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December 2008
« Nov   Jan »
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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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

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

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

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

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.

Transformation in Practice

principles for a new global moral order

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

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.

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

E-Economic Emancipation in Practice

Welcome and

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


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
. 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


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


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
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
, 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
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

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

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

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

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

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