Homage to the Supremely Awakened One
Homage to the Sublime Teaching
Homage to the Buddha’s Community of Monks
The Abhidhamma forms the third part of the Pali Canon, the
Tipi.taka. The other two parts are the Vinaya Pi.taka, the code of
discipline for monks and nuns, and the Sutta Pi.taka, which contains
the Buddha’s discourses. The word “Abhidhamma” means the higher
teaching because it treats subjects exclusively in an ultimate sense (paramatthasacca),
differing from the Sutta Pi.taka where there is often the use of
expressions valid only from the standpoint of conventional truth (vohaarasacca).
In the Abhidhamma the philosophical standpoint of the Buddha is given
in a pure form without admixture of personalities, anecdotes, or
discussions. It deals with realities in detail and consists of numerous
classifications. These may at first discourage the prospective student.
However, if one perseveres one will be able to derive much benefit in
life-situations from the practical application of the knowledge gained
through study of the Abhidhamma.
Theravaada tradition holds that the Buddha conceived the Abhidhamma
in the fourth week after his awakenment, while still sitting in the
vicinity of the Bodhi tree. Tradition also has it that he first
preached the Abhidhamma to the assembly of deities in the Taavati.msa
heaven; his mother, reborn as a deity, was present in the assembly.
This can be taken to mean that the Buddha, by intense concentration,
transcended the earth-bound mentality and rose mentally to the world of
the deities, a feat made possible by his attainment of higher powers (abhiññaa)
through utmost perfection in mental concentration. Having preached the
Abhidhamma to the deities, he returned to earth, that is, to normal
human consciousness, and preached it to the venerable Saariputta, the
arahant disciple most advanced in wisdom.
From ancient times doubts have been expressed as to whether the
Abhidhamma was really taught by the Buddha. What is important for us is
to experience the realities described in the Abhidhamma. Then one will
realize for oneself that such profound truths can emanate only from a
source of supreme awakenment, from a Buddha. Much of what is
contained in the Abhidhamma is also found in the Sutta Pi.taka and such
sermons had never been heard by anyone until they were uttered by the
Buddha. Therefore those who deny that the source of the Abhidhamma was
the Buddha will then have to say that the discourses also were not
uttered by the Buddha. At any rate, according to the Theravaada
tradition, the essence of the Abhidhamma, the fundamentals, the
framework, is ascribed to the Buddha. The tabulations and
classifications may have been the work of later scholars. What is
important is the essence; it is this we should try to experience for
The question is also raised whether the Abhidhamma is essential for
Dhamma practice. The answer to this will depend on the individual who
undertakes the practice. People vary in their levels of understanding
and spiritual development. Ideally all the different spiritual
faculties should be harmonized, but some people are quite content with
devotional practice based on faith, while others are keen on developing
penetrative insight. The Abhidhamma is most useful to those who want to
understand, who want to know the Dhamma in depth and detail. It aids
the development of insight into the three characteristics of
existence-impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self. It will be
found useful not only during the periods devoted to formal meditation,
but also during the rest of the day when we are engaged in various
chores. When we experience realities then we are deriving benefit from
the study of the Abhidhamma. A comprehensive knowledge of the
Abhidhamma is further useful to those engaged in teaching and
explaining the Dhamma to others
The Abhidhamma deals with realities existing in an ultimate sense, called in Pali paramattha dhammaa. There are four such realities:
Citta, the cetasikas, and ruupa are conditioned realities. They
arise because of conditions and disappear when their conditions cease
to sustain them. Therefore they are impermanent. Nibbaana is an
unconditioned reality. It does not arise and therefore does not fall
away. These four realities can be experienced regardless of what name
we give them. Any other thing — be it within ourselves or without,
past, present, or future, coarse or subtle, low or lofty, far or near —
is a concept and not an ultimate reality.
Citta, cetasikas, and nibbaana are also called naama. The two
conditioned naamas, citta and cetasikas, together with ruupa make up naama-ruupa, the psycho-physical organism. Each of us, in the ultimate sense, is a naama-ruupa,
a compound of mental and material phenomena, and nothing more. Apart
from these three realities that go to form the naama-ruupa compound
there is no ego, self, or soul. The naama part of the compound is what
experiences an object. The ruupa part does not experience anything.
When the body is injured it is not the body, which is ruupa, that feels
the pain, but naama, the mental side. When we are hungry it is not the
stomach that feels the hunger but again the naama. However, naama
cannot eat the food to ease the hunger. The naama, the mind and its
factors, makes the ruupa, the body, ingest the food. Thus neither the
naama nor the ruupa has any efficient power of its own. One is
dependent on the other; one supports the other. Both naama and ruupa
arise because of conditions and perish immediately, and this is
happening every moment of our lives. By studying and experiencing these
realities we will get insight into: (1) what we truly are; (2) what we
find around us; (3) how and why we react to what is within and around
us; and (4) what we should aspire to reach as a spiritual goal
“And how is a monk consummate in
virtue? Abandoning the taking of life, he abstains from the taking of life. He
dwells with his rod laid down, his knife laid down, scrupulous, merciful,
compassionate for the welfare of all living beings. This is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning the taking of what
is not given, he abstains from taking what is not given. He takes only what is
given, accepts only what is given, lives not by stealth but by means of a self
that has become pure. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning uncelibacy, he lives
a celibate life, aloof, refraining from the sexual act that is the villager’s
way. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning false speech, he
abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm,
reliable, no deceiver of the world. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning divisive speech he
abstains from divisive speech. What he has heard here he does not tell there to
break those people apart from these people here. What he has heard there he
does not tell here to break these people apart from those people there. Thus
reconciling those who have broken apart or cementing those who are united, he
loves concord, delights in concord, enjoys concord, speaks things that create
concord. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning abusive speech, he
abstains from abusive speech. He speaks words that are soothing to the ear,
that are affectionate, that go to the heart, that are polite, appealing and
pleasing to people at large. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“Abandoning idle chatter, he
abstains from idle chatter. He speaks in season, speaks what is factual, what
is in accordance with the goal, the Dhamma, and the Vinaya. He speaks words
worth treasuring, seasonable, reasonable, circumscribed, connected with the
goal. This, too, is part of his virtue.
“He abstains from damaging seed
and plant life.
“He eats only once a day,
refraining from the evening meal and from food at the wrong time of day.
“He abstains from dancing,
singing, instrumental music, and from watching shows.
“He abstains from wearing
garlands and from beautifying himself with scents and cosmetics.
“He abstains from high and
luxurious beds and seats.
“He abstains from accepting gold
“He abstains from accepting
uncooked grain… raw meat… women and girls… male and female slaves…
goats and sheep… fowl and pigs… elephants, cattle, steeds, and mares…
fields and property.
“He abstains from running
messages… from buying and selling… from dealing with false scales, false
metals, and false measures… from bribery, deception, and fraud.
“He abstains from mutilating,
executing, imprisoning, highway robbery, plunder, and violence.
“This, too, is part of his
…the deva spoke this verse…:
Hard it is to keep, and hard to bear,Recluse-life for him who lacks the skill.Obstacles abound, the fool is lost.How long can he endure the holy life,If he cannot hold his heart in check?Caught now here, now there, he stumbles, falls,
[The Blessed One replied:]
Passions wholly stilled, dwells blaming none.1
C.M. reviews all development works of the State
(C.M. Information Campus)
C.M. reviews all development works of the State
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Lucknow: In a minor administrative reshuffle, Principal Secretary
Forest, Shailesh Krishna, has been transferred to Chief Minister office
in the same capacity.
Krishna has been made Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, official sources said here on Sunday.
Krishna was holding the same post with charge of Civil Aviation
department earlier also but was shifted to the Forest department in
September this year.
LUCKNOW: In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Mumbai, the
Uttar Pradesh Government has directed the district magistrates to
sensitise the hoteliers to strengthen their security paraphernalia.
In this context, the District Magistrate and the SSP of Agra held a
meeting with the managements of the five-star and four-star hotels in
which the hoteliers were asked to install CCTVs and upgrade the private
security deployed in the hotels.
They were also asked to coordinate with the police.
Agra receives the maximum tourist population, including foreigners, in the State followed by Varanasi and Lucknow.
According to State ADG (Law and Order and Crime) Brij Lal, other
district magistrates have been asked to convene similar meetings with
the hotel staff. Mr. Lal said it was impossible to deploy police force
in all the hotels, but they would be ever ready to assist the hotel
staff in any eventuality.
He said the U.P. police are well-equipped to counter the terrorist
menace, which was borne out in the manner in which they repulsed the
terrorist attack in Ayodhya in July 2005. He said the terrorists were
armed with rocket launchers, hand grenades and AK-47 rifles but they
were overpowered by the police.
The ADG said the State police were equipped with SAF carbines,
which are capable of firing 720 rounds per minute, AK-47s, Insas, block
pistols, grenades, light machine guns and bullet-proof jackets.
Under the police modernisation scheme, efforts were on to procure
MP5 sub-machineguns, which fire 600 rounds per minute and are used for
high-security duties. Besides, the U.P. Police and Provincial Armed
Constabulary have trained commandos.
The ADG said the UP Police would coordinate with the Maharashtra
police if the latter wanted to interrogate Mohammad Faheem Ansari, who
was arrested for his involvement in the terror attack on the CRPF group
camp in Rampur, U.P., on January 1 this year.
Police had seized maps of the Mumbai Stock Exchange, the Maharashtra
DGP office and other vital installations in the country’s financial
capital from Ansari’s possession.
is not just the presence of rebel candidates in the fray which is
creating problems for ruling BJP and opposition Congress in Rajasthan,
but also the presence of Mayawati-led BSP.
With BSP fielding
candidates for 199 out of 200 assembly seats for the December 4
elections, the traditional straight fight between BJP and Congress now
seems to be a triangular contest in several assembly seats.
BSP, which gained power in Uttar Pradesh last year using its social
engineering formula, is set to sway results in some of the seats. “The
BSP may not win many seats, but it could fluctuate the final tally,”
said a state Congress leader who was here for election management.
BSP differs from the projection. “The aim is not to poach upon votes
but emerge as a strong force. What Behenji (Mayawati) has done in UP
can definitely be copied in Rajasthan..the down trodden voters want a
change which the BSP can give,” said partys candidate from city Nilesh
The BSP had won two of the 124 assembly seats it
contested in 2003. But it increased its vote percentage from 2.17 in
1998, when it entered the fray for the first time in the state, to 3.98
per cent in 2003.
BSP workers and local leaders are ready to belt out figures once asked about the chances of the party in gaining more seats than last time.
nine seats we came second, and in 23 seats we were third and got more
than 22,000 votes…since then the party has been working to strengthen
its base by educating people about the concept of BSP,” a local leader
managing the election office in Alwar said.