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330 LESSON 29 07 2011 FREE Dhotaka manava puccha Dhotaka s Questions ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Sakyans (Untouchables) in Business- PraBuddha Bharath Buddhism Reborn Among the Sakyans Untouchables
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 11:16 pm

330 LESSON 29 07 2011 Dhotaka manava puccha Dhotaka s
Questions
FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and
Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to
attain Ultimate Bliss-Through
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Sakyans (Untouchables) in Business- PraBuddha Bharath
Buddhism Reborn Among the Sakyans Untouchables

Dhotaka-manava-puccha: Dhotaka’s Questions

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1994–2011

[Dhotaka:]

I ask you, O Blessed One. Please tell me. I hope for your
words, Great Seer. Having heard your pronouncement, I’ll train for my own
Unbinding.

[The
Buddha:]

In that case, be ardent — astute & mindful right
here. Then, having heard my pronouncement, train for your own Unbinding.

[Dhotaka:]

I see in the world of beings divine & human, a
brahman who lives possessing nothing. I pay homage to him the All-around Eye.
From my doubts, O Sakyan, release me!

[The
Buddha:]

No one in the world, Dhotaka, can I release from
doubting. But knowing the most excellent Dhamma, you will cross over the
flood.

[Dhotaka:]

Teach with compassion, O brahman, the Dhamma of seclusion
so that I may know — so that I, unafflicted as space, may live right here,
independent, at peace.

[The
Buddha:]

I will teach you peace — in the here & now, not
quoted words — knowing which, living mindfully, you’ll go beyond entanglement
in the world.

[Dhotaka:]

And I relish, Great Seer, that peace supreme, knowing
which, living mindfully, I’ll go beyond entanglement in the world.

[The
Buddha:]

Whatever you’re alert to, above, below, across, in
between: knowing it as a bond in the world, don’t create craving for becoming
or non-.

Note

Craving for becoming and non-becoming (or dis-becoming) are the two most
subtle forms of craving that lead to continued existence — and suffering — in
the round of birth & death.

Please Visit:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5274385131191725036

for videos on

Earth Store Bodhisattva - Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha

01:02 - 4 years ago

Beautiful 3D animation of Earth Store
Bodhisattva or Bodhisattva Kshitigarbha. Excellent for Windows Vista
DreamScenes! From THE BODHISATTVA KISHITIGARBHA VOW SUTRA: http://web.singnet.com.sg/~elyagaz/Kishitigarbha%20Bodhisattva%20Vow%20Sutra.htm
“He shows inconceivable, benevolent, and compassionate divine power to
help and protect the suffering.” “At that time, the World-Honored One
raised his golden arms and touched the head of Bodhisattva Kishitigarbha,
Mahasattva. Then he said, “Kishitigarbha, Kishitigarbha, your divine power
is inconceivable. Your benevolent and compassionate heart is inconceivable.
Your wisdom is inconceivable. Your eloquence is inconceivable. Thousands or millions
of aeons is not enough time for the Buddhas from the Ten Directions to explain
and praise your inconceivable qualities. Kishitigarbha, Kishitigarbha, remember
what I speak of today in Trayastrimsa Heaven - where thousands, millions and
billions of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, heavenly beings, dragons and the others
gather together. I request you to help those beings in heavens and worlds who
are suffering. Do not allow them to fall into the evil level even for a single
day and night, or fall into the five endless hells and Arbi Hell and suffer
hardships for thousands, millions or billions of aeons.” “the
heavenly beings, dragons, ghosts or gods now and in the future who hear
Kishitigarbha’s name, worship Kishitigarbha’s image or know of Kishitigarbha’s
accomplishments, and praise, gaze at and worship him can obtain seven benefits:
1. They will soon ascend to the sage’s land. 2. Their evil karma will be
eliminated. 3. All Buddhas will protect them. 4. They will never regress from
Bodhi. 5. Their natural powers will increase. 6. They will know their past
lives. 7. They will ultimately realize Buddhahood.” buddhism, buddhist,
mahayana«


Sakyans (Untouchables) in Business:

Self-Employed Sakyans
in PraBuddha Bharath

The chief aim and objective shall be
to work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of change with a view
to realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of universal justice,
liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution of PraBuddha
Bharath, to be followed by State in governance, and in particular summed up in
the following extract from the Preamble of the Constitution.

We, THE
PEOPLE OF PRABUDDHA BHARATH, having solemnly resolved to constitute PraBuddha
Bharath into a SOVEREIGN SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its
citizens:
Justice, social, economic and
political;
Liberty of thought, expression,
belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and
opportunity; and promote among them all
Fraternity assuring the dignity
of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;”

It shall regard its ideology as a
movement for ending exploitation of the weaker sections and suppression of the
deprived through social and economic change in keeping with the above stated
chief aim, and its political activity and participation in governance as an
instrument of furthering such a movement and bringing in such a change
.

This being the chief aim, the
strategy in public affairs will be governed by the following general
principles:

1. That all citizens of PraBuddha
Bharath being equal before law are entitled to be treated as equal in true
sense and in all matters and all walks of life, and where equality does not
exist it has to be fostered and where equality is denied it has to be upheld
and fought for.

2. That the full, free, uninhibited
and unimpeded development of each individual is a basic human right and State
is an instrument for promoting and realising such development;

3. That the rights of all citizens of
PraBuddha Bharath as enshrined in the Constitution of  PraBuddha Bharath and subject to such
restrictions as are set out in the Constitution, have to be upheld at all costs
and under all circumstances;

4. That the provisions of the
Constitution requiring the State at Center and in States to promote with
special care and protect the socio-economic interests of the weaker sections of
the society denied to them for centuries, have to upheld and given practical
shape in public affairs as a matter of prime most priority.

5. That economic disparities and the
wide gaps between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ must not be allowed to
override the political principle of “one man, one vote, one value”
adopted by our republic.

6. That unless political empowerment
is secured for the economically deprived masses they will not be able to free
themselves from the shackles of economic and social dependence and
exploitation.

In particular and without prejudice
to the generality of the aims stated above the Party will work specially
towards the following objectives:

1. The Sakyans, the
other Backward Castes, and the minorities, are the most oppressed and exploited
people. Keeping in mind their large numbers, such a set of people is known as
the
Self-Employed Sakyans in PraBuddha Bharath

. Shall organise these masses.

2. Shall work for these down trodden
masses to-
a. to remove their backwardness;

b. to fight against their
oppression and exploitation;
c. to improve their status in
society and public life;
d. to improve their living
conditions in day to day life;

2. The social structure of PraBuddha
Bharath is based on inequalities created by caste system and the movement  shall be geared towards changing the social
system and rebuild it on the basis of equality and human values. All those who
join the with the commitment to co-operate in this movement of social change
shall be ingratiated into the fold.

Towards the furtherance of the above
noted aims and objectives the organisational units as designated in this
constitution, shall be empowered to:-
1. purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire, and maintain, moveable or immovable
property and invest and deal with monies in such a manner as may from time to
time be determined;

2. Raise money with or without
security for carrying out any of the aims and objectives;

3. To do all other lawful things and
acts as are incidental or conducive to the attainment of any of the aforesaid
aims and objectives.

Dharam
Pal

Dharm Pal is a 49 year old Sakyan Scheduled Caste (SC)
businessman from the local Chamar community of Haryana. Born in Madana
Kalan village in the Jhajjar district of Haryana, he lives

with his four children, wife and parents at Samalkha, Panipat.
Three children are

studying and the eldest son is helping him in business. His
father, who was an

agricultural labourer, and educated up to the primary school, a
very hard working

person has been a source of motivation..

 

Dharampal has Master’s degree and has worked in a nationalized
bank for nearly 12

years. He took voluntary retirement 15 years back and started
his own business as

a brick supplier and over the years diversified his business.
Today, he can be

counted among successful businessmen. He owns a restaurant, a
shopping complex,

a milk agency and also works as a property dealer in the town.
Apart from his

eldest son who works with him, he has recruited a staff of 25
persons in different

businesses.

 

He recollects his journey when his father was given 2 acres of
land under the

Land Reforms Act by the state government. While the land was
officially allotted

to them, it was not easy to get possession over the land. He
helped his father in

dealing with the local authorities and finally decided to sell
the land and move to

Samalkha. This was the turning point of his life. Remembering
the scooter which

he purchased in 1986, he became a brick kiln supplier and
eventually bought a

brick kiln. At one point of time, he claimed, he was the largest
supplier of bricks,

supplying from 22 brick kilns to different parts of Haryana. He
thought of moving

to another business which could be more sustainable and cost
effective and this

was how he started his hotel Mehul, named after his youngest
son. All this way, he

did not get support of any kind from any source and sees to be a
self-made

person. It was only after his property and details and his
influence that he could

take loans from Banks.

 

Dharampal is well aware of his caste identity and wishes for
upward mobility. He

has been an active member of several SC/ST organizations.
Lately, he has become

politically active and is an important member of the state unit
of Bahujan Samaj

Party (BSP). But for effective and successful politics, he
states that, “we need to

align with the dominant castes as we cannot go very far on our
own and our

community is very weak without resources”. He believes that
education helped

him succeed in life. He wants to serve the SC/ST community since
they are continued

to be treated badly in society. Reservations and Quotas helped
them but things

have become difficult with the changing economic scenario. The
government

needs to do more for SC/STs. Though there are financial schemes
for them, but

those do not benefit them much. The banks have been given powers
to have their

own parameters and they have the authority to reject
applications for loans using

their own subjective criteria. Even when the loans are given to
SC/STs, the amount

is very small. Even for procuring those loans they have to
invariably bribe the

officials.




Ambedkar’s Children:
PraBuddha Bharath Buddhism Reborn Among the Sakyans Untouchables





 




Sakyans Practicing
Buddhism

South India


Iyothee Thass

In 1890, Pandit C. Ayodhya Dasa
(1845–1914), better known as
Iyothee
Thass
, founded the Sakya Buddhist
Society (also known as the Indian Buddhist Association). The first president of
the Indian Buddhist Association was the German born American
Paul Carus, the author of The Gospel of Buddha
(1894).

Thass, a Tamil Siddha physician, was
the pioneer of the
Tamil Untouchables
movement. He argued that Tamil Untouchables were originally Buddhists. He led a
delegation of prominent Untouchables to
Henry Steel Olcott and asked for his help in the reestablishment of “Tamil
Buddhism
.” Olcott helped Thass
to visit Sri Lanka, where he received
diksha from Bhikkhu Sumangala Nayake. After returning to
India, Thass established the Sakya Buddhist Society in
Madras with branches in many places including Karnataka.[5] Thass established a weekly magazine called
Oru Paisa Tamizhan (”One Paisa Tamilian”) in Chennai in 1907,
which served as a newsletter linking all the new branches of the Sakya Buddhist
Society. The magazine discussed traditions and practices of Tamil Buddhism, new
developments in the Buddhist world, and the Indian subcontinent’s history from
the Buddhist point of view.

Bhagya Reddy Verma (Madari Bagaiah), a Untouchable leader of Andhra
Pradesh
, was also fascinated by
Buddhism and promoted its adoption among the Untouchables.

Iyothee Thass

Iyothee Thass


A portrait
of Iyothee Thass

Born

May 20, 1845
Nilgiris district

Nationality

British Indian

Other names

Kathavarayan

Occupation

Siddha physician

Known for

Dalit Buddhist movement

Influenced

P.Lakshmi Narasu, Appadurai,M.Singaravelu

Iyothee Thass or Pandit C. Ayodhya Dasa (Tamil:
அயோத்தி தாசர்) (May 20, 1845–1914)
was a practitioner of Siddha medicine who is regarded as a pioneer of the Dravidian Movement.



 Early life

Iyothee Thass was born Kathavarayan
on May 20, 1845
[1] in a Sakyan (Paraiyar) family from Coimbatore district.[2] His grandfather worked for Lord Arlington[1] and little Kathavarayan
profitted immensely from this association. Soon, he became an expert on Tamil
literature, philosophy and indigenous medicine and could speak Tamil, English,
Sanskrit and Pali.

Assumption of leadership of Sakyans

In the 1870s, Iyothee Thass organized
the
Todas and other tribes of the Nilgiri
Hills
into a formidable force.[1] In 1876, Thass established the
Advaidananda Sabha and launched a magazine called Dravida Pandian in
collaboration with Rev. John Rathinam.
[1]

In 1886, Thass issued a revolutionary
declaration that Sakyan (untouchables) were
not Hindus.
[1] Following this declaration, he established
the Dravida Mahajana Sabha in 1891.
[1] During the 1891 census, he urged
Untouchables to register themselves as “casteless Dravidians” instead
of identifying themselves as Hindus.
[1]

Conversion to Buddhism

Iyothee Thass met Colonel H. S. Olcott with his followers and expressed a sincere desire to convert to
Buddhism.
[1] According to Thass, the Sakyans (Paraiyars) of Tamilakam
were originally Buddhists
[2] and owned the land which had later been
robbed from them by
aryan invaders.[3] With Olcott’s help, Thass was able to
visit
Ceylon and obtain diksha from the Sinhalese Buddhist monk Bikkhu
Sumangala Nayake.
[1] On returning, Thass established the Sakya
Buddhist Society in
Madras with branches
all over
South India. The
Sakya Buddhist Society was also known as the Indian Buddhist Association.
[4] and was established in the year 1898.[5]

Political activism and later life

On June 19, 1907, Iyothee Thass
launched a Tamil newspaper called Oru Paisa Tamizhan or One Paise
Tamilian
.
[4] In his later days, he was a vehement
criticizer of Brahmins.

Iyothee Thass died in 1914 at the age
of 69.

Legacy

Iyothee Thass remains the first
recognized anti-Brahmin leader of the Madras Presidency. In many ways,
Periyar,
Dravidar Kazhagam, Dr. Ambedkar, Udit Raj and Thirumavalavan are inheritors of his legacy. He was also
the first notable sakyan leader to embrace Buddhism.

However, Iyothee Thass was largely
forgotten until recent times when the Dalit Sahitya Academy, a publishing house
owned by Sakyan
 Ezhilmalai published his writings.[4] Ezhilmalai, then the Union Health
Minister, also made a desired to name the planned National Center for Siddha
Research after the leader.
[4] However, the proposal did not come into
effect until 2005, when vehement protests by Se. Ku. Tamilarasan of the Republican
Party of India (RPI) forced the Government to take serious note of the matter
.[4]

The institute for Siddha Research (National Institute of Siddha) was subsequently inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on September 3, 2005 and named the  Sakyan leader.
[4] At its inauguration, the hospital had 120
beds.
[4] The patients were treated as per the
traditional system of
Siddha medicine.[4]

Criticism

Some later critics[who?]
labeled Iyothee Thass as an
Anglophile, who was staunchly against the Indian freedom movement.[6] In the early part of the 20th century, he
indulged in vehement condemnation of the
Swadeshi
movement
and the nationalist press
remarking that he could “locate the power of the modern secular brahmin in
the control he wielded over public opinion.”
[6]

Tamil Buddhism

Tamil Buddhism (Tamil: தமிழ் பெளத்தம்)
refers collectively to the various schools of
Buddhism that flourished in the ancient Tamil country which is corresponding roughly to the territories of the present-day
Indian states of
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Laccadives, parts of Andhra
Pradesh
and some parts of Karnataka, as well as Sri Lanka and the Maldives since ancient times among Tamils. Buddhism played an enormous role in
shaping the mindset of the Tamil people, affecting their
aesthetics, politics, literature and philosophy. The Pallava prince-turned-monk Bodhidharma from 5th-6th century Tamil Nadu founded
the school of
Zen Buddhism.

Tamil
Nadu

Puhar

The ancient Tamil Buddhist poem Manimekhalai by the poet Seethalai Saathanar is set in the town of Kaveripattanam.[1][2] Ancient ruins of a 4th-5th century
Buddhist monastery, a Buddha statue, and a Buddhapada (footprint of the Buddha)
were found in another section of the ancient city, now at
Pallavanesvaram.[3]

Nagapatnam

The heritage of the town is found in
the Burmese historical text of 3rd Century B.C., and gives evidences of a Budha
Vihar built by the great Ashoka.

Nagapattinam was a Buddhist centre from 4th-5thth century CE. Its
stupa dates from this era. Buddhism disappeared from this city as of an unknown
date, but was revided as of the 9th cent. CE. (H.P.Ray, The Winds of Change,
Delhi 1994, p. 142) In the 11th century CE,
Chudamani
Vihara
, a Buddhist vihara
(monastery) was built by Javanese king Sri Vijaya Soolamanivarman with the
patronage of
Raja Raja Chola.[4] “Animangalam Copperplate” of Kulothunga
chola notes that “Kasiba Thera” [Buddhist Monk] Renovated the Buddhist temple
in 6th century AD with the help of Buddhist monks of ‘
Naga Nadu’. This ‘nagar annam vihar’ later came to
be known as ‘Nagananavihar’.Buddhism flourished until 15th century CE and the
buildings of the vihara survived until 18th century.

Jaffna peninsula, Sri Lanka

Nāka Tivu/ Nāka Nadu was the name of
the whole
Jaffna peninsula in some historical documents. There are number of Buddhist myths
associated with the interactions of people of this historical place with
Buddha.[5] The two Tamil Buddhist epics of Kundalakesi and Manimekalai describe the islet of Manipallavam
of Nāka Tivu/Nadu which is identified with the
Nainativu islet of the Jaffna peninsula.[6]

Vallipuram

The famous ‘Vallipuram” Buddha
statue built with Dravidian sculptural traditions from
Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh (Amaravati school) was found in
excavations below the Hindu Temple. The language of the inscription is
Tamil-Prakrit, which shares several similarities with script inscriptions used
in Andhra at the time, when the Telugu
Satavahana dynasty was at the height of its power and its 17th monarch Hāla (20-24 CE) married a princess from the
island.
[7][8] Professor Peter Shalk (University of
Uppsala), writes ” Vallipuram has very rich archaeological remains that
point at an early settlement. It was probably an emporium in the first
centuries AD. From already dated stones with which we compare this Vallipuram
statue, we can conclude that it falls in the period 3-4 century AD. During that
period, the typical Amaravati-Buddha sculpture was developed”. The Buddha
statue found here was gifted to
King
of Thailand
by the then British
Governor Henry Blake in 1906.

Dr. Indrapala argued for a
flourishing pre-Christian buddhist civilization in Jaffna, in agreement with
Paranavithana, and Mudliyar C. Rasanayakam, Ancient Jaffna
in an earlier work,
1965
.

This place is similar to Nagapatnam where all Asian vessels used it as a
stopover point and the Buddhist and Hindu Dagobas are just a resting and
worshipping places for the sailors and international traders. Both Nagapatnam
and Vallipuram served the powerful kingdoms of China, Siam, Cambodia, Champa
(Vietnam) and Java.

Kandarodai

A group of Dagobas situated with in close proximity of each
other at the site served as a monastery for Tamil monks and reflect the rise in
popularity of
Mahayana Buddhism amongst Jaffna Tamils and the Tamils of the ancient Tamil country in the first few centuries of the common era before the revivalism of Hinduism amongst the population.[9]

·        
THE
VALLIPURAM BUDDHA IMAGE

·      

·        
SERENDIPITY - ISSUE 02 - THE
VALLIPURAM BUDDHA IMAGE - AGAIN - Peter Schalk*

·         

·        
Abstract

·        
This paper takes up an old discussion about the significance of the
Vallipuram image and the Vallipuram gold plate inscription in the history of
religions of the Ilattamils. The new point of this old discussion is that we
now know what we talk about-we have found the buddha image after almost 90
years disapperance. It shows that the image belongs to a South Indian
sculptural tradition. It cannot be politically exploited to rationalise Sinhala
settlements in

·        
Vatamaracci.

·        
************

·        
In January and February 1991, Government newspapers in Ilam# flashed the
news that the Vallipuram Buddha image which had been donated to the king of
Siam in 1906 by Governor Sir Henry Blake from close to the Visnu Kovil in
Vallipuram (in the Tamil speaking Vatamaracci area of Yalppanam##) may be
rediscovered in Thailand and transported back

·        
to Lanka [1].

·        
 

·        
The statue had been kept in the Old Park of Yalppanam - today training
centre and centre for parades of the LTTE - up to its taking away by Sir Henry
Blake.

·        
 

·        
Another article in the media tells the public that the Vallipuram Buddha
image has been found and that the President has made an appeal to King Bhumibol
of Thailand to gift back the image to Lanka. The President is reported to have
said that the Vallipuram statue is of

·        
great historical and religious significance to Lankan Buddhists [2]. The
Vallipuram Buddha image has been discovered. It stands in a central Buddhist
vihara in Bangkok, in Wat Benja, that is known by Western tourists as the
Marble Temple. The present author has visited

·        
the place in January 1994.The Wat is one of the most visited by tourists
in Bangkok - even a commercial bank for money change is placed just outside the
entrance - but the budddha image has no central placement and is therefore not
easily observed.The guards and

·        
professional tourist guides do not know even that an image called
Vallipuram Buddha image is there. In the annexed monastery, not even monks who
have spent a life time there, know about this image by this

·        
or any other name.

·        
It is placed in a corner on the backside of the Wat well protected from
rain, and from theft and vandalism, by an iron curtain. A small wooden board
says in Thai and English that this image depicts the Buddha dispelling evil
from the island of Ceylon. No reference to Vallipuram is made. A yellow
transparent schal has been wrapped around the statue and at its feet are placed
pots with incense. The corner is made into a place of veneration, but it cannot
compete with the other statues in the Wat that are placed strategically along
the main walk of tourists and venerators.

·        
A replica has been made and was in January 1994 ready to be sent to
Colombo on the request of Sri Lankan authorities [3]. It is a lifesize statue
in stone. The Buddha is depicted as standing. The right hand of the sculpture
has been replaced by a new hand and its fourfingers of the left hand have been
repaired. My interpretation of the mudra [4] of the right hand is therefore a
conjecture, but a reasonable one (see below). The Buddha is not

·        
surrounded by anybody from the Buddhasfollowers. Let us now give an
impressionistic description of this statue.

·        
The usnisa [5] on top is very small and low. The hair is curled in small
curls that are indicated as small dots in relief. It is difficult to make out
in which direction the curls are going. The face is round and fleshy like the
whole of the body. The eyes are rather crudely formed in almond shape. The
front is highbrowed. The eyebrows are high-flown. There is no urna [6] visible
now and it seems there has never been one. No iris is visible and gives
therefore the impression of a blind man. The nose is big and broad and the lips
are thick. There is an indication of a smile. The ears are much prolonged. They
reach down to the lower part of neck and reach almost the shoulder. They end up
in knotty lobes. The neck is that of a fat man with indications of a trippel
chin.

·        
There is no antaravasaka [7] visible under the uttarasangha [8] that
falls in heavy, loose pleats. It is not possible any more to determine if the

·        
original right hand mudra is abhaya [9].The hand is replaced. The new
hand is either badly done or the restorers consciously tried to imitate asisa
mudra [10]. That is a variant form of the abhaya mudra, but it is known to be
typical for Sinhalese Buddhist iconography as

·        
we know it from theAvukana statue from the 5-7 century.We have just to
disregard this recent restoration and stick to the paradigm that these standing
buddhas from Amaravati have the common abhaya mudra. The left hand holds up the
fall of the uttarasangha that covers even the feet except for the toes that are
indicated. The absence of penis

·        
is indicated by the fall of the uttarasangha along the front side. He
has a narrow waist, but broad shoulders that give an athletic look, and large
hips that associate to a woman.

·        
We may find his look as rather rustic, but the parallels to this statue
were royal statues of the Satavahanas dynasty in Andhra and the following
Iksvaku dyanasty. The former ruled between the ca 230 BC. to the 3rd century
AD. followed by the Iksvaku in Andhradesa

·        
proper. It is during their rule in the second half of the 3rd century
AD. that we hear in inscriptions about a Sihala vihara for the accomodation, -
not of Sinhalese monks, - but for monks from the island called Sihala, and of a
caityaghara [11] that was dedicated to

·        
the fraternities of Tampapanni.This information fits then perfectly well
to the time and place of establishing a buddha statue in Vallipuram inspired by
Andhra art.

·        
We should of course not think of Vallipuram of today being a centre for Vaisnavism
lying rather isolated in the hot dunes of Vatamaracci. Vallipuram has very rich
archaelogical remains that point at an early settlement. It was propably an
emporium in the first centuries AD. It is part of a route for traders and
pilgrims that went along the Eastern coast of Ilam. Vallipuram is also close to
the Nakapattinam coast with easy access from Andhra coast.

·        
The stylistic place of origin of the Vallipuran image is quite clear -
the Dravidian area of Amaravati that together with finds from Bhattiprolu,
Jaggayyepeta, Ghanatasala, Nagarjunikonda and Goli was one creative centre in
Andhra for Buddhist art from about 2nd century BC to 3rd century AD. under the
Satavahanas and Iksvakus.

·        
The Buddha image appears there only from the end of the 2nd century AD.
replacing symbols for the Buddha, and lasts throughout the 3rd century. From
already dated stones with which we compare this Vallipuram statue, we can
conclude that it falls in the period 3-4 century AD. During that period, the
typical Amaravati-Buddha sculpture was developed. It was inspired by the
sculpture of Gandhara and Mathura and spread to South India, Ilam and Southeast
Asia, but not before the 4th century AD.

·        
The returning attributes for this standing buddha in stone are - he is
more than life size, he holds the end of the uttarasangha in the left, the
right hand is lift to abhaya mudra, the curls of the hair are flat, the face is
round, the usnisa is low and small and the uttarasangha is

·        
falling in pleats.

·        
The expression Anuradhapura school seems to indicate that there was a
Sinhala school in Anuradhapura that was formative for the development of the
buddha images. So, one expects to hear that the Vallipuram buddha image is
influenced by the Anuradhapura school. What is the Anuradhapura school? It
falls into two phases, the first up to Dhatusena in 459 AD. and the second to
the abandonment of Anuradhapura in the 10th century AD.From the first period
very little is left regarding buddha images, and what is left follows the ideal
of Amaravati. The oldest known buddha image in the Sinhala area from this
period is from Maha Illupallama in the district of Anuradhapura. It is six feet
high, of white marble probabaly imported from the Vengi region. It is an example
of Amaravati art.

·        
Another old buddha-image is from Medavacciya dated to the 4th century
AD., a bronze statue of 46 cm. It is reminiscent of the Amaravati school, both
in the attitude and in the way the robe is adjusted. It is then only in the
second phase that the Anuradhapura school

·        
develops specific features for what we can call Anuradhapura or Sinhala
Buddhism. In the first phase this school was just receiving influences, like
South India and Nakattivu in northern Ilam. In this first phase it was the heir
and descendant of the Amaravati school like South India, Nakattivu and, not to
forget, Southeast Asia.These statues,one of which is the Vallipuram statue, we
all date stylistically to about about 3rd-4th century AD. Their setting up is
hardly possible before the 4th century AD.We have to see the Vallipuram image
as a result of a wave of Buddhist sculpture initiated in Amaravati.

·        
***

·        
In connection with this Buddha image it must also be mentioned that in
1936 a gold plate with an inscription was found in Vallipuram with references
to a King. This inscription was found beneath the foundation of an ancient
structure on the land belonging to the Vishnu

·        
kovil where also the image originally was found.

·        
In that inscription the building of a vihara [12] is mentioned in the
area. The Buddha statue is propably one of the remains of this vihara of which
is nothing left today on the surface. We have to look a little closer at the
inscription (see below) that is also important from another point of view. It
finally confirms that the historical Nakattivu (Nagadipa) is Yalppanam.

·        
We are told that the inscription was written in old Sinhalese and
allegedly had a reference to King Vasabha from Anuradhapura. All statements
come from S. Paranavitana [13] who made the official interpretation of this in
inscription , and ever since his interpretation is quoted. E T Kannangara also
has paved the way for political exploitation of the statue. He states that
ruins of a Buddhist Vihara, foundations of buildings, old bricks, and damaged
images of the Buddha were found in Vallipuram. These finds evidently prove that
this village in the past was a Sinhala settlement [14].

·        
 

·        
Paranavitana himself said in 1936 that Vatamaracci, where Vallipuram is
situated, is now densely peopled by Saiva Tamils. There have been found remains
of the Sinhalese Buddhist civilisation which flourished in this extreme
northern district of Ceylon during earlier periods of

·        
history, as it did in the rest of the island. His conclusions of his
analysis of the Vallipuram Gold Plate are worth to be quoted because they have
influenced the intellectual debate for decades.

·        
 

·        
Paranavitana wrote - “This inscription on the Vallipuram Gold Plate
also proves that Nagadipa was governed in the second century by a minister of
the Anuradhapura king, that Sinhalese was the prevailing language, and that
Buddhist shrines were being built there. In such

·        
references as there are to Nagadipa in the chronicles, as well as in
other Pali writings of Ceylon, there is no indication that in early times this
are differed, as it does to-day, from the rest of the island in the nationality
of its inhabitants and their language and religion. In fact there are
indications that the extreme north of the island played a very important part
in the political, religious, and cultural history of the ancient Sinhalese
people. This continued so

·        
right down to the end of the Polonnaruva period, though it is likely
that the proportion of the Tamil element in the population was greater here
than in the rest of the island and gradually went on increasing. [15]”

·        
In another paper on the Vallipuram inscription he summarises - ” It
is hardly necessary to say that at the date of this inscription and up to the
thirteenth century, Nagadipa was as much Sinhalese  territory as any other
part of the island. [16]”
  What
concerns us really is if the the factual statement that the inscription
contains Sinhalese is correct.

·        
 

·        
The great value of the Vallipuram inscription is that this nakadiva is
mentioned. In Pali in the Mahavamsa it appears as Nagadipa, in Prakrt it
  appears as Nakadiva and in Tamil as
Nakattivu. We identify this area with the peninsula, with the present Yalppanam
district. In

·        
Tamil, we also find the word Nakanatu in for example the Manimekalai
[17]. Manimekalai herself visits a shrine called Manipallavam in Nakanatu,
according to a Buddhist epical tradition. In a Sinhala-Buddhist tradition as
transmitted by the Mahavamsa, the Buddha

·        
himself visited Nagadipa. In the 5th century, when both the Mahavamsa and
the Manimekalai were written, there were evidently strong legendary Buddhist
traditions about Nakattivu, on the Tamil as well as on the Sinhala side.

·        
 

·        
Having gone through the words in this inscription and having seen the
Tamil background of several terms, we question the statement by Paranavitana
that the language is old Sinhalese conforming, in general, to the grammatical
standards followed in other documents of that period. We can see that there is
a Tamil substratum and that there are some rather crude Prakritisations of
Tamil words in the text.

·        
 

·        
Vallipuram belongs to the Tamil speaking cultural area, and evidently it
did so as far as we can come back in history with written documents. The
document above is not what Paranavitana says, a document of Sinhala settlements
in Nakattivu, but is a document of

·        
Tamil settlements possessed as a fief by a man who has a Tamil name.
Actually,the Vallipuram inscription is one of the better documents to verify
early Tamil settlements in the North that in their court culture had close
relations to South India.

·        
 

·        
We wish to remind the reader at this stage again about an important
passage in the Manimekalai. It makes clear that there was a perception in
Tamilakam in the 5th century that Nakanatu was a separate administrative
entity, distinguished from Ilankatipam, also

·        
referred to as Irattinatipam. There was Ilankatipam (Irattinatipam) and
there was Nakanatu. Nakanatu was a natu [18]. The Manimekalai does not say
Nakattivu. Natu is a technical administrative term that could refer to a
kingdom, at least to an autonomous administrative

·        
region.

·        
The author of the Manimekalai, Cattanar, reflects probably in the 5th
century what was a political reality then - Nakanatu was conceptualised as
being separate from Ilankatipam, the island of Lanka. Even if the great King
mentioned in the inscription owned Nakanatu,it was technically bhogga in Pali,
a fief, and it was its chieftain who was responsible for the building of the
vihara, not the King. The King is yet unidentified, whatever Paranavitana says.

·        
In this fief was evidently Buddhism flourishing. That is indicated by
the building of a new vihara, that probably housed the Vallipuram Buddha-image.
The language of the text [19], the palaeography of the text and the Buddha
image itself point as source of inspiration

·        
towards Amaravati- again. Vallipuram was then part of South Indian
Buddhist culture. A lower limit for both the inscription and the image is the
2nd century AD. and an upper limit is the 4th century AD: It is quite possible
that Nakanatu as a fief under the leadership of a Tamil feudal lord under a
King enjoyed royal patronage to fortify Buddhism. That was related to the art
school of Amaravati.

·        
 

·        
The initiative came evidently from a Tamil feudal lord mentioned as
Isiki-rayan in the inscription. Rayan is the Tamilised form of raja. That gives
us a second thought. It fits well with what has been said about Nakanatu as a
natu.

·        
**************************

·        
All Tamils who are born after 1906 have never seen the Vallipuram buddha
image, provided they have not visited Wat Benja i Bangkok. I am happy to show
it to the Tamils now.They are invited to travel to Wat Benja to admire this
beautiful master piece of the Dravidian cultural heritage. One day in the
future, they may get the original back from the King of Thailand. The replica
made for political exploitation by the Sinhalese can just be disregarded by
silence. I wish that they set up the original statue from where it was taken,
from Old Park in Yalppanam. From there it can dispell all evil from
Ilankatipam, and from Nakattivu also, by all means.

·        
*********************************************************

 

Uttar Pradesh

In the early 20th century, the Barua Buddhists of Bengal under the leadership of Kripasaran Mahasthavir (1865–1926),
founder of the Bengal Buddhist Association in Calcutta (1892), established
viharas in cities such as Lucknow, Hyderabad, Shillong and Jamshedpur.[4]

In Lucknow, Bodhanand Mahastavir (1874–1952)
advocated Buddhism for Sakyans. Born Mukund Prakash in a Bengali Brahmin
family, he was orphaned at a young age, and was then raised in
Benaras by an aunt. He was initially attracted to Christianity, but became a Buddhist after a meeting
with Buddhists monks from Ceylon at a
Theosophical Conference in Benares. He later lived in Lucknow where he came
in contact with
Barua Buddhists, many of whom were employed as cooks by the British. In 1914, Prakash
was ordained Bodhanand Mahastavir in Calcutta in the presence of Kripasaran
Mahasthvir. He began preaching Buddhism in Lucknow. He founded the Bharatiye
Buddh Samiti
in 1916, and set up a vihara in 1928. In his book Mula
Bharatavasi Aur Arya
(”Original Inhabitants and
Aryans“), Mahastavir stated that the shudras were the original inhabitants of India,
who were enslaved by the Aryans.
[6]

Bodhanand Mahastavir wrote another
book on Buddhist rituals called Baudha Dvicharya. His associate,
Chandrika Prasad Jigyasu, founded the Bahujan Kalyan Prakashan. The two
co-authored a book on the life and teaching of the Buddha.

Acharya Ishvardatt Medharthi
(1900–1971) of Kanpur also supported the cause of the Sakyans. He had studied
Pali at
Gurukul Kangri and Buddhist scripture was well known to him. He was initiated into
Buddhism by Gyan Keto and the
Lokanatha in 1937. Gyan Keto (1906–1984), born Peter Schoenfeldt was a German
who arrived to Ceylon in 1936 and became a Buddhist. Although Medharthi heavily
criticized the
Indian caste system, he didn’t criticize Hinduism. He claimed that the Sakyans (”Adi
Hindus”) were the ancient rulers of India and had been trapped into
slavery by the
Aryan invaders. He also claimed that the sanatana
dharma
was the religion of “Adi
Hindus”, and tried to reconcile Buddhism with the
Sant Mat.[6]

Another Bhikkhu of Kanpur, Bhikshu Uttam, was a strong
supporter of the
Arya Samaj and
the Jat Pat Todak Mandal, the anti-caste wing of the Arya Samaj.
[6]

B. R. Ambedkar

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Ambedkar delivering a
speech to a rally at Yeola,
Nashik, on 13 October
1935

At the Yeola conference in 1935, prominent Sakyan
leader
B. R. Ambedkar declared that he would not die a Hindu,
saying that it perpetuates
caste
injustices. Ambedkar was approached by various leaders of different
denominations and faiths. Meetings were held to discuss the question of Sakyan
religion and the pros and cons of conversion.
[6] On May 22, 1936, an “All Religious
Conference” was held at
Lucknow. It was attended by prominent Sakyan leaders including Jagjivan
Ram
, though Ambedkar could
not attend it. At the conference, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Buddhist
representatives presented the tenets of their respective religions in an effort
to win over Sakyans.
[6]

Buddhist monk Lokanatha visited Ambedkar’s residence at Dadar on June 10, 1936 and tried to persuade him
to embrace Buddhism. Later in an interview to the Press, Lokanatha said that
Ambedkar was impressed with Buddhism and that his own ambition was to convert
all Sakyans to Buddhism.
[7] In 1937, Lokanatha published a pamphlet Buddhism
Will Make You Free
, dedicated to the “Depressed Classes” of India
from his press in Ceylon.

In early 1940s, Ambedkar visited
Acharya Ishvardatt Medharthi’s Buddhpuri school in Kanpur. Medharthi had
earlier been initiated into Buddhism by
Lokanatha, and by the mid-1940s, he had close
contacts with Ambedkar. For a short while, Ambedkar also took Pali classes from
Medharthi in
Delhi.[6]

Bodhananda Mahastvir and B.
R. Ambedkar
first met in
1926, at the “Indian Non-Brahmin Conference” convened by
Shahu IV of Kolhapur. They met on two more occasions and for a
short while in the 1940s, where they discussed dhamma. Mahastavir objected to
Dr Ambedkar’s second marriage because his bride was a Brahmin.
[6] Later, his followers actively participated
in Ambedkar’s Republican Party of India.

Ambedkar’s conversion

After publishing a series of books
and articles arguing that Buddhism was the only way for the Sakyans
(Untouchables) to gain equality, Ambedkar publicly converted on October 14,
1956, at
Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur. He took the three
refuges
and the
Five Precepts
from a Buddhist
monk, Bhadant U Chandramani, in the traditional manner and then in his turn
administered them to the 380,000 of his followers that were present. The
conversion ceremony was attended by Medharthi, his main disciple Bhoj Dev
Mudit, and Mahastvir Bodhanand’s Sri Lankan successor, Bhante Pragyanand.
[6] Ambedkar would die less than two months
later, just after finishing his definitive work on Buddhism.

Many Sakyans employ the term
“Ambedkar(ite) Buddhism” to designate the Buddhist movement, which
started with Ambedkar’s conversion
[6] and many converted people called
themselves as “Nava-Bauddha” i.e. New Buddhists.

22 Vows of Ambedkar

After receiving ordination, Ambedkar
gave
dhamma diksha to his followers. The ceremony included 22
vows given to all new converts after Three Jewels and Five Precepts. On 16
October 1956, Ambedkar performed another mass religious conversion ceremony at
Chanda. He prescribed 22 vows to his followers:

  1. I shall have no faith in Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara nor shall I worship them.
  2. I shall have no faith in Rama and Krishna who are believed to be incarnation of
    God nor shall I worship them.
  3. I shall have no faith in Gauri, Ganapati and other gods and goddesses of
    Hindus nor shall I worship them.
  4. I do not believe in the incarnation of
    God.
  5. I do not and shall not believe that
    Lord Buddha was the incarnation of Vishnu. I believe this to be sheer
    madness and false propaganda.
  6. I shall not perform Shraddha nor shall I give pind-dan.
  7. I shall not act in a manner violating
    the principles and teachings of the Buddha.
  8. I shall not allow any ceremonies to be
    performed by
    Brahmins.
  9. I shall believe in the equality of
    man.
  10. I shall endeavor to establish equality.
  11. I shall follow the noble eightfold path of the Buddha.
  12. I shall follow the ten paramitas prescribed by the Buddha.
  13. I shall have compassion and loving-kindness for all living beings and protect
    them.
  14. I shall not steal.
  15. I shall not tell lies.
  16. I shall not commit carnal sins.
  17. I shall not take intoxicants like liquor, drugs etc.

(The previous four proscriptive vows
[#14-17] are from the
Five Precepts.)

  1. I shall endeavor to follow the noble
    eightfold path and practice
    compassion and loving-kindness in every day life.
  2. I renounce Hinduism, which is harmful for humanity and
    impedes the advancement and development of humanity because it is based on
    inequality, and adopt Buddhism as my religion.
  3. I firmly believe the Dhamma of the Buddha is the only true
    religion.
  4. I believe that I am having a re-birth.
  5. I solemnly declare and affirm that I
    shall hereafter lead my life according to the principles and teachings of
    the
    Buddha
    and his
    Dhamma.

Nowadays many Ambedkarite
Organisations are working for these 22 vows (i.e. 22 Pratigya). They believe
that these vows only are responsible for the existence & rapid growth of
present Buddhism in India. The umbrella organization known as the 22 Pledges
Practice & Propagation Movement (i.e. in Hindi- 22 Pratigya Aacharan aur
Prachaar Abhiyan) is fully devoted for this purpose. This totally non-political
movement is the brain-child of Arvind Sontakke, and comprises around 5,000,000
volunteers (Pracharaks) including many regional and local groups throughout
India.

With justice on our
side, I do not see how we can lose our battle. The battle to me is a matter of
joy…For ours is a battle not for wealth or for power. It is a battle for
freedom.
It is a battle for the reclamation of the human personality.

— Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar, All-India Depressed Classes Conference, 1942

The Buddhism practiced
by Sakyan (untouchable) communities is precisely the practice of Buddha, Dhamma,
Sangha and, is, of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity — the expression of
liberated beings, and the kernel of a liberated and casteless society. Today it
is alive among millions in PraBuddha Bharath. Tomorrow this
  will become the largest community of
practitioners on the planet.

The Buddha was clear. He
said: I teach about Dukkha and the Dukkha Nirodha. For those who live in Dukkha
day by day, year by year, this message is the only hope.




The numbers of
uncounted or undeclared Buddhists are in the range of 300,000,000. In fact all
sentient and non-sentient human beings have Buddha Nature.

This Buddhist identity
is rooted in PraBuddha
 history, but it
had to be reclaimed with a political and social assertion of freedom led by a
remarkable figure.

Scheduled Castes and
Scheduled Tribes (more than 300,000,000 or 25% of the country’s population) are
the sanitized terms used in the Indian constitution; untouchable is a legally
proscribed status; ex-untouchable is euphemism.

Karuna Trust and other
donors in Asia and the west, two related organizations — Bahujan Hitay (meaning
“for the welfare of many”) and Jambudvipa Trust have evolved to do outreach and
social work among the SC/STs.

More recently they have
created the Manuski Project
 

Maitreyanath
Dhammakirti

 Mangesh Dahiwale

 and Priyadarshi Telang (among others)

 Manuski is the Marathi word Dr. Ambedkar used
for “humanity” or “humanness.” The center’s mission is:
1. Transcending caste barriers through Social Development Program
2. Fighting social discrimination through legal and constitutional ways
3. Developing SC/ST Women leadership
4. Sustainability of the social projects and building solidarity amongst the
individuals and organizations

The network of related organizations, like Indra’s net, comprises retreat
centers, hostels, adult education, atrocity and civil rights work, earthquake
and tsunami relief, school programs and more in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh,
Gujurat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.

Sakyan Buddhism movement after Ambedkar’s death

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Map of minority
religions of India, showing Buddhist regions and minorities. Sakyan  Buddhists are concentrated in the state of
Maharashtra.

The Buddhist movement was somewhat
hindered by Dr. Ambedkar’s death so shortly after his conversion. It did not
receive the immediate mass support from the Sakyan (Untouchable) population
that Ambedkar had hoped for. Division and lack of direction among the leaders
of the Ambedkarite movement have been an additional impediment. According to
the 2001 census, there are currently 7.95 million Buddhists in India, at least
5.83 million of whom are Buddhists in Maharashtra.
[8] This makes Buddhism the fifth-largest religion
in India
and 6% of the
population of
Maharashtra, but less than 1% of the overall
population of India.

The Buddhist revival remains
concentrated in two
states: Ambedkar’s native Maharashtra, and Uttar
Pradesh
— the land of
Bodhanand Mahastavir, Acharya Medharthi and their associates
.

Developments in Uttar Pradesh

Acharya Medharthi retired from his
Buddhapuri school in 1960, and shifted to an
ashram in Haridwar. He turned to the Arya
Samaj
and conducted vedic yajnas all over India. After his death, he was
cremated according to Arya Samaj rites.
[6] His Buddhpuri school became embroiled in
property disputes. His follower, Bhoj Dev Mudit, converted to Buddhism in 1968
and set up a school of his own.

Rajendranath Aherwar appeared as an
important Sakyan leader in Kanpur. He joined the Republican Party of India and
converted to Buddhism along with his whole family in 1961. In 1967, he founded
the Kanpur branch of “Bharatiya Buddh Mahasabha”. He held regular
meetings where he preached Buddhism, officiated at Buddhist weddings and life
cycle ceremonies, and organized festivals on Dr. Ambedkar’s Jayanti (birth
day),
Buddha Jayanti, Diksha Divas (the day Ambedkar
converted), and Dr Ambedkar Paranirvan Divas (the day Ambedkar died).
[6]

The Sakyan Buddhist movement in
Kanpur gained impetus with the arrival of Dipankar, a
Chamar bhikkhu, in 1980. Dipankar had come to
Kanpur on a Buddhist mission and his first public appearance was scheduled at a
mass conversion drive in 1981. The event was organized by Rahulan Ambawadekar,
an RPI Sakyan leader. In April 1981, Ambawadekar founded the Sakyan Panthers
(U.P. Branch) inspired by the Maharashtrian 
Sakyan Panthers. The event met with severe criticism and opposition from
Vishwa Hindu Parishad and was banned.[6]

In 2002, Kanshi
Ram
, a popular Sakyan
political leader from a
Sikh religious
background, announced his intention to convert to Buddhism on October 14, 2006,
the fiftieth anniversary of Ambedkar’s conversion. He intended for 20,000,000 of
his supporters to convert at the same time. Part of the significance of this
plan was that Ram’s followers include not only Sakyan (Untouchables), but
persons from a variety of castes, who could significantly broaden Buddhism’s
support. However, he died October 9, 2006
[9] after a lengthy illness; he was cremated
as per
Buddhist rituals.[10]

Another popular Sakyan leader, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati, has said that she and her followers will
embrace Buddhism after the BSP forms a government at the Centre.
[11]

Maharashtra

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Flag symbolizes
Sakyan movement in India
.

Japanese-born Surai
Sasai
emerged as an important
Buddhist leader in India. Sasai came to India in 1966 and met Nichidatsu Fuji,
whom he helped with the Peace Pagoda at
Rajgir. He fell out with Fuji, however, and
started home, but, by his own account, was stopped by a dream in which a figure
resembling
Nagarjuna appeared and said, “Go to Nagpur”. In Nagpur, he met
Wamanrao Godbole, the person who had organized the conversion ceremony for Dr.
Ambedkar in 1956. Sasai claims that when he saw a photograph of Dr. Ambedkar at
Godbole’s home, he realized that it was Ambedkar who had appeared in his dream.
At first, Nagpur folk considered Surai Sasai very strange. Then he began to
greet them with “Jai Bhim” (victory to Ambedkar) and to build
viharas. In 1987 a court case to deport him on the grounds that he had
overstayed his
visa was dismissed, and he was granted Indian citizenship. Sasai is one of
the main leaders of the campaign to free the
Mahabodhi
Temple
at Bodh Gaya from
Hindu control
.

A movement originating in Maharashtra
but also active in Uttar Pradesh, and spread out over quite a few other pockets
where Neo Buddhists live, is Triratna Bauddha Mahāsaṅgha (formerly called TBMSG
for Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha Sahayaka Gana). It is the Indian wing of the
UK-based
Triratna Buddhist Community founded by Sangharakshita. Its roots lie in the scattered contacts
that
Sangharakshita had in the fifties with Dr. Ambedkar, and
the quite time-consuming participation
Sangharakshita, then still a bhikshu, had from 1956 until
his departure to the UK in 1963 in the conversion movement. When his new
ecumenical movement had gained enough ground in the West, through continued
friendships with Ambedkarites in India and the UK the plan arose to see how
Indian Buddhism could be helped further. After visits in the late seventies by
Dharmachari Lokamitra from UK, a two-pronged approach started: social work
through the Bahujan Hitaj (also spelled as Bahujan Hitay) trust, mainly
sponsored from the general public by the British Buddhist-inspired
Karuna Trust (UK), and direct Dharma work. Currently the
movement has viharas and groups in at least 20 major areas, a couple of retreat
centres and hundreds of Indian Dharmacharis and Dharmacharinis.
[12] Funding for both social and Dharma work is
not restricted to befriended Western people but also coming from places like
Taiwan. Now it is amongst the biggest Ambedkarite movements in India, and also
starting to have some success teaching meditation and Buddhism to middle-class
Indians outside the Dalit community. See their website (still to be updated for
the name change).
[1] Finally, Triratna Europe and Triratna
India together have links with the ‘Ambedkarite’ Buddhist Romanis in Hungary.
See e.g.
[13] for this only spin-off outside India from
the Dalit Buddhism movement.

[edit] Organized mass conversions


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Deekshabhoomi
stupa in
Nagpur where Ambedkar converted to Buddhism.

Since Ambedkar’s conversion, several
thousand people from different castes have converted to Buddhism in ceremonies
including the twenty-two vows. The
Tamil
Nadu
and Gujarat governments passed new laws in 2003 to ban
“forced” religious conversions. These laws were later withdrawn due
to heavy opposition[citation needed].

1957

In 1957, Mahastvir Bodhanand’s Sri Lankan successor, Bhante Pragyanand,
held a mass conversion drive for 15,000 people in Lucknow.
[6]

2006, Hyderabad

A report from the UK daily The
Guardian
said that some Hindus
have converted to Buddhism.
Buddhist monks from
the UK and the U.S. attended the conversion ceremonies in India. In response,
Hindu nationalists asserted that  Sakyans
should concentrate on illiteracy and poverty rather than looking for new
religions.
[15]

2006, Gulbarga

On October 14, 2006, hundreds of people converted from Hinduism to
Buddhism in
Gulburga (Karnataka).[16]

2006

Criticism of conversions

Hindu critics have argued that
efforts to convert Hindus to Ambedkarite Buddhism are political stunts rather
than sincere commitments to social reform.
[21] In addition, several  Sakyan leaders have stated that they are not
against the upper castes per se. Leaders of the Sakyan
Bahujan Samaj Party have said that they are being branded as
anti-Hindu” because of the publicity associated
with the conversions is largely the work of “manuvadi vested interests, including political
parties and sections of the media” and that they are only interested in
peaceful dialogue with the Brahmins.

Most Sakyan Indian Buddhists espouse
an eclectic version of Buddhism, primarily based on
Theravada, but with additional influences from Mahayana and Vajrayana. On many subjects, they give Buddhism a
distinctive interpretation. Of particular note is their emphasis on
Shakyamuni
Buddha
as a political and
social reformer, rather than merely as a spiritual leader. They point out that
the Buddha required his
monastic followers to ignore caste distinctions, and that he was critical of
the social inequality that existed in his own time. Ambedkar’s followers do not
believe that a person’s unfortunate conditions at birth are the result of
previous
karma.


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329 LESSON 28 07 2011 Dhatu vibhanga Sutta An Analysis of the Properties FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Let us Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest – Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered Honey to the Buddha
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329 LESSON 28 07 2011 Dhatu
vibhanga Sutta An Analysis of the Properties
 FREE
ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter
to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-
Let

us Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal
Miracles-Objects of Interest – Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered Honey to the Buddha-About The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

Dhatu-vibhanga Sutta: An Analysis of the Properties

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1997–2011

I have
heard that on one occasion, as the Blessed One was wandering among the Magadhans, he entered Rajagaha, went to
the potter Bhaggava, and on arrival said to him, “If
it is no inconvenience for you, Bhaggava, I will stay for one night in your
shed.”

“It’s
no inconvenience for me, lord, but there is a wanderer who has already taken up
residence there. If he gives his permission, you may stay there as you
like.”

Now at
that time a clansman named Pukkusati had left home and
gone forth into homelessness through faith, out of dedication to the Blessed
One. He was the one who had already taken up residence in the potter’s shed. So
the Blessed One approached Ven. Pukkusati and said to him, “If it is no
inconvenience for you, monk, I will stay one night in the shed.”

“The
shed is roomy, my friend. Stay as you like.”

So the
Blessed One, entering the potter’s shed and, setting out a spread of grass to
one side, sat down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and
setting mindfulness to the fore. He spent most of the night sitting [in
meditation]. Ven. Pukkusati also spent most of the night sitting [in meditation].
The thought occurred to the Blessed One, “How inspiring is the way this
clansman behaves! What if I were to question him?” So he said to Ven.
Pukkusati, “Out of dedication to whom, monk, have you gone forth? Who is
your teacher? Of whose Dhamma do you approve?”

“There
is, my friend, Gotama the contemplative, a son of the Sakyans, gone forth from
a Sakyan clan. Now, this excellent report about the honorable Gotama has been
spread about: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened,
consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the
worlds, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher
of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ I have gone forth out of
dedication to that Blessed One. That Blessed One is my teacher. It is of that
Blessed One’s Dhamma that I approve.”

“But
where, monk, is that Blessed One — worthy & rightly self-awakened — staying
now?”

“There
is, my friend, a city in the northern lands named Savatthi. That is where the
Blessed One — worthy & rightly self-awakened — is staying now.”

“Have
you ever seen that Blessed One before? On seeing him, would you recognize
him?”

“No,
my friend, I have never seen the Blessed One before, nor on seeing him would I
recognize him.”

Then the
thought occurred to the Blessed One: “It is out of dedication to me that
this clansman has gone forth. What if I were to teach him the Dhamma?” So
he said to Ven. Pukkusati, “I will teach you the Dhamma, monk. Listen
& pay close attention. I will speak.”

“As
you say, friend,” replied Ven. Pukkusati.

The
Blessed One said: “A person has six properties, six media of sensory
contact, eighteen considerations, & four determinations. He has been
stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the currents of
construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace. One should not be
negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment,
and train only for calm. This is the summary of the analysis of the six
properties.

“‘A
person has six properties.’ Thus was it said. In
reference to what was it said? These are the six properties: the earth
property, the liquid property, the fire property, the wind property, the space
property, the consciousness property. ‘A person has six properties.’ Thus was
it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘A
person has six media of sensory contact.’ Thus was it said.
In reference to what was it said? These are the six media of sensory contact:
the eye as a medium of sensory contact, the ear… the nose… the tongue…
the body… the intellect as a medium of sensory contact. ‘A person has six
media of sensory contact.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it
said.

“‘A
person has eighteen considerations.’ Thus was it said. In reference to what was
it said? These are the eighteen considerations: On seeing a form with the eye,
one considers a form that can act as a basis for joy, a form that can act as a
basis for sadness, or a form that can act as a basis for equanimity. On hearing
a sound with the ear… On smelling an aroma with the nose… On tasting a
flavor with the tongue… On feeling a tactile sensation with the body… On
cognizing an idea with the intellect, one considers an idea that can act as a
basis for joy, an idea that can act as a basis for sadness, or an idea that can
act as a basis for equanimity. Thus there are six considerations conducive to
joy, six conducive to sadness, & six conducive to equanimity. ‘A person has
eighteen considerations.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it
said.

“‘A
person has four determinations.’ Thus was it said.
In reference to what was it said? These are the four determinations: the
determination for discernment, the determination for truth, the determination
for relinquishment, the determination for calm. ‘A person has four
determinations.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘One
should not be negligent of discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to
relinquishment, and train only for calm.’ Thus was it said. In reference to
what was it said? And how is one not negligent of discernment? These are the
six properties: the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, the
wind property, the space property, the consciousness property.

“And
what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or
external. What is the internal earth property? Anything internal, within
oneself, that’s hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body
hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart,
liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents
of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s hard,
solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the
internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth
property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right
discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one
sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes
disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the
mind.

“And
what is the liquid property? The liquid property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal liquid property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s liquid, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood,
sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything
else internal, within oneself, that’s liquid, watery, & sustained: This is
called the internal liquid property. Now both the internal liquid property
& the external liquid property are simply liquid property. And that should
be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: ‘This is not mine,
this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is
present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the liquid
property and makes the liquid property fade from the mind.

“And
what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is
warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten,
drunk, consumed & tasted gets properly digested; or anything else internal,
within oneself, that’s fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the
internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external
fire property are simply fire property. And that should be seen as it actually
is present with right discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is
not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right
discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the fire property and makes the fire
property fade from the mind.

“And
what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds,
winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the
body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s
wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now
both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply
wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right
discernment: ‘This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one
sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes
disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the
mind.

“And
what is the space property? The space property may be either internal or
external. What is the internal space property? Anything internal, belonging to
oneself, that’s space, spatial, & sustained: the holes of the ears, the
nostrils, the mouth, the [passage] whereby what is eaten, drunk, consumed,
& tasted gets swallowed, and where it collects, and whereby it is excreted
from below, or anything else internal, within oneself, that’s space, spatial,
& sustained: This is called the internal space property. Now both the
internal space property & the external space property are simply space property.
And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: ‘This
is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.’ When one sees it thus as it
actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the
space property and makes the space property fade from the mind.

“There
remains only consciousness: pure & bright. What does one cognize with that
consciousness? One cognizes ‘pleasure.’ One cognizes ‘pain.’ One cognizes
‘neither pleasure nor pain.’ In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be
felt as pleasure, there arises a feeling of pleasure. When sensing a feeling of
pleasure, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling of pleasure.’ One discerns
that ‘With the cessation of that very sensory contact that is to be felt as
pleasure, the concomitant feeling — the feeling of pleasure that has arisen in
dependence on the sensory contact that is to be felt as pleasure — ceases, is
stilled.’ In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as pain… In
dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor
pain, there arises a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain. When sensing a
feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling
of neither pleasure nor pain.’ One discerns that ‘With the cessation of that
very sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor pain, the
concomitant feeling — the feeling of neither pleasure nor pain that has arisen
in dependence on the sensory contact that is to be felt as neither pleasure nor
pain — ceases, is stilled.’

“Just
as when, from the friction & conjunction of two fire sticks, heat is born
and fire appears, and from the separation & disjunction of those very same
fire sticks, the concomitant heat ceases, is stilled; in the same way, in
dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as pleasure, there arises a
feeling of pleasure… In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as
pain… In dependence on a sensory contact that is to be felt as neither
pleasure nor pain, there arises a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain… One
discerns that ‘With the cessation of that very sensory contact that is to be
felt as neither pleasure nor pain, the concomitant feeling… ceases, is
stilled.’

“There
remains only equanimity: pure & bright, pliant, malleable, & luminous.
Just as if a skilled goldsmith or goldsmith’s apprentice were to prepare a
furnace, heat up a crucible, and, taking gold with a pair of tongs, place it in
the crucible: He would blow on it time & again, sprinkle water on it time
& again, examine it time & again, so that the gold would become
refined, well-refined, thoroughly refined, flawless, free from dross, pliant,
malleable, & luminous. Then whatever sort of ornament he had in mind —
whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold chain — it would serve his
purpose. In the same way, there remains only equanimity: pure & bright,
pliant, malleable, & luminous. One discerns that ‘If I were to direct
equanimity as pure & bright as this toward the dimension of the infinitude
of space, I would develop the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity
of mine — thus supported, thus sustained — would last for a long time. One
discerns that ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure and bright as this toward
the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness… the dimension of
nothingness… the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, I would
develop the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity of mine — thus
supported, thus sustained — would last for a long time.’

“One
discerns that ‘If I were to direct equanimity as pure & bright as this
towards the dimension of the infinitude of space and to develop the mind along
those lines, that would be fabricated. One discerns that ‘If I were to direct
equanimity as pure and bright as this towards the dimension of the infinitude
of consciousness… the dimension of nothingness… the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception and to develop the mind along those lines, that
would be fabricated.’ One neither fabricates nor mentally fashions for the sake
of becoming or un-becoming. This being the case, one is not sustained by
anything in the world (does not cling to anything in the world). Unsustained,
one is not agitated. Unagitated, one is totally unbound right within. One
discerns that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is
nothing further for this world.’

“Sensing
a feeling of pleasure, one discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not
relished. Sensing a feeling of pain… Sensing a feeling of neither pleasure
nor pain, one discerns that it is fleeting, not grasped at, not relished.
Sensing a feeling of pleasure, one senses it disjoined from it. Sensing a
feeling of pain… Sensing a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, one senses
it disjoined from it. When sensing a feeling limited to the body, one discerns
that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.’ When sensing a feeling
limited to life, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to life.’
One discerns that ‘With the break-up of the body, after the termination of
life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.’

“Just
as an oil lamp burns in dependence on oil & wick; and from the termination
of the oil & wick — and from not being provided any other sustenance — it
goes out unnourished; even so, when sensing a feeling limited to the body, one
discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to the body.’ When sensing a
feeling limited to life, one discerns that ‘I am sensing a feeling limited to
life.’ One discerns that ‘With the break-up of the body, after the termination
of life, all that is sensed, not being relished, will grow cold right here.’

“Thus
a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest determination for discernment,
for this — the knowledge of the passing away of all suffering & stress — is
the highest noble discernment.

“His
release, being founded on truth, does not fluctuate, for whatever is deceptive
is false; Unbinding — the undeceptive — is true. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed
with the highest determination for truth, for this — Unbinding, the undeceptive
— is the highest noble truth.

“Whereas
formerly he foolishly had taken on mental acquisitions and brought them to
completion, he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed, made like a
palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for
future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest
determination for relinquishment, for this — the renunciation of all mental
acquisitions — is the highest noble relinquishment.

“Whereas
formerly he foolishly had greed — as well as desire & infatuation — he has
now abandoned them, their root destroyed made like a palmyra stump, deprived of
the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Whereas
formerly he foolishly had malice — as well as ill-will & hatred — he has
now abandoned them… Whereas formerly he foolishly had ignorance — as well as
delusion & confusion — he has now abandoned them, their root destroyed made
like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined
for future arising. Thus a monk so endowed is endowed with the highest
determination for calm, for this — the calming of passions, aversions, &
delusions — is the highest noble calm. ‘One should not be negligent of
discernment, should guard the truth, be devoted to relinquishment, and train
only for calm.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.

“‘He
has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the
currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Thus was
it said. With reference to what was it said? ‘I am’ is a construing. ‘I am
this’ is a construing. ‘I shall be’ is a construing. ‘I shall not be’… ‘I
shall be possessed of form’… ‘I shall not be possessed of form’… ‘I shall
be percipient’… ‘I shall not be percipient’… ‘I shall be neither percipient
nor non-percipient’ is a construing. Construing is a disease, construing is a
cancer, construing is an arrow. By going beyond all construing, he is said to
be a sage at peace.

“Furthermore,
a sage at peace is not born, does not age, does not die, is unagitated, and is
free from longing. He has nothing whereby he would be born. Not being born,
will he age? Not aging, will he die? Not dying, will he be agitated? Not being
agitated, for what will he long? It was in reference to this that it was said,
‘He has been stilled where the currents of construing do not flow. And when the
currents of construing do not flow, he is said to be a sage at peace.’ Now,
monk, you should remember this, my brief analysis of the six properties.”

Then the
thought occurred to Ven. Pukkusati: “Surely, the Teacher has come to me!
Surely, the One Well-gone has come to me! Surely, the Rightly Self-awakened One
has come to me!” Getting up from his seat, arranging his upper robe over
one shoulder, and bowing down with his head at the Blessed One’s feet, he said,
“A transgression has overcome me, lord, in that I was so foolish, so
muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to assume that it was proper to address the
Blessed One as ‘friend.’ May the Blessed One please accept this confession of
my transgression as such, so that I may achieve restraint in the future.”

“Yes,
monk, a transgression overcame you in that you were so foolish, so
muddle-headed, and so unskilled as to assume that it was proper to address me
as ‘friend.’ But because you see your transgression as such and make amends in
accordance with the Dhamma, we accept your confession. For it is a cause of
growth in the Dhamma & Discipline of the noble ones when, seeing a
transgression as such, one makes amends in accordance with the Dhamma and achieves
restraint in the future.”

“Lord,
may I receive full acceptance (ordination as a monk) from the Blessed
One?”

“And
are your robes & bowl complete?”

“No,
lord, my robes & bowl are not complete.”

“Tathagatas
do not give full acceptance to one whose robes & bowl are not
complete.”

Then
Ven
. Pukkusati, delighting & rejoicing in the Blessed
One’s words, got up from his seat, bowed down to the Blessed One and, keeping
him on his right, left in search of robes and a bowl. And while he was
searching for robes & a bowl, a runaway cow killed him.

Then a
large number of monks approached the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed
down to him, sat to one side. As they were sitting there, they said to the
Blessed One, “Lord, the clansman Pukkusati, whom the Blessed One
instructed with a brief instruction, has died. What is his destination? What is
his future state?”

“Monks,
the clansman Pukkusati was wise. He practiced the Dhamma in accordance with the
Dhamma and did not pester me with issues related to the Dhamma. With the
destruction of the first five fetters, he has arisen spontaneously [in the Pure
Abodes], there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that
world.”

That is
what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s
words.

: MN
106
.

 

4. Vesali, Place where Monkeys Offered
Honey to

the Buddha



4.1 How to reach there

 

Vesali or
Vaishali is located around the village of Basarh in the

Muzaffapur
district of Bihar, 55 km north of Patna across the

Ganges River.
All distances are approximate.

 

4.2 Religious Significance

3, 4, 25

 

Vesali or Vaishali, capital of the Licchavis or Vajjis, was the

headquarters of
the powerful Vajjian confederacy of eight clans, of

whom the
Licchavis and Videhans were the most important. It was

the first
republic in the world modelled on the
Aparihaniya Dhamma

or the seven
conditions leading to welfare, which the Buddha taught

to the Vajjians
when he was dwelling at the Saranda shrine in

Vaishali. Thus
united, they became so powerful that
Ajatasattu of

Magadha had to
resort to treachery by sending the brahmin

Vassakara to sow discord among the
Vajjian princes for three years

in order to
weaken them. By then, they were too disunited to defend

their country
and Ajatasattu conquered them.

 

The Buddha
visited Vaishali several times, spending his 5
th
and 44th

vassas there and many Licchavi
nobles became his disciples. When

Vaishali was
plagued with famine, disease, and evil spirits, the

Buddha was
invited by the Licchavi nobles to help them alleviate the

plagues. Buddha
then preached the
Ratana Sutta (Jewel
Discourse)

and instructed
Ven. Ananda to go round the city walls reciting it as a

Protection.
Thereafter, the Buddha recited it for seven days and all

the plagues
then abated. But the event that elevated the status of

Vaishali to an
important pilgrimage site was the offering of a bowl

of honey by a
band of monkeys to the Blessed One, an incident

mentioned among
the Four Great Miracles in the Buddha’s life.

 

At Vaishali,
the Buddha allowed women to be admitted to the

Sangha after Ven. Ananda successfully pleaded to the
Buddha for

the ordination
of
Maha Pajapati Gotami and
several Sakyan ladies.

The Buddha then
decreed the Eight Chief Rules, in addition to the

Disciplinary
Code observed by monks, which
bhikkhunis or
nuns

“should revere,
reverence, honour and respect for life and which

should not be
transgressed”. Thus the
Bhikkhuni
Sangha
came to

be established
in Vaishali.

 

Once the Buddha
was staying in a mango grove of
Ambapali,
the

chief courtesan
of Vaishali who invited him to a house
dana,

forestalling
the Licchavi nobles who then offered her money in

exchange for
the invitation. But she politely declined their offer for

she valued the dana more and after the meals,
even donated her

mango grove to
the Buddha and
Sangha.
The Buddha spent the last

vassa in Vesali where he
relinquished the will to live at the Capala

shrine. After
the
Mahaparinibbana,
the Licchavis obtained a share

of the Buddha’s
relics from Kusinara and erected a grand
stupa over

the holy relics
in Vaishali.

 

Vaishali is
celebrated to possess the
Buddha’s alms bowl,
which he

donated to them
before his
Parinibbana.
An account of its journey to

various places
is described in the
next section (Part
III, 5).

 

4.3 Historical Background

5, 27, 37, 38

 

After the Mahaparinibbana, the Vajjian confederacy was
defeated

by Ajatasattu,
whose son Udayibhadda slew his father and moved

the capital
from Rajgir to Pataliputta, across the Ganges river from

Vaishali.
According to the Mahavamsa (Great Chronicle of Ceylon),

the dynasty of
Udayibhadda was succeeded by three generations of

parricidal
kings, namely: Anuruddha, Munda and Nagadasa who

each slew his
own father to take over the throne. By then, the people

could not
tolerate this dynasty of parricides. In the end, the minister

Sisunaga, son
of a Licchavi prince deposed Nagadasa. Sisunnaga

was succeeded
by his son, Kalasoka, and by then a hundred years

had passed
since the
Mahaparinibbana.

 

At that time in
Vaishali, many shameless
bhikkhus of
the Vajji clan

were practising
the
Ten Points,
which were not in conformity with

the Vinaya or monastic rules. Venerable Yasa of Kosambi, while in

Vaishali
noticed the deviations and strongly protested against them,

resulting in
his expulsion by the Vajji monks. Ven. Yasa, together

with other
monks appealed to
Ven. Revata of
Soreyya, the chief of

the Sangha to settle the dispute.
Thereupon, the
Second Council

was convened at
Valukarama monastery
in Vaishali during the

reign of King Kalasoka and attended by 700 Arahants. Venerable

Sabbakami, the most senior Arahant, questioned by Ven. Revata,

adjudged the
Ten Points as unlawful according to the
Vinaya.

Forty years
after the Second Council, another controversy arose that

would polarize
the
Sangha. According to
the tradition of the

Sammitiya
School recorded by Bhavya, a monk named Bhadra (or

Mahadeva) proposed
Five Heresies questioning the nature of the

Arahant. A
great assembly of ten thousand, consisting of monks and

laity called ‘Mahasangiti’ was convened in Pataliputta
with the

support of the
king and the majority voted in favour of these

heretical views.
This resulted in a schism in the
Sangha and
the

secession of
the
Mahasanghika,
who held a great assembly of theirs

called the Mahasangiti, from which the sect derived
its name and

decided matters
according to their own light. From then on, further

schisms led to
the formation of different sub-sects, and in the course

of time, eleven
sub-sects arose out of the
Theravada while
seven

issued from the
Mahasanghika,
leading to the well-known
Eighteen

Schools of Buddhism.

 

Asoka, the
Mauryan emperor who had his capital in Pataliputta near

Vaishali raised
a
stupa in which he
enshrined some of the Buddha’s

relics and
erected beside it an Asokan column with a lion capital

when he visited
Vaishali during his pilgrimage to the holy places in

249 BC. Fa
Hsien visited Vaishali around 400 AD and mentioned

about the stupas built in its vicinity in
honour of the Buddha.

According to a
story in the Dhammapada Commentary, when
Ven.

Ananda reached the age of 120 years,
he knew that his end was near

and went from
Rajgir to Vaishali, following the Buddha’s example.

Hearing of his
intention, the citizens of Magadha and Vaishali

hurried from
both directions to bid him farewell. To do justice to

both sides,
Ven. Ananda levitated in the air and entered into the

Samadhi of the Fire Element, whereby the
body was consumed by

spontaneous
combustion and reduced to ashes, which fell on both

sides. So the
people of each city taking half the relics returned and

erected stupas over them.

 

Hsüan Tsang who
came in 630 AD, described Vaishali as covering

an area of
26-31 sq km but it was in ruins. He saw the
stupa built by

the Licchavi
princes over their portion of the Buddha’s relics from

Kusinara, the
Asoka
stupa and stone
pillar surmounted by a lion

capital and
nearby the pond dug by a band of monkeys (
Markatahrada)

for the
Buddha’s use. Not far to the south were two more

stupas; one at the site where the
monkeys taking the Buddha’s almsbowl,

climbed up a
tree to gather honey and another at the site where

the monkeys
offered honey to the Blessed One. Hsüan Tsang wrote

that both
within and without, and all around the city of Vaishali, the

sacred
monuments were so numerous that it was difficult to

remember them
all.

 

After Hsüan
Tsang’s visit, the history of Vaishali remained blank for

over twelve
centuries. It lay in ruins, unknown and unheard of until

the late 19th century, when Cunningham identified the ruins at
and

around Basarh in Muzaffapur district of
Bihar with ancient Vaishali.

Today, most of
the principal ruins are located in the village of

Kolhua, about 55 km from Patna.

 

4.4 Objects of Interest in Vaishali

5, 24, 27

 

a) Raj Vishal ka Garh, site of ancient Vesali



Basarh, 35 km
southwest of Muzaffarpur, has been identified as the

site of the
ancient city of Vaishali. The site of the Raj Vishal ka Garh

is believed to
represent the citadel of Vaishali where the 7707 rajas

or
representatives of the Vajjian confederacy used to meet and

discuss the
problems of the day. The ruins consist of a large brick146

covered mound
2.5 m above the surrounding level and 1500 m in

circumference
with a 42.7 m moat surrounding it. Beside it is a

pond, used by
the Licchavi princes to take their bath. It is located

about 3.2
kilometres southwest of the Asokan pillar at Kolhua.

 

b) Relic Stupa of the Licchavis



About a
kilometre to the northwest of the Raj Vishal ka Garh, stands

an open shelter
with a dome-shaped roof. Inside it, are the remains

of a stupa, which was originally a mud
structure 25 feet in diameter

with thin
layers of cloddy clay. It appeared to have undergone

enlargement and
repairs four times, in which burnt bricks were used.

The third
enlargement increased its diameter to 40 feet and the

fourth being in
the form of a buttress supporting the third. The

original mud stupa was a very old one, believed
to be pre-Mauryan.

From its
primitive features and from the fact that a 2’6” trench had

been driven
into its core in olden times it is believed that this
stupa

is none other
than the one
erected by the
Licchavis
over their share

of the relics
of the Buddha. The trench was probably excavated by

Asoka to reach
the relics, some of which according to Hsüan Tsang,

were left in
their original position by Asoka.

 

In the centre
of the original mud
stupa,
lying in the lowest layer of

soil anciently
disturbed by the trench, archaeologists in 1958 found a

relic casket of soapstone (steatite) cracked from the
pressure above.

It contained
one-fourth full of ashy earth, a piece of gold leaf, two

glass beads, a
small conch and a copper punch-marked coin. Based

on the
archaeological, literary and traditional evidence available, the

archaeologists
are of the opinion that this mud
stupa is
the one built

by the
Licchavis and the casket it contained most probably enshrined

a portion of
the
ashes of the Buddha mixed
with a lot of earth

collected at
his cremation. That it should be only
one-fourth full

reminds us of
the statement made by Hsuan Tsang that: “
Asoka,

opening the stupa took away nine-tenths of the relics
leaving only

one-tenth behind. Afterwards there was a king of the country who

wished to open the stupa again but at the moment when he began
to

do so, the earth trembled, and he dared not proceed to open it.”

Presently the
soapstone relic casket can be viewed at Patna Museum.

(Reference: The
Corporeal Relics of the Buddha. Dr. A. S. Altekar,

1956. From a
brochure of the Patna Museum, Patna)

 

c) Asokan Pillar



At Kolhua, 3.2
km northeast of the citadel of Vaishali, stands the

impressive
Asokan Pillar erected by Asoka 2250 years ago. It is a

complete
monolithic pillar of highly polished sandstone surmounted

by a lion
capital. The height is 6.7 m above the ground with a

considerable
portion sunk underground over the years. Though

devoid of
inscription, it appears to be a part of the line of pillars in

the Muzaffarpur
and Champaran districts
Lauriya Areraj, Lauriya

Nandangarh,
Rampurva
that Asoka erected along his pilgrimage

route from
Pataliputta to Lumbini during 249-250 BC. Around the

Asokan Pillar
at Kolhua are the ruins of many smaller brick
stupas.

 

d) Asoka Stupa



Just near the
Asokan pillar are the ruins of the Asoka
Stupa seen by

Hsüan Tsang.
The dome-shaped mound is 4.6 m high and has a

diameter of 20
m. During excavation by Cunningham, a stone casket

containing some
relics of the Buddha was found enshrined beneath

it. This site
is a conducive place to offer
puja followed
by walking or

sitting
meditation at the
stupa.
Most Indian tourist guides mistake

this stupa for the Ananda stupa located at Hajipur. For the
record all

the stupas built by King Asoka were
dedicated to the Buddha, either

as relic or
commemorative
stupas.

 

e) Monkey’s Tank (Markata-hrada)

Near the stone
pillar is a tank (pond) called
Rama-kunda,
identified

by Cunningham
with the ancient monkey’s tank dug by a colony of

monkeys for the
Buddha’s use. It has been enlarged considerably.

 

4.5 Pataliputta (Patna), Venue of the
Third Council

5, 38, 39

 

a) Kumhrar, Site of Asokarama Park

 

The Kumhrar
Park is located 5 km from Patna Railway Station on

Kankarbagh Road
in Patna, Bihar. There one can see a large pool,

where 32
ancient pillars of polished sandstone were found, a

specimen of
which is exhibited at a nearby pavilion. Within the

vicinity of the
park is the site of a
vihara of
Asoka’s time. This park

in Patna is
believed to be the venue of the
Third Buddhist
Council

held in
Pataliputta in the 17
th year
of King Asoka’s reign, in around

250 BC. It was attended by one thousand Arahants and presided by

the Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa. At this Council, the Kathavatthu

or Points of
Controversy, one of the seven books of the

Abhidhamma, was compiled wherein the
heretical doctrines were

thoroughly
examined and refuted.

 

The Third
Council marked a turning point for Buddhism, which

prior to this,
was confined mainly to Magadha and neighbouring

states. With
King Asoka of the Mauryan Empire reigning supreme

over the whole
Indian sub-continent as its chief patron, the time was

now ripe for
expansion. Accordingly, it was decided to send

competent Arahants to propagate the Buddha’s
Teachings all over

India as well
as
Sri Lanka in
the south,
Kashmir Gandhara in
the

north, Bengal and Burma in the east and Yonaka and countries in

the west. Each
team was headed by an Elder and consisted of five

monks, the
quorum required to confer higher ordination in remote

regions. The
names of the Elders and the nine places where they

were deputed
are given in the
Mahavamsa38.

 

Although
certain scholars have disputed the authenticity of the

council by
claiming that it is unrecognized and unknown to all

Buddhist
sources outside of the Theravada school, archeology has

confirmed the historicity of these missions. In Stupa No. 2 at Sanchi

near Bhopal,
were found two relic caskets from the 2
nd or
1
st century

BC, inscribed
with the names of some of the missionaries. In this

way the
Buddha’s Teachings spread in the four directions as a result

of the Dhamma
missions after the Third Council shown below.

 

MISSIONARIES PLACES

 

1. Majjhantika
Thera Kasmira & Gandhara
1

2. Mahadeva
Thera Mahimsamandala
2

3. Rakkhita
Thera Vanavasi
3

4. Yonaka
Dhammarakkhita Thera Aparantaka
4

5. Maha
Dhammarakkhita Thera Maharattha
5

6. Maha
Rakkhita Thera Yonaka
6

7. Majjhima
Thera Himavantapadesa
7

8. Sonaka and
Uttara Theras Suvannabhumi
8

9. Mahinda,
Itthiya, Uttiya, Sambala Tambapannidipa
9

and Bhaddasala
Theras

 

1Gandhara comprises the
districts of Peshawar & Rawalpindi in Pakistan.

Kasmira
is modern Kashmir.

 

2Mahimsamandala is
generally taken as modern Mysore.

 

3Vanavasi was composed of
coastal regions such as Kerala and Malabar.

 

4Aparantaka or the ‘western
ends’ comprise the Mumbai (Bombay)

region,
northern Gujarat, Kachchh and Sind.

 

5Mararattha is modern
Maharashtra.

 

6Yonaka (Sanskrit
Yavana) together with the Kambojas means clans of

foreign
race in the northwest frontier included in Asoka’s empire.

 

7Himavantapadesa is
the Himalayan country.

 

8Suvannabhumi or
‘golden land’ is Bago (Pegu) and Mawlamyine

(Moulmein)
district in Mon state of Myanmar (Burma).

 

9Tambapannidipa is
the island of Sri Lanka.

 

b) Prophecy of the Elders of the Second
Council

 

Interestingly,
an account in the
Mahavamsa written
during the sixth

century AD says
that Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa was a Brahmagod

called Tissa in
his previous existence. At the time of the Second

Council, the Arahants, foreseeing danger to the
religion in the

future,
approached him for help as his lifespan in the Brahma realm

was coming to
an end. He consented to be born in the world of men

in order to
prevent the downfall of the Buddha’s religion.

 

Subsequently he
was born as the son of Moggali of Pataliputta, as a

Brahmin named
Tissa. At a young age, he showed great intelligence

by thoroughly
mastering the Vedas. The Venerables Siggava and

Candavajji, who
were assigned to convert him, frequented his house

on their alms
round. For seven years they got nothing, not even a

word asking
them to move on. But on the eighth year, Ven. Siggava

heard someone
in the house saying to him: ‘Go further on.’ When

Tissa’s father
Moggali saw him and asked whether he had received

anything from
his house, Ven. Siggava answered ‘Yes’. Later when

Moggali learnt
what had happened, he scolded the monk for lying

when the latter
came on the second day.

 

Actually, when
Ven. Siggava said that he had received something, it

was true. For
the last seven years no one in the house had offered

him anything,
not even one word. Now someone had said something

to him.
Impressed by his humility and patience, Moggali develop

faith and
became his almsfood supporter (
dayaka).
When Tissa was

sixteen, Ven.
Siggava intentionally sat on his seat in the house.

When the angry
Tissa berated him, Ven. Siggava responded by

asking Tissa a
question about the
Cittayamaka from
the

Abhidhamma. The
latter could not answer and expressed a desire to

learn the
Dhamma converting to Buddhism. After obtaining the

consent of his
parents, he joined the Sangha as Ven. Siggava’s

disciple, who
taught him the Vinaya while Ven. Candavajji taught

the Abhidhamma.
He later attained Arahantship and became an

acknowledged
leader of the monks at Pataliputta. He became known

as Moggaliputta
Tissa and was instrumental in convening the Third

Council and
despatching Dhamma missions to various parts of the

Indian
sub-continent, Sri Lanka and Burma to propagate the Buddha

Sasana.
Subsequent events appear to confirm the
prophecy
of the

Arahants of the Second Council.

 

c) Patna Museum (Closed on Mondays)

 

The museum at
Patna, capital of Bihar where Buddhism originated,

houses one of
the largest collections of ancient Buddhist antiquities

in the world.
The sculptures of stone and bronze on display can be

divided into a
few distinct periods, namely:

 

• Mauryan Sculptures (4th-3rd century BC)

On display here
are Indian stone sculptures of highly polished

sandstone in
magnificent forms of animals such as the lion, bull and

elephant
capitals, fashioned for placing atop Asokan pillars. Besides

these refined
courtly art, an archaic religious art based on the

widespread cult
of tutelary deities are on display featuring the

gigantic Patna
yaksa (
yakkha) and yaksi
(female
yakkha).

 

• Gandhara and Mathura Buddha Images

Prior to the
beginning of the Christian era, the Buddha was never

represented in
human form but only by symbols. The demand for

Buddha images
started when the movement of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion

gained strength
among the Buddhist laity due to Mahayana

influence.
Buddha images came into existence in the first century

AD, when two ancient schools of sculpture emerged
separately –

Gandhara (Afghanistan) in the far
northwest of India and
Mathura

(Muttra) in the
east. In
Gandhara, the
Buddha-image is represented

in Grecian style, almost Apollo-like in physical beauty and even
the

robe is
sculpted with folds characteristic of Greco-Roman sculpture.

The contours
are not rounded off and great pains are taken to model

the human form
to display the physical perfection through sharp,

elegant
features. In
Mathura,
the sculptures are indigenous, in the

Mahapurisa style, large and rounded. A
typical example is
Bhikkhu

Bala’s image of
the
Bodhisatta in
Sarnath. The treatment of the

Buddha’s robe
is schematic and clinging, so no folds are shown and

the body is
revealed as though it were nude. In Patna Museum, one

is able to see
some rare specimens of Buddha and
Bodhisatta images

from Gandhara
that survived destruction by Muslim fanatics when

they conquered
Northern India.

 

• Gupta Period (AD 300-550)

The Gupta
period was the golden age of Indian art and the great

Buddha images
of Mathura, Sarnath, Ajanta and Bihar are

magnificent
specimens from this age. The Buddha images from

Mathura during
this period underwent some modifications by the

Indo-Grecian
art mode. There is a large collection of Buddha-images

from the Gupta
period in this museum for one to admire.

 

• Pala Period (9th—12th century
AD)

 

During the Pala
period, metal images became increasing popular and

elegant bronze
Buddha images were produced in Bihar. For stone

sculptures,
Nalanda in Bihar state was famous for its distinctive

black slate
Buddha images. In Patna Museum, there is a section

showing black
slate and bronze images of the Buddha and some

bronze images
of Tantric deities as the cult of Tantrayana, a

decadent and
perverse form of worship of deities unrelated to the

Buddha’s
Teaching emerged during the Pala Period.

 

5. Journey of the Buddha’s Alms Bowl 8, 16, 38, 42

 

Vaishali is
celebrated to possess the
Buddha’s alms bowl,
which he

donated to the
Licchavis before his
Parinibbana.
According to a

legend by the 5th century AD Chinese pilgrim Fa Hsien, it was at a

place twelve yojanas (1 yojana = 12.8 km) southeast of
Kusinara

that Lord
Buddha had donated his alms-bowl to the Licchavis.

Earlier at
Vaishali, he had announced his impending death or

Parinibbana. The Licchavis having become
overwhelmed with

emotions at
this news kept following him and did not want to leave

him. Lord
Buddha then created the illusion of a large and deeply

scarped river
separating them and donating his alms-bowl to them as

a memorial, he
exhorted them to return to their houses. On this they

went back and
erected a stone pillar, on which this account is

engraved
(Fo-Kwo-Ki, Ch. XXIV). A
stupa was
built later to

commemorate
that emotional event.
Kesariya,
55 kilometres

northwest of
Vesali, is believed to be present day location of that

event. At
Kesariya, the Archeological Survey of India has recently

excavated what
is believed to be the tallest
stupa in
the world.

With regard to
the whereabouts of the Buddha’s alms bowl after

Kesariya, two
accounts are available, namely: that of the Chinese

pilgrims who
visited India from the 5
th to
7
th centuries AD and the

other from the
Mahavamsa, a Pali chronicle of Ceylon. From these

accounts,
several bowls have emerged, namely: the
Peshawar
Bowl
,

the Kashgar Bowl, the Kandahar Bowl, the Ceylon Bowl and the

Chinese Bowl, the last according to Marco Polo was taken by

Kublai Khan from Ceylon to China in 1284
AD.

 

5.1 The Peshawar Bowl and the Kashgar Bowl

 

The Chinese
pilgrims’ account of the Buddha’s alms bowl begins in

Peshawar, when Fa Hsien (Fo-Kwo-Ki Ch.
XII) reported seeing the

bowl when he
visited
Gandhara around
401 AD. He related
that

formerly, a
king of the Yue-chi after having conquered Gandhara

wanted to carry
off the alms bowl. He set it on an elephant, but the

elephant fell
under its weight. Then he built a carriage and harnessed

in it eight
elephants, but the car stood fast. The time for moving the

bowl had not
come, so the king repented by building a
stupa and

vihara for ceremonial worship of the
relic. This
vihara had
700

priests who
would bring out the alms bowl every day at lunchtime

for devotees to
make offerings.

Fa Hsien
described that it was of mixed colour but chiefly black,

capable of holding
two pecks or more (‘peck’
is a dry measure of

10 pints or 5.7
litres). The four divisions were clear, each being

about a fifth
inch thick. (
5ote: According
to Vinaya Mv. Kh. I,

when the
merchants
Tapussa and Bhallika offered rice cake and

honey to the Buddha
at the foot of the Rajayattana tree at the end of

the seventh
week after Enlightenment, the Buddha thought: “
Perfect

Ones do not accept in their hands. In what should I receive the
rice

cake and honey? Then the Four Heavenly
Kings of
Catumaharajika,

aware of the
Blessed One’s thought, brought four crystal bowls from

the four
quarters. These four bowls were moulded together to form a

new crystal
bowl with four divisions at the rim.)

 

Fa Hsien says
nothing about how the alms-bowl ended up in

Gandhara. But
the Tibetan historian
Taranatha observes
that: “the

king of the Yueh-chih (Kushana) invaded Magadha and
carried off

the alms bowl
and
Asvaghosa.”
Cunningham is
of the opinion that

it was the
Kushan king
Kanishka (ruled
78-102 AD) who invaded

Magadha and
took the alms-bowl to
Peshawar around
the 1
st or 2nd

century AD.
While in Varanasi, the philosopher Asvaghosa saw the

city conquered
by the Kushan emperor Kanishka. A huge war

indemnity was
demanded and to appease the Buddhist conqueror,

the ruler of Varanasi handed over the alms bowl of
the Buddha as a

symbolic
gesture. Asvaghosa probably accompanied Kanishka back

to Peshawar to
serve as spiritual advisor in his court.

 

Mention is made
here about later accounts that place the location of

Buddha’s alms
bowl at
Kashgar around AD 400.
The biography of

Kumarajiva records a visit of this
Buddhist savant to Kashgar about

AD 400 and
specially mentions that he placed on his head the

Buddha’s alms
bowl (
patra), which is
believed to possess the

miraculous
quality of changing its weight. Another Chinese monk

 

Chih Meng who went to India via Lop Nor
and Khotan in
AD 404

witnessed the
same miracle when handling the Buddha’s alms bowl,

which was shown
to him at Kashgar where he also saw the Buddha’s

spittoon made of stone of variegated
colour (see Ref. 42 & 43).

However, Fa
Hsien who visited Kashgar around AD 400 to attend

the great
five-yearly assembly mentioned only the
spittoon
but not

the alms bowl, which he saw in Peshawar
later. While we thus find

Fa Hsien’s
account of the sacred spittoon in full accord with Chihmeng’s

above-quoted
description, there yet arises the question why

Fa Hsien at
Kashgar did not mention the alms-bowl, which both

Chih Meng and
Kumarajiva, within a few years of his visit, had seen

at Kashgar.

 

There are two
possibilities: (1) Fa-hsien, too, may well have seen the

alms bowl shown
at Kashgar. But as he later at Peshawar saw that

sacred relic in
a specimen which, from the antiquity of the legends

attaching to it
and the magnificence of the enshrining monastery,

must have
appeared to him the only authentic one, he probably chose

to remain
silent about the Kashgar bowl, raising the possibility that

there were two bowls which claimed to be the Buddha’s alms

bowl at that time. (2) The second
possibility is that the same alms

bowl that Fa
Hsien saw in Peshawar was transferred to Kashgar

around the time
of Kumarajiva and Chih Meng. This seems unlikely,

as no monastery
would wish to part with such a sacred object.

In 520 AD, the
Chinese pilgrims
Sun Yung and
Hui Seng visited

Gandhara but
did not mention anything about the alms bowl

indicating that
it had been removed from Gandhara before their visit.

This removal
probably took place before the whole region fell to the

Yethas or
Hepthalites under
Laelih (Kitolo)
around
AD 425-450.

Sun Yung who
crossed the Pamirs at
Tashkurgan into
Wakhan

found the
Hepthalites to be in unbroken power and states that two

generations had
passed since
Laelih,
the persecutor of Buddhism,

had been set up
as the king of Gandhara. The bowl was probably

carried off by
the people of Gandhara who emigrated west and

settled by the
banks of the
Arghanadab River in
ancient
Arachosia

(Afghanistan) where they founded a city
named after their old

country
Gandhara, which still exists today as
Kandahar.

 

5.2 The Kandahar Bowl

 

Mention is made
of the alms bowl again when Hsüan Tsang visited

Gandhara around
AD 640. He saw the ruins of the
stupa of
the
patra

of Buddha and
stated that: “
in traversing
different countries, the

alms bowl has now come to Persia.
Cunningham (Ancient

Geography of
India, 17 note 2) identifies this Persian bowl with the

Kandahar bowl.
He explains Hsüan Tsang’s statement by the fact

that in his
time Kandahar belonged to Persia.

 

The Kandahar
bowl has long been a famous object of worship. It

was seen in a
thick clump of ash and mulberry trees to the east of old

Kandahar in an
obscure little Mahammadan shrine. The trunk of the

tree under
which the bowl stood was studded with hundreds of iron

nails and twigs
representing cures for toothache. In 1878-1880, the

Kandahar bowl
was seen and described by
Dr. Bellew and
Major

Le Messurier (Dr. Bellew’s Indus to the
Tigris, 143; Major Le

Messurier’s
Kandahar in 1879, 223, 225). According to them the

bowl is of hard
compact black porphyry, which rings when struck. It

is round, about
four feet wide and two feet deep, with sides about

four inches
thick. The lip has twenty-four facets each about seven

inches wide.
From the bottom of the bowl scrolls radiate to near the

rim, where, on
the inside, is a Persian inscription and on the outside

are four lines
in
Arabic characters.

 

The capacity of
the bowl is
eighty gallons and
its weight about

three-quarter
ton. Major LeMessurier’s detailed measurements (outer

diameter 4′
2″, inner diameter 3′ 7¼”, inside depth 2′ 3″) so closely

correspond with
General Cunningham’s measurements (4½’ in

diameter and 2½
deep) of a stone bowl at
Bhilsa (Vedisa
near

Sanchi), as to
suggest that like the Bhilsa bowl the Kandahar bowl

may originally
have been a tree pot. Sir
Olaf Caroe the
Governor of

the North West
Frontier Province from 1946 to 1947 reported it to

be at Kabul
Museum. The present status of this bowl is unknown.

The great
difference of size between the
Peshawar bowl (2.5
gals.)

and the Kandahar bowl (80 gals.) means that they
are not the same

bowl. Both
bowls are obviously too big for a human being to use and

may be ruled
out as the Buddha’s alms bowl.

 

5.3 The Ceylon Bowl

 

Another
account of Buddha’s alms bowl is given in the Mahavamsa,

a 6th century AD chronicle of Ceylon written by Ven.
Mahanama.

After Ven.
Mahinda had converted the Ceylonese king Devanampiya

Tissa to
Buddhism, he made known to the king his wish for a
stupa

to be built for
the worship of the Buddha’s relics. According to

Mahavamsa Ch.
XVII, the samanera Sumana was sent to Pataliputta

in India to ask
for the
Buddha’s corporeal relics and alms bowl

from King
Asoka. Thereafter the alms bowl with the corporeal relics

was brought to
Sri Lanka. The relics were enshrined in
stupas at

Anuradhapura
but
the alms-bowl of the Buddha or Pātradhātu

was
kept within the palace itself.

 

During the
reign of
Vattagamini Abhaya (104-88BC)
a young

brahman named
Tissa started a rebellion. This was followed by the

invasion of
seven Tamil warriors who defeated the king and ruled

the country for
fifteen years. Of the seven Tamils, one married a

local princess
and returned home. Another took the alms bowl that

was in
Anuradhapura and also returned to India ‘well contented’.

The fate of the
alms bowl remained unknown for 500 years until the

reign of King Upatissa (365-406 AD) who exhibited it
in public for

the purpose of
warding off misfortune that had struck the country.

According to
Mahavamsa (19.ch. 37. v. 189-198):

He made an image wholly of gold of the departed Buddha, laid the

stone alms bowl of the Master (filled) with water in the hollow of its

hands and placed this figure on a great chariot He took upon himself

and duties of a moral life and made the people also take them on

themselves, he instituted a great almsgiving and established
security

(of life) for all living creatures. Then the bhikkhus who
gathered

there reciting the Ratana-Sutta and pouring out water, walked
about

the street, not far from the royal palace, near the wall, round
which

they walked with their right side towards it in the three
watches of

the night. When morning dawned a great cloud poured rain on the

earth and all who had suffered from disease, held refreshed,
high

festival.

 

From the
beginning of the twelfth century down to the reign

Parakramabahu IV at the very end of 13th century AD, the alms

bowl was always
mentioned together with the
Sacred Tooth Relic

because they
were the symbols of state, the possession of which

were vital to
the kings. After Parakramabahu IV, who reigned about

A.D.1300, no
further mention is made of the alms bowl. Apparently

towards the end
of the 13
th century
AD, it was taken from Ceylon to

China at the
request of the great Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan.

 

5.4 Kublai Khan and the Chinese Bowl

 

According to
Marco Polo, in
1284 AD Kublai
Khan sent a mission

to Ceylon to
negotiate the purchase of the
Sacred Tooth, Hair
and

Bowl Relics. As the Mongols were reputed
to be fierce warriors

(Tibet had
succumbed while the Burmese were defeated in Pagan

earlier in AD
1277), the Ceylonese king was faced with the dilemma

of parting with
the state treasures or earning the displeasure of the

Great Khan. It
is said that in order to please the Chinese Emperor, he

dispatched two
fake tooth relics, which were graciously received by

the Emperor who
established ritual worship of the objects. The

Ceylon alms bowl was taken to China and Marco
Polo (1290) who

saw the bowl
describes as of very
beautiful green
porphyry
(rock

with crystals
embedded) while a Chinese writer
Wang Ta-Yuan

(1349) noted
that it rang like glass when struck.

 

The whole
episode is narrated in the Travels of Marco Polo, Volume

2 by Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa and reproduced below:

1ow it befell that the Great Kaan heard how on that mountain

there was the sepulchre of our first father Adam, and that some
of

his hair and of his teeth, and the dish from which he used to
eat,

were still preserved there. So he thought he would get hold of
them

somehow or another, and despatched a great embassy for the

purpose, in the year of Christ, 1284. The ambassadors,
with a great

company, travelled on by sea and by land until they arrived at
the

island of Seilan (Ceylon), and presented themselves before the
king.

 

And they were so urgent with him that they succeeded in getting two

of the grinder teeth (molars), which were passing great and thick;

and they also got some of the hair, and the dish from which that

personage used to eat, which is of a very beautiful green porphyry.

And when the Great Kaan’s ambassadors had attained the object
for

which they had come they were greatly rejoiced, and returned to

their lord. And when they drew near to the great city of Cambaluc

(Kaanbalik City of the Kaan or
Beijing), where the Great Kaan

was staying, they sent him word that they had brought back that
for

which he had sent them. On learning this, the Great Kaan was

passing glad, and ordered all the ecclesiastics and others to go
forth

to meet these reliques, which he was led to believe were those
of

Adam. And why should I make a long story of it? In sooth, the
whole

population of Cambaluc went forth to meet those reliques, and
the

ecclesiastics took them over and carried them to the Great Kaan,

who received them with great joy and reverence. And they find it

written in their Scriptures that the virtue of that dish is such
that if

food for one man be put therein it shall become enough for five

men: and the Great
Kaan averred that he had proved the thing and

found that it was really true.”

 

This account of
Marco Polo provides the last known whereabouts of

the alms bowl.
It is corroborated by a Chinese record entitled ‘
Tao-ichih-

lueh (A Description of the
Barbarian Islands) written in
1349

by Wang Ta-Yuan who mentions the dispatch of
ambassadors to

Ceylon under
the Yuan dynasty on three occasions to negotiate the

purchase of
Buddha’s sacred alms bowl, which was part of Ceylon’s

collection of
relics. However as the transfer of the alms bowl took

place 65 years
earlier, his description of it was
probably based on

what he saw in Beijing rather than in Ceylon itself.

Opposite the altar of the Buddha was placed a great alms bowl

made of a substance that was neither jade nor copper nor iron.
It

was crimson in colour and luminous, and when struck it rang like

glass. So at the
beginning of this dynasty (Yuan) ambassadors were

dispatched on three separate occasions to bring it back. The
bowl

placed before statues of Buddha contained an offering of food or

water. There was one in front of each statue and they were not

considered relics.”

 

Coming to
present times, situated at No.171, Fuchengmennei Street

in Beijing’s
Xicheng District is the
Miaoying Temple. First
built in

1096 during the
Liao Dynasty, it was considerably expanded and

elaborately
redecorated in 1271 during the reign of Emperor Shizu

(Kublai Khan) of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
In order to

strengthen his
relationship with the Lamaist rulers of Tibet and to

gain the
support of Tibetan Buddhists among his Yuan officials,

Kublai Khan
granted imperial permission to build the
White

Dagoba in the temple grounds in
1279. Simultaneously he renovated

and renamed the
temple
‘The Emperor’s Longevity and Peace

Temple’ (Dashengshou Wan’an Si). Significantly the timing
of

these
construction works coincided with the acquisition of the relics

from Ceylon. So
it is very likely that they were done to provide an

imperial shrine for the worship of these
sacred objects.

The temple was
burnt to the ground in 1368, the year the Chinese

under Zhu Yuanzhang drove the Mongols out of
China. Amazingly

only the White
Dagoba remained standing. Zhu Yuanzhang founded

the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and moved his
capital to
5anjing.

In 1420 the
third Ming emperor
Yongle moved
the capital back to

Beijing and in
1457, Emperor
Tianshun rebuilt
the temple, giving it

the present
name
Miaoying Si (Divine
Retribution Temple).

The Tangshan earthquake in 1976 caused
severe damage to the

temple
buildings. The top of the
White Dagoba tilted
to one side,

bricks and
mortar in the neck supporting the cupola crumbled off,

and the main
trunk cracked in several places. Four boxes containing

numerous
Buddhist artifacts hidden inside the roof of the Dagoba

were
discovered, which are now displayed at the Temple. (
Ref:

Miaoying
Monastery in www.china.org.cn/english/features/Beijing

/31155.htm).
Unfortunately nothing is said or known about the

whereabouts of
the Buddha’s
alms bowl and
other relics, which

Kublai Khan brought from Ceylon. They
were
probably lost or

destroyed in the 1368 fire during the
fierce fighting between the

Mongols and Ming forces.

http://thetriplegem.blogspot.com/2011/02/footprints-of-buddha.html

https://picasaweb.google.com/esharaffie/PilgrimageToIndia

 


About The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)

   More about the BSP


     BSP’s
Amazing Journey

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) or Majority
People’s Party is one of the only five prominent national political parties of
India, which is the largest democracy of the world.

Brief Introduction :

The ideology of the Bahujan Samaj
Party (BSP) is “Social Transformation and Economic Emancipation” of
the “Bahujan Samaj “, which comprises of the Scheduled Castes (SCs),
the Scheduled Tribes (STs), the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Religious
Minorities such as Sikhs, Muslims, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists and account
for over 85 per cent of the country’s total population.

The people belonging to all these
classes have been the victims of the “Manuwadi” system in the country
for thousands of years, under which they have been vanquished, trampled upon
and forced to languish in all spheres of life. In other words, these people
were deprived even of all those human rights, which had been secured for the
upper caste Hindus under the age-old “Manuwadi Social System”.

Among the great persons (Mahapurush)
belonging to “Bahujan Samaj”, who fought courageously and with
commitment against the brutal and oppressive Manuwadi system, for providing a
level playing field to the downtrodden to help move forward in their lives with
“self-respect” and at par with the upper castes Hindus, especially
Baba Saheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar’s socio-political campaign later proved to be
very effective in this direction. 

Though the contributions of leaders
of the downtrodden communities like Mahatma Jyotiba Phule, Chhatrapati Shahuji
Maharaj, Narayana Guru and Periyar E. V. Ramaswami have been immense in the
fight against the obnoxious Manuwadi system, but the struggle of Baba Saheb Dr.
Bhimrao Ambedkar, who was born in Scheduled Caste community, and that of
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji later proved to be greatly effective and pregnant with
far-reaching consequences.

Besides waging a spirited campaign
against the Manuwadi Social System, Dr. Ambedkar instilled consciousness among
not only the SC/STs, but also among those belonging to other backward groups,
which continue to be victimised and trampled under this oppressive and unjust
Manuvadi Social System.

By virtue of his pivotal role in the
framing of the Indian Constitution, these groups were given a number of rights
in the Constitution on a legal basis to lead a life of dignity and
self-respect. But he was fully conscious of the fact that these exploited
sections of the society would not be able to get the full legal rights as long
as the governments would remain dominated by the Manuwadi persons and parties.

That’s why Dr. Ambedkar, during his
lifetime, had counseled the “Bahujan Samaj” that if they wanted to
fully enjoy the benefits of their legal rights, as enshrined in the
Constitution, they would have to bond together all the Bahujan groups on the
basis of unity and fraternity, bring them on a strong political platform and
capture the “Master Key” of political power. This was to be the modus
operandi for the formation of Bahujan Governments at the Centre and in States.
Only such governments could enforce all the constitutional and legal rights of
the “Bahujan Samaj” and provide opportunities to its People to move
forward in all spheres of life besides enabling them to lead a life of
“self-respect”.

Keeping in view this observation and
advice of Dr. Ambedkar, respected Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji founded the Bahujan
Samaj Party (BSP), with the help of his associates, on April 14, 1984. For many
years while he enjoyed good health, he prepared the “Bahujan Samaj”
to secure the “master key” of political power, which opens all the
avenues for social and economic development.

However, being a diabetic and host of
other serious ailments, his health did not permit him to lead an active
political life for too long. On December 15, 2001, Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji,
while addressing a mammoth rally of the BSP at the Lakshman Mela Ground in
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the banks of the river Gomti, declared Kumari (Miss)
Mayawati Ji, then the lone Vice-President of the Party, as his only political
heir and successor.

Moreover, on September 15, 2003,
Manyawar Kanshi Ram Ji’s health suffered a serious setback, and the entire
responsibility of the Party fell on the shoulders of Bahan (Sister) Kumari
Mayawati Ji. Later, on September 18, 2003, the Party, through a consensus and
in keeping with its Constitution, made her its National President.

Being the
National President of a National Party, Kumari Mayawati Ji in her address
sought to assure that “I would like to make aware people of the country
that my Party, the BSP, is committed to not only improving the socio-economic
conditions of people belonging to the “Bahujan Samaj” but also of the
poor among the upper caste Hindus, small and medium farmers, traders and people
engaged in other professions.

But
people of the Manuwadi mindset, even if they are in different fields of life,
are acting under a conspiracy to project the image of the BSP as if it is
confined to championing the cause of SC/STs alone and is opposed to the upper
castes Hindus and other sections of the society. Also, the BSP has nothing to
do with the issues of national interest. However, on the basis of facts, I can
say with firmness and conviction that all such talks are a bunch of lies,
baseless and devoid of facts and are nothing else more than a slanderous
campaign of the status quoits Manuwadi forces. The policies, objectives and
ideology of the BSP are crystal clear and attuned to the welfare of the entire
country and its vast population.

On the basis of its ideology, the BSP
wants to sound the death-knell of the “Manuwadi Social System” based
on the ‘Varna’ (which is an inequality social system) and striving hard and
honestly for the establishment of an egalitarian and “Humanistic Social
System” in which everyone enjoys JUSTICE (social, economic and political)
and EQUALITY (of status and of opportunity) as enshrined in the PREAMBLE of the
Constitution.

Further, our Party Constitution very
clearly states that “the chief aim and objective of the Party shall be to
work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of change with a view to
realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of universal justice,
liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the Constitution of India.”

Such a social system is wholly in the
overall interest of the Country and all sections of the society too. If, in
this missionary work of “Social Transformation”, people of the upper
castes (Hindus) shed their Manuwadi mindset and join hands with the Bahujan
Samaj, our Party, with all due respect and affection would embrace them. Such
people will be given suitable positions in the Party organisation in accordance
with their ability, dedication and efficiency, and there would be no
distinction between them and those belonging to the Bahujan Samaj. Also they
will be fielded as Party candidates in the parliamentary and assembly
elections, and if our government is formed, they will also be given ministerial
berths.

These are not hollow talks because
the BSP in the past, during the three successive governments, had implemented
all such promises. In Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati government was formed four
times, and on each occasion, upper castes people were inducted in the Council
of Ministers. Even an upper caste person was appointed to an all-important post
of Advocate General. They were given the Party ticket for Lok Sabha and
Assembly elections and also nominated to the Parliament’s Upper Chamber i.e.
Rajya Sabha and state Legislative Councils.

In addition, upper caste people have
been given high posts in the Party organisation. For example, Mr. Satish
Chandra Mishra was nominated to the Rajya Sabha and also was made national
general secretary of the Party. In similar fashion, other castes of the Upper
Castes (Hindus) were promoted.

Thus, keeping in view all these
facts, it would be injudicious and fallacious to hold that the BSP works for
the welfare of a particular group or section. Yes, the Party does give priority
to those sections, which have been ignored and scorned all along by the
Manuwadi governments in all spheres of life. In addition, the BSP has always
contributed positively to all issues pertaining to the welfare of the Country.
The BSP has always taken an unequivocal stand on issues of the Country’s welfare
and never compromised on the issues related to the interest of the country
whenever the need arose.

Aims and Objectives

The chief aim and objective of the
party shall be to work as a revolutionary social and economic movement of
change with a view to realise, in practical terms, the supreme principles of
universal justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enunciated in the
Constitution of India, to be followed by State in governance, and in particular
summed up in the following extract from the Preamble of the Constitution.

We, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly
resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and
to secure to all its citizens:
Justice, social, economic and political;
Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;
Equality of status and opportunity; and promote among them all
Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and
integrity of the Nation;”

The Party shall regard its ideology as a movement for ending exploitation of
the weaker sections and suppression of the deprived through social and economic
change in keeping with the above stated chief aim, and its political activity
and participation in governance as an instrument of furthering such a movement
and bringing in such a change.

This being the chief aim of the Party, the strategy of the Party in public
affairs will be governed by the following general principles:

1. That all citizens of India being equal before law are entitled to be
treated as equal in true sense and in all matters and all walks of life, and
where equality does not exist it has to be fostered and where equality is
denied it has to be upheld and fought for.

2. That the full, free, uninhibited and unimpeded development of each
individual is a basic human right and State is an instrument for promoting and
realising such development;

3. That the rights of all citizens of India as enshrined in the Constitution
of India and subject to such restrictions as are set out in the Constitution,
have to be upheld at all costs and under all circumstances;

4. That the provisions of the Constitution requiring the State at Center and
in States to promote with special care and protect the socio-economic interests
of the weaker sections of the society denied to them for centuries, have to
upheld and given practical shape in public affairs as a matter of prime most
priority.

5. That economic disparities and the wide gaps between the ‘haves’ and the
‘have nots’ must not be allowed to override the political principle of
“one man, one vote, one vote, one value” adopted by our republic.

6. That unless political empowerment is secured for the economically
deprived masses they will not be able to free themselves from the shackles of
economic and social dependence and exploitation.

In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the aims stated
above the Party will work specially towards the following objectives:

1. The Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the other Backward Castes,
and the minorities, are the most oppressed and exploited people in India.
Keeping in mind their large numbers, such a set of people in India is known as
the Bahujan Samaj. The Party shall organise these masses.

2. The party shall work for these down trodden masses to-
a. to remove their backwardness;
b. to fight against their oppression and exploitation;
c. to improve their status in society and public life;
d. to improve their living conditions in day to day life;

2. The social structure of India is based on inequalities created by caste
system and the movement of the Party shall be geared towards changing the
social system and rebuild it on the basis of equality and human values. All
those who join the party with the commitment to co-operate in this movement of
social change shall be ingratiated into the fold of the Party.

Towards the furtherance of the above noted aims and objectives the
organisational units of Party as designated in this constitution, shall be
empowered to:-
1. purchase, take on lease or otherwise acquire, and maintain, moveable or
immovable property for the Party and invest and deal with monies of Party in
such a manner as may from time to time be determined;

2. raise money with or without security for carrying out any of the aims and
objectives of the Party;

3. to do all other lawful things and acts as are incidental or conducive to
the attainment of any of the aforesaid aims and objectives,

Provided that none of these activities will be undertaken without the
express approval of the National President.



 

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07/26/11
328 LESSON 27 07 2011 Mind Like Fire Unbound Chapter IIIForty cartloads of timber FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Let us celebrate Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as Reservation Day Celebrated on 26-07-2011- Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest - Rajgir, Place of Taming the Drunken Elephant Nalagiri- Veluvana (Bamboo Grove) and Karanda Tank- Pipphali House- Sattapanni caves-Bimbisara Jail- Jivaka’s mango garden (Jivaka ambavana)- Gijjhakuta (Vulture Peak)- Maddakucchi (Rub belly)- Burmese Monastery- Ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara
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328 LESSON 27 07 2011 Mind Like Fire Unbound  Chapter III Forty cartloads of timber FREE
ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter
to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-
Let
us celebrate Shri
Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as Reservation Day Celebrated on 26-07-2011-
Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest -
Rajgir, Place of Taming the Drunken Elephant Nalagiri-
Veluvana (Bamboo Grove) and Karanda Tank- Pipphali House- Sattapanni caves-Bimbisara
Jail- Jivaka’s mango garden (Jivaka ambavana)- Gijjhakuta (Vulture Peak)-
Maddakucchi (Rub belly)- Burmese Monastery- Ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara

Mind Like Fire Unbound

Chapter III

‘Forty cartloads of timber.’

Fourth Edition

by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff)

© 1999–2011

Upādāna
carries both of its meanings — clinging & sustenance — when applied to the
mind. It refers on the one hand both to mental clinging & to the object
clung to, and on the other to both the act of taking mental sustenance &
the sustenance itself. This, of course, raises the question, ‘Sustenance for
what?’ In the description of dependent co-arising, upādāna forms the condition
for becoming and, through becoming, for birth, aging, death, and the entire
mass of suffering & stress. Thus the answer: ‘Sustenance for becoming’
& its attendant ills.

‘Just as
if a great mass of fire, of ten… twenty… thirty or forty cartloads of
timber were burning, and into it a man would periodically throw dried grass,
dried cow dung, & dried timber, so that the great mass of fire — thus
nourished, thus sustained — would burn for a long, long time; even so, monks,
in one who keeps focusing on the allure of those phenomena that offer
sustenance [lit: “flammable phenomena”], craving develops; with
craving as condition, sustenance; with sustenance as condition, becoming; with
becoming as condition, birth; with birth as condition, aging, illness &
death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all come into play.
Thus is the origin of this entire mass of suffering & stress.

‘Just as
if a great mass of fire… were burning, into which a man simply would not
periodically throw dried grass, dried cow dung, or dried timber, so that the
great mass of fire — its original sustenance being consumed, and no other being
offered — would, without nourishment, go out; even so, monks, in one who keeps
focusing on the drawbacks of those phenomena that offer sustenance, craving
stops. From the stopping of craving, sustenance stops. From the stopping of
sustenance, becoming… birth… aging, illness & death, sorrow,
lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all stop. Thus is the stopping of
this entire mass of suffering & stress.’


SN 12.52

The
Buddha
made a distinction between phenomena that offer
sustenance & the sustenance itself.

‘And
what, monks, are phenomena that offer sustenance? What is sustenance? Form,
monks, is a phenomenon offering sustenance. Any desire or passion related to
it, is sustenance related to it. Feeling… Perception… Fabrications…
Consciousness is a phenomenon offering sustenance. Any desire or passion
related to it, is sustenance related to it.’


SN 22.121

Thus
passion & desire are both the act of taking sustenance and the sustenance
itself, while form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness
simply offer the opportunity for them to occur.

Alternatively,
we can translate the distinction as one between clingable phenomena & the
clinging itself.

‘And
what, monks, are clingable phenomena? What is clinging? Form, monks, is a
clingable phenomenon. Any desire or passion related to it, is clinging related
to it. Feeling… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness is a clingable
phenomenon. Any desire or passion related to it, is clinging related to it.’


SN 22.121

In this
case, passion & desire are the act of clinging and the object clung to,
while form, feeling, & the rest simply offer the opportunity for them to
occur.

Still,
the two sides of this distinction are so closely interrelated that they are
hardly distinct at all.

Visākha:
‘Is it the case that clinging/sustenance is the same thing as the five
aggregates for clinging/sustenance [form, feeling, perception, fabrications,
& consciousness], or is it something separate?’

Sister
Dhammadinnā: ‘Neither is clinging/sustenance the same thing as the five
aggregates for clinging/ sustenance, my friend, nor is it something separate.
Whatever desire & passion there is with regard to the five aggregates for
clinging/sustenance, that is the clinging/sustenance there.’


MN 44

(The use
of the word aggregate (khandha) here may relate to the fire image, as
khandha can also mean the trunk of a tree.)

The
desire & passion for these five aggregates can take any of four forms.

‘Monks,
there are four [modes of] sustenance for becoming. Which four? Sensuality as a
form of sustenance, views as a form of sustenance, habits & practices as a
form of sustenance, doctrines of the self as a form of sustenance.’


MN 11

These
four modes of sustenance act as the focus for many of the passages in the Canon
describing the attainment of the goal. Because they are so closely related to
the notion of nibbāna — they are the binding loosened in the unbinding of the
mind — each of them deserves to be considered in detail.

First, sensuality. The Buddha recommended relinquishing
attachment to sensuality, not because sensual pleasures are in any way evil,
but because the attachment itself is dangerous: both in terms of the pain
experienced when a relished pleasure inevitably ends, and in terms of the
detrimental influence such attachment can have on a person’s actions — and thus
on his or her future condition.

‘It’s
with a cause, monks, that sensual thinking occurs, and not without a cause…
And how is it, monks, that sensual thinking occurs with a cause and not without
a cause? In dependence on the property of sensuality there occurs the
perception of sensuality. In dependence on the perception of sensuality there
occurs the resolve for sensuality… the desire for sensuality… the fever for
sensuality… the quest for sensuality. Questing for sensuality, monks, an
uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person conducts himself wrongly through three
means: through body, through speech, & through mind…

‘Just as
if a man were to throw a burning firebrand into a dry, grassy wilderness and
not quickly stamp it out with his hands & feet, and thus whatever animals
inhabiting the grass & timber would come to ruin & loss; even so,
monks, any contemplative or brāhman who does not quickly abandon, dispel,
demolish, & wipe out of existence an out-of-tune, unskillful perception
once it has arisen, will dwell in stress in the present life — threatened,
despairing, & feverish — and on the break-up of the body, after death, can
expect a bad destination.’


SN 14.12

This is
not to deny that sensual pleasures provide a certain form of happiness, but
this happiness must be weighed against the greater pains & disappointments
sensuality can bring.

‘Now what
is the allure of sensuality? There are, monks, these five strings of
sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing,
charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Sounds cognizable via the
ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue…
Tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming,
endearing, fostering desire, enticing. Now whatever pleasure or joy arises in
dependence on these five strings of sensuality, that is the allure of
sensuality.

‘And what
is the drawback of sensuality? There is the case where, on account of the
occupation by which a clansman makes a living — whether checking or accounting
or calculating or plowing or trading or cattle tending or archery or as a
king’s man, or whatever the occupation may be — he faces cold, he faces heat,
being harassed by mosquitoes & flies, wind & sun & creeping things,
dying from hunger & thirst.

‘Now this
drawback in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here & now,
has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality for its
cause, the reason being simply sensuality.

‘If the
clansman gains no wealth while thus working & striving & making effort,
he sorrows, grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught:
“My work is in vain, my efforts are fruitless!” Now this drawback too
in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here & now, has
sensuality for its reason…

‘If the
clansman gains wealth while thus working & striving & making effort, he
experiences pain & distress in protecting it: “How will neither kings
nor thieves make off with my property, nor fire burn it, nor water sweep it
away, nor hateful heirs make off with it?” And as he thus guards and
watches over his property, kings or thieves make off with it, or fire burns it,
or water sweeps it away, or hateful heirs make off with it. And he sorrows,
grieves, & laments, beats his breast, becomes distraught: “What was
mine is no more!” Now this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this
mass of stress visible here & now, has sensuality for its reason…

‘Furthermore,
it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source, sensuality for
the cause, the reason being simply sensuality, that kings quarrel with kings,
nobles with nobles, brāhmans with brāhmans, householders with householders,
mother with child, child with mother, father with child, child with father,
brother with brother, sister with sister, brother with sister, sister with
brother, friend with friend. And then in their quarrels, brawls, &
disputes, they attack one another with fists or with clods or with sticks or
with knives, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now this drawback too in
the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here & now, has
sensuality for its reason…

‘Furthermore,
it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men),
taking swords & shields and buckling on bows & quivers, charge into
battle massed in double array while arrows & spears are flying and swords
are flashing; and there they are wounded by arrows & spears, and their
heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now this
drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here &
now, has sensuality for its reason…

‘Furthermore,
it is with sensuality for the reason, sensuality for the source… that (men),
taking swords & shields and buckling on bows & quivers, charge slippery
bastions while arrows & spears are flying and swords are flashing; and
there they are splashed with boiling cow dung and crushed under heavy weights, and
their heads are cut off by swords, so that they incur death or deadly pain. Now
this drawback too in the case of sensuality, this mass of stress visible here
& now, has sensuality for its reason, sensuality for its source, sensuality
for its cause, the reason being simply sensuality.’


MN 13

Sumedha to her fiancé:

In the face of the Deathless,
what worth are your sensual pleasures?
 
For all delights in sensuality are
        burning & boiling,
        aggravated, aglow…
A blazing grass firebrand,
        held in the hand:
 
Those who let go
        do not get burned.
Sensuality is like a firebrand.
               It burns
 
               those who
               do not let go.


Thig 16.1

Even the
more honorable emotions that can develop from sensual attraction — such as love
& personal devotion — ultimately lead to suffering & stress when one is
inevitably parted from the person one loves.

‘Once in
this same Sāvatthi there was a certain man whose wife died. Owing to her death
he went mad, out of his mind and — wandering from street to street, crossroads
to crossroads — would say, “Have you seen my wife? Have you seen my
wife?” From this it may be realized how from a dear one, owing to a dear
one, comes sorrow & lamentation, pain, distress, & despair.

‘Once in
this same Sāvatthi there was a wife who went to her relatives’ home. Her
relatives, having separated her from her husband, wanted to give her to another
against her will. So she said to her husband, “These relatives of mine,
having separated us, want to give me to another against my will,”
whereupon he cut her in two and slashed himself open, thinking, “Dead we
will be together.” And from this it may be realized how from a dear one,
owing to a dear one, comes sorrow & lamentation, pain, distress, &
despair.’


MN 87

‘How do
you construe this, monks: Which is greater, the tears you have shed while
transmigrating & wandering this long time — crying & weeping from being
joined with what is displeasing, from being separated from what is pleasing —
or the water in the four great oceans?’… ‘This is the greater: The tears you
have shed… Why is that? From an inconstruable beginning, monks, comes
transmigration. A beginning point is not evident, though beings hindered by
ignorance and fettered by craving are transmigrating & wandering on. Long
have you thus experienced stress, experienced pain, experienced loss, swelling
the cemeteries — long enough to become disenchanted with all conditioned
things, enough to become dispassionate, enough to be released.’


SN 15.3

A theme
recurrent throughout the Canon is that complete knowledge of any object does
not end with an understanding of its allure & drawbacks, but goes on to
comprehend what brings emancipation from the mental fetters based on both.

‘And what
is the emancipation from sensuality? Whatever is the subduing of passion &
desire, the abandoning of passion & desire for sensuality, that is the
emancipation from sensuality.’


MN 13

Sundara Samudda:

Ornamented, finely clothed
        garlanded, adorned,
her feet stained red with lac,
        she wore slippers:
        a courtesan.
 
Stepping out of her slippers —
        her hands raised before me
        palm-to-palm over her heart —
she softly, tenderly,
        in measured words
        spoke to me first:
‘You are young, recluse.
        Heed my message:
Partake of human sensuality.
        I will give you luxury.
Truly I vow to you,
        I will tend to you as to a fire.
When we are old,
        both leaning on canes,
then we will both become recluses,
        winning the benefits of both worlds.’
 
And seeing her before me —
        a courtesan, ornamented, finely clothed,
        hands palm-to-palm over her heart —
               like a snare of death laid out,
apt attention arose in me,
        the drawbacks appeared,
        disenchantment stood at an even keel:
 
With that, my heart was released…


Thag 7.1

Seeing a form unmindfully,
        focusing on its pleasing features,
one knows with mind enflamed
        and remains fastened to it.

(Notice
how these lines draw directly on the image of burning as entrapment.)

One’s feelings, born of the form,
               grow numerous.
Greed & provocation
               injure one’s mind.
Thus amassing stress
        one is said to be far from Unbinding.
        
[And so on with the rest of the six senses.]
 
One not enflamed with forms
         — seeing a form with mindfulness firm —
knows with mind unenflamed
        and doesn’t remain fastened there.
While one is seeing a form
         — and even experiencing feeling —
it falls away and does not accumulate.
        Faring mindful.
and thus not amassing stress,
        one is said to be
in the presence of Unbinding.
 
[And so on with the rest of the six senses.]


SN 35.95

‘There
are forms, monks, cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming,
endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk relishes them, welcomes them,
& remains fastened to them, he is said to be a monk fettered by forms
cognizable by the eye. He has gone over to Māra’s camp; he has come under
Māra’s power. The Evil One can do with him as he will.’

[And so
on with the rest of the six senses.]


SN 35.115

‘There
are forms cognizable by the eye — agreeable… enticing. If a monk relishes
them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, then… his consciousness
is dependent on them, is sustained by them. With sustenance/clinging, the monk
is not totally unbound…

‘If he
does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, then… his
consciousness is not dependent on them, is not sustained by them. Without
sustenance/clinging, the monk is totally unbound.’

[And so
on with the rest of the six senses.]


SN 35.118

Here
again
, we see the reciprocal nature of attachment: One is
bound by what one relishes & latches onto — or rather, by the act of
relishing & latching on, in and of itself.

Citta:
‘Venerable sirs, it is just as if a black ox & a white ox were joined with
a single collar or yoke. If someone were to say, “The black ox is the
fetter of the white ox, the white ox is the fetter of the black” —
speaking this way, would he be speaking rightly?’

Some
elder monks: ‘No, householder. The black ox is not the fetter of the white ox,
nor is the white ox the fetter of the black. The single collar or yoke by which
they are joined: That is the fetter there.’

Citta:
‘In the same way, the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter
of the eye. Whatever desire & passion arises in dependence on the two of
them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds… The nose
is not the fetter of aromas… The tongue is not the fetter of flavors… The
body is not the fetter of tactile sensations… The intellect is not the fetter
of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect. Whatever desire &
passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.’


SN 41.1

In
other words,
neither the senses nor their objects are fetters for the
mind. Beautiful sights, sounds, & so forth, do not entrap it, nor do the
senses themselves. Instead, it is trapped by the act of desire & passion
based on such things.

‘Monks,
there are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via
the eye — agreeable… enticing; sounds… aromas… flavors… tactile
sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable… enticing. But these are not
sensuality. They are called stings of sensuality in the discipline of the Noble
Ones.

‘The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality,
not the beautiful sensual pleasures
        found in the world.
The passion for his resolves is a man’s sensuality.
 
The beauties remain as they are in the world,
while the wise, in this regard,
        subdue their desire.’


AN 6.63

Thus
sensual pleasures, which belong to the realm of form, are the ‘clingable
phenomena’ that offer sustenance for the bond of desire & passion. Or, to
borrow an image from Ven. Rāhula, they are the bait — as long as one is blind
to their true nature — for falling into the trap of one’s own craving &
heedlessness.

Rāhula:

They [the unawakened]:
blinded by sensual pleasures,
        covered by the net,
veiled with the veil of craving,
        bound by the Kinsman of the Heedless*
 
        like fish in the mouth of a trap.


Thag 4.8

For this
reason, freedom from sensuality as a clinging/sustenance requires a two-pronged
approach: to realize the true nature of the bait and to extricate oneself from
the trap. The first step involves examining the unattractive side of the human
body, for as the Buddha says,

‘Monks, I
don’t know of even one other form that stays in a man’s mind and consumes it
like the form of a woman… one other sound… smell… taste… touch that
stays in a man’s mind and consumes it like the touch of a woman. The touch of a
woman stays in a man’s mind and consumes it.

‘I don’t
know of even one other form that stays in a woman’s mind and consumes it like
the form of a man… one other sound… smell… taste… touch that stays in a
woman’s mind and consumes it like the touch of a man. The touch of a man stays
in a woman’s mind and consumes it.’


AN 1.1

‘Just as
if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain —
wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice — and a man
with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, “This is wheat. This
is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds.
This is husked rice,” in the same way, monks, a monk reflects on this very
body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down,
surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: “In this
body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons,
bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large
intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat,
fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine”…

‘Or
again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground — one day,
two days, three days dead — bloated, livid & festering, he applies it to
this very body, “This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future,
such its unavoidable fate”…

‘Or
again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at
by crows, vultures, & hawks; by dogs, hyenas, & various other
creatures… a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with
tendons… a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons… a
skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons… bones detached from
their tendons, scattered in all directions — here a hand bone, there a foot
bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone,
here a rib, there a chest bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a
jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull… the bones whitened, somewhat like the
color of shells… piled up, more than a year old… decomposed into a powder,
he applies it to this very body, “This body, too: Such is its nature, such
is its future, such its unavoidable fate.” So he abides contemplating the
body in & of itself, internally, externally or both internally &
externally.’


DN 22

The
purpose of this contemplation is not to develop a morbid fascination with the
grotesque, but simply to correct the distortion of perception that tries to
deny the unattractive aspects of the body and to admit only ‘the sign of the
beautiful’ — its attractive side. Now of course this contemplation has its
dangers, for it can go overboard into states of aversion & depression, but
these are not incurable. At several points in the Canon, where the Buddha sees
that monks have let the contemplation of foulness adversely affect their minds,
he recommends that they calm their aversion by focusing on the in & out
breath as a companion meditation.

Ultimately,
as a more balanced perception of the body develops, one may make use of the
second prong of the approach: turning one’s attention from the object of the
lust to the act of lust itself, seeing it as an act of mental fabrication —
foolish, inconstant, & stressful — and so removing any sense of
identification with it. This, in turn, can calm the mind to an even deeper
level and lead on to its Unbinding.

Vaṅgīsa:

With sensual lust              I burn.
My mind        is on fire.
Please, Gotama, out of kindness,
        tell me how to put it out.

Ānanda:

From distorted perception
        your mind is on fire.
Shun the sign  of the beautiful,
        accompanied by lust.
See fabrications       as other,
        as stress,
        not as self.
        
        Extinguish your great lust.
        Don’t keep burning
        again & again.


Thag 21.1

‘For one
who keeps focusing on the foulness [of the body], any obsession with passion
for the property of beauty is abandoned. For one who has mindfulness of
breathing well-established to the fore within oneself, annoying external
thoughts & inclinations don’t exist. For one who keeps focusing on the
inconstancy of all fabrications, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises.

Focusing on foulness
        in the body,
mindful
        of in & out breathing,
seeing
        the calming of all fabrications
               — always ardent —
he is a monk who’s seen rightly.
        
        From that he is there set free.
 
A master of direct knowing,
        at peace,
        he is a sage
               gone beyond bonds.’


Iti 85

Sister Nandā:

As I, heedful,
        examined it aptly,
[a vision of a beautiful person
        growing sick, unclean, & putrid]
this body — as it actually is —
        was seen inside & out.
 
Then was I disenchanted with the body
        and dispassionate within:
Heedful, detached,
        calmed was I,
        
        unbound.


Thig 5.4

Views are the second
mode of clinging/sustenance. And, as with the abandoning of attachment to
sensuality, the abandoning of attachment to views can lead to an experience of
Unbinding.

‘I argue for this,’
doesn’t occur to one
when considering what’s grasped
        among doctrines.
        
Looking for what is    ungrasped
        with regard to views,
and detecting inner peace,
 
        I saw.


Sn 4.9

Attachment
to views can block an experience of Unbinding in any of three major ways.
First, the content of the view itself may not be conducive to the arising of
discernment and may even have a pernicious moral effect on one’s actions,
leading to an unfavorable rebirth.

I have
heard that once the Blessed One was dwelling among the Koliyans… Then Puṇṇa
the Koliyan, a bovine, and Seniya, a canine naked ascetic, approached the
Blessed One. On arrival, Puṇṇa the Koliyan bovine, bowing down to the Blessed
One, sat to one side, while Seniya, the canine naked ascetic, exchanged
courteous greetings with the Blessed One, and after an exchange of friendly
greetings and courtesies, sat to one side, curling up like a dog. While he was
sitting there, Puṇṇa the Koliyan bovine said to the Blessed One, ‘Sir, Seniya,
this naked ascetic, is a canine, a doer-of-hard-tasks. He eats food that is
thrown on the ground. He has long undertaken & conformed to that
dog-practice. What is his future destination, what is his future course?’

[The
Buddha at first declines to answer, but on being pressed, finally responds:]
‘There is the case where a person develops the dog-practice fully &
perfectly… Having developed the dog-practice fully & perfectly, having
developed a dog’s virtue fully & perfectly, having developed a dog’s mind
fully & perfectly, having developed a dog’s demeanor fully & perfectly,
then on the break-up of the body, after death, he reappears in the company of
dogs. But if he is of such a view as, “By this virtue or practice or
asceticism or holy life I will become a greater or lesser god,” that is
his wrong view. Now, Puṇṇa, there are two destinations for one with wrong view,
I say: hell or the animal womb. So the dog-practice, if perfected, leads him to
the company of dogs; if defective, to hell.’


MN 57

‘Just as
if in the last month of the hot season a māluva creeper pod were to burst open,
and a māluva creeper seed were to fall at the foot of a sāla tree. The deity
living in the tree would become frightened, apprehensive, & anxious. Her
friends & companions, relatives & kin — garden deities, forest deities,
tree deities, deities living in herbs, grass, & forest monarchs — would
gather together to console her: “Have no fear, have no fear. In all
likelihood a peacock is sure to swallow this māluva creeper seed, or a deer
will eat it, or a brush fire will burn it up, or woodsmen will pick it up, or
termites will carry it off, and anyway it probably isn’t really a seed.”

‘And then
no peacock swallowed it, no deer ate it, no brush fire burned it up, no
woodsmen picked it up, no termites carried it off, and it really was a seed.
Watered by a rain-laden cloud, it sprouted in due course and curled its soft,
tender, downy tendril around the sāla tree.

‘The
thought occurred to the deity living in the sāla tree: “Now what future
danger did my friends… foresee, that they gathered together to console me?…
It’s pleasant, the touch of this māluva creeper’s soft, tender, downy
tendril.”

‘Then the
creeper, having enwrapped the sāla tree, having made a canopy over it, &
cascading down around it, caused the massive limbs of the sāla tree to come
crashing down. The thought occurred to the deity living in the tree: “This
was the future danger my friends… foresaw, that they gathered together to
console me… It’s because of that māluva creeper seed that I’m now
experiencing sharp, burning pains.”

‘In the
same way, monks, there are some contemplatives & brāhmans who hold to a
doctrine, a view like this: “There is no harm in sensuality.” Thus
they meet with their downfall through sensuality. They consort with women
wanderers who wear their hair coiled and long.

‘The
thought occurs to them: “Now what future danger do those [other]
contemplatives & brāhmans foresee that they teach the relinquishing &
analysis of sensuality? It’s pleasant, the touch of this woman wanderer’s soft,
tender, downy arm.”

‘Thus
they meet with their downfall through sensuality. With the break-up of the
body, after death, they will go to a bad bourn, destitution, the realm of the
hungry shades, hell. There they will experience sharp, burning pains. The
thought will occur to them: “This was the future danger those
contemplatives & brāhmans foresaw that they taught the relinquishing &
analysis of sensuality. It’s because of sensuality, as a result of sensuality,
that we are now experiencing these sharp, burning pains.”‘


MN 45

Secondly,
apart from the actual content of the views, a person attached to views is bound
to get into disputes with those who hold opposing views, resulting in
unwholesome mental states for the winners as well as the losers.

Engaged in disputes in the midst of an assembly,
         — anxious, desiring praise —
        the one defeated is chagrined.
Shaken with criticism, he seeks for an opening.
        he whose doctrine is [judged as] demolished,
        defeated, by those judging the issue:
He laments, he grieves — the inferior exponent —
        ‘He beat me,’ he mourns.
        
These disputes have arisen among contemplatives.
        In them are elation & dejection.
Seeing this, one should abstain from disputes,
        for they have no other goal
        than the gaining of praise.
 
He who is praised there
        for expounding his doctrine
        in the midst of the assembly,
laughs on that account & grows haughty,
        attaining his heart’s desire.
That haughtiness will be his grounds for vexation,
        for he’ll speak in pride & conceit.
Seeing this, one should abstain from disputes.
No purity is attained by them, say the skilled.


Sn 4.8

Thirdly,
and more profoundly, attachment to views implicitly involves attachment to a
sense of ’superior’ & ‘inferior,’ and to the criteria used in measuring and
making such evaluations. As we saw in Chapter I, any measure or criterion acts
as a limitation or bond on the mind.

That, say the skilled, is a binding knot: that
        in dependence on which
        you regard another as inferior.


Sn 4.5

Whoever construes
        ‘equal’
        ’superior’ or
        ‘inferior,’
by that he’d dispute;
whereas to one unaffected by these three,
        ‘equal’
        ’superior’
do not occur.
 
Of what would the brāhman* say ‘true’ or ‘false,’
        disputing with whom,
he in whom ‘equal,’ ‘unequal’ are not…
 
As the prickly lotus
is unsmeared by water & mud,
so the sage,
        an exponent of peace,
        without greed,
        is unsmeared by sensuality &
        the world.
 
An attainer-of-wisdom
isn’t measured,
        made proud,
        by views or by what is thought,
        for he isn’t affected by them.
He wouldn’t be led by action, learning;
doesn’t reach a conclusion in any entrenchments.
For one dispassionate toward perception
        there are no ties;
for one released by discernment,
        no delusions.
Those who grasp at perceptions & views
        go about butting their heads in the world.


Sn 4.9

An
important point to notice is that attachment to views must be abandoned through
knowledge, and not through skepticism, agnosticism, ignorance, or a mindless
openness to all views. This point is made clear in the Discourse of the Supreme
Net. There the Buddha gives a list of 62 philosophical positions concerning the
nature of the self, the cosmos, & the state of ultimate freedom in the
immediate present. The list is intended to be exhaustive — the ‘net’ in the
title of the discourse — covering all possible views & positions on these
subjects divided into ten categories, one of the categories — equivocation —
including cases of agnosticism.

‘There
are, monks, some contemplatives & brāhmans who, being asked questions
regarding this or that, resort to verbal contortions, to eel-like wriggling, on
four grounds… There is the case of a certain contemplative or brāhman who
does not discern as it actually is that “This is skillful,” or that
“This is unskillful.” The thought occurs to him: “I don’t
discern as it actually is that ‘This is skillful,’ or that ‘This is
unskillful.’ If I… were to declare that ‘This is skillful,’ or that ‘This is
unskillful,’ desire, passion, aversion, or irritation would occur to me; that
would be a falsehood for me. Whatever would be a falsehood for me would be a
distress for me. Whatever would be a distress for me would be an obstacle for
me.” So, out of fear of falsehood, a loathing for falsehood, he does not
declare that “This is skillful,” or that “This is
unskillful.” Being asked questions regarding this or that, he resorts to
verbal contortions, to eel-like wriggling: “I don’t think so. I don’t
think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I don’t think not. I don’t think
not not.”

[The
second case is virtually identical with the first, substituting ‘clinging’ for
‘falsehood.’]

‘[The
third case:] There is the case of a certain contemplative or brāhman who does
not discern as it actually is that “This is skillful,” or that
“This is unskillful”… “If I, not discerning as it actually is
that ‘This is skillful,’ or that ‘This is unskillful,’ were to declare that
‘This is skillful,’ or that ‘This is unskillful’ — There are contemplatives
& brāhmans who are pundits, subtle, skilled in debate, who prowl about like
hair-splitting marksmen, as it were, shooting [philosophical] positions to
pieces with their dialectic. They might cross-question me, press me for
reasons, rebuke me. I might not be able to stand my ground, that would be a
distress for me… an obstacle for me.” So, out of a fear for questioning,
a loathing for questioning… he resorts to verbal contortions, to eel-like
wriggling…

‘[The
fourth case:] There is the case of a certain contemplative or brāhman who is
dull & exceedingly stupid. Out of dullness & exceeding stupidity, he —
being asked questions regarding this or that — resorts to verbal contortions,
to eel-like wriggling: “If you ask me if there exists another world [after
death], if I thought that there exists another world, would I declare that to
you? I don’t think so. I don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I
don’t think not. I don’t think not not. If you asked me if there isn’t another
world… both is & isn’t… neither is nor isn’t… if there are beings who
transmigrate… if there aren’t… both are & aren’t… neither are nor
aren’t… if the Tathāgata exists after death… doesn’t… both… neither…
I don’t think so. I don’t think in that way. I don’t think otherwise. I don’t
think not. I don’t think not not.”‘


DN 1

Agnosticism,
then, is not a way of abandoning standpoints but is simply another standpoint:
Like all standpoints, it must be abandoned through knowledge. The type of
knowledge called for — in which standpoints are regarded, not in terms of their
content, but as events in a causal chain — is indicated by the refrain that
follows each of the ten categories of the Supreme Net.

‘This,
monks, the Tathāgata discerns. And he discerns that these standpoints, thus
seized, thus grasped at, lead to such & such a destination, to such &
such a state in the world beyond. And he discerns what is higher than this. And
yet discerning that, he does not grasp at that act of discerning. And as he is
not grasping at it, unbinding [nibbuti] is experienced right within.
Knowing, as they have come to be, the origin, ending, allure, & drawbacks
of feelings, along with the emancipation from feelings, the Tathāgata, monks —
through lack of sustenance/ clinging — is released.’


DN 1

Another
list of speculative views — a set of ten positions summarizing the standard
topics debated by the various schools of contemplatives in the Buddha’s time —
recurs frequently in the Canon. Non-Buddhist debaters used it as a ready-made
checklist for gauging an individual’s positions on the controversial issues of
the day and they often put it to the Buddha. Invariably, he would reply that he
did not hold to any of the ten positions.

‘Seeing
what drawback, then, is Master Gotama thus entirely dissociated from each of
these ten positions?’

‘Vaccha,
the position that “the world is eternal” is a thicket of views, a
wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of
views. It is accompanied by suffering, distress, despair, & fever, and it
does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion, stopping; to calm, direct
knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding.

‘The
position that “the world is not eternal”… “the world is
finite”… “the world is infinite”… “the soul is the same
thing as the body”… “the soul is one thing and the body
another”… “after death a Tathāgata exists”… “after
death a Tathāgata does not exist”… “after death a Tathāgata both
exists & does not exist”… “after death a Tathāgata neither
exists nor does not exist”… does not lead to disenchantment, dispassion,
stopping; to calm, direct knowledge, self-awakening, Unbinding.’

‘Does
Master Gotama have any position at all?’

‘A
“position,” Vaccha, is something that a Tathāgata has done away with.
What a Tathāgata sees is this: “Such is form, such its origin, such its
disappearance; such is feeling, such its origin, such its disappearance; such
is perception… such are fabrications… such is consciousness, such its
origin, such its disappearance.” Because of this, I say, a Tathāgata — with
the ending, fading out, stopping, renunciation & relinquishing of all
construings, all excogitations, all I-making & my-making & obsessions
with conceit — is, through lack of sustenance/clinging, released.’


MN 72

The
construings the Buddha relinquished include views not only in their full-blown
form as specific positions, but also in their rudimentary form as the
categories & relationships that the mind reads into experience. This is a
point he makes in his instructions to Bāhiya, which led immediately to the
latter’s attaining the goal. When the mind imposes interpretations on its
experience, it is engaging implicitly in system-building and all the
limitations of location & relationship that system-building involves. Only
when it can free itself of those interpretations and the fetters they place on
it, can it gain true freedom.

‘Therefore,
Bāhiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the
seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard.
In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only
the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be
only the seen in reference to the seen… only the heard… only the sensed…
only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bāhiya, there is no you
in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is
no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor
between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress.’


Ud 1.10

Habits & practices. The Canon mentions a variety of habits & practices —
the third mode of clinging/sustenance. Prominent among them are Brāhmanical
rituals & Jain practices of self-torture, and according to the Commentary
these are the habits & practices referred to in this context. Yet although
the goal will always remain out of reach as long as one remains attached to
such practices, the abandonment of this attachment is never in & of itself
sufficient for attaining the goal.

But there
is another practice which, though a necessary part of the Buddhist path, can
nevertheless offer sustenance for becoming; and which — as the object of
attachment to be transcended — figures prominently in descriptions of the
goal’s attainment. That practice is jhāna, or meditative absorption. It
might be argued that this is stretching the term, ‘practice’ (vata), a
little far, but jhāna does not fall under any of the other three sustenances
for becoming at all, and yet it definitely does function as such a sustenance,
so there seems to be little choice but to place it here.

Different
passages in the Canon number the levels of jhāna in different ways. The
standard description gives four, although the pure mindfulness & equanimity
attained on the fourth level may further be applied to four progressively more
& more refined formless sensations — termed the ‘peaceful emancipations,
formlessness beyond forms’ — that altogether give eight levels, often referred
to as the eight attainments.

A number
of objects can serve as the basis for jhāna. The breath is one, and an analysis
of the Canon’s description of the first stages of breath meditation will give
an idea of what jhāna involves.

The first
step is simply being mindful of the breath in the present:

‘There is
the case of a monk who, having gone to a forest, to the shade of a tree or to
an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body
erect, & keeping mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in;
mindful he breathes out.

Then
comes evaluation: He begins to discern variations in the breath:

“Breathing
in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he
discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’ Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am
breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out
short.’”

The
remaining steps are willed, or determined: He ‘trains himself,’ first by
manipulating his sense of conscious awareness, making it sensitive to the body
as a whole. (This accounts for the term ‘mahaggataṃ’ — enlarged or
expanded — used to describe the mind in the state of jhāna.)

‘He
trains himself, “I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body”…
“I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.”

Now that
he is aware of the body as a whole, he can begin to manipulate the physical
sensations of which he is aware, calming them — i.e., calming the breath — so
as to create a sense of rapture & ease.

‘He
trains himself, “I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication”…
“I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.” He trains himself,
“I will breathe in sensitive to rapture”… “I, will breathe out
sensitive to rapture.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in
sensitive to pleasure”… “I will breathe out sensitive to
pleasure.”

(As we
will see below, he maximizes this sense of rapture & pleasure, making it
suffuse the entire body.)

Now that
bodily processes are stilled, mental processes become apparent as they occur.
These too are calmed, leaving — as we will see below — a radiant awareness of
the mind itself.

‘He
trains himself, “I will breathe in sensitive to mental
fabrication”… “I will breathe out sensitive to mental
fabrication.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in calming mental
fabrication”… “I will to breathe out calming mental
fabrication.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in sensitive to the
mind”… “I will to breathe out sensitive to the mind”‘…


MN 118

The
standard description of jhāna, however, does not refer to any particular object
as its basis, but simply divides it into four levels determined by the way the
mind relates to the object as it becomes more & more absorbed in it.

‘Furthermore,
monks, the monk — quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful
(mental) qualities — enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure
born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. He
permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills this very body with the rapture
& pleasure born of seclusion, so that nothing of his entire body is
unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born from seclusion.

‘Just as
an adept bathman or bathman’s apprentice would pour bath powder into a brass
basin and knead it together, sprinkling it again & again with water, so
that his ball of bath powder — saturated, moisture-laden, permeated within
& without — would nevertheless not drip; even so, monks, the monk
permeates… this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of seclusion.
And as he remains thus earnest, ardent, & intent, any longings related to
the household life are abandoned, and with their abandoning his mind gathers
& settles inwardly, unified & composed. That is how a monk develops
mindfulness immersed in the body.

‘And
furthermore, with the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he
enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of
concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought &
evaluation — internal assurance. He permeates & pervades, suffuses &
fills this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of concentration, so
that nothing of his entire body is unpervaded by rapture & pleasure born of
concentration.

‘Just
like a lake with spring-water welling up from within, having no inflow from
east, west, north, or south, and with the skies periodically supplying abundant
showers, so that the cool fount of water welling up from within the lake would
permeate & pervade, suffuse & fill it with cool waters, there being no
part of the lake unpervaded by the cool waters; even so monks, the monk
permeates… this very body with the rapture & pleasure born of concentration.
And as he remains thus earnest, ardent & intent… he develops mindfulness
immersed in the body.

‘And
furthermore, with the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, &
alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third
jhāna, of which the Noble Ones declare, “Equanimous & mindful, he has
a pleasant abiding.” He permeates & pervades, suffuses & fills
this very body with the pleasure divested of rapture, so that nothing of his
entire body is unpervaded by pleasure divested of rapture.

‘Just as
in a blue-, white-, or red-lotus pond, there may be some of the blue, white, or
red lotuses that, born & growing in the water, stay immersed in the water
and flourish without standing up out of the water, so that they are permeated
& pervaded, suffused & filled with cool water from their roots to their
tips, there being nothing of those blue, white, or red lotuses unpervaded by
cool water; even so, monks, the monk permeates… this very body with the
pleasure divested of rapture. And as he remains thus earnest, ardent &
intent… he develops mindfulness immersed in the body.

‘And
furthermore, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress — as with the earlier
disappearance of joys & distress — he enters & remains in the fourth
jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor stress. He
sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright awareness, so that nothing of his
entire body is unpervaded by pure, bright awareness.

‘Just as
if a man were sitting covered from head to foot with a white cloth so that
there would be no part of his body to which the white cloth did not extend;
even so, monks, the monk sits, permeating the body with a pure, bright
awareness. And as he remains thus earnest, ardent, & intent… he develops
mindfulness immersed in the body.’


MN 119

‘Directed
thought’ mentioned in the reference to the first level of jhāna corresponds, in
the description of breath meditation, to the mindfulness directed to the breath
in the present. ‘Evaluation’ corresponds to the discernment of variations in
the breath, and to the manipulation of awareness & the breath so as to
create a sense of rapture & pleasure throughout the body (the bathman kneading
moisture throughout the ball of bath powder). The still waters in the simile
for the third level of jhāna, as opposed to the spring waters welling up in the
second level, correspond to the stilling of mental fabrications. And the pure,
bright awareness in the fourth level corresponds to the stage of breath
meditation where the meditator is sensitive to the mind.

Thus as
the mind progresses through the first four levels of jhāna, it sheds the
various mental activities surrounding its one object: Directed thought &
evaluation are stilled, rapture fades, and pleasure is abandoned. After
reaching a state of pure, bright, mindful, equanimous awareness in the fourth
level of jhāna, the mind can start shedding its perception (mental label) of
the form of its object, the space around its object, itself, & the lack of
activity within itself. This process takes four steps — the four formlessnesses
beyond form — culminating in a state where perception is so refined that it can
hardly be called perception at all.

‘With the
complete transcending of perceptions of form,

and the
passing away of perceptions of resistance, and not attending to perceptions of
diversity, (perceiving,) “Infinite space,” one enters & remains
in the dimension of the infinitude of space…

‘With the
complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of space,
(perceiving,) “Infinite consciousness,” one enters & remains in
the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness…

‘With the
complete transcending of the dimension of the infinitude of consciousness,
(perceiving,) “There is nothing,” one enters & remains in the
dimension of nothingness…

‘With the
complete transcending of the dimension of nothingness, one enters & remains
in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.


DN 15

To
abandon attachment to jhāna as a sustenance for becoming means, not to stop
practicing it, but rather to practice it without becoming engrossed in the
sense of pleasure or equanimity it affords, so that one can discern its true
nature for what it is.

When this
had been said, Venerable Ānanda asked the Blessed One: ‘In the case, lord,
where a monk has reached the point that — (perceiving,) “It should not be,
it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is,
what has come to be, that I abandon” — he obtains equanimity. Would this
monk be totally unbound, or not?’

‘A
certain such monk might, Ānanda, and another might not.’

‘What is
the cause, what is the reason, whereby one might and another might not?’

‘There is
the case, Ānanda, where a monk has reached the point that — (perceiving,)
“It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not
occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon” — he obtains
equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it.
As he does so, his consciousness is dependent on it, sustained by it. With
sustenance, Ānanda, a monk is not totally unbound.’

‘Being
sustained, where is that monk sustained?’

‘The
dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.’

‘Then,
indeed, being sustained, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance.’

‘Being
sustained, Ānanda, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance; for this — the
dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — is the supreme sustenance.
There is [however] the case where a monk… reaches equanimity. He does not
relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it.
Such being the case, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained
by it. Without sustenance, Ānanda, a monk is totally unbound.’


MN 106

Once the
mind can detach itself from the pleasure & equanimity offered by jhāna, it
can be inclined toward that which transcends jhāna — the unconditioned quality
of deathlessness.

‘There is
the case, Ānanda, where a monk… enters & remains in the first jhāna:
rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought &
evaluation. He regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form,
feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness as inconstant,
stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a dissolution,
empty, not-self. He turns his mind away from those phenomena and, having done
so, inclines it to the phenomenon [dhamma] of deathlessness: “This
is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the
relinquishing of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; stopping;
Unbinding.”

‘Staying
right there, he reaches the ending of effluents. Or, if not, then — through
this very Dhamma-passion, this very Dhamma-delight, and from the total wasting
away of the first five Fetters* — he is due to be reborn [in the Pure Abodes],
there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world. [Similarly
with the other levels of jhāna up through the dimension of nothingness.]’


MN 64

The fact
that the various levels of jhāna are nurtured & willed, and thus dependent
on conditions, is important: A realization of exactly how they are nurtured — a
realization acquired only through practical experience with them — can give
insight into the conditioned nature of all mental events and is one of the ways
in which the attachment to jhāna, as sustenance for becoming, can be abandoned.

An
indication of how this happens is given in outline form in the Discourse on
Mindfulness of In & Out Breathing. To take up the description of breath
meditation where we left off: Once there is direct awareness of the mind
itself, the various levels of jhāna are reviewed. Now, however, primary
attention is focused, not on the object, but on the mind as it relates to the
object — the different ways in which it can be satisfied & steadied, and
the different factors from which it can be released by taking it through the
different levels (e.g., releasing it from directed thought & evaluation by
taking it from the first to the second level, and so forth).

‘He
trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out gladdening the mind.”
He trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out steadying the
mind.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out releasing
the mind.”

The
states of gladdening, steadiness, & release experienced on these levels,
though, are willed and therefore conditioned. The next step is to focus on the
fact that these qualities, being conditioned, are inconstant. Once the mind
sees directly that inconstancy is inherent both in the pleasure offered by
jhāna and in the act of will that brings it about, one becomes dispassionate
toward it, stops craving it, and can relinquish any & all attachment to it.

‘He
trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out focusing on
inconstancy.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out focusing
on dispassion.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in…& out
focusing on stopping.” He trains himself, “I will breathe in…&
out focusing on relinquishing.”‘


MN 118

At the
conclusion to the discourse, the Buddha states that breath meditation, when
practiced often & repeatedly in this way, results in the maturation of
clear knowledge & release.

A more
vivid description of how mastery of jhāna can lead to the insight that transcends
it, is given in the Discourse on the Analysis of the Properties:

‘[On
attaining the fourth level of jhāna] there remains only equanimity: pure &
bright, pliant, malleable & luminous. Just as if a skilled goldsmith or
goldsmith’s apprentice were to prepare a furnace, heat up a crucible, and,
taking gold with a pair of tongs, place it in the crucible. He would blow on it
time & again, sprinkle water on it time & again, examine it time &
again, so that the gold would become refined, well-refined, thoroughly refined,
flawless, free from dross, pliant, malleable & luminous. Then whatever sort
of ornament he had in mind — whether a belt, an earring, a necklace, or a gold
chain — it would serve his purpose. In the same way, there remains only
equanimity: pure & bright, pliant, malleable & luminous. He [the
meditator] discerns that “If I were to direct equanimity as pure &
bright as this toward the dimension of the infinitude of space, I would develop
the mind along those lines, and thus this equanimity of mine — thus supported,
thus sustained — would last for a long time. [Similarly with the remaining
formless states.]”

‘He
discerns that “If I were to direct equanimity as pure & bright as this
toward the dimension of the infinitude of space and to develop the mind along
those lines, that would be fabricated. [Similarly with the remaining formless
states.]” He neither fabricates nor mentally fashions for the sake of
becoming or un-becoming. This being the case, he is not sustained by anything
in the world [does not cling to anything in the world]. Unsustained, he is not
agitated. Unagitated, he is totally unbound right within. He discerns that
“Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing
further for this world.”‘


MN 140

Doctrines of the self form the
fourth mode of clinging/ sustenance. The Canon reports a wide variety of such
doctrines current in the Buddha’s time, only to reject them out-of-hand for two
major reasons. The first is that even the least articulated sense of self or
self-identification inevitably leads to stress & suffering.

‘Monks,
do you see any clinging/sustenance in the form of a doctrine of self which, in
clinging to, there would not arise sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, &
despair?’

‘No,
lord.’

‘…Neither
do I… How do you construe this, monks: If a person were to gather or burn or
do as he likes with the grass, twigs, branches, & leaves here in Jeta’s
Grove, would the thought occur to you, “It’s us that this person is
gathering, burning, or doing with as he likes”?’

‘No,
lord. Why is that? Because those things are not our self and do not pertain to
our self.’

‘Even so,
monks, whatever is not yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for
your long-term happiness & benefit. And what is not yours? Form is not
yours… Feeling is not yours… Perception… Fabrications… Consciousness is
not yours. Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term
happiness & benefit.’


MN 22

The
second reason for rejecting doctrines of the self is that, whatever form they
take, they all contain inherent inconsistencies. The Buddha’s most systematic
treatment of this point is in the Great Discourse on Causation, where he
classifies all theories of the self into four major categories: those
describing a self (a) possessed of form & finite; (b) possessed of form
& infinite; (c) formless & finite; and (d) formless & infinite. The
text gives no examples for the categories, but we might cite the following as
illustrations: (a) theories that deny the existence of a soul, and identify the
self with the body; (b) theories that identify the self with all being or with
the universe; (c) theories of discrete souls in individual beings; (d) theories
of a unitary soul or identity immanent in all things.

Discussing
these various categories, the Buddha states that people who adhere to any of
them will state that the self already is of such a nature, that it is destined
to acquire such a nature after death, or that it can be made into such a nature
by various practices. He then goes on to discuss the various ways people assume
a self as defined in relation to feeling.

‘In what
respect, Ānanda, does one assume when assuming a self? Assuming feeling to be
the self, one assumes that “Feeling is my self” [or] “Feeling is
not my self: My self is oblivious [to feeling]” [or] “Neither is
feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious to feeling, but rather my self feels,
in that my self is subject to feeling.”

‘Now, one
who says, “Feeling is my self,” should be addressed as follows:
“There are these three feelings, my friend — feelings of pleasure,
feelings of pain, & feelings of neither pleasure nor pain. Which of these
three feelings do you assume to be the self? At a moment when a feeling of
pleasure is sensed, no feeling of pain or of neither pleasure nor pain is
sensed. Only a feeling of pleasure is sensed at that moment. At a moment when a
feeling of pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure or of neither pleasure nor
pain is sensed. Only a feeling of pain is sensed at that moment. At a moment
when a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed, no feeling of pleasure
or of pain is sensed. Only a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is sensed at
that moment.

‘”Now,
a feeling of pleasure is inconstant, compounded, dependent on conditions,
subject to passing away, dissolution, fading, & stopping. A feeling of
pain… A feeling of neither pleasure nor pain is inconstant… subject to
stopping. Having sensed a feeling of pleasure as ‘my self,’ then with the
stopping of one’s very own feeling of pleasure, ‘my self’ has perished. Having
sensed a feeling of pain as ‘my self’… Having sensed a feeling of neither
pleasure nor pain as ‘my self,’ then with the stopping of one’s very own
feeling of neither pleasure nor pain, ‘my self’ has perished.”

‘Thus he
assumes, assuming in the immediate present a self inconstant, entangled in
pleasure & pain, subject to arising & passing away, he who says,
“Feeling is my self.” Thus in this manner, Ānanda, one does not see
fit to assume feeling to be the self.

‘As for
the person who says, “Feeling is not the self: My self is oblivious [to
feeling],” he should be addressed as follows: “My friend, where
nothing whatsoever is sensed [experienced] at all, would there be the thought,
‘I am’?”‘

‘No,
lord.’

‘Thus in
this manner, Ānanda, one does not see fit to assume that “Feeling is not
my self: My self is oblivious [to feeling].”

‘As for
the person who says, “Neither is feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious
to feeling, but rather my self feels, in that my self is subject to
feeling,” he should be addressed as follows: “My friend, should
feelings altogether and every way stop without remainder, then with feeling
completely not existing, owing to the stopping of feeling, would there be the
thought, ‘I am’?”‘

‘No,
lord.’

‘Thus in
this manner, Ānanda, one does not see fit to assume that “Neither is
feeling my self, nor is my self oblivious to feeling, but rather my self feels,
in that my self is subject to feeling.”

‘Now,
Ānanda, in as far as a monk does not assume feeling to be the self, nor the
self as oblivious, nor that “My self feels, in that my self is subject to
feeling,” then, not assuming in this way, he is not sustained by anything
in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is totally
unbound right within. He discerns that “Birth is ended, the holy life
fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.”

‘If
anyone were to say with regard to a monk whose mind is thus released that
“The Tathāgata exists after death,” is his view, that would be
mistaken; that “The Tathāgata does not exist after death”… that
“The Tathāgata both exists & does not exist after death”… that
“The Tathāgata neither exists nor does not exist after death” is his
view, that would be mistaken. Why? Having directly known the extent of
designation and the extent of the objects of designation, the extent of
expression and the extent of the objects of expression, the extent of
description and the extent of the objects of description, the extent of
discernment and the extent of the objects of discernment, the extent to which
the cycle revolves: Having directly known that, the monk is released. [To say
that,] “The monk released, having directly known that, does not see, does
not know is his opinion,” that would be mistaken.’ [This last sentence
means that the monk released is not an agnostic concerning what lies beyond the
extent of designation, and so forth. He does know & see what lies beyond,
even though — as Ven. Sāriputta said to Ven. MahaKoṭṭhita — he cannot express
it, inasmuch as it lies beyond objectification. See the discussion of SN 35.23,
AN 4.173, & SN 35.117 in
Chapter One.]


DN 15

Views
of the self
can center around not only feeling, but also physical
form, perception, fabrications, & consciousness — the five aggregates for
sustenance — which, according to another passage in the above discourse, cover
the extent of what can be designated, expressed, & described, but none of
which, on investigation, can rightfully be designated as self.

I have
heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Vārāṇasi, in the Game
Refuge at Isipatana. There he addressed the group of five monks:

‘Form,
monks, is not-self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to
dis-ease. One could get form to be like this and not be like that. But
precisely because form is not-self, it lends itself to dis-ease. And one cannot
get form to be like this and not be like that.

‘Feeling
is not-self… Perception is not-self… Fabrications are not-self…

‘Consciousness
is not-self. If consciousness were the self, this consciousness would not lend
itself to dis-ease. One could get consciousness to be like this and not be like
that. But precisely because consciousness is not-self, it lends itself to
dis-ease. And one cannot get consciousness to be like this and not be like
that.

‘How do
you construe thus, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?’ — ‘Inconstant,
lord.’ — ‘And whatever is inconstant: Is it easeful or stressful?’ —
‘Stressful, lord.’ — ‘And is it right to assume with regard to whatever is
inconstant, stressful, subject to change, that “This is mine. This is my
self. This is what I am”?’ — ‘No, lord.’

‘…Is
feeling constant or inconstant?… Is perception constant or inconstant?… Are
fabrications constant or inconstant?…

‘Is
consciousness constant or inconstant?’ — ‘Inconstant, lord.’ — ‘And whatever is
inconstant: Is it easeful or stressful?’ — ‘Stressful, lord.’ — ‘And is it
right to assume with regard to whatever is inconstant, stressful, subject to
change, that “This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am”?’ —
‘No, lord.’

‘Thus,
monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or
external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to
be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: “This is not mine.
This is not my self. This is not what I am.”

‘Any
feeling whatsoever… Any perception whatsoever… Any fabrications
whatsoever…

‘Any
consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or
external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every
consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as:
“This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.”

‘Seeing
thus, the instructed noble disciple grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted
with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications,
disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he grows dispassionate. Through
dispassion, he is released. With release, there is the knowledge,
“Released.” He discerns that “Birth is ended, the holy life
fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.”‘

That is
what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his
words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the group of
five monks, through not clinging [not being sustained], were released from
effluents.


SN 22.59

On the
surface, doctrines about the self would appear simply to be another variety of
speculative view. They deserve separate treatment, though, because they all
come down to a deeply rooted sense of ‘I am’ — a conceit coloring all
perception at the most fundamental level.

‘Monks,
any contemplatives or brāhmans who assume in various ways when assuming a self,
all assume the five aggregates for sustenance or a certain one of them. Which
five? There is the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person…
assumes form to be the self, or the self as possessing form, form as in the
self, or the self as in form. He assumes feeling to be the self… perception
to be the self… fabrications to be the self… He assumes consciousness to be
the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, consciousness as in the
self, or the self as in consciousness.

‘Thus,
both this assumption & the understanding, “I am,” occur to him.
And so it is with reference to the understanding “I am” that there is
the appearance of the five faculties — eye, ear, nose, tongue, & body [the
senses of vision, hearing, smell, taste, & touch].

‘Now,
there is the intellect, there are ideas [mental qualities], there is the
property of ignorance. To an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person, touched by
experience born of the contact of ignorance, there occur [the thoughts]:
“I am,” “I am thus,” “I will be,” “I will
not be,” “I will be possessed of form,” “I will be
formless,” “I will be percipient [conscious],” “I will be
non-percipient,” or “I will be neither percipient nor
non-percipient.”

‘The five
faculties, monks, continue as they were. And with regard to them the instructed
noble disciple abandons ignorance and gives rise to clear knowing. Owing to the
fading of ignorance and the arising of clear knowing, [the thoughts] — “I
am,” “I am this,”… “I will be neither percipient nor
non-percipient” — do not occur to him.’


SN 22.47

The
sense of ‘I am’
can prevent a person from reaching the goal, even when
he feels that he has abandoned attachment to sensuality, speculative views,
& the experience of jhāna.

‘There is the case, monks, where a certain contemplative or brāhman, with
the relinquishing of speculations about the past and the relinquishing of
speculations about the future, from being totally not determined on the fetters
of sensuality, and from the surmounting of the rapture of seclusion [in the
first jhāna], of pleasure not-of-the-flesh, & of the feeling of neither
pleasure nor pain [in the fourth jhāna], thinks, “I am at peace, I am
unbound, I am without clinging/sustenance!”

‘With
regard to this, the Tathāgata discerns: “This venerable contemplative or
brāhman, with the relinquishing of speculations about the past… thinks, ‘I am
at peace, I am unbound, I am without clinging/sustenance!” Yes, he affirms
a practice conducive to Unbinding. But still he clings, clinging to a
speculation about the past or… a speculation about the future… or a fetter
of sensuality… or the rapture of seclusion… or pleasure not-of-the-flesh…
or a feeling of neither pleasure nor pain. And the fact that he thinks, ‘I am
at peace, I am unbound, I am without clinging/sustenance!’ — that in itself
points to his clinging.”

‘With
regard to this — fabricated, gross — there is still the cessation of
fabrications. Knowing, “There is that,” seeing the escape from it,
the Tathāgata has gone beyond it.’


MN 102

Whereas the
contemplative or brāhman under discussion in this passage reads an ‘I’ into
what he is experiencing, the Buddha simply observes that ‘There is this…’
This unadorned observation — which simply sees what is present in an experience
as present, and what is absent as absent — is treated in detail in the Lesser
Discourse on Emptiness. There the Buddha describes how to develop it
methodically, in ascending stages passing through the levels of jhāna — in this
case based on the object ‘earth’, or solidity — and leading ultimately to
Awakening.

‘Ānanda,
just as this palace of Migāra’s mother [in the monastery constructed by Lady
Visākhā near Sāvatthi] is empty of elephants, cattle, & mares, empty of
gold & silver, empty of assemblies of women & men, and there is only
this non-emptiness — the singleness based on the community of monks; even so,
Ānanda, a monk — not attending to the perception [mental label] of village, not
attending to the perception of human being — attends to the singleness based on
the perception of wilderness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction,
settles, & indulges in its perception of wilderness.

‘He
discerns that “Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the
perception of village… that would exist based on the perception of human
being, are not present. There is only this modicum of disturbance: the
singleness based on the perception of wilderness.” He discerns that
“This mode of perception is empty of the perception of village. This mode
of perception is empty of the perception of human being. There is only this
non-emptiness: the singleness based on the perception of wilderness.” Thus
he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns
as present: “There is this.” And so this, his entry into emptiness,
accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.

‘Further,
Ānanda, the monk — not attending to the perception of human being, not
attending to the perception of wilderness — attends to the singleness based on
the perception of earth. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles,
& indulges in its perception of earth. Just as a bull’s hide is stretched
free from wrinkles with a hundred stakes, even so — without attending to all
the ridges & hollows, the river ravines, the tracts of stumps & thorns,
the craggy irregularities of this earth — he attends to the singleness based on
the perception of earth. His mind… settles & indulges in its perception
of earth.

‘He
discerns that “Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the
perception of human being… that would exist based on the perception of
wilderness, are not present. There is only this modicum of disturbance: the
singleness based on the perception of earth.” He discerns that “This
mode of perception is empty of the perception of human being… empty of the perception
of wilderness. There is only this non-emptiness: the singleness based on the
perception of earth.” Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not
there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: “There is this.” And
so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in
meaning, & pure.

‘Further,
Ānanda, the monk — not attending to the perception of wilderness, not attending
to the perception of earth — attends to the singleness based on the perception
of the dimension of the infinitude of space… [and so on through the four
levels of formless jhāna. Then:]

‘Further,
Ānanda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of
nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the signless
concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction,
settles, & indulges in its signless concentration of awareness.

‘He
discerns that “Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the
perception of the dimension of nothingness… that would exist based on the
perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, are not
present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the
six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its
condition.” He discerns that “This mode of perception is
empty…[etc.]”

‘Further,
Ānanda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of
nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither
perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the signless
concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction,
settles, & indulges in its signless concentration of awareness.

‘He
discerns that “This signless concentration of awareness is fabricated
& mentally fashioned.” And he discerns that “Whatever is
fabricated & mentally fashioned is inconstant & subject to
stopping.” For him — thus knowing, thus seeing — the mind is released from
the effluent of sensuality, the effluent of becoming, the effluent of
ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge, “Released.” He
discerns that “Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done.
There is nothing further for this world.”

‘He
discerns that “Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the
effluent of sensuality… the effluent of becoming… the effluent of
ignorance, are not present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that
connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life
as its condition.” He discerns that “This mode of perception is empty
of the effluent of sensuality… the effluent of becoming… the effluent of
ignorance. And there is just this non-emptiness: that connected with the six
sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.”
Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he
discerns as present: “There is this.” And so this, his entry into
emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, pure —

         
superior & unsurpassed.’


MN 121

Ānanda:
‘It is said that the world is empty, the world is empty, lord. To what extent
is it said that the world is empty?’

The
Buddha: ‘Insofar as it is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self: Thus
it is said that the world is empty. And what is empty of self or of anything
pertaining to self? The eye is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.
Forms… Eye-consciousness… Eye-contact is empty of self or of anything
pertaining to self.

‘The
ear… The nose… The tongue… The body…

‘The
intellect is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self. Ideas…
Intellect-consciousness… Intellect-contact is empty of self or of anything
pertaining to self. Thus it is said that the world is empty.’


SN 35.85

In abandoning the
notion of self with regard to the world — here defined in the same terms as the
‘All’ (
page 31, above) — the Buddha
did not, however, hold to a theory that there is no self.

Having
sat to one side, Vacchagotta the wanderer said to the Blessed One, ‘Now then,
Venerable Gotama, is there a self?’ When this was said, the Blessed One was
silent.

‘Then is
there no self?’ Again, the Blessed One was silent.

Then
Vacchagotta the wanderer got up from his seat and left.

Then, not
long after Vacchagotta the wanderer had left, Venerable Ānanda said to the
Blessed One, ‘Why, lord, did the Blessed One not answer when asked a question
by Vacchagotta the wanderer?’

‘Ānanda,
if I, being asked by Vacchagotta the wanderer if there is a self, were to
answer that there is a self, that would be conforming with those contemplatives
& brāhmans who are exponents of eternalism [i.e., the view that there is an
eternal soul]. And if I… were to answer that there is no self, that would be
conforming with those contemplatives & brāhmans who are exponents of
annihilationism [i.e. that death is the annihilation of consciousness]. If I…
were to answer that there is a self, would that be in keeping with the arising
of knowledge that all phenomena are not-self?

‘No,
lord.’

‘And if
I… were to answer that there is no self, the bewildered Vacchagotta would
become even more bewildered: “Does the self that I used to have, now not
exist?”‘


SN 44.10

This
dialogue is one of the most controversial in the Canon. Those who hold that the
Buddha took a position one way or the other on the question of whether or not
there is a self have to explain away the Buddha’s silence, and usually do so by
focusing on his final statement to Ānanda. If someone else more spiritually
mature than Vacchagotta had asked the question, they say, the Buddha would have
revealed his true position.

This
interpretation, though, ignores the fact that of the Buddha’s four express
reasons for not answering the question, only the last is specific to Vacchagotta.
The first two hold true no matter who is asking the question: To say that there
is or is not a self would be to fall into one of two philosophical positions
that the Buddha frequently attacked as incompatible with his teaching. As for
his third reason, the Buddha wanted to be consistent with ‘the arising of
knowledge that all phenomena are not-self,’ not because he felt that this
knowledge was worth holding onto in & of itself (cf. his statement to
Upasīva, Sn 5:6, that in the experience of the goal all phenomena are done away
with), but because he saw that the arising of such knowledge could, through
causing the mind to let go of all forms of clinging/sustenance, lead to
liberation.

This
point becomes clear when we compare the exchange with Vacchagotta, given above,
to this one with Mogharāja:

Mogharāja:

How does one view the world so as not to be seen by
Death’s king?

The Buddha:

View the world, Mogharāja,
        as empty —
        always mindful,
to have removed any view about self.
This way one is above & beyond death.
This is how one views the world
so as not to be seen by Death’s king.


Sn 5.16

The
fundamental difference between this dialogue & the preceding one lies in
the questions asked: In the first, Vacchagotta asks the Buddha to take a
position on the metaphysical question of whether or not there is a self, and
the Buddha remains silent. In the second, Mogharāja asks for a way to view the
world so that one can go beyond death, and the Buddha speaks, teaching him to
view the world without reference to the notion of self.

This
suggests that, instead of being a metaphysical assertion that there is no self,
the teaching on not-self is more a strategy, a technique of perception aimed at
leading beyond death to Unbinding — a way of perceiving things that involves no
self-identification, no sense that ‘I am’, no attachment to ‘I’ or ‘mine.’ And
this would be in keeping with the discernment the Buddha recommends in the
Discourse on the Supreme Net (DN 1): one that judges views not in terms of
their content, but in terms of where they come from and where they lead.

If a
person aiming at Unbinding is not to view the world in terms of self, then in
what terms should he or she view it? The Buddha’s comment to Anurādha (
page 25) — ‘It is only
stress that I describe, and the stopping of stress’ — suggests an answer, and
this answer is borne out by a series of other passages in the Canon.

‘Lord,
“Right view, right view,” it is said. To what extent is there right
view?’

‘By &
large, Kaccāyana, this world is supported by [takes as its object] a polarity,
that of existence & non-existence. But when one sees the origination of the
world as it has come to be with right discernment, “non-existence”
with reference to the world doesn’t occur to one. When one sees the stopping of
the world as it has come to be with right discernment, “existence”
with reference to the world doesn’t occur to one.

‘By &
large, Kaccāyana, this world is in bondage to attachments, clingings
[sustenances], & biases. But one such as this doesn’t get involved with or
cling to these attachments, clingings, fixations of awareness, biases, or
obsessions; nor is he resolved on “my self.” He has no uncertainty or
doubt that mere stress, when arising, is arising; stress, when passing away, is
passing away. In this, his knowledge is independent of others. It’s to this
extent, Kaccāyana, that there is right view.’


SN 12.15

‘There is
the case where an uninstructed, run-of-the-mill person… does not discern what
ideas are fit for attention, or what ideas are unfit for attention. This being
so, he doesn’t attend to ideas fit for attention, and attends [instead] to
ideas unfit for attention… This is how he attends inappropriately: “Was
I in the past? Was I not in the past? What was I in the past? How was I in the
past? Having been what, what was I in the past? Will I be in the future? Will I
not be in the future? What will I be in the future? How will I be in the
future? Having been what, what will I be in the future?” Or else he is
inwardly perplexed about the immediate present: “Am I? Am I not? What am
I? How am I? Where has this being come from? Where is it bound?”

‘As this
person attends inappropriately in this way, one of six kinds of view arises in
him: The view I have a self arises in him as true & established, or
the view I have no self… or the view It is precisely because of
self that I perceive self
… or the view It is precisely because of self
that I perceive not-self
… or the view It is precisely because of
not-self that I perceive self
arises in him as true & established, or
else he has a view like this: This very self of mine — the knower that is
sensitive here & there to the ripening of good & bad actions — is the
self of mine that is constant, everlasting, eternal, not subject to change, and
will endure as long as eternity.
This is called a thicket of views, a
wilderness of views, a contortion of views, a writhing of views, a fetter of
views. Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is
not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain,
distress, & despair. He is not freed from stress, I say.

‘The
well-taught noble disciple… discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and
what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he doesn’t attend to ideas
unfit for attention, and attends (instead) to ideas fit for attention… He
attends appropriately, This is stress… This is the origin of stress… This
is the stopping of stress… This is the way leading to the stopping of stress.
As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him:
identity-view, uncertainty, & grasping at habits & practices.’


MN 2

‘Now
this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stress, aging is stress,
death is stress; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stress;
association with the unbeloved is stress, separation from the loved is stress,
not getting what is wanted is stress. In short, the five aggregates for
sustenance are stress.

‘And
this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of stress: the craving that
makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing
now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for
becoming, craving for non-becoming.

‘And
this, monks, is the noble truth of the stopping of stress: the remainderless
fading & stopping, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go
of that very craving.

‘And
this, monks, is the noble truth of the way leading to the stopping of stress:
precisely this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech,
right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right
concentration.

‘Vision
arose, insight arose, discernment arose, knowledge arose, illumination arose
within me with regard to things never heard before: “This is the noble
truth of stress”… “This noble truth of stress is to be
comprehended”… “This noble truth of stress has been comprehended”…
“This is the noble truth of the origination of stress”… “This
noble truth of the origination of stress is to be abandoned”… “This
noble truth of the origination of stress has been abandoned”… “This
is the noble truth of the stopping of stress”… “This noble truth of
the stopping of stress is to be realized”… “This noble truth of the
stopping of stress has been realized”… “This is the noble truth of
the way leading to the stopping of stress”… “This noble truth of
the way leading to the stopping of stress is to be developed”…
“This noble truth of the way leading to the stopping of stress has been
developed.”

‘And,
monks, as long as this three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge & vision
of mine concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be was not
pure, I did not claim to have directly awakened to the unexcelled right
self-awakening… But as soon as this three-round, twelve-permutation knowledge
& vision of mine concerning these four noble truths as they have come to be
was truly pure, then did I claim to have directly awakened to the unexcelled
right self-awakening… Knowledge & vision arose in me: “Unprovoked is
my release. This is the last birth. There is now no further becoming.”‘


SN 56.11

‘Just as
if there were a pool of water in a mountain glen — clear, limpid, &
unsullied — where a man with good eyes standing on the bank could see shells,
gravel, & pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about & resting,
and it would occur to him, “This pool of water is clear, limpid &
unsullied. Here are these shells, gravel & pebbles, and also these shoals
of fish swimming about & resting.” So too, the monk discerns as it
actually is, that “This is stress… This is the origination of stress…
This is the stopping of stress… This is the way leading to the stopping of
stress… These are effluents… This is the origination of effluents… This
is the stopping of effluents… This is the way leading to the stopping of
effluents.” His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the
effluent of sensuality, released from the effluent of becoming, released from
the effluent of ignorance. With release, there is the knowledge,
“Released.” He discerns that “Birth is ended, the holy life
fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.”

‘This,
great king, is a fruit of the contemplative life, visible here & now, more
excellent than the previous ones and more sublime. And as for another visible
fruit of the contemplative life, higher & more sublime than this, there is
none.’


DN 2

Thus for
the person who aims at Unbinding, the Buddha recommends a technique of
perception that regards things simply in terms of the four truths concerning
stress, with no self-identification, no sense that ‘I am’, no attachment to ‘I’
or ‘mine’ involved. Although, as the following passage states, there may be a
temporary, functional identity to one’s range of perception, this ‘identity’
goes no further than that. One recognizes it for what it is: inconstant &
conditioned, and thus not worthy of being taken as a self — for in transcending
attachment to it, there is the realization of deathlessness.

Ānanda:
‘It’s wonderful, lord; it’s marvelous. For truly, the Blessed One has pointed
out the way to cross over the flood by going from one support to the next. But
what then, lord, is the noble liberation?’

The
Buddha: ‘There is the case, Ānanda, where a noble disciple considers that
“Sensual pleasure here & now and in lives to come; form here & now
and in lives to come; perceptions of form here & now and in lives to come;
perceptions of imperturbability, perceptions of the dimension of nothingness,
perceptions of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception: [All]
that is an identity, to the extent that there is identity. [But] this is
deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of
clinging/sustenance.”‘


MN 106

Once the
sense of self is transcended, its polar opposite — the sense of something
standing in contradistinction to a self — is transcended as well. In the
Discourse at Kālaka’s Park, the Buddha expresses this lack of a self/non-self
polarity directly in terms of sensory experience. For a person who has attained
the goal, experience occurs with no ’subject’ or ‘object’ superimposed on it,
no construing of experience or thing experienced. There is simply the
experience in & of itself.

‘Monks,
whatever in this world — with its gods, Māras & Brahmās, its generations
complete with contemplatives & brāhmans, princes & men — is seen,
heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect:
That do I know. Whatever in this world… is seen, heard, sensed, cognized,
attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That
is known by the Tathāgata, but in the Tathāgata it has not been established …

‘Thus,
monks, the Tathāgata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn’t construe [an
object as] seen, doesn’t construe an unseen, doesn’t construe [an object]
to-be-seen, doesn’t construe a seer.

‘When
hearing… When sensing…

‘When
cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn’t construe [an object as] cognized,
doesn’t construe an uncognized, doesn’t construe [an object] to-be-cognized,
doesn’t construe a cognizer.

‘Thus,
monks, the Tathāgata — being such-like with regard to all phenomena that can be
seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is “Such.” And I tell you:
There is no other “Such” higher or more sublime.

‘Whatever is seen or heard or sensed and fastened onto as
true by others, One who is Such — among the self-fettered — wouldn’t further
claim to be true or even false. Having seen well in advance that arrow where
generations are fastened & hung — “I know, I see, that’s just how it
is!” — there’s nothing of the Tathāgata fastened.’


AN IV.24

A view is
true or false only when one is judging how accurately it refers to something
else. If one is regarding it simply as an event in & of itself, true &
false no longer apply. Thus for the Tathāgata — who no longer needs to impose
notions of subject or object on experience, and can regard sights, sounds,
feelings, & thoughts purely in & of themselves — views are not
necessarily true or false, but can simply serve as phenomena to be experienced.
With no notion of subject, there is no grounds for ‘I know, I see;’ with no
notion of object, no grounds for ‘That’s just how it is.’ So — although a
Tathāgata may continue using ‘true’ & ‘false’ in the course of teaching
others, and may continue reflecting on right view as a means of abiding
mindfully & comfortably in the present — notions of true, false, self,
& not self have lost all their holding power over the mind. As a result,
the mind can see conditioned events in their suchness — ’such are the
aggregates, such their origin, such their disappearance’ — and is left free to
its own Suchness: unrestrained, uninfluenced by anything of any sort.

* * *

This
concludes our survey of the four modes of clinging/ sustenance — passion &
delight for sensuality, for views, for habits & practices, and for
doctrines of the self — and should be enough to give a sense of what is loosed
in the Unbinding of the mind. All that remains now is the question of how.

Many of
the passages we have considered seem to suggest that total Unbinding may be
realized by letting go of any one of these four modes of sustenance. What most
likely happens in such cases, though, is that the abandoning of one mode
immediately triggers an abandoning of the remaining three, for there are other
cases reported in the Canon where the experience of Unbinding comes in stages
spread over time: the arising of the eye of Dhamma, which frees one from
passion & delight for identity views, uncertainty, and grasping at habits
& practices; the attainment of Non-returning, which frees one from passion
& delight for sensuality; and the attainment of Arahantship, which frees
one from passion & delight for all views, the practice of jhāna, & the
conceit ‘I am.’ Why these stages happen in this order, and how they relate to
the practices meant to induce them, is what we will take up next.

 

3. Rajgir, Place of Taming the Drunken
Elephant

Nalagiri

 

3.1 How to reach there

 

Rajgir is situated in the Nalanda
district of Bihar, 70 km northeast

of Bodhgaya and
102 km south of Patna. All distances are

approximate.

 

3.2 Religious Significance

3, 25, 26

 

Rajgir is the modern name of Rajagaha or “royal abode”, an

appropriate
designation for a place that had remained as the capital

of the powerful
kingdom of
Magadha for centuries.
In the Buddha’s

time, the ruler
was King
Bimbisara,
who was later usurped by his

parricidal son,
Ajatasattu.
In his first meeting with the
Bodhisatta,

Bimbisara was
so impressed by his royal bearing that he offered to

share his
kingdom with him. The
Bodhisatta,
who had just

renounced his
Sakyan kingdom in search of the Deathless, declined

the offer but
promised to return to visit Rajgir after he had attained

his goal. Soon
after dispatching the
Sangha to
spread the
Dhamma

from Sarnath,
the Buddha traveled to Uruvela, where he converted

the Kassapa
brothers and their matted-hair disciples, who all attained

Arahantship. With this retinue of a
thousand
Arahants,
the Buddha

entered Rajgir
where he received a warm welcome from the King.

Thereupon he
preached a sermon to King Bimbisra who became a

Sotapanna. Next
day he invited the Buddha to a meal and offered the

Bamboo Garden (Veluvana) to the Buddha and the Sangha.

As the capital
of a powerful state, Rajgir was a hive of secular and

religious
activities. According to the
Samannaphala Sutta,
many

heretical
teachers operated in Rajgir, namely: Purana Kassapa,

Makkhali
Gosala, Ajita Kesakambali, Pakudha Kaccayana, Nigantha

Nattaputta and
Sanjaya Belatthaputta. Among the disciples of

Sanjaya were
two rich brahmins,
Upatissa and
Kolita, popularly

known as Sariputta and Moggallana respectively. Both joined the

Sangha after their conversion by the
Arahant Assaji, and became the

Buddha’s first
and second Chief Disciples. Following their

conversion,
many
paribbajakas or
wandering ascetics also became

followers of
the Buddha. Among the laity, the most notable disciples

were the royal
physician
Jivaka, adopted son
of Prince Abhaya; and

the millionaire
Upali, a follower of
Nigantha Nattaputta, who was

sent to convert
the Buddha but ended up as a lay disciple instead.

Thus Rajgir
became an important centre of Buddhism as the fame of

the Buddha
spread throughout Magadha.

 

Rajgir was also
the scene of many attempts by
Devadatta to
kill the

Buddha over the
leadership of the
Sangha.
First he hired archers to

assassinate the
Buddha, but they ended up by becoming disciples of

the Buddha
instead. Next, as the Buddha was walking up the slopes

of Gijjhakuta
(Vulture Peak) one day, Devadatta hurled a rock from

the summit at
the Buddha but it missed and a splinter wounded the

Buddha’s foot.
Finally, he caused the elephant
5alagiri to
be

intoxicated
with liquor and sent the ferocious beast to charge at the

Buddha. But the
Buddha subdued the animal with his loving

kindness.
Because of this miracle, Rajgir became sanctified as an

important
pilgrimage site. While Devadatta was plotting against the

Buddha, Ajatasattu, at his instigation, usurped
the throne and

imprisoned his
father in order to starve him to death. He regretted

his actions too
late, as his father had died before he could release

him.
Ajatasattu, later at the suggestion of Jivaka, sought the

Buddha’s advice
and became a lay disciple. After the Buddha’s

Mahaparinibbana, he led an army to Kusinara
to claim a share of

the Buddha’s
relics. He was the patron of the
First Sangiti or

Council held at
Sattapanni Cave in
Rajgir.

 

3.3 Historical Background

5, 27, 36

 

Rajgir lost its
political status after Ajatasattu’s son, Udayibhadda,

slew his father
and transferred the capital to Pataliputta. But the fact

Four
Places of Principal Miracles
• 137

that Asoka
erected a
stupa and
a stone pillar with an elephant capital

during his
pilgrimage to Rajgir shows that the place remained as an

important
Buddhist centre for centuries. When Fa Hsien came during

the fifth
century, he found the old city desolate but outside the hills

at Veluvana, he
found a group of monks living in the monastery.

When Hsüan
Tsang visited Rajgir in 637-638 AD, it was practically

deserted. Of
the ancient monasteries and
stupas,
he found only

foundation
walls and ruins standing. He saw the Asoka
stupa which

was 18.3 m high
and by the side of it, the Asokan pillar about 15.2 m

high with an
elephant capital, the Pippala stone house said to be the

cave of
Mahakassapa and the Sattapanni caves. He also visited

Gijjhakuta and
saw a brick
vihara at
the western end of the hill and

several stupas in the vicinity.

 

Although there
is no record of Rajgir after Hsüan Tsang’s visit, the

antiquities
recovered from Rajgir during archaeological excavations

in 1905-06
showed that it continued to be a popular Buddhist shrine

up to the 12th century AD. According to Fa Hsien, Ajatasattu
built a

new citadel
outside the circle of five hills, namely:
Vebhara,

Pandava, Vepulla, Gijjhakuta and Isigili; that encircled the old

Rajagaha city.
The modern village of Rajgir encloses a part of this

‘New Rajagaha’,
which was protected by a massive wall of earth

resembling an
irregular pentagon in shape, with a circuit of 5 km. On

the south,
towards the hills, one can still see the stone fortifications

that once
protected the old city. The wall is 4.6 m to 5.5 m thick and

rises to a
height of 3.4 m at some places.

 

3.4 Objects of Interest

5, 27, 36

 

a)   
Veluvana (Bamboo
Grove) and Karanda Tank


When King
Bimbisara heard that the Buddha had come to Rajgir

with a retinue
of one thousand
Arahants,
he went to the Sapling

Grove to meet
the Buddha and was converted by the Buddha,

attaining the
First Stage of Sainthood. Thereafter, he invited the

Buddha to his
palace for the following day’s meal, after which he

donated the
famous Bamboo Grove or
Veluvana, the
first donation

of a park (arama), to the Buddha and Sangha.

 

When the writer
first visited Veluvana in 1991, the place was

slightly
overgrown with bushes and on the south side towards the

hot springs, a
number of Muslim tombs could be seen on a large

mound to the
left of the main entrance. The cemetery is believed to

be the site of
the
Veluvana Vihara built
by Bimbisara for the

Buddha’s
residence. The whole area has been cleaned up and

Veluvana now
looks like a pleasant park, planted with shade trees,

bamboo and
flowers, reflecting its original status as the royal park of

King Bimbisara.
In the vicinity of Veluvana is a large pond with a

Buddha image at
the centre. This pond is believed to be the site of

the Karanda tank mentioned in Buddhist text as
the
Karanda

kanivapa where the Buddha used to take
his bath.

 

b) Pipphali House


A short
distance from Veluvana at the foot of
Vebhara hill,
are the

hot springs of
Rajgir, a popular picnic spot for bathing. A little

above the hot
springs, on the right side of the path uphill, is a

remarkable
stone structure known locally as the “
machan
(watch

tower). The
structure is roughly cube-shaped with dimensions of 26

m feet long by
25 m wide by 7 m high and is built of unhewn blocks

of stone set on
the rock. According to
Sir John Marshall who

excavated the
site in 1905-06, the structure was originally a watchtower

and “in after
times, when no longer required for defensive

purposes, they
would afford convenient cells for ascetics to meditate

in”. This
structure is believed to be the
Pipphali stone house,

residence of Ven. Maha Kassapa, Convenor of the First
Council.

The name
‘Pipphali’ probably refers to the name of Mahakassapa

before he
became a monk. According to
Samyutta V,
78, the Buddha

visited Maha
Kassapa on one occasion when the latter was ill and

expounded the
Seven Factors of Enlightenment, upon hearing which,

Maha Kassapa
recovered from the illness. According to
Samyutta iii,

124, Ven. Assaji once stayed at Pipphali House
when he was sick.

 

c) Sattapanni caves

 

The Sattapanni caves, site of the First Buddhist Council held three

months after
the
Mahaparinibbana in
543 BC is situated on top of

Vebhara hill, beyond the largest
Jains temple. There a narrow

footpath
descends some 30 m to a long artificial terrace in front of a

line of six
caves (might have been seven originally). The caves have

been sealed off
to ensure the safety of visitors. The terrace in front of

the caves is
about 36.6 m long and 10.4 m at the widest point and

part of the
retaining wall of large unhewn stones on the outer edge

can still be
seen. This place agrees with the description of Sattapanni

found in the
Pali texts where five hundred
Arahants convened
to

codify the
Buddha’s Teaching. Over the last 2500 years, a lot of

erosion would
have taken place so the terrace was probably bigger in

those days, to
accommodate so many
Arahants.

 

d) Bimbisara Jail

 

About 2½ km
south of Veluvana beside the main road, is an area

about 60 m
square enclosed by the remains of a stone wall 2 m thick.

This area has
been identified as the prison in which Bimbisara was

jailed by his
son Ajatasattu, who usurped the throne. It is said that

from this
prison, the king could see the Buddha up in Gijjhakuta, the

sight of whom
provided great joy to the prisoner.

 

e) Jivaka’s mango garden (Jivaka ambavana)

 

According to
Pali sources, Jivaka’s mango garden is situated

between the
city’s East Gate and Gijjhakuta, and the site has been

identified a
short distance from the foot of Gijjhakuta. According to

the Vinaya
Texts,
Jivaka Komarabhacca was
the adopted son of

Prince Abhaya, who found him alive (jivati) in a dust heap when he

was an infant
and raised him up. When he was old enough, he set out

for Taxila to
study medicine for seven years. To test his knowledge,

his teacher
asked him to go all round Taxila to search for any plant,

which was not
medicinal and bring it back. Jivaka proved to be so

proficient in
medicinal plants that he returned after a long search and

declared that
he had not seen any plant that was not medicinal within

a yojana (13 km) of Taxila.

 

Returning to
Rajgir, he cured many people suffering from serious

ailments and
even performed surgery, something unheard of in those

days. He became
the leading physician and surgeon of Rajgir and

earned great
wealth through his medical practice. At some point in

his career, he
became a lay disciple and used to attend on the

Buddha three
times a day. When the Buddha’s foot was injured by a

splinter from a
rock hurled by Devadatta, it was Jivaka who attended

on him and
healed the wound. Realizing the advantages of having a

monastery near
his home, Jivaka built one on his extensive mango

garden and
donated it to the Buddha. The site of this monastery was

excavated
recently, which exposed the buried foundations of

elliptical
buildings, possibly of monastic nature, of an early date.

 

f) Gijjhakuta (Vulture Peak)

Gijjhakuta hill
was the favourite resort of the Buddha and the scene

of many
important discourses while he was in Rajgir. To reach the

top, one has to
climb up a long stone stairway, 6.1 m to 7.3 m wide,

called the Bimbisara road, built by the King to enable
him to reach

the summit to
see the Buddha. The rocky path ends near the top of

the hill where
one can see two natural caves, which were probably

used by the Buddha and Ven. Ananda. At the summit, one can see

the huge
granite rock formation resembling a vulture standing with

folded wing,
from which the hill derived its name. Recently, a

cement
staircase has been constructed to facilitate the pilgrim’s

climb to the
top, which is a flat terrace surrounded by a low retaining

wall with a
shrine near the precipice. This spot offers a commanding

view of the
valley below. It is a favourite place for pilgrims to

perform puja or
circumambulate while reciting the virtues of the

Buddha. Near
the bottom of the cement staircase are two smaller

caves believed to be used by Ven. Sariputta and Ven. Moggallana.

 

g) Maddakucchi (Rub belly)

 

The Pali name maddakucchi, which means “rub belly”, was derived

from a story
that at this place, the queen of Bimbisara knowing that

she was
carrying a patricide, tried to abort the foetus by a forcible

massage of her
belly. Maddakucchi, which finds mention in the Pali

scriptures, is
situated at the base of Gijjhakuta. It is believed to be

the place where
the Buddha was brought by stretcher after being

wounded on the
leg by a splinter of a big rock hurled by Devadatta

from the summit
of Gijjhakuta hill. Formerly, this place contained a

deer park and a
monastery.

 

h) Burmese Monastery


The Burmese
monastery standing on top of a hillock in New Rajgir

was the first
modern monastery established in Rajgir in 1958. Its

founder was an
old Theravada monk,
Sayadaw U Zayanta who
has

passed away.
Recently it has built a new shrine hall to enshrine a

sacred Buddha
relic.

 

3.5 Ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara

 


The ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara were first excavated in 1871
by

Sir Alexander
Cunningham who identified its site at the modern

village of
Bargaon on the basis of the accounts of the Chinese

pilgrim, Hsüan
Tsang. Located only 12 km from Rajgir, the ruins

extend over a
vast area. The structures exposed represent only a part

of the vast
establishment and consist of monastic sites
, stupa sites

and temple
sites. Lengthwise, they extend from south to north, the

monasteries on
the eastern flank and temples on the west. The

monasteries
were all built on more or less the same plan and to-date,

at least eleven
monastic sites and five main temple sites have been

identified. The
most prominent standing structure at Nalanda is the

Sariputta stupa,
erected in honour of the Chief Disciple, who was

born and passed
away in the nearby village of
Nalaka.

 

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327 LESSON 26 07 2011 Vijaya Sutta Sister Vijaya FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate Bliss-Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Let us celebrate Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as Reservation Day on 26-07-2011- Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal Miracles-Objects of Interest -Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven
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327  LESSON 26 07 2011 Vijaya Sutta Sister
Vijaya
 FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and
BUDDHIST GOOD NEW Sletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate
Bliss-Through
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org- Let us celebrate Shri Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Jayanti as
Reservation Day on 26-07-2011- Buddhist Pilgrimage- Four Places of Principal
Miracles-Objects of Interest-
Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven

Vijaya Sutta: Sister Vijaya

translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 1998–2011

Alternate translation: Bodhi

At
Savatthi. Then, early in the morning, Vijaya the nun put on her robes and,
taking her bowl & outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. When she had
gone for alms in Savatthi and had returned from her alms round, after her meal
she went to the Grove of the Blind to spend the day. Having gone deep into the
Grove of the Blind, she sat down at the foot of a tree for the day’s abiding.

Then Mara
the Evil One, wanting to arouse fear, horripilation, & terror in her,
wanting to make her fall away from concentration, approached her &
addressed her in verse:

You, a beautiful young woman. I, a young man. Come, my
lady, let’s enjoy ourselves to the music of a five-piece band.

Then the
thought occurred to Vijaya the nun: “Now who has recited this verse — a
human being or a non-human one?” Then it occurred to her: “This is
Mara the Evil One, who has recited this verse wanting to arouse fear,
horripilation, & terror in me, wanting to make me fall away from
concentration.”

Then,
having understood that “This is Mara the Evil One,” she replied to
him in verses:

Lovely sights, sounds, smells, tastes, & tactile
sensations I leave to you, Mara. I have no need for them. I’m disgusted,
ashamed of this putrid body — disintegrating, dissolving. Sensual craving is
rooted out. Beings who have come to form, & those with a share in the
formless, & the peaceful attainments: their darkness is completely
destroyed.

Then Mara
the Evil One — sad & dejected at realizing, “Vijaya the nun knows
me” — vanished right there.

 

SN
5.4

 SN
5.7

 Iti
63

 Sn
5.6
; also Sn 4.9 (quoted in The
Mind Like Fire Unbound,
chapter III
).

Four Places of Principal Miracles

 

Buddhist
Pilgrimage

 

2. Sankasia, Place of Descent from Heaven

3, 16, 25, 26

 

2.1 How to reach there

Sankasia is
located in the village of
Sankisa-Basantapur in
district

of Farrukhabad,
Uttar Pradesh. From Agra, Sankasia is 175km via

the
Firozabad-Shikohabad-Mainpuri-Bewar-Pakhna route

 

2.1 Religious Significance

According to Dhammapada Commentary XIV, 2, after the
Buddha

had completed
the rains-retreat in
Tavatimsa Heaven,
he informed

Sakka Devaraja
of his intention to return to earth. Thereupon, Sakka

created three
ladders; one of gold, one of jewels and one of silver,

the tops of
which rested on the summit of Mt. Sumeru and the feet of

which rested
against the gate of the city of Sankasia. On the right

side was the
golden ladder for
devas,
on the left side was the silver

ladder for Brahma and his train, and in the
middle was the jewelled

ladder for the
Buddha. As the Buddha descended upon the jewelled

ladder, devas and Brahmas honored him by accompanying
him on

each side. With
this retinue the Buddha descended and set foot on

earth at the
gate of the city of Sankasia. Because of this miraculous

event, which
was witnessed by a great multitude, Sankasia became

an important
Buddhist shrine and several
stupas and
viharas were

erected there.

 

2.3 Historical Background

5, 16, 27

 

King Asoka
visited Sankasia as part of his itinerary of pilgrimage in

249 BC.
According to Fa Hsien, Asoka built a shrine over the spot

where the
Buddha set foot on earth. Behind the shrine, he raised a

stone column
18.3 m high with a lion capital on top and on its four

sides, placed
Buddha images.

 

Fa Hsien
reported that there were about a thousand monks and nuns

who all
received their food from the common store, and belonged,

some to the
greater vehicle and some of the lesser one. He spent one

vassa in Sankasia and described the
presence of many Buddhist

structures and
monasteries including a
sangharama containing
600-

700 monks. When
Hsüan Tsang arrived in 636 AD, there were four

sangharamas with about 1000 priests of
the Sammitiya sect. To the

east of the
city 20 li or so, he saw the great
sangharama of
beautiful

construction,
wherein lived 100 monks and religious laymen. He

also saw the
Asoka column 21 m high with carved figures on the

four sides and
around it, and mentioned the presence of some
stupas.

Other than
these accounts of the Chinese pilgrims, the history of

Sankasia
remained blank for the next 1200 years until
Cunningham

identified it
with the village of
Sankisa-Basantapur in
Farrukhabad

District of
Uttar Pradesh. The present site of Sankasia is situated on

a high mound
and there is a chain of other mounds spread outside

the village.
These mounds have yielded numerous silver and copper

punch marked
coins during excavations, mostly tribal coins of the

Panchala kings
and copper coins of the Kushan rulers. Large bricks

measuring 28 cm
by 15 cm bearing Brahmi inscriptions of 2
nd

century BC were
also discovered.

 

2.4 The Pristine Environment of Sankasia

 

Today Sankasia
is the one of the most remote and undeveloped

Buddhist
shrines in India, a far cry from the Buddha’s time when it

was called
‘City of Sankasia’. When India’s
Prime Minister Nehru

was asked by
some Japanese visitors in 1961, which was the poorest

Buddhist shrine
in India, he promptly replied: “Sankasia!” The

situation has
improved slightly since
Ms Mayawati,
a Buddhist

laywoman became
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in May 2007

again after a
brief term in 2002-03. Now the roads are getting better

and a new hotel
is being built to accommodate tourists in Sankasia.

 

The author
first visited Sankasia ten years ago. Impressed by its

pristine environment, he decided to lead
Malaysian pilgrims there

every
pilgrimage despite initial objections from certain members. In

the beginning,
the trip would take the whole day and we would leave

Sankasia by
evening and travel to Kanpur or Lucknow arriving at the

hotel well
after midnight. When the pilgrims’ hostel in the Burmese

Temple was
completed in 2004,
Sayadaw U 5anda invited
us to

stay overnight
there instead of leaving in the evening. It proved to be

very pleasant
as we got the opportunity to know Sayadaw U Nanda

and benefit
from his vast knowledge of the history of Sankasia. Now

more pilgrims
will get to know the rich heritage of Sankasia.

 

2.5 Objects of Interest

5, 16, 27

 

a) Broken Asoka Column with Elephant Capital

The Elephant
Capital that once surmounted the Asoka column is an

important relic
of the 3
rd century
BC. It is kept in a fenced up

pavilion.
Nearby under a tree, is a small shrine with a standing

image of Lord
Buddha, flanked by Brahma and Sakka to depict the

Buddha’s
descent from Heaven.

 

b) Site where the Buddha Descended from Heaven

About 20 metres
to the south of the Asokan pillar is a high mound

composed of
solid brickwork, which was once a Buddhist structure.

This mound is 6
metres high and 49 metres in diameter at its base.

Cunningham
identified it with the position of the three flights of

ladders by
which the Buddha descended from Heaven attended by

Brahma and
Sakka. According to Hsüan Tsang, when the ladders by

which the
Buddha descended from Heaven had disappeared, the

neighbouring
princes built up new triple stairs of bricks and chased

stones
ornamented with jewels on the ancient foundation (three

ladders)
resembling the old ones. There was a
vihara on
the

foundation and
close by its side was a stone column 21m high,

which was
erected by Asoka-raja. After the disappearance of

Buddhism from
India, the
vihara probably
followed the same fate of

many other
Buddhist establishments and fell into ruins. On top of the

foundation now
is a small shrine dedicated to a Hindu goddess

Bisari Devi,
built by a Hindu priest who has taken over the place

sometime ago.
This Hindu shrine on top of a Buddhist structure is a

bone of
contention between the Buddhists and Hindus in Sankasia.

According to
the Press Trust of India News, during the
Pavarana in

November 2001, at least 18 people including three policemen were

injured in
clashes involving people from the two communities

during a
religious procession in Sankasia. The trouble began when

the Hindus
started to attack a group of Buddhists in the
Dhamma

Yatra (religious procession) who
were chanting for the return of the

site to
Buddhists. The Buddhists and Hindus have always been at

loggerheads
over the issue of the possession of Bisari Devi temple.

During the past
three years, the tussle has often assumed violent

overtones.
Because of this incident, the Government has banned the

yearly
procession around the Buddhist pilgrimage site at Sankasia.

When the author
visited Sankasia in November 2003, the brickworks

around the
mound had fallen off due to heavy rains during the last

monsoon,
revealing the bare earth (Plate 31) According to
Sayadaw

U 5anda, the resident monk of the
Burmese
vihara, this event
may

turn out to be
a blessing for Buddhists because there are plans by the

Archaeological
Survey of India (ASI) to carry out excavations of

this ancient
Buddhist site and develop it for more pilgrims to visit

Sankasia. It
will be interesting to see what ancient relics will be

unearthed by
the archaeologist’s spade. For a long time, Sankasia

has been
by-passed by most present-day pilgrims in spite of its

religious
significance and the fact that it was an important shrine to

the great
pilgrims of the past like Asoka, Fa Hsien and Hsüan Tsang.

 

d) Burmese and Sri Lankan Viharas

The first
Buddhist monk to reside in Sankasia was the Late Ven.

Vijaya Soma from Sri Lanka who
established a school there. It is

indeed
heartening to see two Buddhist monasteries now in Sankasia

Four
Places of Principal Miracles
• 133

in spite of its
remote location. The Burmese monastery was opened

in the year
2000 while the Sri Lankan monastery was built a few

years earlier.
Pilgrims visiting Sankasia should visit these

monasteries to
pay their respects to the
bhikkhus,
whose presence

have enhanced
the sanctity of this rural environment. They will be

able to obtain
more information about the history of Sankasia from

the monks who
have lived there for many years.

 

2.6 Buddhist Population around Sankasia

According to Sayadaw U 5anda, the resident monk of the
Burmese

vihara, when Lord Buddha descended
from Heaven at the gate of

Sankasia city
after his 7th Vassa (about 2600 years ago) a group of

Sakyan nobles
came to witness the miracle and settled in Sankasia.

After Vidhadabu attacked Kapilavatthu and
massacred the Sakyans,

many escaped to
India and became immigrants of Sankasia (
5ote

11). Today there are over one quarter million of
their descendants

living in the
districts around Sankasia. Every year during
Pavarana

on the
full-moon day of October a great congregation of local

Buddhists
gather at Sankasia to commemorate this important event.

In the early 5th century AD when Fa Hsien was at Sankasia, he heard

of a dispute
between the Brahmins and the
Sramanas (Bhikkhus)

over land
rights in Sankasia. According to him,
the
latter were losing

the argument.
Then both sides took an oath that if the place did

indeed belong
to the
Sramanas,
there should be some supernatural

proof of it.
When these words had been spoken, the stone lion on top

of the nearby
Asoka pillar gave a great roar. Witnessing this, their

opponents were
frightened, bowed to the decision, and withdrew
.

Eventually the
Brahmins appeared to have succeeded in ousting the

Buddhists from
their lands, because by the time of Hsüan Tsang’s

visit, he
reported: “
There were only
four viharas with about one

thousand monks of the Sammitiya School. There were ten Deva

temples, where sectarians of all beliefs lived. They all honour
and

sacrifice to Mahesvara.

 

So it is very
likely that at some early period, perhaps before Hsüan

Tsang’s visit,
the Buddhists of Sankasia, many of which were

immigrant
Sakyans deserted their native place and settled in the

surrounding
villages. Many of them join the October full-moon

celebration as
another traditional festival of their ancestors. They are

ignorant of
their historical ties with the Buddhism. Sayadaw U

Nanda, who is
fluent in Hindi, has started a Sunday school to

educate the
younger generation about their roots by teaching them

the history of
their ancestral religion.

 

Note 11: Immigration of Sakyans to India

During
Vidudabha’s attack of Kapilavatthu, many Sakyans fled

south, avoiding
Kosala country, to
Sankasia (in
Uttar Pradesh)

where an
earlier group of their countrymen had settled after

witnessing the
Buddha’s Descent from Heaven. This new group of

refugees
increased the Sakyan population in Sankasia significantly.

However, these
Sakyans were not the only ones who had moved out

of
Kapilavatthu. According to the Mahavamsa viii, 18, soothsayers

had foretold
the future destruction of Kapilavatthu to
Sakka
Pandu
,

a cousin of the
Buddha and son of
Amitodana.
With a group of

followers, he
went to another tract of land on the further side of the

Ganges and
founded a city there and ruled as king. He had seven

sons and one
daughter named
Baddhakaccana. She
later married

the Pandyan
prince
Panduvasdeva who
succeeded his uncle
King

Vijaya to the throne of Sri Lanka.

 

Another famous
Sakyan was
Devi, the first wife
of King Asoka and

mother of Ven. Mahinda and Ven. Sanghamitta. Asoka married

her when he was
the viceroy of Ujjayini (Ujjain). She was a devotee

of the Buddha
and a descendant of a Sakyan family who migrated to

Vedisa after escaping the
destruction of Kapilavatthu by Vidudabha

Awakeness
Practices

All 84,000
Khandas As Found in the Pali Suttas


Traditionally
there are 84,000 Dhamma Doors - 84,000 ways to get Awakened. May be so;
certainly the Buddha taught a large number of practices that lead to get
Awakened. 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 banawanas, containing 737,000
stanzas, and 29,368,000 separate letters.

BUDDHA (EDUCATE)!
DHAMMA (MEDITATE)! SANGHA (ORGANISE)!

WISDOM          IS POWER

 

Awakened
One Shows the Path to Attain Ultimate Bliss

    

Using such an instrument

The Free ONLINE e-Nālandā Research and
Practice University has been re-organized to function through the following
Schools of Learning :

 

Buddha’s Sangha Practiced His Dhamma Free of cost, hence the
Free- e-Nālandā Research and Practice University follows suit

 

As the Original Nālandā University did not offer any Degree, so
also the Free  e-Nālandā Research and Practice University.

 

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.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar , Indian scholar,
philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches

I.

KAMMA,REBIRTH,AWAKEN-NESS,BUDDHA,THUS COME ONE,DHAMMA

II.

ARHAT ,FOUR HOLY TRUTHS,EIGHTFOLD PATH,TWELVEFOLD CONDITIONED ARISING,BODHISATTA,PARAMITA,SIX PARAMITAS

III.

SIX SPIRITUAL POWERS,SIX PATHS OF REBIRTH,TEN DHARMA REALMS,FIVE SKANDHAS,EIGHTEEN REALMS,FIVE MORAL PRECEPTS

IV.

MEDITATION,MINDFULNESS,FOUR APPLICATIONS OF MINDFULNESS,LOTUS POSTURE,SAMADHI,CHAN SCHOOL,FOUR JHANAS,FOUR FORMLESS REALMS

V.

FIVE TYPES OF BUDDHIST STUDY AND PRACTICE,MAHAYANA AND HINAYANA COMPARED,PURE LAND,BUDDHA RECITATION,EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES,ONE HUNDRED DHARMAS,EMPTINESS

VI.

DEMON,LINEAGE

With

Level I: Introduction to
Buddhism,Level II: Buddhist Studies,

TO ATTAIN

Level III: Stream-Enterer,Level IV: Once –
Returner,Level V: Non-Returner,Level VI: Arhat

Jambudvipa, i.e, PraBuddha
Bharath scientific thought in

mathematics,astronomy,alchemy,andanatomy

Philosophy and Comparative
Religions;Historical Studies;International Relations and Peace Studies;Business
Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies;Languages and
Literature;and Ecology and Environmental Studies

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324  LESSON 23 07 2011 Sudatta Sutta About
Sudatta Anathapindika
FREE ONLINE eNālandā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY and
BUDDHIST GOOD NEWSletter to VOTE for BSP ELEPHANT to attain Ultimate
Bliss-Through
http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org-The Pristine Environment of Sankasia-Buddhism and
science