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05/27/10
VR1 +VE NEWS-Devotees celebrate Buddha Purnima in Uttar Pradesh-The Abhidhamma in Practice -Rebirth Consciousness-Emperor Asoka’s contribution to Indian arts-Mayawati lauds three years of rule- Major Achievements of BSP Government in Uttar Pradesh during the last 3 years -Mayawati for a people-friendly image of the party-Mayawati seeks inclusion of caste in census
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:44 pm

Devotees celebrate Buddha Purnima in Uttar Pradesh

 

Kushinagar (Uttar Pradesh), May 27 (ANI): Devotees in Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar District celebrated Buddha Purnima, the birth anniversary of Lord Buddha on Thursday.

Devotees and monks from various countries participated in a procession at the Buddhist pilgrimage site here to mark the festival.

“Kushinagar is an important Buddhist pilgrimage site. Devotees from all over Thailand, Burma, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and India are taking part in the celebrations of Buddha Purnima to offer their prayers to Lord Buddha,” said Baanti Mahendra, a devotee.

“Devotees try to use the teachings of Buddha in their own lives so that they can attain a peaceful life,” he added.

Buddha Purnima falls on the Full Moon day. This day holds special significance for followers of Lord Buddha as all three main events of his life took place on the same day.

It is believed that Buddha’s wife Yashodara, his charioteer Channa and even his horse Kantaka, were born on the same day.

The message of Lord Buddha inspires to follow the path of truth, peace and compassion and serve humanity to affirm our faith in the eternal values of non-violence and universal brotherhood. (ANI)

 

Emperor Asoka’s contribution to Indian arts


Sanchi Stupa

He stayed in Ujjain for 14 years and had two children by her. On his return to Pataliputra the capital of Maghadhadesha, he was anointed the King. In his eighth year, Asoka invaded Kalinga Kingdom (modern Orissa) on the North Eastern coast of India in a genocidal war on the banks of Daya river near Dhauli, in Kalinga. At Dhauli he met with the Samanera (novice monk) Nigrodha, and listened to the Dhamma and through this Samanera met the Samenera’s teacher Ven. Upagupta of royal lineage (Moggaliputta Tissa) and embraced Buddhism, having had a clear insight into his genocidal career and became remorseful.

Dhauli Rock Edict

His remorse Asoka recorded in the Dhauli Rock Edict in the following manner.” “By King Devanampiya Priyadarshin, who was consecrated for eight years Kalinga was conquered. One hundred and fifty thousand there in number were slain there. Many times that number were deported from there. Many times that number perished there now that Kalinga was conquered Devanampiya’s observance of Dhamma, love of Dhamma and propagating of Dhamma became ardent. Here is this remorse of his that he conquered Kalinga” Epigraphis Indica - English translation of Brahmi script edict).

This is the first instance of a monarch becomes remorseful of war activities. Therefore this conversion of Asoka could be called, ‘The Conquest of a Conqueror by Dhamma.” In the tenth year of his reign as recorded in the Gurnar version of Asoka’s pillar edict, that he went and worshipped Buddha Gaya. Rock Edict VII. Layer Asoka opened the seven of the eight stupas originally built immediately after the Great Demise (Mahaparinirvana) at Kushinagar, the Naga Kings of Ramgram, Nepal refused permission to open their stupa in present Nepal, and built 84,000 all over India enshrining the sacred relics of the Buddha recovered from these seven stupas.

Third Buddhist Council

Asoka too convened the Third Buddhist Council (Sangayana) at Pataliputra (modern Patna, capital of Bihar State) under the chairmanship of his Ven. Maha Moggaliputta Tissa Mahathera and despatched Buddhist missions headed by erudite monks to eight countries including Sri Lanka and (under Arahat Mahinda, his son) and to Burma Myanmar (Burma) under Arahaths Sona and Uttara.

Asoka set up minor rock, Rock and pillar edicts all over India.


Bodh Gaya

Thus the Buddhist creed came to be given longevity in India as well as overseas. The capitals of Asokan pillars are the most magnificent pieces of sculpture in the world. The Lion capital of the Saranath Pillar, provided the legislature of independent India to insert the Dhammacakka in the centre of the Indian tri-colour national flag, which Chakra (Wheel) represents, the Dhammacakka Pavattana Sutta, the first discourse of the Buddha and also adopt the Lion capital with four lions as the national emblem of independent India in 1949.

Jataka stories

After the period of Asoka, the 2nd century BC saw another chapter of Buddhist stupas sculpted reliefs of the railings of the great stupas of Bharhut and Sanchi. These sculptures gave a new dimension to the latent artistic talents of the Indian, to sculpts or print for the first time scenes from the life of the Buddha of the 6th century BC and the Jataka stories of running through innumerable millennia illustrating the high cultural and civilization of India or Maha Bharath.

The figures in the reliefs of Bharhut are endowed with a generous sense of peace and well being, transferring same to the onlooker. There is thus created a sense of the lyrical, unending melody of life of peace and tranquillity. Moving from Bharhut we come to the reliefs on the gateways of the Sanchi Stupas Complex of the 2nd century BC. In the Bharhut figures are single, in contrast to the Sanchi reliefs that bring forth large groups in variety of poses of reverence and honour to the Buddha, though the figure of the Buddha had not been created by then, but represented by a Bodhi tree, empty throne, stupa or a wheel. With the diagonal movements of the figures, depict the figures in motion out of boundaries of the stone, which give the impression to the onlooker.

Heinous crimes

The Stupa at Sanchi (Madhya Pradesh) a few miles from Vidisha, the homeland of the first spouse of King Asoka, Sujata, the mother of Mahinda and Sanghamitta, of the Vaishya - Setti clan, has an inscription on the Eastern Gateway right side, that the carvings on the gateway are the work of ‘Dantakarins’ (Ivory-carvers), and any person or persons shifting these carvings elsewhere or claiming them to be of theirs would be subject to the punishments for panchanikarma (five heinous crimes - meaning execution).

These caves were from Vidisha. Magnificent carvings with minute and exquisite detail of the sculpture of Sanchi depict the skill of ivory workers, as ivory does not permit any human error, of any magnitude. In the gateways of Sanchi the scenes sculpted are in a continuous narration, like the modern day films and are in a harmonious relationship with each other and give to the mind of the onlooker a complete scene as being enacted before his eyes, like in a film.

These scenes remind us that the Indian view of time and life is not on a chronological movement of the past, present and future, but an eternal process reaching to the time of eternity. The artist is imbibe with a deep sense of Indian life that existed, exist and that would continue to exist, whatever the upheavals that take place in Indian life.

The dynasty of rulers who made the sculpted railings and gateways of the great stupa at Sanchi, had their Eastern Indian sect of such sculptures in their own kingdom of present day Andhra Pradesh, at Amravadi and Nagajunakinda in the Krishna river valley.

Maha Bodhi Vihara

At Amravati, a great stupa of Mauryan times was reconstructed during the 2nd century AD by Satavahanas and the stupa was provided with stone sculpted railing like that at Buddha Gaya Maha Bodhi Vihara. Similar to railings at Sanchi, the railings at Amravati and Nagarjunakanda (short time later) were profusely sculpted with Jataka stories, to give the onlooker that attainment of Buddhahood is possible through a tedious process of innumerable lives performing the ten perfections (dasa paramita), and that the Buddha is human, but a self made (Swayambu) supreme human being. These figures of the railings are in steady movements and not stable, giving the onlooker the spirit of the Dhamma as a great moving force from the dark into the light.

The scenes too represent the world within and understanding life. There in the pliable flesh is never disregarded. These are all in all the finest representations in the art of the world.

Asoka besides his construction of stupas, erection of pillars with Dharmapili and rock, minor rock and pillar edicts, began the tradition of making beautiful cave temples for Ajivakas and Brahamins, which he sculpted out of the Barabar hills in Bihar State with cave donative inscriptions.

 

Mayawati for a people-friendly image of the party

STAFF WRITER 20:5 HRS IST

Lucknow, May 13 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP chief Mayawati today asked party leaders not to confine their efforts to expanding its support base but also to create an image for the party in accordance with expectations of the people.

Delivering the message at a meeting of senior party functionaries here, Mayawati said her government was committed to create an atmosphere in the state free of “fear, crime, terror and corruption”, a BSP spokesman said.

She also reviewed preparation for the party’s proposed state-wide agitation against ‘wrong policies’ of the Congress beginning May 22, the day UPA completes one year in office and asked party workers to make the stir a success, saying it was related to the interest of the common people.

Mayawati seeks inclusion of caste in census

STAFF WRITER 17:12 HRS IST

Lucknow, May 15 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati today demanded inclusion of caste in the census which would help in drawing welfare schemes for the weaker sections.

In a letter written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she stressed on caste based census in order to ensure academic, social and economic development of the deprived groups.

She slammed Congress, BJP and other political parties for depriving the backwards of their rights by denying caste-based census since Independence.

“With an aim to maintain their hold over power they conspired to deprive the other backward castes (OBC) of their rights by denying caste-based census since Independence”, she said in an official statement.

She claimed that on her directives the BSP members were the first to raise the issue of caste-based census in the Parliament. Other parties were now trying to take credit for it, she added.

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05/13/10
The Abhidhamma in Practice -Mayawati completes three years in office Thursday
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 1:25 am

Mayawati completes three years in office Thursday

Chief Minister Mayawati completes three years in office Thursday.

The first ever Dalit woman chief minister of India’s most populous state created history in 2007 by leading her Bahujan Samaj Party to winning a clear majority in the 403-member state assembly. It was after a gap of 17 years that any political outfit had managed to bag clear majority in the state’s house.

This is Mayawati’s fourth stint in power. Her earlier tenures were short and propped with the support of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Unlike the preceding years when she organised a big bash on her government’s anniversaries, the completion of three years in office this time is being kept a low-key affair.

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05/05/10
VR1 +VE NEWS-International Research and Practice for Ultimate Bliss-Buddhism : Greatest heritage from the past-A Buddhist Approach to Management-DEVOTION IN BUDDHISM-Complaint against Chief Secretary, three others -The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and former Additional Director-General of Police Subhash Bharani has lodged a complaint with the Vidhana Soudha police accusing the Chief Secretary and three other officials for allegedly failing to protect the interest and welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 7:11 pm

Buddhism: Greatest heritage from the past

 S. M. Wijayaratne Kurunegala Daily News Corr

The Buddha’s teaching is the greatest heritage that man has received from the past. The Buddha’s message of non-violence and peace, of love and compassion, of tolerance and understanding, of truth and wisdom, of respect and regard for all life, of freedom from selfishness, hatred and violence delivered over 2500 years ago, stands good for today and will stand forever as the truth.

IT is an eternal message. We are in a world torn by strife. The Fully-Awakened One taught that we must develop the ‘bodhi’ heart of wisdom, a heart of love, a heart of understanding, to overcome the prevailing vices which have plagued man since the beginning of time. “Overcome anger by non-anger, overcome hatred by love. We practice the advice given by the Most Compassionate One.

We are responsible for our destiny. We have to cleanse our hearts, scrutinize our own natures and determine to practice the teachings not only in the letter but, more importantly, in the spirit.

We should never forget that we are very fortunate to be born in this era of time when the sacred teachings of the Fully-Awakened One are existing in the world. Buddhists who are really in need of seeing the Buddha can do so even today.

How can it be possible? The Buddha says “Those who properly practice my noble teachings will definitely see me.” That means, we should realize and practice His teachings whole heartedly to achieve the real bliss of life that He promised us to gain during this life itself. Buddha also says “Buddhas are only guides,” they became perfect in wisdom and realized Nibbana through proper cultivation of virtues for a period of millions of years.

A person has to tread the path of purification diligently with self-confidence until he becomes successful in his search of true happiness. In the Anguttara Nikaya, the Blessed One has said as follows:

“The appearance of three persons, oh! Monks, is rare in the world.” “Who are they?”

(1) The appearance of a Thathagatha an Arahant who is a fully Awakened one is rare in the world.

(2) A person who could expound the Teachings and Discipline taught by the Thathagatha is rare in the world.

(3) A person who is grateful and thankful is rare in this world.”

Thus, we see how highly Buddha regarded Gratitude, as grateful people are very rare in the world.

The dog, which is regarded as man’s friend, it has been stated, has a sense of gratitude which most human beings do not have.

The first lesson the Supremely Awakened Buddha taught mankind is Gratitude. Soon after his Awaken-ness, for the cool and benign shade of the sacred Bo-tree at < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Gaya, under which He realized the Truth He was so grateful that for one whole week. He feasted His eyes on the Bo-tree without batting an eyelid.

After the attainment of Awaken-ness, the first thought that came to his mind was to give the benefit of his attainment to his erstwhile teachers - Alara Kalama and Uddakarama Putta, but on seeing through his Divine Eye that they had passed away, He thought of the five companions who had attended on Him and served Him during the six years of self-mortification.

Finding that they were at Isipathana, he proceeded on foot and preached His first sermon to those five and established one of them - Kondanna - in the first stage of sainthood.

His gratitude to his parents was so profound that He preached the Doctrine to his father and it is recorded that he proceeded to Thusitha Heaven to preach Dhamma to His mother, who had passed away as Queen Maha Maya seven days after His birth.

Another striking instance of Gratitude that we see in the Buddhist texts is that of Maha Arahant Sariputta, who, on hearing two lines of a stanza from Arahant Assaji saw the Truth and became a Sovan. Ven. Sariputta was so grateful to his Teacher, Assaji, that it was a daily practice for him to enquire where Ven. Assaji was and worship the latter, and lie down to sleep with his head in that direction.

There is a Jataka story illustrating the practice of gratitude by the Bosath is “Mathu Poshaka Jatakaya” according to which the Bosath who was born as an elephant supported and looked after his mother who was totally blind and this was a Jataka story that the Blessed One related to commend the action of a monk who has been using his alms to support his indigent parents.

The Blessed One is reported to have said, “Monks, one could never repay two persons, I declare,” “Which two?” - “Mother and Father.”

In the same discourse, the Fully Awakened One has set out four ways of discharging this heavy debt in the following words.

But, he, O Monks, who encourages his unbelieving parents, settles and establishes them in faith; who encourages his immoral parents, settles and establishes them in morality; who encourages his stingy parents, settles and establishes them in liberality; who encourages his ignorant parents, settles and establishes them in wisdom - such an one, O, Monks, does enough for his parents he repays and more than repays them for what they have done.

In another context, the Blessed One says one’s parents are Brahma meaning that they are worthy of worship as they have the noble qualities of loving-kindness, compassion and altruistic joy and equanimity towards their children.

Parents are the early teachers of children, as they impart to their children the first rudiments of right thinking and right living. They teach them what is right and what is wrong.

Thus, they are the early teachers of young children.

From what has been stated above, it is very obvious that respect and gratitude to one’s parents and teachers are integral parts of the sublime Buddha, Dhamma.

It is sad to state that the noble quality of gratitude is very rare indeed. There is so much gambling on horse-racing and lotteries, alcoholism, drug addiction and the resulting escalating rate of grave crime that there is no time for people to inculcate in the minds of their children this ennobling quality. In order to reverse this dangerous trend, a duty lies on both parents and teachers to instill into the minds of the young generation, the virtue of gratitude as an essential part of this discipline or Sila.

 

A Buddhist Approach to

Management

Today, Business Administration is one of the hot

subjects in college curricula around the world. In

this area, however, Buddhism has its own unique

management theory and practice, which has evolved

over a long period  of time. As early as Sakyamuni

Buddha’s time, the sangha community has had a

well-developed  administration system. Over time,

the system endured numerous changes and evolved

sophisticated methods of management and leadership.

In the Avatamsaka Sutta, commenting on the “Three

Refuges,” Buddha said: “Taking refuge in the Sangha

means one should make the Sangha a well-administered  

and harmonious community for all sentient beings.”

From this comment, it can be seen that Buddhist sangha

communities were organizations that excelled in managerial

skills.

I. Management: Buddha’s Approach

After the Buddha was awakened, he taught the

Dhamma at Deer Park to his former attendants. The

five bhikkhus became the first sangha community. In

time the community grew into a congregation that

included the seven groups of disciples, i.e., the

bhikkhus, the bhikkhunis, the siksamanas, the samaneras,

the samanerikas, the upasakas, and the upasikas. From these

groups, about 1,250 monastics were usually at the Buddha’s

side. How did the Buddha manage such a huge group of people?

A. Equality under the Dhamma

The Buddha teaches that all sentient beings have

Buddha nature and that all humans are inherently

equal. In effect, his teaching dismantled the societal

caste system prevalent in India at that time. He taught

that all things arise from causes and conditions and

were not created by gods or God. True deliverance

depends on the Four Noble Truths and the Three

Dhamma Silas. The Buddha frequently made the following

comments: “I myself am just a member of the

sangha” and “I do not govern, the Dhamma governs.”

The Buddha never considered himself the “leader,”

rather he let the truth govern. The sangha community

was ruled by the members’ respect for moral conduct.

Upon admission, each member had to give up his or

her previous social status, wealth, fame, and other

privileges. All external classifications and differentiations

were disregarded. Members differed only in their stages of

 internal cultivation. The operation of the sangha community

was based on mutual respect and love, and sometimes on the

order of seniority. Thus, the bhikkhus, bhikkhunis, and the

others each had their own rules. When disputes arose, the

“Seven Reconciliation Rules” made by the Buddha were

followed to settle the conflict.

B. Decentralized leadership

The Buddha, as the head of the sangha community,

led by his teaching and by establishing the precepts

for the group. He selected knowledgeable and

virtuous bhikkhus and bhikkhunis to be the “instructing”

monastics to teach the Dhamma and precepts. Among

them, he further selected the elders to counsel, to

advise, and to monitor the progress of the monastics

under their supervision.

C. Shared support and responsibility

When the initial sangha of the five bhikkhus was

formed immediately after his awaken-ness, the

Buddha established the “Four Principles of Living” to

guide them toward virtuous living: “Eat only food

from alms, wear only cast-off clothing, live only

under trees, and take only discarded medicine.”

Further, the monastics were warned to shun eight

groups of impure possessions that were considered to

be hindrances to their practice: houses and gardens,

plantations, grain storage, servants and slaves, pets

and animals, money and jewels, blankets and utensils,

and beds decorated with ivory and gold. As the size of the

sangha community increased, and in response to the problems

caused by the rainy season and constant requests from their

benefactors, the rules were modified to allow receipt of

donated clothes, food, houses, and gardens. But regardless of

the summer retreat during the rainy season, and

throughout ordinary daily life during the rest of the year, a

communal form of living was maintained. The communal rule

required that except for each monastic’s own clothing and bowls,

all other supplies, tools, bedding, houses, and gardens were

community goods, not to be individually possessed. Repair and

maintenance of equipment and tools were distributed among the

members. In each of the sangha residences, an elder was elected

to lead the daily operation, teach the Dhamma, maintain the code

of conduct, and channel any speech and information delivered by

the Buddha. Although the lifestyle changed somewhat over time,

all sangha communities still followed the basic principle of an alms
system, as well as sharing support and responsibilities.

D. Mutual respect and harmony

Guided by the Dhamma, the sangha community

practices the “Six Points of Reverent Harmony” in

communal living. They are: (1) doctrinal unity in

views and explanations to ensure common views and

understanding, (2) moral unity in upholding the precepts

to achieve equality for all under the rules, (3)

economic unity in community of goods to affect fair

distribution of economic interests, (4) mental unity in

belief to provide mutual support in spiritual cultivation,

(5) oral unity in speech to nurture compassion and love,

(6) bodily unity in behavior to assure nonviolence and

harmonious living.

E. Communication and interaction

The Buddha periodically convened all members

of the sangha community on the eighth and fourteenth

or fifteenth of each month to recite the precepts. Such

gatherings provided an excellent opportunity for interaction

among the members and a way of fostering

shared values for productive and harmonious living.

F. Democratic governing

The “Kamma Assembly” system was the highest

authority governing monastic life. The goal of the

system was to promote a democratic way of life. The

Kamma Assembly Meetings were regularly convened

on the fifteenth of each month. At these meetings,

members of the Assembly reviewed any violations of

the precepts that occurred during the month, determined

the appropriate discipline for the offender, and

decided how it would be carried out. There were two

types of kamma cases: (1) cases involving disputes and

violations, and (2) cases not involving disputes and

violations. The former dealt with disputes and disagreements

among monastics or violations of precepts

in which right or wrong had to be determined.

The latter dealt with the appropriateness of the

monastics’ daily behavior and their proper guidance,

or the admission of a new member into the Sangha

community. The Kamma Assembly provided a formal

and rigorous mechanism to promote fellowship,

harmony, and mutual support of the sangha community.

It enabled the community to become an ideal

moral society where the four all-embracing virtues of

giving, affectionate speech, beneficial deeds, and

teamwork were always practiced.

II. Management According to Buddhist Suttas

In the twelve divisions of the Buddhist Tipitaka,

discussions related to management are everywhere.

Examples from two familiar sutras are illustrated

below:

A. Management Perspective from the Amitabha

Sutta

In the Amitabha Sutta, the Western Pure Land of

Ultimate Bliss built by the Amitabha Buddha is an

exemplary model of management excellence. In the

Western Pure Land, there are seven levels of parapets

and balustrades, seven layers of curtains and networks

of precious stones, seven rows of spice trees,

seven story pavilions decorated with seven jewels,

and eight lakes filled with pure water. The air vibrates

with celestial harmonies. The streets are paved

with gold, silver, lapis lazuli, and crystal. The trees

and flowers exude delicate fragrances and spices. All

these numerous decorations and adornments make it

the most beautiful land. In this wonderful land, there

are no traffic accidents; all traffic moves smoothly.

There are no quarrels or bickering; everyone is

well-behaved. There is no private ownership; there is

no need, given the perfect economic system. There

are no crimes or victims; everyone is absolutely safe

and tries to live in peace and help each other.

The Amitabha Buddha is not only an expert in

ecological management, but also an expert in human

resources management. He guides the spiritual

development of sentient beings, teaching them to recite

his name with mindfulness. Everyone in this pure

land is guaranteed to never retreat from practice. In

this land of ultimate bliss, everyone is respectful,

compassionate, peaceful, and joyful.

B. Management Perspective from the Lotus

Sutta (Avalokitesvara’s Universal Gateway

Chapter)

Avalokitesvara is a remarkable expert in management.

He manages people by relieving their suffering,

bestowing upon them virtues and wisdom, and

satisfying all of their needs. He transforms himself

into thirty-two different identities to facilitate his

edification of people. The Universal Gateway Chapter

states that “Depending on which identity is most

conducive to the liberation of a sentient being,

Avalokitesvara will transform himself into that image

to elucidate the Dhamma.” With his great compassion,

he relieves people from suffering and brings them joy.

A modern manager has to be equipped with Avalokitesvara’s

power of accommodating people’s needs.

He or she has to establish effective measures to solve

problems in modern organizations. One can learn an

enormous amount from Avalokitesvara’s dedication

to “responding to whoever is desperate and wherever

there’s danger” and “forever liberating sentient beings

from the sea of suffering.”

III. Management in the Chinese Monastery

In Chinese, the phrase “Conglin” (forest of trees)

refers to a monastery where monastics live. It has the

connotation of a place where weeds do not grow and

the trees are upright due to the presence of specific

rules and measures. Buddhism strongly emphasizes a

congenial relationship between an individual and the

group. Thus, communal rules such as the “Six Points

of Reverent Harmony” and the “Rules of Ethics”,

instituted by Chan Master Baizhang, existed. The

management of a Chinese monastery relies on principles

such as self-commitment, self-monitoring, and

self-discipline. The goal is to create a congruous

sangha community so that the Dhamma can dwell in

this world permanently. The Chinese monastery thus

placed its management emphasis on shared responsibility

and a harmonious group relationship. The

system may be summarized in the following four

characteristics:

A. Governing by Virtue

In the monastery, all property is commonly

owned. There are rules for hosting visiting monastics

from the ten directions. In a public monastery that is

open to all, the abbot is chosen externally from renowned

elders of the ten directions. In a private

monastery that is not open to the public, the abbot is

selected from internal elders who have distinguished

themselves in virtue and knowledge.

B. Equality in Labor

Chinese Chan monasteries rely heavily on collective

farming. The principle of equal labor is

strictly followed. Everyone, regardless of rank or

seniority, has to participate in fieldwork. The Chan

Master Baizhang set a perfect example when he insisted:

“If I did not work today, I will not eat today.”

C. Shared Responsibility

Led by the abbot, a monastery usually divides the

responsibilities and tasks among members. Everyone

has duties, with each supporting the other. The personnel

assignments are categorized into dichotomies

of “administrator” versus “manual or operational”

and internal service versus external service. The

leader’s sole goal is to serve the sangha community

by maintaining the harmonious order of the monastery.

The Regulation for Chan Monastery says, “The

monastery exists for its members. To edify members,

the elder is elected. To mentor members, the head

monk is designated. To uphold members, a director is

chosen. The job of a kammadana is to maintain accord

among members by distributing duties fairly. The job

of a cook is to take care of the food for members. A

general affairs administrator is installed to plan the

operation for all members. A treasurer is assigned to

handle financial matters. A clerk writes and maintains

the records for members. A librarian keeps the

Tipitaka safe for members. The receptionist welcomes

guests of the members. An attendant is a

messenger for members. An attendant watches over

clothes and bowls for members. A medicine specialist

prepares medicine for members. A bathing room host

provides bathing services to members. The wood

collector gathers wood before the approach of winter.

The fire tender makes sure that, before meditation

and breakfast, there is adequate wood and charcoal

for the burners. Alms seekers gather offerings from

the street for members. The foremen of gardens,

mills, and farms produce food for members. Maintenance

workers clean the facilities for members.

Housekeepers serve members.” Well-defined job

positions and a complete division of labor are important

factors driving the success and growth of an

organization.

D. Code of Communal Living

In addition to the Buddhist precepts, Chinese

monasteries have developed a set of rules governing

the daily operation of monastery life. For example,

Master Daoan during the Eastern Jin Dynasty established

the following three sets of rules for his followers:

(1) The rules for walking meditation, sitting

meditation, sutta recitation, and Dhamma talks, (2)

The rules for practice, dining, and daily routines, and

(3) The rules for task assignment, renewal of vows,

and repentance. The Rules of Ethics enacted by Chan

Master Baizhang during the Tang Dynasty and other

rules such as those in the Regulation for Chan Monastery

are documented evidence of monastic discipline.

These well-defined codes of conduct were

instrumental in the development of sangha organizations.

IV. Management: Fo Guang Shan’s Approach

Several times, I have been asked the following

question: “Fo Guang Shan has hundreds of temples

and affiliated organizations all over the world. How

do you lead and manage an organization of this size?”

My response is always the same: “Of course, there are

many ways to do it.” The following are four fundamental

principles:

A. No fixed association between devotees

(followers) and monastics

None of the Fo Guang Shan devotees are permanently

attached to any individual monastic. All

the followers and disciples belong to Buddhism and

the Order. They are only distinguished by the time of

entry into the Order, such as 1st generation, 2nd generation,

3rd generation and so forth. Because the

devotees do not follow a particular monastic, there

will be no rivalry or conflicts between them.

B. No private ownership of money or funds

No one in Fo Guang Shan is allowed to own

property or accumulate savings. All the money goes

to the Order. Although the members do not possess

money, it does not mean that funds are not available

for their support. The Order usually takes care of

their food, clothing, travel, medicine, study abroad

experiences, and visitations, including gifts for their

parents on their home visits after shaving their heads

(to formally become monastic practitioners). At Fo

Guang Shan, all the money belongs to the Order, not

individuals, but everyone enjoys comfortable support

under an excellent cooperative system.

C. Mandatory rotation of jobs and positions

Following the principle that “fresh water comes

only from flowing water; a rolling stone gathers no

moss,” Fo Guang Shan rotates its members’ jobs and

positions. No one “owns” any branch temple, worship

place, or affiliated enterprise. This year, one

may be the abbot or abbess of a particular temple.

Next year, he or she may be reassigned to another

temple. There are many benefits from job rotation.

Among them are opportunities for learning and

growth, for interaction and networking, and for

gaining additional experience.

D. Promotion and performance evaluation

system

A member of the Fo Guang Shan Order starts

with the title of “Purifier,” progressing through

“Bachelor,” to “Practitioner,” to “Instructor.” Advancement

depends solely on each individual’s effort

and performance in scholarship, Dhamma practice,

and service to the organization. Because of this orderly

system, Fo Guang Shan has enjoyed a smooth

and successful growth over the years.

In addition, members of the Order are trained and

assigned to positions after their career orientations

are evaluated and assessed. For example, members

are classified into the following groups according to

their talents:

a. Abbot/Director: this person should have a

clear understanding of the principles of the

Order, loyalty, resolve, initiative, and commitment.

Such a person should be able to

deal with both superior and subordinate in a

knowledgeable, virtuous, confident, and presentable

manner. He or she should master

sutta recitation, ceremonial rites, and elucidation

of the Dhamma.

b. Public Relations: this person should be

poised and calm with a pleasant appearance.

He or she should be familiar with social

customs and etiquette. This person should be

sociable, empathetic, active, and positive,

and should also understand the mission and

vision of the Order very well.

c. Educator/Scholar: this person appreciates

humanity and is not aggressive in pursuit of

fame or wealth. This person should be

logical, philosophical, and persuasive. He or

she should think critically, understand the

educational mission and style of the abbot

and the needs of students, and should not be

involved in conflicts of interest and or political

debates. He or she should be skilled in

literature review, research and analysis,

teaching, advising, and should seek to be

published in professional journals.

d. Planner: this person should be insightful,

innovative, familiar with data analysis, and

able to keep confidences and remain in the

background. He or she should know how to

integrate Buddhism into ordinary knowledge

and be adept in written communication and

in providing staff support.

e. Other talents such as legal expert, accounting

expert, and administrative expert.

Shared vision and values are of utmost importance

for an organization. The formation of shared

vision and values requires a great deal of communication

and coordination within the organization.

Productive meetings are essential to establish a convergence

of ideas and opinions. For this reason, Fo

Guang Shan takes meetings very seriously. It frequently

holds meetings to shape consensus and a

shared vision.

Human resources management is another challenging

aspect in management science. Traditionally,

it receives great attention in Buddhism. I would like

to offer some principles regarding Humanistic Buddhism

and its application to human resources management:

a. Consider and care for the organization as a

whole.

b. Divide responsibilities with well-defined job

descriptions.

c. Know the importance of coordination.

d. Plan the details with best intentions.

e. Execute with full effort and determination.

f. Report frequently and timely to inform one’s

supervisors.

g. Take responsibilities and be accountable for

them.

h. Evaluate performance and follow up.

In addition, it is essential that between the superior

and the subordinate there should be honest

communication, mutual respect, active participation,

self-motivation and evaluation with sincerity, frankness,

and frequent consultation and coordination.

I also believe that a modern manager or leader

should act in the following manner:

a. Keep smiles on the face, praises on the mouth,

questions in the heart, and anger inside the

stomach.

b. Avoid hasty and harsh reactions, choose

words carefully; criticism accomplishes

nothing, doubt leads to disloyalty.

c. Treat others leniently, monitor one’s self–

strictly, give credit to others, take responsibility

when something is wrong.

d. Put aside any personal gain or loss and go

forward; do not be frustrated or obstinate.

e. Understand the big picture, make peace with

everyone, let communication flow freely up

and down, and strive for agreement.

f. Serve others, keep your word, look forward

and plan, understand self and others.

g. Adjust and adapt, be considerate of others,

take advantage of any opportunity, and make

the most of your life.

h. Be humorous, listen attentively, study carefully,

and pay respect to other’s opinions with a kind response.

A leader also needs to know how to develop,

cultivate, and nurture a competent staff. He or she

should be able to recruit, train, and empower talented

employees. A common mistake committed by a superior

is criticizing a subordinate without offering

any guidance. In addition, a leader or senior executive

should frequently engage in self-assessment and

ask subordinates for input in decision making.

“Harmony between the general and his staff” is a

stabilizing force for an organization.

What kind of administrative system should be?

adopted by modern monasteries? My answers are:

“The traditional monastery system should be integrated

with modern society.” “The temple should be

self-sufficient economically and self-supporting financially.”

“Operation of enterprises compatible

with Buddhism should be permitted.”

 “The administrative core of a temple should interact closely

With the surrounding community.” “Effective management

of human resources requires division of labor in

a cooperative environment.

” Furthermore, “The management should try to reach ten

directions and encompass past, present, and future in making

decisions.”

“Give people faith, joy, hope, and skillful

means.”

“A manager should compromise sometimes

in order to make progress, and accomplish goals even

with very little support.”

“Gain nothing but remain joyful, put yourself into others’ shoes.”

“Rank the abbot’s and the enterprise’s priority first, your own

priority second.”

“Consider others first, self second; Buddhism first, self second.”

“Respect others with sincerity, relate to others with humility;

live modestly but give generously; labor willingly to make others

happy.”

“Encourage frequently, donate generously,

and speak affectionately.”

All the above are necessary concepts and philosophies a

modern manager must have to run a smooth and successful

organization.

How does one master Buddhist management?

I believe that before one can lead, one should be led

first.

The administrative system of Buddhist monasteries

has evolved over a long period of time, with

some unique variations exhibited in different time

periods. The sangha system originally established by

the Buddha followed the principle of “respecting the

elders while empowering the multitude.” It gave

authority to the “Kamma Assembly,” which has a role

similar to a parliament in a democratic society. The

Chinese monastery administrative system emphasizes

personnel management and division of labor to

maximize the productivity of human resources. Both

represent excellent models of management practice.

In our search for a new management science, we

should enhance both systems by adapting them to the

needs of our modern society.

Modern management focuses on organizational

interaction and coordination. Strong group dynamics

synchronize the steps of upper management and operational

employees, ensuring the formation of consensus

and shared values necessary to achieve the

organizational mission and goals. Buddhism has

emphasized group dynamics, as evidenced in the

creation of “the Six Points of Reverent Harmony,”

“the Code of Communal Living,” and “the Baizhang’s

Monastic Regulations.” Buddhist management

relies on principles such as self-discipline,

self-motivation, self-monitoring, and repentance.

The management philosophy of the Fo Guang Shan

Order is to give people faith, joy, hope, and skillful

means.

Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Founder of the Fo Guang Shan (Buddha’s Light

Mountain) Buddhist Order and the Buddha’s Light

International Association, Venerable Master Hsing

Yun has dedicated his life to teaching Humanistic

Buddhism, which seeks to realize spiritual cultivation

in everyday living.

Master Hsing Yun is the 48th Patriarch of the Linji

Chan School. Born in Jiangsu Province, China in

1927, he was tonsured under Venerable Master Zhikai

at the age of twelve and became a novice monk at

Qixia Vinaya College. He was fully ordained in 1941

following years of strict monastic training. When he

left Jiaoshan Buddhist College at the age of twenty,

he had studied for almost ten years in a monastery.

Due to the civil war in China, Master Hsing Yun

moved to Taiwan in 1949 where he undertook the

revitalization of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. He

began fulfilling his vow to promote the Dhamma by

starting chanting groups, student and youth groups,

and other civic-minded organizations with Leiyin

Temple in Ilan as his base. Since the founding of Fo

Guang Shan monastery in Kaohsiung in 1967, more

than two hundred temples have been established

worldwide. Hsi Lai Temple, the symbolic torch of

the Dhamma spreading to the West, was built in 1988

near Los Angeles.

Master Hsing Yun has been guiding Buddhism on

a course of modernization by integrating Buddhist

values into education, cultural activities, charity, and

religious practices. To achieve these ends, he travels

all over the world, giving lectures and actively engaging

in religious dialogue. The Fo Guang Shan

organization also oversees sixteen Buddhist colleges

and four universities, one of which is the University

of the West in Rosemead, California.

Over the past fifty years, Master Hsing Yun has

written many books teaching Humanistic Buddhism

and defining its practice. Whether providing insight

into Buddhist suttas, human nature, or inter-religious

exchange, he stresses the need for respect, compassion,

and tolerance among all beings in order to alleviate

suffering in this world. His works have been

translated into English, French, German, Indonesian,

Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Sinhalese,

Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Buddha’s Light Publishing

F.G.S. Int’l Translation Center

For as long as Venerable Master Hsing Yun has

been a Buddhist monk, he has had a firm belief that

books and other means of transmitting the Buddha’s

teachings can unite us spiritually, help us practice

Buddhism at a higher altitude, and continuously

challenge our views on how we define and live our

lives.

In 1996, the Fo Guang Shan International

Translation Center was established with this goal in

mind. This marked the beginning of a series of publications

translated into various languages from the

Master’s original writings in Chinese. Presently,

several translation centers have been set up worldwide.

Centers that coordinate translation or publication

projects are located in Los Angeles, USA;

Montreal, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Berlin, Germany;

France; Sweden; Argentina; Brazil; South

Africa; Japan; Korea; and Thailand.

In 2001, Buddha’s Light Publishing was established

to publish Buddhist books translated by Fo

Guang Shan International Translation Center as well

as other important Buddhist works. Buddha’s Light

Publishing is committed to building bridges between

East and West, Buddhist communities, and cultures.

All proceeds from our book sales support Buddhist

propagation efforts.

The staff of the Fo Guang Shan International

Translation Center (ITC) hopes you have benefited

from reading our English booklets. We would like to

serve you even better in the future.

Since the gift of the Dhamma is the best kind of

giving, we need your support to help make future

English booklets available to more people.

Please send donations to ITC, and make the

check payable to “BLIA.” Thank you very much.

English Booklet Donors

(May Dec. 2005)

Art Popp 4500 copies

Mei Ping Cheng 400 copies

Anne Kong 200 copies

BLIA 贊助款 125 copies

Mrs. Kong 100 copies

Soon Hong Tay 100 copies

張孟秀榮 100 copies

Mrs. Liu 87 copies

覺聖法師 60 copies

Mr. Chang 52 copies

Kenneth Kuo 50 copies

Ofelia Ryan 50 copies

吳美芳 50 copies

Ms. Wang 44 copies

Ie-Hwa Wu 40 copies

滿普法師 36 copies

Ms. Selina & May Yuen 20 copies

Wallace A. Mckelvey 10 copies

Susan C. Mckelvey 5 copies

Donations

The staff of the Fo Guang Shan International

Translation Center hopes you have benefited from

reading our English booklets. We would like to serve

you even better in the future.

Since the gift of the Dharma is the best kind of

giving, we need your support to help make future

English booklets available to more people. Please

make your donations out to Fo Guang Shan International

Translation Center. Thank you very much.

Name:

_____________________________________

Address:

_____________________________________

Tel:

_____________________________________

Amount of Donation:

_____________________________________

Please send donations with this page to BLP/ITC,

and make the check payable to “BLIA.” Thank you

very much.

Keys to Living Well

Dhamma Words 1

Written by: Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Publisher: Buddha’s Light Publishing

244 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, paperback

ISBN: 1-932293-13-2

US $13.00

Tending Life’s Garden

Between Ignorance and Enlightenment 6

Written by: Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Publisher: Buddha’s Light Publishing

210 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, paperback

ISBN: 1-932293-12-4

US $13.00

Humanistic Buddhism

A Blueprint for Life

Written by: Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Publisher: Buddha’s Light Publishing

128 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, paperback

ISBN: 1-932293-03-5

US $12.95

Sutta of the Medicine Buddha

with an Introduction, Comments and Prayers

Written by: Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Publisher: Buddha’s Light Publishing

186 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, hardcover

ISBN: 1-932293-06-X

US $20.00

Cloud and Water

An Interpretation of Chan Poems

Written by: Venerable Master Hsing Yun

Publisher: Buddha’s Light Publishing

80 pages, 5.5 x 8.5, paperback

ISBN: 1-932293-07-8

US $10.00

DEVOTION IN BUDDHISM

 

The devout Buddhists life is one in which they devote themselves to the teaching and the Teacher. Apart from the teachings they also follow certain traditional and devotional practices, which may or may not be consistent with the teaching. Yet it is their way of expression of love, respect, regard and gratitude to the All Compassionate Teacher-The Buddha without whom they would not have found the solace and the Noble eight-fold path-The way out of suffering.

In the earliest period in the avsence of images of Buddha or Bodhisattvas, reverence was paid mainly to relics, ie stupas, Bodhi trees, footprints of Buddha and other sacred symbols. These were constantly represented in the sculptures against a background of beautifully carved figures of men or animals. The commencement of the second period of Buddhist religious art in India is associated with the district of Gandhara in the far north of Indian subcontinent. The characteristic feature of this phase of Buddhism is that the figure of Buddha came to occupy the cells. Gandhara created the conventional type of Buddha, which soon spread from this part to other parts of Asia.

Buddha in the Anguttara Nikaya says, ” When a noble disciple contemplates upon the Awakened One, at that time his mind is not enrapped in lust nor in hatred, nor in delusion. At such a time his mind is rightly directed, it has got rid of lust, is aloof from it, and is free from it. Lust is here name of the five sense desires. By cultivating this contemplation, many beings become purified”.

Furthur the Vissuddhimagga says ” If by practicing this devotional meditation one endeavours to live as it were in the Master’s presence, will feel ashamed to do or speak or think anything unworthy, one will shrink back from evil; and as a positive reaction one will feel inspired to high endeavour, in emulation of the Master’s great example”.

The devotees during the days when Buddha was alive went to meet Him and pay their respect. But in the absence of the Buddha, the devotees who used to bring flowers lay them at the entrance of the fragrant chamber of Buddha and departed. The chief lay devotee Anathapindaka came to hear of it and requested Venerable Ananda to inquire of the Buddha whether there was a possibility of finding a place where devotees might pay obeisance to the Buddha when He was on His teaching tours.

So Venerable Ananda approached the Buddha and asked: “Is it proper, Blessed One, to construct a cetiya (stupa) while you are alive?” The Buddha replied “No, an object of reverence appertaining to body is proper to errect only after the passing away of Buddha. An object of reverence reminiscent of the Buddha has no physical basis; it is purely mental. But the great Bodhi tree, used by the Buddha, whether He is alive or dead, is an object of reverence.” Then Venerable Ananda said, “Blessed One, when you go on your teaching tours, the monastery of Jetavana is without refuge, and people find no place of reverence. So may i bring a seed of Bodhi tree under which you got Awaken-ness and plant it at the enterance to Jetavana?” Buddha replied “Very well, Ananda plant it. It will then be as if I constantly abide in Jetevana.” This tree, which sprang up, came to be known as Ananda Bodhi tree.

It is keeping with the practical wisdom and organising genius of the Buddha, that while during his life time he discouraged any form of idol worship, nevertheless realized that in order to provide the laity with some object and symbol of veneration some concession had to be made to the simple faith of the devout and earnest. Hence he permitted to pay respect and regard to the Bodhi tree as a symbol of his awaken-ness.

Finaly before His passing away in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta He addressed Ananda saying, “there are four places the sight of which should arouse emotion in the faithful”. Which are they? “Here the Tathagata was born” (Lumbini) is the first. “Here the Tathagata attained Supreme Awaken-ness” (Bodhgaya) is the second. “Here the Tathagata set in motion the wheel of Dhamma” (Saranath) is the third. “Here the Tathagata attained the Nibbana without remainder” (Kusinara) is the fourth. And Ananda, the faithful monks and nuns, male and female lay-followers will visit those places. Anyone who dies while making the pilgrimage to these shrines with a devout heart will, at the breaking-up of body after death, will be born in heavenly world.”

Thus there came to be establishment after the Buddha’s passing away, the traditional places of reverent worship to which hundreds of millions of human beings to this day pay their homage, adoration and gratitude to that exalted being who showed to so many the way out of the darkness, misery and despair of earthly existance.

Vandaami cetiyam sabbam – I venerate all relic stupas

Sabbathanesu patitthitam – Wherever they are established

Saririka dhaatu Mahaabodhim – Bodily relics, Great Bodhi tree

Buddharupam sakalamsadaa – Images of Buddha always

with devotion

vinaya rakkhita

Bhanteji

Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Complaint against Chief Secretary, three others

Staff Reporter




They have been accused of failing to protect the interest and welfare of SCs and STs

‘Chief Ministers and other government officials have ignored the welfare of SC/STs’

Bangalore: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and former Additional Director-General of Police Subhash Bharani has lodged a complaint with the Vidhana Soudha police accusing the Chief Secretary and three other officials for allegedly failing to protect the interest and welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Bharani, who also belongs to the Scheduled Castes, said he had lodged a complaint against the Chief Secretary, Home Secretary, Secretary to the Chief Minister and Director of Prosecution, for their negligence in implementing the provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

According to the Act, the secretaries to the Department of Home and Social Welfare, besides Director of Prosecution and Director-General of Police have to carry out a quarterly review of the position of all investigations carried out by the investigating officer. “They have failed to carry out the quarterly review of the cases registered under the Act,” he said.

Apathy cited

Mr. Bharani alleged that neither has a review been done, nor has a nodal officer been appointed since January 1, 2008. Alleging that the Chief Ministers and other government officials have ignored the welfare of SC/STs, he said the Government has not set up awareness centres, workshops or encouraged non-governmental organisations to creating awareness, which are the duties of the government.

Barring entry

N. Mahesh, vice-president of the State unit of the BSP blamed the non-implementation of the provisions of the Act for the problems that people belonging to SC/ST are facing. “Five kilometres from Maddur, people from SC/ST have been barred from going into temples because one of them had entered one. Such incidents are still common in the State,” he said.


 

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