dec 2008 12:17:33 PM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) president and Uttar Pradesh
Chief Minister Mayawati, who made clear her ambition to become the
Prime Minister, has decided to make a political investment in the
southern states in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections.As part of the move, Mayawati is all set for a three-day
tour
of the southern states from December 21, including Kerala. The UP Chief
Minister is scheduled to address the Sarvajan Samaj Sahodarya rally at
Kottayam on December 23 as part of the tour.Mayawati is also likely to begin consultations on the names of BSP candidates for the next Lok Sabha elections during her visit.The BSP has already made clear its plans to contest elections in all the 20 Lok Sabha seats from the state.The
BSP president is likely to assign responsibilities and fix targets in
the state for the Lok Sabha elections. BSP leader and former Minister
A.Neelalohithadasan Nadar told Express that the party had already
started consultations with various sections in an effort to strengthen
the party.Mayawati will address rallies in Mysore on December 21
and in Chennai on December 22. Besides addressing the rallies in three
states, she would also review the organisational matters in the region.Maya is visiting South
India,
after establishing her party organisation in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir and other north and
central states ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.The BSP, which
is deliberately trying to shed its image as a party of the
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath,
claims to be serving the ‘Sarva Samaj.’ The party is also trying to
acquire a pan-India level by getting away with the tag of regional
party confined to
North India

All ruling parties have neglected poor: Mayawati

Staff Correspondent


Congress, BJP termed

‘capitalist-based’

‘UPA failed to check rising prices and inflation’







Mayawati

MYSORE: Assuring basic facilities to the poor and downtrodden of all
castes and religions, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj
Party (BSP) national president Mayawati on Sunday listed the
achievements and developments in Uttar Pradesh to mobilise support for
the BSP in Karnataka for the next general elections.

Addressing a massive gathering on the Town Hall premises here, she
appealed the people to provide BSP a chance to set up a model
government in Karnataka on the lines of Uttar Pradesh.

“Since Independence, the poor have been neglected by the ruling
parties, but the BSP is committed to uplifting the downtrodden, no
matter to which caste, religion or creed he belongs,” Ms. Mayawati
said. The BSP president lashed out at the Congress and BJP terming them
“capitalist-based” parties. “These parties raise funds from the
capitalists and after being voted to power introduce policies and
schemes only to benefit them,” she said. She added that the Congress
and BJP had failed to meet the expectations of the masses.

She accused the United Progressive Alliance Government of failing to
rein in rising prices and inflation. She alleged that the Congress,
which heads the coalition at the Centre, had been framing economic
policy to suit the rich. Citing it as a reason for “the poor getting
poorer and rich getting richer”, she charged the BJP and Congress with
adopting the British policy of “divide and rule” for the sake of
vote-bank politics.

Ms. Mayawati said that people favoured BSP in Uttar Pradesh because of the party’s commitment to uplifting the downtrodden.

“We have increased the quantum of scholarship amount for the
students and increased the wages in view helping the poor to tide over
the crisis of spiralling of prices. Government has distributed the
government land among the landless, built houses for the poor with
government funds, envisaged plans for the development of both urban and
rural areas, stopped atrocities against Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and included Muslims
under Other backward communities to get them benefit,” she said.

Woo upper castes: Mayawati
DH News Service, Mysore:
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster
Mayawati on Sunday called upon the Bahujan Samaj Party workers to take
upper caste communities into confidence along with the downtrodden in
building the party and witness the change they want to see in the State.


Addressing the ‘Sarvajana samajada sodaratva’ rally at the Rangacharlu
Memorial Town Hall in Mysore Mayawati rhetorically urged the party
workers to sensitise upper communities about the values of BSP, for the
party is not for the backward classes alone. Support of all the
communities is needed to bring the party to power, she said.

She said the Party understands the concept of ‘bahujan sukhaya, bahujan hitaya’ and it is not against the upper caste.

“It believes in welfare of all the communities as without them, the
party could not have come to power at Uttar Pradesh, where it has been
elected four times and has been working for the welfare of not only the
backward classes but also the upper caste communities”, she added.

Elaborating on the various schemes that have been extended to the upper
caste communities as well as backward communities in Uttar Pradesh, the
  Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath leader said UP government is a model government where justice has
been done to all the communities.

Extending quota

“To enable the poor families belonging to upper caste to live
a better life, the UP government has extended reservation facility to
them considering their poor economic background. However, the same
needs to be done at the national level”, she felt.

The party has appealed to the Centre to bring an amendment in this
regard taking the UP government model, besides providing a separate
reservation policy for
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath Christians. But these demands are yet to
be considered by the parties that ruled the Centre, she complained.

She said the UP government has provided various benefits like hike in
scholarship, pension packages, free civil service coaching to backward
classes and distribution of three acres of government land which are
fit for farming that has benefited 30 lakh farmers.

Earlier, Mayawati was presented with a garland to which was pinned with
one thousand notes of Rs one thousand denomination amounting to Rs one
lakh and Rs 10 lakh cash collected as party fund by workers.

BSP: The elephant is no ambler

The
BSP no longer saunters along. It is trying to become a force to reckon
with, in other states too. Going by the recent Assembly elections, the
elephant has begun to walk at a crisp pace and this has rattled both
the Congress and BJP.

RECENTLY FIVE states went to the
polls. The battle was mainly between the Congress and the Bharatiya
Janata Party (BJP). Congress won the war, 3-2. The elections were
viewed as mini Lok Sabha elections because six months from now we will
see general elections conducted for the Loksabha. The recent elections
were confined to the Hindi belt in particular, ie Delhi, Rajasthan,
Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
fielded its candidates and it captured nearly 15 per cent of the votes
polled. The BSP supremo Mayawati is happy with the performance of her
party. Now it is clear that BSP has provided a third option to the
people. The elephant will stroll all over the country soon.

If the
BSP had not fielded its candidates, the Congress candidates would have
bagged a higher percentage of the votes polled. With 15 per cent in its
pocket, the BSP has clearly emerged as the third alternative for the
voters. In the previous Assembly elections (2003), the BSP could garner
only 5.7 per cent of the votes polled but this time round, it wass more
than twice that figure. At the Babarpur Assembly constituency, the BJP
candidate won but the BSP came second, bagging 30.90 per cent of the
votes polled and the Congress candidate managed to garner only 23.76
per cent.

It indicates that because of the BSP candidates Congress lost many seats in Delhi.
In
Rajasthan too, the BSP candidates posed problems to their opponents.
They captured six seats, though they cornered 8 per cent of the votes
polled. In constituencies like Karouli, Dholpur, Dhousa, Bayaana, Wair
and Kishangadh, the BSP candidates bagged as many votes as the Congress
candidates. This led to the BJP candidates winning by a lower margin.

In
Madhya Pradesh, the BSP won 7 seats; here the BSP bagged 11 per cent of
the votes polled. Nearly 20 candidates of the BSP bagged 30-35 per cent
of the votes polled. BSP candidates fought one-to-one battles against
Congress candidates in Lahar, Dabra and Raj Nagar constituencies.

Though
BSP’s social engineering did not affect Chhattisgarh significantly, it
managed to capture two seats. The BSP elephant is omnipresent, courtesy
the poor, the Dalits and the caste Hindus. It is becoming impossible
for the Congress and BJP to rein the elephant in. It has given Congress
as well as the BJP some food for thought.

Top gold news

Boy killed in India violence

By Rina ChandranA 10-year-old boy       Thackeray, the nephew of Hindu
was killed when police opened fire nationalist leader Bal Thackeray,
on protesters in eastern India on was held, police beat back
Wednesday, officials said, as protesters with batons as Thackeray
rioters set trains alight and was brought to court.Violence also
blocked roads in retaliation for flared in the poor north and east of
attacks on migrants in the west of India, where protesters set alight
the country.The child was hit by a trains, blocked roads and damaged
stray bullet and died at the scene the home of the head of a Tata
after police in Rohtas district, in Motors factory, in retaliation for
the eastern state of Bihar, fired on attacks on migrants by the MNS
a mob attacking a train station, in Maharashtra.In Bihar, gangs of
Naval Kishore Mishra, a police young men torched coaches of a
officer, said from Rohtas.At least train, vandalised train stations and
six people and several policemen disrupted rail and road traffic.
were injured when rioters threw Several Bihar-bound trains were
stones and clashed with police, later cancelled.”The situation is
he said.The migration of thousands very tense … we are facing a lot
of workers from impoverished of trouble running the trains on
northern and eastern states such as time,” a senior railway official in
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar into India’s capital city Patna said.In
booming financial capital Mumbai has neighbouring Jharkhand state, a mob
sparked a violent backlash, with damaged the home of the head of a
local resentment fuelled by Tata Motors factory, also based in
ambitious politicians.That in turn Mumbai, while in Uttar Pradesh,
has provoked tit-for-tat violence in Chief Minister Mayawati demanded MNS
northern and eastern India, a sign be banned, echoing calls by other
of the strains that inequality is legislators in parliament.Mayawati,
placing on society as parts of the chief of Bahujan Samaj Party, warned
country’s economy booms.On of a backlash against Maharashtrians
Wednesday, a local politician, whose in Uttar Pradesh and
arrest sparked violent protests in other states.”There are many people
Mumbai was given bail after spending from Maharashtra in other states who
a night in jail.Raj Thackeray, head could be at the receiving end for
of the small but vocal Maharashtra none of their fault,”
Navnirman Sena (MNS) party, was she said.Supporters of MNS, which is
arrested on Tuesday for rioting and fuelling anti-immigrant rhetoric
provoking attacks on migrants.The ahead of national and local
party is known for its anti-migrant elections due next year, had
rhetoric and belief that Mumbai attacked north Indian railway job
belongs to ethnic Marathis, who aspirants in Mumbai on Sunday,
originate from the Maharashtra state prompting calls for Thackeray’s
of which the city is the capital.”We arrest and for the party to
had applied for anticipatory interim be banned.MNS has previously also
bail, which has been granted,” a attacked migrant taxi drivers in
lawyer representing Thackeray told Mumbai, a city where less than half
reporters outside the court in its 17 million residents are from
Kalyan town, near Mumbai.A curfew the state.The Indian Express
was imposed to quell angry protests newspaper said it was not clear if
by MNS supporters. “He is now a free Raj Thackeray would carry much
man. He can go home. His Diwali will weight in the elections.”(But) with
start now,” he said, referring to his arrest and its aftermath, he is
the Hindu festival certain to keep the spotlight and
next week.VIOLENCE FLARESOn set the discourse.”(Additional
Wednesday in Mumbai, schools and reporting by Sharat Pradhan in
shops were open and people returned LUCKNOW; Editing by Bappa Majumdar
to work.But in Kalyan town, where and Alex Richardson)$

Muslim MPs from BSP, support AR Antulay

Breaking
News! While Union Minority Affairs Minister AR Antulay remained defiant
on his remarks on the death of former Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare,
Muslim MPs from  Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)  came out in open supporting Antulay over this issue.

BSP MP Ilyas Azmi supported Antulay’s demand for a
separate probe into Karkare’s death. Knowingly or unknowingly, AR Antulay divided both
common people and political establishments of the county into two
groups on the basis of religion. This is the most disturbing trend,
which may only bolster the fundamentalist forces.

 Antulay told CNN-IBN that he made India
proud by his remarks!!!

Even
though the Congress Party does not subscribe to Antulay’s views, they
may not afford to take strong action against the veteran Muslim leader,
who is the most popular minority figure in the party. The vote bank
politics may win the day yet again, while the national cause will be
left behind forever.


Electioneering through music albums to woo voters

During hectic polling activities
witnessed in Jammu if one switches on any local cable television, the
candidates from BSP, can be seen walking to the tune of musicians.
.

AS THE election winds
blow across Jammu and Kashmir, the candidates in poll fray especially
those from Jammu district have gone trendy this time.

During
hectic polling activities witnessed in Jammu if one switches on any
local cable television, the candidates from Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP),
can be seen walking to the tune of
musicians. From the veterans to freshers in the politics, one can find
everybody on the TV screens with music reciting their appeal to vote in
their favour.

The Dec 24 seventh and final phase will see 13 seats in Jammu region -
11 in Jammu district and two in newly carved out adjoining Samba
district - going to the polls. The remaining eight seats, of the 21
where polls are being held, are in the Kashmir valley.

The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) too has become a force to reckon with in the state. (more…)

comments (0)
12/18/08
LESSON 16 a) E-Social Engineering in Practice -Away With The UP Tag-BSP shuns Gowda’s overtures, to go it alone in Karnataka-BSP to contest 20 LS seats in Kerala on its own-Mayawati to tour south India-Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting to BSP, the Nation you save! -b)E-Social Transformation in Practice -International Federation for Freedom of Aboriginal Inhabitants and Migrates (IFFAIM) Social Transformation! And Economical Emancipation! Through Testing the efficacy of social engineering! By Mighty Great Mind Training! -Life Purpose Report for Buddha-c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice Buddhism in Modern Life -d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice -THE FIRST COUNCIL- e)E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practice Introduction - f) E-Abhidhamma in Practice-g) E-Eightfold Path in Practice The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering by Bhikkhu Bodhi -h) E-Jhanas in Practice The Jhanas In Theravada Buddhist Meditation by Henepola Gunaratana
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 10:28 am

LESSON 16

a) E-Social Engineering in Practice

Management Advice from Buddha

I have read that you are a Buddhist. How does your Buddhist philosophy impact your work with executives?

Let me give you one example of how I have tried to use Buddha’s
teaching in my work. Buddha suggested that his followers only do what
he taught if it worked in the context of their own lives. He encouraged
people to listen to his ideas, think about his suggestions, try out
what made sense – keep doing what worked – and to just “let go” of what
did not work.

Similarly, I teach my clients to ask their key stakeholders for
suggestions on they can become more effective leaders then listen to
these ideas, think about the suggestions, try out what makes sense –
keep doing what works – and let go of what does not.

When our stakeholders give us suggestions on how we can become more
effective, we can look at these suggestions as gifts – and treat our
stakeholders as gift-givers. When someone gives you a gift you wouldn’t
say, “Stinky gift!” “Bad gift!” or “I already have this stupid gift!”
You would say, “Thank you.”

If you can use the gift – use it. If you don’t want to use the gift, put it in the closet and “let it go.”

You would not insult the person who is trying to be nice by giving you
a gift. In the same way, when our stakeholders give us ideas, we don’t
want to insult them or their ideas. We can just learn to say, “Thank
you.”

We cannot promise to do everything that people suggest we should do.
We can promise to listen to our key stakeholders, think about their
ideas, and do what we can. This is all that we can promise – and this
is all that they expect.

My good friend, Chris Cappy, is a world expert on large-scale
change, has a great philosophy on getting ideas. He always says, “I
won’t learn less.” When we get ideas and suggestions, we may learn more
– but we won’t learn less. Get in the habit of asking the important
people in your life, “How can I be a better…?”

This works at work – in your efforts to become a better leader, team member, or co-worker.

This works at home – in your efforts to become a better friend or family member.

Who do you need to ask, “How can I become a better…?” How do you
typically respond to suggestions? Do you treat them as gifts – or do
you critique them and the person making them?

As always your comments and ideas are welcome – I will try to look at any of your suggestions for our readers as gifts!




Away With
The UP Tag

The BSP looks south to have its presence felt at the Centre.


Photo:
Shailendra Pandey

Buoyed by the party’s
performance in recent Assembly polls in four North Indian states, BSP
supremo Mayawati has now shifted her focus to the South for the Lok Sabha
polls. She is making a whirlwind tour of Mysore, Chennai and Kottayam,
addressing rallies and expanding the party organisation ahead of parliamentary
elections so as to strengthen her support base.




After a two-day meeting in Lucknow, the BSP has decided to take its social
engineering ‘Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, That is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath-Brahmin formula’ to Southern states where
the party has yet to open its account. In an effort to move beyond its
Uttar Pradesh stronghold, the BSP is looking to shed its image of a North
Indian party and grab seats in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra
Pradesh, while increasing its tally in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.




The BSP has created a Southern Zone and has named General Secretary Prof
Suresh Mane as the person in charge of the Zone. Rajya Sabha member Ambeth
Rajan has been given the responsibility to strengthen the party Tamil
Nadu.


The party organisation has been reshuffled and state coordinators have
been appointed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat,
Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and
Haryana, Rajasthan, and Delhi.


State Coordinator for Maharashtra and Gujarat Veer Singh told TEHELKA
that after the BSP’s success in the recent assembly polls held in
the four northern states, the party’s main target is to share power
at the Centre. “This can be achieved only when the BSP performs
well beyond Uttar Pradesh,” he admits.




Accordingly, he claims, the party has chalked out a pan-India strategy.
“We have identified about 50 Lok Sabha seats outside Uttar Pradesh
where the party has a fair chance of winning. We have already strengthened
our party organisation in these states and are now doing the ground work
to expand our support base,” claims Singh.




Singh, who has been working in Maharashtra, says that all state units
have been activated and directed to hold “Brahmin
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, That is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath bhaichara
(amity)’ meetings at the district and grassroots levels to replicate
the success in UP during the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.




Mayawati will launch the party campaign by addressing rallies in Mysore
on December 21, Chennai on December 22 and Kottayam on December 23. During
her visit to these states, she is likely to stretch the BSP’s reach
to places which were hitherto not on the party’s political map.




A detailed programme of her nationwide tour is being finalised and in
January and February she will be undertaking a whirlwind tour to states
other than Uttar Pradesh. A senior party leader confides that Mayawati
has set a target of 20 Lok Sabha seats outside Uttar Pradesh in the upcoming
elections for the party to hold the ‘balance of power’ in
a hung parliament.




“We are launching an all-out effort to win enough seats in the Lok
Sabha to have our share of power at the Centre. If all goes as planned,
then the day is not far off when behenji will be at the helm of affairs
in Delhi as well,” he claims.




The BSP strategy is to win more than 60 plus Lok Sabha seats, giving it
a good bargaining position so as to grab a share of power. It will also
strive to replicate the strategy Chandrasekhar used to form a government
in case both the UPA and the NDA fail to cobble together a majority.




Senior BSP leader Dr Shahid Siddiqui told TEHELKA that the BSP was not
in favour of any electoral alliance with any political party in any state
but broadly hinted at ‘friendly’ contests with like-minded
parties in order to cross the Uttar Pradesh boundaries. “The BSP
has always avoided electoral alliance but may now consider issue-based
alliances,” he said.




Political observers, however, feel that the BSP’s expansion in states
other than Uttar Pradesh is doubtful for the simple reason that the party
is still in the process of creating and strengthening its organisation
and expanding its support base in the South and in other states. “The
party will have to show some patience and wait for few more years before
its efforts start translating into seats,” stated Prof A.K. Verma,
Department Head of Political Science at Christ Church College, Kanpur.

BSP shuns Gowda’s overtures, to go it alone in Karnataka

BANGALORE:
Rejecting JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda’s overtures for forging a tie-up in the forth coming Lok Sabha polls, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP Chief Mayawati has decided to go it alone in Karnataka.


“It is not
correct to say we have dumped JD(S) because neither Behenji nor any other BSP
leader had talked of any alliance ,” BSP national general secretary Prof
Dr Suresh Mane, who is the party in-charge for all southern states, said while
confirming that Gowda had extended his support along with other left parties in
opposing Congressled UPA regime’s N-deal .



“Maywati has
directed all southern state units not to have any kind of alliance or
understanding with any political party for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls as
well as for assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh,” he said making it clear
that BSP has never committed to joining or leading the third front.




Prof Mane said the BSP had notched significant gains in the just
concluded assembly polls in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
both in terms of winning the number of seats and votes polled.



In
Delhi and Rajasthan , BSP has proved its capability to damage the prospects of
not just Congress but even BJP, he said pointing out that the party was
determined to improve its performance and open in its account in the south.




He said the BSP did not want to waste its energies and resources in
the ensuing by-elections to eight assembly constituencies in the state as its
target was winning Lok Sabha polls. The party has built a considerable base in
all southern states in the last few years, as is evident from the pressures felt
by other political parties, he said claiming that BSP was confident of emerging
as a force to be reckoned with.



Pointing out that the party was
seriously engaged in making necessary preparations for the parliamentary polls,
he said Mayawati will be addressing Sarvajan Samaj Brotherhood Maharallies at
Mysore, Chennai and Kerala on December 21, 22 and 23 respectively. The date of
the proposed rally in Andhra Pradesh has been postponed, he added.

BSP to contest 20 LS seats in Kerala on its own

News4u-News Desk,Kottayam, Bahujan Samaj Party will contest all the
20 seats in Kerala on its own in the coming Lok Sabha elections,
party’s general secretary Suresh Mane said today.

The party will will not have any alliance with any political party
in the coming elections, Mane, co-ordinator of South India consisting
of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Pondicherry, told
reporters here.

BSP president Mayawati will be in South India from December 21 to 23
addressing meetings in Mysore, Chennai and Kottayam, Mane said.

BSP

Daily Times India

India News and Analysis
Mayawati to tour south India

New
Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) After making her presence felt beyond Uttar
Pradesh in north India, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati is now
eyeing south Indian states.

The Uttar Pradesh chief minister will tour
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala beginning Dec 21. During the three-day
tour, she will address public rallies in Mysore, Kottayam and Chennai,
K. Ramasubramanium, spokesman of BSP’s Tamil Nadu unit, said in a
statement.

During these public meetings, the BSP president will announce the
list of official candidates who will contest the upcoming general
elections in these states early next year
.

How to Trash Brahminism, Hinduism & Dravidian Culture:- Just Bring BSP into Center Stage???

Several thugs like Ram Vilas Paswan and others that include Udit
Raj and Tamil Nadu’s Thirumavalavan are fighting their life to defeat
BSP’s Mayawati, they want to tarnish her character and they want to
bring shame, but the truth is they can’t and will not win?.Why?.

If you wanted to bring down someone, you must first stand tall in
morality and character, as well as honesty, if you do not have these
then you have no chance to even survive such a force like Mayawati who
can be our next Indian Prime Minister. One of the recent event happened
in BSP party’s souther Indian state’s affair is the joining of an IAS
officer, Shivagami, a most respected and senior female IAS officer from
Chennai. This could be the beginning of changing face of Tamil Nadu
Politics, no matter what the pundits and Indian Political Thugs like
Ram Vilas Paswan and Thirumavalvan does, they are destined to be washed
out of this storm of Mayawati’s recent moves.
*****************************************
Here is some new news about Tamil Nadu’s BSP story:The Elephant’s March Into Dravidian Land

The BSP wants Brahmins and Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath together in Tamil Nadu

PC VINOJ KUMAR

http://www.tehelka.com/story_main41.asp?filename=Ws201208elephants_dravidian.asp

P Sivakami, one of the senior most IAS officers in Tamil Nadu is formally inducted into the BSP

Mounting a direct assault on the ethos of the century-old Dravidian
Movement, an electoral experiment is being attempted in Tamil Nadu
under the auspices of Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). Emulating
the Uttar Pradesh model, the BSP is trying to unite the Dalits and the
Brahmins as a political force in the State. Supporters of this alliance
argue that Periyar’s anti–Brahmin movement benefited only the backward
classes and failed to uplift the Dalits. They argue, a strategic
alliance between the Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath and Brahmins can change the political
contours of the State. The Dalits, comprising the sub-castes of
Parayar, Pallar, and Arunthathiyar, constitute about 19 percent of the
State population. Brahmins, though accounting for a mere 3 percent,
hold tremendous money and media clout in the State, and are a key
factor in any election.

For the last one month, the BSP is on an overdrive. It has appointed
new leaders and poached cadres from other parties. The party’s state
unit has acquired a new look. The makeover began on November 11, when K
Selvaperunthagai, a Dalit MLA from Viduthalai Chiruthaigal (VC),
resigned from his membership in the State assembly and joined the BSP
as its state president. (As a fall-out of his defection, the BSP and
the VC led by firebrand Dalit leader Thirumavalavan are at loggerheads
with each other.) Before the excitement of Selva’s joining the BSP
could subside, the party sprang another surprise. It convinced senior
IAS officer and Aboriginal Inhabitant of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath activist, P Sivakami to quit government service
and join the party. Sivakami was rewarded with the post of state
general secretary. The Vanniyar leader Dheeran, a former PMK member,
was roped in as the party’s vice president on December 2. Currently on
a political high, the party is preparing to hold a rally in Chennai on
December 22, in which Mayawati is slated to take part.


b)E-Social Transformation in
Practice

International Federation for Freedom of Aboriginal Inhabitants and
Migrates (IFFAIM)


Social Transformation!

And Economical Emancipation!

Through

Testing the efficacy of social engineering!

By

Mighty Great Mind Training!



Our
aspiration in life is to see entire people triumph over the suppressive
forces of ignorance, un-satisfactoriness, hatred, anger, jealousy,
delusion, superstition (false religious teaching) and tyranny.
Therefore, we have sworn to confront these influences wherever they
arise. Being spellbound for thousands of years is long enough! In our
age, the battles for freedom and supremacy are being waged on the
mental planes. In order to fulfill prophecy and emerge victorious, we
must be armed with an over standing of our origins, history and the
machinations of those who conspire against us. Any part that we can

play in such a revolution of consciousness is our willing service to a
resurgent Pure Land.

 \"logo\"

Life Purpose Report for
Buddha

buddha

Numerology

Numerology is a complimentary divination method that provides a good starting point for
astrology. It confirms and enhances the natal chart and gives a structure on which to
build.

The Destiny number is the birth date, the given talent and
the lesson to learn.

8Th April 563 BC 8 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 3 = 26/8

826 is a very physical number. It is impulsive and learns self control, and it’s a number
that needs to prove inner strength and physical strength through experience.
Astrologicaly number 8
relates to the planet Saturn, which is considered to be the most malefic planet in the solar system. In
astrology, Saturn deals with the dark side of human nature, teaching the native to overcome fear and tread
into the light. When Saturn is well placed in a chart, it brings wisdom, awareness of right and wrong,
sincerity, honesty, love of justice, non-attachment, long life, fame, authority, leadership and
organizational abilities.
Negatively, Saturn can show a person to be greedy, morbid and gloomy, who
continuously suffers from losses and psychosomatic problems caused by disturbance to their body
chemistry. Interestingly, Buddha’s natal chart shows Saturn to be the least powerful planet there, but with
Capricorn as ruler of the seventh house of “others”.
Buddha’s talent and destiny, and area of learning is all
about other people and his interaction with them. Eventually he comes to an understanding, as the
seventh house rules over diplomacy, it’s about treaties and alliances, wars and disputes and on a more
personal manner, compromise.
He was learning how to create a win-win situation for both parties.
Saturn
is the planet of confinement; its teaching methods bring obstruction, delay, humiliation, enmity, lawsuits
and prison. People become lonely, pessimistic, and afraid; subject to premature aging and suicidal
tendencies if the natal chart concludes.
As Saturn is weak in power in the natal chart, with a horary value
of -3, it can be concluded that he was exposed to hypocrisy, gossip, cowardice, hurtful words and jealousy;
or in a less extreme way he enjoyed a lack of responsibility, and living a self-centered vain and wasteful
life. He possibly wore gaudy clothes too, before his enlightenment.
With a destiny 8, a person is likely to
experience delays and obstacles, perhaps even humiliation from an unknown source, which makes life
rather unpredictable. Those with a psychic number 8 also, create conditions for their own failure, by
losing faith in the virtuous life, and act destructively. His story reinforces this.
8’s attract unwanted
opposition and enmity without cause. There can also be financial losses and theft. 8’s have accidents, face
lawsuits and can prematurely age.
Saturn teaches wisdom through sad experiences and opposition, which
eventually leads 8’s to excel under such difficulties; in fact the more difficulties the better– they
shine.
Through great adversity, 8’s achieve fame and organizational abilities, hold high posts and become
wealthier in the latter part of life. If interested in politics, they reach the top. In spiritual and occult
sciences they will become leaders of their groups. You could say he became leader of his spiritual group
on a world wide scale.
Problems exist for 8’s, whether real or imaginary; they endure humiliations, and
like solitude as it gives a relief from the outside world, and as a result may suffer with loneliness.
Negative
8’s are susceptible to drug addiction and alcohol. Sex scandals can give 8’s a bad name.
Love is not
generally a successful area. They do not live married lives for long periods and may fear rejection or
separation or divorce, although this can be good for their spiritual lives.
8’s philosophical ideas can take
them away from pleasure seeking and then they are found directing their energies to fight the suffering of
fellow men. Buddha left his wife.
Many 8’s are destined to make their mark on history as innovators,
scientific researchers, social reformers or in opposition groups. 8’s develop endurance, tend not to suffer from
stresses or strains and adjust to shocks quickly.
They have no time for social amusements. A destiny 8 does
not know how to play.
Women often inherit property and usually save money for their old age, preferring
to be alone due to their earlier experiences.
Life partners are difficult to find, but 8’s are dedicated to their
families; they have patience, spiritual inclinations and faith. Destiny 8 men do not usually respect their
partners.
8’s unusually have to go through a lawsuit at least once in their life. Pythagoras called the 8,
“light and darkness”, the money maker and the spiritually minded who offer light to the dark.
Knowledge
of spirit and matter gives the destiny 8 inspiration, even genius. 44 (4 + 4 = 8) is the number of mastermind, prosper,
unlimited. This is my destiny number too and I’d like to add more, which Buddha may have concluded also,
but I have not seen written.
In listening to words from another, consideration is not given to what is being
said, but to where our own personal response will lead the interaction. This eventually gives a highly
discriminating set of values as to the worth of the exchange, and an insight to the other person’s pain.

Unconsciously people throw their own pains at others, as if to get rid of them. Such exchanges are really
about the other person’s fears and insecurities.
But in real negotiation there is compromise. So Buddha
learns compromise, by walking the middle way and the insight into other’s pains. He learns about the
effects of Saturn.

Notes on Name number [the tool used in life]

Buddha = 40/4

Number 4 relates to
Uranus and the South node. To the average person this is a sign of being impulsive, rebellious and
secretive; negatively, short tempered.
Uranus rules the 8th and 9th houses and is placed in the twelfth
house. With the ruler of the 8th in the 12th, Buddha seeks enlightenment by spending a long time in seclusion.
He is abused, rejected, and experiencing sore foot problems. He seeks spiritual enlightenment, and travels.

He is drawn to charitable and humanitarian efforts. He experiences a strained relationship with his
father.

Prince Siddhartha = 157/13/4

The names Buddha and Prince Siddhartha both total the name number
4, which is considered an unlucky number as it makes a person alone, without a circle of trustworthy
friends. It’s not a number that is successful in business either.
Along with the 8 destiny number it makes for
a hard life. He would have endured secret enemies, although he was a peace-loving person. Both the 4 and
8 together are lawbreakers, unconventional and rebellious, but both numbers are also helpers of the poor
and suffering. It suggests that he may have broken the law at some time, particularly as destiny 8 suggests
it.
The number 4 is considered to eventually take on the responsibility of others who depend on them
for their support. There is likely to be problems with relatives and limitations in life.

Notes on the Psychic number, the day of birth

People born on the 8th of a month are usually considered
materialistic and capable in business matters. They are ambitious and successful as organisers,
administrators or as an executive.
8 is the number of confidence and determination. The people who
have it as their psychic number often remain as a bit of a mystery to even their closest friends.
They are
hardworking and accept challenges readily, and turn lemons into lemonade. 8’s are introverted, patient,
reflective, calm, serious, deep, reserved and outwardly well balanced. 8’s are sincere in group situations
like communities or families, or social organizations and can devote their lives to them.
8’s go it alone;
they do everything themselves and gain no help from others; even those employed to help them, fall away
and leave them to get on with it.
They have a strong presence and a distinctive personality. Their strong
willpower and serious nature give them strength to handle all kinds of projects successfully.
It’s usual for
8’s to meet obstacles, delays, failures, and challenges, and it’s only their persistence which lead them to
complete their tasks; and this is how they make their names in history.
They have a great sense of faith in
life and are born to serve a cause usually. Their life is one big struggle, which leaves them able to cope
with huge upheavals and cataclysmic destruction.
8’s are greatly motivated to serve and sacrifice their lives
for the benefit of the poor and downtrodden.
8’s are solitary in nature and do not appreciate humour, and
they do not tolerate jokes. They are asocial, with few real friends. Inside they are gentle and tender, very
caring and devoted; gentle people who face all kinds of losses and hardships and they do their best to
protect the interests of their friends, but to the outside world they present a stiff exterior.
When a psychic 8
becomes angry, they disturb the whole of the environment, leaving others quaking in their boots. 8’s can
keep enmity in there hearts their whole life. They may accept defeat with a smile, and then change their
strategies.
8’s aspire to great success and full honour. They worship work and aim at doing big things.
They
hate hypocrisy and deceit and they have a high standard of morals themselves, making them honest,
practical and clever. Their assessment of others is usually correct.
8’s are capable of going against the law
and social norms, if it serves their purpose. Some 8’s will do anything to make money, then give every
penny away to others without expecting anything in return.
8’s cannot spend money on themselves, and
often this will include those in the family circle–they give it away.
After age 35 and a few financial crises,
8’s can hold money in their bank.
Religion doesn’t interest a psychic eight, but they are able to gain the
deepest states of meditation. [As Buddha did]

Natal Chart

chart

Using the natal chart rectified by John Milton
Taber, to 11.20 AM.

Buddha’s life path was ruled by Cancer with the Moon and Neptune as rulers. Cancer
rules the first house, the Ascendant, indicating this life was for his personal development, the emergence
of the soul, the expression of the soul purpose and activities of the soul.
The Moon is in the second house
of Values, spiritual values, spiritual resources, and finally giving expression to his spiritual values; and
with Neptune in the twelfth house of sacrifice and selfless service to humanity. These were the tools for
bringing it about.
Prince Siddhartha’s life path was a desire to establish some Universal truth, a vision
which initially was only for himself to believe in.
By purging the following of old traditions, he was to set
out on a search for a new expression of truth. All that he had experienced before this moment in life had
been incinerated, at least in his mind, if not in actual material terms.
He walked away from all his cultural
customs. In a fit of passion and heat of the moment, he was to set out on this quest, in a highly emotional
aroused state of temperament, in a brutal search for fundamental principles, which eventually he finds
within himself.
All external ideas were considered false at that moment in time. He desired to evolve a new
view of the world, and out of his own intensity of feeling and despite every attempt at self- restraint, he set
off.
This emotional passion had created a sterile mental world in which he felt he could no longer live, but
accepted it as part of his own creation, and with this vision of a new reality in his mind, he severed his
emotional bonds at the time, withdrawing from family, employment, and any conventional institution.
He
departed on his own. He has to be true to himself at this stage of development. This life path in fact tells the
reasoning behind the well known story of Prince Siddhartha’s departure from the palace into the outside
world.
As the 8 destiny number shows, he was subject to outside humiliation,
to leaving his wife, to non-attachment and eventual deep states of
meditation and realization.

Regarding Prince Siddhartha’s
identity–Sun at 11 degrees 18 Aries, ruler of 2nd and 3rd houses, therefore covering the areas of ideas and
basic concepts of personal value systems.
Prince Siddhartha’s identity was given expression through his
ideal concept of spiritual values in communicating. Prince Siddhartha was born on the day of conscience,
where he was bound to manifest strong feelings for his fellow human beings. This day is associated with
humanitarian and altruistic tendencies.
The welfare of others is of the highest importance to them, even
greater than their own. He would have been somewhat shy and in his own private world, but subject to
public groups in an intimate way.
He would have been cool under pressure and in crises, and calm and
supportive during difficult periods. He was born to espouse the cause of the disadvantaged. He would not
have considered himself a social reformer, just one that believes in everyone being given an equal
chance.
He could be very critical and outspoken with those who exert power over others. It would have been
hard for others to touch him emotionally.
He would have appeared to be suffering in private over a hurt
that nobody would understand. [his life path desire for truth] He would not have cared if others
understood him or not.
It would have been exceedingly difficult for him to accept anything from anyone,
particularly psychological help.
He wanted to promote his values to the highest possible level. His strengths
were in his high ethics, his great ability to give and in feeling socially responsible to what he found. He
was also self-sacrificing, extreme in his thoughts, and emotionally closed to others.

Regarding
the Moon and Prince Siddhartha’s emotions and instincts–the Moon at 22 degrees 30 Leo in his second
house. The Moon ruled his Ascendant, therefore it shows his self absorption, and personal projection on
others.
He would emotionally stand aloof from life, appearing detached and cool, disinterested in mundane
affairs and preoccupied with his own self-involved thoughts, taken with the interest he had in life.
Adept at
making money and material possessions, he felt the need to lead or direct those around him. He was an
intense personality focused on his goals. He liked to be left alone in search of his own goals and projects
most of the time.
He demanded personal autonomy, and had a live and let live attitude.
He had a knack for
discovering how human emotions worked. He was able to focus his mental powers in the area that
involved him so. His concern was with spiritual values.
He would rarely back down from a
confrontation. His emotional strength was his intensity, his poised manner and technical ideas.
Negatively,
he appeared self-involved, emotionally detached and emotionally blocked towards others.

Regarding Prince
Siddhartha’s mentality–Mercury 29 degrees 22 Aries in the 10th house. Showing him to be an independent thinker
with flashes of intuition, and his career implies he uses his thoughts and meditation.
Mercury rules the
12th and the 4th houses, showing that his mind was withdrawn to his inner worlds in meditation, seeking
right at the foundation what reflects the stability of human relations regarding communications.
Prince
Siddhartha’s mentality and attitude to communication was that of self-sufficiency. He was happiest,
undisturbed and tucked away in a safe place where he could give his all to his private endeavours in
meditation.
He could manifest a strong presence in human affairs without being physically present; he had
great projective powers of thoughts, and never felt lonely.
He felt he knew best in the areas that concerned
him, building on established knowledge formed previously. He just had a great desire to be alone and a
need for privacy.
In a nutshell, he was mentally self-sufficient, dedicated to his mental thoughts or
meditation and completely centered; to others he appeared withdrawn, over-serious and possibly
repressed.

Regarding Prince Siddhartha’s values–Venus 25 degrees 23 Taurus in the 11th house, ruling the
intercepted 4th and 11th houses. He took on the peace keeper role in society, with his family and friends at
home.
He had a dynamic physical presence; when he walked into the room everyone knew it. His ideas
were as much standpoints of attitudes. He was not interested in idle talk, he liked action.
He was quite
blunt, but retained a sophisticated attraction to others. When he left his home it would have been like a
great gaping hole left in the very fabric of his families’ life. He therefore even had a powerful presence
even in his absence.
Although not seeking confrontation, he would not back down from a
confrontation. His ideas had to work. He put his “career” above his family and friends. He was vigorous,
steadfast and dynamic in his passions, and also unaccepting in love, unforgiving and
overbearing.

Regarding Prince Siddhartha’s drives–Mars 16 degrees 54 Pisces, in the 9th house ruling the 10th
house. This shows Siddhartha’s abandonment of the material for the spiritual growth, and causing concern
to his father.
He was oriented towards healing of the spirit, and success in religion. Mars ruled Prince
Siddhartha’s intercepted tenth house, where his pioneering ideas and ambitions were to find an expression
of truth.
He saw himself purely through understanding his relationship with others. It has all to do with
relativity, and shows that he was open to many approaches and points of view. His changing thoughts
would be a specialty.
He was after obtaining a special set of principles for a lifetime, where he would be
open to modifying them if he saw fit. He would consider many different actions simultaneously,
emotionally, physically and spiritually. He was concerned with the here and now of the personal world and
the universal world, and their unchanging eternal principles.
He may have felt like he struggled a whole
lifetime with this aspect, just to define where he stood. He recognised even the simplest fact could simply
be down to how you look at it. He tried to reconcile varying points of view from different approaches.
His
breakthrough came when he could appreciate the merits of everything and there was no need for
comparison. He recognised the sameness and the difference in all living things.

Regarding wisdom, vision,
convictions and space–Jupiter 15 degrees 37 Aries, ruler of the 6th house in the 10th. He struggled to find a
purpose to life. He wanted to be free from impurities and achieve a high standard of expression.
As Jupiter
also rules his MC, Pisces, it can also be said that he would become famous for his life’s work, that he was
highly respected and was likely to eventually lead a large organization.
He always had his antennae out
sensing what was going on, although he never related socially with individuals, but tried to understand
and redefine their conduct in society. He became an expert in social etiquette. His success was in becoming
socially aware, articulate in speech and diplomatic in response.

Regarding challenge and
concentration–Saturn 25 degrees 24 Aries ruler of the 7th house in the 10th house. It shows that Siddhartha’s wife
had a great deal to do with his impetus to understand relationship. This is very interesting, because Saturn
rules the seventh house of diplomacy and relates to the Buddha’s destiny in numerology.
Usually a person’s
social skills determine just how successful they are in solving relationship problems or disputes. The
destiny number 8 shows he may have disrespected his wife, but also it shows that he was subject to many
disputes and tried to see past them.
He wanted to solve the issues on how to relate with another. Prince
Siddhartha would not rest until he had established himself as part of a powerful organisation. It would be
usual with this aspect for a person to be a kind of “patron” recommending them to others and opening
doors.
The idea of this position would be to establish an organization [or clientele if it were a business].
He would want to express himself as an individual within that professional sphere. He would never be
outspoken or lose the support of the group that he involved himself with.
So Saturn in Prince
Siddhartha’s natal chart indicates that he would eventually be set up as “head” of an organisation, which
we now know has lead to a religious organisation called “Buddhism”. It can also be said that Buddhism
has its roots in relating to each other. Its aims are in purifying the self so that basic truths reveal
themselves.

Regarding originality and revolutionary ideas–Uranus 7 degrees 02 Cancer, rules the 8th and 9th
houses and is positioned in the 12th. Buddha was very spiritual; he sought out transcendental wisdom for
enlightenment, spending long times in seclusion.
This he did while he traveled; traveling and seclusion
were contributing factors in his spiritual enlightenment. His enlightenment was also about showing his
inner vision to others so as they may look at them and scrutinize them too. It’s about sharing his
revelations, his inner visions and feelings.
He had the ability to understand the twists and turns of the
human mind. Prince Siddhartha simplified his revelations for others to grasp too. In fact others may have
seen him as a dreamer and somewhat unrealistic, but he would have come into his own being the driving
force in an organization.
He had highly demanding subconscious drives. The strengths of this position are
the ability to be creative, truthful and imaginative. His revelations were both healing and educational for
others.

Regarding transcendence, spirituality and suffering–Neptune 10 degrees 27 Gemini, ruler of the 10th house
in the 12th house. His career led him to liberating unconscious aspects of the mind, revealed to him during
meditation. His work was both educational and spiritual and voluntary. He was totally focused on
enlightenment.
This is about being passive in some areas of life and strongly determined in others; his
passivity in the area of emotion, but strongly determined and forceful in his meditations and search for
truth.
A strong duality is at work within the same structure. In one way he is outspoken, strong minded
and logical in his work; then in comparison he may have been emotionally immature, inconsistent and
not integrated into society. He had no interest in developing areas which did not further his
cause.

Regarding transformation and personal power–Pluto 23 degrees 21
Taurus, ruler of the 5th in the 11th. The 5th is about self-expression
and identity, the 11th social affinities. This is about his powerful
self-expression and transformation through spiritual practices, leading
to social graces and success with his family.
Pluto gave Siddhartha the energy to keep going in his epic feat, constantly recreating his mind’s
models to reconstruct, again and again. It was an obsessive-compulsive action to which he sought the
answer. He just wouldn’t let go of his project.
The strength of this position is its persistence, its huge
energy to continue, which results in a productive result. Others looking on may label this as compulsive,
obsessive behaviour of an unrealistic nature.

Buddha’s destiny, group involvement and future
potential–Node 23 degrees 54 Pisces. The node aligned with the day of the vernal equinox, the time of equal day
and night–the influence often makes a person misunderstood by others, with an inability to fit into
ordinary social interaction.
This position brings equal quantities of dreaming and practicality. It bestows a
genius for setting up organizations and structures that usually last.
People with this aspect do not find it
necessary to justify themselves to others. If others don’t appreciate what they have to give, then it is just
too bad. There is a tendency to be non-verbal, expecting others to sense their thoughts and feelings without
explanation.
This is a leadership aspect, and strangely, wishes are expressed with very few
words. Siddhartha would have courageously stuck to his beliefs, and his anger like a volcano erupting over
his beliefs.
This position is known to have a spiritual association with it, in conventional religion, devotion
and service, esoteric and mystical pursuits. It is also associated with a high state of consciousness.
The
overall impression is of a person who can be highly inspiring to others and have an aura of extreme
purity. This nodal position really does sum up Buddha’s nature. He was courageous, self-expressive and
direct, while also being misunderstood and antisocial.
I find Buddha’s chart so fascinating, even today, 1400
years on, I could spend hours upon hours working on it, but as can be seen from his natal chart, although
he was a privileged man by birth, he was born with a very anti-social attitude and a great desire to nurture
humanity; he was a humanitarian at heart.
His life path was hard; he received verbal abuse and
humiliation while taking that spiritual journey inwards until he found his solution. Perhaps little is made
of the humiliation in Prince Siddhartha’s story; today he would have suffered lawsuits and more, but
eventually he understood what caused the suffering of men and why they treated each other so.
I believe
Buddha’s teachings had more to say on receiving an upset, or action from others. His teachings [9th] or healing
[8th] represented by Uranus in the 12th house has aspects of seeking solution [Uranus
semi-square Moon] to emotional tensions, [Uranus square Sun] contradiction and impatience to upset, [Uranus
semi-square Pluto] impatience, violence and destruction, [Uranus conjunct Ascendant] unrest, haste, sudden
changes to the environment.
He would have realized that his only control of a situation was by his
response. His actions or lack of actions precipitated the other person’s response. He would have seen that a
person’s reaction came about from their own issues; people would respond differently to innocent remarks,
depending on their state of mind and the pain they were suffering inside.
Emotional upsets and inner pain and suffering led to outer violence and
antisocial behaviour; that anyone can push another’s button at anytime
without realizing it. Everyone has inner pain and suffering, due to
simply living on Earth; it is the human condition.
Buddha was undoubtedly the first relationship psychologist, promoting compassion and
sympathetic attitude to others. He would also have taught compromise, and understood that relating
to another is about making the other feel good about themselves; that relating is not just about stating our
needs, but satisfying other’s needs, on a socially equal standing.
Popularity is about making others feel good, not showing how good we
are to others. We all want to be around others who make us feel good.

   


c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice


 

Buddhism in Modern Life


—o0o—

The topic
as it stands has several parts to it: What is modern life? What is Buddhism?
And what role has Buddhism to play in modem life? Modem life in itself is very
difficult to define. One might say that modem life is characterized by the fact
that the world is getting smaller; that people are having greater access to
each other; that communication barriers are fast disappearing; that it is
possible for one to know what happens everywhere in the world within a short
time, and thereby pen-nits participation in the life of a larger cross-section
of the world than one could have ever imagined. That would be one aspect of
modern life. Related to that would be modern life understood in terms of
science and technology. Man in his attempt to conquer nature, disease, natural
barriers, has performed certain feats of a technological complexity which are
quite mind boggling. That is another aspect of modem life. A third, perhaps a
more disturbing aspect of modern life, is that with the world getting closer,
communication barriers breaking away, and scientific and technological advance
becoming so rapid, we have come face to face with several problems in terms of
economic and political rivalry, pollution, population explosion, scarcity of
resources and the indiscriminate use of resources that might not be replaced.
With these come a host of other issues which can be plainly labelled as
“survival.”

Can
Modem Civilization Survive?

To
this one may add also a moral dimension - an ethical question - and ask:
“To what extent, in the process of modernization and conquering nature,
have we deviated from the ability to conquer ourselves? Has the struggle for
survival meant that the modem man has become a slave to selfishness, bound by
his own desires and his whims? Have we lost all the things of very special
value to human beings such as inter-personal relations, the anxiety to look
after the well-being of others, the spirit of being of selfless service to
others? Have we lost these?”

So
when one thinks of modern life one can think in terms of a great degree of
optimism and, at the same time, an equal degree of pessimism. One can be so
pleased that we live today at a time when there seems to be nothing that man
cannot conquer. Maybe, there are still some diseases that challenge him. Maybe,
there are still certain places in the universe where man would like to be, and
still he has not developed his technology to be there. But it appears as if all
these are within reach of man. With this optimism about man’s capacity, comes
the pessimistic aspect that we have, in the process, lost something. Let us
keep both of these in mind.

Buddhism

Then
let us look at what Buddhism is. What do we understand by Buddhism? It can mean
many things to many people. To someone it can be only life of the Buddha; the
example that the Buddha and his immediate disciples set -that glorious feat of
a man, who stood before men as a man and declared a path of deliverance. This
is one kind of Buddhism. To another, Buddhism would mean the massive doctrine
as recorded in the Buddhist literature, which indeed is voluminous and contains
several thousand pages recording the words of the Buddha. And in it is
described a very lofty, abstruse, complex and learned philosophy of life. Then
based on whatever the Buddha taught, whatever the practices current at the time
of the Buddha, there has grown a very rich culture, a culture which has
extended to all ‘ parts of Asia for over 2500 years, and to which people from
various walks of life with various backgrounds from all these countries have
made a lasting contribution. A large number of sects or schools or
philosophical systems have evolved and all of them, quite rightly, go under the
name of Buddhism. Then comes another definition of Buddhism and that is the
kind of ritual that has grown around the doctrine of the Buddha as a result of
his teachings and the way of life preached by him, becoming a religion. Whether
the Buddha intended it or not, his teachings became a religion, a religion to
which people were prepared to hold allegiance and which has its own ritual,
organization, and ways or criteria for deciding what is properly done or what
is improperly done. Now that is another kind of Buddhism. If one were to take
each of these aspects separately, and try to examine the impact of what he
would call Buddhism on modern life, it would certainly be an enormous task.

To me
Buddhism is all these. It is the Buddha and his life, the doctrine, the culture
that evolves around it, and the ritual that is connected with it. Once we take
this to be one large body of human experiences, distilled in the finest form
and presented to us in such a manner that each one of us could select that part
which appeals to us, we begin to see the remarkable uniqueness of Buddhism.
During the days of the Buddha himself he used to emphasize this point. One need
not be a scholar and learn everything. Buddhism is not like studying a subject
like mathematics where you have to learn all your theorems and different
methods of working out the various types of problems. If you know the
fundamentals, the basis, a scholarly detailed study is not an important
precursor to practice. So out of this vast Buddhist culture, religion, or
literature, or the vast body of experiences that come to us as Buddhism, each
one of us would find that which is relevant to our life, to our type of
problems.

A
Timeless Doctrine

I have
often wondered how Buddhism came to be called ‘Akalika” which means
“timeless” - that it exists for all time. The more I see the changes
that have taken place in Buddhist culture or religion, the more I see how it
keeps on adjusting to the needs of different eras, populations, individuals,
the more I see that it has been possible for the Buddha to evolve a message
that would remain eternally fresh. So if Buddhism has an application today and
if Buddhism has a place in modem fife, it is because of that timeless
relevance, emanating from a set of eternal values. To talk of a characteristic
of being eternal is a very paradoxical way of presenting or describing a
religion which has the principle doctrine of impermanence at the bottom of it.
the characteristic of timelessness comes from the fact that it had understood
that everything continues, but continues in a flux, in a process of continuing
change and evolution. Thus Buddhism was able to adjust to different times and
civilizations. We can therefore without any hesitation approach any aspect of
Buddhism as something relevant and applicable to us today.

What
are these elements that make Buddhism timeless? Let me take just a few of them.
First of these would be the recognition of the responsibility of the
individual. the Buddha is one of the most remarkable religious teachers who
emancipated man from all bonds - bonds of supernatural ties, a Godhead, a
creation, sin Of- any other characteristic inherited from anyone else (rather
than what you yourself have done). So when the Buddha says that each person is
his own master, he promulgates a principle whose applicability becomes stronger
as man begins to get more and more confidence in the control of himself and the
environment. So if, today, with scientific and technological development, man
feels that he has come to a point where his own intellect makes him superior to
anybody else or allows him able to solve any problem that he has, whether
physical or ethical or political or whatever, would not the principle that man
is the master of himself - that he has to be responsible to himself because
whatever he does he inherits - become one of the most important ways of looking
at himself?

So
this fundamental approach to making man free from all bondages, spiritual and
otherwise, is one of those very important doctrines of Buddhism that have contributed
to its timelessness. As we advance, as greater progress is made by man, there
will be the greater need for him to assert that he is the master of himself.
The more he asserts himself to be the master of himself, the more is he
reiterating the Buddha’s own statement: ‘Atta hi attano natho.”

Freedom
of Thought

Then
comes another equally important doctrine. The doctrine of open-mindedness - the
liberty of thinking. Buddhism not only frees us from a Godhead or super natural
tie but also liberates mankind from dogma. Let us visualize the time when the
Buddha was preaching. It was a time when various religious teachings were in a
ferment and India
of the 6th century B. C. was one of the most interesting places to be.
Religious teachers propounding various types of doctrines were vying with each
other to have more and more converts. Besides these new teachings, there were
religious systems that were deep rooted. In all these religious systems, the
theory was: “We have found a way.” This is the correct path.”
“You come, you will be saved.” Into their midst comes the Buddha who
says: “Do not believe what your book says. Do not believe what your
teachers would say. Do not believe what your tradition says. Do not take
anything merely because it comes to you with the authority of somebody else.
Make it a personal experience. Think for yourself. Be convinced. And once you
are convinced act accordingly.” Now this was a very refreshing manner in
which man was given one of the greatest freedoms that he is fighting for, the
freedom to think for himself. If under feudalism, before the present advances
were made, we were not able to assert so much of our light to think for
ourselves, as these advances take place we will be asserting that right more
and more. We will be wanting to feel that we are convinced, after our own
investigations, after we have been able to go through the principles, the
facts, the pros and cons. This we consider an inviolable right This is the
second doctrine, whose applicability to modern times, and future times, would
continue.

Role
of Buddhism

Then
comes the most important question - apart from supporting what man will want to
assert for himself today and in the future, has Buddhism a corrective role to
play? With this question comes the most important aspect to which all of us
should pay a fair amount of attention today. While man is making all these
advances, we also find that the pressure of modern life - the rivalry for
survival, the rivalry for doing better than the other, the desire to live a
life of competition economically, politically, culturally, or in whatever form
- has brought tensions. In order to relieve these tensions man has evolved more
and more recreations and relaxations. They apparently result in slight
relaxation of the tensions but seem to take people more and more into a vicious
circle. Because of the tensions one engages oneself in a variety of escapist
activities, and because these escapist activities take too much time, one has
to catch up with the process of survival, only to oneself in a worse period of
tremendous tension. The greater the economic progress, the greater the
political enlightenment, the more the people need sedatives and tranquilizers
to keep themselves doing their normal duties. You have to take one pill to keep
awake, one pill to sleep, one pill to relax and so on. This kind of
modernization that has come in, wherein man’s tensions have mounted to a point
where he finds that all that he has gained is of no use, is a very serious
situation. In addition to these tensions comes another facet wherein, with the
greater amount of leisure that man gets today as a result of freedom from work
drudgery, he has another problem to cope with - that is, boredom. So with
tension on one side, boredom on the other, comes a variety of other
complications which make many people really unhappy. Today one may ask the
question: Are we in a situation where people are really happy or are we in a
situation where people at last have realized that in spite of all that they
could gain, they have lost something in the form of some fundamental aspects of
life? Who is to be blamed? Are we to blame science? Are we to blame technology?
Are we to blame the political systems? Are we to blame the economic system that
we have inherited or we have developed? Or are we to blame ourselves?

You
are your own Master

Going
back to the Buddha’s own way of looking at the problem you will say, you hold
the reins of life in your hands. Because whatever has gone wrong you are
responsible, you are your own master. You have let it go - allowed it away out
of your hands. It is easy to blame a person, saying “You have let an
opportunity pass. It has slipped away from your hands!” But does that
help? The greatness of Buddhism lies in the fact that it does not stop after
placing the responsibility on you, it does not say “Now that is it. We
have now found the culprit.” It proceeds to the next stage of saying:
“Here are a few things that could be done.”

If one
were to go around looking at the various types of religious, psychiatric,
psychological measures that have been evolved in order to save man or to cure
man from tension on one side and boredom on the other side, you would find that
there are many but not one as inexpensive and as practical as some of the very
simple directions that Buddhism offers. One would ask the question - does this
mean that once you become a Buddhist you would be freed from the tension and
boredom of modern life? To answer that question is very difficult because no
one becomes a Buddhist. There is no one who is to be labelled as a Buddhist.
Because Buddhism is not one of those philosophies or ways of life or religions
- I use the word religion because there is no other classification to which it
can be put squarely - wherein there is a need to have a label. During the days
of the Buddha, people went to him, listened to him and if they were pleased
with him they would say, I take refuge in you, I take refuge in your teachings,
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community, the disciples who are following
this way of life.” Even today that is all that is needed for anybody to
call himself a Buddhist. Having been convinced that what the Buddha has taught
has some relevance to one’s life problems, one feels that it is a way of life
that could be followed with profit, by taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dhamma
and the Sangha. With this inner conviction he becomes a Buddhist with
absolutely no ceremony, no ritual of any kind, no registration, no other legal
requirements. It is what F.L. Woodword, one of the finest translators of the
words of Buddha, calls “a do-it-yourself religion.”

What
is very significant today is that there may be thousands of people who have
never gone into a Buddhist temple, never got into the ritualistic set-up which
has evolved in the Buddhist countries, but who in their own heart have seen the
validity of the message of the Buddha and who are leading a life according to
the tenets of Buddhism. In fact, we are finding that a vast majority of the
world’s population hold allegiance to the Buddha for one reason or another.
This is one of the most remarkable things that one would regard as almost a
miracle.

A Way of Life

The
way of life the Buddha preached was very simple. To the layman it consisted of
just five simple precepts: do not kill, do not steal, do not engage in sexual
pleasures through wrong means, do not lie, do not take intoxicants - a very
simple set of precepts indeed. But the Buddhist way of life, the way the Buddha
described does not end with this kind of precepts. Simplified in a manner that
anyone could understand, there are three things that each person is expected to
do, namely (using the Pali words because most of you are familiar with them) Dana,
Sila
and Bhavana. Dana would mean liberality, generosity - the act
of giving. It is very important that Buddhism begins with Dana as the
first virtuous act which one should engage in, in order to put himself on the
correct path, because giving is an act of sacrifice. To be able to give
something is to prepare your mind fully to give up something that you have,
something you treasure, something to which you are attached. Thereby you
counter one of the biggest causes of all the problems which, again in Pali, is
called Lobha or desire or greed. It is very interesting to see how the
way of life is presented to us in a manner that in following it step by step we
get rid of some of the human weaknesses and characteristics that cause tension,
and the boredom that is bothering most of us today. Liberality is to counteract
desires, the greediness, the clinging nature.

Then Sila
is
adherence to certain precepts, or ethical or moral conduct. Buddha was
fully aware of the fact that one could not set rules and regulations for
everybody in the same manner. So there are a few rules for the lay people.
There are a few more for those who want to enter into a committed religious
life, and still more for monks, who have committed themselves to adhere to a
very strict path of discipline and purification. So the Sila is a
graduated thing, so that each person picks up that which he is able to follow
for the present.

In Sila,
or moral conduct or the ethical teachings of the Buddha, we come back to
this original doctrine: they are not commandments, they are not prescribed from
above, they are not prescribed by the Buddha as commandments to obey. Each one
of the precepts, which we, as Buddhists, take, is a promise unto ourselves of
our own freewill. And the way they are worded is I take upon myself the
discipline of not killing”, I take upon myself the discipline of not
stealing” and so on, because I am the master of my own destiny and it is I
who should decide which kind of life I should lead. The Buddha as a guide had
shown certain fundamental weaknesses, or faults, that one should try to avoid.
The second cause of most of the problems we have is our animosity, or hatred to
others. In Pali we say Dosa. Sila is one of those antidotes for this
second cause of all our weaknesses. When we follow Sila we control, or
rather we completely eliminate the cause of hatred. The Buddha was one of those
who were very conscious of the many effects of hatred. He had seen people
ruining themselves as a result of hatred. That is what made it possible for him
to state very categorically that hatred never ceases by hatred, that the more
you hate, the worse it becomes. You hate me, I hate you: I hate you more, you
hate me more and the hatred keeps on increasing to a point where both you and I
burn ourselves in our mutual hatred, and to the Buddha the only way to solve it
is that one party must stop. Because without one party, or better still both
parties, trying to conquer hatred with friendship, hatred with non-hatred, this
sequence of hatred would never cease. One way of dealing with it is based on
the entire doctrine of the virtuous life of Buddhism. Because a virtuous life
is attacking the second cause of our weaknesses, namely hatred, we have in
Buddhism a most interesting, and again a timeless doctrine, of loving kindness.
Loving kindness, which is the cornerstone of Buddhism, (the foundation on which
the Buddhist doctrine is built) has not been taken by the Buddha as merely a
simple ethical principle. He had analysed the principle of loving kindness into
sublime life.

Then
comes Karuna - compassion. Compassion is more easily generated. You see
somebody in trouble, you see somebody who needs your help, your heart moves
towards that person and you rush to help him. That quality of rushing to
somebody’s help ~ feeling sorry for the other who is suffering, that is another
aspect of loving kindness.

Then
comes a third aspect of it which is more difficult to practise, and that
requires tremendous love and pains, that is called Mudita that is, to
share in others’ happiness - to wipe out from your mind all traces of jealousy
and envy, so that you enjoy the well-being of the other person, your neighbour,
even your enemy.

Last
of all comes the fourth aspect of loving kindness and that is total equanimity,
Upekkha. You have no friends, no enemies, no one higher, no one lower.
You have absolutely no distinctions between one person and another, and you are
totally merged in a kind of unity with all beings, all things, all situations.
So once you are able to live a life in which all these four characteristics
govern your actions, there is no place for hatred, there is no place for
rivalry, there is no place for competition. So this second principle of Sila
looks after this set of troubles that we would have.

Last
of all comes the most significant, and the one to which you will be preparing
to proceed immediately after this, that is Bhavana - meditation. Bhavana
means the training of the mind. The word itself etymologically means
development - a further development of the mind. The Buddha believed, and he is
one of the earliest to state it in that manner, that everything emanates from
the man’s mind. The organization that I represent has as the preamble to its
Constitution “As wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men
that the defences of peace must be constructed.” And that reflects the
first line of the first verse of the Dhammapada. A pure mind, a trained
mind, a well-developed mind, a mind that can be controlled at will, a mind that
does not go on to subjects that are conducive to tension and boredom, but keeps
alert, keeps on developing itself, discovering itself and within itself the
secret of life, the problems of life and the reality of life, is man’s greatest
treasure.

I am
not surprised today that there is almost a craze, in the highly technologically
developed part of the world, for all types of meditation. It makes no
difference who preaches what, or what philosophy or technique is adopted. But
the fact remains that the people are beginning to realize that a moment of
quiet contemplation, a moment of deep penetrative thinking, a moment of
well-directed properly controlled functioning of the mind, is an essential
thing for the well-being of Man.

Two
thousand five hundred years ago the Buddha taught exactly the same way. And if
there is nothing else that the man of today needs, he needs peace of mind. He
wants to get away from his tensions and battle against boredom. And I see the
answer in Buddhism, particularly in the three-fold path of Dana, Sila,
Bhavana.

Look
at the Buddha’s own principle as the basis or beginning of his religious life.
We hear of so many people who go from rags to riches but here was the case of a
man who went from riches to rags, in search of, we may say, peace of mind -
that greatest of blessings. As a result, he saw for himself, then taught to
others, that the great handicap, the source of all trouble, is attachment.

So, if
somebody were to come today and say: I can take you straight to Nibbana this
very minute,” I think most of us will have lots of excuses to give.
Someone will say, can’t I wait till my daughter gets married?” Another
might say, can’t I wait till this World Fellowship of Buddhists General
Conference is over?” can’t I wait till I have finished my assignment in Bangkok?” We have
our own preferred times when it comes to the ultimate goal.

Whatever
be our decision as to reaching this goal, there is a point at which we have no
escape. We cannot deny the fact that all modern developments have nothing to
offer but insecurity and competitiveness as well as tensions and boredom
associated with them. Buddhism offers a few very simple and very efficacious
methods to combat that. And with this I feel that Buddhism has a role to play
in our life and a role in which we, from the Buddhist countries, have an
important part to play. It is our responsibility to share our thinking, our
knowledge, and our experience, with as many as possible, so that ultimately we
all see that the message of the Buddha, which is meant for the good of mankind,
continues to reach mankind in every nook and corner of the world.

d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice



Contents

37.   THE   FIRST   COUNCIL



  1. THE   FIRST   COUNCIL


    37.1   The Background of the First
    Council

    Just like other early religious leaders and great philosophers,
    Shakyamuni Buddha left no writing from his own hand. He preached the
    people both by example and precepts. Throughout forty nine years,
    he travelled from place to place, sometimes accompanied by his disciples,
    expounding the Dharma to the people of all kinds. There was no literal
    record nor documentary on what he spoke in the sermons. It is natural
    that the disciples would gather together to put in order their recollection
    of the great teachings after the death of such a reputable leader
    of a monastic order, Shakyamuni Buddha.

    The disciples would re-construct the way in which the Buddha’s teaching was
    correctly followed by the people in future. On the other hand, there arose
    differences of interpretation of the Buddha’s teachings after his death. In
    order to avoid any false thinkings and deviant ways to study Buddhism, a
    council was necessary to establish a unity of doctrine and opinion within the
    monastic community, as well as the lay community.


    37.2   The Council in the Cave


    Three months after the death of Shakyamuni, Ajatashatru, the king
    of Magadha patronized the council, held at Saptaparna-guha in the
    Cave of the Seven Leaves in Rajagaha. The leading convenors of the
    council were Mahakashyapa, Ananda and Upali. It was known as the First
    Council. As the chairman of the Council, Mahakashyapa selected five
    hundred Bhiksus to undertake the task of establishing the Buddhist
    canon. Ananda, having been for a long period of time at the side of
    Shakyamuni, was responsible to recite what teachings the Buddha had
    expounded, i.e. Sutta-pitaka. Upali, the first in taking precepts
    amongst the disciples, was responsible for the rules of disciples
    of the Order i.e. Vinaya-pitaka. Mahakashyapa himself recited and
    edited the commentaries, i.e. Abhidhamma, or Shastra.

    After they had completed their recitation, the Bhiksus in the assembly
    examined the words to make sure that their meanings were correct, and then all
    recited them together in unison, each monk in this way thinking over the words
    again and memorizing them. Each recitation was submitted for scrutiny and
    approval in the assembly.

    Only when a version that all could consent to had been reached, the joint
    recitation would take place. The final scriptures were written on
    Pattra, the palm leaves for writing in ancient time. The Buddhist
    canon compiled at the First Council was knowned as the Tripitaka consisting
    of three parts, Sutta-pitaka, Vinaya-pitika and Abhidhamma. It was
    regarded as the earliest and original teaching of the Buddha, serving
    as a basis of absolute authority. It was also called Agama which meant
    “sacred teaching”.

    There are another names for the First Council, such as:

    1. “Gathering of 500 Bhiksus”
    2. “The First Group Recitation”
    3. “The First Compilation”
    4. “The Sthavira Council”

    Sthavira means the elder and senior monks with 20 to 49 years standing
    (i.e. time after ordination). The intermediate monks were those with
    10-19 years standing, while the junior with less than 10 years standing.
    Sthavira sometimes refers to the title given to Mahakashapa, who chaired
    the First Council. It was later developed to Theravada tradition.


    37.3   The Council “outside the cave”


    In the same period, another group of Bhiksus who was originally not
    the followers of Mahakashyapa, gathered “outside the cave” 20 miles
    away in northwest of The Cave of the Seven Leaves. The council was
    led by Bhaddiya, one of the Five Bhiksus. The participating Bhiksus
    also recited and compiled their own version of the Buddhist canon,
    but with wider scope of interests in the Buddha’s teaching. The canon
    was later the basis of the Mahasanghika school of thought.

    It seems that the elder Bhiksus in the cave led by Mahakashyapa concentrated
    their attention upon the rules of discipline for the continuation of the
    monastic community. However, Shakyamuni’s teachings had not been intended
    only for the Bhiksus, but for all mankind to gain enlightenment and liberate
    from suffering. It is again natural for the lay believers to expect different
    standards and rules of discipline for different groups of people within the
    Buddhist community. For instance, the Bhiksus were expected to observe strict
    rules of discipline and to devote themselves in religious practice, while the
    lay believers did not. Certainly, it was one of the factors leading to the
    subtle differences in outlook that characterized the Sthavira school, centered
    about the monastic community, and the Mahasanghika school, serving the needs
    in lay community.


    37.4   Sthavira and Mahasanghika

    Sthavira and Mahasanghika were the two earliest sections of Buddhism.
    Literally, Sthavira referred to “the Teaching of the Elders,” the intimate and
    older disciples, while Mahasanghika referred to the “Members of the Great
    Order”, the rest in Buddhist community. The former put more emphasis on the
    rules of discipline and the continuation of the monastic order, while the
    latter was characterized by the mission of salvating all sentient beings
    particularly in lay community. At first, they were not considered to be
    different schools as there was no record of any struggle between orthodoxy and
    heterodoxy between the two schools.

    Strictly speaking, they served different needs in the Buddhist community with
    the common goal - the continued existence of the Dharma. It was no point to
    agree which school was more important than the other, as the effort
    contributed by both schools were equally great.

    Once Ananda asked Shakyamuni whom he should follow after Shakyamuni’s death.
    Shakyamuni Buddha replied that the precepts were the teacher in Buddhism. It
    is no doubt that taking precepts and observing the rules of discipline is the
    most important religious practice in Buddhism, particularly in the monastic
    community.

    However, Shakyamuni also spent the greater part of his lifetime working to
    spread his teachings in lay community so that all people, not just
    the monks, gained enlightenment. A monk should prepare to sacrifice
    his own being for the welfare of mankind - liberation from the sufferings
    and attainment of wisdom. It was certainly the original meaning of
    Buddhism.



e)E- Vinaya Pitaka in Practice

Introduction [go up]

One of the most notable features of Venerable Ajahn Chah’s teaching
was the emphasis he gave to the Sangha, the monastic order, and its use
as a vehicle for Dhamma practice. This is not to deny his unique gift
for teaching lay people, which enabled him to communicate brilliantly
with people from all walks of life, be they simple farmers or
University professors. But the results he obtained with teaching and
creating solid Sangha communities are plainly visible in the many
monasteries which grew up around him, both within Thailand and, later,
in England, Australia, Europe and elsewhere. Ajahn Chah foresaw the
necessity of establishing the Sangha in the West if long-term results
were to be realized.

This book is a collection of talks he gave to the monastic
communities in Thailand. They are exhortations given to the communities
of bhikkhus, or Buddhist monks, at his own monastery, Wat Ba
Pong, and some of its branches. This fact should be born in mind by the
lay reader. These talks are not intended to, and indeed cannot, serve
as an introduction to Buddhism and meditation practice. They are
monastic teachings, addressed primarily to the lifestyle and problems
particular to that situation. A knowledge of the basics of Buddhism on
the part of the listener was assumed. Many of the talks will thus seem
strange and even daunting to the lay reader, with their emphasis on
conformity and renunciation.

For the lay reader, then, it is essential to bear in mind the
environment within which these talks were given — the rugged, austere,
poverty-stricken North-East corner of Thailand, birth place of most of
Thailand’s great meditation teachers and almost its entire forest
monastic tradition. The people of the North-East are honed by this
environment to a rugged simplicity and gentle patience which make them
ideal candidates for the forest monk’s lifestyle. Within this
environment, in small halls dimly lit by paraffin lamps, surrounded by
the assembly of monks, Ajahn Chah gave his teachings.

Exhortations by the master occurred typically at the end of the
fortnightly recitation of the Patimokkha, the monks’ code of
discipline. Their content would be decided by the current situation —
slackness in the practice, confusion about the rules, or just plain
“unenlightenment.” In a lifestyle characterized by simplicity and
contentment with little, complacency is an ongoing tendency, so that
talks for arousing diligent effort were a regular occurrence.

The talks themselves are spontaneous reflections and exhortations
rather than systematic teachings as most Westerners would know them.
The listener was required to give full attention in the present moment
and to reflect back on his own practice accordingly, rather than to
memorize the teachings by rote or analyze them in terms of logic. In
this way he could become aware of his own shortcomings and learn how to
best put into effect the skillful means offered by the teacher.

Although meant primarily for a monastic resident — be one a monk,
nun or novice — the interested lay reader will no doubt obtain many
insights into Buddhist practice from this book. At the very least there
are the numerous anecdotes of the Venerable Ajahn’s own practice which
abound throughout the book; these can be read simply as biographical
material or as instruction for mind training.

From the contents of this book, it will be seen that the training of
the mind is not, as many believe, simply a matter of sitting with the
eyes closed or perfecting a meditation technique, but is, as Ajahn Chah
would say, a great renunciation.

The translator



Dhamma Fighting [go up]

Fight greed, fight aversion, fight delusion… these are the enemy.
In the practice of Buddhism, the path of the Buddha, we fight with
Dhamma, using patient endurance. We fight by resisting our countless
moods.

Dhamma and the world are inter-related. Where there is Dhamma there
is the world, where there is the world there is Dhamma. Where there are
defilements there are those who conquer defilements, who do battle with
them. This is called fighting inwardly. To fight outwardly people take
hold of bombs and guns to throw and to shoot; they conquer and are
conquered. Conquering others is the way of the world. In the practice
of Dhamma we don’t have to fight others, but instead conquer our own
minds, patiently enduring and resisting all our moods.

When it comes to Dhamma practice we don’t harbor resentment and
enmity amongst ourselves, but instead let go of all forms of ill-will
in our own actions and thoughts, freeing ourselves from jealousy,
aversion and resentment. Hatred can only be overcome by not harboring
resentment and bearing grudges.

Hurtful actions and reprisals are different but closely related.
Actions once done are finished with, there’s no need to answer with
revenge and hostility. This is called “action” (kamma). “Reprisal” (vera)
means to continue that action further with thoughts of “you did it to
me so I’m going to get you back.” There’s no end to this. It brings
about the continual seeking of revenge, and so hatred is never
abandoned. As long as we behave like this the chain remains unbroken,
there’s no end to it. No matter where we go, the feuding continues.

The Supreme Teacher 1
taught the world, he had compassion for all worldly beings. But the
world nevertheless goes on like this. The wise should look into this
and select those things which are of true value. The Buddha had trained
in the various arts of warfare as a prince, but he saw that they
weren’t really useful, they are limited to the world with its fighting
and aggression.

Therefore, in training ourselves as those who have left the world,
we must learn to give up all forms of evil, giving up all those things
which are the cause for enmity. We conquer ourselves, we don’t try to
conquer others. We fight, but we fight only the defilements; if there
is greed, we fight that; if there is aversion, we fight that; if there
is delusion, we strive to give it up.

This is called “Dhamma fighting.” This warfare of the heart is
really difficult, in fact it’s the most difficult thing of all. We
become monks in order to contemplate this, to learn the art of fighting
greed, aversion and delusion. This is our prime responsibility.

This is the inner battle, fighting with defilements. But there are
very few people who fight like this. Most people fight with other
things, they rarely fight defilements. They rarely even see them.

The Buddha taught us to give up all forms of evil and cultivate
virtue. This is the right path. Teaching in this way is like the Buddha
picking us up and placing us at the beginning of the path. Having
reached the path, whether we walk along it or not is up to us. The
Buddha’s job is finished right there. He shows the way, that which is
right and that which is not right. This much is enough, the rest is up
to us.

Now, having reached the path we still don’t know anything, we still
haven’t seen anything, so we must learn. To learn we must be prepared
to endure some hardship, just like students in the world. It’s
difficult enough to obtain the knowledge and learning necessary for
them to pursue their careers. They have to endure. When they think
wrongly or feel averse or lazy they must force themselves before they
can graduate and get a job. The practice for a monk is similar. If we
determine to practice and contemplate, then we will surely see the way.

Ditthimana is a harmful thing. Ditthi means “view” or “opinion.” All forms of view are called ditthi:
seeing good as evil, seeing evil as good… any way whatsoever that we
see things. This is not the problem. The problem lies with the clinging
to those views, called mana; holding on to those views as if
they were the truth. This leads us to spin around from birth to death,
never reaching completion, just because of that clinging. So the Buddha
urged us to let go of views.

If many people live together, as we do here, they can still practice
comfortably if their views are in harmony. But even two or three monks
would have difficulty if their views were not good or harmonious. When
we humble ourselves and let go of our views, even if there are many of
us, we come together at the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. 2

It’s not true to say that there will be disharmony just because
there are many of us. Just look at a millipede. A millipede has many
legs, doesn’t it? Just looking at it you’d think it would have
difficulty walking, but actually it doesn’t. It has its own order and
rhythm. In our practice it’s the same. If we practice as the Noble Sangha of the Buddha practiced, then it’s easy. That is, supatipanno — those who practice well; ujupatipanno — those who practice straightly; ñanapatipanno — those who practice to transcend suffering, and samicipatipanno — those who practice properly. These four qualities, established within us, will make us true members of Sangha.
Even if we number in the hundreds or thousands, no matter how many we
are, we all travel the same path. We come from different backgrounds,
but we are the same. Even though our views may differ, if we practice
correctly there will be no friction. Just like all the rivers and
streams which flow to the sea… once they enter the sea they all have
the same taste and color. It’s the same with people. When they enter
the stream of Dhamma, it’s the one Dhamma. Even though they come from
different places, they harmonize, they merge.

But the thinking which causes all the disputes and conflict is ditthi-mana. Therefore the Buddha taught us to let go of views. Don’t allow mana to cling to those views beyond their relevance.

The Buddha taught the value of constant sati, 3
recollection. Whether we are standing, walking, sitting or reclining,
wherever we are, we should have this power of recollection. When we
have sati we see ourselves, we see our own minds. We see the “body within the body,” “the mind within the mind.” If we don’t have sati we don’t know anything, we aren’t aware of what is happening.

So sati is very important. With constant sati we will
listen to the Dhamma of the Buddha at all times. This is because “eye
seeing forms” is Dhamma; “ear hearing sounds” is Dhamma; “nose smelling
odors” is Dhamma; “tongue tasting flavors” is Dhamma; “body feeling
sensations” is Dhamma; when impressions arise in the mind, that is
Dhamma also. Therefore one who has constant sati always hears the Buddha’s teaching. The Dhamma is always there. Why? Because of sati, because we are aware.

Sati is recollection, sampajañña is self-awareness. This awareness is the actual Buddho, the Buddha. When there is sati-sampajañña,
understanding will follow. We know what is going on. When the eye sees
forms: is this proper or improper? When the ear hears sound: is this
the appropriate or inappropriate? Is it harmful? Is it wrong, is it
right? And so on like this with everything. If we understand we hear
the Dhamma all the time.

So let us all understand that right now we are learning in the midst
of Dhamma. Whether we go forward or step back, we meet the Dhamma —
it’s all Dhamma if we have sati? Even seeing the animals
running around in the forest we can reflect, seeing that all animals
are the same as us. They run away from suffering and chase after
happiness, just as people do. Whatever they don’t like they avoid; they
are afraid of dying, just like people. If we reflect on this, we see
that all beings in the world, people as well, are the same in their
various instincts. Thinking like this is called “bhavana,” 4
seeing according to the truth, that all beings are companions in birth,
old age, sickness and death. Animals are the same as human beings and
human beings are the same as animals. If we really see things the way
they are our mind will give up attachment to them.

Therefore it is said we must have sati. If we have sati we will see the state of our own mind. Whatever we are thinking or feeling we must know it. This knowing is called Buddho,
the Buddha, the one who knows… who knows thoroughly, who knows
clearly and completely. When the mind knows completely we find the
right practice.

So the straight way to practice is to have mindfulness, sati. If you are without sati for five minutes you are crazy for five minutes, heedless for five minutes. whenever you are lacking in sati you are crazy. Sati is essential. To have sati
is to know yourself, to know the condition of your mind and your life.
This is to have understanding and discernment, to listen to the Dhamma
at all times. After leaving the teacher’s discourse, you still hear the
Dhamma, because the Dhamma is everywhere.

So therefore, all of you, be sure to practice every day. Whether
lazy or diligent, practice just the same. Practice of the Dhamma is not
done by following your moods. If you practice following your moods then
it’s not Dhamma. Don’t discriminate between day and night, whether the
mind is peaceful or not… just practice.

It’s like a child who is learning to write. At first he doesn’t
write nicely — big, long loops and squiggles — he writes like a child.
After a while the writing improves through practice. Practicing the
Dhamma is like this. At first you are awkward… sometimes calm,
sometimes not, you don’t really know what’s what. Some people get
discouraged. Don’t slacken off! You must persevere with the practice.
Live with effort, just like the schoolboy: as he gets older he writes
better and better. From writing badly he grows to write beautifully,
all because of the practice from childhood.

Our practice is like this. Try to have recollection at all times:
standing, walking, sitting or reclining. When we perform our various
duties smoothly and well, we feel peace of mind. When there is peace of
mind in our work it’s easy to have peaceful meditation, they go hand in
hand. So make an effort. You should all make an effort to follow the
practice. This is training.



Understanding Vinaya [go up]

This practice of ours is not easy. We may know some things but there
is still much that we don’t know. For example, when we hear teachings
such as “know the body, then know the mind within the body”; or “know
the mind, then know the mind within the mind.” If we haven’t yet
practiced these things, then we hear them we may feel baffled. The Vinaya 5 is like this. In the past I used to be a teacher, 6 but I was only a “small teacher,” not a big one. Why do I say a “small teacher”? Because I didn’t practice. I taught the Vinaya
but I didn’t practice it. This I call a small teacher, an inferior
teacher. I say an “inferior teacher” because when it came to the
practice I was deficient. For the most part my practice was a long way
off the theory, just as if I hadn’t learned the Vinaya at all.

However, I would like to state that in practical terms it’s impossible to know the Vinaya
completely, because some things, whether we know them or not, are still
offenses. This is tricky. And yet it is stressed that if we do not yet
understand any particular training rule or teaching, we must study that
rule with enthusiasm and respect. If we don’t know, then we should make
an effort to learn. If we don’t make an effort, that is in itself an
offense.

For example, if you doubt… suppose there is a woman and, not knowing whether she is a woman or a man, you touch her. 7
You’re not sure, but still go ahead and touch… that’s still wrong. I
used to wonder why that should be wrong, but when I considered the
practice, I realized that a meditator must have sati, he must
be circumspect. Whether talking, touching or holding things, he must
first thoroughly consider. The error in this case is that there is no sati, or insufficient sati, or a lack of concern at that time.

Take another example: it’s only eleven o’clock in the morning but at
the time the sky is cloudy, we can’t see the sun, and we have no clock.
Now suppose we estimate that it’s probably afternoon… we really feel
that it’s afternoon… and yet we proceed to eat something. We start
eating and then the clouds part and we see from the position of the sun
that it’s only just past eleven. This is still an offense. 8 I used to wonder, “Eh? It’s not yet past mid-day, why is this an offense?”

An offense is incurred here because of negligence, carelessness, we
don’t thoroughly consider. There is a lack of restraint. If there is
doubt and we act on the doubt, there is a dukkata 9
offense just for acting in the face of the doubt. We think that it is
afternoon when in fact it isn’t. The act of eating is not wrong in
itself, but there is an offense here because we are careless and
negligent. If it really is afternoon but we think it isn’t, then it’s
the heavier pacittiya offense. If we act with doubt, whether
the action is wrong or not, we still incur an offense. If the action is
not wrong in itself it is the lesser offense; if it is wrong then the
heavier offense is incurred. Therefore the Vinaya can get quite bewildering.

At one time I went to see Venerable Ajahn Mun. 10 At that time I had just begun to practice. I had read the Pubbasikkha 11 and could understand that fairly well. Then I went on to read the Visuddhimagga, where the author writes of the Silanidesa (Book of Precepts), Samadhinidesa (Book of Mind-Training) and Paññanidesa
(Book of Understanding)… I felt my head was going to burst! After
reading that, I felt that it was beyond the ability of a human being to
practice. But then I reflected that the Buddha would not teach
something that is impossible to practice. He wouldn’t teach it and he
wouldn’t declare it, because those things would be useful neither to
himself nor to others. The Silanidesa is extremely meticulous, the Samadhinidesa more so, and the Paññanidesa even more so! I sat and thought, “Well, I can’t go any further. There’s no way ahead.” It was as if I’d reached a dead-end.

At this stage I was struggling with my practice… I was stuck. It
so happened that I had a chance to go and see Venerable Ajahn Mun, so I
asked him: “Venerable Ajahn, what am I to do? I’ve just begun to
practice but I still don’t know the right way. I have so many doubts I
can’t find any foundation at all in the practice.”

He asked, “What’s the problem?”

“In the course of my practice I picked up the Visuddhimagga and read it, but it seems impossible to put into practice. The contents of the Silanidesa, Samadhinidesa and Paññanidesa
seem to be completely impractical. I don’t think there is anybody in
the world who could do it, it’s so detailed and meticulous. To memorize
every single rule would be impossible, it’s beyond me.”

He said to me: “Venerable… there’s a lot, it’s true, but it’s
really only a little. If we were to take account of every training rule
in the Silanidesa that would be difficult… true… But actually, what we call the Silanidesa
has evolved from the human mind. If we train this mind to have a sense
of shame and a fear of wrong-doing, we will then be restrained, we will
be cautious…

“This will condition us to be content with little, with few wishes,
because we can’t possibly look after a lot. When this happens our sati becomes stronger. We will be able to maintain sati at all times. Wherever we are we will make the effort to maintain thorough sati.
Caution will be developed. Whatever you doubt don’t say it, don’t act
on it. If there’s anything you don’t understand, ask the teacher.
Trying to practice every single training rule would indeed be
burdensome, but we should examine whether we are prepared to admit our
faults or not. Do we accept them?”

This teaching is very important. It’s not so much that we must know
every single training rule, if we know how to train our own minds.

“All that stuff that you’ve been reading arises from the mind. If
you still haven’t trained your mind to have sensitivity and clarity you
will be doubting all the time. You should try to bring the teachings of
the Buddha into your mind. Be composed in mind. Whatever arises that
you doubt, just give it up. If you don’t really know for sure then
don’t say it or do it. For instance, if you wonder, “Is this wrong or
not?” — that is, you’re not really sure — then don’t say it, don’t act
on it, don’t discard your restraint.”

As I sat and listened, I reflected that this teaching conformed with
the eight ways for measuring the true teaching of the Buddha: Any
teaching that speaks of the diminishing of defilements; which leads out
of suffering; which speaks of renunciation (of sensual pleasures); of
contentment with little; of humility and disinterest in rank and
status; of aloofness and seclusion; of diligent effort; of being easy
to maintain… these eight qualities are characteristics of the true Dhamma-vinaya, the teaching of the Buddha. anything in contradiction to these is not.

“If we are genuinely sincere we will have a sense of shame and a
fear of wrongdoing. We will know that if there is doubt in our mind we
will not act on it nor speak on it. The Silanidesa is only words. For example, hiri-ottappa 12 in the books is one thing, but in our minds it is another.”

Studying the Vinaya with Venerable Ajahn Mun I learned many things. As I sat and listened, understanding arose.

So, when it comes to the Vinaya I’ve studied considerably.
Some days during the Rains Retreat I would study from six o’clock in
the evening through till dawn. I understand it sufficiently. All the
factors of apatti 13 which are covered in the Pubbasikkha
I wrote down in a notebook and kept in my bag. I really put effort into
it, but in later times I gradually let go. It was too much. I didn’t
know which was the essence and which was the trimming, I had just taken
all of it. When I understood more fully I let it drop off because it
was too heavy. I just put my attention into my own mind and gradually
did away with the texts.

However, when I teach the monks here I still take the Pubbasikkha
as my standard. For many years here at Wat Ba Pong it was I myself who
read it to the assembly. In those days I would ascend the Dhamma-seat
and go on until at least eleven o’clock or midnight, some days even one
or two o’clock in the morning. We were interested. And we trained.
After listening to the Vinaya reading we would go and consider what we’d heard. You can’t really understand the Vinaya just by listening to it. Having listened to it you must examine it and delve into it further.

Even though I studied these things for many years my knowledge was
still not complete, because there were so many ambiguities in the
texts. Now that it’s been such a long time since I looked at the books,
my memory of the various training rules has faded somewhat, but within
my mind there is no deficiency. There is a standard there. There is no
doubt, there is understanding. I put away the books and concentrated on
developing my own mind. I don’t have doubts about any of the training
rules. The mind has an appreciation of virtue, it won’t dare do
anything wrong, whether in public or in private. I do not kill animals,
even small ones. If someone were to ask me to intentionally kill an ant
or a termite, to squash one with my hand, for instance, I couldn’t do
it, even if they were to offer me thousands of baht to do so. Even one ant or termite! The ant’s life would have greater value to me.

However, it may be that I may cause one to die, such as when
something crawls up my leg and I brush it off. Maybe it dies, but when
I look into my mind there is no feeling of guilt. There is no wavering
or doubt. Why? Because there was no intention. Silam vadami bhikkhave cetanaham:
“Intention is the essence of moral training.” Looking at it in this way
I see that there was no intentional killing. Sometimes while walking I
may step on an insect and kill it. In the past, before I really
understood, I would really suffer over things like that. I would think
I had committed an offense.

“What? There was no intention.” “There was no intention, but I
wasn’t being careful enough!” I would go on like this, fretting and
worrying.

So this Vinaya is something which can be disturb
practitioners of Dhamma, but it also has its value, in keeping with
what the teachers say — “Whatever training rules you don’t yet know you
should learn. If you don’t know you should question those who do.” They
really stress this.

Now if we don’t know the training rules, we won’t be aware of our
transgressions against them. Take, for example, a Venerable Thera of
the past, Ajahn Pow of Wat Kow Wong Got in Lopburi Province. One day a
certain Maha, 14 a disciple of his, was sitting with him, when some women came up and asked,

“Luang Por! We want to invite you to go with us on an excursion, will you go?”

Luang Por Pow didn’t answer. The Maha sitting near him thought that Venerable Ajahn Pow hadn’t heard, so he said,

“Luang Por, Luang Por! Did you hear? These women invited you to go for a trip.”

He said, “I heard.”

The women asked again, “Luang Por, are you going or not?”

He just sat there without answering, and so nothing came of the invitation. When they had gone, the Maha said,

“Luang Por, why didn’t you answer those women?”

He said, “Oh, Maha, don’t you know this rule? Those people
who were here just now were all women. If women invite you to travel
with them you should not consent. If they make the arrangements
themselves that’s fine. If I want to go I can, because I didn’t take
part in making the arrangements.”

“The Maha sat and thought, “Oh, I’ve really made a fool of myself.”

The Vinaya states that to make an arrangement, and then travel together with, women, even though it isn’t as a couple, is a pacittiya offense.

Take another case. Lay people would bring money to offer Venerable Ajahn Pow on a tray. He would extend his receiving cloth, 15
holding it at one end. But when they brought the tray forward to lay it
on the cloth he would retract his hand from the cloth. Then he would
simply abandon the money where it lay. He knew it was there, but he
would take no interest in it, just get up and walk away, because in the
Vinaya it is said that if one doesn’t consent to the money it
isn’t necessary to forbid laypeople from offering it. If he had desire
for it, he would have to say, “Householder, this is not allowable for a
monk.” He would have to tell them. If you have desire for it, you must
forbid them from offering that which is unallowable. However, if you
really have no desire for it, it isn’t necessary. You just leave it
there and go.

Although the Ajahn and his disciples lived together for many years,
still some of his disciples didn’t understand Ajahn Pow’s practice.
This is a poor state of affairs. As for myself, I looked into and
contemplated many of Venerable Ajahn Pow’s subtler points of practice.

The Vinaya can even cause some people to disrobe. When they
study it all the doubts come up. It goes right back into the past…
“my ordination, was it proper? 16 Was my preceptor pure? None of the monks who sat in on my ordination knew anything about the Vinaya,
were they sitting at the proper distance? Was the chanting correct?”
The doubts come rolling on… “The hall I ordained in, was it proper?
It was so small…” They doubt everything and fall into hell.

So until you know how to ground your mind it’s really difficult. You
have to be very cool, you can’t just jump into things. But to be so
cool that you don’t bother to look into things is wrong also. I was so
confused I almost disrobed because I saw so many faults within my own
practice and that of some of my teachers. I was on fire and couldn’t
sleep because of those doubts.

The more I doubted, the more I meditated, the more I practiced.
Wherever doubt arose I practiced right at that point. Wisdom arose.
Things began to change. It’s hard to describe the change that took
place. The mind changed until there was no more doubt. I don’t know how
it changed, if I were to tell someone they probably wouldn’t understand.

So I reflected on the teaching Paccattam veditabbo viññuhi — the wise must know for themselves. It must be a knowing that arises through direct experience. Studying the Dhamma-vinaya
is certainly correct but if it’s just the study it’s still lacking. If
you really get down to the practice you begin to doubt everything.
Before I started to practice I wasn’t interested in the minor offenses,
but when I started practicing, even the dukkata offenses became as important as the parajika offenses. Before, the dukkata
offenses seemed like nothing, just a trifle. That’s how I saw them. In
the evening you could confess them and they would be done with. Then
you could transgress them again. This sort of confession is impure,
because you don’t stop, you don’t decide to change. There is no
restraint, you simply do it again and again. There is no perception of
the truth, no letting go.

Actually, in terms of ultimate truth, it’s not necessary to go
through the routine of confessing offenses. If we see that our mind is
pure and there is no trace of doubt, then those offenses drop off right
there. That we are not yet pure is because we still doubt, we still
waver. We are not really pure so we can’t let go. We don’t see
ourselves, this is the point. This Vinaya of ours is like a fence to guard us from making mistakes, so it’s something we need to be scrupulous with.

If you don’t see the true value of the Vinaya for yourself
it’s difficult. Many years before I came to Wat Ba Pong I decided I
would give up money. For the greater part of a Rains Retreat I had
thought about it. In the end I grabbed my wallet and walked over to a
certain Maha who was living with me at the time, setting the wallet down in front of him.

“Here, Maha, take this money. From today onwards, as long as I’m a monk, I will not receive or hold money. You can be my witness.”

“You keep it, Venerable, you may need it for your studies”… The Venerable Maha wasn’t keen to take the money, he was embarrassed…

“Why do you want to throw away all this money?”

“You don’t have to worry about me. I’ve made my decision. I decided last night.”

From the day he took that money it was as if a gap had opened
between us. We could no longer understand each other. He’s still my
witness to this very day. Ever since that day I haven’t used money or
engaged in any buying or selling. I’ve been restrained in every way
with money. I was constantly wary of wrongdoing, even though I hadn’t
done anything wrong. Inwardly I maintained the meditation practice. I
no longer needed wealth, I saw it as a poison. Whether you give poison
to a human being, a dog or anything else, it invariably causes death or
suffering. If we see clearly like this we will be constantly on our
guard not to take that “poison.” When we clearly see the harm in it,
it’s not difficult to give up.

Regarding food and meals brought as offerings, if I doubted them I
wouldn’t accept them. No matter how delicious or refined the food might
be, I wouldn’t eat it. Take a simple example, like raw pickled fish.
Suppose you are living in a forest and you go on almsround and receive
only rice and some pickled fish wrapped in leaves. When you return to
your dwelling and open the packet you find that it’s raw pickled
fish… just throw it away! 17
Eating plain rice is better than transgressing the precepts. It has to
be like this before you can say you really understand, then the Vinaya becomes simpler.

If other monks wanted to give me requisites, such as bowl, razor or
whatever, I wouldn’t accept, unless I knew them as fellow practitioners
with a similar standard of Vinaya. Why not? How can you trust
someone who is unrestrained? They can do all sorts of things.
Unrestrained monks don’t see the value of the Vinaya, so it’s possible that they could have obtained those things in improper ways. I was as scrupulous as this.

As a result, some of my fellow monks would look askance at me…”He
doesn’t socialize, he won’t mix…” I was unmoved: “Sure, we can mix
when we die. When it comes to death we are all in the same boat,” I
thought. I lived with endurance. I was one who spoke little. If others
criticized my practice I was unmoved. Why? Because even if I explained
to them they wouldn’t understand. They knew nothing about practice.
Like those times when I would be invited to a funeral ceremony and
somebody would say, “…Don’t listen to him! Just put the money in his
bag and don’t say anything about it… don’t let him know.” 18
I would say, “Hey, do you think I’m dead or something? Just because one
calls alcohol perfume doesn’t make it become perfume, you know. But you
people, when you want to drink alcohol you call it perfume, then go
ahead and drink. You must be crazy!”.

The Vinaya, then, can be difficult. You have to be content
with little, aloof. You must see, and see right. Once, when I was
traveling through Saraburi, my group went to stay in a village temple
for a while. The Abbot there had about the same seniority as myself. In
the morning, we would all go on almsround together, then come back to
the monastery and put down our bowls. Presently the laypeople would
bring dishes of food into the hall and set them down. Then the monks
would go and pick them up, open them and lay them in a line to be
formally offered. One monk would put his hand on the dish at the other
end. And that was it! With that the monks would bring them over and
distribute them to be eaten.

About five monks were traveling with me at the time, but not one of
us would touch that food. On almsround all we received was plain rice,
so we sat with them and ate plain rice, none of us would dare eat the
food from those dishes.

This went on for quite a few days, until I began to sense that the
Abbot was disturbed by our behavior. One of his monks had probably gone
to him and said, “Those visiting monks won’t eat any of the food. I
don’t know what they’re up to.”

I had to stay there for a few days more, so I went to the Abbot to explain.

I said, “Venerable Sir, may I have a moment please? At this time I
have some business which means I must call on your hospitality for some
days, but in doing so I’m afraid there may be one or two things which
you and your fellow monks find puzzling: namely, concerning our not
eating the food which has been offered by the laypeople. I’d like to
clarify this with you, sir. It’s really nothing, it’s just that I’ve
learned to practice like this… that is, the receiving of the
offerings, sir. When the lay people lay the food down and then the
monks go and open the dishes, sort them out and then have them formally
offered… this is wrong. It’s a dukkata offense. Specifically,
to handle or touch food which hasn’t yet been formally offered into a
monk’s hands, “ruins” that food. According to the Vinaya, any monk who eats that food incurs an offense.

“It’s simply this one point, sir. It’s not that I’m criticizing
anybody, or that I’m trying to force you or your monks to stop
practicing like this… not at all. I just wanted to let you know of my
good intentions, because it will be necessary for me to stay here for a
few more days.

He lifted his hands in añjali, 19 “Sadhu!
Excellent! I’ve never yet seen a monk who keeps the minor rules in
Saraburi. there aren’t any to be found these days. If there still are
such monks they must live outside of Saraburi. May I commend you. I
have no objections at all, that’s very good.”

The next morning when we came back from almsround not one of the
monks would go near those dishes. The laypeople themselves sorted them
out and offered them, because they were afraid the monks wouldn’t eat.
From that day onwards the monks and novices there seemed really on
edge, so I tried to explain things to them, to put their minds at rest.
I think they were afraid of us, they just went into their rooms and
closed themselves in in silence.

For two or three days I tried to make them feel at ease because they
were so ashamed, I really had nothing against them. I didn’t say things
like “There’s not enough food,” or “bring ‘this’ or ‘that’ food.” Why
not? Because I had fasted before, sometimes for seven or eight days.
Here I had plain rice, I knew I wouldn’t die. Where I got my strength
from was the practice, from having studied and practiced accordingly.

I took the Buddha as my example. Wherever I went, whatever others
did, I wouldn’t involve myself. I devoted myself solely to the
practice, because I cared for myself, I cared for the practice.

Those who don’t keep the Vinaya or practice meditation and
those who do practice can’t live together, they must go separate ways.
I didn’t understand this myself in the past. As a teacher I taught
others but I didn’t practice. This is really bad. When I looked deeply
into it, my practice and my knowledge were as far apart as earth and
sky.

Therefore, those who want to go and set up meditation centers in the
forest… don’t do it. If you don’t yet really know, don’t bother
trying, you’ll only make a mess of it. Some monks think that going to
live in the forest they will find peace, but they still don’t
understand the essentials of practice. They cut grass for themselves, 20
do everything themselves… Those who really know the practice aren’t
interested in places like this, they won’t prosper. Doing it like that
won’t lead to progress. No matter how peaceful the forest may be you
can’t progress if you do it wrong.

They see the forest monks living in the forest and go to live in the
forest like them, but it’s not the same. The robes are not the same,
eating habits are not the same, everything is different. Namely, they
don’t train themselves, they don’t practice. The place is wasted, it
doesn’t really work. If it does work, it does so only as a venue for
showing off or publicizing, just like a medicine show. It goes no
further than that. Those who have only practiced a little and then go
to teach others are not yet ripe, they don’t really understand. In a
short time they give up and it falls apart. It just brings trouble.

So we must study somewhat, look at the Navakovada, 21
what does it say? Study it, memorize it, until you understand. From
time to time ask your teacher concerning the finer points, he will
explain them. Study like this until you really understand the Vinaya.


f) E-Abhidhamma in Practice

Introduction

by U Rewata Dhamma and Bhikkhu Bodhi

The nucleus of the present book is a medieval compendium of Buddhist philosophy entitled the Abhidhammattha Sangaha.
This work is ascribed to Acariya Anuruddha, a Buddhist savant about
whom so little is known that even his country of origin and the exact
century in which he lived remain in question. Nevertheless, despite the
personal obscurity that surrounds the author, his little manual has
become one of the most important and influential textbooks of Theravada
Buddhism. In nine short chapters occupying about fifty pages in print,
the author provides a masterly summary of that abstruse body of
Buddhist doctrine called the Abhidhamma. Such is his skill in capturing
the essentials of that system, and in arranging them in a format
suitable for easy comprehension, that his work has become the standard
primer for Abhidhamma studies throughout the Theravada Buddhist
countries of South and Southeast Asia. In these countries, particularly
in Burma where the study of Abhidhamma is pursued most assiduously, the
Abhidhammattha Sangaha is regarded as the indispensable key to unlock this great treasure-store of Buddhist wisdom.

The Abhidhamma

At the heart of the Abhidhamma philosophy is the Abhidhamma Pitaka,
one of the divisions of the Pali canon recognized by Theravada Buddhism
as the authoritative recension of the Buddha’s teachings. This canon
was compiled at the three great Buddhist councils held in India in the
early centuries following the Buddha’s demise: the first, at Rajagaha,
convened three months after the Buddha’s Parinibbana by five hundred
senior monks under the leadership of the Elder Mahakassapa; the second,
at Vesali, a hundred years later; and the third, at Pataliputta, two
hundred years later. The canon that emerged from these councils,
preserved in the Middle Indian language now called Pali, is known as
the Tipitaka, the three “baskets” or collections of the teachings. The
first collection, the Vinaya Pitaka, is the book of discipline,
containing the rules of conduct for the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis — the
monks and nuns — and the regulations governing the Sangha, the monastic
order. The Sutta Pitaka, the second collection, brings together the
Buddha’s discourses spoken by him on various occasions during his
active ministry of forty-five years. And the third collection is the
Abhidhamma Pitaka, the “basket” of the Buddha’s “higher” or “special”
doctrine.

This third great division of the Pali canon bears a distinctly
different character from the other two divisions. Whereas the Suttas
and Vinaya serve an obvious practical purpose, namely, to proclaim a
clear-cut message of deliverance and to lay down a method of personal
training, the Abhidhamma Pitaka presents the appearance of an abstract
and highly technical systemization of the doctrine. The collection
consists of seven books: the Dhammasangani, the Vibhanga, the Dhatukatha, the Puggalapaññatti, the Kathavatthu, the Yamaka, and the Patthana.
Unlike the Suttas, these are not records of discourses and discussions
occurring in real-life settings; they are, rather, full-blown treatises
in which the principles of the doctrine have been methodically
organized, minutely defined, and meticulously tabulated and classified.
Though they were no doubt originally composed and transmitted orally
and only written down later, with the rest of the canon in the first
century B.C., they exhibit the qualities of structured thought and
rigorous consistency more typical of written documents.

In the Theravada tradition the Abhidhamma Pitaka is held in the
highest esteem, revered as the crown jewel of the Buddhist scriptures.
As examples of this high regard, in Sri Lanka King Kassapa V (tenth
century A.C.) had the whole Abhidhamma Pitaka inscribed on gold plates
and the first book set in gems, while another king, Vijayabahu
(eleventh century) used to study the Dhammasangani each morning
before taking up his royal duties and composed a translation of it into
Sinhala. On a cursory reading, however, this veneration given to the
Abhidhamma seems difficult to understand. The texts appear to be merely
a scholastic exercise in manipulating sets of doctrinal terms,
ponderous and tediously repetitive.

The reason the Abhidhamma Pitaka is so deeply revered only becomes
clear as a result of thorough study and profound reflection, undertaken
in the conviction that these ancient books have something significant
to communicate. When one approaches the Abhidhamma treatises in such a
spirit and gains some insight into their wide implications and organic
unity, one will find that they are attempting nothing less than to
articulate a comprehensive vision of the totality of experienced
reality, a vision marked by extensiveness of range, systematic
completeness, and analytical precision. From the standpoint of
Theravada orthodoxy the system that they expound is not a figment of
speculative thought, not a mosaic put together out of metaphysical
hypotheses, but a disclosure of the true nature of existence as
apprehended by a mind that has penetrated the totality of things both
in depth and in the finest detail. Because it bears this character, the
Theravada tradition regards the Abhidhamma as the most perfect
expression possible of the Buddha’s unimpeded omniscient knowledge (sabbaññuta-ñana).
It is his statement of the way things appear to the mind of a Fully
Enlightened One, ordered in accordance with the two poles of his
teaching: suffering and the cessation of suffering.

The system that the Abhidhamma Pitaka articulates is simultaneously
a philosophy, a psychology, and an ethics, all integrated into the
framework of a program for liberation. The Abhidhamma may be described
as a philosophy because it proposes an ontology, a perspective on the
nature of the real. This perspective has been designated the “dhamma
theory” (dhammavada). Briefly, the dhamma theory maintains that ultimate reality consists of a multiplicity of elementary constituents called dhammas.
The dhammas are not noumena hidden behind phenomena, not “things in
themselves” as opposed to “mere appearances,” but the fundamental
components of actuality. The dhammas fall into two broad classes: the
unconditioned dhamma, which is solely Nibbana, and the conditioned
dhammas, which are the momentary mental and material phenomena that
constitute the process of experience. The familiar world of substantial
objects and enduring persons is, according to the dhamma theory, a
conceptual construct fashioned by the mind out of the raw data provided
by the dhammas. The entities of our everyday frame of reference possess
merely a consensual reality derivative upon the foundational stratum of
the dhammas. It is the dhammas alone that possess ultimate reality:
determinate existence “from their own side” (sarupato) independent of the mind’s conceptual processing of the data.

Such a conception of the nature of the real seems to be already
implicit in the Sutta Pitaka, particularly in the Buddha’s
disquisitions on the aggregates, sense bases, elements, dependent
arising, etc., but it remains there tacitly in the background as the
underpinning to the more pragmatically formulated teachings of the
Suttas. Even in the Abhidhamma Pitaka itself the dhamma theory is not
yet expressed as an explicit philosophical tenet; this comes only
later, in the Commentaries. Nevertheless, though as yet implicit, the
theory still comes into focus in its role as the regulating principle
behind the Abhidhamma’s more evident task, the project of systemization.

This project starts from the premise that to attain the wisdom that
knows things “as they really are,” a sharp wedge must be driven between
those types of entities that possess ontological ultimacy, that is, the
dhammas, and those types of entities that exist only as conceptual
constructs but are mistakenly grasped as ultimately real. Proceeding
from this distinction, the Abhidhamma posits a fixed number of dhammas
as the building blocks of actuality, most of which are drawn from the
Suttas. It then sets out to define all the doctrinal terms used in the
Suttas in ways that reveal their identity with the ontological
ultimates recognized by the system. On the basis of these definitions,
it exhaustively classifies the dhammas into a net of pre-determined
categories and modes of relatedness which highlight their place within
the system’s structure. And since the system is held to be a true
reflection of actuality, this means that the classification pinpoints
the place of each dhamma within the overall structure of actuality.

The Abhidhamma’s attempt to comprehend the nature of reality,
contrary to that of classical science in the West, does not proceed
from the standpoint of a neutral observer looking outwards towards the
external world. The primary concern of the Abhidhamma is to understand
the nature of experience, and thus the reality on which it focuses is
conscious reality, the world as given in experience, comprising both
knowledge and the known in the widest sense. For this reason the
philosophical enterprise of the Abhidhamma shades off into a
phenomenological psychology. To facilitate the understanding of
experienced reality, the Abhidhamma embarks upon an elaborate analysis
of the mind as it presents itself to introspective meditation. It
classifies consciousness into a variety of types, specifies the factors
and functions of each type, correlates them with their objects and
physiological bases, and shows how the different types of consciousness
link up with each other and with material phenomena to constitute the
ongoing process of experience.

This analysis of mind is not motivated by theoretical curiosity but
by the overriding practical aim of the Buddha’s teaching, the
attainment of deliverance from suffering. Since the Buddha traces
suffering to our tainted attitudes — a mental orientation rooted in
greed, hatred, and delusion — the Abhidhamma’s phenomenological
psychology also takes on the character of a psychological ethics,
understanding the term “ethics” not in the narrow sense of a code of
morality but as a complete guide to noble living and mental
purification. Accordingly we find that the Abhidhamma distinguishes
states of mind principally on the basis of ethical criteria: the
wholesome and the unwholesome, the beautiful factors and the
defilements. Its schematization of consciousness follows a hierarchical
plan that corresponds to the successive stages of purity to which the
Buddhist disciple attains by practice of the Buddha’s path. This plan
traces the refinement of the mind through the progression of meditative
absorptions, the fine-material-sphere and immaterial-sphere jhanas,
then through the stages of insight and the wisdom of the supramundane
paths and fruits. Finally, it shows the whole scale of ethical
development to culminate in the perfection of purity attained with the
mind’s irreversible emancipation from all defilements.

All three dimensions of the Abhidhamma — the philosophical, the
psychological, and the ethical — derive their final justification from
the cornerstone of the Buddha’s teaching, the program of liberation
announced by the Four Noble Truths. The ontological survey of dhammas
stems from the Buddha’s injunction that the noble truth of suffering,
identified with the world of conditioned phenomena as a whole, must be
fully understood (pariññeyya). The prominence of mental
defilements and requisites of enlightenment in its schemes of
categories, indicative of its psychological and ethical concerns,
connects the Abhidhamma to the second and fourth noble truths, the
origin of suffering and the way leading to its end. And the entire
taxonomy of dhammas elaborated by the system reaches its consummation
in the “unconditioned element” (asankhata dhatu), which is Nibbana, the third noble truth, that of the cessation of suffering.


g) E-Eightfold Path in Practice

The Noble Eightfold Path
The Way to the End of Suffering

Contents [go up]



Preface [go up]

The essence of the Buddha’s teaching can be summed up in two
principles: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The
first covers the side of doctrine, and the primary response it elicits
is understanding; the second covers the side of discipline, in the
broadest sense of that word, and the primary response it calls for is
practice. In the structure of the teaching these two principles lock
together into an indivisible unity called the dhamma-vinaya,
the doctrine-and-discipline, or, in brief, the Dhamma. The internal
unity of the Dhamma is guaranteed by the fact that the last of the Four
Noble Truths, the truth of the way, is the Noble Eightfold Path, while
the first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path, right view, is the
understanding of the Four Noble Truths. Thus the two principles
penetrate and include one another, the formula of the Four Noble Truths
containing the Eightfold Path and the Noble Eightfold Path containing
the Four Truths.

Given this integral unity, it would be pointless to pose the
question which of the two aspects of the Dhamma has greater value, the
doctrine or the path. But if we did risk the pointless by asking that
question, the answer would have to be the path. The path claims primacy
because it is precisely this that brings the teaching to life. The path
translates the Dhamma from a collection of abstract formulas into a
continually unfolding disclosure of truth. It gives an outlet from the
problem of suffering with which the teaching starts. And it makes the
teaching’s goal, liberation from suffering, accessible to us in our own
experience, where alone it takes on authentic meaning.

To follow the Noble Eightfold Path is a matter of practice rather
than intellectual knowledge, but to apply the path correctly it has to
be properly understood. In fact, right understanding of the path is
itself a part of the practice. It is a facet of right view, the first
path factor, the forerunner and guide for the rest of the path. Thus,
though initial enthusiasm might suggest that the task of intellectual
comprehension may be shelved as a bothersome distraction, mature
consideration reveals it to be quite essential to ultimate success in
the practice.

The present book aims at contributing towards a proper understanding
of the Noble Eightfold Path by investigating its eight factors and
their components to determine exactly what they involve. I have
attempted to be concise, using as the framework for exposition the
Buddha’s own words in explanation of the path factors, as found in the
Sutta Pitaka of the Pali canon. To assist the reader with limited
access to primary sources even in translation, I have tried to confine
my selection of quotations as much as possible (but not completely) to
those found in Venerable Nyanatiloka’s classic anthology, The Word of the Buddha.
In some cases passages taken from that work have been slightly
modified, to accord with my own preferred renderings. For further
amplification of meaning I have sometimes drawn upon the commentaries;
especially in my accounts of concentration and wisdom (Chapters VII and
VIII) I have relied heavily on the Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification),
a vast encyclopedic work which systematizes the practice of the path in
a detailed and comprehensive manner. Limitations of space prevent an
exhaustive treatment of each factor. To compensate for this deficiency
I have included a list of recommended readings at the end, which the
reader may consult for more detailed explanations of individual path
factors. For full commitment to the practice of the path, however,
especially in its advanced stages of concentration and insight, it will
be extremely helpful to have contact with a properly qualified teacher.

— Bhikkhu Bodhi


Abbreviations [go up]

Textual references have been abbreviated as follows:

DN …. Digha Nikaya (number of sutta)
MN …. Majjhima Nikaya (number of sutta)
SN …. Samyutta Nikaya (chapter and number of sutta)
AN …. Anguttara Nikaya (numerical collection and number of sutta)
Dhp …. Dhammapada (verse)
Vism …. Visuddhimagga

References to Vism. are to the chapter and section number of the translation by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli, The Path of Purification (BPS ed. 1975, 1991)



Chapter I [go up]
The Way to the End of Suffering

The search for a spiritual path is born out of suffering. It does
not start with lights and ecstasy, but with the hard tacks of pain,
disappointment, and confusion. However, for suffering to give birth to
a genuine spiritual search, it must amount to more than something
passively received from without. It has to trigger an inner
realization, a perception which pierces through the facile complacency
of our usual encounter with the world to glimpse the insecurity
perpetually gaping underfoot. When this insight dawns, even if only
momentarily, it can precipitate a profound personal crisis. It
overturns accustomed goals and values, mocks our routine
preoccupations, leaves old enjoyments stubbornly unsatisfying.

At first such changes generally are not welcome. We try to deny our
vision and to smother our doubts; we struggle to drive away the
discontent with new pursuits. But the flame of inquiry, once lit,
continues to burn, and if we do not let ourselves be swept away by
superficial readjustments or slouch back into a patched up version of
our natural optimism, eventually the original glimmering of insight
will again flare up, again confront us with our essential plight. It is
precisely at that point, with all escape routes blocked, that we are
ready to seek a way to bring our disquietude to an end. No longer can
we continue to drift complacently through life, driven blindly by our
hunger for sense pleasures and by the pressure of prevailing social
norms. A deeper reality beckons us; we have heard the call of a more
stable, more authentic happiness, and until we arrive at our
destination we cannot rest content.

But it is just then that we find ourselves facing a new difficulty.
Once we come to recognize the need for a spiritual path we discover
that spiritual teachings are by no means homogeneous and mutually
compatible. When we browse through the shelves of humanity’s spiritual
heritage, both ancient and contemporary, we do not find a single tidy
volume but a veritable bazaar of spiritual systems and disciplines each
offering themselves to us as the highest, the fastest, the most
powerful, or the most profound solution to our quest for the Ultimate.
Confronted with this melange, we fall into confusion trying to size
them up — to decide which is truly liberative, a real solution to our
needs, and which is a sidetrack beset with hidden flaws.

One approach to resolving this problem that is popular today is the
eclectic one: to pick and choose from the various traditions whatever
seems amenable to our needs, welding together different practices and
techniques into a synthetic whole that is personally satisfying. Thus
one may combine Buddhist mindfulness meditation with sessions of Hindu
mantra recitation, Christian prayer with Sufi dancing, Jewish Kabbala
with Tibetan visualization exercises. Eclecticism, however, though
sometimes helpful in making a transition from a predominantly worldly
and materialistic way of life to one that takes on a spiritual hue,
eventually wears thin. While it makes a comfortable halfway house, it
is not comfortable as a final vehicle.

There are two interrelated flaws in eclecticism that account for its
ultimate inadequacy. One is that eclecticism compromises the very
traditions it draws upon. The great spiritual traditions themselves do
not propose their disciplines as independent techniques that may be
excised from their setting and freely recombined to enhance the felt
quality of our lives. They present them, rather, as parts of an
integral whole, of a coherent vision regarding the fundamental nature
of reality and the final goal of the spiritual quest. A spiritual
tradition is not a shallow stream in which one can wet one’s feet and
then beat a quick retreat to the shore. It is a mighty, tumultuous
river which would rush through the entire landscape of one’s life, and
if one truly wishes to travel on it, one must be courageous enough to
launch one’s boat and head out for the depths.

The second defect in eclecticism follows from the first. As
spiritual practices are built upon visions regarding the nature of
reality and the final good, these visions are not mutually compatible.
When we honestly examine the teachings of these traditions, we will
find that major differences in perspective reveal themselves to our
sight, differences which cannot be easily dismissed as alternative ways
of saying the same thing. Rather, they point to very different
experiences constituting the supreme goal and the path that must be
trodden to reach that goal.

Hence, because of the differences in perspectives and practices that
the different spiritual traditions propose, once we decide that we have
outgrown eclecticism and feel that we are ready to make a serious
commitment to one particular path, we find ourselves confronted with
the challenge of choosing a path that will lead us to true
enlightenment and liberation. One cue to resolving this dilemma is to
clarify to ourselves our fundamental aim, to determine what we seek in
a genuinely liberative path. If we reflect carefully, it will become
clear that the prime requirement is a way to the end of suffering. All
problems ultimately can be reduced to the problem of suffering; thus
what we need is a way that will end this problem finally and
completely. Both these qualifying words are important. The path has to
lead to a complete end of suffering, to an end of suffering in all its forms, and to a final end of suffering, to bring suffering to an irreversible stop.

But here we run up against another question. How are we to find such
a path — a path which has the capacity to lead us to the full and final
end of suffering? Until we actually follow a path to its goal we cannot
know with certainty where it leads, and in order to follow a path to
its goal we must place complete trust in the efficacy of the path. The
pursuit of a spiritual path is not like selecting a new suit of
clothes. To select a new suit one need only try on a number of suits,
inspect oneself in the mirror, and select the suit in which one appears
most attractive. The choice of a spiritual path is closer to marriage:
one wants a partner for life, one whose companionship will prove as
trustworthy and durable as the pole star in the night sky.

Faced with this new dilemma, we may think that we have reached a
dead end and conclude that we have nothing to guide us but personal
inclination, if not a flip of the coin. However, our selection need not
be as blind and uninformed as we imagine, for we do have a guideline to
help us. Since spiritual paths are generally presented in the framework
of a total teaching, we can evaluate the effectiveness of any
particular path by investigating the teaching which expounds it.

In making this investigation we can look to three criteria as standards for evaluation:

(1) First, the teaching has to give a full and accurate
picture of the range of suffering. If the picture of suffering it gives
is incomplete or defective, then the path it sets forth will most
likely be flawed, unable to yield a satisfactory solution. Just as an
ailing patient needs a doctor who can make a full and correct diagnosis
of his illness, so in seeking release from suffering we need a teaching
that presents a reliable account of our condition.

(2) The second criterion calls for a correct analysis of the
causes giving rise to suffering. The teaching cannot stop with a survey
of the outward symptoms. It has to penetrate beneath the symptoms to
the level of causes, and to describe those causes accurately. If a
teaching makes a faulty causal analysis, there is little likelihood
that its treatment will succeed.

(3) The third criterion pertains directly to the path itself.
It stipulates that the path which the teaching offers has to remove
suffering at its source. This means it must provide a method to cut off
suffering by eradicating its causes. If it fails to bring about this
root-level solution, its value is ultimately nil. The path it
prescribes might help to remove symptoms and make us feel that all is
well; but one afflicted with a fatal disease cannot afford to settle
for cosmetic surgery when below the surface the cause of his malady
continues to thrive.

To sum up, we find three requirements for a teaching proposing to
offer a true path to the end of suffering: first, it has to set forth a
full and accurate picture of the range of suffering; second, it must
present a correct analysis of the causes of suffering; and third, it
must give us the means to eradicate the causes of suffering.

This is not the place to evaluate the various spiritual disciplines
in terms of these criteria. Our concern is only with the Dhamma, the
teaching of the Buddha, and with the solution this teaching offers to
the problem of suffering. That the teaching should be relevant to this
problem is evident from its very nature; for it is formulated, not as a
set of doctrines about the origin and end of things commanding belief,
but as a message of deliverance from suffering claiming to be
verifiable in our own experience. Along with that message there comes a
method of practice, a way leading to the end of suffering. This way is
the Noble Eightfold Path (ariya atthangika magga). The
Eightfold Path stands at the very heart of the Buddha’s teaching. It
was the discovery of the path that gave the Buddha’s own enlightenment
a universal significance and elevated him from the status of a wise and
benevolent sage to that of a world teacher. To his own disciples he was
pre-eminently “the arouser of the path unarisen before, the producer of
the path not produced before, the declarer of the path not declared
before, the knower of the path, the seer of the path, the guide along
the path” (MN 108). And he himself invites the seeker with the promise
and challenge: “You yourselves must strive. The Buddhas are only
teachers. The meditative ones who practice the path are released from
the bonds of evil” (Dhp. v. 276).

To see the Noble Eightfold Path as a viable vehicle to liberation,
we have to check it out against our three criteria: to look at the
Buddha’s account of the range of suffering, his analysis of its causes,
and the programme he offers as a remedy.

The Range of Suffering

The Buddha does not merely touch the problem of suffering
tangentially; he makes it, rather, the very cornerstone of his
teaching. He starts the Four Noble Truths that sum up his message with
the announcement that life is inseparably tied to something he calls dukkha.
The Pali word is often translated as suffering, but it means something
deeper than pain and misery. It refers to a basic unsatisfactoriness
running through our lives, the lives of all but the enlightened.
Sometimes this unsatisfactoriness erupts into the open as sorrow,
grief, disappointment, or despair; but usually it hovers at the edge of
our awareness as a vague unlocalized sense that things are never quite
perfect, never fully adequate to our expectations of what they should
be. This fact of dukkha, the Buddha says, is the only real
spiritual problem. The other problems — the theological and
metaphysical questions that have taunted religious thinkers through the
centuries — he gently waves aside as “matters not tending to
liberation.” What he teaches, he says, is just suffering and the ending
of suffering, dukkha and its cessation.

The Buddha does not stop with generalities. He goes on to expose the different forms that dukkha
takes, both the evident and the subtle. He starts with what is close at
hand, with the suffering inherent in the physical process of life
itself. Here dukkha shows up in the events of birth, aging, and
death, in our susceptibility to sickness, accidents, and injuries, even
in hunger and thirst. It appears again in our inner reactions to
disagreeable situations and events: in the sorrow, anger, frustration,
and fear aroused by painful separations, by unpleasant encounters, by
the failure to get what we want. Even our pleasures, the Buddha says,
are not immune from dukkha. They give us happiness while they
last, but they do not last forever; eventually they must pass away, and
when they go the loss leaves us feeling deprived. Our lives, for the
most part, are strung out between the thirst for pleasure and the fear
of pain. We pass our days running after the one and running away from
the other, seldom enjoying the peace of contentment; real satisfaction
seems somehow always out of reach, just beyond the next horizon. Then
in the end we have to die: to give up the identity we spent our whole
life building, to leave behind everything and everyone we love.

But even death, the Buddha teaches, does not bring us to the end of dukkha,
for the life process does not stop with death. When life ends in one
place, with one body, the “mental continuum,” the individual stream of
consciousness, springs up again elsewhere with a new body as its
physical support. Thus the cycle goes on over and over — birth, aging,
and death — driven by the thirst for more existence. The Buddha
declares that this round of rebirths — called samsara, “the
wandering” — has been turning through beginningless time. It is without
a first point, without temporal origin. No matter how far back in time
we go we always find living beings — ourselves in previous lives —
wandering from one state of existence to another. The Buddha describes
various realms where rebirth can take place: realms of torment, the
animal realm, the human realm, realms of celestial bliss. But none of
these realms can offer a final refuge. Life in any plane must come to
an end. It is impermanent and thus marked with that insecurity which is
the deepest meaning of dukkha. For this reason one aspiring to the complete end of dukkha cannot rest content with any mundane achievement, with any status, but must win emancipation from the entire unstable whirl.

The Causes of Suffering

A teaching proposing to lead to the end of suffering must, as we
said, give a reliable account of its causal origination. For if we want
to put a stop to suffering, we have to stop it where it begins, with
its causes. To stop the causes requires a thorough knowledge of what
they are and how they work; thus the Buddha devotes a sizeable section
of his teaching to laying bare “the truth of the origin of dukkha.”
The origin he locates within ourselves, in a fundamental malady that
permeates our being, causing disorder in our own minds and vitiating
our relationships with others and with the world. The sign of this
malady can be seen in our proclivity to certain unwholesome mental
states called in Pali kilesas, usually translated “defilements.” The most basic defilements are the triad of greed, aversion, and delusion. Greed (lobha)
is self-centered desire: the desire for pleasure and possessions, the
drive for survival, the urge to bolster the sense of ego with power,
status, and prestige. Aversion (dosa) signifies the response of
negation, expressed as rejection, irritation, condemnation, hatred,
enmity, anger, and violence. Delusion (moha) means mental darkness: the thick coat of insensitivity which blocks out clear understanding.

From these three roots emerge the various other defilements —
conceit, jealousy, ambition, lethargy, arrogance, and the rest — and
from all these defilements together, the roots and the branches, comes dukkha
in its diverse forms: as pain and sorrow, as fear and discontent, as
the aimless drifting through the round of birth and death. To gain
freedom from suffering, therefore, we have to eliminate the
defilements. But the work of removing the defilements has to proceed in
a methodical way. It cannot be accomplished simply by an act of will,
by wanting them to go away. The work must be guided by investigation.
We have to find out what the defilements depend upon and then see how
it lies within our power to remove their support.

The Buddha teaches that there is one defilement which gives rise to
all the others, one root which holds them all in place. This root is
ignorance (avijja).1
Ignorance is not mere absence of knowledge, a lack of knowing
particular pieces of information. Ignorance can co-exist with a vast
accumulation of itemized knowledge, and in its own way it can be
tremendously shrewd and resourceful. As the basic root of dukkha,
ignorance is a fundamental darkness shrouding the mind. Sometimes this
ignorance operates in a passive manner, merely obscuring correct
understanding. At other times it takes on an active role: it becomes
the great deceiver, conjuring up a mass of distorted perceptions and
conceptions which the mind grasps as attributes of the world, unaware
that they are its own deluded constructs.

In these erroneous perceptions and ideas we find the soil that
nurtures the defilements. The mind catches sight of some possibility of
pleasure, accepts it at face value, and the result is greed. Our hunger
for gratification is thwarted, obstacles appear, and up spring anger
and aversion. Or we struggle over ambiguities, our sight clouds, and we
become lost in delusion. With this we discover the breeding ground of dukkha:
ignorance issuing in the defilements, the defilements issuing in
suffering. As long as this causal matrix stands we are not yet beyond
danger. We might still find pleasure and enjoyment — sense pleasures,
social pleasures, pleasures of the mind and heart. But no matter how
much pleasure we might experience, no matter how successful we might be
at dodging pain, the basic problem remains at the core of our being and
we continue to move within the bounds of dukkha.

Cutting Off the Causes of Suffering

To free ourselves from suffering fully and finally we have to
eliminate it by the root, and that means to eliminate ignorance. But
how does one go about eliminating ignorance? The answer follows clearly
from the nature of the adversary. Since ignorance is a state of not
knowing things as they really are, what is needed is knowledge of
things as they really are. Not merely conceptual knowledge, knowledge
as idea, but perceptual knowledge, a knowing which is also a seeing.
This kind of knowing is called wisdom (pañña). Wisdom helps to
correct the distorting work of ignorance. It enables us to grasp things
as they are in actuality, directly and immediately, free from the
screen of ideas, views, and assumptions our minds ordinarily set up
between themselves and the real.

To eliminate ignorance we need wisdom, but how is wisdom to be
acquired? As indubitable knowledge of the ultimate nature of things,
wisdom cannot be gained by mere learning, by gathering and accumulating
a battery of facts. However, the Buddha says, wisdom can be cultivated.
It comes into being through a set of conditions, conditions which we
have the power to develop. These conditions are actually mental
factors, components of consciousness, which fit together into a
systematic structure that can be called a path in the word’s essential
meaning: a courseway for movement leading to a goal. The goal here is
the end of suffering, and the path leading to it is the Noble Eightfold
Path with its eight factors: right view, right intention, right speech,
right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and
right concentration.

The Buddha calls this path the middle way (majjhima patipada).
It is the middle way because it steers clear of two extremes, two
misguided attempts to gain release from suffering. One is the extreme
of indulgence in sense pleasures, the attempt to extinguish
dissatisfaction by gratifying desire. This approach gives pleasure, but
the enjoyment won is gross, transitory, and devoid of deep contentment.
The Buddha recognized that sensual desire can exercise a tight grip
over the minds of human beings, and he was keenly aware of how ardently
attached people become to the pleasures of the senses. But he also knew
that this pleasure is far inferior to the happiness that arises from
renunciation, and therefore he repeatedly taught that the way to the
Ultimate eventually requires the relinquishment of sensual desire. Thus
the Buddha describes the indulgence in sense pleasures as “low, common,
worldly, ignoble, not leading to the goal.”

The other extreme is the practice of self-mortification, the attempt
to gain liberation by afflicting the body. This approach may stem from
a genuine aspiration for deliverance, but it works within the compass
of a wrong assumption that renders the energy expended barren of
results. The error is taking the body to be the cause of bondage, when
the real source of trouble lies in the mind — the mind obsessed by
greed, aversion, and delusion. To rid the mind of these defilements the
affliction of the body is not only useless but self-defeating, for it
is the impairment of a necessary instrument. Thus the Buddha describes
this second extreme as “painful, ignoble, not leading to the goal.”2

Aloof from these two extreme approaches is the Noble Eightfold Path,
called the middle way, not in the sense that it effects a compromise
between the extremes, but in the sense that it transcends them both by
avoiding the errors that each involves. The path avoids the extreme of
sense indulgence by its recognition of the futility of desire and its
stress on renunciation. Desire and sensuality, far from being means to
happiness, are springs of suffering to be abandoned as the requisite of
deliverance. But the practice of renunciation does not entail the
tormenting of the body. It consists in mental training, and for this
the body must be fit, a sturdy support for the inward work. Thus the
body is to be looked after well, kept in good health, while the mental
faculties are trained to generate the liberating wisdom. That is the
middle way, the Noble Eightfold Path, which “gives rise to vision,
gives rise to knowledge, and leads to peace, to direct knowledge, to
enlightenment, to Nibbana.”3

Bhikkhu Bodhi]

h) E-Jhanas in Practice

The Jhanas
In Theravada Buddhist Meditation
by
Henepola Gunaratana

Contents



Abbreviations [go up]

PTS = Pali Text Society edition
BBS = Burmese Buddhasasana Samiti edition

A. …. Anguttara Nikaya (PTS)
D. …. Digha Nikaya (PTS)
Dhs. …. Dhammasangani (BBS)
Dhs.A. …. Dhammasangani Atthakatha = Atthasalini (BBS)
M. …. Majjhima Nikaya (PTS)
M.A. …. Majjhima Nikaya Atthakatha (BBS)
Miln. …. Milindapanha (PTS)
PP. …. Path of Purification (translation of Visuddhimagga, by Bhikkhu Ñanamoli; Kandy: BPS, 1975)
S. …. Samyutta Nikaya (PTS)
SA. …. Samyutta Nikaya Atthakatha (BBS)
ST. …. Samyutta Nikaya Tika (BBS)
Vbh. …. Vibhanga (PTS)
Vin.A. …. Vinaya Atthakatha (BBS)
Vism. …. Visuddhimagga (PTS)
Vism.T. …. Visuddhimagga Tika (BBS)



1. Introduction [go up]

The Doctrinal Context of Jhana [go up]

The Buddha says that just as in the great ocean there is but one
taste, the taste of salt, so in his doctrine and discipline there is
but one taste, the taste of freedom. The taste of freedom that pervades
the Buddha’s teaching is the taste of spiritual freedom, which from the
Buddhist perspective means freedom from suffering. In the process
leading to deliverance from suffering, meditation is the means of
generating the inner awakening required for liberation. The methods of
meditation taught in the Theravada Buddhist tradition are based on the
Buddha’s own experience, forged by him in the course of his own quest
for enlightenment. They are designed to re-create in the disciple who
practices them the same essential enlightenment that the Buddha himself
attained when he sat beneath the Bodhi tree, the awakening to the Four
Noble Truths.

The various subjects and methods of meditation expounded in the
Theravada Buddhist scriptures — the Pali canon and its commentaries —
divide into two inter-related systems. One is called the development of
serenity (samathabhavana), the other the development of insight (vipassanabhavana). The former also goes under the name of development of concentration (samadhibhavana), the latter the development of wisdom (paññabhavana).
The practice of serenity meditation aims at developing a calm,
concentrated, unified mind as a means of experiencing inner peace and
as a basis for wisdom. The practice of insight meditation aims at
gaining a direct understanding of the real nature of phenomena. Of the
two, the development of insight is regarded by Buddhism as the
essential key to liberation, the direct antidote to the ignorance
underlying bondage and suffering. Whereas serenity meditation is
recognized as common to both Buddhist and non-Buddhist contemplative
disciplines, insight meditation is held to be the unique discovery of
the Buddha and an unparalleled feature of his path. However, because
the growth of insight presupposes a certain degree of concentration,
and serenity meditation helps to achieve this, the development of
serenity also claims an incontestable place in the Buddhist meditative
process. Together the two types of meditation work to make the mind a
fit instrument for enlightenment. With his mind unified by means of the
development of serenity, made sharp and bright by the development of
insight, the meditator can proceed unobstructed to reach the end of
suffering, Nibbana.

Pivotal to both systems of meditation, though belonging inherently
to the side of serenity, is a set of meditative attainments called the jhanas.
Though translators have offered various renderings of this word,
ranging from the feeble “musing” to the misleading “trance” and the
ambiguous “meditation,” we prefer to leave the word untranslated and to
let its meaning emerge from its contextual usages. From these it is
clear that the jhanas are states of deep mental unification which
result from the centering of the mind upon a single object with such
power of attention that a total immersion in the object takes place.
The early suttas speak of four jhanas, named simply after their
numerical position in the series: the first jhana, the second jhana,
the third jhana and the forth jhana. In the suttas the four repeatedly
appear each described by a standard formula which we will examine later
in detail.

The importance of the jhanas in the Buddhist path can readily be
gauged from the frequency with which they are mentioned throughout the
suttas. The jhanas figure prominently both in the Buddha’s own
experience and in his exhortation to disciples. In his childhood, while
attending an annual plowing festival, the future Buddha spontaneously
entered the first jhana. It was the memory of this childhood incident,
many years later after his futile pursuit of austerities, that revealed
to him the way to enlightenment during his period of deepest
despondency (M.i, 246-47). After taking his seat beneath the Bodhi
tree, the Buddha entered the four jhanas immediately before direction
his mind to the threefold knowledge that issued in his enlightenment
(M.i.247-49). Throughout his active career the four jhanas remained
“his heavenly dwelling” (D.iii,220) to which he resorted in order to
live happily here and now. His understanding of the corruption,
purification and emergence in the jhanas and other meditative
attainments is one of the Tathagata’s ten powers which enable him to
turn the matchless wheel of the Dhamma (M.i,70). Just before his
passing away the Buddha entered the jhanas in direct and reverse order,
and the passing away itself took place directly from the fourth jhana
(D.ii,156).

The Buddha is constantly seen in the suttas encouraging his
disciples to develop jhana. The four jhanas are invariably included in
the complete course of training laid down for disciples.1 They figure in the training as the discipline of higher consciousness (adhicittasikkha), right concentration (sammasamadhi) of the Noble Eightfold Path, and the faculty and power of concentration (samadhindriya, samadhibala).
Though a vehicle of dry insight can be found, indications are that this
path is not an easy one, lacking the aid of the powerful serenity
available to the practitioner of jhana. The way of the jhana attainer
seems by comparison smoother and more pleasurable (A.ii,150-52). The
Buddha even refers to the four jhanas figuratively as a kind of
Nibbana: he calls them immediately visible Nibbana, factorial Nibbana,
Nibbana here and now (A.iv,453-54).

To attain the jhanas, the meditator must begin by eliminating the
unwholesome mental states obstructing inner collectedness, generally
grouped together as the five hindrances (pañcanivarana): sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry and doubt.2
The mind’s absorption on its object is brought about by five opposing
mental states — applied thought, sustained thought, rapture, happiness
and one pointedness3 — called the jhana factors (jhanangani) because they lift the mind to the level of the first jhana and remain there as its defining components.

After reaching the first jhana the ardent meditator can go on to
reach the higher jhanas, which is done by eliminating the coarser
factors in each jhana. Beyond the four jhanas lies another fourfold set
of higher meditative states which deepen still further the element of
serenity. These attainments (aruppa), are the base of boundless
space, the base of boundless consciousness, the base of nothingness,
and the base of neither-perception-nor-non-perception.4 In the Pali commentaries these come to be called the four immaterial jhanas (arupajhana), the four preceding states being renamed for the sake of clarity, the four fine-material jhanas (rupajhana). Often the two sets are joined together under the collective title of the eight jhanas or the eight attainments (atthasamapattiyo).

The four jhanas and the four immaterial attainments appear initially
as mundane states of deep serenity pertaining to the preliminary stage
of the Buddhist path, and on this level they help provide the base of
concentration needed for wisdom to arise. But the four jhanas again
reappear in a later stage in the development of the path, in direct
association with liberating wisdom, and they are then designated the supramundane (lokuttara) jhanas.
These supramundane jhanas are the levels of concentration pertaining to
the four degrees of enlightenment experience called the supramundane
paths (magga) and the stages of liberation resulting from them, the four fruits (phala).

Finally, even after full liberation is achieved, the mundane jhanas
can still remain as attainments available to the fully liberated
person, part of his untrammeled contemplative experience.





comments (0)
12/12/08
Lesson 15 a) E-Social Engineering in Practice -Mayawati supports bill on federal agency against terror -BSP not pursuing anti-upper caste policies -Record wheat crop on cards-Uttar Pradesh constables to undergo commando training-BSP expands influence -BSP promises to do an Uttar Pradesh in Jammu and Kashmir-Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting to BSP, the Nation you save! -Get ready for ‘Mission Delhi’: Maya to partymen b)E-Social Transformation in Practice -Seeds of Social Transformation-c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice Kamada Sutta Kamada’s Lament (excerpt)-e) E-Vinaya Pitaka in Practice-Understanding Vinaya -f) E-The Abhidhamma in Practice g) E- The Noble Eightfold Path in Practice -h) E-Jhanas in Practice-Etymology of Jhana
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 9:24 am


Lesson
15



Mayawati supports bill on federal agency against terror

Lucknow,
Dec 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Tuesday declared
her support to the central government’s move to form a federal agency
for combating terror in the country.

Addressing a press conference here, Mayawati said:
‘The BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) would support the bill for setting up
the National Investigation Agency that was introduced in the Lok Sabha
earlier in the day.’

‘I have directed my party MPs to support the legislation,’ she said.

In the same vein, however, she expressed her doubts about the
determination and political will of the United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) government to combat terror.

‘The Congress-led UPA government lacks political will and
determination to fight terrorism. Therefore, I wonder how much will the
new agency be able to bear fruit,’ she said.

Flaying successive central governments, she said: ‘Neither the
earlier BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) nor the current
Congress-led UPA government had displayed true and sincere commitment
to curb unabated terrorism in the country.’

She also reacted sharply to a news item appearing in the media about Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, taht is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath being prevented to enter temples in Gujarat.

‘When Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, taht is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath decide to give up their religion and seek conversion
into another faith simply because they are prevented from entering
temples and participating freely in religious rituals, even then they
are harassed and tortured,’ said Mayawati.

‘I have decided to take up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, urging him to ensure that this kind of occurrence was not
repeated anywhere in the country,’ she asserted.

A letter was also sent to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi chastening him for this incident.

Refuting the Congress charge about poor law and order in the state,
Mayawati claimed ‘criminals were on the run on account of my
administration’s stern action against them’.

Training her guns at Uttar Pradesh Governor T.V.Rajeshwar, she said:
‘This UPA government appointed governor was not taking any action
against the Meerut university vice-chancellor, who was himself
responsible for leakage of examination question papers at a B.D.S.
entrance examination.’

BSP not pursuing anti-upper caste policies



Photo: Akhilesh Kumar




BSP president and UP Chief Minister Mayawati at an election
meeting in Jammu on Wednesday.

Jammu: Rebutting that the BSP was pursuing policies against
upper-castes, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday said
it was the UPA government which was against the section as it turned
down the suggestion of the party to formulate a law aimed at benefiting
them.

“Soon after we came to power in UP, we recommended to the Centre to
frame a law by undertaking amendment to the Constitution under which
economically weaker sections even in upper castes could get
reservation.


Assurance

“But the Centre did not pay any heed to the BSP’s request. Who is
against upper caste interests can be gauged by this fact,” she said
addressing a rally here.

“The day is not far when BSP will form government and ensure
reservation to the upper caste poor,” she said amid huge rounds of
applause from the 10,000-strong crowd. PTI

Record wheat crop on cards


Area under rapeseed-mustard, chana increases.






Our Bureau

New Delhi, Dec. 12 With Parliament elections due in the next 3-4
months, the ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) can
take heart from increased planting of most rabi crops this year,
thereby enabling a further easing of inflationary pressures in the
economy.

Total area sown under wheat, rapeseed-mustard and chana (gram) – the three main crops during the rabi or winter season – is much higher this time compared to 2007-08.

According to the Agriculture Ministry’s latest Crop Weather Watch
Report, released here on Friday, wheat has been planted so far on
213.60 lakh hectares (lh), against 204.70 lh covered during the same
period last year.

Acreages have increased in Uttar Pradesh (from 65.66 lh to 67.48
lh), Punjab (33.40 to 33.69), Haryana (23.85 to 24.10), Madhya Pradesh
(19.34 to 25.88), Gujarat (23.07 to 23.12), Rajasthan (13.40 to 14.46)
and Bihar (5.92 to 6.32), while trailing behind in Maharashtra (7.38 to
6.97).

If current trends hold and no abnormal rise in temperatures take
place in March, there is every possibility of the 2008-08 wheat crop
even surpassing last year’s record 78.40 million tonnes (mt).


rapeseed-mustard

In rapeseed-mustard, 2007-08 saw output falling to a dismal 5.80 mt,
following the preceding two years’ bumper levels of 7.44 mt and 8.13
mt, respectively. But this year, buoyed by good price realisations,
farmers have till now brought 63.28 lh under the crop, compared to the
57.02 lh covered in the corresponding period of 2007-08.

Area has gone up in Rajasthan (23.66 lh to 27.62 lh), Uttar Pradesh
(7.78 to 8.45), Madhya Pradesh (6.70 to 7.61), Haryana (4.99 to 6.25)
and West Bengal (4.25 to 4.35), while dipping marginally in Gujarat
(3.28 to 2.92).


Sowing of gram rises

Likewise, progressive sowing of gram has increased from 66.66 lh to
73.25 lh this year, led by Madhya Pradesh (from 22.11 lh to 26.31 lh),
Uttar Pradesh (5.84 to 8.49), Karnataka (6.84 to 8.07) and Andhra
Pradesh (6.07 to 6.08). However, lower acreages have been reported from
Rajasthan (12.68 to 11.65) and Maharashtra (10.32 to 8.84).

Acreages are higher relative to last year in the bulk of other rabi
cereals (maize, jowar, barley), oilseeds (sunflower, groundnut,
sesamum) and pulses (lentil, peas, lathyrus).

Uttar Pradesh constables to undergo commando training

Ghaziabad (UP), Dec 11 (ANI): In the wake of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai,
the police forces of Uttar Pradesh have decided to raise a team of 100
men from its existing team of constables to combat militant attacks.


The National Security Group (NSG) commandoes who emerged as the real
heroes in the Mumbai terror strikes would help in training these
constables.


Code-named as the Quick Reaction Team of Ghaziabad, they are begin their month long training from the last week of December.


“Whatever infrastructure we have would be utilized properly to train
hundred commandoes to combat any militant attacks. The commandoes would
be trained properly according to the recent technology used by the
militants,” said L. Ravi Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police.


The CCTV footage of the Mumbai terror strikes has revealed how
inefficient the police had been proved by the militants because of lack
of proper training and ammunitions.


The residents of Ghaziabad are happy with the decision of the police to
finally take some concrete step to ensure the security of the citizens.
“This is a very good step. The team which is being raised would help in
preventing such militant attacks,” said Ajay Verma, a resident.


The group of these handpicked constables turned commandoes would be
amongst the first to rush to spot in case of an emergency. With the
ability to act quickly and swiftly they are to take control of the
situation within an hour of crisis till the reinforcement arrives. (ANI)


News Update Service
BSP expands influence 

New Delhi (IANS): After its spectacular
victory in Uttar Pradesh in 2007, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is
expanding its influence in northern and central India, data from the
just ended State elections show.

In what is being described as a
creditable showing, the BSP has finally opened its account in Delhi’s
70-member Assembly with the election of two of its candidates in the
November 29 polls.

Similarly, the number of BSP
legislators in Madhya Pradesh has risen from two in 2003 to seven. In
Rajasthan, India’s largest State areawise, the BSP strength in the
Assembly has gone up from two in 2003 to six now.

In Chhattisgarh, the BSP has won two seats — the same as five years ago.

Everywhere, BSP leaders and election
officials say, the party has increased its vote percentage, indicating
a slow and steady growth of what has been called by many as India’s
fastest growing political outfit.

This is good news for the BSP and its
leader Mayawati, who last year stunned everyone by leading it to a
single-party victory in Uttar Pradesh — a feat that had eluded all
other parties for a long time.

Although the BSP was founded to promote
the cause of the
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath candidates and it still counts them as its core support
base, Mayawati — who does not hide her Prime Ministerial ambitions –
has since begun to court all other social groups, including the Hindu
upper castes she once openly despised.

In these elections, the BSP cornered a
whopping 12 per cent of votes in Delhi, stunning the Congress and the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which have always viewed the capital as
their fiefdom.

In Rajasthan, the BSP’s vote percentage
leaped from 3.9 per cent in 2003 to 7.8 per cent now, in Madhya Pradesh
from 7.26 per cent to 11 per cent and in Chhattisgarh from 4.45 per
cent to 6.11 per cent this time.

In these four States, BSP candidates
also finished second in as many as 33 constituencies — 10 in
Rajasthan, 17 in Madhya Pradesh, one in Chhattisgarh and five in Delhi.

Congress and BJP politicians admit they
are worried even though the BSP has no role to play in government
formation in any of the four States.

“The results clearly indicate the BSP
has widened its base in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and
Rajasthan,” BSP leader Swamy Prasad Maurya told IANS in Lucknow.

Most political analysts feel that if
the BSP continues to grow at this rate, slowly but steadily, it is
bound to become a major political player in northern and central India.

Sudha Pai, a professor of political
science at New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, however pointed out
that the BSP has a long way to go before it can become a dominating
factor in the region — barring Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous
State which it has ruled since May 2007.

Pai pointed out that the BSP has been
able put up a good performance only in States where identity politics
matter — and regions seen as an extension of Uttar Pradesh.

“Although the BSP’s base has expanded,
it didn’t do as well as it was expected to in Delhi because issues of
development were seen by voters as more important.”

“The BSP has a long way to go before
becoming the deciding factor beyond the territorial boundaries of Uttar
Pradesh,” Pai told IANS.

The victory of the Congress in
Rajasthan is also seen by many as a clear sign that the bulk of
Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath candidates
remain with that party despite the BSP’s growing clout.

Other analysts pointed out that many BSP candidates won mainly because of their individual standing.

Congress and BJP leaders are taking the BSP threat seriously.

A BJP veteran told IANS that the
assessment of his party was that the BSP would harm the Congress by
weaning away Dalit votes in Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. But
the BSP ended up also taking away chunks of upper caste Hindu voters
who may have otherwise chosen the BJP, he added.

One reason for this is the BSP’s decision to field a large number of non-Aboriginal Inhabitants of Jambudvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath candidates, including those from upper castes.

Congress general secretary M. Veerappa
Moily told IANS: “This time we were concentrating more on the BJP. In
future we will have to have a strategy to counter the BSP as well.”


Bahujan Samaj Party

BSP promises to do an Uttar Pradesh in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu, Dec 10 (IANS) The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) would bring
development to the doorsteps of people in Jammu and Kashmir, party
president and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati said here
Wednesday. Addressing a large election rally here, ahead of the fifth
round of polling on Dec 13, Mayawati said her party would bring to an
end the “era of exploitation, backwardness and neglect”.

Charging the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with
bartering the interests of the people, she said: “The BSP alone can
guard your interests.”

“We stand for the poor and downtrodden,” Mayawati said to loud
cheers at the rally where blue flags emblazoned with the party symbol -
the elephant - fluttered all over.

Stating that her party had changed the socio-political and economic
scene in Uttar Pradesh, she said: “Our party will ensure equal share in
decision making for all communities and bring development to the
doorsteps of the people.”

The BSP, which is contesting all 37 seats in Jammu region and hopes
to make a dent in the electoral fortunes of the Congress and the BJP,
would usher in a new era of progress and development, Mayawati promised.

“We have done it in Uttar Pradesh. And we will do it here too,” she
said, adding that people in Jammu and Kashmir were suffering from
unemployment and a lack of basic amenities.

“Our eyes are set on the equality of all religions, communities and castes,” Mayawati said.

The BSP has no representation in the state assembly right now - its
lone legislator Manjeet Singh from Vijaypur constituency in Jammu
region has joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The rally was one of the largest in Jammu. It comes ahead of the
fifth round of polling in the state on Dec 13. The seven phased
election gets over on Dec 24.





In the Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP) heads
have started rolling. Not
satisfied with the performance of the party, the BSP
chief, Ms Mayawati, has
sacked the Delhi in-charge
of polls. She is now all set
to shake up the BSP’s Madhya Pradesh unit, while
other states will soon see
the party rejig.

Ms Mayawati sacked the
Delhi in-charge of the
party, Mr Mahendra Singh
and Mr G.C. Dinkar, on
Thursday and in their

places appointed, Mr C.P.
Singh, as the new state incharge.

Sources said that the state
BSP chief, Mr Brahm
Singh Bidhuri, has been
told to hold his position till
December 15, after which
the state unit is likely to be
rejiged. Mr Naseemuddin
Siddiqui, the Uttar Pradesh
minister and close confidante of Ms Mayawati, is
scheduled to review the
Delhi poll results on
December 15.

The BSP chief has begun
summoning the party leaders who hold position of
state in-charge. Ms

Mayawati held one-on-one
meeting with Chhatisgarh
party chief, Mr Daurang
Ratnakar, on Thursday,
while she held meeting
with the Rajsthan incharge, Mr Dharam Veer
Singh Ashok, on Friday.

Sources said that she told
the two leaders about her
disappointment with the
poll results, while telling
them that soon the whole
party set-up in their states
would be reorganised.

Sources said that Madhya
Pradesh party in-charge,
Mr Raja Ram, might face
the axe following less than
expected result in the state.

“Behenji has told
Chhatisgarh and Rajsthan
leaders that the poll results
were highly disappointing.
The leaders were also told
that the party had failed to
show momentum for Lok
Sabha elections, and the
need for a complete overhauling of the party set up
in their states,” sources
added.

While Delhi has shown
best performance as the
vote share jumped from 9.9
per cent to 14.23 per cent,
giving the BSP two seats,
other states have shown
only minor jumps in the
votes polled.

Get ready for ‘Mission Delhi’: Maya to partymen

BAHUJAN SAMAJ Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Thursday directed her
party leaders of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi to
gear up for ‘Mission Delhi’.





 

Seeds of Social
Transformation

 

by Lokamitra

The application of the Buddha’s teachings in the social
realm is spawning a social revolution among the Aboriginal Inhabitants of
Jambadvipa, that is, the Great Prabuddha Bharath (SC/STs) communities of
Prabuddha Bharath. Buddhism represents not only an alternative to oppressive
caste hierarchy, but is also providing practical ways to inner change so that
they become empowered socially as well as spiritually.

In recent times, the
social implications of Buddhist practice have become well known as ’socially
engaged Buddhism’. Far from being a new development in Buddhism, it goes right
back to the Buddha himself, who exhorted his first 60 disciples to go out and work for the welfare and happiness of all beings, “Bahujana
hitaya, bahujana sukhaya.” The rest of his life exemplified this spirit. He spent 35
years walking the pathways of north India, going to people and helping
them in whatever way he could. He was a critic of social ills, the caste
system, unjust government, wrong forms of livelihood, and all kinds of violence
and exploitation, including the neglect of the girl child.

Buddhist practice will express itself
in, and affect the world, in one way or another. For the last 27 years, I have
been working amongst Buddhist followers of Dr B. R. Ambedkar, most of who come
from socially deprived backgrounds. Buddhist spiritual practice has empowered
them, bringing about more confidence, a greater sense of responsibility, and
enhanced capabilities such that they feel empowered to make a positive social
impact
.

The process of spiritual development is
described in Buddhism as consisting of the path of vision
and the path of transformation. Without a vision of the higher life or a feeling for it that draws us on,
there is no possibility of inner transformation. Vision can arise in different
ways, such as through deep aesthetic or mystical experience, grief, friendship
or social work resulting in selflessness,
disillusionment, inner emptiness, a yearning for deeper meaning in life, and so on
.

The Buddha exemplifies what a human
being can do with his or her life if they make the effort. He is shown
meditating, teaching, giving courage and strength, walking mindfully, but
however he is shown, he always communicates peace, confidence, compassion and energy. In some Buddhist
traditions this vision includes other archetypal Buddha figures that represent
various aspects of enlightenment, thus making this great vision of Buddhahood
accessible to us. There is also the vision of a pure land where all beings are
shown sitting on lotuses, listening blissfully to the Buddha teaching. This
vision encompasses the whole of humanity; it envisages a world in which life conditions support all humans in
practicing the dhamma
.

Inner to Outer



In the early 1960s, as
a teenager in London,
I began to become socially aware. Racial discrimination, the dangers of nuclear
weapons, and social inequality were some of the questions that engaged me. Like
so many others, I wanted a better world, a safer and more equitable place to
live in, but I soon became disillusioned with politics as a means to bring
about that change. In the early 1970s, desperate to know how I could channel my
unruly emotions and make better use of my mind, I
took up Buddhist meditation under the guidance of
Sangharakshita, an English Buddhist who, before founding the Friends of the
Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) in the late 1960s, had spent 20 years in India
where he had become known as a meditator, Buddhist scholar, poet, and for his work teaching those followers of Dr Ambedkar
who had converted to Buddhism.

Although Sangharakshita presented Buddhism at first in the language of
individual spiritual development, he soon introduced the glorious vision of the
Bodhisattva, the being who is devoted as much to the welfare and enlightenment of others as to his or her own -
indeed the Bodhisattva sees no ultimate difference between the two. He showed
how the transformation of the individual and the world
are inextricably interrelated; such that we cannot work on ourselves without affecting society.
And we cannot help society unless we are working on ourselves. This teaching
drew together in a higher harmony the two seemingly conflicting and disparate
areas of my life - personal growth and social emancipation.

Vision is not enough. To realize it we need to work on ourselves and follow the path of
transformation. Sangharakshita started by teaching meditation, the most direct
way of working on the mind. As we tried to practice we soon realized that meditation
was not just about peace, love
and bliss, it was not a miracle cure for the emotionally disturbed.
Rather, by taking us inward, it opened up the real state of our minds and
emotions, and showed us the task before us.

Sangharakshita made it clear what transformation meant in practice. Sometimes he
would speak in terms of the Noble Eight-Fold Path in which transformation consists of working on many
fronts, our emotions (so they support and not undermine
our vision), speech, actions, relationships, livelihood, awareness, energy, and
mental states. Sometimes he would speak of the three-fold way of ethics, meditation
and wisdom, each supporting and augmenting the others.

We soon realized that developing skillful mental states through meditation
made us more aware of our behaviour, speech and attitudes towards
others - we became more ethically sensitive. We also realized that we could not
go from a gross or unethical state into meditation, which made us aware of the
need for an ethical base for meditation. Meditation
prepared the mind to cultivate wisdom or insight into the nature of reality, while deeper reflections
supported the practice of meditation and ethics. Ethics are inevitably bound up with how we
relate to others. Meditation is concerned with cultivating
awareness and highly positive mental states such as loving kindness and
compassion. Wisdom involves understanding in a direct way that there is no
ultimate difference between oneself and others. All three are intimately
connected with how we relate to others.

Sangharakshita would also talk of the path in more obvious Mahayana terms, as
the ‘Paramitas’. These involved the cultivation of generosity, ethics,
patience, energy, meditation and wisdom, so that one would be
able to help others more effectively, minimizing one’s weaknesses and
maximizing one’s strengths. There was no doubt that the path involved thorough transformation of body, speech and mind,
necessarily involving one’s behaviour, speech, and attitudes towards others.

The radical, integrated nature of spiritual life slowly became apparent and led us into
the unknown. We would go on retreat for long periods of time, immersing ourselves
in dhamma practice and spiritual fellowship, experiencing a new and higher kind
of existence. We began to wonder how this experience could be continued back in
the everyday world. Some of us experimented with living in residential
spiritual communities, creating an environment that stimulated and encouraged
our practice, even though we had little or no money.

There was the question of livelihood. Could we work in a way that allowed us more contact
with others practicing the spiritual life and gave more time for dhamma practice or
helping dhamma activities? What we do and how we do it, especially when it
occupies such a large proportion of our lives, affects not only our own mental
states, but also others whom our work affects. If we are producing anything
that is directly or indirectly harmful to others, we are partially responsible
for their suffering. The same goes for consuming things that involve
exploitation of beings in their production. What we did had to be of benefit to
other beings, and certainly not harmful.

Journey to India
I visited India
in 1977 and met Sangharakshita’s Ambedkarite disciples. I caught a glimpse of
Dr Ambedkar’s great vision of a society in which everyone was free to develop
themselves to the fullest, and all related to each other on the basis of
equality and friendship, not by political means but through Buddhist practice.
Devoting his life to the eradication of untouchability, he
had, after a long and arduous journey, realized that effective social change
will only come about through change within the individuals, deep attitudinal
and ethical changes. In a talk in Kathmandu in
November 1956, he said, “The greatest thing that the Buddha has done is to
tell the world that the world cannot be reformed except by the reformation of
the mind of man, and the mind of the world.” So inspired was I by this
vision that I wanted to be part of it, and encouraged by my teacher,
Sangharakshita and his Indian disciples, decided to live in India.

In the West most people come to Buddhism for psychological reasons. In India it is
different. Dr Ambedkar’s followers were moved by his vision of a new society
brought about by the practice of Buddha dhamma. However, he died just six weeks
or so after the great conversion in October 1956, which had sadly been ignored
by the Buddhist world. Being amongst the most socially deprived in India, they had
little chance to develop without guidance. I met people everywhere, and still
do, who are desperate for spiritual nourishment, who want to know in practice
how they can contribute to this social revolution.

Based on the premise that one cannot help the world unless one is working on
one’s own mind, we started with meditation
classes and Buddhist study. Despite living in poor and often
overcrowded conditions, people tried to practice regularly, even though it
meant doing so after everyone had gone to bed or before everyone awoke. I knew
that once people had begun to editate regularly and study the dhamma, as well
as meet with others likewise committed, their inner lives would gradually open
out, lotus-like. Their inner explorations would begin to affect their
behaviour, speech and deepest attitudes. They would begin to be less
dissatisfied with material matters and have more energy available for spiritual
endeavors.

One of the first things I noticed was the effect those practicing meditation
began to have on their old friends. Their attempts to cultivate
skillful speech and mental states overflowed into their social interactions.
They began to emerge more truly as individuals, and their friends and relatives
found that they would no longer just go along with the old ‘group’ attitudes,
but began to think and act for themselves. Their positivity became stronger and
they were more able to give support in difficulties.

Problems and Solutions
Problems of the world did not disappear. At the beginning of our work in 1978, terrible atrocities took place
in Marathwada on Dalits just because the government of Maharashtra
had announced a university to be named after Dr Ambedkar. People were killed,
women raped, and hundreds of homes burnt in casteist violence. People would ask
me how they should respond.

I found it hard to find a suitable answer, having just come from such a
different environment. By the time of the reservation troubles in Ahmedabad in
1981, we had a few people who had been practicing for several years. Every
night we went around Dalit localities encouraging people not to respond to
violence with violence, not to seek revenge, but to find a peaceful and
creative way forward, as would have been the Buddha’s and Dr Ambedkar’s advice.
Many people attended our meetings, some of them with grave injuries, but they
all listened attentively.

I have traveled extensively, especially amongst followers of Dr Ambedkar and
Dalits. I have found invariably that those who are following a spiritual
practice through Buddhism avoid the two common extreme
reactions to caste discrimination and violence. Not only are they less likely
to be inflamed, but they are also unlikely to go to the other extreme of being
cowed and intimidated. They are able to take a more individual and creative approach
to their centuries-old oppression.

Within a few years we had a flourishing wing of the FWBO (Trailokya Bauddha
Mahasangha in India)
with about 20 Buddhist teaching centers, as well as a retreat center and
publications wing. We held frequent meditation
retreats, some very large. These were important because at home,
often in crowded and noisy localities with entire families living in one room,
it was difficult to get down to regular practice. With no distractions, and
just practicing the dhamma, most would experience a joy they had never
experienced before. They understood from their own experience that they could
change their mental states through dhamma practice. Although many did not meditate
regularly, they would go away changed. They would carry with them confidence,
born out of personal experience, that the dhamma worked, that it did bring
about changes in the mind. They would give up old unhelpful practices such as
alcohol abuse, and would become more sensitive to the way they treated others,
especially women, and to social practices such as dowry.

We have held many lecture tours in the towns and villages of Maharashtra.
I personally traveled extensively throughout Marathwada, Konkan and Vidharba
throughout the 1980s. Everywhere people wanted to hear the dhamma presented in
practical terms. What whetted their interest was the presence in our teams of
Buddhists like them (apart from me all originally so-called Dalits) speaking to
them about the dhamma, confident, inspired, from understanding born of practice
and not just books. Deprived of spiritual nourishment, they were infected by
our confidence and inspiration. It is not that we played any tricks, or
beguiled them. We just presented the dhamma in as rational but meaningful
manner as we were able to.

We found we could not practice meditation
on loving kindness and compassion and close our eyes to the appalling
conditions in which so many people amongst and around us lived. As a response
we developed social work projects that consisted of hostels for
school children from socially deprived backgrounds of which there are about 25
at present, as well as health and education community
centers in slums, of which there are over 70 today. While most of
these projects are in Maharashtra, there are
some in five other states.

We have also been able to conduct relief and rehabilitation work in the aftermath of the Maharashtra
(1993) and Gujarat (2001) earthquakes and the
December 2004 tsunami, and at the time of writing, of the Mumbai floods. These
have been spontaneous responses born out of spiritual practice to the difficulties
of those around us, and have developed a greater sense of responsibility in
those organizing them. With a confidence born out of their dhamma practice,
they do not feel overwhelmed by, and passive to, difficult situations, but on
the contrary feel empowered. This is proof that spiritual practice does bring
about not only individual change, but can also lead to social change.

Sangha Matters
Social activities provide those engaged in them right livelihood in the sense
that the work is not harmful to them or others, and is
ethically and socially positive. The opportunity to work with other practitioners is crucial. It
is hard to progress in one’s spiritual life if most of the people we are in contact
with are cynical about spirituality, and emotionally gross, reactive, and
negative. The importance of close contact with co-practitioners is the
principle of sangha, which along with the Buddha, the ideal of human enlightenment to which we aspire, and the
dhamma, the path of teaching that we follow, form the Three Jewels of Buddhism.
The essence of sangha is spiritual friendship, spiritual friends being those
with whom we share our highest values, are totally open, and who want the best
for us without consideration for personal gain.

Dr Ambedkar talked of the sangha (lay people as well as monks) as consisting of
individuals devoted to transforming themselves in body, speech and mind.
Dedicated to cultivating skillful mental states, they would be able to help
others effectively, and work with awareness, clarity, energy, and
genuine concern, without attachment, and in harmony. Helping others would be a
spontaneous and organic part of their practice. Clearly, the sangha constituted
for him a model society. He said, “Positively my social philosophy may be
said to be enshrined in three words: liberty, equality, and fraternity. Let no
one however say that I have borrowed my philosophy from the French Revolution.
I have not. …I have derived them (sic) from the teachings of my master, the
Buddha.”Many questions remain that have largely to do with identity and
old conditioned attitudes, amongst both new Buddhists and caste Hindus, that
perpetuate old polarizations as well as terrible social deprivation. Though our
dhamma and social projects have benefited many, especially children, our most
valuable contribution is the example we give to others of working as a
spiritual community. Not only do those who are involved in this work find their spiritual practice
strengthened so that their work and example is even more effective, but
as a spiritual community in action, they exemplify that it is
possible to live a higher and more meaningful social life. From their
experience, and their communication with each other, they have discovered the
seeds of social transformation that may ultimately lead to a
new, caste-free society.

Dharmachari Lokamitra (born Jeremy Goody) has guided Buddhist activities under
the Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha, Sahayaka Gana (TBMSG) and Bahujan Hitay since
1978. He is helping develop the Nagarjuna Institute in Nagpur, a residential center for training in
Buddhist practice and application of Buddhist principles to social situations.
Recently, he has been involved in rehabilitation work among the tsunami-affected in Tamil Nadu
and poorer victims of Mumbai floods. He continues to lecture on Buddhism and teach Buddhist meditation.



c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice

         The modern world has seemingly  undertaken  a serious
        experiment  with regard  to whether  or not a man can
        live without any god or religion.
            “God  is  dead,” said  Nietzsche.  This  was  the
        destiny  of modern European  civilization  because of
        science and technology.
            Ren‚  Descartes  is  said  to be the  founder  of
        modern  European  philosophy.   According  to  Hegel,
        Descartes is truly an originator of modern philosophy
        as long as modern philosophy  claims “thought” as its
        principle.  After  he  doubted  everything, Descartes
        reached  a “thinking  ego” whose existence  cannot be
        doubted.  This  “thinking  ego,” that  is, reason  or
        intellect, was the starting  point of his philosophy.
        It was not only the starting  point  of the Cartesian
        philosophy, but  of the whole  modern  philosophy  or
        civilization, insofar as it demands the sundering  of
        mind   from  nature   and  a  subsequent   mechanical
        conception  of nature, and  implicitly  affirmed  the
        need for, and right  of, man to control  this  nature
        for his own purposes.
            Now  this  event  in  modern  civilization  is no
        longer  confined  to  the  European  world.  European
        civilization,   particularly    its    science    and
        technology, conquered  the whole  world  by its  rich
        productivity  and  powerful  weapons.   There  is  no
        country in the world which is not affected by Western
        science and technology. Thus the fate of the European
        civilization has become the fate of the whole world.
            However, as Nietzsche  saw, a formidable  atheism
        is   inherent   in   the   early   stage   of  modern
        civilization.  “God is not simply dead, but we killed
        Him.” God became useless to man when man developed  a
        complete  trust  in his own reason  and set about  to
        exert an absolute  control over the material world at
        his  own  will.  God  is dead, and man  and  material
        nature took over the position of God.
            Dostoevsky, a prophet of historical  destiny like
        Nietzsche, speaks  through  the mouth of Ivan: “There
        is neither  God nor immortality.  As there is neither
        God,  nor   immortality,  man   is  allowed   to   do
        everything.”  He  means  that  there  is  no morality
        without God.  Karamazov  asked his son Ivan: “Have we
        been  deceived  by priests  for such a long  time  if
        there is neither  God nor immortality  (as you say)?”
        Ivan answered, “There  would  not be our civilization
        if there were neither  God nor immortality.”  As Ivan
        says, all civilizations  heretofore have been founded
        on  religion.  However, contrary  to Ivan’s  words, a
        civilization  is now about to be formed  without  God
        and immortality.
            It is time for us to ask with Dostoevsky: Can man
        secure his existence  in a civilization  without God?
        Will the day come when mankind  must pay its debt for
        indulging  in a fantasy? Or will the day of reckoning
        never come since that day would at once be the day of
        the total collapse of civilization?
            In the past  century  Japan  has made  the utmost
        effort to adopt the European
 
        civilization  of science  and technology, but without
        accepting  Christianity.  At the same time we stopped
        giving sincere concern  to Buddhism  or Confucianism.
        In other words, we did not import god (religion) from
        outside  and at the same time we killed  our own gods
        (religions)  in the name of modern  civilization.  By
        killing  the gods, Japan achieved  her modernization.
        As the result  of such modernization  Japan  achieved
        one of the highest  gross  national  products  in the
        world.  However, with  this  material  prosperity,  a
        monstrous vanity begins to pervade the atmosphere  in
        our society.  We have no god to believe  in.  We have
        become  the most godless  people  in the world and we
        have  no  inspiring  motivations   but  impulses  for
        material goods and sex.
            However, can any man of the  West  laugh  at such
        economic  animals? Was it not the European who taught
        the non-European  people  to kill their gods? If this
        is the case, we were more  diligent  in killing  gods
        than  were  our  teachers.  In  the  terms  of an old
        Japanese  expression, we are the students  who  excel
        their teachers.
            The  death  of gods, the collapse  of values, the
        liberation  of instincts, and the consequent disorder
        are now forming a critical  situation  in the present
        world. In this situation, we cannot but deal with the
        problem  as to whether  or not  mankind  can  survive
        without any god.  This seems to be the most important
        and critical problem in the present world.
            There  may  be  three  possible  answers  to  the
        problem:
            [1] that man can survive  without  god and should
        become  a  kind  of  god  himself  (Marx,  Nietzsche,
        Sartre, Camus, etc.);
            [2] that man must have a god and a new rebirth is
        possible for man by regaining  his old beliefs in god
        (Berdyaev, Dawson, D. T. Suzuki, etc.);
            [3] that  god is necessary, but he should  not be
        the  god of the past, and  thus  a new  god  must  be
        sought, though mankind has not yet met him.
 
        I  propose  to  discuss  the  philosophy   of  Martin
        Heidegger  in terms  of the  third  viewpoint  stated
        above.  He is neither  a proponent  for returning  to
        Christianity  like Berdyaev or Dawson, nor an atheist
        like Marx or Sartre.
            God is dead, and a new  god has  not yet revealed
        himself.  In order  to receive  a new  god, Heidegger
        must  first  prepare  a place  for him.  In order  to
        prepare  the place we should find the place where the
        old god had revealed himself. The place where the old
        god had revealed  himself  is the place  for the  new
        god.  In Heidegger’s  philosophy  the  key  issue  is
        whether or not he has discovered  the place where the
        old god had revealed  himself  and whether  or not he
        has prepared the place for the new god.(1)
        _____________________________________________________
 
        (1) Cf.    Martin    Heidegger,   “Brief   ber  den
            Humanismus,” in  Wegmarken  (Frankfurt  am  Main:
            Vittorio Klostermann, 1949).
 
            The expression  “the place for god,” whatever  it
        may  mean, is  apt  to be thought  of  by  a European
        within the boundary of his own world.  However, if we
        deal with the above issue beyond the boundary  of the
        European  world, we must consider the fact that there
        existed many religions as well as many gods. Needless
        to  say,  there   have  been  not  only  monotheistic
        religions  but  polytheistic  religions  as well.  In
        contrast  to  the  monotheism  of Europe  the  native
        religions  of Japan are regarded  as polytheistic.
        This polytheism might be criticized by Christianity as
        not being  a true  religion, but this  does  not mean
        that Buddhism  or Confucianism  cannot  deal with the
        issue of the place for a new god.
            We  can  speculate  on the  problem  proposed  by
        Heidegger  beyond the European  cultural  boundary by
        developing  the above-mentioned  questions raised for
        his philosophy  as follows: Is it the case  that  the
        place  for  god argued  for by Heidegger  is not only
        appropriate  for Christianity, but that it is also an
        appropriate  place for the god in any other religion?
        Here I should  like to refer  this question  only  to
        Buddhism.  Our question  is whether the place for god
        thought  by Heidegger  can be a right  place from the
        viewpoint of Buddhism.
            I do not  intend  here  to explicate  Heidegger’s
        philosophy in detail. It will be more appropriate for
        a  man  whose  cultural  background   is  similar  to
        Heidegger’s to do that.  It is highly questionable if
        a man of a different  cultural  background  can grasp
        the exact meaning  of Heidegger’s  philosophy.  It is
        quite  possible  that  I  misunderstand   Heidegger’s
        philosophy.  However, what  I intend  to do is not to
        discuss  his philosophy  directly, but to discuss  my
        own thought as it is inspired by Heidegger.
            The central issue of Heidegger’s  philosophy  has
        always  been  “What  is  being?”  “Being”  had  been
        regarded as self-evident in the European tradition of
        thought.  But Heidegger  throws doubt on “being” when
        thought of as self-evident.
            What is being? Being  is not  simply  that which
        exists.  A notebook  exists  here and a table  exists
        there. But they are not being itself. The distinction
        between “being itself” and “beings”  Heidegger  calls
        the ontological  difference.  He maintains  that  all
        traditional  metaphysics  and ontology  have  ignored
        this  difference  by  regarding  “beings”  as  “being
        itself.”
            It is necessary  to clarify  the very meaning  of
        “being  itself”   as  distinguished   from  “beings.”
        Heidegger  thinks that the meaning  of “being itself”
        is to be disclosed through an actual being whose mode
        of existence  is distinctly  superior  to  all  other
        modes of existence.  What is this actual being? It is
        one whose mode of existence  is superior in the sense
        that it has awareness of its own existence. Heidegger
        thinks  such  actual  being  is man  (Dasein).  Thus,
        Heidegger  claims that we must examine the meaning of
        Dasein, that is, human existence.  in order  to reach
        being itself (Sein). What is the meaning of
 
 
        human  existence?  Heidegger  seeks  the  meaning  of
        Dasein  in terms of time.  What he means by “time” is
        neither   time   objectively   conceived   nor   time
        subjectively perceived.
            According  to Heidegger, “time” means “finitude.”
        “Finitude”  means “being unto death.” This is to say,
        Dasein  is  temporal  and  man,  being  temporal,  is
        finite, that is, a being unto death. His criticism of
        ontology  since Plate is made from the standpoint  of
        conceiving human existence in terms of finitude, that
        is, death.  In the  tradition  of European  ontology,
        being is sought after through  that which exists (das
        Seiende),  but  not  through  the  existence  of  man
        (Dasein).Things  which exist are projected  in such a
        way that they are simply stared at (begafft)  by man.
        When  man  becomes  the  subject  who  absentmindedly
        stares  at  the  world, things  look  as if they  are
        simply existing  before us.  Heidegger  calls such an
        existence Vorhandensein.
            Heidegger thinks that such a manner of conceiving
        things  is due  to the  ordinariness  of Dasein.  Man
        ordinarily forgets his death which is his essence and
        lives with this or that thing. Living in this manner,
        he conceives  of being  in terms  of the function  of
        things.
            In contrast  to this understanding  of existence,
        Heidegger   opens   the   way   to   an   existential
        understanding of being.  It is a way of understanding
        which  reaches  being itself  through  Dasein  as the
        finite   being,  that  is,  the  being   unto  death.
        Heidegger  in his Being and Time refers  to this task
        of understanding as fundamental ontology. He tried to
        develop  this fundamental  ontology  by adopting  the
        methodology  of Husserl’s  phenomenology, but he came
        to realize  that it is impossible  to develop his new
        way of understanding  being within  a phenomenology
        whose theme was the analysis of subjectconsciousness.
        The  “turn”  or “reversal”  in his  thinking  (Kehre)
        seems  to begin from this realization, but I will not
        inquire into this any further.
            Now what I wish to ask is: What significance does
        Heidegger’s  philosophy of being have for the present
        historical  situation  of the Eastern  as well as the
        Western  world? It should be noted first of all that,
        even though the ontology in which being is sought not
        through  things  but through  finite  human existence
        might be thought  of as unique in the Western  world,
        it is familiar to Orientals, especially to Buddhists.
        We Japanese  are brought up with the following  words
        from Buddhism: “All living beings are mortal and all
        forms are to disappear.” This is an ontological  view
        which  grasps  not  only  human  being  but all other
        living beings in terms of death.  This might be said,
        in  Heidegger’s  terms, to be  the  ontological  view
        which  grasps  being  through  human being  which  is
        finite,  that  is, being  unto  death.  Further,  our
        question  is related  to Heidegger’s  criticism  that
        European  ontology  lacks the concept of death.  As a
        non-European  I cannot  but notice that a distinctive
        characteristic  in the European history of thought is
        its concern with death. I notice the two great deaths
        which have the utmost significance in themselves. The
 
 
                                p.275
 
        two deaths  are, needless  to say, those  of Socrates
        and Jesus Christ.  Despite  Heidegger’s  criticism, I
        should  say that  these  deaths  were  certainly  the
        highlights of the European history of thought.
            But  what  does  it mean  that  these  two deaths
        constitute  the most significant  events  in European
        spiritual  civilization? In the  history  of the East
        there   are  no  deaths   of  the  utmost   spiritual
        significance.  In Buddhism, the death of Buddha  had,
        to  be  sure,  the   utmost   significance,  but   in
        Confucianism  there  is no such  concern  with death.
        Confucius said: “I have not yet known life, how can I
        know death?” We see the decisive significance  in the
        deaths  of Jesus, Socrates, and Buddha, but we do not
        see  any significance  in the  death  of Confucius.
        Death   does   not  necessarily   have   the   utmost
        significance    in   each   spiritual   civilization.
        Therefore, can it be said that the civilization which
        has the great deaths as the highlight  of its history
        also  has  its  roots  deeply  in death, contrary  to
        Heidegger’s estimate?
            The above is not the only thing  which amazes  us
        with regard to European history.  What amazes us even
        more is the fact that the deaths  were either  murder
        or a kind of suicide. For the Oriental, natural death
        is ideal.  Man is born  from  Nature  and returns  to
        Nature.  Returning  home, returning  to the  motherly
        earth  is the ideal of the Orient.  The form of death
        must be painless. ‘Saakyamuni Buddha returns in peace
        into Nature after he has lived for eighty  years.  In
        the East the man whose  death  is not natural  is not
        qualified to be a saint. In this regard the spiritual
        tradition  of the West differs from that of the East.
        Here  a question  arises  as  to why  a man  who  was
        murdered can be the most ideal man in the West.
            There arises yet another  problem.  What does the
        death  of Socrates  or Jesus  mean  in the  spiritual
        history  of the  West? The  death  of Socrates  means
        neither  the mere  end of his life, nor  a return  to
        nothingness, in the Buddhist sense.  Socrates, facing
        death, proved  the immortality  of the soul.  And  he
        died  without  fear, as if he were  going  to another
        splendid  world.  The soul which cognizes the eternal
        is also eternal like the eternal Idea. If the soul is
        eternal, it does not fade away at death. Facing death
        Socrates  imagines  the realm of the spirit awaiting
        his soul.  Death here does not mean the returning  to
        nothingness  as in  the  case  of Buddha.  Death, for
        Socrates, is an assurance of eternal life for man.
            In the case of Jesus Christ, his death  also does
        not mean returning to nothingness.  Jesus was the Son
        of  God.  As the  Son  of God, Jesus  is  essentially
        immortal. His Crucifixion was to atone for the sin of
        man.  But he was resurrected  from death  and he will
        come again to bring  the Kingdom  of God.  Such death
        cannot  mean what death truly means.  His death is to
        mean the proof  for eternal  life–it  is a much more
        decisive  proof  than Socrates’  death.  Through  His
        death the atonement for man’s sin as well as immortality
        of the soul  are  promised.  Jesus  is in eternal Heaven
        after the Resurrection. Through
 
 
                                p.276
 
        Him man may ascend to eternal Heaven. In other words,
        man  is promised  his  eternal  life  as well  as the
        coming of the new Kingdom of God.  The death of Jesus
        promises much more than that of Socrates.
            If such is the case, we would  think  as follows:
        The  two  deaths   as  the  highlights   of  European
        tradition are not death as we understand it. They are
        seemingly  deaths, but they  are in fact  proofs  for
        eternal  life.  Through those two deaths eternity  is
        brought into the European world.
            When we consider  death  in this  way, we have to
        withdraw   our   previous   question   raised   about
        Heidegger’s  viewpoint  that there was no concept  of
        death in the traditional  ontology  of the West.  His
        viewpoint after all seems to be right in grasping the
        spiritual  tradition   of  the  West,  since  we  can
        recognize  these deaths  as the proofs  for eternity.
        The deaths  were not the death of a finite  being  in
        Heidegger’s sense.
 
 
        III
 
        Now I should  like  to proceed  to discuss  Buddhism.
        However,  we  must  admit  the  difficulty   or  even
        impossibility of presenting a thorough explication of
        Buddhism.  It is much more  difficult  to talk  about
        Buddhism  in  general  than  about  Christianity   in
        general.  The reason  is that  there  is not a single
        Bible but many Bibles in Buddhism.  Buddhist  suutras
        had been written  in the name  of ‘Saakyamuni  Buddha
        several  hundred  years after his death.  These texts
        went to China without being systematically  arranged,
        and innumerable  commentaries  were written on them.
        In addition  Buddhist  suutras were written in China,
        and  once  they  were  completed  in China, it became
        impossible to distinguish them from those originating
        in India.  Thus all suutras  became  regarded  as the
        teachings  of ‘Saakyamuni  Buddha himself.  In such a
        situation  the most important work for monks in China
        was to search for the true teachings  of Buddha among
        innumerable  texts.   Kumaarajiiva   (A.D.   350-409)
        discovered  a pattern  among  them  and thus  brought
        about a solution to this problem.  He worked  on the
        translation of Mahaayaana suutras in Ch’ang-an and at
        the  same  time  originated, in the beginning  of the
        fifth century, the Chinese  Buddhistic  studies which
        were carried on thereafter.
            Dr.  D. T.  Suzuki introduced Zen Buddhism to the
        West.  He thought Zen to be the most excellent school
        in Mahaayaana  Buddhism.  His works  taught  a way of
        learning  Zen in the West and even in Japan  herself.
        Westerners have the preconception, before their visit
        to Japan, that Japanese culture is influenced totally
        by Zen.  But contrary  to their expectation, Zen does
        not  have  so  pervasive  an  influence  in  Japanese
        culture. It is quite questionable whether the core of
        Japanese culture is Zen.  Mahaayaana Buddhism is not
        necessarily  represented  by Zen.  Even  in  Japanese
        Buddhism, Zen is merely a part of it.
 
 
                                p.277
 
        And the Zen introduced  by Suzuki to the West is that
        of the Lin-chi school (Rinzai Zen).(2)
            Although  it is very difficult  to grasp Buddhism
        as a whole, I will try to depict  the characteristics
        of Buddhism  just  as Heidegger  tried  to grasp  the
        characteristics  of the metaphysics  of the West as a
        whole.
            Buddhism  can be said to grasp beings in terms of
        death or finitude.  For example, let us consider  the
        doctrine of the four noble truths.  The truths are as
        follows:
            1. The truth that suffering exists.
            2. The truth that suffering has a cause.
            3. The truth that the cause can be removed.
            4. The  truth  that  there are eight practices by
               which the cause of suffering  can be removed.
            Let us begin with the first truth. Human being is
        conceived  in terms  of “suffering”  (du.hkha).  This
        means that man is subject to four sufferings, namely,
        birth, aging, disease, and death.  Among  these  four
        death  is  the  severest  suffering.  Buddha  himself
        emphasized the suffering of death.  Man is mortal and
        therefore his existence is suffering.  Here one might
        notice that human existence is conceived  in terms of
        death or finitude.
            With regard  to the second  truth, Buddha  speaks
        about the cause of suffering.  It is attachment to or
        craving for existence.  Suffering  is caused by man’s
        attachment to something for which he craves.
            Man must be freed from such sufferings. The third
        truth teaches us to eliminate the cause of suffering.
        And in order to eliminate  suffering, there are eight
        practices which must be followed.
            ‘Saakyamuni  Buddha  grasps  human  existence  in
        terms  of death.  How to eliminate  the suffering  of
        death’  Buddha  does  not  see  the  solution  in the
        immortality  of the soul  or in eternal  life  in the
        Socratic  or Christian  sense.  Buddha  regards  such
        doctrines as dogmatic.  They meant to him nothing but
        an escape from the utter finitude of human existence.
        The attachment to existence which is latent inman is
        the most decisive  cause  of fear of death.  Man will
        attain freedom and purity through  emancipation  from
        the suffering of death, that is, through deliverance
        from  the  attachment  to his own existence.  We find
        many  portraits   of  ‘Saakyamuni   Buddha   entering
        nirvaa.na, in other  words, at  his  death.  In these
        pictures he is surrounded  by many disciples, people,
        and animals.  Not only  men but even  animals  grieve
        over  the death  of Buddha.  But  the  Buddha, who is
        about to die, is in a state of serenity.
        _____________________________________________________
 
        (2) See  my Bi to Shuukyo(-) no Hakken [The Rediscovery
            of Traditional Beauty and Religion] (Tokyo, 1967)
            and especially  the article “Critical  Studies of
            Suzuki’s   and   Watsuji’s   Views   on  Japanese
            Culture,” in  which  I point  out  in detail  the
            inadequacy  of Suzuki’s  analysis of some aspects
            of Japanese culture.
 
 
                                p.278
 
        Even the trace  of a smile is perceived  on his lips.
        The Buddha’s  smile  does not mean  only satisfaction
        that he has done all that he had to do.  His teaching
        itself  is to emancipate  one  from  death  and  this
        emancipation  is now serenely taking place in his own
        death.
            The notion of “beings” might have determined  the
        ontology of the West as Heidegger pointed out, but it
        is certainly  not the case  in Buddhism.  In Buddhism
        “nothingness”  (’Suunya)  is  regarded  as  far  more
        important  than  “beings.”  This  is not because  the
        Buddhist  prefers  “nothingness”  as a subject matter
        for  theoretical  inquiry;rather  it  is  because  he
        conceives  man’s existence  in terms of death.  Human
        existence   is  handed   over  into  nothingness   or
        nonbeing.
            In  the  past  century   Japan  has  brought   in
        philosophy  as well as science from the West. Kitaro(-)
        Nishida (1870-1945), a close friend of D. T.  Suzuki,
        established his own Buddhist-like philosophy while he
        studied European philosophy.  Nishida systematized  a
        philosophy   of   “absolute   dialectics”   and   was
        profoundly   influenced  by  Hegel’s  philosophy   of
        “absolute  mind.”  But  in Nishida’s  philosophy  the
        absolute is not being but nothingness or nonbeing, as
        is the case in Buddhistic  thinking.  Beings, as long
        as they are beings, must be determined;  hence  they
        are unfree.  Buddhism  claims that the truly absolute
        and the truly free must be nothingness.
            However, we should notice that Nishida dealt with
        “nothingness”  within a logical  scheme as Hegel did,
        while  the  thought  of  nothingness  in Buddhism  is
        related   to  ontological   issues   whose   definite
        implication was the problem of death.  Man is mortal;
        hence  the essence  of his  being  is nothingness  or
        nonbeing.
            Death is the central point of inquiry  into man’s
        being.  For  all schools  of Buddhism  death  is that
        through which man is conceived from beginning to end.
        The greatest  Zen master  of the thirteenth  century,
        Do(-)gen, quotes  from Naagaarjuna’s  words, as follows:
        “The  mind  which  introspects   transiency   of  all
        sentient   beings   in  this  world  is  named  Bodhi
        mind.”(3)  Here he means that the Bodhi mind is based
        on the mind that knows the finitude  of man’s  being.
        The  very  self-awareness  of the  finitude  of being
        makes  man free from attachment  to fame, money, and
        sex. In short, Do(-)gen means that there is no path
        for man in Buddhism without his awareness  of transiency.
        From such a thought  he develops  a unique theory  of
        time.
 
        As to the problem  of so-called  being and time, time
        itself   is  a  being.   All  beings  are  times.   A
        sixteen-foot golden Buddha is a time. Because it is a
        time, time is golden light. Three-headed eight-handed
        Asura  is  a  time.   Because   it  is  a  time,  the
        relationship of oneness holds between the “image” and
        the “present  24 hours.”  Even  though  a time  of 24
        hours  has not yet been measured, it is said to be 24
        hours. Since a day’s having 24 hours has been obvious
        to man for
        _____________________________________________________
 
        (3) Cf. Do(-)gen. Fukanzazengi [Invitation to Zaren].
 
 
        a long  time, man neither  questions  the present  24
        hours nor has any attachment to the present 24 hours.
        But though man neither questions  nor has attachment,
        this  does not mean  that  he is enlightened.  Since,
        needless to say, men’s questions  and attachments  to
        unknown  things and beings are not constant, previous
        questions and attachments  are not necessarily  equal
        to the present ones.  A question and attachment are a
        time.(4)
 
            According  to Dogen, not only  man but beings  in
        general are temporal beings. Time changes itself from
        being to nonbeing. In this sense time is finite.  But
        without  this  very  time  there  can  be  no  beings
        including  man’s  being.  If this  is the  case, this
        present time is itself absolute. Beings can be Buddha
        in a definite  time, or “Asura”  in another  definite
        time, or something  else in each definite time.  Each
        is absolute being in each appearance.  Each being has
        its absolute present.
            A man once crossed a river and passed a hill. And
        now he lives in a splendid house.  He thinks that the
        time he lives in the house is present and the time he
        crossed  the river and passed the hill are past.  But
        this is not right. The time when he crossed the river
        is the absolute  present  and  the time  when  he now
        lives in the house is also the absolute present. Each
        time is itself independent, namely, absolute present.
            For Dogen all beings are in absolute present, and
        this awareness  of absolute  present as the ground of
        beings  is satori  (enlightenment).  Thus  man can be
        free from changes. It is impossible for man to derive
        the  proof  of  eternity   from  the  belief  in  the
        unchanging and eternal subsistence  of changing time.
        Contrary to this, man will find the proof of eternity
        by  throwing  himself  into  this  present  and  that
        present and by living up his whole existence  in this
        present.  Flowers bloom. Here is an absolute present.
        Flowers fall. Here again is an absolute present. When
        man  moves  his  eyebrow  and  opens  his  eyes  with
        surprise, here is an absolute  present.  When he does
        not move his eyebrow  and does not open his eyes with
        surprise, there is also an absolute  present.  Beings
        exist as they are. This is what Do(-)gen’s view on
        being and time means.
            Here is another passage from Do(-)gen. “If Buddha
        is there in birth  and death as such, then there  is
        no birth and death. Again, if Buddha is not there in
        birth   and  death   as  such,  then  there   is  no
        attachment….  Enlighten  yourself  that birth  and
        death are Nirvana  as they are.  Birth and death are
        not such things  to be weary  of and Nirvana  is not
        such a thing to be craved  for.  Here man transcends
        birth and death.”(5)
            This finite  being (man) enters  nirvaa.na  as he
        is.  Man should  not attach  himself  to this  finite
        life, because  such attachment  is derived  from  his
        belief  that  this  finite  life  is something  to be
        maintained. At the same time man should not deny this
        finite  life, because  such denial  is after  all the
        negative
        _____________________________________________________
 
        (4) Do(-)gen,  Sh(¡Ã+o)b(¡Ã+o)genz(¡Ã+o),  chapter
            “Uji”  [Being  and Time].
 
        (5) Ibid., chapter “Sh(¡Ã+o)ji” [Birth and Death].
 
        attachment  to this finite life.  Neither being weary
        of this  life  nor craving  nirvaa.na  leads  man  to
        enlightenment.   Do(-)gen   does  not  believe   in  the
        immortality  of the  soul.  Buddhism  does  not  seek
        Buddha apart from this “birth and death.” Freedom  is
        within  this  “birth  and death,” namely, this finite
        life.
         ¡ In Japanese  history Do(-)gen is not the only thinker
        who  bases  his  thought  on the  awareness  of  such
        finitude.    Kuukai   (774-835),   the   founder   of
        Shingonshuu, and  Saicho  (762-822), the  founder  of
        Tendai-shuu, start their thinking  from the awareness
        of transiency, namely, the  finiteness  and emptiness
        of man’s being and the universe. The same can be said
        about H(¡Ã+o)nen (1133-1212), the founder of Jodo-shuu, and
        Shinran  (1173-1262), the founder  of Jodo Shin-shuu,
        who are contemporaries of Do(-)gen. But they came up with
        an approach that is different from Do(-)gen’s.
            Man is finite.  This world is impure.  Man should
        detach  himself  from  this  short  and impure  human
        world, and should seek to enter the eternal  and pure
        land.  As far as we live  in this  world, however, we
        cannot  enter  that eternal  and pure  land.  Man can
        enter the Amida pure land after death.  Man can go to
        the pure land by virtue of calling  “Namuamidabutsu.”
        This  thought  of  the  Pure  Land  school  developed
        further in Shinran’s  faith.  In Shinran’s  faith the
        pure land is not sought  after  death, but rather  in
        this a ctual world and by man’s faith in Amida.
            It seems  certain  that  the approaches  to death
        differ  in the  different  schools  in  Buddhism, but
        their  point  of departure  is the  same, namely, the
        self-awareness  of death  or finiteness.  This is the
        case not only  in Buddhism, but in the whole  culture
        and art of Japan.  The thought of death retains great
        significance in Japanese art.  Japanese dramas can be
        said  to be the dramas  of death.  For example, in N(¡Ã+o)
        plays, the dead are often heroes who reappear in this
        world. The Kabuki plays often show how man will die a
        magnificent  death whatever  the causes  of the death
        may be.
 
        In conclusion, it seems to me that Heidegger proposes
        a new philosophical  problem  to the entire  world in
        two ways.  It is in one  sense  an inquiry  into  the
        foundation  of the novel  spiritual  situation  where
        nihilism  is latent  within  the European  scientific
        civilization, a civilization  which  nonetheless  has
        succeeded  in unifying  the  whole  world.  But  this
        civilization   lacks  a  spiritual   foundation.   In
        exposing  European scientific  civilization  to total
        criticism, Heidegger  is perhaps  one  of  the  first
        thinkers  of the West to provide a place of dialogue
        and confrontation  between the European principle and
        the non-European principle.
            Heidegger proposes a new philosophical problem in
        a different  way through his criticism  of the notion
        of finiteness or death in the traditional ontology of
 
        the West.  Here he reveals  himself as a prophet  who
        sees the destiny of beings in death.  Being a prophet
        of the destiny  of death, he is again a severe critic
        of  the  modern  civilization  of  the  West.   Since
        Descartes  modern  philosophy  has not dealt with the
        problem of death which had in fact been considered in
        the philosophy of Plate and Christianity.
            History  is consequently  viewed as characterized
        by  progress  and  development   in  the  West.   For
        Japanese, however, history does not necessarily  mean
        progress  and  development, but rather  it has  meant
        “decay.” For example, Confucius  views history as the
        continuous  process  of decay since the reign  of the
        ancient sacred emperor.  Buddhism  also views history
        as decaying from the age of “Right Dharma” to the age
        of the “Closing  of Dharma.”
            How man should  think  of death  from  now on and
        what the destiny  of “man  unto  death”  in a godless
        world  might  be are  questions  to be asked  by  the
        people of the whole world.  These questions should be
        dealt  with  in  the  continuing   dialogue   between
        thinkers  of the East and the West, and through  this
        dialogue the answers might be found. Martin Heidegger
        is a great philosopher  in having opened a new age of
        such dialogue.
 

Kamada Sutta
Kamada’s Lament
(excerpt)

[Kamada:]

So hard it is to do, Lord,It’s so very hard to do!

[Buddha:]

But still they do what's hard to do,Who steady themselves with virtue.For one pursuing homelessness,Content arrives, and with it joy.

[Kamada:]

So hard it is to get, Lord,This content of which you speak!

[Buddha:]

But still they get what's hard to get,Who delight in a tranquil mind.The mind of those, both day and night,Delights in its development.

[Kamada:]

So hard it is to tame, Lord,This mind of which you speak!

[Buddha:]

But still they tame what's hard to tame,Who delight in senses at peace.Cutting through mortality’s net,The nobles, Kamada, proceed.

[Kamada:]

So hard it is to go, Lord,On this path that gets so rough!

[Buddha:]

Still nobles, Kamada, proceed
On paths both rough and hard to take.
Those who are less than noble fall
On their heads when the path gets rough.
But for nobles the path is smooth
— For nobles smooth out what is rough!

e) E-Vinaya Pitaka in Practice

Understanding Vinaya 

This practice of ours is not easy. We may know some things but there
is still much that we don’t know. For example, when we hear teachings
such as “know the body, then know the mind within the body”; or “know
the mind, then know the mind within the mind.” If we haven’t yet
practiced these things, then we hear them we may feel baffled. The Vinaya 5 is like this. In the past I used to be a teacher, 6 but I was only a “small teacher,” not a big one. Why do I say a “small teacher”? Because I didn’t practice. I taught the Vinaya
but I didn’t practice it. This I call a small teacher, an inferior
teacher. I say an “inferior teacher” because when it came to the
practice I was deficient. For the most part my practice was a long way
off the theory, just as if I hadn’t learned the Vinaya at all.

However, I would like to state that in practical terms it’s impossible to know the Vinaya
completely, because some things, whether we know them or not, are still
offenses. This is tricky. And yet it is stressed that if we do not yet
understand any particular training rule or teaching, we must study that
rule with enthusiasm and respect. If we don’t know, then we should make
an effort to learn. If we don’t make an effort, that is in itself an
offense.

For example, if you doubt… suppose there is a woman and, not knowing whether she is a woman or a man, you touch her. 7
You’re not sure, but still go ahead and touch… that’s still wrong. I
used to wonder why that should be wrong, but when I considered the
practice, I realized that a meditator must have sati, he must
be circumspect. Whether talking, touching or holding things, he must
first thoroughly consider. The error in this case is that there is no sati, or insufficient sati, or a lack of concern at that time.

Take another example: it’s only eleven o’clock in the morning but at
the time the sky is cloudy, we can’t see the sun, and we have no clock.
Now suppose we estimate that it’s probably afternoon… we really feel
that it’s afternoon… and yet we proceed to eat something. We start
eating and then the clouds part and we see from the position of the sun
that it’s only just past eleven. This is still an offense. 8 I used to wonder, “Eh? It’s not yet past mid-day, why is this an offense?”

An offense is incurred here because of negligence, carelessness, we
don’t thoroughly consider. There is a lack of restraint. If there is
doubt and we act on the doubt, there is a dukkata 9
offense just for acting in the face of the doubt. We think that it is
afternoon when in fact it isn’t. The act of eating is not wrong in
itself, but there is an offense here because we are careless and
negligent. If it really is afternoon but we think it isn’t, then it’s
the heavier pacittiya offense. If we act with doubt, whether
the action is wrong or not, we still incur an offense. If the action is
not wrong in itself it is the lesser offense; if it is wrong then the
heavier offense is incurred. Therefore the Vinaya can get quite bewildering.

At one time I went to see Venerable Ajahn Mun. 10 At that time I had just begun to practice. I had read the Pubbasikkha 11 and could understand that fairly well. Then I went on to read the Visuddhimagga, where the author writes of the Silanidesa (Book of Precepts), Samadhinidesa (Book of Mind-Training) and Paññanidesa
(Book of Understanding)… I felt my head was going to burst! After
reading that, I felt that it was beyond the ability of a human being to
practice. But then I reflected that the Buddha would not teach
something that is impossible to practice. He wouldn’t teach it and he
wouldn’t declare it, because those things would be useful neither to
himself nor to others. The Silanidesa is extremely meticulous, the Samadhinidesa more so, and the Paññanidesa even more so! I sat and thought, “Well, I can’t go any further. There’s no way ahead.” It was as if I’d reached a dead-end.

At this stage I was struggling with my practice… I was stuck. It
so happened that I had a chance to go and see Venerable Ajahn Mun, so I
asked him: “Venerable Ajahn, what am I to do? I’ve just begun to
practice but I still don’t know the right way. I have so many doubts I
can’t find any foundation at all in the practice.”

He asked, “What’s the problem?”

“In the course of my practice I picked up the Visuddhimagga and read it, but it seems impossible to put into practice. The contents of the Silanidesa, Samadhinidesa and Paññanidesa
seem to be completely impractical. I don’t think there is anybody in
the world who could do it, it’s so detailed and meticulous. To memorize
every single rule would be impossible, it’s beyond me.”

He said to me: “Venerable… there’s a lot, it’s true, but it’s
really only a little. If we were to take account of every training rule
in the Silanidesa that would be difficult… true… But actually, what we call the Silanidesa
has evolved from the human mind. If we train this mind to have a sense
of shame and a fear of wrong-doing, we will then be restrained, we will
be cautious…

“This will condition us to be content with little, with few wishes,
because we can’t possibly look after a lot. When this happens our sati becomes stronger. We will be able to maintain sati at all times. Wherever we are we will make the effort to maintain thorough sati.
Caution will be developed. Whatever you doubt don’t say it, don’t act
on it. If there’s anything you don’t understand, ask the teacher.
Trying to practice every single training rule would indeed be
burdensome, but we should examine whether we are prepared to admit our
faults or not. Do we accept them?”

This teaching is very important. It’s not so much that we must know
every single training rule, if we know how to train our own minds.

“All that stuff that you’ve been reading arises from the mind. If
you still haven’t trained your mind to have sensitivity and clarity you
will be doubting all the time. You should try to bring the teachings of
the Buddha into your mind. Be composed in mind. Whatever arises that
you doubt, just give it up. If you don’t really know for sure then
don’t say it or do it. For instance, if you wonder, “Is this wrong or
not?” — that is, you’re not really sure — then don’t say it, don’t act
on it, don’t discard your restraint.”

As I sat and listened, I reflected that this teaching conformed with
the eight ways for measuring the true teaching of the Buddha: Any
teaching that speaks of the diminishing of defilements; which leads out
of suffering; which speaks of renunciation (of sensual pleasures); of
contentment with little; of humility and disinterest in rank and
status; of aloofness and seclusion; of diligent effort; of being easy
to maintain… these eight qualities are characteristics of the true Dhamma-vinaya, the teaching of the Buddha. anything in contradiction to these is not.

“If we are genuinely sincere we will have a sense of shame and a
fear of wrongdoing. We will know that if there is doubt in our mind we
will not act on it nor speak on it. The Silanidesa is only words. For example, hiri-ottappa 12 in the books is one thing, but in our minds it is another.”

Studying the Vinaya with Venerable Ajahn Mun I learned many things. As I sat and listened, understanding arose.

So, when it comes to the Vinaya I’ve studied considerably.
Some days during the Rains Retreat I would study from six o’clock in
the evening through till dawn. I understand it sufficiently. All the
factors of apatti 13 which are covered in the Pubbasikkha
I wrote down in a notebook and kept in my bag. I really put effort into
it, but in later times I gradually let go. It was too much. I didn’t
know which was the essence and which was the trimming, I had just taken
all of it. When I understood more fully I let it drop off because it
was too heavy. I just put my attention into my own mind and gradually
did away with the texts.

However, when I teach the monks here I still take the Pubbasikkha
as my standard. For many years here at Wat Ba Pong it was I myself who
read it to the assembly. In those days I would ascend the Dhamma-seat
and go on until at least eleven o’clock or midnight, some days even one
or two o’clock in the morning. We were interested. And we trained.
After listening to the Vinaya reading we would go and consider what we’d heard. You can’t really understand the Vinaya just by listening to it. Having listened to it you must examine it and delve into it further.

Even though I studied these things for many years my knowledge was
still not complete, because there were so many ambiguities in the
texts. Now that it’s been such a long time since I looked at the books,
my memory of the various training rules has faded somewhat, but within
my mind there is no deficiency. There is a standard there. There is no
doubt, there is understanding. I put away the books and concentrated on
developing my own mind. I don’t have doubts about any of the training
rules. The mind has an appreciation of virtue, it won’t dare do
anything wrong, whether in public or in private. I do not kill animals,
even small ones. If someone were to ask me to intentionally kill an ant
or a termite, to squash one with my hand, for instance, I couldn’t do
it, even if they were to offer me thousands of baht to do so. Even one ant or termite! The ant’s life would have greater value to me.

However, it may be that I may cause one to die, such as when
something crawls up my leg and I brush it off. Maybe it dies, but when
I look into my mind there is no feeling of guilt. There is no wavering
or doubt. Why? Because there was no intention. Silam vadami bhikkhave cetanaham:
“Intention is the essence of moral training.” Looking at it in this way
I see that there was no intentional killing. Sometimes while walking I
may step on an insect and kill it. In the past, before I really
understood, I would really suffer over things like that. I would think
I had committed an offense.

“What? There was no intention.” “There was no intention, but I
wasn’t being careful enough!” I would go on like this, fretting and
worrying.

So this Vinaya is something which can be disturb
practitioners of Dhamma, but it also has its value, in keeping with
what the teachers say — “Whatever training rules you don’t yet know you
should learn. If you don’t know you should question those who do.” They
really stress this.

Now if we don’t know the training rules, we won’t be aware of our
transgressions against them. Take, for example, a Venerable Thera of
the past, Ajahn Pow of Wat Kow Wong Got in Lopburi Province. One day a
certain Maha, 14 a disciple of his, was sitting with him, when some women came up and asked,

“Luang Por! We want to invite you to go with us on an excursion, will you go?”

Luang Por Pow didn’t answer. The Maha sitting near him thought that Venerable Ajahn Pow hadn’t heard, so he said,

“Luang Por, Luang Por! Did you hear? These women invited you to go for a trip.”

He said, “I heard.”

The women asked again, “Luang Por, are you going or not?”

He just sat there without answering, and so nothing came of the invitation. When they had gone, the Maha said,

“Luang Por, why didn’t you answer those women?”

He said, “Oh, Maha, don’t you know this rule? Those people
who were here just now were all women. If women invite you to travel
with them you should not consent. If they make the arrangements
themselves that’s fine. If I want to go I can, because I didn’t take
part in making the arrangements.”

“The Maha sat and thought, “Oh, I’ve really made a fool of myself.”

The Vinaya states that to make an arrangement, and then travel together with, women, even though it isn’t as a couple, is a pacittiya offense.

Take another case. Lay people would bring money to offer Venerable Ajahn Pow on a tray. He would extend his receiving cloth, 15
holding it at one end. But when they brought the tray forward to lay it
on the cloth he would retract his hand from the cloth. Then he would
simply abandon the money where it lay. He knew it was there, but he
would take no interest in it, just get up and walk away, because in the
Vinaya it is said that if one doesn’t consent to the money it
isn’t necessary to forbid laypeople from offering it. If he had desire
for it, he would have to say, “Householder, this is not allowable for a
monk.” He would have to tell them. If you have desire for it, you must
forbid them from offering that which is unallowable. However, if you
really have no desire for it, it isn’t necessary. You just leave it
there and go.

Although the Ajahn and his disciples lived together for many years,
still some of his disciples didn’t understand Ajahn Pow’s practice.
This is a poor state of affairs. As for myself, I looked into and
contemplated many of Venerable Ajahn Pow’s subtler points of practice.

The Vinaya can even cause some people to disrobe. When they
study it all the doubts come up. It goes right back into the past…
“my ordination, was it proper? 16 Was my preceptor pure? None of the monks who sat in on my ordination knew anything about the Vinaya,
were they sitting at the proper distance? Was the chanting correct?”
The doubts come rolling on… “The hall I ordained in, was it proper?
It was so small…” They doubt everything and fall into hell.

So until you know how to ground your mind it’s really difficult. You
have to be very cool, you can’t just jump into things. But to be so
cool that you don’t bother to look into things is wrong also. I was so
confused I almost disrobed because I saw so many faults within my own
practice and that of some of my teachers. I was on fire and couldn’t
sleep because of those doubts.

The more I doubted, the more I meditated, the more I practiced.
Wherever doubt arose I practiced right at that point. Wisdom arose.
Things began to change. It’s hard to describe the change that took
place. The mind changed until there was no more doubt. I don’t know how
it changed, if I were to tell someone they probably wouldn’t understand.

So I reflected on the teaching Paccattam veditabbo viññuhi — the wise must know for themselves. It must be a knowing that arises through direct experience. Studying the Dhamma-vinaya
is certainly correct but if it’s just the study it’s still lacking. If
you really get down to the practice you begin to doubt everything.
Before I started to practice I wasn’t interested in the minor offenses,
but when I started practicing, even the dukkata offenses became as important as the parajika offenses. Before, the dukkata
offenses seemed like nothing, just a trifle. That’s how I saw them. In
the evening you could confess them and they would be done with. Then
you could transgress them again. This sort of confession is impure,
because you don’t stop, you don’t decide to change. There is no
restraint, you simply do it again and again. There is no perception of
the truth, no letting go.

Actually, in terms of ultimate truth, it’s not necessary to go
through the routine of confessing offenses. If we see that our mind is
pure and there is no trace of doubt, then those offenses drop off right
there. That we are not yet pure is because we still doubt, we still
waver. We are not really pure so we can’t let go. We don’t see
ourselves, this is the point. This Vinaya of ours is like a fence to guard us from making mistakes, so it’s something we need to be scrupulous with.

If you don’t see the true value of the Vinaya for yourself
it’s difficult. Many years before I came to Wat Ba Pong I decided I
would give up money. For the greater part of a Rains Retreat I had
thought about it. In the end I grabbed my wallet and walked over to a
certain Maha who was living with me at the time, setting the wallet down in front of him.

“Here, Maha, take this money. From today onwards, as long as I’m a monk, I will not receive or hold money. You can be my witness.”

“You keep it, Venerable, you may need it for your studies”… The Venerable Maha wasn’t keen to take the money, he was embarrassed…

“Why do you want to throw away all this money?”

“You don’t have to worry about me. I’ve made my decision. I decided last night.”

From the day he took that money it was as if a gap had opened
between us. We could no longer understand each other. He’s still my
witness to this very day. Ever since that day I haven’t used money or
engaged in any buying or selling. I’ve been restrained in every way
with money. I was constantly wary of wrongdoing, even though I hadn’t
done anything wrong. Inwardly I maintained the meditation practice. I
no longer needed wealth, I saw it as a poison. Whether you give poison
to a human being, a dog or anything else, it invariably causes death or
suffering. If we see clearly like this we will be constantly on our
guard not to take that “poison.” When we clearly see the harm in it,
it’s not difficult to give up.

Regarding food and meals brought as offerings, if I doubted them I
wouldn’t accept them. No matter how delicious or refined the food might
be, I wouldn’t eat it. Take a simple example, like raw pickled fish.
Suppose you are living in a forest and you go on almsround and receive
only rice and some pickled fish wrapped in leaves. When you return to
your dwelling and open the packet you find that it’s raw pickled
fish… just throw it away! 17
Eating plain rice is better than transgressing the precepts. It has to
be like this before you can say you really understand, then the Vinaya becomes simpler.

If other monks wanted to give me requisites, such as bowl, razor or
whatever, I wouldn’t accept, unless I knew them as fellow practitioners
with a similar standard of Vinaya. Why not? How can you trust
someone who is unrestrained? They can do all sorts of things.
Unrestrained monks don’t see the value of the Vinaya, so it’s possible that they could have obtained those things in improper ways. I was as scrupulous as this.

As a result, some of my fellow monks would look askance at me…”He
doesn’t socialize, he won’t mix…” I was unmoved: “Sure, we can mix
when we die. When it comes to death we are all in the same boat,” I
thought. I lived with endurance. I was one who spoke little. If others
criticized my practice I was unmoved. Why? Because even if I explained
to them they wouldn’t understand. They knew nothing about practice.
Like those times when I would be invited to a funeral ceremony and
somebody would say, “…Don’t listen to him! Just put the money in his
bag and don’t say anything about it… don’t let him know.” 18
I would say, “Hey, do you think I’m dead or something? Just because one
calls alcohol perfume doesn’t make it become perfume, you know. But you
people, when you want to drink alcohol you call it perfume, then go
ahead and drink. You must be crazy!”.

The Vinaya, then, can be difficult. You have to be content
with little, aloof. You must see, and see right. Once, when I was
traveling through Saraburi, my group went to stay in a village temple
for a while. The Abbot there had about the same seniority as myself. In
the morning, we would all go on almsround together, then come back to
the monastery and put down our bowls. Presently the laypeople would
bring dishes of food into the hall and set them down. Then the monks
would go and pick them up, open them and lay them in a line to be
formally offered. One monk would put his hand on the dish at the other
end. And that was it! With that the monks would bring them over and
distribute them to be eaten.

About five monks were traveling with me at the time, but not one of
us would touch that food. On almsround all we received was plain rice,
so we sat with them and ate plain rice, none of us would dare eat the
food from those dishes.

This went on for quite a few days, until I began to sense that the
Abbot was disturbed by our behavior. One of his monks had probably gone
to him and said, “Those visiting monks won’t eat any of the food. I
don’t know what they’re up to.”

I had to stay there for a few days more, so I went to the Abbot to explain.

I said, “Venerable Sir, may I have a moment please? At this time I
have some business which means I must call on your hospitality for some
days, but in doing so I’m afraid there may be one or two things which
you and your fellow monks find puzzling: namely, concerning our not
eating the food which has been offered by the laypeople. I’d like to
clarify this with you, sir. It’s really nothing, it’s just that I’ve
learned to practice like this… that is, the receiving of the
offerings, sir. When the lay people lay the food down and then the
monks go and open the dishes, sort them out and then have them formally
offered… this is wrong. It’s a dukkata offense. Specifically,
to handle or touch food which hasn’t yet been formally offered into a
monk’s hands, “ruins” that food. According to the Vinaya, any monk who eats that food incurs an offense.

“It’s simply this one point, sir. It’s not that I’m criticizing
anybody, or that I’m trying to force you or your monks to stop
practicing like this… not at all. I just wanted to let you know of my
good intentions, because it will be necessary for me to stay here for a

few more days.

He lifted his hands in añjali, 19 “Sadhu!
Excellent! I’ve never yet seen a monk who keeps the minor rules in
Saraburi. there aren’t any to be found these days. If there still are
such monks they must live outside of Saraburi. May I commend you. I
have no objections at all, that’s very good.”

The next morning when we came back from almsround not one of the
monks would go near those dishes. The laypeople themselves sorted them
out and offered them, because they were afraid the monks wouldn’t eat.
From that day onwards the monks and novices there seemed really on
edge, so I tried to explain things to them, to put their minds at rest.
I think they were afraid of us, they just went into their rooms and
closed themselves in in silence.

For two or three days I tried to make them feel at ease because they
were so ashamed, I really had nothing against them. I didn’t say things
like “There’s not enough food,” or “bring ‘this’ or ‘that’ food.” Why
not? Because I had fasted before, sometimes for seven or eight days.
Here I had plain rice, I knew I wouldn’t die. Where I got my strength
from was the practice, from having studied and practiced accordingly.

I took the Buddha as my example. Wherever I went, whatever others
did, I wouldn’t involve myself. I devoted myself solely to the
practice, because I cared for myself, I cared for the practice.

Those who don’t keep the Vinaya or practice meditation and
those who do practice can’t live together, they must go separate ways.
I didn’t understand this myself in the past. As a teacher I taught
others but I didn’t practice. This is really bad. When I looked deeply
into it, my practice and my knowledge were as far apart as earth and
sky.

Therefore, those who want to go and set up meditation centers in the
forest… don’t do it. If you don’t yet really know, don’t bother
trying, you’ll only make a mess of it. Some monks think that going to
live in the forest they will find peace, but they still don’t
understand the essentials of practice. They cut grass for themselves, 20
do everything themselves… Those who really know the practice aren’t
interested in places like this, they won’t prosper. Doing it like that
won’t lead to progress. No matter how peaceful the forest may be you
can’t progress if you do it wrong.

They see the forest monks living in the forest and go to live in the
forest like them, but it’s not the same. The robes are not the same,
eating habits are not the same, everything is different. Namely, they
don’t train themselves, they don’t practice. The place is wasted, it
doesn’t really work. If it does work, it does so only as a venue for
showing off or publicizing, just like a medicine show. It goes no
further than that. Those who have only practiced a little and then go
to teach others are not yet ripe, they don’t really understand. In a
short time they give up and it falls apart. It just brings trouble.

So we must study somewhat, look at the Navakovada, 21
what does it say? Study it, memorize it, until you understand. From
time to time ask your teacher concerning the finer points, he will
explain them. Study like this until you really understand the Vinaya.



f)
E-The Abhidhamma in Practice

The Jhaana cittas

The cittas that occur through the five physical sense doors, and the
mind-door cittas taking sense objects, belong to the sensuous plane of
consciousness. They are called kaamaavacara cittas. The jhaana
cittas are meditative states of consciousness. Their object is not a
sense impression but a meditation object experienced through the
mind-door. The jhaana citta may depend on subtle materiality (ruupaavacara citta) or, if more refined, may be independent of materiality (aruupaavacara citta).

There are five stages of ruupa jhaana and four of aruupa jhaana. No
attempt will be made to analyze these stages except to state that each
is more refined than its predecessor.

It is extremely difficult to attain even the first stage of jhaana. To do so one has to be well established in virtue (siila) and eliminate the five mental hindrances, at least temporarily. These five hindrances are: sense desire (kaamacchanda), ill-will (vyaapaada), sloth and torpor (thiina and middha), restlessness and worry (uddhacca and kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchaa).

Though difficult, it is well worth attempting to attain jhaana by regular and ardent practice of samatha bhaavanaa,
i.e., concentration-meditation. Even if we do not reach the first stage
of jhaana, even a brief elimination of the five mental hindrances will
give us a taste of a happiness which far surpasses that derived from
the senses. When restlessness, anxiety and worry try to overwhelm us in
our daily lives we will benefit by sitting for a period and developing
concentration. We will realize that nothing is more satisfying than the
ability to keep a check on the frivolous, fickle mind.



g) E- The Noble
Eightfold Path in Practice


Right Intention

(Samma Sankappa)

The second factor of the path is called in Pali samma sankappa,
which we will translate as “right intention.” The term is sometimes
translated as “right thought,” a rendering that can be accepted if we
add the proviso that in the present context the word “thought” refers
specifically to the purposive or conative aspect of mental activity,
the cognitive aspect being covered by the first factor, right view. It
would be artificial, however, to insist too strongly on the division
between these two functions. From the Buddhist perspective, the
cognitive and purposive sides of the mind do not remain isolated in
separate compartments but intertwine and interact in close correlation.
Emotional predilections influence views, and views determine
predilections. Thus a penetrating view of the nature of existence,
gained through deep reflection and validated through investigation,
brings with it a restructuring of values which sets the mind moving
towards goals commensurate with the new vision. The application of mind
needed to achieve those goals is what is meant by right intention.

The Buddha explains right intention as threefold: the intention of
renunciation, the intention of good will, and the intention of
harmlessness.14
The three are opposed to three parallel kinds of wrong intention:
intention governed by desire, intention governed by ill will, and
intention governed by harmfulness.15
Each kind of right intention counters the corresponding kind of wrong
intention. The intention of renunciation counters the intention of
desire, the intention of good will counters the intention of ill will,
and the intention of harmlessness counters the intention of harmfulness.

The Buddha discovered this twofold division of thought in the period
prior to his Enlightenment (see MN 19). While he was striving for
deliverance, meditating in the forest, he found that his thoughts could
be distributed into two different classes. In one he put thoughts of
desire, ill will, and harmfulness, in the other thoughts of
renunciation, good will, and harmlessness. Whenever he noticed thoughts
of the first kind arise in him, he understood that those thoughts lead
to harm for oneself and others, obstruct wisdom, and lead away from
Nibbana. Reflecting in this way he expelled such thoughts from his mind
and brought them to an end. But whenever thoughts of the second kind
arose, he understood those thoughts to be beneficial, conducive to the
growth of wisdom, aids to the attainment of Nibbana. Thus he
strengthened those thoughts and brought them to completion.

Right intention claims the second place in the path, between right
view and the triad of moral factors that begins with right speech,
because the mind’s intentional function forms the crucial link
connecting our cognitive perspective with our modes of active
engagement in the world. On the one side actions always point back to
the thoughts from which they spring. Thought is the forerunner of
action, directing body and speech, stirring them into activity, using
them as its instruments for expressing its aims and ideals. These aims
and ideals, our intentions, in turn point back a further step to the
prevailing views. When wrong views prevail, the outcome is wrong
intention giving rise to unwholesome actions. Thus one who denies the
moral efficacy of action and measures achievement in terms of gain and
status will aspire to nothing but gain and status, using whatever means
he can to acquire them. When such pursuits become widespread, the
result is suffering, the tremendous suffering of individuals, social
groups, and nations out to gain wealth, position, and power without
regard for consequences. The cause for the endless competition,
conflict, injustice, and oppression does not lie outside the mind.
These are all just manifestations of intentions, outcroppings of
thoughts driven by greed, by hatred, by delusion.

But when the intentions are right, the actions will be right, and
for the intentions to be right the surest guarantee is right views. One
who recognizes the law of kamma, that actions bring retributive
consequences, will frame his pursuits to accord with this law; thus his
actions, expressive of his intentions, will conform to the canons of
right conduct. The Buddha succinctly sums up the matter when he says
that for a person who holds a wrong view, his deeds, words, plans, and
purposes grounded in that view will lead to suffering, while for a
person who holds right view, his deeds, words, plans, and purposes
grounded in that view will lead to happiness.16

Since the most important formulation of right view is the
understanding of the Four Noble Truths, it follows that this view
should be in some way determinative of the content of right intention.
This we find to be in fact the case. Understanding the four truths in
relation to one’s own life gives rise to the intention of renunciation;
understanding them in relation to other beings gives rise to the other
two right intentions. When we see how our own lives are pervaded by dukkha, and how this dukkha
derives from craving, the mind inclines to renunciation — to abandoning
craving and the objects to which it binds us. Then, when we apply the
truths in an analogous way to other living beings, the contemplation
nurtures the growth of good will and harmlessness. We see that, like
ourselves, all other living beings want to be happy, and again that
like ourselves they are subject to suffering. The consideration that
all beings seek happiness causes thoughts of good will to arise — the
loving wish that they be well, happy, and peaceful. The consideration
that beings are exposed to suffering causes thoughts of harmlessness to
arise — the compassionate wish that they be free from suffering.

The moment the cultivation of the Noble Eightfold Path begins, the
factors of right view and right intention together start to counteract
the three unwholesome roots. Delusion, the primary cognitive
defilement, is opposed by right view, the nascent seed of wisdom. The
complete eradication of delusion will only take place when right view
is developed to the stage of full realization, but every flickering of
correct understanding contributes to its eventual destruction. The
other two roots, being emotive defilements, require opposition through
the redirecting of intention, and thus meet their antidotes in thoughts
of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness.

Since greed and aversion are deeply grounded, they do not yield
easily; however, the work of overcoming them is not impossible if an
effective strategy is employed. The path devised by the Buddha makes
use of an indirect approach: it proceeds by tackling the thoughts to
which these defilements give rise. Greed and aversion surface in the
form of thoughts, and thus can be eroded by a process of “thought
substitution,” by replacing them with the thoughts opposed to them. The
intention of renunciation provides the remedy to greed. Greed comes to
manifestation in thoughts of desire — as sensual, acquisitive, and
possessive thoughts. Thoughts of renunciation spring from the wholesome
root of non-greed, which they activate whenever they are cultivated.
Since contrary thoughts cannot coexist, when thoughts of renunciation
are roused, they dislodge thoughts of desire, thus causing non-greed to
replace greed. Similarly, the intentions of good will and harmlessness
offer the antidote to aversion. Aversion comes to manifestation either
in thoughts of ill will — as angry, hostile, or resentful thoughts; or
in thoughts of harming — as the impulses to cruelty, aggression, and
destruction. Thoughts of good will counter the former outflow of
aversion, thoughts of harmlessness the latter outflow, in this way
excising the unwholesome root of aversion itself.

The Intention of Renunciation

The Buddha describes his teaching as running contrary to the way of
the world. The way of the world is the way of desire, and the
unenlightened who follow this way flow with the current of desire,
seeking happiness by pursuing the objects in which they imagine they
will find fulfillment. The Buddha’s message of renunciation states
exactly the opposite: the pull of desire is to be resisted and
eventually abandoned. Desire is to be abandoned not because it is
morally evil but because it is a root of suffering.17
Thus renunciation, turning away from craving and its drive for
gratification, becomes the key to happiness, to freedom from the hold
of attachment.

The Buddha does not demand that everyone leave the household life
for the monastery or ask his followers to discard all sense enjoyments
on the spot. The degree to which a person renounces depends on his or
her disposition and situation. But what remains as a guiding principle
is this: that the attainment of deliverance requires the complete
eradication of craving, and progress along the path is accelerated to
the extent that one overcomes craving. Breaking free from domination by
desire may not be easy, but the difficulty does not abrogate the
necessity. Since craving is the origin of dukkha, putting an end to
dukkha depends on eliminating craving, and that involves directing the
mind to renunciation.

But it is just at this point, when one tries to let go of
attachment, that one encounters a powerful inner resistance. The mind
does not want to relinquish its hold on the objects to which it has
become attached. For such a long time it has been accustomed to
gaining, grasping, and holding, that it seems impossible to break these
habits by an act of will. One might agree to the need for renunciation,
might want to leave attachment behind, but when the call is actually
sounded the mind recoils and continues to move in the grip of its
desires.

So the problem arises of how to break the shackles of desire. The
Buddha does not offer as a solution the method of repression — the
attempt to drive desire away with a mind full of fear and loathing.
This approach does not resolve the problem but only pushes it below the
surface, where it continues to thrive. The tool the Buddha holds out to
free the mind from desire is understanding. Real renunciation is not a
matter of compelling ourselves to give up things still inwardly

cherished, but of changing our perspective on them so that they no
longer bind us. When we understand the nature of desire, when we
investigate it closely with keen attention, desire falls away by
itself, without need for struggle.

To understand desire in such a way that we can loosen its hold, we need to see that desire is invariably bound up with dukkha.
The whole phenomenon of desire, with its cycle of wanting and
gratification, hangs on our way of seeing things. We remain in bondage
to desire because we see it as our means to happiness. If we can look
at desire from a different angle, its force will be abated, resulting
in the move towards renunciation. What is needed to alter perception is
something called “wise consideration” (yoniso manasikara). Just
as perception influences thought, so thought can influence perception.
Our usual perceptions are tinged with “unwise consideration” (ayoniso manasikara).
We ordinarily look only at the surfaces of things, scan them in terms
of our immediate interests and wants; only rarely do we dig into the
roots of our involvements or explore their long-range consequences. To
set this straight calls for wise consideration: looking into the hidden
undertones to our actions, exploring their results, evaluating the
worthiness of our goals. In this investigation our concern must not be
with what is pleasant but with what is true. We have to be prepared and
willing to discover what is true even at the cost of our comfort. For
real security always lies on the side of truth, not on the side of
comfort.

When desire is scrutinized closely, we find that it is constantly shadowed by dukkha. Sometimes dukkha appears as pain or irritation; often it lies low as a constant strain of discontent. But the two — desire and dukkha
— are inseparable concomitants. We can confirm this for ourselves by
considering the whole cycle of desire. At the moment desire springs up
it creates in us a sense of lack, the pain of want. To end this pain we
struggle to fulfill the desire. If our effort fails, we experience
frustration, disappointment, sometimes despair. But even the pleasure
of success is not unqualified. We worry that we might lose the ground
we have gained. We feel driven to secure our position, to safeguard our
territory, to gain more, to rise higher, to establish tighter controls.
The demands of desire seem endless, and each desire demands the
eternal: it wants the things we get to last forever. But all the
objects of desire are impermanent. Whether it be wealth, power,
position, or other persons, separation is inevitable, and the pain that
accompanies separation is proportional to the force of attachment:
strong attachment brings much suffering; little attachment brings
little suffering; no attachment brings no suffering.18

Contemplating the dukkha inherent in desire is one way to
incline the mind to renunciation. Another way is to contemplate
directly the benefits flowing from renunciation. To move from desire to
renunciation is not, as might be imagined, to move from happiness to
grief, from abundance to destitution. It is to pass from gross,
entangling pleasures to an exalted happiness and peace, from a
condition of servitude to one of self-mastery. Desire ultimately breeds
fear and sorrow, but renunciation gives fearlessness and joy. It
promotes the accomplishment of all three stages of the threefold
training: it purifies conduct, aids concentration, and nourishes the
seed of wisdom. The entire course of practice from start to finish can
in fact be seen as an evolving process of renunciation culminating in
Nibbana as the ultimate stage of relinquishment, “the relinquishing of
all foundations of existence” (sabb’upadhipatinissagga).

When we methodically contemplate the dangers of desire and the
benefits of renunciation, gradually we steer our mind away from the
domination of desire. Attachments are shed like the leaves of a tree,
naturally and spontaneously. The changes do not come suddenly, but when
there is persistent practice, there is no doubt that they will come.
Through repeated contemplation one thought knocks away another, the
intention of renunciation dislodges the intention of desire.

The Intention of Good Will

The intention of good will opposes the intention of ill will,
thoughts governed by anger and aversion. As in the case of desire,
there are two ineffective ways of handling ill will. One is to yield to
it, to express the aversion by bodily or verbal action. This approach
releases the tension, helps drive the anger “out of one’s system,” but
it also poses certain dangers. It breeds resentment, provokes
retaliation, creates enemies, poisons relationships, and generates
unwholesome kamma; in the end, the ill will does not leave the “system”
after all, but instead is driven down to a deeper level where it
continues to vitiate one’s thoughts and conduct. The other approach,
repression, also fails to dispel the destructive force of ill will. It
merely turns that force around and pushes it inward, where it becomes
transmogrified into self-contempt, chronic depression, or a tendency to
irrational outbursts of violence.

The remedy the Buddha recommends to counteract ill will, especially
when the object is another person, is a quality called in Pali metta. This word derives from another word meaning “friend,” but metta
signifies much more than ordinary friendliness. I prefer to translate
it by the compound “loving-kindness,” which best captures the intended
sense: an intense feeling of selfless love for other beings radiating
outwards as a heartfelt concern for their well-being and happiness. Metta
is not just sentimental good will, nor is it a conscientious response
to a moral imperative or divine command. It must become a deep inner
feeling, characterized by spontaneous warmth rather than by a sense of
obligation. At its peak metta rises to the heights of a brahmavihara, a “divine dwelling,” a total way of being centered on the radiant wish for the welfare of all living beings.

The kind of love implied by metta should be distinguished
from sensual love as well as from the love involved in personal
affection. The first is a form of craving, necessarily self-directed,
while the second still includes a degree of attachment: we love a
person because that person gives us pleasure, belongs to our family or
group, or reinforces our own self-image. Only rarely does the feeling
of affection transcend all traces of ego-reference, and even then its
scope is limited. It applies only to a certain person or group of
people while excluding others.

The love involved in metta, in contrast, does not hinge on
particular relations to particular persons. Here the reference point of
self is utterly omitted. We are concerned only with suffusing others
with a mind of loving-kindness, which ideally is to be developed into a
universal state, extended to all living beings without discriminations
or reservations. The way to impart to metta this universal
scope is to cultivate it as an exercise in meditation. Spontaneous
feelings of good will occur too sporadically and are too limited in
range to be relied on as the remedy for aversion. The idea of
deliberately developing love has been criticized as contrived,
mechanical, and calculated. Love, it is said, can only be genuine when
it is spontaneous, arisen without inner prompting or effort. But it is
a Buddhist thesis that the mind cannot be commanded to love
spontaneously; it can only be shown the means to develop love and
enjoined to practice accordingly. At first the means has to be employed
with some deliberation, but through practice the feeling of love
becomes ingrained, grafted onto the mind as a natural and spontaneous
tendency.

The method of development is metta-bhavana, the meditation on
loving-kindness, one of the most important kinds of Buddhist
meditation. The meditation begins with the development of
loving-kindness towards oneself.19 It is suggested that one take oneself as the first object of metta
because true loving-kindness for others only becomes possible when one
is able to feel genuine loving-kindness for oneself. Probably most of
the anger and hostility we direct to others springs from negative
attitudes we hold towards ourselves. When metta is directed
inwards towards oneself, it helps to melt down the hardened crust
created by these negative attitudes, permitting a fluid diffusion of
kindness and sympathy outwards.

Once one has learned to kindle the feeling of metta towards oneself, the next step is to extend it to others. The extension of metta
hinges on a shift in the sense of identity, on expanding the sense of
identity beyond its ordinary confines and learning to identify with
others. The shift is purely psychological in method, entirely free from
theological and metaphysical postulates, such as that of a universal
self immanent in all beings. Instead, it proceeds from a simple,
straightforward course of reflection which enables us to share the
subjectivity of others and experience the world (at least
imaginatively) from the standpoint of their own inwardness. The
procedure starts with oneself. If we look into our own mind, we find
that the basic urge of our being is the wish to be happy and free from
suffering. Now, as soon as we see this in ourselves, we can immediately
understand that all living beings share the same basic wish. All want
to be well, happy, and secure. To develop metta towards others,
what is to be done is to imaginatively share their own innate wish for
happiness. We use our own desire for happiness as the key, experience
this desire as the basic urge of others, then come back to our own
position and extend to them the wish that they may achieve their
ultimate objective, that they may be well and happy.

The methodical radiation of metta is practiced first by directing metta
to individuals representing certain groups. These groups are set in an
order of progressive remoteness from oneself. The radiation begins with
a dear person, such as a parent or teacher, then moves on to a friend,
then to a neutral person, then finally to a hostile person. Though the
types are defined by their relation to oneself, the love to be
developed is not based on that relation but on each person’s common
aspiration for happiness. With each individual one has to bring his (or
her) image into focus and radiate the thought: “May he (she) be well!
May he (she) be happy! May he (she) be peaceful!”20
Only when one succeeds in generating a warm feeling of good will and
kindness towards that person should one turn to the next. Once one
gains some success with individuals, one can then work with larger
units. One can try developing metta towards all friends, all neutral persons, all hostile persons. Then metta
can be widened by directional suffusion, proceeding in the various
directions — east, south, west, north, above, below — then it can be
extended to all beings without distinction. In the end one suffuses the
entire world with a mind of loving-kindness “vast, sublime, and
immeasurable, without enmity, without aversion.”

The Intention of Harmlessness

The intention of harmlessness is thought guided by compassion (karuna),
aroused in opposition to cruel, aggressive, and violent thoughts.
Compassion supplies the complement to loving-kindness. Whereas
loving-kindness has the characteristic of wishing for the happiness and
welfare of others, compassion has the characteristic of wishing that
others be free from suffering, a wish to be extended without limits to
all living beings. Like metta, compassion arises by entering
into the subjectivity of others, by sharing their interiority in a deep
and total way. It springs up by considering that all beings, like
ourselves, wish to be free from suffering, yet despite their wishes
continue to be harassed by pain, fear, sorrow, and other forms of dukkha.

To develop compassion as a meditative exercise, it is most effective
to start with somebody who is actually undergoing suffering, since this
provides the natural object for compassion. One contemplates this
person’s suffering, either directly or imaginatively, then reflects
that like oneself, he (she) also wants to be free from suffering. The
thought should be repeated, and contemplation continually exercised,
until a strong feeling of compassion swells up in the heart. Then,
using that feeling as a standard, one turns to different individuals,
considers how they are each exposed to suffering, and radiates the
gentle feeling of compassion out to them. To increase the breadth and
intensity of compassion it is helpful to contemplate the various
sufferings to which living beings are susceptible. A useful guideline
to this extension is provided by the first noble truth, with its
enumeration of the different aspects of dukkha. One
contemplates beings as subject to old age, then as subject to sickness,
then to death, then to sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, and despair,
and so forth.

When a high level of success has been achieved in generating
compassion by the contemplation of beings who are directly afflicted by
suffering, one can then move on to consider people who are presently
enjoying happiness which they have acquired by immoral means. One might
reflect that such people, despite their superficial fortune, are
doubtlessly troubled deep within by the pangs of conscience. Even if
they display no outward signs of inner distress, one knows that they
will eventually reap the bitter fruits of their evil deeds, which will
bring them intense suffering. Finally, one can widen the scope of one’s
contemplation to include all living beings. One should contemplate all
beings as subject to the universal suffering of samsara, driven
by their greed, aversion, and delusion through the round of repeated
birth and death. If compassion is initially difficult to arouse towards
beings who are total strangers, one can strengthen it by reflecting on
the Buddha’s dictum that in this beginningless cycle of rebirths, it is
hard to find even a single being who has not at some time been one’s
own mother or father, sister or brother, son or daughter.

To sum up, we see that the three kinds of right intention — of
renunciation, good will, and harmlessness — counteract the three wrong
intentions of desire, ill will, and harmfulness. The importance of
putting into practice the contemplations leading to the arising of
these thoughts cannot be overemphasized. The contemplations have been
taught as methods for cultivation, not mere theoretical excursions. To
develop the intention of renunciation we have to contemplate the
suffering tied up with the quest for worldly enjoyment; to develop the
intention of good will we have to consider how all beings desire
happiness; to develop the intention of harmlessness we have to consider
how all beings wish to be free from suffering. The unwholesome thought
is like a rotten peg lodged in the mind; the wholesome thought is like
a new peg suitable to replace it. The actual contemplation functions as
the hammer used to drive out the old peg with the new one. The work of
driving in the new peg is practice — practicing again and again, as
often as is necessary to reach success. The Buddha gives us his
assurance that the victory can be achieved. He says that whatever one
reflects upon frequently becomes the inclination of the mind. If one
frequently thinks sensual, hostile, or harmful thoughts, desire, ill
will, and harmfulness become the inclination of the mind. If one
frequently thinks in the opposite way, renunciation, good will, and
harmlessness become the inclination of the mind (MN 19). The direction
we take always comes back to ourselves, to the intentions we generate
moment by moment in the course of our lives.



h)
E-Jhanas in Practice

Etymology of Jhana 

The great Buddhist commentator Buddhaghosa traces the Pali word “jhana” (Skt. dhyana) to two verbal forms. One, the etymologically correct derivation, is the verb jhayati,
meaning to think or meditate; the other is a more playful derivation,
intended to illuminate its function rather than its verbal source, from
the verb jhapeti meaning to burn up. He explains: “It burns up
opposing states, thus it is jhana” (Vin.A. i, 116), the purport being
that jhana “burns up” or destroys the mental defilements preventing the
developing the development of serenity and insight.

In the same passage Buddhaghosa says that jhana has the characteristic mark of contemplation (upanijjhana).
Contemplation, he states, is twofold: the contemplation of the object
and the contemplation of the characteristics of phenomena. The former
is exercised by the eight attainments of serenity together with their
access, since these contemplate the object used as the basis for
developing concentration; for this reason these attainments are given
the name “jhana” in the mainstream of Pali meditative exposition.
However, Buddhaghosa also allows that the term “jhana” can be extended
loosely to insight (vipassana), the paths and the fruits on the
ground that these perform the work of contemplating the characteristics
of things the three marks of impermanence, suffering and non-self in
the case of insight, Nibbana in the case of the paths and fruits.

In brief the twofold meaning of jhana as “contemplation” and
“burning up” can be brought into connection with the meditative process
as follows. By fixing his mind on the object the meditator reduces and
eliminates the lower mental qualities such as the five hindrances and
promotes the growth of the higher qualities such as the jhana factors,
which lead the mind to complete absorption in the object. Then by
contemplating the characteristics of phenomena with insight, the
meditator eventually reaches the supramundane jhana of the four paths,
and with this jhana he burns up the defilements and attains the
liberating experience of the fruits.




comments (0)
12/09/08
Lesson 14 a) E-Social Engineering in Practice -Make me PM Write Down on the Wall was Dr. Ambedkar’s Sign ! Two Thousand Nine ! Will Be Mine ! - Says Ms Mayawati Bahen ! Now is all that you have! By voting to BSP, the Nation you save! -Mayawati elated-With just two in SP hand, Cong won’t beat about bush-C.M. grieved Lucknow:C.M. greets people on Eid-ul-azha Lucknow: -C.M. reviews development works in a high-level meeting Development works should be completed on time-CM calls on Governor Apprises him about preventive security measures taken by Govt. for protection of people Lucknow : -b)E-Social Transformation in Practice –Five principles for a new global moral order Ven. Thich Minh Chau -c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice -Welcome and Introduction Address on 20th Martyrdom Anniversary of Shaheed Z A Bhutto at Karachi 8 March 1999-d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice -Ghatva Sutta Having Killed-e) E-Vinaya Pitaka in Practice Abandoning the Hindrances-f) E-The Abhidhamma in Practice -The Jhaana cittas -g) E- The Noble Eightfold Path in Practice-Chapter II Right View (Samma Ditthi)- h) E-Jhanas in Practice-2. The Preparation for Jhana
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Lesson
14

a) E-Social Engineering in Practice


Mayawati elated

Special Correspondent

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Bahujan Samaj Party chief
Mayawati on Monday expressed satisfaction at the performance of her
party in the Assembly elections.

The increase in the party’s vote share and in the number of seats
won by it showed that its support base was increasing. This would
enable it to gain in the coming Lok Sabha election and emerge as a
strong alternative, she said.

Ms. Mayawati , however, admitted that the traditional voters of the
BSP were unsettled by the Congress poll campaign that the Bharatiya
Janata Party would benefit from the BSP’s presence in the poll fray.
They were caught in two minds, she said. Simultaneously, the new voters
of the BSP supported the Congress, fearing that the gainer would be the
BJP.

Had the Congress and the BJP launched a campaign against her party,
the BSP would have emerged as a balancing power in the four States, she
claimed.

From 5.76 per cent vote share in the 2003 Delhi polls, the
percentage now was about 12 per cent, in addition to the two seats won
by the party. In Madhya Pradesh, the party won two seats in 2003 with a
vote share of 7.26. This time it won seven seats and the vote share was
about 11 per cent. In Rajasthan, it won two seats with a vote
percentage of 3.97 in 2003 polls. This time, it won six seats and its
share of votes was about 8 per cent, she pointed out.

While the number of seats won by the party in Chattisgarh in 2003
was two, this time it has got two (recounting of votes in two seats was
underway).

With just two in SP hand, Cong won’t beat about bush

Lucknow: Two out of 300. That’s how the
Samajwadi Party tally stood on Monday after Assembly election results
were declared in four states, all neigbouring Uttar Pradesh.

The poor show is not only set to seriously diminish its bargaining power with the Congress
— a prospect that the party will not relish in the run-up to the Lok
Sabha elections — but it has also confirmed that, unlike bete noire
Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party, it continues to be a largely regional
party.

The SP had fielded 187 candidates in Madhya Pradesh, 67 in
Rajasthan, 15 in Delhi and 27 in Chhattisgarh. It won one seat in
Madhya Pradesh and another in Rajasthan, failing to open its account in
both Delhi and Chhattisgarh.

This is even a decline from the party’s performance in the
last Assembly elections in these states, when the SP had won seven
seats in Madhya Pradesh.

UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi rubbed salt in the SP’s
wounds on Monday, acknowledging that the power balance between the
allies had shifted. “The Assembly results have put the Congress in a
strong position as far as an alliance with the SP for the Lok Sabha
polls is concerned,” she sa


The state election results may also give more credence to the
viability of a “Third Front,” an alliance of smaller regional parties
that some say could determine the outcome of the national vote if
neither Congress nor the BJP wins a majority of parliamentary seats.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, headed by Mayawati Kumari, chief minister
of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, contested all available seats
in Rajasthan and Delhi. Though it won only a handful of those seats, it
was a sign of the party’s determination to create national appeal from
its base in Uttar Pradesh.

Indian media reported that as many as 14% of Delhi voters cast a
ballot for the BSP. Government officials say it may be several days
before final vote tallies are calculated.

C.M. grieved Lucknow:

 December 08, 2008

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati has expressed profound grief over the death of sister-in-law and niece of U.P. Minister of State for Agriculture Education and Agriculture Research Mr. Yograj Singh. It may be recalled that they died in a road accident at national highway-24 between Amroha and Gajraula today. The Chief Minister has conveyed her heartfelt condolences and deep sympathies to the family members of the deceased and prayed for peace to the departed soul.

C.M. greets people on Eid-ul-azha Lucknow:

December 08, 2008

The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati has greeted the people of the State, especially Muslim brethren on the occasion of Eid-ul-azha (Bakrid). In a greeting message, Ms. Mayawati said that Eid-ul-azha festival gave the message of peace, social harmony and brotherhood. She said that Hazrat Ibrahim put the example of sacrificing his most lovable son Hazrat Ismail on the name of God before humanity. This example still inspired people for extreme sacrifice and love, she added. Ms. Mayawati while wishing her good wishes has appealed to people for maintaining the atmosphere of peace and harmony on the occasion of Eid-ul-azha. She expressed hope that this festival would be celebrated with the tradition of helping poor people, feeling of sacrifice and simplicity.

C.M. reviews development works in a high-level meeting Development works should be completed on time—

Mayawati Stern action against officers found guilty for poor quality development works C.S. apprises to C.M. about budget preparations Lucknow: December 08, 2008 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati today reviewed the progress of development works running in the State in a high level meeting held at her official residence today. The Chief Minister asked from Chief Secretary about the details and results of all those earlier review meetings which had been held on her directives at Chief Secretary Level regarding the preparation of 2009- 2010, budget in last week. In these meetings, according to the directives of the Chief Minister discussions were to held after examining the utility of schemes running by all departments, besides examining the necessity of launching the new programmes in view of the policies of State Government. The Chief Secretary gave detailed information regarding the progress of development schemes of different departments to the Chief Minister, besides the proposed changes/amendments in those schemes, which were not being remained useful in present context. The Chief Secretary also apprised the Chief Minister about budget preparations of those departments for which meetings had been held last week. Ms. Mayawati, besides fulfilling the scheduled targets fixed for different development programmes also directed that there should not be any compromise on the quality of development works and programmes. Stern action should be taken against the officers found guilty in this regard, she added. The Chief Minister also made detailed review regarding the steps to be taken to bear the additional burden on government due to the acceptance of Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. She directed to put check on non-productive expenditures, besides arranging additional resources for which decisions had been taken earlier without any slackness. She directed the Chief Secretary and all senior officers for completing review works of remaining departments within stipulated time and put before her (Chief Minister) the entire facts. On this occasion, Chief Secretary, Cabinet Secretary and Principal Secretaries to C.M. were present, besides the Principal Secretaries of different departments.

CM calls on Governor

Apprises him about preventive security measures taken by Govt. for protection of people Lucknow :

December 07, 2008 The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Ms. Mayawati called on UP Governor Mr. T. V. Rajeswar at Raj Bhawan here today. During one hour courtesy meeting, the chief minister talked with him about his tour of Australia from where Mr. Rajeswar has returned to Lucknow after a long period. Besides, she apprised him in detail about the preventive security measures taken by her Government for the protection of the people of the State against the backdrop of terrorist incidents occurred in Mumbai. On this occasion, UP State Advisory Council Chairman and M.P. Mr. Sathish Chandra Mishra was also present.

b)E-Social
Transformation in Practice



Five
principles for a new global moral order

Ven.
Thich Minh Chau


As humankind is reaching the threshold of the
twenty-first century, a question of global character is on the minds of many
people: “What new era will be awaiting us in the history of
humankind?” In the years that hinge the two centuries what kinds of
experiences and lessons are we having that make us feel more secure and more
confident?

First of all, we have realized the
global character of a number of crucial problems that are confronting us. Thus,
we will be able to mobilize the wisdom and the strength of the peoples of the
whole world to solve them in a better way. Examples are the problem of war and
peace, the problem of building up a new economic order and a new world moral
order, the problem of protecting our environment and so forth. The scope of
these problems surpasses each and every nation and outreaches the hands of the
specialists and authorities. A problem such as war which concerns the survival
of humankind cannot be entrusted to a handful of militarists and politicians.
This explains why the world peace movements were and are attracting a large
number of people from many different strata. Nearly every country in the world,
all continents, all races, all age groups, all professions, all political
ideologies and all religious denominations have representatives in the peace
movement. Only such a peace-protecting force, so mighty and so dynamic, has the
power to stop the danger of a nuclear war, to fight against devilish
warmongers, and to guarantee the victory of peace and progress. Only with such
a global outlook towards the problem of war and peace can the peace movements
score such an historic victory.

The
danger of a global nuclear war has mobilized the world peoples’ force against
its occurrence. The last years of the twentieth century were and are witnessing
some historic steps towards an era without nuclear and chemical weapons.
Humankind seems relieved by the

agreement on disarmament of medium-range missiles between the Soviet Union
and the
United States.
But we cannot lessen our vigilance. Although the danger of a nuclear war has
been lessened, wars with all their cruel and inhuman manifestations are still
prevalent. Political and military violence persists among a number of nations,
among peoples of racial differences and even among peoples of the same ideology
and of the same political outlook, among comrades and friends in arms. In
recent years, the relations between nations have undergone a major change,
being characterized more and more by “peaceful coexistence, mutual
understanding, negotiation instead of confrontation, market frontiers rather
than war frontiers.” As to the internal political situations of many
countries there has been a positive trend towards more democracy, the avoidance
of oppression and cultural and intellectual coercion, and more respect and
understanding towards different ways of thinking. We earnestly hope that this
trend towards more democracy and towards more humanism in politics in the
national and international relationship will be strengthened and deepened from
now till the year 2000. Thus we are preparing for an era of real peace, peace
for the whole planet, not only for some regions, but peace for all human
beings. All kinds of wars, not only nuclear war, should be banished. All these
manifestations of violence should be done away with forever.

We see that, and this is our second lesson, every crucial and critical
problem of global character should be solved not only with a global outlook and
a global force, but deeply and thoroughly from within every being. And here,
with its special deep psychology and deep insight, Buddhism can offer many
contributions.

First of all, Buddhism welcomes all peace movements and exhorts its
practitioners to participate in these movements. To protect peace is to protect
life and that is to put into application the first moral precept of Buddhist
ethics. Buddhism is against all expansionist wars, which always include
annexation of territory and wealth and interference into the internal affairs
of other countries and nations. This is a violation of two very important moral
precepts of Buddhist ethics: not to take what is not given, and not to commit
actions that bring demerit. Buddhism denies all violent actions and
manifestations under any pretext except in legitimate self-defense. All
remember the following teachings of our Lord Buddha, Gatha Number Five, in the
Dhammapada:

Hatred cannot put an end to hatred,
In this world this never happens.
Only non-hatred can bring hatred to an end,
This is an eternal law. 

Buddhism advocates any collective or individual endeavor which aims to
create an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust and respect among people,
nations and human beings. Buddhism encourages dispelling prejudices,
inferiority and superiority complexes, all of which are very harmful to human
dignity and human values.


We Buddhists consider it of primordial importance to build up a new economic
order and a new moral order which would mitigate the anger and turmoil of the
present international political atmosphere. We envision a healthier more humane
and more meaningful era.

We think that the current economic situation polarized between a few industrialized,
well-developed and wealthy countries, and many poor countries, famished and
underdeveloped, is built upon unfair trade, with raw materials purchased at a
very cheap price, and with manufactured goods sold at a very high rate. This
unfair trade cannot be continued any longer because it nurtures war and
violence.

We believe that to wipe out this present polarized economy and to build up a
new world economic order with more justice and equality we should set up a new
moral order based upon a new way of thinking and on some humanitarian
principles readily accepted by humankind.

Without a world moral order serving as an ethical foundation it would be
very difficult to successfully establish a new world economic order. Even if it
were to be successful, it would not be able to last long. The polarized
situation would re-establish itself once again, even worse than before. That is
why, to our thinking, priority should be given to establishing a new moral
order based upon some basic humanitarian principles accepted by the world
community. In the current crisis, Buddhism with its tradition as a religion for
peace will be able to offer its worthy contributions.

We think that one of the greatest contributions Buddhism can make to a new
world moral order is its theory of “no self.” This theory plays an
important positive role towards building up a moral way of life for the person
of our times. The sickly psychic tendency of the modern person is to seek
sensual pleasures and the accumulation of wealth. In order to guarantee
individual enjoyment one tries to secure as much material property for oneself
as possible. However, material property is limited while the greed of humans is
unfathomable. That is why there is no way to escape from disputes and fights
between human and human, between nation and nation, between people and people.
And in this lies the root cause of war. With the theory of “no self,”
we can say that Buddhism has dug up the very root of wars, conflicts and
contentions. With an insight into “no self” a Buddhist once
enlightened will escape the grip of both greed (lobha) and anger (dosa). One is
greedy of something for oneself, but when the self is not there greed loses its
target and has no incentive to exist. The same goes for anger. When the self is
contradicted unsatisfied anger will arise. But when the self is not there anger
will automatically disappear.

Another expression which has a similar connotation is
“for the sake of others.” Emphasis here is placed upon concrete help
to others. A Buddhist who is imbued with the principle of “no self”
would devote his thoughts, words and bodily activities towards bringing about
the happiness and welfare of all sentient beings as his own aim and objective.
During Lord Buddha’s lifetime and even afterwards, in India, the birthplace of
Lord Buddha, or in any other country where Buddhism had a presence, the ideals
of “no self” and “for the sake of others” are the norms of
a Buddhist moral way of life, whether one be a religious person or a lay

person. As we all know, the Bodhisattva ideal of Mahayana Buddhism is
nothing but a continuation of the principle of “no self” and
“for the sake of others” which was found in the original Buddhism. In
the Pali-Nikayas Lord Buddha urged his disciples as follows:

Oh monks you should go forth, for the welfare of the many, for the
happiness of the many, out of love and compassion for the world, for the
happiness of the deities and men. . . . You should preach the Dhamma excellent
in the beginning, excellent in the middle, excellent in the end, complete in
meaning and in words. You should promote the holy life, extremely good and
extremely pure. — Mahavagga 19

Furthermore, the Buddhist theory of “no self” has deep
implications in substance and in emancipation. Everything in this world is
impermanent, with no self, with no substance whatsoever. So in ultimate
reality, be it of glorious beauty, be it of the highest fame, or be it of
wealth in plenty like forest and ocean–all are impermanent with no self, with
no inner substance. There is nothing to be greedy for; there is nothing worth
securing or possessing for oneself. Any person who has delved deeply into the
spirit of no self is an emancipated person. Although he or she lives in the
world he or she will not be bound by the world, and in behavior will always be
calm, serene, undisturbed and self-mastered.

Lord Buddha was venerated as a messenger of peace for excellence. When asked
by the wanderer Dighajanu what the gist of his teachings was, he replied
explicitly:

“According to my teachings, among the world of the Devas, Maras and
Brahma, with crowds of recluses and Brahmanas, deities and human beings, there
will be no quarrel whatsoever with anyone in the world” (M.I. 109 A).
Further, he declared: “Oh Bhikkus, I do not quarrel with the world, only
the world quarrels with me. Oh Bhikkus, a speaker of the Dharma quarrels with
nobody in the world” — (SN III, 165)
.

Lord Buddha made it very clear that his purpose in preaching the Dhamma was
not to quarrel with other religious leaders nor to compete with any
antagonistic doctrine. There was no quarrel in his teachings. He just showed
the way out of suffering, the way to enlightenment and to liberation. To those
who were beset with anger, he taught metta or compassion to subdue anger. To those
who were prone to harmfulness he taught karuna or loving kindness to turn them
into harmless ones. To those who were not happy over other peoples’ successes,
he taught mudita or joyfulness so that they knew how to share their happiness
with others. To those who were addicted to hatred and enmity, he taught upekkha
or equanimity so as to neutralize their vindictiveness. So he has specific
cures for many mental diseases and ills of the world.

In the past in Vietnam under the Buddhist
dynasties of Ly and Tran, there were kings who were Dhyana masters like King
Tran Thai Tong. He had declared that he considered his royal throne as torn
shoes, to be given up at any moment. Tran Thai Tong’s grandson, King Tran Nhan
Tong, after having gained victory over the struggle against the Nguyen Mong
invaders, had donned the monastic robe and became the founder of the first
Vietnamese Dhyana sect

called Truc Lam Yen Tu. He composed a very famous poem in nom character
which ended with four lines in Chinese characters. These lines clearly show his
calm, undisturbed bearing when confronted with the ups and downs of the world:

In life, we enjoy religion, according to circumstances,
When hungry we eat, when tired, we at once sleep,
With a treasure within oneself, there is no need to go in search of it,
When confronted with challenge, we keep our mind undisturbed and composed,
So there is no need to ask for meditation!

The last two lines of this short poem show the undisturbed and composed
behavior of the king. “When confronted with challenge, we keep our mind
undisturbed and composed.” This means that against the impermanent nature
of the objective world the king’s mind was always serene and composed, without
any ripple. This sentence also clarifies a basic Buddhist belief that every
human being already has a seed of enlightenment within himself/herself. In
Buddhist terminology it is called Buddheity. He/she already has enlightened
wisdom, shining and brilliant. So there is no need to turn outside to find
happiness and enlightenment.

The basic shortcoming of humankind in our times is the trend to forsake
one’s true self and run after the false self with all its terrific thirst and
insatiable longing. Although in this most materialistic civilization the modern
person lives a life of material opulence his spiritual life and mental
aspirations remain unsatisfied. One constantly feels insecure, disturbed, and
unbalanced. Such a mentality leads many people to narcotics, to mental
hospitals, and sometimes to suicide.

Naturally, Buddhism does not praise a life of poverty and asceticism. Nor
does Buddhism extol a low and bestial way of life of running after material
sensual desires which reduces one into a weakling in body and a dullard in
mentality. On the other hand, Buddhism has great appreciation for mental joy
and happiness, dedication to moral living, and an exultation of enlightened
bliss and liberation. Buddhism advises people to return to their own true self,
to their own true personality, and to a way of life in harmony with society.
Harmony should be engendered between oneself and nature, body and mind,
compassion and wisdom, and feeling and intellect. Buddhism affirms that all
people are capable of achieving such a harmonious inner way if only one so
desires and if one acts in accordance with Lord Buddha’s teachings and in
conformity with the Buddhist way of life of virtue and wisdom. It extols a way
of life that avoids the two extremes of indulgence in vulgar, low sense desires
and bodily mortification and asceticism–a way of life leading to lasting joy
and happiness. This is a way of life that all people from the East and from the
West, male and female, young and old, religious and non-religious are able to
lead and enjoy. That is the most famous eightfold way of life–a way that
encompasses virtue, meditation and wisdom.

Such a moral way of life will bring about
concentration of inner mind (meditation). Such a concentration of inner mind
will guarantee the clarity of wisdom. And a person of wisdom will be able to
look at things as they truly are. Thanks to such an attitude humans are in a
position

to be their own master, to be the master of objective things instead of
being their slaves. It is regrettable that this message of virtue, meditation
and wisdom of Lord Buddha has become a victim of man himself, who has covered
it with a cloak of mysticism, superstition, rites, ceremonies and scholasticism
to such an extent that the spirit and the wording of this shining and simple
message has become distorted, deformed, and far from humanity.

Now it is time for scholars and Buddhists to return the basic principles of
Buddhism to their original brilliance and simplicity. Thanks to this brilliance
and simplicity, Buddhist principles can enter deeply into the hearts of people
and are welcomed and accepted by a large portion of people in this world,
becoming their basic principles of life. The principles are converted into
their daily bodily, vocal and mental activities. They become an invincible
material force to change this world of war and insecurity into a world of peace
and happiness, and thus to convert the era of the twenty-first century into an
era of humanity, an era in which humanistic values will be the yardstick, the
criteria of all values. Happiness or unhappiness of humans will be the red
thread, the dividing line, clearly distinguishing truth from untruth, victory
from defeat, right view from wrong view–an era in which man himself will
become the supreme enlightened judge evaluating all political and social
systems. Humankind will decide which system is best and which most full of
vitality, which will be ultimately outmoded and withdrawn from the historic
arena.

The motto “inwardly-oriented,” that is to say, the return, the
coming back to oneself, to one’s real self, should not be misinterpreted as a
negative, pessimistic, and unsocial way of life. On the contrary, this is the
most realistic guideline, the most vital and dynamic force for changing society
and the world. Buddhism has also spoken of building a Nirvana in this very world.
The whole problem hinges upon the question: From whence to begin? To begin with
society to convert society? To begin with the world to convert the world?
Buddhism is of the view that such a beginning is not realistic. It would be to
put the cart before the animal. Buddhism is of the opinion that people should
begin with themselves, making themselves thoroughly aware of themselves. One
should understand oneself, convert oneself, purify oneself, and change oneself
for the better in a tireless struggle every hour, every day, and in all aspects
of one’s life. Only then will society and the world become healthy, more lovely
and more meritorious. If there are no healthy people, how can we expect healthy
social relationships, morally good and lovely? If the thoughts of peace,
happiness and harmony are not imbued deeply into the inner self of every human
being, how do we expect to have a peaceful, happy and harmonious world?

Please allow me to quote some words of Lord Buddha, very simple words yet
full of wisdom and loving kindness:

Victory brings out hatred,
Defeat leads to suffering,
To live an undisturbed and happy life,
Leaving behind both victory and defeat. — Dhammapada 201


A Buddhist who understands thoroughly the doctrine of no self does not put
himself into antagonistic relationships with others, nor does he enter into
disputes with other people. This explains his balanced and serene attitude,
standing above board, leaving behind all victory and defeat. The Buddhist
considers it of utmost priority to be victorious over greed, anger and delusion
which are still dormant. He/she considers them to be the three most dangerous
enemies because they are enemies from within. Not only do they make oneself
suffer, they also are the source of the unhappiness and suffering of others.

Better it is to conquer oneself
Than to conquer others,
None can undo the victory
Of one who is self-mastered
And always acts with self-restraint,
Though one conquers in battle
A thousand times a thousand men,
Yet the greatest conqueror is
One who conquers self. — Dhammapada 104-103

In conclusion, I would like to offer the following new moral order,
formulated from the teachings of Lord Buddha and applicable to this modern age.
Such a moral way of life will minimize the risk of a nuclear war and usher in
an era in which peace, security and harmony will become the norm. All humane
values will be appreciated and respected.

Five Principles for a New Global Moral Order

  1. First, dedication of our life
    to the welfare of all sentient beings, and to work for peace, disarmament
    and international brotherhood.
  2. Second, the living of a
    frugal, healthy and contented life so as to devote more time and energy to
    peace and to the welfare of all living beings.
  3. Third, abstinence from any
    action which leads to disputes and wars; performance of any action which
    leads to peace, harmony and international understanding.
  4. Fourth, respect for the life
    of all sentient beings, for the life of our planet, and for the purity of
    our environment!

Fifth, peaceful coexistence and mutual spiritual
cooperation.


c)
E-Economic Emancipation in Practice


Welcome and
Introduction

Address on 20th Martyrdom Anniversary of Shaheed Z A Bhutto
at Karachi
8 March 1999

To commemorate the 20th Martyrdom Anniversary of Shaheed
Bhutto, on the occasion of the Quaid-e-Awam Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Commemorative
Lecture on “Impact of Political Dynasties in South Asia” by Anura
Bandaranaike, Member of Parliament, Republic
of Sri Lanka, March 8, 1999 at Beach
Luxury Hotel, Karachi.

 

Mr. Anura Bandaranaike, honoured guests, ladies and
gentlemen.

 

We are privileged to have amongst us the Honorable Anura
Bandaranaike, Member of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, a former Minister of
Higher Education, a fellow ‘South Asian,’ at the Quaid-e-Awam Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto Commemorative Lecture on “Impact of Political Dynasties in South
Asia” organized by the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science
and Technology.

 

As the son of two Prime Ministers, and the brother of a
President, Mr. Bandaranaike is well qualified to enlighten us on the impact of
Political dynasties in South Asia. The policies
of South Asia has been dominated to a large extent by the political struggles
of the Nehrus, the Bhuttos and the Bandaranaikes who embodied the hopes and
aspirations of the teeming masses of the Sub-Continent. These were populist
leaders caught in the web of Cold War politics. Their leftist leaning, welcomed
at home by the proletarian class, were viewed as dangerous abroad.

The generation down the line functions in a different time
prism. The cold war is over. The world of de-regulation, decentralization and
privatization has begun. However, the political parties concerned, retain their
sympathies with the poor, disadvantaged, the dispossessed, the discriminated.
Their policies are aimed at providing relief to this underclass which the elite
see as threatening.

 

India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
and newly formed Bangladesh
all shared common features. These features included the English language, the
legacy of the British Raj, cricket and cucumber-sandwiches, a parliamentary
system and a legal system based on common law. These countries also shared
something more sinister. Powerful ruling elites who could not, would not,
reconcile themselves to the democratic reality of populist leaders. When
populist leaders could not be kept out through the electoral arena, extra
democratic avenues were sought for their elimination. The extra democratic
avenues cast a deep crimson stain on the fabric of South
Asia
. Bandaranaike, Indira, Bhutto were murdered because they
could not be defeated. But they lived on. Lived on in the imagination of their
people and in the organization of their political platforms. In seeking a
rallying point for the struggle of the people against the dark forces of
dictatorship, the political organizations concerned turned to symbols of the
martyred leaders.

 

It was this search for the symbols of the martyred leader
which gave birth to political dynasties in South Asia
as family members rose to accept the challenge. In doing so, a bond was created
between the masses and leader, bereft, but not alone, grief-struck but
determined to overcome the adversarial forces and to regain the center field in
the battle of socio-economic emancipation. When murder failed to snuff out the
dream of the people, the powerful elites adopted a novel new course called disqualification.
If murder led to martyrdom, then political murder would be turned into a living
death. Those populist leaders who could win even in the face psychological
warfare, who could win in the face of character assassination and propaganda,
would be, kept out by snatching from them the right to contest elections, to
lead their nations and their people.

 

Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan have all seen these pathetic,
undemocratic, illegal, fascist attempts to politically eliminate leaders
through abuse of the judicial system. In a democracy, people are the final
court of verdict in the world. However, the elitist classes have attempted to
snatch from the people their fundamental right to elect a person of their
choice to lead them. This attempt by the fascist ruling elite has failed in the
past and shall fail once again. It is time, our people, our nations, our
Sub-Continent moved on to meet the new challenge of a new century under the
leadership of choice, fully representative of its aspirations.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Today we are all gathered here under the auspices of
SZABIST, one of Pakistan’s
leading Universities on the occasion of the Quaid-e-Awam commemorative lecture.
This year, 1999, marks the 20th martyrdom anniversary of Pakistan’s
great leader, its first directly elected democratic chief executive.

 

I congratulate SZABIST for establishing the Quaid-e-Awam
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto commemorative lecture to pay tribute to Prime Minister
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Prime Minister Bhutto had a deep commitment to the world
of science and technology. In fact, he once served, if I recall correctly, as a
Minister for Science and Technology. He set up KANUPP in Karachi with the assistance of the Canadians.
He established the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology
(PINSTECH), the National Science Council (NSC) and the Pakistan
Science Foundation (PSF) among others. Pakistan was given its first
Science and Technology Policy under his leadership as well as a new direction
in education though the Education Policy of 1972. Within 5 years under his
Captainship of the State, Pakistan established a large number of leading
Universities, including the NED University of Engineering & Technology,
Karachi, the Mehran University of Engineering & Technology Jamshoro, the
Bahauddin Zakarya University, Multan, the Islamic University, Bahawalpur, and
the Gomal University, D. I. Khan. His dream to establish a prestigious
institution along the lines of his Alma Mater, the University of California at
Berkeley and the Oxford University, fell short due to his premature martyrdom,
when both his life, and his dream of a prosperous Pakistan, was cut short by a
ruthless dictator.

SZABIST is the fulfillment of his dream to give the people
of Pakistan
the best education in their own homeland enabling hem to compete with honour
and dignity with the rest of the world. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the builder of
Pakistan gave Pakistanis a sense of national identity, security of prestige, of
recognition. In the forefront of the student movement in California,
he came back to Pakistan
fired with the belief that political power must rest with the people. Although
he started his political career as a Minister in President Ayub’s Cabinet, he
left to fight every dictator including Ayub, Yahya, Zia. He saw himself as a
meteor who would light up the sky for one blazing moment before disappearing
forever into space and the heart of history.

 

He was determined to bring a social revolution no matter
what the cost, and he did. Land Reforms, Labour Reforms, Nationalization of the
commanding heights of Pakistan’s
economy, changed the political contours of Pakistan. By his actions, he won
the life long love of the working classes and middle classes and with it the
abiding hatred of the elites he had disenfranchised. He knew he would have to
pay a terrible price for destroying the elite class and benefiting the
underclass but he was, in his own words, prepared to make every sacrifice to
provide for the masses who had never seen a decent meal, or decent clothing or
decent shelter. In a prophetic sentence, he said to the people “I am
prepared to sacrifice my life for you. If need be, my two sons Murtaza and Shah
Nawaz will also sacrifice their lives for you”.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto simultaneously cared for and loved the
people of Pakistan.
There are those who still recall with tears in their eyes how at the historic
Mochi Gate meeting, a million people swarmed for hours in drizzling rain to
catch a glimpse of their Quaid. In a show of love and caring, he threw off his
Jacket, saying he also wanted to get wet like the crowd who had waited
relentlessly for him in the rain. He and the people had an emotional bond.

 

His election symbol was “The Sword of Ali” and it
was his name too for that is what Zulfikar Ali Bhutto means. The saga of his
martyrdom and the resistance of his followers have gone down in the sands of
time as Pakistan’s
“Karballa”. Within six months, what Pakistan lost by the sword in 1971,
he won back by the pen. He raised and rebuilt the Pakistan
Army to one of the finest in Asia.

 

He gave Pakistan
its first Constitution, democratic and federal in nature unanimously passed by
the first elected Parliament. Smaller provinces got their rights. He gave
Pakistan major projects, such as the Pakistan Steel Mills, Port Qasim at
Karachi, the Machine Tool Factory at Landhi, the Heavy Mechanical Complex at
Taxila, the Kamrah Aeronautical Complex, Kahuta and Karakurram Highway.

 

The Muslim World chose him as the Co-Chairman of the Second
Islamic Summit Conference, along with Shah Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Both were
later assassinated but at that Conference the Muslim World recognized Yasser
Arafat as the President of PLO. This subsequently enabled the USA and Israel to
negotiate with President Arafat as the sole representative of the Palestine
people.

 

The Court trying him on a conspiracy for murder charge was
cut in size from nine to seven to assure a guilty verdict. The verdict was
split 4:3 with three judges honourably acquitting him of conspiracy to murder.
In the eyes of the Federation he stood acquitted with three units acquiting him
and one unit convicting. The Supreme Court of Pakistan unanimously called upon
General Zia to commute Bhutto’s sentence as there was no punishment of death
for conspiracy. But Quaid-e-Awam was assassinated by the Military Dictator on
April 4, 1979 in the early hours of the morning contrary to jail regulations.
Neither the family nor the nation was informed.

 

For anyone to face death it requires courage, for a man
pleading his own innocence to face it in cold blood requires the strength of a
giant. And he was a giant of a man who strode like a colossus across the world
stage. Today his final resting place at Garhi Khuda Bux attracts tens of
thousands of faithful followers yearly to pay tribute.

Ladies Gentlemen:

 

Our guest Anura Bandaranaike is no stranger to he world of
politics. His father Prime Minister Solomon Bandaranaike was an Oxford
graduate, hailing from a rich and privileged, married into one of the oldest,
most aristocratic families. He returned from Oxford to the land of his birth
and dedicated himself to improving the lives of his people.

 

In Sindh’s tradition Sri Lanka is known as the ‘Land of
Marvels’. For centuries, when Buddha reigned supreme in the region, Sindh and
Lanka traded together. When Islam dawned in Sindh in 712 AD, Lanka continued
with its relations. Sea trade flourished for centuries between our lands. The
traders of Sindh took their merchandise sailing for Sri Lanka every autumn when
the fury of the ocean subsided. The ancient mariners watched for the rising of
the star known as AYATH (Sanskrit: AGSTHA) for when it shone, the season for
sailing came. With the end of the Cold War, the rise of the unipolar world, the
birth of economic trading zones, it is time for the political mariners in South
Asia to search for the right star to guide our common journey into the new
century, the new millennium.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I see a new star rise in the skies of South Asia. I see new
star rise, the star of Economic Emancipation and Economic Opportunity for South
Asians. The South Asian region encompassing Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal,
Bhutan and Sri Lanka, has a common and shared history. We speak the same
languages. Our colour is the same. We have a multi-religious society, with
Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists & others. Each in our
country believes in the freedom of religion. We all have similar per capita
income. All are in similar stages of economic development, all share a common
legal system based on common law, all have free market based economies, all
share English as a common language for government and business transactions,
and all share a common history and culture.

 

The logical choice for the nations of South Asia is to come
together under a “South Asian Free Economic Zone,” which would
include all SAARC countries. We could embark on a development journey, where in
the first phase, to conclude by the year 2010, the member nations could reach a
critical phase in their economic development and per capita income, with
liberal trade agreements and co-operation in all sectors. This could be done on
the pattern of the EC with a common trading currency, a common central bank, a
revolving Presidency, a common travel document.

 

In the second phase, China could perhaps be included in this
free zone. This is my vision of an “Asian Free Economic Zone,” which
by 2010 would be in existence with over 2.5 to 3 billion people, and a GNP of
over US $ 7 trillion. Of this, SAARC alone would be around $ 3 trillion and
China over $ 4 trillion. Our Asian Free Zone could be at the same level, in GNP
terms, as EC, US or Japan. With roughly 50% of the world population in the
Asian Zone, this Zone, in terms of the economics market, would have the
greatest influence, voice and clout in the 21st Century.

 

Mr. Anura, you, through your country, Sri Lanka, could
perhaps one day, and we hope, become the President of this “Super
Power” Asian Zone. The choice is in our hands. We can shape the destiny of
South Asia, that course, that history, which will flow for the next hundred
years, or we could choose to remain in ignorance, poverty, and despair. Will
we, the people of South Asia, choose to be prisoners of the past, or will we be
able to rise to the challenges of a magnificent future? Paul Kennedy, in his
book, ‘Preparing for the 21st Century’ writes:

 

” — the forces of change facing the world could be so
far reaching, complex and interactive, that they would call for nothing less
than the re-education of humankind —. Above all, unease about present, or
impelling, changes is behind the widespread dis-enchantment with political
leadership — . Clearly, a society which desires to be better prepared for the
21st Century will have to pay a price to achieve that transition; it will need
to re-tool its natural skills and infrastructure, challenge vested interests,
alter many new habits, and perhaps amend its governmental structures. But this
requires long term vision at a time when most politicians – in both rich and
poor countries — can hardly deal with even short term problems; and it means
political risks—.”


Is our political leadership ready for this challenge? Are we ready to open up
our borders to adopt to the changes coming our way in the 21st century?

 

That is the challenge before all of us. To have the courage
to break from the past to enter an exciting new area of regional cooperation
and global competition in a world where ideas and goods will dominate the
markets and give each region its purpose and influence. Imagine the Kashmir
dispute, the Bihari question, the illegal immigration melting into solutions as
open borders lead to open societies based on tolerance, accommodation and
trade.

 

In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century, South Asia remained
the golden trade route of rich markets. Its spices, perfumes and elaborate
workmanship simultaneously bred a mercantile class whilst attracting other
mercantile groups. The court of Queen Victoria paled in comparison to the
jewelled splendour of the Moghul Emperors and the Maharajas. The wealth of the
East was conquered by the gunpowder of the West. But the era of gunpowder is
dying and from its ashes is rising the world of Information Technologies
spawning an increasingly borderless world.

 

No longer do we need the post office to send letters, the
telephone department to talk across the continents. We can do it through the
computer. Tax Residency, banking arrangements and stock market investment can
be done from a home in one continent through an institution in another
continent. The brave new era calls for leaders of courage to take the bold
steps necessary to adapt to the changing circumstances and with them carry
their people into a wonderful world of varied opportunity.

 

Mr. Bandaranaike, Ladies and Gentleman,

 

Mr. Bandaranaike has joined us in the middle of his election
campaign for his provincial council elections. Mr. Bandaranaike, on behalf of
SZABIST, we are certainly grateful and thankful to you for joining us today.

 

I see Mr. Bandaranaike as one of those courageous new
leaders who will light the torch for a new generation. He is an exceptional
member of a talented family whose footprints can be seen in time from decades.

 

Mr. Bandaranaike is the only son of the four times elected
Prime Ministers of Sri Lanka – A record unequalled in any part of the world. As
a graduate of the prestigious Royal College, Colombo, and the University of
London, he won his first election in 1977 at the age of 27.

 

This year, he completes over 22 continuous years in
Parliament a record that would make every Parliamentarian envious.


At the age of 34, Mr. Bandaranaike became the youngest Leader of the Opposition
in Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth. Recently he won a human rights case against
an illegal police raid on his house.

 

Born in the eye of politics, Mr. Bandaranaike has met many
world states people including India’s Jawaharlal Nehru, Mrs. Indira Gandhi,
Indonesia’s Sukarno, Yugoslavia’s Tito, China’s Mao Tse Tung & Chou En Lai,
Britain’s Harold McMillan & Harold Wilson, Egypt’s Gamal Abdul Nasser, and
Pakistan’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

 

Mr. Bandaranaike previously visited Pakistan in September
1992 to address the SAARC Opposition Leader’s Conference in Karachi. We welcome
him once again to Pakistan. Mr. Bandaranaike, on behalf of SZABIST, and on
behalf of the people of Pakistan, I invite you to share your views with us.



d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice

Ghatva Sutta

As she was standing to one side, a devata recited this verse to the Blessed One:

Having killed whatdo you sleep in ease?Having killed whatdo you not grieve?Of the slayingof what one thingdoes Gotama approve?

[The Buddha:]

Having killed anger
you sleep in ease.
Having killed anger
you do not grieve.
The noble ones praise
the slaying of anger
— with its honeyed crest
& poison root —
for having killed it
you do not grieve.

e) E-Vinaya
Pitaka in Practice


Abandoning the Hindrances

“Endowed with this noble
aggregate of virtue, this noble restraint over the sense faculties, this noble
mindfulness and alertness, and this noble contentment, he seeks out a secluded
dwelling: a forest, the shade of a tree, a mountain, a glen, a hillside cave, a
charnel ground, a jungle grove, the open air, a heap of straw. After his meal,
returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body
erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

“Abandoning covetousness with
regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He
cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will and anger, he dwells
with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all
living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will and anger. Abandoning sloth
& drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness,
mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of covetousness.
Abandoning restlessness and anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly
stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness and anxiety. Abandoning
uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with
regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

Suppose that a man,
taking a loan, invests it in his business affairs. His business affairs
succeed. He repays his old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining
his wife. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, taking a loan, I invested it
in my business affairs. Now my business affairs have succeeded. I have repaid
my old debts and there is extra left over for maintaining my wife.’ Because of
that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that a
man
falls sick — in pain and seriously ill. He does not enjoy his meals,
and there is no strength in his body. As time passes, he eventually recovers
from that sickness. He enjoys his meals and there is strength in his body. The
thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was sick… Now I am recovered from that
sickness. I enjoy my meals and there is strength in my body.’ Because of that
he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that
a man
is bound in prison. As time passes, he eventually is released from
that bondage, safe and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur
to him, ‘Before, I was bound in prison. Now I am released from that bondage,
safe and sound, with no loss of my property.’ Because of that he would
experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that
a man
is a slave, subject to others, not subject to himself, unable to go
where he likes. As time passes, he eventually is released from that slavery,
subject to himself, not subject to others, freed, able to go where he likes.
The thought would occur to him, ‘Before, I was a slave… Now I am released
from that slavery, subject to myself, not subject to others, freed, able to go
where I like.’ Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

Now suppose that a
man
, carrying money and goods, is traveling by a road through desolate
country. As time passes, he eventually emerges from that desolate country, safe
and sound, with no loss of property. The thought would occur to him, ‘Before,
carrying money and goods, I was traveling by a road through desolate country.
Now I have emerged from that desolate country, safe and sound, with no loss of
my property.’ Because of that he would experience joy and happiness.

“In the same way, when these
five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a
sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these
five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good
health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security. Seeing that they
have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad. Glad, he becomes enraptured. Enraptured,
his body grows tranquil. His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure.
Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated.


f) E-The Abhidhamma in Practice

The Jhaana cittas

The cittas that occur through the five physical sense doors, and the
mind-door cittas taking sense objects, belong to the sensuous plane of
consciousness. They are called kaamaavacara cittas. The jhaana
cittas are meditative states of consciousness. Their object is not a
sense impression but a meditation object experienced through the
mind-door. The jhaana citta may depend on subtle materiality (ruupaavacara citta) or, if more refined, may be independent of materiality (aruupaavacara citta).

There are five stages of ruupa jhaana and four of aruupa jhaana. No
attempt will be made to analyze these stages except to state that each
is more refined than its predecessor.

It is extremely difficult to attain even the first stage of jhaana. To do so one has to be well established in virtue (siila) and eliminate the five mental hindrances, at least temporarily. These five hindrances are: sense desire (kaamacchanda), ill-will (vyaapaada), sloth and torpor (thiina and middha), restlessness and worry (uddhacca and kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchaa).

Though difficult, it is well worth attempting to attain jhaana by regular and ardent practice of samatha bhaavanaa,
i.e., concentration-meditation. Even if we do not reach the first stage
of jhaana, even a brief elimination of the five mental hindrances will
give us a taste of a happiness which far surpasses that derived from
the senses. When restlessness, anxiety and worry try to overwhelm us in
our daily lives we will benefit by sitting for a period and developing
concentration. We will realize that nothing is more satisfying than the
ability to keep a check on the frivolous, fickle mind.


g) E- The Noble Eightfold Path in Practice

Chapter II 
Right View
(Samma Ditthi)

The eight factors of the Noble Eightfold Path are not steps to be
followed in sequence, one after another. They can be more aptly
described as components rather than as steps, comparable to the
intertwining strands of a single cable that requires the contributions
of all the strands for maximum strength. With a certain degree of
progress all eight factors can be present simultaneously, each
supporting the others. However, until that point is reached, some
sequence in the unfolding of the path is inevitable. Considered from
the standpoint of practical training, the eight path factors divide
into three groups: (i) the moral discipline group (silakkhandha), made up of right speech, right action, and right livelihood; (ii) the concentration group (samadhikkhandha), made up of right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration; and (iii) the wisdom group (paññakkhandha),
made up of right view and right intention. These three groups represent
three stages of training: the training in the higher moral discipline,
the training in the higher consciousness, and the training in the
higher wisdom.4

The order of the three trainings is determined by the overall aim
and direction of the path. Since the final goal to which the path
leads, liberation from suffering, depends ultimately on uprooting
ignorance, the climax of the path must be the training directly opposed
to ignorance. This is the training in wisdom, designed to awaken the
faculty of penetrative understanding which sees things “as they really
are.” Wisdom unfolds by degrees, but even the faintest flashes of
insight presuppose as their basis a mind that has been concentrated,
cleared of disturbance and distraction. Concentration is achieved
through the training in the higher consciousness, the second division
of the path, which brings the calm and collectedness needed to develop
wisdom. But in order for the mind to be unified in concentration, a
check must be placed on the unwholesome dispositions which ordinarily
dominate its workings, since these dispositions disperse the beam of
attention and scatter it among a multitude of concerns. The unwholesome
dispositions continue to rule as long as they are permitted to gain
expression through the channels of body and speech as bodily and verbal
deeds. Therefore, at the very outset of training, it is necessary to
restrain the faculties of action, to prevent them from becoming tools
of the defilements. This task is accomplished by the first division of
the path, the training in moral discipline. Thus the path evolves
through its three stages, with moral discipline as the foundation for
concentration, concentration the foundation for wisdom, and wisdom the
direct instrument for reaching liberation.

Perplexity sometimes arises over an apparent inconsistency in the
arrangement of the path factors and the threefold training. Wisdom —
which includes right view and right intention — is the last stage in
the threefold training, yet its factors are placed at the beginning of
the path rather than at its end, as might be expected according to the
canon of strict consistency. The sequence of the path factors, however,
is not the result of a careless slip, but is determined by an important
logistical consideration, namely, that right view and right intention
of a preliminary type are called for at the outset as the spur for
entering the threefold training. Right view provides the perspective
for practice, right intention the sense of direction. But the two do
not expire in this preparatory role. For when the mind has been refined
by the training in moral discipline and concentration, it arrives at a
superior right view and right intention, which now form the proper
training in the higher wisdom.

Right view is the forerunner of the entire path, the guide for all
the other factors. It enables us to understand our starting point, our
destination, and the successive landmarks to pass as practice advances.
To attempt to engage in the practice without a foundation of right view
is to risk getting lost in the futility of undirected movement. Doing
so might be compared to wanting to drive someplace without consulting a
roadmap or listening to the suggestions of an experienced driver. One
might get into the car and start to drive, but rather than approaching
closer to one’s destination, one is more likely to move farther away
from it. To arrive at the desired place one has to have some idea of
its general direction and of the roads leading to it. Analogous
considerations apply to the practice of the path, which takes place in
a framework of understanding established by right view.

The importance of right view can be gauged from the fact that our
perspectives on the crucial issues of reality and value have a bearing
that goes beyond mere theoretical convictions. They govern our
attitudes, our actions, our whole orientation to existence. Our views
might not be clearly formulated in our mind; we might have only a hazy
conceptual grasp of our beliefs. But whether formulated or not,
expressed or maintained in silence, these views have a far-reaching
influence. They structure our perceptions, order our values,
crystallize into the ideational framework through which we interpret to
ourselves the meaning of our being in the world.

These views then condition action. They lie behind our choices and
goals, and our efforts to turn these goals from ideals into actuality.
The actions themselves might determine consequences, but the actions
along with their consequences hinge on the views from which they
spring. Since views imply an “ontological commitment,” a decision on
the question of what is real and true, it follows that views divide
into two classes, right views and wrong views. The former correspond to
what is real, the latter deviate from the real and confirm the false in
its place. These two different kinds of views, the Buddha teaches, lead
to radically disparate lines of action, and thence to opposite results.
If we hold a wrong view, even if that view is vague, it will lead us
towards courses of action that eventuate in suffering. On the other
hand, if we adopt a right view, that view will steer us towards right
action, and thereby towards freedom from suffering. Though our
conceptual orientation towards the world might seem innocuous and
inconsequential, when looked at closely it reveals itself to be the
decisive determinant of our whole course of future development. The
Buddha himself says that he sees no single factor so responsible for
the arising of unwholesome states of mind as wrong view, and no factor
so helpful for the arising of wholesome states of mind as right view.
Again, he says that there is no single factor so responsible for the
suffering of living beings as wrong view, and no factor so potent in
promoting the good of living beings as right view (AN 1:16.2).

In its fullest measure right view involves a correct understanding
of the entire Dhamma or teaching of the Buddha, and thus its scope is
equal to the range of the Dhamma itself. But for practical purposes two
kinds of right view stand out as primary. One is mundane right view,
right view which operates within the confines of the world. The other
is supramundane right view, the superior right view which leads to
liberation from the world. The first is concerned with the laws
governing material and spiritual progress within the round of becoming,
with the principles that lead to higher and lower states of existence,
to mundane happiness and suffering. The second is concerned with the
principles essential to liberation. It does not aim merely at spiritual
progress from life to life, but at emancipation from the cycle of
recurring lives and deaths.

Mundane Right View

Mundane right view involves a correct grasp of the law of kamma, the
moral efficacy of action. Its literal name is “right view of the
ownership of action” (kammassakata sammaditthi), and it finds
its standard formulation in the statement: “Beings are the owners of
their actions, the heirs of their actions; they spring from their
actions, are bound to their actions, and are supported by their
actions. Whatever deeds they do, good or bad, of those they shall be
heirs.”5
More specific formulations have also come down in the texts. One stock
passage, for example, affirms that virtuous actions such as giving and
offering alms have moral significance, that good and bad deeds produce
corresponding fruits, that one has a duty to serve mother and father,
that there is rebirth and a world beyond the visible one, and that
religious teachers of high attainment can be found who expound the
truth about the world on the basis of their own superior realization.6

To understand the implications of this form of right view we first have to examine the meaning of its key term, kamma. The word kamma
means action. For Buddhism the relevant kind of action is volitional
action, deeds expressive of morally determinate volition, since it is
volition that gives the action ethical significance. Thus the Buddha
expressly identifies action with volition. In a discourse on the
analysis of kamma he says: “Monks, it is volition that I call action (kamma). Having willed, one performs an action through body, speech, or mind.”7
The identification of kamma with volition makes kamma essentially a
mental event, a factor originating in the mind which seeks to actualize
the mind’s drives, dispositions, and purposes. Volition comes into
being through any of three channels — body, speech, or mind — called
the three doors of action (kammadvara). A volition expressed
through the body is a bodily action; a volition expressed through
speech is a verbal action; and a volition that issues in thoughts,
plans, ideas, and other mental states without gaining outer expression
is a mental action. Thus the one factor of volition differentiates into
three types of kamma according to the channel through which it becomes
manifest.

Right view requires more than a simple knowledge of the general
meaning of kamma. It is also necessary to understand: (i) the ethical
distinction of kamma into the unwholesome and the wholesome; (ii) the
principal cases of each type; and (iii) the roots from which these
actions spring. As expressed in a sutta: “When a noble disciple
understands what is kammically unwholesome, and the root of unwholesome
kamma, what is kammically wholesome, and the root of wholesome kamma,
then he has right view.”8

(i) Taking these points in order, we find that kamma is first distinguished as unwholesome (akusala) and wholesome (kusala).
Unwholesome kamma is action that is morally blameworthy, detrimental to
spiritual development, and conducive to suffering for oneself and
others. Wholesome kamma, on the other hand, is action that is morally
commendable, helpful to spiritual growth, and productive of benefits
for oneself and others.

(ii) Innumerable instances of unwholesome and wholesome kamma can be
cited, but the Buddha selects ten of each as primary. These he calls
the ten courses of unwholesome and wholesome action. Among the ten in
the two sets, three are bodily, four are verbal, and three are mental.
The ten courses of unwholesome kamma may be listed as follows, divided
by way of their doors of expression:

  1. Destroying life
  2. Taking what is not given
  3. Wrong conduct in regard to sense pleasures

Verbal action:

  1. False speech
  2. Slanderous speech
  3. Harsh speech (vacikamma)
  4. Idle chatter
  5. Covetousness
  6. Ill will
  7. Wrong view

The ten courses of wholesome kamma are the opposites of these:
abstaining from the first seven courses of unwholesome kamma, being
free from covetousness and ill will, and holding right view. Though the
seven cases of abstinence are exercised entirely by the mind and do not
necessarily entail overt action, they are still designated wholesome
bodily and verbal action because they center on the control of the
faculties of body and speech.

(iii) Actions are distinguished as wholesome and unwholesome on the basis of their underlying motives, called “roots” (mula),
which impart their moral quality to the volitions concomitant with
themselves. Thus kamma is wholesome or unwholesome according to whether
its roots are wholesome or unwholesome. The roots are threefold for
each set. The unwholesome roots are the three defilements we already
mentioned — greed, aversion, and delusion. Any action originating from
these is an unwholesome kamma. The three wholesome roots are their
opposites, expressed negatively in the old Indian fashion as non-greed (alobha), non-aversion (adosa), and non-delusion (amoha).
Though these are negatively designated, they signify not merely the
absence of defilements but the corresponding virtues. Non-greed implies
renunciation, detachment, and generosity; non-aversion implies
loving-kindness, sympathy, and gentleness; and non-delusion implies
wisdom. Any action originating from these roots is a wholesome kamma.

The most important feature of kamma is its capacity to produce
results corresponding to the ethical quality of the action. An immanent
universal law holds sway over volitional actions, bringing it about
that these actions issue in retributive consequences, called vipaka, “ripenings,” or phala,
“fruits.” The law connecting actions with their fruits works on the
simple principle that unwholesome actions ripen in suffering, wholesome
actions in happiness. The ripening need not come right away; it need
not come in the present life at all. Kamma can operate across the
succession of lifetimes; it can even remain dormant for aeons into the
future. But whenever we perform a volitional action, the volition
leaves its imprint on the mental continuum, where it remains as a
stored up potency. When the stored up kamma meets with conditions
favorable to its maturation, it awakens from its dormant state and
triggers off some effect that brings due compensation for the original
action. The ripening may take place in the present life, in the next
life, or in some life subsequent to the next. A kamma may ripen by
producing rebirth into the next existence, thus determining the basic
form of life; or it may ripen in the course of a lifetime, issuing in
our varied experiences of happiness and pain, success and failure,
progress and decline. But whenever it ripens and in whatever way, the
same principle invariably holds: wholesome actions yield favorable
results, unwholesome actions yield unfavorable results.

To recognize this principle is to hold right view of the mundane
kind. This view at once excludes the multiple forms of wrong view with
which it is incompatible. As it affirms that our actions have an
influence on our destiny continuing into future lives, it opposes the
nihilistic view which regards this life as our only existence and holds
that consciousness terminates with death. As it grounds the distinction
between good and evil, right and wrong, in an objective universal
principle, it opposes the ethical subjectivism which asserts that good
and evil are only postulations of personal opinion or means to social
control. As it affirms that people can choose their actions freely,
within limits set by their conditions, it opposes the “hard
deterministic” line that our choices are always made subject to
necessitation, and hence that free volition is unreal and moral
responsibility untenable.

Some of the implications of the Buddha’s teaching on the right view
of kamma and its fruits run counter to popular trends in present-day
thought, and it is helpful to make these differences explicit. The
teaching on right view makes it known that good and bad, right and
wrong, transcend conventional opinions about what is good and bad, what
is right and wrong. An entire society may be predicated upon a
confusion of correct moral values, and even though everyone within that
society may applaud one particular kind of action as right and condemn
another kind as wrong, this does not make them validly right and wrong.
For the Buddha moral standards are objective and invariable. While the
moral character of deeds is doubtlessly conditioned by the
circumstances under which they are performed, there are objective
criteria of morality against which any action, or any comprehensive
moral code, can be evaluated. This objective standard of morality is
integral to the Dhamma, the cosmic law of truth and righteousness. Its
transpersonal ground of validation is the fact that deeds, as
expressions of the volitions that engender them, produce consequences
for the agent, and that the correlations between deeds and their
consequences are intrinsic to the volitions themselves. There is no
divine judge standing above the cosmic process who assigns rewards and
punishments. Nevertheless, the deeds themselves, through their inherent
moral or immoral nature, generate the appropriate results.

For most people, the vast majority, the right view of kamma and its
results is held out of confidence, accepted on faith from an eminent
spiritual teacher who proclaims the moral efficacy of action. But even
when the principle of kamma is not personally seen, it still remains a
facet of right view. It is part and parcel of right view
because right view is concerned with understanding — with understanding
our place in the total scheme of things — and one who accepts the
principle that our volitional actions possess a moral potency has, to
that extent, grasped an important fact pertaining to the nature of our
existence. However, the right view of the kammic efficacy of action
need not remain exclusively an article of belief screened behind an
impenetrable barrier. It can become a matter of direct seeing. Through
the attainment of certain states of deep concentration it is possible
to develop a special faculty called the “divine eye” (dibbacakkhu),
a super-sensory power of vision that reveals things hidden from the
eyes of flesh. When this faculty is developed, it can be directed out
upon the world of living beings to investigate the workings of the
kammic law. With the special vision it confers one can then see for
oneself, with immediate perception, how beings pass away and re-arise
according to their kamma, how they meet happiness and suffering through
the maturation of their good and evil deeds.9

Superior Right View

The right view of kamma and its fruits provides a rationale for
engaging in wholesome actions and attaining high status within the
round of rebirths, but by itself it does not lead to liberation. It is
possible for someone to accept the law of kamma yet still limit his
aims to mundane achievements. One’s motive for performing noble deeds
might be the accumulation of meritorious kamma leading to prosperity
and success here and now, a fortunate rebirth as a human being, or the
enjoyment of celestial bliss in the heavenly worlds. There is nothing
within the logic of kammic causality to impel the urge to transcend the
cycle of kamma and its fruit. The impulse to deliverance from the
entire round of becoming depends upon the acquisition of a different
and deeper perspective, one which yields insight into the inherent
defectiveness of all forms of samsaric existence, even the most exalted.

This superior right view leading to liberation is the understanding
of the Four Noble Truths. It is this right view that figures as the
first factor of the Noble Eightfold Path in the proper sense: as the noble
right view. Thus the Buddha defines the path factor of right view
expressly in terms of the four truths: “What now is right view? It is
understanding of suffering (dukkha), understanding of the
origin of suffering, understanding of the cessation of suffering,
understanding of the way leading to the cessation to suffering.”10
The Eightfold Path starts with a conceptual understanding of the Four
Noble Truths apprehended only obscurely through the media of thought
and reflection. It reaches its climax in a direct intuition of those
same truths, penetrated with a clarity tantamount to enlightenment.
Thus it can be said that the right view of the Four Noble Truths forms
both the beginning and the culmination of the way to the end of
suffering.

The first noble truth is the truth of suffering (dukkha), the
inherent unsatisfactoriness of existence, revealed in the impermanence,
pain, and perpetual incompleteness intrinsic to all forms of life.

This is the noble truth of suffering. Birth is suffering; aging is
suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow,
lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with
the unpleasant is suffering; separation from the pleasant is suffering;
not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates
of clinging are suffering.11

The last statement makes a comprehensive claim that calls for some attention. The five aggregates of clinging (pañcupadanakkandha)
are a classificatory scheme for understanding the nature of our being.
What we are, the Buddha teaches, is a set of five aggregates — material
form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness — all
connected with clinging. We are the five and the five are us. Whatever
we identify with, whatever we hold to as our self, falls within the set
of five aggregates. Together these five aggregates generate the whole
array of thoughts, emotions, ideas, and dispositions in which we dwell,
“our world.” Thus the Buddha’s declaration that the five aggregates are
dukkha in effect brings all experience, our entire existence, into the range of dukkha.

But here the question arises: Why should the Buddha say that the five aggregates are dukkha? The reason he says that the five aggregates are dukkha
is that they are impermanent. They change from moment to moment, arise
and fall away, without anything substantial behind them persisting
through the change. Since the constituent factors of our being are
always changing, utterly devoid of a permanent core, there is nothing
we can cling to in them as a basis for security. There is only a
constantly disintegrating flux which, when clung to in the desire for
permanence, brings a plunge into suffering.

The second noble truth points out the cause of dukkha. From the set of defilements which eventuate in suffering, the Buddha singles out craving (tanha) as the dominant and most pervasive cause, “the origin of suffering.”

This is the noble truth of the origin of suffering. It is this
craving which produces repeated existence, is bound up with delight and
lust, and seeks pleasure here and there, namely, craving for sense
pleasures, craving for existence, and craving for non-existence.12

The third noble truth simply reverses this relationship of origination. If craving is the cause of dukkha, then to be free from dukkha we have to eliminate craving. Thus the Buddha says:

This is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering. It is the
complete fading away and cessation of this craving, its forsaking and
abandonment, liberation and detachment from it.13

The state of perfect peace that comes when craving is eliminated is Nibbana (nirvana),
the unconditioned state experienced while alive with the extinguishing
of the flames of greed, aversion, and delusion. The fourth noble truth
shows the way to reach the end of dukkha, the way to the realization of Nibbana. That way is the Noble Eightfold Path itself.

The right view of the Four Noble Truths develops in two stages. The first is called the right view that accords with the truths (saccanulomika samma ditthi); the second, the right view that penetrates the truths (saccapativedha samma ditthi).
To acquire the right view that accords with the truths requires a clear
understanding of their meaning and significance in our lives. Such an
understanding arises first by learning the truths and studying them.
Subsequently it is deepened by reflecting upon them in the light of
experience until one gains a strong conviction as to their veracity.

But even at this point the truths have not been penetrated, and thus
the understanding achieved is still defective, a matter of concept
rather than perception. To arrive at the experiential realization of
the truths it is necessary to take up the practice of meditation —
first to strengthen the capacity for sustained concentration, then to
develop insight. Insight arises by contemplating the five aggregates,
the factors of existence, in order to discern their real
characteristics. At the climax of such contemplation the mental eye
turns away from the conditioned phenomena comprised in the aggregates
and shifts its focus to the unconditioned state, Nibbana, which becomes
accessible through the deepened faculty of insight. With this shift,
when the mind’s eye sees Nibbana, there takes place a simultaneous
penetration of all Four Noble Truths. By seeing Nibbana, the state
beyond dukkha, one gains a perspective from which to view the five aggregates and see that they are dukkha
simply because they are conditioned, subject to ceaseless change. At
the same moment Nibbana is realized, craving stops; the understanding
then dawns that craving is the true origin of dukkha. When
Nibbana is seen, it is realized to be the state of peace, free from the
turmoil of becoming. And because this experience has been reached by
practicing the Noble Eightfold Path, one knows for oneself that the
Noble Eightfold Path is truly the way to the end of dukkha.

This right view that penetrates the Four Noble Truths comes at the
end of the path, not at the beginning. We have to start with the right
view conforming to the truths, acquired through learning and fortified
through reflection. This view inspires us to take up the practice, to
embark on the threefold training in moral discipline, concentration,
and wisdom. When the training matures, the eye of wisdom opens by
itself, penetrating the truths and freeing the mind from bondage.


h) E-Jhanas in Practice


2. The Preparation for Jhana 

The jhanas do not arise out of a void but in dependence on the right
conditions. They come to growth only when provided with the nutriments
conductive to their development. Therefore, prior to beginning
meditation, the aspirant to the jhanas must prepare a groundwork for
his practice by fulfilling certain preliminary requirements. He first
must endeavor to purify his moral virtue, sever the outer impediments
to practice, and place himself under a qualified teacher who will
assign him a suitable meditation subject and explain to him the methods
of developing it. After learning these the disciple must then seek out
a congenial dwelling and diligently strive for success. In this chapter
we will examine in order each of the preparatory steps that have to be
fulfilled before commencing to develop jhana.

The Moral Foundation for Jhana [go up]

A disciple aspiring to the jhanas first has to lay a solid
foundation of moral discipline. Moral purity is indispensable to
meditative progress for several deeply psychological reasons. It is
needed first, in order to safeguard against the danger of remorse, the
nagging sense of guilt that arises when the basic principles of
morality are ignored or deliberately violated. Scrupulous conformity to
virtuous rules of conduct protects the meditator from this danger
disruptive to inner calm, and brings joy and happiness when the
meditator reflects upon the purity of his conduct (see A.v,1-7).

A second reason a moral foundation is needed for meditation follows
from an understanding of the purpose of concentration. Concentration,
in the Buddhist discipline, aims at providing a base for wisdom by
cleansing the mind of the dispersive influence of the defilements. But
in order for the concentration exercises to effectively combat the
defilements, the coarser expressions of the latter through bodily and
verbal action first have to be checked. Moral transgressions being
invariably motivated by defilements — by greed, hatred and delusion —
when a person acts in violation of the precepts of morality he excites
and reinforces the very same mental factors his practice of meditation
is intended to eliminate. This involves him in a crossfire of
incompatible aims which renders his attempts at mental purification
ineffective. The only way he can avoid frustration in his endeavor to
purify the mind of its subtler defilements is to prevent the
unwholesome inner impulses from breathing out in the coarser form of
unwholesome bodily and verbal deeds. Only when he establishes control
over the outer expression of the defilements can he turn to deal with
them inwardly as mental obsessions that appear in the process of
meditation.

The practice of moral discipline consists negatively in abstinence
from immoral actions of body and speech and positively in the
observance of ethical principles promoting peace within oneself and
harmony in one’s relations with others. The basic code of moral
discipline taught by the Buddha for the guidance of his lay followers
is the five precepts: abstinence from taking life, from stealing, from
sexual misconduct, from false speech, and from intoxicating drugs and
drinks. These principles are bindings as minimal ethical obligations
for all practitioners of the Buddhist path, and within their bounds
considerable progress in meditation can be made. However, those
aspiring to reach the higher levels of jhanas and to pursue the path
further to the stages of liberation, are encouraged to take up the more
complete moral discipline pertaining to the life of renunciation. Early
Buddhism is unambiguous in its emphasis on the limitations of household
life for following the path in its fullness and perfection. Time and
again the texts say that the household life is confining, a “path for
the dust of passion,” while the life of homelessness is like open
space. Thus a disciple who is fully intent upon making rapid progress
towards Nibbana will when outer conditions allow for it, “shave off his
hair and beard, put on the yellow robe, and go forth from the home life
into homelessness” (M.i,179).

The moral training for the bhikkhus or monks has been arranged into a system called the fourfold purification of morality (catuparisuddhisila).6 The first component of this scheme, its backbone, consists in the morality of restraint according to the Patimokkha,
the code of 227 training precepts promulgated by the Buddha to regulate
the conduct of the Sangha or monastic order. Each of these rules is in
some way intended to facilitate control over the defilements and to
induce a mode of living marked by harmlessness, contentment and
simplicity. The second aspect of the monk’s moral discipline is restraint of the senses,
by which the monk maintains close watchfulness over his mind as he
engages in sense contacts so that he does not give rise to desire for
pleasurable objects and aversion towards repulsive ones. Third, the
monk is to live by a purified livelihood, obtaining his basic
requisites such as robes, food, lodgings and medicines in ways
consistent with his vocation. The fourth factor of the moral training
is proper use of the requisites, which means that the monk
should reflect upon the purposes for which he makes use of his
requisites and should employ them only for maintaining his health and
comfort, not for luxury and enjoyment.

After establishing a foundation of purified morality, the aspirant to meditation is advised to cut off any outer impediments (palibodha)
that may hinder his efforts to lead a contemplative life. These
impediments are numbered as ten: a dwelling, which becomes an
impediment for those who allow their minds to become preoccupied with
its upkeep or with its appurtenances; a family of relatives or
supporters with whom the aspirant may become emotionally involved in
ways that hinder his progress; gains, which may bind the monk by
obligation to those who offer them; a class of students who must be
instructed; building work, which demands time and attention; travel;
kin, meaning parents, teachers, pupils or close friends; illness; the
study of scriptures; and supernormal powers, which are an impediment to
insight (Vism.90-97; PP.91-98).

The Good Friend and the Subject of Meditation [go up]

The path of practice leading to the jhanas is an arduous course
involving precise techniques and skillfulness is needed in dealing with
the pitfalls that lie along the way. The knowledge of how to attain the
jhanas has been transmitted through a lineage of teachers going back to
the time of the Buddha himself. A prospective meditator is advised to
avail himself of the living heritage of accumulated knowledge and
experience by placing himself under the care of a qualified teacher,
described as a “good friend” (kalyanamitta), one who gives
guidance and wise advice rooted in his own practice and experience. On
the basis of either of the power of penetrating others minds, or by
personal observation, or by questioning, the teacher will size up the
temperament of his new pupil and then select a meditation subject for
him appropriate to his temperament.

The various meditation subjects that the Buddha prescribed for the
development of serenity have been collected in the commentaries into a
set called the forty kammatthana. This word means literally a
place of work, and is applied to the subject of meditation as the place
where the meditator undertakes the work of meditation. The forty
meditation subjects are distributed into seven categories, enumerated
in the Visuddhimagga as follows: ten kasinas, ten kinds of
foulness, ten recollections, four divine abidings, four immaterial
states, one perception, and one defining.7

A kasina is a device representing a particular quality used as a
support for concentration. The ten kasinas are those of earth, water,
fire and air; four color kasinas — blue, yellow, red and white; the
light kasina and the limited space kasina. The kasina can be either a
naturally occurring form of the element or color chosen, or an
artificially produced device such as a disk that the meditator can use
at his convenience in his meditation quarters.

The ten kinds of foulness are ten stages in the decomposition of a
corpse: the bloated, the livid, the festering, the cut-up, the gnawed,
the scattered, the hacked and scattered, the bleeding, the
worm-infested and a skeleton. The primary purpose of these meditations
is to reduce sensual lust by gaining a clear perception of the
repulsiveness of the body.

The ten recollections are the recollections of the Buddha, the
Dhamma, the Sangha, morality, generosity and the deities, mindfulness
of death, mindfulness of the body, mindfulness of breathing, and the
recollection of peace. The first three are devotional contemplations on
the sublime qualities of the “Three Jewels,” the primary objects of
Buddhist virtues and on the deities inhabiting the heavenly worlds,
intended principally for those still intent on a higher rebirth.
Mindfulness of death is reflection on the inevitability of death, a
constant spur to spiritual exertion. Mindfulness of the body involves
the mental dissection of the body into thirty-two parts, undertaken
with a view to perceiving its unattractiveness. Mindfulness of
breathing is awareness of the in-and-out movement of the breath,
perhaps the most fundamental of all Buddhist meditation subjects. And
the recollection of peace is reflection on the qualities of Nibbana.

The four divine abidings (brahmavihara) are the development
of boundless loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and
equanimity. These meditations are also called the “immeasurables” (appamañña) because they are to be developed towards all sentient beings without qualification or exclusiveness.

The four immaterial states are the base of boundless space, the base
of boundless consciousness, the base of nothingness, and the base of
neither-perception-nor-non-perception. These are the objects leading to
the corresponding meditative attainments, the immaterial jhanas.

The one perception is the perception of the repulsiveness of food.
The one defining is the defining of the four elements, that is, the
analysis of the physical body into the elemental modes of solidity,
fluidity, heat and oscillation.

The forty meditation subjects are treated in the commentarial texts
from two important angles — one their ability to induce different
levels of concentration, the other their suitability for differing
temperaments. Not all meditation subjects are equally effective in
inducing the deeper levels of concentration. They are first
distinguished on the basis of their capacity for inducing only access
concentration or for inducing full absorption; those capable of
inducing absorption are then distinguished further according to their
ability to induce the different levels of jhana.

Of the forty subjects, ten are capable of leading only to access
concentration: eight recollections — i.e., all except mindfulness of
the body and mindfulness of breathing — plus the perception of
repulsiveness in nutriment and the defining of the four elements.
These, because they are occupied with a diversity of qualities and
involve and active application of discursive thought, cannot lead
beyond access. The other thirty subjects can all lead to absorption.

The ten kasinas and mindfulness of breathing, owing to their
simplicity and freedom from thought construction, can lead to all four
jhanas. The ten kinds of foulness and mindfulness of the body lead only
to the first jhana, being limited because the mind can only hold onto
them with the aid of applied thought (vitakka) which is absent
in the second and higher jhanas. The first three divine abidings can
induce the lower three jhanas but not the fourth, since they arise in
association with pleasant feeling, while the divine abiding of
equanimity occurs only at the level of the fourth jhana, where neutral
feeling gains ascendency. The four immaterial states conduce to the
respective immaterial jhanas corresponding to their names.

The forty subjects are also differentiated according to their
appropriateness for different character types. Six main character types
are recognized — the greedy, the hating, the deluded, the faithful, the
intelligent and the speculative — this oversimplified typology being
taken only as a pragmatic guideline which in practice admits various
shades and combinations. The ten kind of foulness and mindfulness of
the body, clearly intended to attenuate sensual desire, are suitable
for those of greedy temperament. Eight subjects — the four divine
abidings and four color kasinas — are appropriate for the hating
temperament. Mindfulness of breathing is suitable for those of the
deluded and the speculative temperament. The first six recollections
are appropriate for the faithful temperament. Four subjects —
mindfulness of death, the recollection of peace, the defining of the
four elements, and the perception of the repulsiveness in nutriment —
are especially effective for those of intelligent temperament. The
remaining six kasinas and the immaterial states are suitable for all
kinds of temperaments. But the kasinas should be limited in size for
one of speculative temperament and large in size for one of deluded
temperament.

Immediately after giving this breakdown Buddhaghosa adds a proviso
to prevent misunderstanding. He states that this division by way of
temperament is made on the basis of direct opposition and complete
suitability, but actually there is no wholesome form of meditation that
does not suppress the defilements and strengthen the virtuous mental
factors. Thus an individual meditator may be advised to meditate on
foulness to abandon lust, on loving-kindness to abandon hatred, on
breathing to cut off discursive thought, and on impermanence to
eliminate the conceit “I am” (A.iv,358).

Choosing a Suitable Dwelling [go up]

The teacher assigns a meditation subject to his pupil appropriate to
his character and explains the methods of developing it. He can teach
it gradually to a pupil who is going to remain in close proximity to
him, or in detail to one who will go to practice it elsewhere. If the
disciple is not going to stay with his teacher he must be careful to
select a suitable place for meditation. The texts mention eighteen
kinds of monasteries unfavorable to the development of jhana: a large
monastery, a new one, a dilapidated one, one near a road, one with a
pond, leaves, flowers or fruits, one sought after by many people, one
in cities, among timber of fields, where people quarrel, in a port, in
border lands, on a frontier, a haunted place, and one without access to
a spiritual teacher (Vism. 118-121; PP122-125).

The factors which make a dwelling favorable to meditation are
mentioned by the Buddha himself. If should not be too far from or too
near a village that can be relied on as an alms resort, and should have
a clear path: it should be quiet and secluded; it should be free from
rough weather and from harmful insects and animals; one should be able
to obtain one’s physical requisites while dwelling there; and the
dwelling should provide ready access to learned elders and spiritual
friends who can be consulted when problems arise in meditation
(A.v,15). The types of dwelling places commended by the Buddha most
frequently in the suttas as conductive to the jhanas are a secluded
dwelling in the forest, at the foot of a tree, on a mountain, in a
cleft, in a cave, in a cemetery, on a wooded flatland, in the open air,
or on a heap of straw (M.i,181). Having found a suitable dwelling and
settled there, the disciple should maintain scrupulous observance of
the rules of discipline, He should be content with his simple
requisites, exercise control over his sense faculties, be mindful and
discerning in all activities, and practice meditation diligently as he
was instructed. It is at this point that he meets the first great
challenge of his contemplative life, the battle with the five
hindrances.


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12/07/08
Lesson 13 -a) E-Social Engineering in Practice-Raising Buddha The Zone for children and other thoughts from Michael Mendizza- b)E-Social Transformation in Practice-INTRODUCTION TO THE SONADANDA SUTTA.-c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice- Economic Principles in Early Buddhism- d) E-Sutta Pitaka in Practice -Iccha Sutta Desire-e) E-Vinaya Pitaka in Practice -Contentedness-f) The Abhidhamma in Practice-Rebirth Consciousness-g) Eightfold Path in Practice-The Noble Eightfold Path The Way to the End of Suffering-h) Jhanas in Practice The Jhanas In Theravada Buddhist Meditation by Henepola Gunaratana
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Lesson
13

a) E-Social Engineering in Practice



Raising Buddha

The
Zone for children and other thoughts from Michael Mendizza

The following article is reprinted in
its entirety from Michael Mendizza.

The American educational system was
modeled after the Prussian Army, an organization skilled in transforming
ordinary citizens into soldiers who follow orders without hesitation. Factory
forms of education were needed to feed the emerging industrial society and
children were the raw materials of these factories. Social engineers,
anticipating the needs of the emerging factory society, took their cues from
the military and fashioned our present system using simple Pavlovian
conditioning, behavior modification, external rewards and punishments. Like
bottles in an assembly line parenting styles followed the model set by these
institutions. Soon what had never been before became commonplace, expected. The
social engineering goal implicit in the original design became transparent. You
can see it today. Each morning millions of parents obediently place their
children on the conveyor belts of these institutions with the best of
intentions.

The social engineering goals of
American education may have served a specific need at a specific time and in
this light may have been “well-intended.” The industrial society is gone,
however, and so is the need for the kind of human being this system was
designed to produce. But the intent imbedded in the original design remains,
and like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice keeps grinding out the same kind of human
being year after year.

Referring to a Carnegie study, Joseph
Chilton Pearce points out that only five percent of everything we learn in our
lives we learn in school. The remaining ninety-five percent is the result of
direct experience. And of this five percent we learn in school most remember
only three to five percent for any length of time. Bottom line productivity of
three to five percent of five percent may have been adequate to meet the social
engineering needs of our emerging industrial society. But not today, not in our
brave new future-shocked world.

Gordon Moore, an inventor of the
integrated circuit, who later went on to run Intel, noted years ago that the
surfaces of transistors are shrinking approximately fifty percent every two
years. Every two years we get twice the circuitry running at twice the speed for
the same price. In human terms the adult brain possesses 100 billion neurons.
By most calculations 100 billion bits of RAM will be standard equipment in
computers in the next five years. This exponential growth is known as Moore’s Law of
Accelerating Returns. Merrill-Lynch, feeling the impact of Moore’s Law,
estimates that “fifty percent of the average employee’s skills will be outdated
in three to five years.” The faster information and technology grow the faster
basic assumptions underlying our approach to parenting and education become
obsolete.

Traditional parenting and educational
models assume that children must be trained in certain skills, embody certain
information in order to become productive citizens, which is a nice way of
saying, “to get a good job.” This translates into curriculum, standards, tests
and grades, measurements to insure that the assembly line is producing
properly.

Standardized curriculum and “teaching
to the tests” create industrialized human beings, which are increasingly out of
date in today’s fast changing world. Reformers tinker with the conveyor belt,
starting children earlier each year. Recess, physical education, art and music
have been eliminated, making room for more tests and drills. Despite these
efforts the assembly line falls further behind. Large scale social institutions
cannot meet the demand. They can’t adapt fast enough.

Visionaries have long proclaimed that
the system can’t be fixed. Educational reform, like recycling, is a bad idea
that looks good. Recycling is a bad idea because it promotes the manufacture,
use and disposal of wasteful toxic products. A deeper response would be to
create products that are not toxic or wasteful. Reform is not the answer. The
time has come for a deeper response to parenting and to education.

Responding deeply calls into question
basic assumptions. Educating children, for example, is not the next frontier.
Children aren’t the problem, never have been. Children are natural learners.
The last decade of brain research confirms that human development is experience
dependent. The outer environment and the inner world of brain development are
two sides of a single complex system. Experience with the environment alters
the brain’s structure, chemistry, and genetic expression, often profoundly
throughout life. Children aren’t the problem. We can’t fix the system.

The environment sculpts the
developing brain. This points to what Joseph Chilton Pearce refers to as the
“model imperative.” Reaching and engaging individual adults, moms and dads, families,
coaches, their personal networks and communities, now supported by information
technologies, is the next great challenge in education.

With the speed, passion and
whole systems approach that took us to the Moon we are now challenged to awaken
and develop a new and fundamentally different adult model, one that sees
through the false hopes and false fears imposed by our current forms of
parenting and education. Only such a model can mentor a new generation of
children and through them a new intelligent, creative, sustainable culture.

The typical adult mind, however,
having been so deeply conditioned by its parenting and educational experiences,
has lost the capacity to see beyond the limitations imposed by this
conditioning. David Bohm, a world-class physicist, put it this way:

We are faced with a breakdown of
general social order and human values that threatens stability throughout the
world. Existing knowledge cannot meet this challenge. Something much deeper is
needed, a completely new approach. I am suggesting that the very means by which
we try to solve our problems is the problem. The source of our problems is
within the structure of thought itself.

Bohm describes how the natural
intelligence of the mind becomes distorted by its conditioning. Conditioning of
past experiences resonates throughout the body and mind as thoughts, images and
feelings.

Bohm understood that ideas and
theories are not the “absolute truth,” but rather, provisional proposals to be
explored and adapted through examination and play.

The brain loses track of the fleeting
nature of its own processes. It tends to treat almost everything it “knows” as
though it were permanent and “true.” In other words, we form beliefs. We don’t
treat beliefs as proposals. We treat them as facts. Beliefs involve assumptions
that operate beneath our awareness. These tacit assumptions build up over time,
creating a set of predetermined “kneejerk” reflexes. Much of what we call
thought, parenting and education is based on what Bohm calls the “reflex system.”
Conditioned reflexes are great for finding our socks or driving the L.A. freeways. There is a
catch. Reflexes involve little or no intelligence.

A unique characteristic that
distinguishes a brain from other organs is the capacity to create images. Thoughts
are mental images. Beliefs are even stronger mental images. The beliefs we have
about ourselves, our self-image, predispose us to relate to the world in
predictable ways. Compounding our confusion, the brain tends to merge beliefs
with our self-image. If someone challenges a deeply held belief about God or
contrary, for example, we feel as though our very essence is attacked. We
defend our beliefs as if we are attacked physically. The more deeply the brain
is conditioned by beliefs, the more the reflex system is activated. We don’t
choose our reflexes. They happen mechanically. All of this creates a general
state of confusion in the mind. Like a dog chasing its own tail

dog chasing his tail

we try to solve
the confusion in our lives by using the confused mind that created our
confusion. Expecting such a mind to raise healthy, sane and creative children
is crazy. We must bring our own house to order before we can model and mentor
order for our children.

Moore’s
Law of Accelerating Returns compounds this challenge. Historically information
and beliefs had a long shelf life, hundreds or even thousands of years.
Knowledge was power. Not any more. Our beliefs are challenged as the world
speeds up, becomes more abstract, smaller and more complex. The exponential
rate of change is challenging not just particular beliefs but the entire belief
system. The inflation of information devalues its meaning. We are pushed closer
and closer to Bohm’s position of treating what we know as temporary tools, to
be used when appropriate, rather than as absolute truths. Our identification
with knowledge and belief, with its implicit defensiveness, is eroding. The
good news is that this frees energy and attention to access and express other
states, creative intelligence for example.

Joseph Chilton Pearce tackles this in
his latest book, The Biology of Transcendence. Transcendence is defined as
moving beyond limitation and constraint. And what is it that must be
transcended?

First it is the limitations of one’s
present and earlier stages of development as new stages open and unfold,
physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Second and intimately
interwoven with the first, we must transcend the limitations imposed by
culture. Culture is the particular set of beliefs, customs, and expectations,
the accepted self-world view of the group we develop in how every good little
girl and boy, and later every good parent “should” behave.

Implied in Bohm’s work and that of
Pearce are two fundamentally different “states of mind,” the conditioned mind,
educated, filled with content and reflexive, and the unconditioned, natural or
original mind, pure potential, the innate capacity to learn and therefore to
transcend the limitations and constraints imposed by our conditioning,
self-image and beliefs. The conditioned state focuses on content, the past,
what has been learned. The unconditioned state gives attention to the present,
to capacity, possibility, what new discovery might be made now and the
excitement this possibility brings.

Ashley Montagu, in his book Growing
Young, refers to this original unconditioned state of mind as the “genius of
childhood,” bursting with curiosity, imaginativeness, playfulness,
open-mindedness, willingness to experiment, flexibility, humor, energy,
receptiveness to new ideas, honesty, eagerness to learn and love. None of these
qualities refer to specific content, knowledge or experience. They describe the
natural and therefore optimum state of mind to meet, explore and be transformed
by its interaction with a dynamic changing world.

Our traditional factory-conditioning
model of education values content and asks: “Did we get it right? What is our
score?” Every evaluation implies a degree of failure. This potential failure is
implicit in every learning experience.

The very structure of factory model
implies anxiety, a relative degree of defensiveness as we approach each new
challenge. Failure is built into the system, which cripples learning and
performance.

The next frontier in education and
parenting shifts attention from “what is” to what “may be,” to the natural
unconditioned state of the mind and its limitless capacity to learn. From this
perspective we would never ask: “Did you win?”

Our only concern would be: “What did
you learn and did you enjoy the experience?” No failure is implied in these
questions. There is no anxiety. The new frontier is called “state specific
learning and performance.” Pearce summarized this emerging model years ago in
his book Magical Child. “Play on the surface and the work takes place beneath
our conscious awareness.”

State specific learning means that
the “state” of our body and mind as it meets a challenge shapes our response to
that challenge, it shapes our performance. Performance and learning are “state
specific.” Specific skills and content emerge from specific learning states.
Optimum states express as optimum performance, optimum learning.

In optimum states we access the
genius of childhood, the full spectrum of our potential is active, alert, ready
to meet any challenge fully and completely. Athletes call optimum states the
Zone, researchers call it Flow, and children call it Play.

Children are not the problem. The
system was flawed from the beginning and can’t be fixed. Current brain research
and Moore’s Law
of Accelerating Returns points to the environment, what Joseph Chilton Pearce
calls the “model imperative,” as the dominant force that shapes the future of
humanity. The next frontier in parenting and education challenges individual
adults to become adaptive agile learners just like the children they are
mentoring.

We are at the threshold. Attention is
shifting from child development to adult development. Education and parenting
strategies are shifting from content-driven conditioning to the cultivation and
development of optimum learning states.

Only by following intelligent,
adaptive, creative, learning adults, something our present systems discourages,
will our children develop the capacity to lead humanity into a sustainable
future. Developing competent adult learners, passionate individuals who are
learning explosively right alongside the children they love, this is the next
frontier.

b)E-Social Transformation in
Practice




INTRODUCTION

TO THE

SONADANDA SUTTA.

   THIS Dialogue comes
very appropriately immediately after the Ambattha. That dealt with the
general question of pride of birth, or social position. This deals with the special
question of what is the essential quality which makes a man a Brahman. The
conclusion is, no doubt, substantially the same. But there is a difference, and
the difference is instructive.

   In trying to gain
over Ambattha to his (the Buddha’s) view of the essential
distinction–rather than birth or social position–between man and man, Gotama
includes the whole list as set out above in the thirteen divisions of the Sâmañña-phala{1}.
In trying to gain over Sonadanda to his (the Buddha’s) view of
what is the essential quality that makes a man a Brahman, he gives the same
details, but puts the Ghânas (the states of Ecstasy) not under Conduct,
but under Paññâ (Intelligence).

   The reason seems to
be simply that the verse, on which the exposition in the Ambattha turns,
mentions only Wisdom and Conduct (containing no word for Intelligence), and
that it is not thought accurate to put the states of Ecstasy (which are Indian,
not specially Buddhist) under Wisdom. It is true that the Buddhist position is
that ‘goodness is a function of intelligence, as beauty is of health’ (to quote
the words of Matthew Bassendine). But under Intelligence they always
distinguish two phases–the enquiring, and necessarily therefore doubting,
activity, of the mind; and the final stage of emancipation and peace when the
laws of the universe are clearly seen, and firmly grasped, and cheerfully
acquiesced in.

{1.
See the summary above, pp. 57-59,
in the Introduction to the Sâmañña-phala.}

{p. 138}

It is this latter phase which they
call Wisdom (Viggâ){1}–the contrary of the Aviggâ, which is
ignorance of the action of Karma, of the Four Noble Truths, and of the doctrine
of the Âsavas or Intoxications. The man who knows these; who, finally and
permanently out of the jungle and in the open, quite beyond the stage of
‘wasting his wonder on the fabulous soul,’ has attained to, and remains in this
state of Nibbâna in Arahatship, is not only, in Buddhist terminology,
called a Brahman, but is, in fact, declared to be the only true Brahman.

   It is amazing that
Sonadanda, as learned as he is wealthy, does not see that this,
the logical outcome of the Buddha’s argument, and carefully led up to in the
final paragraph of the exposition{2}, is really incompatible with the supremacy
of the Brahmans in the ordinary sense of that word. He is baffled by the skill
with which he is gradually led on, by the usual Socratic method adopted in so
many of the Dialogues, to accept one self-evident truth after another. There is
indeed nothing, till we come to that last paragraph, which any intelligent
Brahman could not, with safety, and with due regard to his own doctrine, fully
accept. In other words, the doctrine of Brahman supremacy was intellectually
indefensible. It was really quite inconsistent with the ethical standard of the
times, which the Brahmans, in common with the rest of the people, fully
accepted.

   Our Sutta is by no
means the only one in which the same, or a similar, argument leads up to the
same, or a similar, conclusion. It will aid us in understanding the real gist
of our Sutta to mention one or two of these.

   In the Tikanna
and Gânussoni Suttas of the Anguttara{3} the
question put by the Buddha is: ‘What sort of person do you Brahmans acknowledge
to be a Tevigga Brahman (a Brahman with threefold lore)?’

   The answer of each
of the Brahmans is, in the words of our Sutta, § 4: ‘A Brahman well born on
both sides, of pure descent, through the father and through the mother, back
through seven generations, with no slur put upon him, and no reproach, in
respect of birth–a repeater (of the sacred words) knowing the mystic verses by
heart, one who has mastered the Three Vedas, with the indices, the ritual, the
phonology, and the exegesis (as a fourth), and with the

{1.
The English equivalents do not exactly cover the corresponding Pâli terms,
which are not, in the texts, used always with scrupulous distinctiveness.

2. §
23 of the text, and of the translation below.

3.
Vol. i, pp. 163-168.}

{p. 139}

legends as a fifth–a man learned in
the (etymologies of the) words and in the grammar, versed in Lokâyata
(Nature-Lore){1} and in the theory of the signs on the body of a great man.’

   Whereupon the
Buddha rejoins that in the teaching of the Arahats the ‘threefold lore’ is
different; and on being asked what it is, answers in the words of sections 93,
95, and 97 of the Sâmañña-phala Sutta, which are quoted as the last
three paragraphs of his exposition in our Sutta, that is to say,

   a. The
knowledge of one’s own previous births.

   b. The
knowledge of other people’s previous births.

   c. The
knowledge of the Four Truths, and of the Four Intoxications (Âsavas), leading
on to the emancipation of Arahatship.

   The only difference
is that at the end of each section, and after the words setting forth the
emancipation, the following sentence is added:

   ’This first (or
second, or third) lore hath he required. Ignorance is dispelled within him, and
wisdom has been born. The darkness has been dissipated, the light has appeared.
(And all this) inasmuch as he has continued in earnestness, in zeal, in mastery
of himself.’

   And at the end of
the whole the following verses are also added:

   ’Him do they honour
whose heart,–unswerving in goodness, and wise,
   Given to earnest thought,–rests in his own control,
   Pacified, stedfast. And him resolute, able in method,
   Threefold in knowledge, dispelling the darkness, the
conqueror of Death, who
   Lived for the weal of gods and of men delivered from folly,
   Him of the threefold lore, mindful and self-possessed,
   Him do they honour, the Buddha, our Gotama, wearing now,
   Conqueror, too, of Birth, the last of his mortal frames!

   '’Tis he who is a
Brâhmana indeed
   Who knows the births that he has lived before;
   And sees (with Heavenly Eye) the states of bliss,
   And states of woe, that other men pass through;
   Has reached the end of all rebirths, become
   A sage, perfect in insight, Arahat,
   In these three modes of knowledge threefold wise.

{1.
See below in the Introduction
to the next Sutta.}

{p. 140}

   Him do I call a
Brahman, threefold wise,
   And not the man who mutters o’er again
      The mystic verse so often muttered through
before.’

   How important a
place this doctrine occupied in early Buddhism is made evident by the fact that
this latter stanza, with variations at the close, is so constantly repeated. We
find it in the 99th Sutta of the Iti-vuttaka (p. 100) and in the 91st Sutta of
the Magghima (the Brahmâyu Sutta). And it is quoted also, not only in
this Sutta in the Anguttara, and in another Sutta in the Samyutta
(I, 167), but also in the collection of verses from the Pitakas called
the Dhammapada (verse 423); and also in the other collection of such verses
(probably belonging to some other school of Buddhists), now preserved in the
oldest MS. yet discovered in India, the so-called Kharoshthi MS.,
portions of which have simultaneously found their way, last year, to both St.
Petersburg and Paris.

   The whole section
of the Dhammapada, which contains this quotation, consists of no less than
forty verses, each of which, from one point of view or another, emphasise this
point of the identification, by the Buddhists, of the Arahat with the Brahman.
Twenty-seven of them are taken from the Vâsettha Sutta of the Sutta
Nipâta, in which the question raised is precisely the same as that raised in
our Sutta, and in which the reply, though different in details, amounts to much
the same as the reply given here.

   Two conclusions
force themselves upon us. It is, in the first place, a striking proof of the
high social esteem in which the Brahmans, as such, and quite irrespective of
character, were held by the masses of the people. We have hitherto only had the
views which the Brahmans held about themselves. And very absurd they seem to
readers whose own vivid sense of superiority rests on a self-complacency quite
as inexpugnable as that of the Brahmans. Here we have evidence from an
independent source,–evidence all the stronger because it is found in Suttas in
which the exclusive claims of the Brahmans by birth are vigorously contested.
When the Buddhists, in selecting a title of honour for those they valued so highly,
for the best of men, for the Arahats, selected the name of Brahman, it is clear
that that word, in the opinion of the early Buddhists, conveyed to the minds of
the people an exalted meaning, a connotation of real veneration and respect.
And it is not likely that this would have been the case unless the Brahmans
had, at least as

{p. 141}

a general rule, deserved it–and on
other grounds than the mere prerogative of birth.

   In the second
place, if the contention of the Buddhists had been universally accepted–if the
word Brahman had come to mean, not only a man of a certain descent, but
exclusively a man of a certain character and insight–then the present caste
system of India
could never have grown up. But it was obviously impossible that the contention
should succeed.

   The method, adopted
by all reformers, of pouring new wine into old bottles, putting new meanings
into ancient words, can only succeed under conditions, that, in this case, were
non-existent. And it is always open to the danger that, with the old and
hallowed word, the old superstition associated with it will also survive. It
was a method largely adopted by the Buddhists; and in numerous other cases, to
which I have elsewhere called attention, adopted with success. The subsequent
language of India
is full of phrases and words which bear, not the meaning which they previously
bore, but the new and higher meaning put into them by Buddhists. But in this
case the two ideas were too widely apart, too contradictory. A physical meaning
cannot be replaced by an ethical one. The actual facts of life, which they
could not alter,–Could not, indeed, attempt to alter,–were a constant
influence, against their view, too strong to be overcome. Brahmans by birth,
many of them, perhaps most of them, engaged in various worldly trades and
occupations, and therefore Brahmans only by birth, were so constant and
so important a factor in the daily and hourly life of the people, that the idea
of birth could not be dissociated from the word. The Buddhists failed. And they
not only failed, their very choice of the word as a title of honour, must
(through the wide influence they exercised for so many centuries throughout and
beyond the valley of the Ganges) have actually
afforded a fresh strength to the veneration which the word inspired. The very
means they adopted to lend weight to their doctrine of emancipation became a
weapon to be turned against themselves.

   It is unlikely that
this really mattered much. The point was only one detail in a broad scheme
which was doomed from the outset to failure–that is if failure to attain
immediate and lasting acceptance can rightly be called the failure of a theory
of life.

   A theory which
placed the ideal in Self-conquest, regarded final salvation as obtainable in
this world, and in this world

{p. 142}

only, and only by self-conquest–a
view of life that ignored the ’soul’ and brought the very gods themselves under
the domain of law–a religious movement which aimed its keenest shafts against
all those forms of belief in the supernatural and mysterious, appealing most
strongly alike to the hopes and to the fears of the people–a philosophy that
confined itself to going back, step by step, from effect to cause, and poured
scorn on speculations as to the ultimate origin and end of all things–might
gain, by the powerful personality of its founder and the enthusiasm and zeal of
his early followers, a certain measure of temporary success. But it fought
against too many vested interests at once, it raised up too many enemies, it tried
in ‘pouring new wine into the old bottles’ to retain too much of the ancient
phraseology, for lasting victory–at least at that time, and in an advancing
country then assimilating to itself surrounding peoples at a lower grade of
culture. The end was inevitable. And it was actually brought about, not by
persecution, but by the gradual weakening of the theory itself, the gradual
creeping back, under new forms and new names, of the more popular beliefs.

   The very event
which seemed, in the eyes of the world, to be the most striking proof of the
success of the new movement, the conversion and strenuous support of Asoka, the
most powerful ruler India had had–indeed the first real overlord over
practically the whole of India–only hastened the decline. The adhesion of
large numbers of nominal converts, more especially from the newly incorporated
and less advanced provinces, produced weakness, rather than strength, in the
movement for reform. The day of compromise had come. Every relaxation of the
old thoroughgoing position was widely supported by converts only half
converted. And the margin of difference between the Buddhists and their
opponents gradually faded almost entirely away. The soul theory, step by step,
gained again the upper hand. The caste system was gradually built up into a
completely organised system. The social supremacy of the Brahmans by birth
became accepted as an incontrovertible fact. And the in flood of popular
superstition which overwhelmed the Buddhist movement, overwhelmed also the whole
pantheon of the Vedic gods. Buddhism and Brahmanism alike passed practically
away, and modern Hinduism arose on the ruins of both.

   The struggle is now
being renewed under conditions perhaps, on the whole, more favourable. The tone
of worldliness and love of material comfort, the eager restlessness

{p. 143}

of modern social, and economic
competition, the degradation of learning to a mere means of getting on and
making money, are no doubt all unfavourable to any movement for the social and
religious elevation of a people. But history shows, notably in the case of the
Reformation in Europe, how powerfully the contact of two diverse views of life
tends to widen the thoughts of men. Both India and Europe in the twentieth
century may be fairly expected to afford fresh examples of the same influence.
And in India the powerful aid of the new methods of science and of historical
criticism will lend their invaluable aid to the party endeavouring, now once
again, to place the ideal, not in birth, but in character and wisdom.

c) E-Economic Emancipation in Practice

Economic Principles in Early Buddhism

In the Samyutta Nikaya we find this famous saying by King Pasenadi who - being physically in a bad shape - is surprised as to how much the Buddha was able to help in his wordly affairs:

Indeed the Buddha has shown me
Compassion in two different ways:
For my welfare right here and now,
and also for in the future. (SN 1.1.3.124, en)

Besides the fact that Siddhartha Gotama as the heir to a royal clan
enjoyed proper education, culture and prosperity one other very
important event in his life shaped his understanding of Samsara more
than anything else: The first watch of meditation during that night of awakenment, when he - by the power of the 4th jhana and his gift of
recollection - started to remember innumerable previous lifetimes:

“With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright,
unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained
to imperturbability, he directs and inclines it to knowledge of the
recollection of past lives.3
He recollects his manifold past lives, i.e., one birth, two births,
three births, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, one
hundred, one thousand, one hundred thousand, many aeons of cosmic
contraction, many aeons of cosmic expansion, many aeons of cosmic
contraction and expansion, [recollecting,] ‘There I had such a name,
belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such
my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing
away from that state, I re-arose there. There too I had such a name,
belonged to such a clan, had such an appearance. Such was my food, such
my experience of pleasure and pain, such the end of my life. Passing
away from that state, I re-arose here.’ Thus he recollects his manifold
past lives in their modes and details. (MN 27 et al., en)

This
sounds like the most profound in-depth (and at the same time pragmatic,
real life based) education anyone could dream of. It would give you all
worldly wisdom condensed in a nutshell. You must feel like the oldest
human being around.

Now, especially in the current economic and financial turmoil
inflicted upon our samsaric world, it may be of some interest to look
at some of the timeless principles the Buddha shared with his friends
and followers. Below you will find a few suggestions drawn from the
suttas.

What advice did he give?

For one, he was definitely not in favor of anyone leveraging 80:1
:-), which in other words, could be called a form of deception. But, at
the same time, and probably to the astonishment of many mainstream
Buddhists, there are a lot of principles which today would be
identified as favoring a free / open market system with minimal
governmental oversight. Lets have a closer look at a couple of these
texts.

1. Step ladder to wealth.

In the famous Jataka story of the mouse merchant,
the Bodhisatta in his rebirth as the minister of the royal treasury
inspires a young man to pick up a dead mouse and selling it to a tavern
using the profit in turn to build a fortune. One step after the other.

Lets look at this story of careful wealth building  (abbrev. with comments):

Once
upon a time, an important adviser to a certain king was on his way to a
meeting with the king and other advisers. Out of the corner of his eye,
he saw a dead mouse by the roadside. He said to those who were with
him. “Even from such small beginnings as this dead mouse, an energetic young fellow could build a fortune.
If he worked hard and used his intelligence, he could start a business
and support a wife and family.”

A passerby
heard the remark. He knew this was a famous adviser to the king, so he
decided to follow his words. He picked up the dead mouse by the tail
and went off with it. As luck would have it, before he had gone even a
block, a shopkeeper stopped him. He said, “My cat has been pestering me
all morning. I’ll give you two copper coins for that mouse.” So it was
done.

This is a
very humble start indeed. Now, taking each step on the ladder one by
one this young man utilizes the gains of one (business) operation to
launch the next bigger one.

With
the two copper coins, he bought sweet cakes, and waited by the side of
the road with them and some water. As he expected, some people who
picked flowers for making garlands were returning from work. Since they
were all hungry and thirsty, they agreed to buy sweet cakes and water
for the price of a bunch of flowers from each of them. In the evening,
the man sold the flowers in the city. With some of the money he bought
more sweet cakes and returned the next day to sell to the flower
pickers.

It is
interesting to note, that he just utilizes the gains of his one
activity to build on that success. He is not getting into debt to
finance his business, so to speak, but uses his gains as thoroughly as
possible. Another trait is his knowledge of processes. He knows what
others are in need of. Making money by generating a win-win situation
for both parties. But again, his beginnings are painstakingly slow. His
success grows exponentially though (the power of compounding, :-)

This
went on for a while, until one day there was a terrible storm, with
heavy rains and high winds. While walking by the king’s pleasure
garden, he saw that many branches had been blown off the trees and were
lying all around. So he offered to the king’s gardener that he would
clear it all away for him, if he could keep the branches. The lazy
gardener quickly agreed. The man found some children playing in a park
across the street. They were glad to collect all the branches and brush
at the entrance to the pleasure garden, for the price of just one sweet
cake for each child.Along came the king’s potter, who was always on the
lookout for firewood for his glazing oven. When he saw the piles of
wood the children had just collected, he paid the man a handsome price
for it. He even threw into the bargain some of his pots.

With his
profits from selling the flowers and the firewood, the man opened up a
refreshment shop. One day all the local grass mowers, who were on their
way into town, stopped in his shop. He gave them free sweet cakes and
drinks. They were surprised at his generosity and asked, “What can we
do for you?” He said there was nothing for them to do now, but he would
let them know in the future.

He seems to
like the beverage industry (inspired by the tavern?)…and he is
networking and showing generosity. Quite a bit actually.


A week later, he heard that a horse dealer was coming to the city with
500 horses to sell. So he got in touch with the grass mowers and told
each of them to give him a bundle of grass. He told them not to sell
any grass to the horse dealer until he had sold his. In this way he got
a very good price.

This is
funny. He is creating a shortage on the market to profit from it. Good
for him that they did not have price gouging laws back then :-)

Time
passed until one day, in his refreshment shop, some customers told him
that a new ship from a foreign country had just anchored in the port.
He saw this to be the opportunity he had been waiting for. He thought
and thought until he came up with a good business plan.First, he went
to a jeweler friend of his and paid a low price for a very valuable
gold ring, with a beautiful red ruby in it. He knew that the foreign
ship was from a country that had no rubies of its own, where gold too
was expensive. So he gave the wonderful ring to the captain of the ship
as an advance on his commission. To earn this commission, the captain
agreed to send all his passengers to him as a broker. He would then
lead them to the best shops in the city. In turn, the man got the
merchants to pay him a commission for sending customers to them.

Now his
networking and all the money earned so far come in handy. He sees and
seizes this opportunity becoming quite wealthy as a customs broker :-)

Acting
as a middle man in this way, after several ships came into port, the
man became very rich. Being pleased with his success, he also
remembered that it had all started with the words of the king’s wise
adviser. So he decided to give him a gift of 100,000 gold coins. This
was half his entire wealth. After making the proper arrangements, he
met with the king’s adviser and gave him the gift, along with his
humble thanks.

The adviser
was amazed, and he asked, “How did you earn so much wealth to afford
such a generous gift?” The man told him it had all started with the
adviser’s own words not so long ago. They had led him to a dead mouse,
a hungry cat, sweet cakes, bunches of flowers, storm damaged tree
branches, children in the park, the king’s potter, a refreshment shop,
grass for 500 horses, a golden ruby ring, good business contacts, and
finally a large fortune.

Hearing all
this, the royal adviser thought to himself, “It would not be good to
lose the talents of such an energetic man. I too have much wealth, as
well as my beloved only daughter. As this man is single, he deserves to
marry her. Then he can inherit my wealth in addition to his own, and my
daughter will be well cared for.”

This all came
to pass, and after the wise adviser died, the one who had followed his
advice became the richest man in the city. The king appointed him to
the adviser’s position. Throughout his remaining life, he
generously gave his money for the happiness and well being of many
people
.

2. Financial Freedom and debtlessness.

In a few instances the Buddha discusses debt explicitely and although noting that debt may not always be avoided,
one should make up one’s mind and always remember the peace of mind
which goes along with debtlessness. Hence Buddhist lay people were
incouraged to “earn more than you spend“.
A life based on credit ratings is for those who may believe that this
one life is their one and only. Those who do belief in a future and
past beyond this particular life may show more patience and equanimity
when it comes to material necessities and - at times - frugality. Which
does not mean that they won’t enjoy riches (think of Anathapindika and
other rich Buddhist devotees in the days of the Buddha) or strive for
them (but for different reasons, see below) and who will probably know
that their wealth is a result of giving and turn their life to
philanthropic goals. Through their own intention, that is, not forced.

ThenAnathapindika the
householder went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down
to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there the Blessed One said
to him: “There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in
the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder partaking
of sensuality. Which four? The bliss of having, the bliss of [making
use of] wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, the bliss of blamelessness.

“And what is the bliss of having? There is the case where the son of
a good family has wealth earned through his efforts & enterprise,
amassed through the strength of his arm, and piled up through the sweat
of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained. When he thinks, ‘I
have wealth earned through my efforts & enterprise, amassed through
the strength of my arm, and piled up through the sweat of my brow,
righteous wealth righteously gained,’ he experiences bliss, he
experiences joy. This is called the bliss of having.

“And what is the bliss of wealth? There is the case where the son of
a good family, using the wealth earned through his efforts &
enterprise, amassed through the strength of his arm, and piled up
through the sweat of his brow, righteous wealth righteously gained,
partakes of his wealth and makes merit. When he thinks, ‘Using the
wealth earned through my efforts & enterprise, amassed through the
strength of my arm, and piled up through the sweat of my brow,
righteous wealth righteously gained, I partake of wealth and make merit,’ he experiences bliss, he experiences joy. This is called the bliss o