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129 LESSON 06 01 2011 Dana Sutta Giving FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY
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129 LESSON 06 01 2011 Dana Sutta Giving FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY

Awakeness Practices

All 84,000 Khandas As Found in the Pali Suttas

Traditionally the are 84,000 Dharma Doors - 84,000 ways to get Awakeness. Maybe so; certainly the Buddha taught a large number of practices that lead to Awakeness. This web page attempts to catalogue those found in the Pali Suttas (DN, MN, SN, AN, Ud & Sn 1). There are 3 sections:

The discourses of Buddha are divided into 84,000, as to separate addresses. The division includes all that was spoken by Buddha.”I received from Buddha,” said Ananda, “82,000 Khandas, and  from the priests 2000; these are 84,000 Khandas maintained by me.” They are divided into 275,250, as to the stanzas of the original text, and into 361,550, as to the stanzas of the commentary. All the discourses including both those of Buddha and those of the commentator, are divided  into 2,547 banawaras, containing 737,000 stanzas, and 29,368,000 separate letters.

Course Programs:

Welcome to the Free Online e-Nālandā Research and Practice University

Patti Dana (Sharing of Merit)

We cannot do without Dana

Does Dana prolong samsara?

The Benefits of Dana

Offerings to the Buddha

How good results differ according to dana?

A golden opportunity to accumulate merit as it arrives only once a year

Vegetarian Food Fair at Heong Sun See Temple, Penang

Today’s Vassa Dana at Nandaka Vihara, Bukit Mertajam

Lavish Dana but meagre Cetana

Offertories and recipient promote keen cetana

Dana (Charity)

Meaning of Kathina

Nandaka Vihara Kathina Day

Origin of Kathina Ceremony

AN 7.49 

PTS: A iv 59

Dana Sutta: Giving

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1997–2010

Translator’s note: This discourse discusses the motivations one might have for being generous, and rates in ascending order the results that different motivations can lead to. The Commentary notes that the highest motivation, untainted by lower motivations and leading to non-returning, requires a certain level of mastery in concentration and insight in order to be one’s genuine motivation for giving.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Campa, on the shore ofGaggara Lake. Then a large number of lay followers from Campa went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there they said to Ven. Sariputta: “It has been a long time, venerable sir, since we have had a chance to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence. It would be good if we could get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“Then in that case, my friends, come again on the next Uposatha day, and perhaps you’ll get to hear a Dhamma talk in the Blessed One’s presence.”

“As you say, venerable sir,” the lay followers from Campa said to Ven. Sariputta. Rising from their seats, bowing down to him, and then circling him — keeping him on their right — they left.

Then, on the following Uposatha day, the lay followers from Campa went to Ven. Sariputta and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, stood to one side. Then Ven. Sariputta, together with the lay followers from Campa, went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “Mightthere be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Yes, Sariputta, there would be the case where a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”

“Lord, what is the cause, what is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit?”

“Sariputta, there is the case where a person gives a gift seeking his own profit, with a mind attached [to the reward], seeking to store up for himself [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a priest or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift seeking his own profit — with a mind attached [to the reward], seeking to store up for himself, [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death’ — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Four Great Kings. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Then there is the case of a person who gives a gift not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death.’ Instead, he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a priest or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this gift with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’ on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Thirty-three. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘Giving is good,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Devas of the Hours. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the Contented Devas. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa,Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way will this be my distribution of gifts’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the devas who delight in creation. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead… he gives a gift with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise’… on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of the devas who have power over the creations of others. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a returner, coming back to this world.

“Or, instead of thinking, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’ he gives a gift with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind.’ He gives his gift — food, drink, clothing, a vehicle; a garland, perfume, & ointment; bedding, shelter, & a lamp — to a priest or a contemplative. What do you think, Sariputta? Might a person give such a gift as this?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Having given this, not seeking his own profit, not with a mind attached [to the reward], not seeking to store up for himself, nor [with the thought], ‘I’ll enjoy this after death,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘Giving is good,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘This was given in the past, done in the past, by my father & grandfather. It would not be right for me to let this old family custom be discontinued,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘I am well-off. These are not well-off. It would not be right for me, being well-off, not to give a gift to those who are not well-off,’ nor with the thought, ‘Just as there were the great sacrifices of the sages of the past — Atthaka, Vamaka, Vamadeva, Vessamitta, Yamataggi, Angirasa, Bharadvaja, Vasettha, Kassapa, & Bhagu — in the same way this will be my distribution of gifts,’

” — nor with the thought, ‘When this gift of mine is given, it makes the mind serene. Gratification & joy arise,’

” — but with the thought, ‘This is an ornament for the mind, a support for the mind’ — on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of Brahma’s Retinue. Then, having exhausted that action, that power, that status, that sovereignty, he is a non-returner. He does not come back to this world.

“This, Sariputta, is the cause, this is the reason, why a person gives a gift of a certain sort and it does not bear great fruit or great benefit, whereas another person gives a gift of the same sort and it bears great fruit and great benefit.”

See also: AN 5.148.

Wisdom through Mindfulness

To Guide people to gain wisdom through practice of mindfulness, based on Buddhist principles.

The Path to Happiness - “Letting Go or Getting More!

How can meditation help you?

The benefits of meditation have been discussed in previous posts (see below). In this post I have attached two articles that may interest you.

How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a Time
Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2006 How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a TimeBy Lisa Takeuchi Cullen

At 4:30, when most of Wall Street is winding down, Walter Zimmermann begins a high-stakes, high-wire act conducted live before a paying audience. About 200 institutional investors—including airlines and oil companies—shell out up to $3,000 a month to catch his daily webcast on the volatile energy markets, a performance that can move hundreds of millions of dollars. “I’m not paid to be wrong—I can tell you that,” Zimmermann says. But as he clicks through dozens of screens and graphics on three computers, he’s the picture of focused calm. Zimmermann, 54, watched most of his peers in energy futures burn out long ago. He attributes his brain’s enduring sharpness not to an intravenous espresso drip but to 40 minutes of meditation each morning and evening. The practice, he says, helps him maintain the clarity he needs for quick, insightful analysis—even approaching happy hour. “Meditation,” he says, “is my secret weapon.”Everyone around the water cooler knows that meditation reduces stress. But with the aid of advanced brainscanning technology, researchers are beginning to show that meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory.One recent study found evidence that the daily practice of meditation thickened the parts of the brain’s cerebral cortex responsible for decision making, attention and memory. Sara Lazar, a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, presented preliminary results last November that showed that the gray matter of 20 men and women who meditated for just 40 minutes a day was thicker than that of people who did not. Unlike in previous studies focusing on Buddhist monks, the subjects were Boston-area workers practicing a Western-style of meditation called mindfulness or insight meditation. “We showed for the first time that you don’t have to do it all day for similar results,” says Lazar. What’s more, her research suggests that meditation may slow the natural thinning of that section of the cortex that occurs with age.The forms of meditation Lazar and other scientists are studying involve focusing on an image or sound or on one’s breathing. Though deceptively simple, the practice seems to exercise the parts of the brain that help us pay attention. “Attention is the key to learning, and meditation helps you voluntarily regulate it,” says Richard Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin. Since 1992, he has collaborated with the Dalai Lama to study the brains of Tibetan monks, whom he calls “the Olympic athletes of meditation.” Using caps with electrical sensors placed on the monks’ heads, Davidson has picked up unusually powerful gamma waves that are better synchronized in the Tibetans than they are in novice meditators. Studies have linked this gamma-wave synchrony to increased awareness.Many people who meditate claim the practice restores their energy, allowing them to perform better at tasks that require attention and concentration. If so, wouldn’t a midday nap work just as well? No, says Bruce O’Hara, associate professor of biology at the University of Kentucky. In a study to be published this year, he had college students either meditate, sleep or watch TV. Then he tested them for what psychologists call psychomotor vigilance, asking them to hit a button when a light flashed on a screen. Those who had been taught to meditate performed 10% better—”a huge jump, statistically speaking,” says O’Hara. Those who snoozed did significantly worse. “What it means,” O’Hara theorizes, “is that meditation may restore synapses, much like sleep but without the initial grogginess.”Not surprisingly, given those results, a growing number of corporations—including Deutsche Bank, Google and Hughes Aircraft—offer meditation classes to their workers. Jeffrey Abramson, CEO of Tower Co., a Washington-based development firm, says 75% of his staff attend free classes in transcendental meditation. Making employees sharper is only one benefit; studies say meditation also improves productivity, in large part by preventing stress-related illness and reducing absenteeism.Another benefit for employers: meditation seems to help regulate emotions, which in turn helps people get along. “One of the most important domains meditation acts upon is emotional intelligence—a set of skills far more consequential for life success than cognitive intelligence,” says Davidson. So, for a New Year’s resolution that can pay big dividends at home and at the office, try this: just breathe.

Find this article at:,9171,1147167,00.html

“The Biology of Joy”

Sunday, Jan. 09, 2005The Biology of JoyBy MICHAEL D. LEMONICK

Richard Davidson was in a lab observing a Buddhist Monk Sink deep into serene meditation when he noticed something that sent his own pulse racing. Davidson, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, hurriedly double-checked the data streaming to his computer from electrodes attached to the monk’s skull, but there was no mistake. Electrical activity in the left prefrontal lobe of the monk’s brain was shooting up at a tremendous rate. “It was exciting,” Davidson recalls. “We didn’t expect to see anything quite that dramatic.”Davidson’s excitement is all the more significant because he’s known by colleagues as the king of happiness research. When he made the discovery five years ago, he had been studying the link between prefrontal-lobe activity and the sort of bliss deep meditators experience. But even for someone with his experience, watching the brain crackle with activity as a person entered a trancelike state was unprecedented. It made clear, says Davidson, who published the research study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last fall, that happiness isn’t just a vague, ineffable feeling; it’s a physical state of the brain–one that you can induce deliberately.That’s not all. As researchers have gained an understanding of the physical characteristics of a happy brain, they have come to see that those traitshave a powerful influence on the rest of the body. People who rate in the upper reaches of happiness on psychological tests develop about 50% more antibodies than average in response to flu vaccines, and that, says Davidson, “is a very large difference.” Others have discovered that happiness or related mental states like hopefulness, optimism and contentment appear to reduce the risk or limit the severity of cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, diabetes, hypertension, colds and upper-respiratory infections as well. According to a Dutch study of elderly patients published in November, those upbeat mental states reduced an individual’s risk of death 50% over the study’s nine-year duration. Says Laura Kubzansky, a health psychologist at Harvard’s School of Public Health, in a masterpiece of understatement: “There’s clearly some kind of effect.”It makes sense that there should be. Doctors have known for years that clinical depression–the extreme opposite of happiness–can worsen heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses. But the neurochemistry of depression is much better known than that of happiness, mostly because the former has been studied more intensively and for much longer. Until about a decade ago, says Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, “90% of emotion research focused on the negative, so there still are all of these interesting questions about the positive state.”A growing number of researchers exploring the physiology and neurology of happiness are starting to answer those questions. Perhaps most fundamental of all is what happiness is, in a clinical sense. At this point, nobody can really say with precision. The word happiness, Davidson observes, “is kind of a placeholder for a constellation of positive emotional states. It’s a state of well-being where individuals are typically not motivated to change their state. They’re motivated to preserve it. It’s associated with an active embracing of the world, but the precise characteristics and boundaries have really yet to be seriously characterized in scientific research.”Still, subjects can reliably tell researchers when they’re feeling good, and two brain-imaging technologies–functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which maps blood flow to active parts of the brain, and electroencephalograms, which sense the electrical activity of neuronal circuits–consistently point to the left prefrontal cortex as a prime locus of happiness.That raises the chicken-and-egg question of whether the prefrontal cortex creates the sensation of happiness or whether it merely reflects one’s more general emotional state. Davidson thinks the answer is both: “We’re confident that this part of the brain is a proximal cause of at least certain kinds of happiness.” That suggests some people are genetically predisposed to be happy by virtue of their busy prefrontal cortexes, and research in infants confirms it. Davidson measured left prefrontal activity in babies less than a year old and then subjected them to a test in which their mothers left the room briefly. “Some babies will just cry hysterically the instant the mom leaves,” he says. “Others are more resilient.” It turns out that the babies with the higher left prefrontal activity are the ones who don’t cry. “We were actually able to predict which infants would cry in response to that brief but significant stress.”In short, as parents know instinctively, some babies are just born happy. But neuroscientists have also learned over the past decade that the brain is highly plastic. It rewires itself in response to experience, and that’s especially true before the age of puberty. One might naively assume, therefore, that negative experiences might destroy a happy personality–and if they’re extreme and frequent enough, that might be true. Davidson has learned, however, that mild to moderate doses of negative experience are beneficial. (In animal studies, he compared groups that had been moderately stressed when young to those that never were and found the former better able to recover from stress as adults. In human studies, in which deliberately inducing stress on kids would be unethical, he based his conclusions on self-reported stories of stressful childhoods.) The reason, he believes, is that stressful events give us practice at bouncing back from unpleasant emotions. They’re like an exercise to strengthen our happiness muscles or a vaccination against melancholy.Exactly what is the physical difference, though, between a left prefrontal cortex that is predisposed to happiness and one that isn’t? It almost certainly has in part to do with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that ferry signals from one neuron to the next. And while the prefrontal cortex is awash in many neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, glutamate, GABA and more, Davidson believes dopamine may be especially important. Animal studies have shown that dopamine mediates the transfer of signals associated with positive emotions between the left prefrontal area and the emotional centers in the limbic area of the brain, such as the nucleus accumbens, situated within the ventral striatum. In humans, people with a sensitive version of the receptor that accepts dopamine tend to have better moods, and researchers are actively studying the relationship of dopamine levels to feelings of euphoria and depression.Dopamine pathways may be especially important in aspects of happiness associated with moving toward some sort of goal (monks achieving a meditative state as well as cigarette smokers allowed to light up after 24 hours of deprivation). But other neurochemicals may be more central to other kinds of happiness, including physical pleasure. “People have made progress differentiating the positive feeling you get when you approach a goal, which maps onto dopamine, and the sensory pleasure of enjoying something, which maps onto the opioid system,” says Berkeley psychologist Keltner. “We’re just beginning to apply a lens to all those parts of the nervous system in which the positive emotions are embodied. This is really neat territory.”Among those exploring that territory is Brian Knutson, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford, who, like Davidson, uses MRI to monitor the brains of test subjects. The mental mode he studies is anticipation. “When people think of happiness,” says Knutson, “they think of feeling good, but a big part of happiness is also looking forward to something.” Knutson’s research was inspired by the classic work of Ivan Pavlov, who trained dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, which they associated with mealtime.Instead of food, Knutson used money: a small cash payoff if subjects won a video game. “When we looked at their brains just before they got the reward,” he says, “we saw this spark that clearly had to do with how positive the idea of making money was.” The spark showed up not in the left prefrontal cortex but in what Knutson terms an old section, the nucleus accumbens, located in the subcortex, at the bottom of the brain. The bigger the prize, Knutson found, “the more activation.” Knutson believes he is looking at the kind of happy feelings we experience as excitement. The primary focus of his work is to understand the neurophysiology of motivation and decision making–how emotion and reason work together as people make choices. But it could also be a key to mapping out the brain’s broader happiness circuitry.Understanding the neurophysiology of feeling good is one aspect of happiness research; another is understanding how positive emotion affects the rest of the body. As with the brain studies, the term happiness is too broad for a rigorous approach, so researchers tend to focus on specific aspects. Harvard psychologist Kubzansky has chosen to study optimism. In a large study she tracked 1,300 men for 10 years and found that heart-disease rates among men who called themselves optimistic were half the rates for men who didn’t.”It was a much bigger effect than we expected,” she says–as big as the difference between smokers and nonsmokers. “We also looked at pulmonary function, since poor pulmonary function is predictive of a whole range of bad outcomes, including premature mortality, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” Again, optimists did much better. “I’m an optimist,” she says, “but I didn’t expect results like this.”In a separate study, meanwhile, which has been accepted by the journal Health Psychology, Kubzansky, working with Duke psychologist and lead researcher Laura Richman, looked at hopefulness and curiosity–mental states that overlap with optimism in some ways. “We found them to be protective against hypertension, diabetes and upper-respiratory infection,” she says. Such protective effects may explain the longevity advantage found in that Dutch study of the elderly–an advantage for happy optimists that persisted even when researchers corrected for diet, education and other factors.Exactly how states of mind affect the body’s biochemistry is still far from clear. “We can do some good speculation,” says Kubzansky, “based on what we know about anxiety and depression, so there are a couple of places to look in terms of neuroendocrine function and immune inflammatory pathways.” One clue: in addition to reporting a positive mood when their left prefrontal cortexes are active, subjects in Davidson’s experiments have lower levels of cortisol, a hormone produced by the adrenal gland in response to stress–and cortisol is known to depress immune function. Optimists may simply feel less stress than pessimists and thereby avoid the noxious biochemical cascades that stress is known to trigger. Another likely factor: optimistic, happy types seem to take better care of themselves than sad sacks do. Numerous studies–as well as common sense–suggest that to be the case.In a series of studies begun in 1998, psychologist Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis has found further evidence that happy people are better at health maintenance. Emmons randomly assigned 1,000 adults to one of three groups. The first group kept daily journals of their moods and rated them on a scale of 1 to 6. The second group did that and listed the things that annoyed or hassled them throughout their day. The third group kept a journal but added an activity that has repeatedly been shown to improve one’s sense of satisfaction with life: they were asked to write down every day all the things for which they were grateful.Despite being assigned randomly, the last group not only had the predicted jump in their overall feelings of happiness, says Emmons, but were also found to spend more time exercising, be more likely to have regular medical checkups and routinely take preventive health actions like wearing sunscreen. Overall, the “gratitude” group were promoting better health. “They rate themselves as more energetic, more enthusiastic, more alert,” Emmons reports. In short, keeping the diaries contributed to their physical and emotional well-being.Not surprisingly, the advantages were greatest when compared with the group that focused on life’s hassles. “People who are grateful tend to view their body a certain way,” says Emmons. “They see life as a gift, health as a gift. So they want to take certain measures to preserve it.” Reminding yourself of what you’re grateful for is a technique open to anyone, but more sophisticated methods of manipulating happiness are showing promise as well. Cognitive-behavior therapy and medication, for example, are used mostly to combat depression, but they may also be useful in enhancing happiness.Such positive results gratify happiness researchers, who haven’t been very successful in attracting federal dollars. “I could easily see being spoofed on the Senate floor for whatever award they give for esoteric, needless research,” says Keltner. “But as the findings trickle in showing that positive emotions and happiness make your immune system function better, or help you battle disease, or help you live longer, then you’re into fundable territory.” Thanks to Keltner, Davidson and others, those findings have gained the field a degree of respectability that’s long overdue–and that ultimately could make all of us a whole lot happier. –Reported by Dan Cray/ Los AngelesWith reporting by Dan Cray/ Los Angeles

Find this article at:,9171,1015863,00.html

Time Magazine Articles on Meditation:

The science of Meditation

Neurotheologist is one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people

Madison Magazine has named Dr. Davidson as their “Person of the Year” in the November 2007 issue.

ab for affective Neuroscience, Research in the News

indfulness Research Update: 2008
Jeffrey M. Greeson, Ph.D., M.S.

Previous related posts:
How can mindfulness help? 
Do like to be the happiest man on earth? 
Do you want to increase your brain thickness?
Can Mindfulness Help Cancer Patients ?

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Labels: Dr. Richard Davidson, Meditation, mindfulness

Thursday, November 22, 2007

“Why are these two boots tied together”?

Today was the first snow fall in Toronto. It was really bad weather out there with snow and freezing rain. I had to get my new pair of boots out of the box which my wife got for me recently. I realized that the boots were tied together with two elastic bands. I tried to pull them apart but they were very strong and finally a pair of scissors came to my rescue. While I was struggling to remove the two elastic bands pulling the boots apart a beautiful simile came to my mind that was in one of the Buddhist suttas called KotthitaSutta .

It is about the two cows, one black and the other white. These two cows were tied by a strong rope. They were both walking and pulling each other. It seemed like the white cow was pulling the black one, but at other times it seemed like the black cow was pulling the white one. The question was whether the white cow pulling black cow or the black cow pulling the white cow? The correct answer was, “neither.” The rope is pulling both of them. If you cut the rope you can set them both free. Just the same way that I cut the rubber bands of my new boots!

Now what does it teach us? When you see a beautiful object, for example a beautiful car, is the eye attached to the car or the car attached to the eye? The correct answer here is the same as in the simile of two cows. It is neither. So what is this bond between the car and the eye? It is the craving (Ta ), a conditioned concept of our mind. I like to consider this as some sort of mental “super glue.” It is not physical bond like the rope as in the simile of the cows. However, if the eye was attached to the object or the object was attached to the eye there would be no chance of us getting enlightened or reaching the ultimate happiness (Nirvāa). In the same fashion the “super glue” or the craving will bind the other senses and their respective sensory stimuli. These are the ear to the sound, nose to the smell, tongue to the taste, body to the touch, mind to its mental objects. The six senses and how they work together were discussed in previous posts. (see below).

One might say,”who cares.” “Let ’super glue’ be there.” For example if you see a beautiful car you might say “I like that car and I am going to buy it and enjoy it”! There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. The problem begins when things start to change. As we know all conditioned thing are impermanent, and are subject to change. If for example the car gets old, stolen or meets with an accident, suffering arises. The stronger the glue (attachment or craving) harder the pain and the suffering when things begin to change. This not only applies to objects but also to people or other things around you. You may have already experienced thisnumerous times in your life. Then you may ask, can I enjoy things and yet not get attached to it? It is almost impossible for us to do this, unless you are fully enlightened. Now the next question is how do we get there? Is it possible to be fully enlightened? Buddha very clearly told his disciples “I will not tell you anything that is not possible to achieve.”

So what is enlightenment or Nirvāa? The most simple definition is “end of all cravings.” This, Buddha said, is the ultimate happiness and end to all the suffering.” So how do we get rid of this “super glue” or the craving which is preventing us achieving this goal? There is only one path to this. This is the Noble Eightfold Path, very clearly out lined by the Buddha. This is the path leading to full enlightenment. Now we have to find out how we can get rid of this craving. One way is to contemplate on how our six senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue,body and mind) work together with the external sense objects (object, sound, smell, taste, touch, mental object) and how and where this craving arise. Then you can contemplate on impermanence, suffering, and non-self of these six senses and their external sense objects (see the posts below). If this process is practiced diligently with mindfulness, it will help to slowly get rid of the cravings that arises in them. This is the basis of Vipassana meditation.

So is it possible to get rid of this “super glue” for ever? If you make the right effort and practice the Noble Eightfold Path, it will be within your reach. The fist step in this process is the right view(see the post below). Right view together with the right effort will help us travel this path (this will be discussed in detail in a later post) to reach this ultimate happiness. The beauty of Buddhist teachings is that you don’t need to wait till you die to put an end to this suffering. You can reach the goal of ultimate happiness in this very life. One way of knowing that you are travelling that right path is when you get the sense of inner happiness and contentment. This is a good sign of melting of the “super glue!” Then results should be there at the end whether you like it or not, here and now, in this very life.

Related Suttas:
Kotthita Sutta 
Salayatana-vibhanga Sutta -An Analysis of the Six Sense-media

Related previous posts:

Why is this dog asking for more ? (post on sensory restrains)
“Stop worrying about your body so much…you are just renting it anyway” (Post on Anatta or Non-self)
Life is just like a “Morning Glory”- Mindfulness about life (Post on Impermanence)
Mindfulness About Life- “A Lesson From The Garden” (Post on Impermanence)
The Ultimate Psychotherapy -Through Buddhism (post on the six senses)

” The True Weapons of Mass Destruction” - Greed, Hatred and Delusion (post on the right view)

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Labels: craving, Meditation, mindfulness meditation, Nirvana, six fold senses, vipassana

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

“Better it is to live alone…”

Better it is to live alone; there is no fellowship with a fool. Live alone and do no evil; be carefree like an elephant in forest.


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Monday, November 19, 2007

“How very happily we live”

“How very happily we live, free from hostility among those who are hostile. Among hostile people, free from hostility we dwell.”


Related posts:

Stop Bugging Me! Buddhist Wisdom on Anger Management

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Labels: anger management

Sunday, November 11, 2007

“What is wrong with my daughter’s computer?”

I recently bought a new computer for my daughter. I had all the virus protection soft wear added to it as she uses different sites to download songs. It was working fine for a few months. Then suddenly a lot of “pop ups” were appearing on the screen and she could hardly work. I tried to help her; by running some antivirus software, but it did not help. Finally, I had to call my computer repair guy. He said the computer was heavily infected with some sort of viruses. He warned my daughter never to download songs using those sites again. Well, it did not happen. Two weeks later I saw her downloading songs… again!

This got me thinking again. I thought the human minds are somewhat similar to a computer. When you are a small child you are like a new computer. You don’t have too many “viruses” like anger, hatred, jealousy, envy and greed. You may get angry, but you don’t hold on to anger like adults do. Try to observe two kids playing together. They may start fighting after some time, for example for the same toy, and cry. The next moment they will forget all about it and play like best friends. As we get older our mind gets infected with many “viruses” such as anger, jealousy, envy, greed and so on. How do these viruses get to our mind? The only “download” sites are our six senses. These viruses are called defilements of the mind. In Buddhist literature they are called “taints” (fermentations). Now the question is what if your “hard drive” (mind) is already corrupted by “viruses” (defilemnts). How can you clean it? For this purpose Buddha has given a very detail disclosure called Sabbasava Sutta. In this sutta he gives a description of number of methods of preventing taints arising in the mind and completely eradicating them once they are already arisen. One of the many methods described here; is the practise of mindfulness meditation (Samatha and Vipassana meditation).

Once you clean your hard dive how do you protect it form further viral damage? For this Buddha gave complete an “antivirus software package” in one of his disclosure called, Nagara Sutta. Here he describes how to guard your mind against these defilements using a simile of a well guarded fortress. This is one of my favorite suttas. Here he describes seven methods of guarding a fortress (mind) form the enemy (defilements).

For example:

Just as the royal frontier fortress has a gate-keeper — wise, experienced, intelligent — to keep out those he doesn’t know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. Withmindfulness as his gate-keeper, the disciple of the ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity.”

In this sutta Buddha also describes how to be self sufficient within the city with four types of foods and medicines, and to be happy. This is the achievement of a higher state of consciousness through the practice of meditation, called the Jhanas.

In this post I tried to compare how a computer and a human mind can get “corrupted”, although the mind is far more complex and sophisticated than a computer. The mind in its “pure state” is free from all defilements but with time and the concept of “self” in the center of things, it gets corrupted (see previous post below). This is what is called the “conditioned mind.” The routes of these corruptions come via our six senses. It is not possible to shut down our six senses and to get rid of these defilements but it is to restrain them with mindful reflection (see previous post below). The most important thing you can do to recover the “pure state of mind” is to reactivate the built in antivirus program, called mindfulness. If mindfulness meditation is practiced diligently (see previous post below), this will not only eventually remove all existing defilements of the mind but also prevent further propagation and infection of the mind with new defilements.

Related Suttas:

Sabbasava Sutta

Nagara Sutta

Related previous posts:

“Stop worrying about your body so much…you are just renting it anyway” (Post on non-self)

Why is this dog asking for more ? (Post on sensory restrains)

The Practice of Mindfulness -”The four bases of mindfulness” (Post on mindfulness meditation)

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Labels: defilements, Jhanas, mindfulness, mindfulness meditation, sensory restrains, taints

“There’s no evil for those who don’t do it”

If there’s no wound on the hand, that hand can hold poison. Poison won’t penetrate where there’s no wound. There’s no evil for those who don’t do it.


Related Posts:

” The True Weapons of Mass Destruction” - Greed, Hatred and Delusion

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Labels: hatred

Friday, November 9, 2007

“When anger arises….keep firm control”

When anger arises,whoever keeps firm control as if with a racing chariot: him I call a master charioteer.

Anyone else, a rein-holder….that’s all.


Related Posts:

Stop Bugging Me! Buddhist Wisdom on Anger Management

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

“Conquer yourself “

“Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men, is he who would conquer just one …… himself “.


Related Posts:

The Ultimate Psychotherapy -Through Buddhism

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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

“The Wise Are Not Moved”

“As a single slab of rock won’t budge in the wind, so the wise are not moved by praise, by blame”.


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Mindfulness is a technique in which a person becomes intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgementally. Objective of this site is to guide people to gain wisdom through practice of mindfulness based on Buddhist principles.


New to mindfulness: Go to Blog Archive and click on posts like: How mindfulness can help? Religion of the future, Watch the video –“Life of Buddha”-BBC Documentary 

Somewhat acquainted with mindfulness: Go to Blog Archive and click on posts like: Practice of mindfulness- “The four bases of mindfulness” and mindfulness in breathing. You can also explore specific topics related to mindfulness by clicking on the labels.

Well acquainted with mindfulness: Go to Blog Archive and you can browse through all the posts and the links. Some of these posts and links will help you to gain deeper understanding about the practice of mindfulness. In some postings you can read or listen to discussions on some of the original disclosures of the Buddha. This will also help you to gain more insights into the practice of mindfulness.


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Dr. Piyal Walpola

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This blog is dedicated to Ven. Walasmulle Jinaratana who inspired me with his words of wisdom on impermanence. “What is present in this moment will change within the next moment”

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The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have…Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.

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Buddhist Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies

The Ethical Ideology of Ch’an Buddhism and the Modern Economic Society

Author: Kou Zhen
Date: 2003-5-27

The traditional Ch”"an (Chinese Zen) Buddhism culture goes back to ancient times, and it is still playing a proper role in the process of Chinese modernization. To be more specific, it is worth a quest as to what kinds of connections and opportunities the Ch”"an Buddhism ethics have in regard to the modem economic society. In China, a well-known giant Haier corporation has proclaimed the Buddhism culture to be part of its corporate cultures and transformed the basic Buddhism notion of “accumulating virtues and charity work” into the assurance of the product quality, that is, they regard delivering high quality of products as the best practice of “accumulating virtues and charity work” to the ordinary people. This has shown that the age-old culture has reappeared with a new form in accordance with the modern society. It is equally important to both the modernization of the Ch”"an Buddhism culture and the modem economy that we consciously understand the role Ch”"an Buddhism plays in the social economic life.

1. The Ch”"an Buddhism Ethical Ideology and the Social Economic Life

The Ch”"an Buddhism culture contains a whole set of thought connotations, which includes the ideas that natural instinct is empty in the beginning of myriad things, that myriad things are impermanent, and the Buddhist doctrine of no-self. A human being can be freed from his self-nature”"s worldview, outlook on life and value approach through cultivation. Also, the concept of the middle-way features nonduality and its corresponding moral ethic norms with numerous rational notions. In connection with the modem economic life, it is worthy further considering as to how to properly sift through or borrow those notions and do away with the unwanted.

a. The Notion of Five Precepts and Occupation Choosing

The Five Precepts of Ch”"an Buddhism are the ethical norms that the orthodox Buddhists usually follow, and they are no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying and no intoxicant. No killing includes the ideas of equally merciful and caring for all sentient beings, loving animals the same way as loving human beings. No stealing means to acquire fortune through legitimate ways, and it is inappropriate to take somebody else”" s properties for one”" s own use. Stealing refers to the behaviors such as entrapping, deceiving, swindling and cheating, resulted from filching, robbing, forcibly occupying and embezzling. No sexual misconduct denotes to respect lawful relationship between husbands and wives, and the social moral codes, to live a healthy marriage life, and not to have an affair with somebody else other than your married spouse. No lying suggests that one not lie to other people through fictional words, and never speak in fabrications and untruth. No intoxicant means that one should keep a clear head and not allow alcohol to arouse the emotional outbreaks, avoiding the violations of the other four precepts. And these are the basic Ch”"an Buddhism concepts required to every cultivating practitioner because doing one”"s best to live up to these precepts can grow heart or mind power and gain wisdom, thus live a life with ease and with pleasant body and mind. Of course, the requirements are different among monastic and lay followers, as well as causal practitioners, and moreover, these requirements are primarily depending upon self-awareness, but not outside forces.

The modern Chinese society is now in a transition period from a planned economy to a market economy, which is unfolding throughout the society. The rich and colorful commodity economy, surrounded with economic interests, has tremendously changed people”"s values in that people no longer turn pale when talking about profits and legitimately seeking economic profits is acknowledgeable. At the same time, the development of the market economy is providing people with even more opportunities for occupational choices. But, on the other side, this development does not always take a positive or one-way direction; it has negative side as well. For instance, people could make an immoral judgment on interests, and obtain fortunes by hook or by crook or even by means like entrapping, deceiving, swindling, cheating and robbing. It should concern both every individual and the society about how to choose a legitimate job or occupation. In my interviews with the individuals studying Ch”"an Buddhism with whom I have become acquainted, there is a Buddhist monk who used to catch fish for a living. Once he began studying Buddhism, he realized that he had killed too many living beings in the past and decided to cultivate his mind and cleanse his sins, and finish his life by seeking the correct path. Another is a lay Buddhist who chose to make a living by running a small foodstuff business after he was laid off. He thinks that it would make him feel ease knowing that he is gaining wealth by a legitimate way and by his own hands, and it doesn”"t matter if the business is big in size or how much money he can make. Some others who have accepted Buddhism are consciously avoiding places for the sense-pleasures during the market economic tide, and trying to choose jobs that are in accordance to the morality of Buddhism. We can observe from the above examples that among the Buddhism practitioners, their selections of job or occupation are more or less influenced by the Buddhism moral norms.

In addition, the Buddhist notion concerning the material wealth acquirement is consistent with the traditional Chinese idea: “there is a (proper) way for a gentleman to get material wealth.”

It is said in the Buddha Speaks the Shan-Sheng Sutra that “a person who wishes to obtain material wealth should know that there are six non-Buddhist ways. What are they? 1. All games used to obtain material wealth are unacceptable; 2. Obtaining material wealth at unsuitable times is unacceptable; 3. Encouraging intoxication to obtain material wealth is unacceptable; 4. Material wealth and goods obtained from improper knowledge is unacceptable; 5. Obtaining material wealth from sexual services and pleasures is unacceptable; 6. It is unacceptable to take the lazy-man”"s way of obtaining material wealth.”[1] Buddhism states that the six ways of obtaining goods and material wealth were not desirable. These tenets are useful and should be encouraged under today”"s imperfect market economy in China.

b. The Ch”" an Buddhism Ethics and the Economic Family Life

The Buddhism morality touches upon many respects of family life. “The Buddha Speaks the Shan-Sheng Jing” has explained in detail on how to deal with relationships between father and son, brothers, man and wife, master and servant, and members of the same clan. Of them, the relationship regarding material wealth contains ideas that if children give their belongings to their father and mother, their father and mother should treat the children kindly and provide fully for the children. Man and wife should understand and sympathize with each other. In the relationships between master and servant, the master should provide the servant with food and shelter, and the servant should treat the family kindly while on duty. And the relatives of a family should love and respect one another and share material wealth, which is so-called “relatives and friends share the same sympathy. ” These kinds of “giving to others ” and “respecting relatives and friends” relationships should be the moral tendency that we advocate in contrast to the indifferent human relations and selfish individualism phenomena manifested in the search for profit under our modern economic society. Therefore, when one receives material wealth, he/she should divide it into six portions: 1. One for eating, 2. One for farming, 3.One for savings, 4. One for emergencies, 5. One for marriage, and 6.One for building a home. The goal to divide the material wealth into six portions is to encourage a rational use of material wealth and lead a peaceful family life.

2. The Ch”"an Buddhism Ideology and the Economic Concepts

Ch”"an Buddhism thoughts reveal to people the way of life and the paths to a perfect one through obtaining wisdom. Although there is no direct reasoning in it with regard to economic theory, its fundamental concepts, ideas and ethics should inspire a great deal of modem economic values and businessmen.

A. The Eightfold Right Path, the Six Points of Reverent Harmony, the Four Absorbing Virtues of Ch”"an Buddhism and the Management Concepts

What is called the Eightfold Right Path is also known as the Noble EightFold Path, which is a path leading to a Buddha. The Right Path means the middle-way away from deviation and evil. It is also an important moral behavior category in Buddhism relating to the following aspects:

1) The Right View. It is a legitimate view, which keeps away from evil views and ideas, and departs from the views of solipsism, only material and only deity It is the right Buddhist dharma (the principle or law that orders the universe) of understanding Simply put, it is the wisdom of Buddha

2) The Right Thought It is an appropriate thought, which means to think without the mundane subjective differentiation and erroneous ideas, and to think following the Buddhist middle way of true wisdom

3) The Right Speech Pure, clear and kind speech, suitable to Buddhism Avoiding false, idle, deceive, vicious, angry, and slanderous speeches as well as speech intended only for diversion.

4) The Right Conduct It is a legitimate work, that is, to observe law and disciplines, and to commit no killing, no stealing, no misconduct and to get rid of all kinds of evildoings.

5) The Right Livelihood It means conducting rational economic activities, and staying far away from inappropriate occupations, such as fraud and chicanery, claiming to be or to be able to do more than is true, practicing divination, astrology and so on

6) The Right Effort It refers to a proper endeavor, in other words, to try consistently to achieve nirvana (ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion) by industriously studying and practising Buddhism, and opposing laziness and muddle

7) The Right Mindfulness It means to have an appropriate mind or thought, that is, to keep Buddhism in one”"s heart or mind, and avoid far-fetched ideas.

8) The Right Contemplation It is the right sitting, then concentration of attention, avoidance of random thoughts, leaving all confusion far behind and entering into a pure Zen state and realizing enlightenment on the true nature of the world and man

The above Eightfold Right Paths of the Buddhism encompass all the three studies in the Buddhism discipline, meditation and wisdom It is also the Buddhism guidance and norms in relation to appropriate thoughts, speech, behaviors, life and work These thought rules and ethical norms are worth considering by our modern economy and management concepts.

In the modern business management concepts, profit pursuit is every business and every individual”"s aim, which is, of course, necessary But if this pursuit is not led by a correct thought, then it will either be a blind pursuit or hardly maintained In other words, erecting honors, wills, actions and morals are the first things to establish for any business and individual, and these are also the enlightenment we receive from the Eightfold Right Paths Thus, we should first and foremost set the correct business thoughts and directions, let them be our guidance of our actions, and this could only be realized by relying on the observation of economic laws and the ethical norms Profit alludes only to materials, whereas the thought and morality care only about human beings Only by means of perfect business thoughts and ethical concepts can it be avoided that the business practice alludes only to materials without caring about human beings, and that people are caught in simple pursuit, of material interest and losing the existential meaning as a human being And only by so doing, can the business practice be carried out in an orderly fashion.

Economic activities are human activities, and they reflect the relationships between people at all times Of them, there are relationships between the managing people and the managed people, between managers and colleagues, and coordinating these relationships is crucial for the economic development.

Buddhism also has discourses concerning how to deal with interpersonal relationships The “Chang Ar Han Yo-xing Jing” (”Dialogues of the Buddha”) contains “the six points of reverent harmony,”[2] including 1 the doctrinal unity in views, explanations and understanding, 2 the moral unity in observing the commandments and practicing, 3 the economic unity in community of goods and equal division of wealth, 4 the mental unity of faith, 5 the bodily unity in the form of worship, and 6 living together oral unity in chanting and not quarreling These tenets are primarily for Buddhist practitioners, but they could also be applied to the economic society If people could have common aims and ideas in the business, follow certain rules, and deal fairly with interests, albeit not equally, they could have harmonious relationships and reach common goals.

At the same time, Buddhism advocates the Four Absorbing Spirits: almsgiving (charity), affectionate words, cooperation and adaptation of oneself to others. These are four ways to absorb for all living creatures and to profit others. Although this is a relatively higher spiritual realm in Buddhism, if a business can also promote equal interest division, honesty, mutual respect and help among colleagues, as well as vigor and diligence, it will be critical to its success or failure.

B. Buddhism Wisdom, Ordinary Heart or Mind, Worldliness, Transcendence and Businessmen

The social economic activity is an interaction between people and the society. It is very important whether a businessman is insightful, decisive, able to have a holistic control of the economic development, and to keep a good mental state and the worldly and transcendent state of mind during the changeable economic waves.

1) The Ch”"an Buddhism Wisdom

The Ch”"an Buddhist wisdom is not the same as the can-hear-and-see-well type of wisdom as we commonly perceive. It actually refers to what “Tan Jing” (The platform sutra) says: “The heart/mind is big, over in Buddha”"s world. Use is very clear and understanding complete. Everything is one and one is everything. There is freedom of coming and going. The heart/mind is not hindered. This is Wisdom. “[3] The Buddhism wisdom is embodied in both the thing-in-itself (the essence) and the use (the function). For the essence, it shows the broad heart/ mind and there is no difference between Buddha”"s world of peace and quiet and the essence. The worldly life can be fundamentally mastered through this wisdom, whereas the function (the use) is clear and free and flexibility is not hindered, which enables one to fully utilize one”"s intellect. What it really means is that the essence and its function are inseparable. This wisdom can only be achieved by uninterrupted cultivation, or rather, by reaching the stages of no thought (no rigidity or stagnation, meaning that every idea is clear and it is the right idea.); no form (at form, but leaving form, meaning not being tied up to form and keeping the heart/mind in a state of emptiness and clarity); and no fixating (heart/mind does not hold to one idea and give rise to heart/mind - the thoughts are clear, when one arises there is realization which is immediately released, activity is not unclean.)When one keeps such a state of awareness for extended periods of quiet time, wisdom develops. This kind of wisdom creates a state whereby it becomes possible to see completely through all the foibles of man and society. So if a person has wisdom, he would exist in a state of freedom where anything could be picked up or put down without a need to cling. This should also be the higher mental state a businessman should have.

2) The Ordinary Heart or Mind

The Ch”"an Buddhism maintains that “the ordinary heart or mind is the Way”. What is the ordinary heart or mind ? Master Jing Cheng said: “When sleepy, sleep; when there is a need to sit, sit. ” He added: “When hot, find something to cool yourself, when cold, move close to a fire. “[4] Everything goes with its nature, do not remain subjectively rigid and recklessly engender right and wrong. If the heart/mind is constantly being pulled towards external material things, and/or is controlled by fame and profit, the heart/mind would lose itself and fall out of balance, it would fall into pain and worry. The ordinary heart/mind in Ch”"an Buddhism derives from wisdom and a realm where the heart/mind has enlightened and grasped the true nature of things and stood aloof.

3) Dealing With the Worldly Affairs With an Unworldly Spirit

While the essentials of Ch”"an Buddhism tend to leave the world (unworldliness), it premises on enlightening about the world. Just as Hui Neng said: “Buddhism dharma is in the world, and not apart from it. “[5] In other words, leaving the world and entering the world (worldliness) are not separate. Standing aloof from worldly affairs results from a thorough understanding of the world, and entering the world means maintaining a transcendent attitude when dealing with worldly affairs. This is especially true as in the course of the modernization of Ch”"an Buddhism where it is increasingly advocating the worldly Buddhism. And it is gradually becoming a common understanding for the modem people that using transcendent attitude to deal with worldly affairs. The change from the ordinary heart/mind involved in success and failure, gain and loss to the wisdom of Ch”"an Buddhism transcendent attitude is part of the modernization process of Buddhism and is also a result of an individual”"s heart/mind cultivation. Modem economic society consistently changes and is full of competition. In order for an enterprise to keep winning in this competitive environment, the quality of the businessmen is crucial. They have to calmly judge and make decisions on different circumstances, have great insight and self-confidence, and also have tolerance for ups and downs, while maintaining an ordinary heart/ mind. This is because economic activities are full of material gains and losses. If one doesn”"t have a transcendent state of mind, he/she could hardly develop and grow in the business, that is to say, one must enter the world with the spirit of standing aloof from worldly affairs.

C. Ch”"an Buddhism Consecration to Fight Against Corruption, Self-control and The Concept of Competition

The Ch”"an Buddhism ethics advocate the spirit of no small self in favor of the others, and selfless dedication. While this is the highest and ideal realm people seek, it seems to hold paradox with the competitive nature of the economic interests because if everyone sacrifices oneself, there would be no competition.

But in fact, Ch”"an Buddhism also emphasizes the use of wisdom ingeniously and resourcefully to be in accordance with the laws of economic development, and avoid getting stuck in particulars. The consecration (or dedication) that Ch”"an Buddhism stresses here means the benefit-other benevolent heart/mind.

Competition is legitimate and in line with the laws of economic development. But it does not incite people to kill each other. In addition, Ch”"an Buddhism is intrinsically opposing greed and it holds that human falls into limitless anxiety only because of the craving (greedy desire). It also seems contradictory with the living concepts of modern people where desires are always closely connected with the pursuit of the economic interests. However, we should clarify here that Ch”"an Buddhism does not oppose rational economic life and desires, as long as people have a control of the desires, without losing the self and self-nature. This is not only a subject for the practice of the Ch”"an Buddhism modernization, but also a subject worthy deeper discussion in regard to making the Ch”"an Buddhism wisdom practically suitable to the modem society.

3. The Effect and Meaning of the Ch”"an Buddhism Ethics to the Market Economy Society

1) The ethical thoughts of the Ch”"an Buddhism serve to organize and create conformity for modern family life, which are primarily manifested in dealing with the family relationships, meaning that parent and children, husbands and wives, relatives should be considerate and helping each other in dealing with material wealth as well as be legitimate and rational in distributing the family wealth. It has a positive effect on the tendency of the modern family towards individuality and the dissolution. It can limit individualism and egoism, and encourage families to live harmoniously by acknowledging and enriching human feelings within the family, putting an end to a tendency towards the luxurious material possessions.

2) The ethical thoughts of the Ch”"an Buddhism play a positive role in normalizing the economic society, which is primarily shown in its Five Precepts and the Eightfold Right Paths. Once they sink into people”"s consciousness, they will have active restraining effect on choosing legitimate jobs, gaining material wealth by legitimate means, and avoiding criminal behaviors such as entrapping, deceiving, swindling and cheating engendered from the market economy. Moreover, this effect works from the inside as opposed to from the outside forces such as laws. It will have far-reaching implications on normalizing social behaviors, purifying the economic society, and maintaining the economic development and prosperity for a longer time.

3) The ethical thoughts of the Ch”"an Buddhism will have an immanent impact on businessmen”"s management concepts. The business people who have accepted the Ch”"an Buddhism might find themselves confused at first as to whether earning money or seeking interests is contradictory with the desire-control notion that Ch”"an Buddhism advocates, and how to coordinate between the sense of competition and the spirits of benevolent and profit-others of the Ch”"an Buddhism. However, as their understanding of Ch”"an Buddhist thoughts improves, especially the thought about the Buddhist soteriology, their understanding will not be limited any more. They will be able to transcend worldly affairs. They enter the worldly and make money, but do not make money only for the selves; they seek the material wealth, but do not do it only for the sake of profit. These will make them realize their cultivation during the process of the business management. This is how the study and practice of the Ch”"an Buddhism can change people”"s mental states into ordinary minds. This change does not mean that businessmen should not make money. It only makes them also concern their self-nature sides while making money, concern people while concerning materials, concern others and the society while concerning the selves. In this way, their internal worlds can be enriched and trained, their mental states can be improved, and thus they can transcendently face honor, disgrace, gain, loss, and embrace the complicated situations with better states of mind. This explains that the Ch”"an Buddhism is not negative and an escapism as the traditional values perceive. Rather, it has positive effect on the modem society.

4) The Four Absorbing Spirits of the Ch”"an Buddhism have a positive impact on coordinating the interpersonal relations in the society. The dedication and friendly spirit in relation to almsgiving, loving words, acting to the common good and kindness to others that Ch”"an Buddhism advocates can raise human self-nature cultivation, and overcome the shortcomings in the complex economic life resulted from the individualism and egoism. And it has great implication in building a society that helps and understands people with harmonious, honesty trend, and good outside surroundings.

5) The ethical thoughts of the Ch”"an Buddhism impinge positively on the coordination of relationships between material and spirit lives. Ch”"an Buddhism advocates desire-control because egregious desires not only throw people into limitless suffering and agony, but also bring people too much trouble to get out by themselves. But if one can continuously cultivate his self-nature, and rationally control his desires, then he will tranquilize his state of mind and live a pleasant spiritual life. This is also the positive side that the Ch”"an Buddhism brings to the modern society.

“Joyful ways to obtain” mean to gain material wealth through frivolous ways, such as frolic, provocative singing and so on. “Action in an unsuitable time” means that it is not an appropriate time to get material wealth, for example stealing at night. In addition, indulging in drinking, cheating and stealing, socializing with inappropriate people, engaging in pornographic businesses and obtaining material wealth not through hard working are all unacceptable.

(Tr. Lou Xiaozhuang)


[1]. Cf. The Buddha Speaks the Shan-sheng Suhra.

[2]. Cf Miao Hua. Standing aloof of Life, p.131.

[3]. Cf. Notes on the Platform Sutra (Tan jing zhu), p.58.

[4]. Cf. Wudeng Huiyuan (Ch”"an Cases), p.210.

[5]. Cf. Notes on the Platform Sutra (Tan jing zhu), p.79.

Buddhist Economics

Buddhist spirit and corporate culture

Buddhism and Culture in common 
        Buddhism is broad and profound, especially in the west wind during the Sui and Tang dynasties Eastward later, Buddhism and the combination of traditional Chinese culture, the Development of Buddhism itself has played a significant role in advancing. Compared with other religions, Buddhism has a notable feature is a recognition that the great man himself, from the people themselves to seek real knowledge, neither the birth of the traditional Chinese Taoist concept (although strictly speaking is not a religious Taoism, but the philosophy of Taoism concept or self-contained), nor the Christian religion, Islam, said original sin. It is this people-centered thinking, it makes for endless thousands of Buddhism, was up to the high-brow types accepted by common people down to the civilian population. 
        However, Buddhism and what is the relationship between corporate Culture does, to say the issue clear, we must first define what is a good Buddhist, what is corporate culture. 
        From the above is not difficult to see that Buddhism is unlike other religions, a religious emphasis on people-centered. We generally believe that religion is to believe and worship of superhuman ability to control and super-power, and Buddhism considers that it is only a human one, he will of his consciousness, achievements, and attainments, entirely attributable to the efforts and talents. People, and only human beings can become a Buddha, and each person has the potential of Buddhahood. Therefore, Buddhism is a kind of ‘emphasis on people-oriented, and to regulate people’s thoughts and behavior of a strong system of rules’, such a system is similar to the definition of philosophy, so in the end there are people in the Buddhist philosophy of religion, or argue . 
        For the corporate culture, domestic and foreign scholars on different perspectives to corporate culture, under a variety of definitions, in general, foreign scholars is more of the focus from the ideology, the values of the enterprise based on a system at the same time and management philosophy, management practices linked. So, what is corporate culture? Terence E. Deal (Terence), and Allan A. Kennedy (Allen) in the ‘enterprise culture’ (Corporate Culture) a book to the corporate culture is defined as “to regulate business behavior of people in most cases a strong a strong system of unwritten rules. “Buddhism and adopted for the definition of corporate culture, Buddhism and corporate culture can be seen in many common points. 

        2, all creatures are equal 
        Buddhist doctrine does not require people to obey him in a will or force in Buddhism, there is no creation and those who have been created, there is no leadership and the led. Buddhism in the relationship between the Buddha and Buddhist disciples, not a leader in the relationship between being a leader, but Progenitors and post-perception, the relationship between the teacher and the Christians. Buddha founded the Sangha Organization, without the self-proclaimed leader, but to themselves as nuns in a member of one of ordinary monks holding a bowl of a beggar, barefoot wander. (Quoted from ‘Agama’) The reason why the Buddha advocated egalitarianism, according to Buddhist scriptures have said, is that all sentient beings Jieyou Buddha, and Buddha would have an equal one. According to the principles of modern organization theory is that each person in the organization are equal, but in the organization of the division of labor. There is only the merciful heart of Buddha, but no intention to dominate the dominant beings. In the Buddhist mind, although the Buddha Fu Hui pairs of round, magical wand at ease Happy, Casino Raiders, is extremely virtuous, there is no leader, master’s deterrent, but amiable and respectful, can be effective learning The. In Buddhism, Buddha and the people do not insurmountable boundaries, everyone can become a Buddha, while in other religions, man can never become God (leader or master), can only be God’s servant. Egalitarianism is another characteristic of Buddhism and the basic spirit of the For the purposes of corporate culture, and everyone should have as their basic spirit of equality, one should advocate equality of phase Shi internal employees. Business founder is not absolutely divine, he would have due respect and status as the earliest enterprises of the enterprise to find ways to survival and development, and guide enterprises to further develop the important role. Leaders at all levels of business teams at all levels, the responsibility for different tasks with different common one, leaders not to lead the team to carry out his decision-making and the definition of objectives, but with a team of other officers to jointly realize the approved objectives. Each employee has the right and obligation to define their respective team’s goals, but also have the right to veto his team’s work objectives. In companies with flat management model should replace the A-type management model, mutual aid concept should replace the concept of leadership. In addition to equal treatment, the enterprises should respect each employee the right to development in the enterprise, the enterprise culture to highlight each employee regardless of qualifications, ability to size, as long as their continuous efforts, are likely to become a leading concept. Each leader is to help staff the success of his brother and friends, each employee would like to be a leader in order to help more people succeed, so that companies no reason not to grow and develop. Haier made the famous ‘racecourse’ strategies, so that each employee has Haier’s sense of fairness, a sense of accomplishment, but also to the many talented people come to the fore Haier, who have made great contribution to the development of Haier. 
        3. Abandoning evil from good 
        ’Mo for Zhu Wu, Chung Shan pursue’ is the basic idea of Buddhism, although many religions have abandoned the idea of evil from the good, but Buddhism has a unique disposable evil from the good content. The Buddhist concept of good and evil is an absolute concept of good and evil, along with Karma. Buddhism abandoning evil from the good meaning of the following main layers: first, good and evil from the heart out of breeding, the nature of the people without good or evil, because the idea of a moment caused by Zhen Wang and the derivative of good and evil did not solid, ‘real Gai jump to this, jump to Toru true source’, thus good and evil but rather the consequences of the respective Zhen Wang. Second, good and evil can be transformed to jump to keep true, abandon evil from the good is intrinsic merit. Third, good and evil is absolutely objective, without any reason or by some sort of name, you can do evil and to be proud of. In Buddhism, where Buddha’s name is not possible to go to conquer the so-called barbarians, it is impossible to Buddha to kill infidels in the name. Good and evil is self-evident, can never be done by the people themselves interpret. 4, each person must be responsible for their words and deeds are the so-called good will be rewarded, Eyouwubao, not not reporting, hour yet to come, in Heaven, human, Asura and beasts, hungry ghosts and hell that six of reincarnation is the rise or fall, depending on one’s own. In short, the concept of absolute good and evil at the core of Buddhism Gwonseon Zhiwu another character and basic philosophy. 
        For the corporate culture is concerned, corresponds to the Buddhist spirit, abandoning evil from the good has the following meanings: one, the staff is not the nature of good and bad points, there is no good or evil nature, and when he is doing good when good deeds, and when he was evil, when is the evil of. Thus the famous Douglas. McGregor (Douglas McGregor) theories of human nature should be subject to challenge, if the holders of X theory (that is, human nature is evil), it ignores the people from the foundation of good, if the holders of Y theory (human nature is good), will be without abandoning of evil initiative. In the corporate culture-building and advocacy should take full account of employees from the good foundation, and encourage their employees to take the initiative to abandon evil. Second, good and evil can be transformed, for corporate law has been violated is not a simple rejection of the staff, but efforts to help the enlightenment. For the once-off benefits for employees of enterprises can not be blindly trusted, lax management and enlightenment of its. At the same time, according to employees of the behavioral phenomenon of good and evil, from corporate culture to find the root causes of their own, can bring a good sign for the culture of the spirit to carry forward for the bad behavior can bring the cultural spirit must be discarded. And note that the enterprise culture should contain more tolerant spirit and guidance of the concept. Third, workers have violated company regulations, acts of damage to the interests of enterprises, do not believe in the excuse, wrong is wrong, and even good intentions to do bad things have to be punished or condemnation. Also note that the enterprise culture should not doped attacks and contempt for other companies, even competitors, ingredients, employees, and enterprises should establish the conscious and the host communities and the industries in which the spirit of friendly coexistence. Fourth, enterprises should permeate contingent praise, reward and punishment of moral and institutional system, so that Karma in the enterprise culture with the new content can be elevated to new heights. 

  4. Re-Zhi Sang Jin 
Buddhism as a religious hope to find is people’s ultimate fate, but Buddhism is not a blind faith. Buddhism emphasizes the wisdom of giving play to people itself, through the phenomenon of view of nature, Dongche sensual, enlightenment Zhenru. Buddhism is still true reason for re-chi is to Buddhism, since that it has cognitive or comprehending the objective truth. Buddha is not a creator of truth, is only the discoverer of the truth. ‘Tathagata was born and unborn, permanent legal careers. ‘(Quoted from’ Agama ‘), so more emphasis on Buddhism’ to France as a teacher ‘. Buddhism worship is ‘go away’, rather than the Buddha, thus dared to spit at the Zen Buddhist ancestral curse. Buddhism is still at such a true intellectual and, therefore, rational and empirical re-worship, although Buddhism is still unable to escape the so-called objective ‘method idealist’ area, but Buddhists often unconsciously Bong ‘practice is the sole criterion for testing truth’ that score. This is very different from other religious mysticism. 
        Re-Chi is still true for the value of corporate culture is clearly not in their ‘method idealist’ claims, but rather focus on human initiative, and is not fooled by appearances of things, advocating the truth and the spirit of questioning authority. On his own initiative is the eternal youth of the magic business, 3M Company in order to motivate staff to create the subjective ability to set up its own Nobel Prize - Golden Step Award, the IBM engineers took a number of fruitful and CEO salaries as high as These are companies in order to encourage initiative and the measures taken. In the enterprise culture should be made clear that enterprises in product development, market development, management systems can never fully comprehending all of its essence, to reach the ultimate goal, there are many already existing resources and potential has not been that we use and excavation, in order to this to motivate employees through their own wisdom and near-constant search for the truth of their respective areas of work. For the enterprise as well as the authority within the industry, although opposed to revile, but also a sense of questioning and challenges on the go. In the corporate culture should encourage employees to find business mistakes and shortcomings that exist and operate in a timely manner to repair the errors and deficiencies exist. For the corporate culture has been constantly in the business and going to be tested in order to properly discard. Companies have dared to challenge the formation of corporate culture is the emphasis on corporate culture is still really important manifestation of Chile. 
        Overview of past and present, many Buddhist believers to live and lead by the unique spirit of Buddhism in the political, economic, cultural, and made outstanding contributions to the natural sciences. In the modern business management, also has a lot of people with the spirit of Buddhism to establish unique corporate culture, for enterprises in the fierce market competition, to seek its own unique charm, in order to create a century-old lay the basis for a strong corporate culture. Double Star Group, the enterprise culture into the spirit of Buddhism has achieved very successful results, for the spirit of Buddhism and the combination of corporate culture set a good example. 
        You are welcome to explore with the author’s views and your views on this article, the author’s e-mail address:

Business: “Buddhism and Business Management”

Maharshi R. Shrestha

In most societies, the so-called leaders are themselves confused, engrossed in hatred, greed or delusion, so they become the blind who lead the blind. In Buddhism it is believed that the presence of one such person is very important, and can have an important influence on society. In Buddhist terminology, the term ‘emptiness of action’ or ‘non action’ is used. To act in a way that arises from non – action is to act in a way that truly influences the situation in a nonviolent way.

In “Small is Beautiful”, E. F. Schumacher reminds us that Western economists seek maximization of material gain as if that they hardly care for people. He says that in the Buddhist concept of economic development, we should avoid gigantism, especially of machines, which tend to control rather than to serve human beings. With gigantism, we are driven by an excessive greed in violating and raping nature. If bigness and greed can be avoided, the Middle Path of Buddhist development can be achieved, i.e. both the world of industry and agriculture can be converted into a meaningful habitat.

With the growing complexities of business especially industrial business-the use of meditation techniques has become popular during the last few years. However, they have been used mainly as stress relieving techniques for executives subjected to the tensions of achieving targets. Management of a medium scale industrial business requires organization, quality control, production, purchasing, marketing, fund flow, administration, etc. Each of these operations requires clear thinking, planning, coordination, execution, cost accounting, and profitability projections.

There are presently several colleges which teach this type of management. There are special techniques of management for large organizations with turnovers of one hundred million U.S. dollars and over. Research and development methods are also available for upgrading the technology of these business. Where exactly does meditation come into the picture? To get an answer, we have to look to more industrialized countries such as the United States and Germany. The nature of the societies produced by advanced industrialization has been characterized by heavy alcohol, drug and cigarette consumption, pandemic divorces and broken families; economic recession and job insecurities; and strong feelings of competition and frustration leading to heart attacks, suicide and so on.

People who become business managers come from this fragmented society, Business schools teach them to work for more profits and higher salaries, and the stress involved leads to greater consumption of drugs and alcohol, and various health problems such as hyper-tension. The level of equanimity in such societies deteriorates. The business owners, executives and managers develop feelings of pride, prejudice, jealousy and arrogance and experience their concomitants: depression, anxiety, stress and other harmful effects. The one part of Buddhism is meditation. The Vipassana meditation technique improves the lives of executives and business managers by transforming their attitudes. Prejudice is replaced by compassion; jealousy changes into joy at the success of others; greed and arrogance are replaced by generosity and humility, and so on.

This transformation of attitude results in stress reduction, and mental equanimity and balance. It is a creative force capable of inducing a dynamic work approach in subordinate staff. The positive change is brought about by a change in the attitude and actions of the executive-to polite and compassionate behavior, gentle speech, and a mind full of love and friendliness. This positive change in consciousness is the aim of genuine meditation practice, and it forms a new and advanced basis for business and industrial management. Business management is presently judged by profits or “money-making” ability.

Managers are evaluated by their ability to make more money by increasing product turnover, developing new technologies with better payoffs, or decreasing costs through new inventions. In return, they want higher salaries and more requisites. Although there is nothing inherently wrong with generating profits and an increase in incomes, the real aim of an economic venture is to create a wealth which combines money with health and happiness. Vipassana makes a significant contribution towards improving the mental health and happiness of individuals-vital components of wealth. Vipassana meditation is a surgical operation of the mind. When practiced properly the pace of purification can be dramatically increased. The technique frees one’s mind from greed.

A healthy mind is alert and capable of meeting the demands of a situation. It naturally comes out of addictions and indulgences. The practice of Vipassana results in the diminishment ‘of craving. A business conducted with the base of such a mind would have resulted in the growth of the textile industry rather than creating sick production units. The Vipassana technique does not create by itself a new technology of management. It contributes to the improvement of management by correcting the root of the problem-impurity of mind-so that a business is continually nourished by the pure food of right thoughts and action.

It is excessive craving and greed which poison the minds of managers; this impurity is corrected by meditation. Vipassana also changes one’s attitude towards competitors. When a business cuts out a competitor, there is a chain reaction: a vicious cycle starts. Many businesses have been ruined by this attitude. Vipassana purifies the mind and fills it with wisdom which enables the practitioner to appreciate that there is room for everyone to coexist. The purification resulting from Vipassana practice results, as it were, in fertile soil where seeds of healthy business management are nurtured.

The soil of healthy minds brings forth management practices where the primary aim is to generate peace and happiness in the society, with the secondary aim of generating money as a means for buying goods and services, and attaining economic emancipation and a higher quality of life. 

(Mr. Shrestha can be reached at

Nalanda University Includes Syllubus of Buddhism & Global Warming

Nalanda University Includes Syllubus of Buddhism & Global Warming

New Delhi: In keeping with the times, students at the new Nalanda University would study subjects like global warming and business management.

That can be figured after the second meeting this week-end of the Nalanda Mentor Group - a panel headed by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen - which is helping to revive the famed university that once drew the brightest students from across Asia and beyond.

It could house up to 10,000 students. At one time, Chinese monk-scholar Xuanzang (Hsuan Tsang, for those familiar with the old way of spelling him) was among them.

The new Nalanda is being developed as an international institute. It is being revived through collaboration between India and countries with a sizeable Buddhist presence.

Heads of government discussed it at the East Asia Summit in Singapore last month, which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. By next year’s summit, they hope the framework of the international university would be ready.

Later, they plan to sign an intergovernmental agreement with everyone chipping in with the money.

At its peak, the university, set up near Patna in the fifth century AD and laid to ruin by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the 12th century, might have focused on religion and philosophy but it covered a wide range of contemporary knowledge. So would, it is hoped, the revived institute.

At the week-end meeting in Tokyo, the Mentor Group proposed that the. Nalanda University in its new avatar ‘ would have six schools: Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions Historical Studies, International Relations and Peace Studies; Business Management and Development Studies; Languages and Literature; and Ecology and Environmental Studies

The Mentor Group, which first met in Singapore in July and will next discuss the Nalanda revival China, agreed that it would be “a secular academic institution.”

According to the External Affairs. Ministry, it resolved that the university should “draw on an understanding of the past while remaining contemporary and emphasising its relevance to the future.”

The new Nalanda University is being developed as an international institute.

It is being revived through a collaboration between India and countries with a sizeable Buddhist presence

Bhutan: A Case Study of Buddhism and Business

 – an Opportunity for Transformational Learning.

1.  What is the innovation? How accomplished: stages, methods of

change, models or tools?

The innovation by the Bhutanese Royal Family and Government was to reflect on the

development of the Bhutan economy and decide to develop it and maintain the

Bhutanese culture through the creation of the concept of Gross National Happiness.

This led to a refocus on Bhutanese culture with an encouragement of the national

language, national dress and visible Buddhist traditions. Outcomes of the focus on

Gross National Happiness have been an enhancement of shared community values and

a public demonstration of community cohesion and pride. The challenge has been

defining, measuring and achieving Gross National Happiness in a meaningful manner.

The benefits of the concept of Gross National Happiness and the guidance it has

provided for the development of sound governance has lessons for management

philosophy. The King’s leadership in managing the meaning and measurement of

progress and happiness within a Buddhist spiritual framework has created a conflicting

reality for entrepreneurs. The challenge and  active reflection of being attuned to

Buddhist values as demonstrated in the community, while developing viable businesses

is creating conversations about drive, sustainability and technology gaps with a focus on

the need for both leadership and management capabilities.

2.  What is the benefit to society of the innovation?

The outward expression of the innovation of Gross National Happiness has been the

continued public practice of the Buddhist community. The focus on development has

been balanced through consideration of the four platforms of economic development,

environmental preservation, cultural promotion and good governance. The original

meaning of development in Bhutanese means enlightenment of the individual. The way

that development and progression is being framed and perceived is different to the way

it is promoted in the west. It is perceived as being in the interest of the broader

community more than in the interest of self. Currently there are huge challenges to

sustaining good governance and economic growth as the rich become richer and the

rural areas remain relatively poor. The transformational learning opportunity is the

analysis of the power of the philosophical framework and cultural expression of

Buddhism on the development of entrepreneurial practise and the definition of economic

development and progress.

3.  How is Bhutan benefiting from the innovation? What are the

business and economic results?

The concept of Gross National Happiness  (GNH) has created a more engaged society

actively, considering the movement to a constitutional Monarchy in 2008. The business

results are that many tourism opportunities have been built from the investment in the

culture of Bhutan which has been re-invigorated, preserved and targeted to top-end

tourism. The challenge is how to grow and sustain economic growth to a level that

maintains opportunities for all, rather than for a few, and continues to encompass the

four platforms of economic development, environmental preservation, cultural promotion

and good governance.

4.  What lessons are there for entrepreneurs seeking to grow business

in Bhutan?

While this ‘story’ will outline the context of GNH and Bhutan, the key characters in the

story are a group of Bhutanese entrepreneurs seeking to establish a Contact Centre as

a means of employing the significant number of young people graduating from high

school and University. The entrepreneurs, which include a young princess from the

Royal family, seek to offer meaningful employment opportunities. The significant

investment in infrastructure, the challenge of establishing business credibility and

gaining new business has been undertaken with a faith in the value of the opportunity for

civil society that Bhutan is seeking to sustain. Development is very much viewed as

being in the interest of the broader community more than in the interest of self and

through this perspective assistance and support is clearly explored. The

transformational learning opportunity in this case study is the analysis of the power of

the philosophical framework and cultural expression of Buddhism on the development of

a Contact Centre in a competitive global market.

5.  What are the lessons that I learnt from Bhutan?

Bhutan has a tiny population of about 635,000. There is a fierce sense of pride in

Bhutan - a real belief that they are the last Shangri-La and young people have little

desire to live elsewhere. I brought back a keen sense of the contradictions that are

emerging with economic growth and the strength that the concept of Gross National

Happiness provides in helping people to  discuss what is good for Bhutan. As the

Monarchy is changing in 2008 to an increasingly constitutional format there is public

debate about the capability of people to make sound judgements. The way people see

themselves is moving from being dependent to independent. The power of the story, the

clarity of responsibility and the integration of the past and the present are the key

elements in transforming Bhutan towards a sustainable future. On reflection, while

consulting and coaching here, I see that these elements are also keys for the constant

re-creation of our selves and our teams. Our consultancy is now focusing on the Art of

Re-Creation for team performance and self-management.

Tue, 4 January, 2011 4:05:12 PM

[The Buddhist Circle] K.Sudarshan, RSS Ideology and Scandalous Statements ISP II Jan 2011


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K. Sudarshan, RSS Ideology and Scandalous Statements
Ram Puniyani
In public space one keeps hearing many a things which are horrifying, vicious and bad in taste. K.Sudarshan, the father figure of RSS, recently (November 2010) stated that Sonia Gandhi was a foreign agent, that she had some role in the deaths of her mother-in-law and her husband, and that Rajiv Gandhi had wanted to leave her. This statement was not carried by the large section of media, and there were only few commentators who took it up for analysis. While Congress supporters did outpour their anguish through protests and filing of some cases, the RSS itself distanced itself from this statement. Tarun Vijay of BJP, with RSS background, also dissociated BJP form this statement. Interestingly even while distancing BJP from Sudarhsan’s statement he made it a point to pay compliments to the intellect of K.Sudarshan.

Overall even the other people from RSS stable were mild enough to dissociate themselves from the outpouring of their ex- Chief and one of the longest serving leaders of RSS. Still they did not condemn Sudarshan. They reverentially upheld the high level of his intellect. There is nothing surprising about RSS combine not condemning him, and there are deeper reasons for the same. What Sudarshan said was not a flash in the pan but its’ what RSS probably believes, that’s why Sudarshan is not condemned, as a matter of fact one can see the ‘logic’ of his saying, this statement of his, is just the further extension of the ideology of RSS.

RSS core ideology is based around looking at the society through communal angle. Communal view of society looks at peoples’ interests, material and otherwise only through the prism of religion. According to this ideology all Hindus have similar interests; all Christians have similar interests and so on. This communal ideology begins with ‘sameness of the interests’ of one religious community and than goes on so say that interests of two religious communities are different from each other. And in the next stage it asserts that the interests between two religious communities are irreconcilable and hostile to each other.

According to this ideology a Hindu industrialist and the Hindu beggar are supposed to have similar interests! A Muslim entrepreneur and a Muslim sweeper or beggar is supposed to have similar interests. So a Hindu king in History and poor Hindu farmer-Shudra are on the same page. It looks at history as unified Hindu community standing against others and so on, as if all Hindu Kings were hunky dory with each other and supping with the Shudras and poor peasants of society. The communal ideology, irrespective of any religions in whose name it operates, changes the horizontal social differences into vertical ones’. The society has divisions according the rich and poor, privileged and deprived. According to this ideology what matters is the vertical divisions according to one’s religion. This ideology as such focuses on issues of identity and undermines the real worldly problems. It is an attempt to undermine and sweep under the carpet the unjust social
system, where the major contradiction is social and economic. It is a way to hide one’s birth based privileges under the guise of religion. Religion is a potent instrument as faith is its central component. Abuse of faith for political goals generates blind social hysteria, which is used to promote the political and social agenda of communal organizations. This pattern applies to all the faith-religion based politics.
In India communal ideology, both Muslim and Hindu, developed in opposition to the democratic secular ideology which looked at people in their primary Indian identity. The communal ideology originated from amongst elites, landlords-kings, their associated clergy and middle class followers and ideologues.
So while these communal ideologies may look hostile to each other at surface, essentially their roots are same, their values are the same, they operate on the same social logic and dynamics. Those elements, entrenched in the social privileges talk of identity issues while those struggling to make both ends meet talk of the worldly issues, problems related to daily life. We can see the rudiments of this in teachings of Lord Gautam Buddha who talked of the misery of the society, the deprivations of society and against the caste system. His influence was systematically undone by projecting that this World is an illusion, (Jagat Mythya: Brahm Satyam). The attack on Buddhism also symbolized the ascendance of exploitative caste system and the economic system which went with it. During medieval period also we see that most of the kings, irrespective of their religion patronized the clergy (Raj Guru with Hindu kings, Shahi Imam with Muslim kings, alliance
between King and the Pope in Europe). The clergy is more interested in rituals and preservation of ‘status quo’ of the system.
Contrary to this, the saints of religions focused on the moral values and used religions’ moral values as binding glue for the society, cutting across religious divides. Same saints talked of ‘problems of this world’. Kabir in one of his dohas (couplet) tells us that if one can get God by worshipping a stone idol, why not worship the whole mountain. He points out that the Chakki (Grinding stone) is more important than the idols of God. Same way he criticizes Mullahs for emphasizing on mosque and shouting to get people in the mosque. The contrast in the social interests of exploiters and exploited is reflected in the patterns of clergy on one side and saints on the other.
Coming back to communal streams, Muslim and Hindu, both harped on similar things and opposed the process of social change which was accompanying the freedom movement. Freedom movement, from which Muslim League, Hindu Mahasabha-RSS remained aloof, was aiming not just to get rid of British rule but was also the harbinger of caste and gender transformation in the society. It was also the beginning of the talk of economic justice and was against imperialism.
So when RSS sees a Sonia Gandhi, at the helm of affairs of the major rival party, they do not see a person, an Indian citizen, they only see a Christian. Sudarshan, a die hard RSS ideologue, is merely telling us the details of RSS belief system. And of course Sudarshan is the one who has headed RSS for nearly a decade and has been with this organization he served for close to five decades! Who can tell us more about RSS belief system than him?
These contradictions, beliefs and overt expression, are bound to be there for organizations which are communal and want Religion based state. For Sudarshan-RSS the goal is a Hindu state. At the same time they want to use the democratic space given by present Indian Constitution. They have to play a delicate balancing role most of the times and so many of their swaymasevaks do what is desired by their politics, but RSS can’t own it overtly. This is not the first time such a thing has happened. Gandhi murder (Nathuram Godse), murder of Pastor Stains (Dara Singh), Pramod Mutalik’s antics (Sri Ram Sene), communal violence and all that is the outcome of divisive sectarian ideology. RSS wants to usurp democracy and strengthen communal politics, but it can’t be stated publicly as the limits of democratic norms will be breached. So this balance, some one says or does something but the organization disowns it, overtly only, and that too with due respect for
the person concerned!

Issues in Secular Politics
II January 2011
response only to

Amartya Sen: Nalanda stood for the passion of propagating knowledge and understanding

“Science has to fight parochialism, and Nalanda was committed to doing that”

Science has to fight parochialism, and Nalanda University (which existed in Bihar during the early fifth century and the 12th century) was firmly committed to doing just that, according to Amartya Sen, Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University in the U.S. and chairman of the Interim Governing Board of Nalanda University.

Recalling that the university was “violently destroyed” in an Afghan attack led by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193, Prof. Sen, who addressed the Indian Science Congress at SRM University in Kattankulathur near here on Tuesday, said it was being re-established through an Asian initiative, involving India, China, Singapore, Japan and Thailand.

Delivering a talk on Nalanda and the pursuit of science, Prof. Sen, the recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economics, said Nalanda stood for the passion of propagating knowledge and understanding. This was one reason for its keenness to accept students from abroad. “If the seeking of evidence and vindication by critical arguments is part of the tradition of science, so is the commitment to move knowledge and understanding beyond the boundaries of locality.”

Noting that Nalanda had attracted students from many countries, particularly China, Korea and Japan, he said there were students from Turkey too. It was a residential university and at its peak, it had 10,000 students, studying various subjects. “Incidentally, Nalanda is the only non-Chinese institution in which any Chinese scholar received higher education in the history of ancient China.”

Citing the accounts of Chinese chroniclers such as Xuangzang and Yi Jing, Prof. Sen said that among the subjects taught in Nalanda were medicine, public health, architecture and sculpture, in addition to religion, history, law and linguistics. Going by Indian accounts, logic was a subject taught and “my guess is that eventually, evidence would emerge on this part of the curriculum in Nalanda as well.”

Noting that the mixture of religion and science was by no means unique to Nalanda, he said the Buddhist foundation made much room for the pursuit of analytical and scientific subjects within the campus of Nalanda University.

The faculty and students in Nalanda loved to argue and very often, they held argumentative encounters. “There were plenty of organised argumentative matches going on in Nalanda and this too fits, in a very general way, into the scientific spirit that was present in Nalanda,” he added.


Press Information Bureau

(C.M. Information Campus)

Information & Public Relations Department, U.P.

Severe cold wave : Hon’ble C.M. orders

closure of all educational institutions up to

intermediate level till January 08

Lucknow: 05 January 2011

Keeping in view the severe cold wave and foggy conditions

prevailing in the State for the past few days, the Hon’ble Chief

Minister of Uttar Pradesh Ms. Mayawati ji has ordered closure of

all the Government/non Government schools up to 12th level till

January 08.

The Hon’ble Chief Minister ji took this decision as the

children and students were facing difficulties in going to school.


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