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            Our lives are interwined with
material things. When

it comes to food,
clothing, shelter and transportation, in

which case can we
forsake material things? In which case

do we not form some
relationship with material things? In

life we cannot do
without material things, and for this reason

some people are
willing to become slaves to these things. But

the fact of the
matter is that there is no need in life to

exclusively pursue
pleasure and riches. Instead of being a

slave to money, a
person should seek to enhance the appeal

and flavour of life.
Beautifying one’s house-hold

surroundings, for
example, can give us employment. People

can add to the charm
of life by diligently sweeping their yards

every day, by
cleaning their houses and windows, by making

their homes cozy, and
by cultivating their gardens.

Occasionally getting
away to a scenic area with friends will

also add a little
spice to life. We can also give life more essence

by immersing
ourselves in work or nature; by experiencing

the way a flower
blooms, a mountain land scape provides

enjoyment, a bridge
joins people, a tree gives shade, or a spring

quenches thirst. We
should strive for a lifestyle that gives

value to life.





Exercise 2


Translate into Pāli


Good actions bring happiness for long, bad happiness



Kusala-kammāni dīghakālaṁ sukhaṁ

akusala-kammāni dukkhaṁ.


Wise men perform merit, and refrain from demerit.


Paṇḍitā-manussā punñña
karonti ceva p



Bhadra saw long boats at sea from the mountain.


Bhadro pabbbatamhā samuddasmiṁ digha-navāyo



The world is permanent, the world gives happiness,

there is a mind- thus the ignorant
say and acquiren heaps

of demerit.


Loko nicco, loko sukhaṁ deti,
ā atthi, iti bālā

Passanti, evaṁ akusalānaṁ rāsiyo labhanti.


The stomach of the poet was hot.


Kavissa kucchi uṇhaṁ ahosi.


The leopards dwell in mountains and in forests


girīsu ca araññesu ca vasanti.


All things are impermanent, so the wise ones se

and thus become pious ones.       


Sabbe saṅkhārā aniccā honti’ti Paṇḍitā passanti,

evapunññavantā ca bhavanti.


Body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations,

conciousness are shadows and


Rūpaṁ, vedanā, saññā, saṅkhārā, viññāṇaṁ, chāyā

Viya anattā ca honti.


Many kings, seers, householders attain final bliss

from the Awakened One in the past,
they attain now,

and they will attain in future.


Bahū bhūpati, isayo, gahapatayo, atīte

nibbānaṁ labhiṁsu,
te id
āni pi
labhanti, anānti, anāgate

ceva labhissanti.

He destroyed the fire of evil with the cool water of

good deeds and meditation; thus you also do all good

deeds and gain happiness.


So akusalssa aggiṁ kusala-kammānaṁ sita

udekena ca bhāvanāya ca hānesi, eva

sabbāni kusala-kammāni karotha, sukhaṁ ca



The Awakened One is the Sun of Wisdom and

ocean of Compassion.


Buddho paññāya suriyo ceva karuāya udadhi ca



You bring paddy with your hand, we carry treasures

on the head, and fools carry
sickness in their hearts.


hatthena vihi
āharatha, mayaṁ sīsena

                  nidhiāharāma, bālā ca attāna
cittesu by





King With One Grey Hair


A very very long time ago,
there were people who lived much longer than they do today. They lived many
thousand years. At that time, the Enlightenment Being was born as a baby named
Makhadeva. He lived 84,000 years as a child and crown prince. At the time of
our story, he had been a young king for 80,000 years.

One day, Makhadeva told the
royal barber, “If you see any grey hair on my head, you must tell me
immediately!” Of course, the barber promised to do so.

Another 4,000 years passed,
until Makhadeva had been a young king for 84,000 years. Then one day, while he
was cutting the king’s hair, the royal barber saw just one little grey hair on
all the king’s head. So he said, “Oh my lord, I see one grey hair on your
head.” The king said, “If this be so, pull it out and put it in my
hand.” The barber got his golden tweezers, plucked out the single little
grey hair, and put it in the king’s hand.

At that time, the king
still had at least another 84,000 years left to live as an old king! Looking at
the one grey hair in his hand, he became very afraid of dying. He felt like
death was closing in on him, as if he were trapped in a burning house. He was
so afraid, that the sweat rolled down his back, and he shuddered.

King Makhadeva thought,
“Oh foolish king, you have wasted all this long life and now you are near
death. You have made no attempt to destroy your greed and envy, to live without
hating, and to get rid of your ignorance by learning the truth and becoming

As he thought this, his
body burned and the sweat kept rolling down. Then he decided once and for all,
“It is time to give up the kingship, be ordained as a monk, and practice
meditation!” Thinking so, he granted the income of a whole town to the
barber. It amounted to one-hundred-thousand per year.

Then the king called his
oldest son to him and said, “My son, I have seen a grey hair. I have
become old. I have enjoyed the worldly pleasures of great wealth and power.
When I die, I want to be reborn in a heaven world, to enjoy the pleasures of
the gods. So I will be ordained as a monk. You must now take the responsibility
of ruling the country. I will live the life of a monk in the forest.”

Hearing of this, the royal
ministers and the rest of the court rushed to the king and said, “Our
lord, why do you suddenly want to be ordained?”

The king held up the grey
hair in his hand and said, “My ministers and subjects, I have realized
that this grey hair shows that the three stages of life - youth, middle age and
old age - are coming to an end. This first grey hair was the messenger of death
sitting on my head. Grey hairs are like angels sent by the god of death.
Therefore, this very day is the time for me to be ordained.”

The people wept at the news
of his departure. King Makhadeva gave up his royal life, went into the forest,
and was ordained as a monk. There he practiced what holy men call the ‘Four
Heavenly States of Mind’. First is loving-kindness, tender affection for all.
Second is feeling sympathy and pity for all those who suffer. Third is feeling
happiness for all those who are joyful. And the fourth state is balance and
calm, even in the face of difficulties or troubles.

After 84,000 years of great
effort meditating and practicing these states as a humble forest monk, the
Bodhisatta died. He was reborn in a high heaven world, to live a life a million
years long!

moral is: Even a long life is too short to waste.


A Permanent Online
International Seminar on Buddhism and Buddhist Heritage of Jambudvipa that is
the Great Prabuddha Bharath



Right Views - the first step on the
Noble 8 Fold path

The Noble 8 Fold Path is the last of
the 4 noble truths propounded by Buddhism religion. The first aspect of the
Noble 8 Fold Path is right views.

We must first recognize that
attachment to the wrong views causes suffering. These are many examples that
can be given. Consider the religious wars of history and conflicts between
religious sects - Christian or otherwise. These were caused by attachment to
the views of a certain religion. Also the holders of these views were fanatics
in that they were not willing to engage in reasoned debate but were willing to
kill, wage war and die for their beliefs. In the 20th century we have seen
conflicts between the ideologies of communism, fascism and capitalism. And all
through history nations have held views regarding their superiority to other
nations and races and were prepared to fight to prove their point.

Uniqueness of Buddhism religion or

The unique point is
that the teachings were regarded as fingers pointing to the moon. The teachings
were pointers to the truth but not the truth itself. This being made clear
there was the happy result of there being no wars and no fanaticism in the
followers of Buddhism.

This is one of the qualities that
attracts me most to Buddhism religion or philosophy.

Further explanation about this point
can be found in Sceptical Essays written by Bertrand Russell. Russell makes the
point that when 2 men of science hold opposing views about a subject they make
an appeal to evidence to win their argument. Also the scientists recognize that
they are fallible and can make mistakes. When fresh evidence suggests that they
are mistaken the scientist is prepared to change his views. Russell praises
this reasonableness and intellectual honesty and says that if this habit became
common to humanity it would lead to lessening of fanaticism and an end to
almost all the preventable wars and misery that we have seen throughout

A scientist generally has good
reasons for his view; he appeals to evidence and is prepared to change his
mind. The fanatic on the other hand – someone like Hitler - generally has no
good reasons for his views, he appeals to force and is not prepared to change
his mind.

The goal of Buddhism - Nibbana

Why do we wish to
follow the eightfold path. Buddhism prescribes this path as a cure for the
suffering that all of us experience. So if you wish to be happy and not suffer
follow the teachings of Buddhism. Eightfold path will take us to the state
beyond suffering.

Regarding wrong views - the element
of the Noble 8 Fold path - in our individual lives they are caused generally by
traumas or wrong upbringing suffered in childhood. We may suffer from an
inferiority complex which is nothing but a point of view and a wrong view at
that. We are subject to the opinions of our parents when we are young –
regarding religion, sex and many other subjects. This forms our beliefs in
adult life. In my own community in India
I have observed the habit in many members of my community of blaming the
Muslims of India
for most of our social ills. A child subjected to this sort of brainwashing
will never be able to form a good relationship with a Muslim person even when
he matures. In this way, attachment to wrong views causes pain and suffering
both in our lives and others.

From the point of Buddhism religion
or philosophy we may say that all views are wrong views. We are obviously
dealing with the nature of God or Ultimate reality about which no opinions can
be held or expressed - you can only have the experience but you will find it
impossible to communicate your experience.

As stated earlier this experience is
the goal of Buddhism - Nibbana.

Buddhism may be described not as a
collection of views but as a path or method of dropping wrong views and gaining
insight. But how do we change deeply held beliefs and views which do not serve
us? It is through meditation, mindfulness, awareness and insight. Once we have
an insight about the nature of ourselves or of the world it will be possible
for us to drop our wrong views about the subject.

Insight about the nature of the
Universe and our relationship to it is the goal of Buddhism. Eightfold path can
lead us to that happy state.

I am afraid there is no substitute
for meditation as a tool to enable us to gain insight about ourselves and drop
wrong views and achieve lasting transformation and spiritual growth. You will
necessarily have to meditate daily for months and even years before you see
changes. I recommend Vipassana
as taught by S.N Goenka. It is a powerful and effective meditation for
transformation although it is quite demanding.

From the point of view of the Noble 8
Fold Path right views are one of the 8 elements which make up the path leading
to the end of suffering. For more on the Noble 8 Fold Path please refer The
Heart of Buddha’s Teaching
by Thich Nhat Hanh which explain this and other
aspects of Buddhism clearly.

For more on Buddhism and facts -
about it being a dialogue, a skillful means, about a powerful meditation that
leads to peace please visit this page on Buddhism
religion facts
You will find that Buddhism and facts are in close

For more on the Noble eightfold path
please this page on Right
Thinking as per the Eightfold path of Buddhism

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