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01 04 2012 LESSON 568 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITY Through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org
THE BUDDHIST ONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER
Dhammapada Verse 121 Asannataparikkhara Vatthu Take
Not Evil Lightly
121. Take Not Evil Lightly
Think lightly not of evil,
‘It will not come to me’,
for by the falling of water drops
a water jar is filled.
The fool with evil fills himself,
he soaks up little by little.
Explanation: Some tend to believe that evil can be taken lightly.
There attitude to wrong-doing is that they can get away with anything
whatsoever. They say in effect: “I will behave in the way I want. Evil
results will never come my way.” But evil accumulates little by little -
very much like a water-pot being filled drop by drop. Little by little the evil
accumulates, until he is filled with it.
na mandam agamissati
balo purati papassa
thokam thokampi acinam.
Verse 121: One should not think lightly of doing evil, imagining
“A little will not affect me”; just as a water-jar is filled up by
falling drops of rain, so also, the fool is filled up with evil, by
accumulating it little by little.
The Story of a Careless Bhikkhu
While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered
Verse (121) of this book, with reference to a bhikkhu who was careless in the
use of furniture belonging to the monastery.
This bhikkhu, after using any piece of furniture, such as a couch,
a bench or a stool belonging to the monastery, would leave it outside in the
compound, thus exposing it to rain and sun and also to white ants. When other
bhikkhus chided him for his irresponsible behaviour, he would retorted, “I
do not have the intention to destroy those things; after all, very little
damage has been done,” and so on and so forth and he continued to behave
in the same way. When the Buddha came to know about this, he sent for the
bhikkhu and said to him, “Bhikkhu, you should not behave in this way:
you should not think lightly of an evil, however small it may be, because it
will become big if you do it habitually.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
01 04 2012 LESSON 568WISDOM and PRACTICE
I. KAMMA REBIRTH AWAKEN-NESS BUDDHA THUS COME ONE DHAMMA
Following the Buddha’s
Instilling Goodness School
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM
As a child, Siddhartha the Buddha,
was troubled by some of the same thoughts that children today have. They wonder
about birth and death. They wonder why they get sick and why grandfather died.
They wonder why their wishes do not come true. Children also wonder about
happiness and the beauty in nature.
Because the Buddha knew what was in
the hearts of children and human kind, he taught everyone how to live a happy
and peaceful life. Buddhism is not learning about strange beliefs from faraway
lands. It is about looking at and thinking about our own lives. It shows us how
to understand ourselves and how to cope with our daily problems.
THE LIFE OF THE BUDDHA
Life in the
The birth of Siddhartha Gautama
Buddhism is one of the major
religions in the world. It began around 2,500 years ago in India when
Siddhartha Gautama discovered how to bring happiness into the world. He was
born around 566 BC, in the small kingdom of Kapilavastu. His father was King
Suddhodana and his mother was Queen Maya.
Soon after Prince Siddhartha was
born, the wise men predicted that he would become a Buddha. When the king heard
this, he was deeply disturbed, for he wanted his son to become a mighty ruler.
He told Queen Maya, “I will make life in the palace so pleasant that our
son will never want to leave.”
At the age of sixteen, Prince
Siddhartha married a beautiful princess, Yasodhara. The king built them three
palaces, one for each season, and lavished them with luxuries. They passed
their days in enjoyment and never thought about life outside the palace.
The Four Sights
Soon Siddhartha became disillusioned
with the palace life and wanted to see the outside world. He made four trips
outside the palace and saw four things that changed his life. On the first
three trips, he saw sickness, old age and death. He asked himself, “How
can I enjoy a life of pleasure when there is so much suffering in the
On his fourth trip, he saw a
wandering monk who had given up everything he owned to seek an end to
suffering. “I shall be like him.” Siddhartha thought.
Leaving his kingdom and loved ones
behind, Siddhartha became a wandering monk. He cut off his hair to show that he
had renounced the worldly lifestyle and called himself Gautama. He wore ragged
robes and wandered from place to place. In his search for truth, he studied
with the wisest teachers of his day. None of them knew how to end suffering, so
he continued the search on his own.
For six years he practiced severe
asceticism thinking this would lead him to enlightenment. He sat in meditation
and ate only roots, leaves and fruit. At times he ate nothing. He could endure
more hardships than anyone else, but this did not take him anywhere. He
thought, “Neither my life of luxury in the palace nor my life as an
ascetic in the forest is the way to freedom. Overdoing things can not lead to
happiness. ” He began to eat nourishing food again and regained his
On a full-moon day in May, he sat
under the Bodhi tree in deep meditation and said. “I will not leave this
spot until I find an end to suffering.” During the night, he was visited
by Mara, the evil one, who tried to tempt him away from his virtuous path.
First he sent his beautiful daughters to lure Gautama into pleasure. Next he
sent bolts of lightning, wind and heavy rain. Last he sent his demonic armies
with weapons and flaming rocks. One by one, Gautama met the armies and defeated
them with his virtue.
As the struggle ended, he realized
the cause of suffering and how to remove it. He had gained the most supreme
wisdom and understood things as they truly are. He became the Buddha, ‘The
Awakened One’. From then on, he was called Shakyamuni Buddha.
After his enlightenment, he went to
the Deer Park near the holy city of Benares and shared his new understanding
with five holy men. They understood immediately and became his disciples. This
marked the beginning of the Buddhist community.
For the next forty-five years, the
Buddha and his disciples went from place to place in India spreading the Dharma,
his teachings. Their compassion knew no bounds, they helped everyone along the
way, beggars, kings and slave girls. At night, they would sleep where they
were; when hungry they would ask for a little food.
Whenever the Buddha went, he won the
hearts of the people because he dealt with their true feelings. He advised them
not to accept his words on blind faith, but to decide for themselves whether
his teachings are right or wrong, then follow them. He encouraged everyone to
have compassion for each other and develop their own virtue, “You should
do your own work, for I can teach only the way.”
He never became angry or impatient
or spoke harshly to anyone, not even to those who opposed him. He always taught
in such a way that everyone could understand. Each person thought the Buddha
was speaking especially for him. The Buddha told his followers to help each
other on the Way. Following is a story of the Buddha living as an example to
Once the Buddha and Ananda visited a
monastery where a monk was suffering from a contagious disease. The poor man
lay in a mess with no one looking after him. The Buddha himself washed the sick
monk and placed him on a new bed. Afterwards, he admonished the other monks.
“Monks, you have neither mother nor father to look after you. If you do
not look after each other, who will look after you? Whoever serves the sick and
suffering, serves me.”
The Last Years
Shakyamuni Buddha passed away around
486 BC at the age of eighty. Although he has left the world, the spirit of his
kindness and compassion remains.
The Buddha realized that that he was
not the first to become a Buddha. “There have been many Buddhas before me
and will be many Buddhas in the future,” The Buddha recalled to his
disciples. “All living beings have the Buddha nature and can become
Buddhas.” For this reason, he taught the way to Buddhahood.
The two main goals of Buddhism are
getting to know ourselves and learning the Buddha’s teachings. To know who we
are, we need to understand that we have two natures. One is called our ordinary
nature, which is made up of unpleasant feelings such as fear, anger, and
jealousy. The other is our true nature, the part of us that is pure,
wise, and perfect. In Buddhism, it is called the Buddha nature. The only
difference between us and the Buddha is that we have not awakened to our true
BASIC TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA
THE THREE UNIVERSAL TRUTHS
One day, the Buddha sat down in the
shade of a tree and noticed how beautiful the countryside was. Flowers were
blooming and trees were putting on bright new leaves, but among all this
beauty, he saw much unhappiness. A farmer beat his ox in the field. A bird
pecked at an earthworm, and then an eagle swooped down on the bird. Deeply troubled,
he asked, “Why does the farmer beat his ox? Why must one creature eat
another to live?”
During his enlightenment, the Buddha
found the answer to these questions. He discovered three great truths. He
explained these truths in a simple way so that everyone could understand them.
1. Nothing is lost in the
The first truth is that nothing is
lost in the universe. Matter turns into energy, energy turns into matter. A
dead leaf turns into soil. A seed sprouts and becomes a new plant. Old solar
systems disintegrate and turn into cosmic rays. We are born of our parents, our
children are born of us.
We are the same as plants, as trees,
as other people, as the rain that falls. We consist of that which is around us,
we are the same as everything. If we destroy something around us, we destroy
ourselves. If we cheat another, we cheat ourselves. Understanding this truth,
the Buddha and his disciples never killed any animal.
2. Everything Changes
The second universal truth of the
Buddha is that everything is continuously changing. Life is like a river
flowing on and on, ever-changing. Sometimes it flows slowly and sometimes
swiftly. It is smooth and gentle in some places, but later on snags and rocks
crop up out of nowhere. As soon as we think we are safe, something unexpected
Once dinosaurs, mammoths, and
saber-toothed tigers roamed this earth. They all died out, yet this was not the
end of life. Other life forms like smaller mammals appeared, and eventually
humans, too. Now we can even see the Earth from space and understand the
changes that have taken place on this planet. Our ideas about life also change.
People once believed that the world was flat, but now we know that it is round.
3. Law of Cause and Effect
The third universal truth explained
by the Buddha is that there is continuous changes due to the law of cause and
effect. This is the same law of cause and effect found in every modern science
textbook. In this way, science and Buddhism are alike.
The law of cause and effect is known
as karma. Nothing ever happens to us unless we deserves it. We receive
exactly what we earn, whether it is good or bad. We are the way we are now due
to the things we have done in the past. Our thoughts and actions determine the
kind of life we can have. If we do good things, in the future good things will
happen to us. If we do bad things, in the future bad things will happen to us.
Every moment we create new karma by what we say, do, and think. If we
understand this, we do not need to fear karma. It becomes our friend. It
teaches us to create a bright future.
The Buddha said,
“The kind of seed sown
will produce that kind of fruit.
Those who do good will reap good results.
Those who do evil will reap evil results.
If you carefully plant a good seed,
You will joyfully gather good fruit.”
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS
Once there was a woman named
Kisagotami, whose first-born son died. She was so stricken with grief that she
roamed the streets carrying the dead body and asking for help to bring her son
back to life. A kind and wise man took her to the Buddha.
The Buddha told her, “Fetch me
a handful of mustard seeds and I will bring your child back to life.”
Joyfully Kisagotami started off to get them. Then the Buddha added, “But
the seeds must come from a family that has not known death.”
Kisagotami went from door to door in
the whole village asking for the mustard seeds, but everyone said, “Oh,
there have been many deaths here”, “I lost my father”, I lost my
sister”. She could not find a single household that had not been visited
by death. Finally Kisagotami returned to the Buddha and said, “There is
death in every family. Everyone dies. Now I understand your teaching.”
The Buddha said, “No one can
escape death and unhappiness. If people expect only happiness in life, they
will be disappointed.”
Things are not always the way we
want them to be, but we can learn to understand them. When we get sick, we go
to a doctor and ask:
The Buddha is like a good doctor. First a good doctor
diagnoses the illness. Next he finds out what has caused it. Then he decides
what the cure is. Finally he prescribes the medicine or gives the treatment
that will make the patient well again.
The Four Noble
1. There is Suffering Suffering is common to all.
2. Cause of Suffering We are the cause of our suffering.
3. End of Suffering Stop doing what causes suffering.
4. Path to end Suffering Everyone can be enlightened.
1. Suffering: Everyone
suffers from these thing
Birth- When we are born, we cry.
Sickness- When we are sick, we are miserable.
Old age- When old, we will have ache and pains and
find it hard to get around.
Death- None of us wants to die. We feel deep sorrow
when someone dies.
Other things we suffer from are:
Being with those we dislike,
Being apart from those we love,
Not getting what we want,
All kinds of problems and disappointments that are unavoidable.
The Buddha did not deny that there
is happiness in life, but he pointed out it does not last forever. Eventually
everyone meets with some kind of suffering. He said:
“There is happiness in life,
happiness in friendship,
happiness of a family,
happiness in a healthy body and mind,
…but when one loses them, there is suffering.”
2. The cause of suffering
The Buddha explained that people live in a sea of suffering because of
ignorance and greed. They are ignorant of the law of karma and are greedy for
the wrong kind of pleasures. They do things that are harmful to their bodies
and peace of mind, so they can not be satisfied or enjoy life.
For example, once children have had
a taste of candy, they want more. When they can’t have it, they get upset. Even
if children get all the candy they want, they soon get tired of it and want
something else. Although, they get a stomach-ache from eating too much candy,
they still want more. The things people want most cause them the most
suffering. Of course, there are basic things that all people should have, like
adequate food, shelter, and clothing. Everyone deserve a good home, loving
parents, and good friends. They should enjoy life and cherish their possessions
without becoming greedy.
3. The end of suffering
To end suffering, one must cut off greed and ignorance. This means changing
one’s views and living in a more natural and peaceful way. It is like blowing
out a candle. The flame of suffering is put out for good. Buddhists call the
state in which all suffering is ended Nirvana. Nirvana is an everlasting
state of great joy and peace. The Buddha said, “The extinction of desire
is Nirvana.” This is the ultimate goal in Buddhism. Everyone can realize
it with the help of the Buddha’s teachings. It can be experienced in this very
4. The path to the end of suffering:
The path to end suffering is known as the Noble Eightfold
Path. It is also known as the Middle Way.
THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
When the Buddha gave his first
sermon in the Deer Park, he began the ‘Turning of the Dharma Wheel‘.
He chose the beautiful symbol of the wheel with its eight spokes to represent
the Noble Eightfold Path. The Buddha’s teaching goes round and round like a
great wheel that never stops, leading to the central point of the wheel, the
only point which is fixed, Nirvana. The eight spokes on the wheel represent the
eight parts of the Noble Eightfold Path. Just as every spoke is needed for the
wheel to keep turning, we need to follow each step of the path.
View. The right way to think about life is to see the world through the
eyes of the Buddha–with wisdom and compassion.
2. Right Thought.
We are what we think. Clear and kind thoughts build good, strong characters.
Speech. By speaking kind and helpful words, we are respected and trusted by
Conduct. No matter what we say, others know us from the way we behave.
Before we criticize others, we should first see what we do ourselves.
Livelihood. This means choosing a job that does not hurt others. The Buddha
said, “Do not earn your living by harming others. Do not seek happiness by
making others unhappy.”
Effort. A worthwhile life means doing our best at all times and having good
will toward others. This also means not wasting effort on things that harm
ourselves and others.
Mindfulness. This means being aware of our thoughts, words, and deeds.
Concentration. Focus on one thought or object at a time. By doing this, we
can be quiet and attain true peace of mind.
Following the Noble Eightfold Path
can be compared to cultivating a garden, but in Buddhism one cultivates one’s
wisdom. The mind is the ground and thoughts are seeds. Deeds are ways one cares
for the garden. Our faults are weeds. Pulling them out is like weeding a
garden. The harvest is real and lasting happiness.
FOLLOWING THE BUDDHA’S TEACHINGS
The Buddha spoke the Four Noble
Truths and many other teachings, but at the heart they all stress the same
thing. An ancient story explains this well.
Once a very old king went to see an
old hermit who lived in a bird’s nest in the top of a tree, “What is the
most important Buddhist teaching?” The hermit answered, “Do no evil,
do only good. Purify your heart.” The king had expected to hear a very
long explanation. He protested, “But even a five-year old child can
understand that!” “Yes,” replied the wise sage, “but even
an 80-year-old man cannot do it.”
THE TRIPLE JEWEL
The Buddha knew it would be
difficult for people to follow his teachings on their own, so he established
the Three Refuges for them to rely on. If a person wants to become
Buddhists take refuge in and rely on the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
These are known as the Triple Jewel. The Sangha are the monks and nuns.
They live in monasteries and carry on the Buddha’s teaching. The word Sangha
means ‘harmonious community’. The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha together
possess qualities that are precious like jewels and can lead one to
A refuge is a place to go for safety
and protection, like a shelter in a storm. Taking refuge does not mean running
away from life. It means living life in a fuller, truer way.
Taking refuge is also like a man
traveling for the first time to a distant city. He will need a guide to show
him which path to follow and some traveling companions to help him along the
There is a special ceremony for taking refuge with the
Triple Jewel. With a sincere mind, one recites the following verse in front of
an ordained monk or nun.
I go to the Buddha for refuge.
I go to the Dharma for refuge.
I go to the Sangha for refuge.
For a Buddhist, taking refuge is the
first step on the path to enlightenment. Even if enlightenment is not achieved
in this life, one has a better chance to become enlightened in a future life.
One who take the precepts is called a lay person.
THE FIVE PRECEPTS
All religions have some basic rules
that define what is good conduct and what kind of conduct should be avoided. In
Buddhism, the most important rules are the Five Precepts. These have
been passed down from the Buddha himself.
Respect for life
Respect for others’ property
3. No sexual
for our pure nature
Respect for honesty
Respect for a clear mind
The Buddha said, “Life is dear
to all beings. They have the right to live the same as we do.” We should
respect all life and not kill anything. Killing ants and mosquitoes is also
breaking this precept. We should have an attitude of loving-kindness towards
all beings, wishing them to be happy and free from harm. Taking care of the
earth, its rivers and air is included. One way that many Buddhists follow this
precept is by being vegetarian.
If we steal from another, we steal
from ourselves. Instead, we should learn to give and take care of things that
belong to our family, to the school, or to the public.
Proper conduct shows respect for
oneself and others. Our bodies are gifts from our parents, so we should protect
them from harm. Young people should especially keep their natures pure and
develop their virtue. It is up to them to make the world a better place to
live. In happy families, the husband and wife both respect each other.
Being honest brings peace into the
world. When there is a misunderstanding, the best thing is to talk it over.
This precept includes no gossip, no back-biting, no harsh words and no idle
The fifth precept is based on
keeping a clear mind and a healthy body. One day, when the Buddha was speaking
the Dharma for the assembly, a young drunkard staggered into the room. He
tripped over some monks who were sitting on the floor and started cursing
loudly. His breath reeked of alcohol and filled the air with a sickening
stench. Mumbling to himself, he reeled out the door.
Everyone was astonished at his rude
behavior, but the Buddha remained calm. “Great assembly!” he spoke,
“Take a look at this man! He will certainly lose his wealth and good name.
His body will grow weak and sickly. Day and night, he will quarrel with his family
and friends until they abandon him. The worst thing is that he will lose his
wisdom and become stupid.”
Little by little, one can learn to
follow these precepts. If one sometimes forgets them, one can start all over
again. Following the precepts is a lifetime job. If one kills or hurts
someone’s feelings by mistake, that is breaking the precepts, but it was not
done on purpose.
THE WHEEL OF LIFE
Buddhists do not believe that death
is the end of life. When one dies, one’s consciousness leaves and enters one of
the six paths of rebirth.
These are the six states on the wheel of life. At the top
are the heavens, where everyone is happy. Below are the hells where the
suffering is unbearable. Beings can rise or fall from one path to another. If
one does good deeds, one will be born into the paths of gods, humans, or
asuras. If one does evil deeds, one will be born into the paths of animals,
hungry ghosts, or hell-beings. From one life to the next one can
suddenly change from an human to an animal or from a ghost to a hell-being, according
to the things one has done.
How to Escape
the Turning Wheel
The wheel of life and death is kept
turning by the three poisons of greed, hatred, and stupidity.
By cutting off the three poisons, we can escape the wheel and become
enlightened. There are four stages of enlightenment.
THE BUDDHIST COMMUNITY
In Asia, it is considered the
highest honor if a member of one’s family leaves the home life. Westerners,
however, may be shocked at the idea of anyone leaving their family to become a
monk or nun. They may think this is selfish and turning one’s back on the
world. In fact, monks and nuns are not selfish at all. They dedicate themselves
to helping others. They don’t wish to own a lot of things, or to have money or
power. They give these things up to gain something far more valuable–spiritual
freedom. By living a pure simple life with others on the same path, they are
able to lessen their greed, hatred, and ignorance.
Although monks and nuns live in a
monastery, they do not entirely give up their families. They are allowed to
visit and take care of them when they are ill.
LIFE IN A MONASTERY
A day in a temple begins early for
monks and nuns. Long before daybreak, they attend morning ceremony and chant
praises to the Buddha. The ceremonies lift one’s spirit and bring about
harmony. Although the Sangha lead simple lives, they have many responsibilities
to fulfill. Everyone works diligently and is content with his or her duties.
During the day, some monks and nuns
go about teaching in schools or speaking the Buddha’s teachings. Others may
revise and translate Buddhist Sutras and books, make Buddha images, take care
of the temple and gardens, prepare for ceremonies, give advice to laypeople,
and care for the elders and those who are sick. The day ends with a final
In the daily life of work and
religious practice, the monks and nuns conduct them-selves properly and are
highly respected. By leading a pure, simple life, they gain extraorinary
insight into the nature of things. Although their life is hard and rigorous,
the results are worth it. It also keeps them healthy and energetic. The laity,
who live in the temple or visits, follows the same schedule as the Sangha and
works along with them.
THE SHAVEN HEAD, ROBE, AND OFFERING BOWL
Ideally, monks and nuns own only a
few things, such as robes and an offering bowl. While most people spend lots of
time and money on their hair, Buddhist monks and nuns shave their heads. They
are no longer concerned with outward beauty, but with developing their
spiritual lives. The shaven head is a reminder that the monks and nuns have
renounced the home life and are a part of the Sangha.
Offering food to monks and nuns is a
part of Buddhism. In Asia, it is not unusual to see monks walking towards the
villages early in the morning carrying their offering bowls. They do not beg
for food, but accept whatever is offered. This practice not only helps the
monks and nuns to be humble, but gives laypeople an opportunity to give. In
some countries laypeople go to the monastery to make offerings.
The robes of monks and nuns are
simple and made from cotton or linen. Their color varies according to different
countries. For instance, yellow robes are mostly worn in Thailand, while black
robes are worn in Japan. In China and Korea, gray and brown robes are worn for
work, while more elaborate robes are used for ceremonies. Dark red robes are
worn in Tibet.
Robes and offering bowls are very
important to monks and nuns. The Buddha said, “Just as a bird takes its
wings with it wherever it flies, so the monk takes his robes and bowl with him
wherever he goes.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAITY IN BUDDHISM
The laity are very important in
Buddhism, for they are the supporting members of the Buddhist community. They
build the temples and monasteries and give offerings of food, robes, bedding,
and medicine to the monks and nuns. This enables the Sangha to carry on the
Buddha’s work. In this way the Sangha and laity benefit each other and together
keep the Dharma alive.
In Buddhism, it is also important to
support the poor and needy. Giving to support religious people, however, is
considered a very meritorious deed. The Buddha not only encouraged giving to
Buddhists, but to any spiritual person who is sincere.
The Buddha taught his disciples to
be tolerant of other religions. For example, when one lights a candle from the
flame of another candle, the flame of the first candle does not lose its light.
Instead, the two lights glow more brightly together. It is the same with the
great religions of the world.
Whether one is a member of the
Sangha or a lay person, the ideal is to practice Buddhism for the sake of all.
DIFFERENT KINDS OF BUDDHISM
TWO SCHOOLS OF BUDDHISM
In the centuries following the
Buddha’s lifetime, his followers faithfully preserved his teachings and spread
them to many countries in Asia. Today, there are two main schools of Buddhism: Theravada
and Mahayana. Theravada means ‘the teaching of the Elders’. Theravada
monks follow the practices that have been passed down by the senior monks from
the Buddha’s time, such as living in the forests and meditating. The goal in
Theravada Buddhism is to become an Arhat, a person who is free of
suffering. Theravada is practiced mainly in southern Asian countries such as
Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar (Burma).
Mahayana stresses following the
Buddha’s example of going out into the world and doing good. Mahayana means ‘Great
Vehicle’. The goal in Mahayana Buddhism is to follow the Bodhisattva
Path. A Bodhisattva is one who enlightens oneself as well as others. In
Mahayana Buddhism, there are many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It mainly spread to
northern Asian countries like China, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Recently,
both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism have been introduced into the West.
VISITING BUDDHIST TEMPLES
In this unit, we will pretend to
visit different Buddhist temples. When visiting a temple, we should dress
modestly and follow the rules and customs of the temple. Buddhists pay their
respects to the Triple Jewel by facing the altar and bowing when entering the
temple. Visitors may join in the worship rituals or just watch quietly.
In Buddhism, the monks and nuns are
treated with great respect. They sit or stand in front of everyone else and
take their food first. When we talk to them, we should put our palms together
and speak politely.
Our first visit is to a Theravada
Buddhist monastery in the forest in Thailand where only the monks live. We sit
in the quietness of a small bamboo temple built on stilts, surrounded by the
sounds of chirping birds and rustling trees. A young monk who is our guide
explains to us. “The monks live alone in huts called ‘kutis’. They
are built on stilts to keep the animals and insects out. There they practice
sitting and walking meditation, which is very important for their spiritual
life. In front of each hut is a path for walking meditation. The monks sweep
them clean to keep from stepping on insects and killing them.”
The guide continues, “Early in
the morning and in the evening, the monks meet together for meditation and
recitation. After the ceremonies called pujas, they study the Dharma.
Before entering the temple they wash their feet with water carried up to the
monastery from a stream below. It is traditional for the monks and nuns to live
in the forest as part of their early training. The older ones, however, are not
required to do so. Some monks and nuns may live all their lives in the forest,
while others live in the temples in towns and cities.
Someone asks, “Living in the
jungle, aren’t you afraid of tigers?”
The monk answers, “Sometimes,
when the monks are walking in the jungle, they sense tigers following them. But
since they hold the precept of no killing, they’re not afraid and the tigers
know they will not be harmed.”
Next we will visit a Tibetan temple.
A young Tibetan boy named Lobsang is our guide. He smiles as he talks,
“Our temple is very colorful. It is decorated with many kinds of Buddha
images and wall hangings called thankas. On the altars are beautiful
lamps and incense holders. Big prayer wheels are set into the walls of the
temple. Mantras, written on strips of rice paper, are placed inside the
wheels. They are symbolic phrases with deep spiritual meanings. We recite them
over and over as we turn the prayer wheels. There are also hand-held prayer
wheels that people whirl as they walk about.
“To us Tibetans, Buddhism is a
happy religion. My favorite days are the festivals. People in masks and costumes
act out dramas about the life of the Buddha. Bright, new prayer flags are hung
on these days. They blow in the wind along the hillsides and remind us to live
in harmony with nature. Now that your visit is over, may you go with the spirit
of the Buddha.”
At a Japanese temple, we are met by
Taro. She will tell us about her Sunday School: “We chant ‘Namo Amida
Butsu’ to show our gratitude to Amida Buddha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. We
believe that by reciting his name we will have a good life and be reborn in his
Western Pure Land. You can see a statue of Amida in the front of the hall. On
the altar you can see other beautiful things, but the most important is the
offering of rice cakes.
“I will tell you why. Rice is
very important to Asian people. If you were to ask a young Japanese boy or
girl, ‘What did you eat today?’ He or she would probably say, ‘Rice’” When
we see rice offered, it reminds us to offer our best to the Buddha. In Sunday
school, we sit in meditation on cushions called zafus. Japanese
meditation is called zen.
Today we are visiting a
Chinese-American monastery in California. It is called the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas. There are over ten thousand small Buddha statues inside the main
worship hall. Our guide is a young novice named Gwo Cheng from mainland China.
She came to the United States when she was 10 years old and became a novice at
Gwo Cheng: “The City of Ten
Thousand Buddhas is a Buddhist community where people from all over the world
come to study Buddhism. The City has its own schools, but you do not have to be
a Buddhist to attend our schools or to live here.
“A day at the temple begins at
4:00 a.m. with the morning ceremony. After that we bow, sit in meditation, and
recite Sutras. These ceremonies lift everyone’s spirits and help us live
together in harmony. We do our ceremonies in both English and Chinese. There
are many ceremonies throughout the day. We finish off the day with an evening
ceremony and a Dharma talk.
“Everyone goes to work or
school at 8:00 in the morning. In our school, we learn the way of truth and
goodness We also learn both Chinese and English. We young novices attend school
and are in training to become nuns. We can become fully ordained nuns when we
are twenty-one, so we have time to make up our minds. We are not expected to do
everything the nuns do, but we do our best. At first it was difficult to get up
so early and to sit in meditation, but now we are used to it. It’s a healthy
“After school, we help with the
temple duties and do other chores. I really like gardening and planting. Many
people ask me if the novices ever have any fun. We do! We are very good friends
and enjoy studying together. We go on walks and picnics and sing Buddhist
songs. The nuns are always thinking of fun things for us to do. We also like to
see our families who live here and visit with us.”
BUDDHIST SCRIPTURES, SYMBOLS, AND FESTIVALS
The Dharma reveals the Buddha’s
understanding of life. The Buddha instructed countless people, but he, himself,
wrote nothing down, just as Jesus wrote nothing down. They both lived a
complete life. His disciples remembered his talks and recited them regularly.
These talks were collected into books called Sutras. There are many
Sutras, so Buddhism does not have just a single holy book, like the Christian
Bible or the Koran of Islam.
The first Sutras were written on
palm leaves in Pali and Sanskrit, ancient Indian languages. They
have been gathered together in a collection called the Tripitaka, which
means ‘three baskets’. It is divided into three parts.
Buddhists treat Sutras with great respect and place them on
the highest shelves in the most respected areas.
Buddhist symbols have special
meanings that remind us of the Buddha’s teachings. The main room or building is
called a shrine or a Buddha Hall. In the front of this room, there is an altar.
There are many beautiful things on the altar. Here are some of them.
Some people believe that Buddhists
worship idols, but this is not true. Buddhists bow or make offerings of flowers
and incense in reverence to the Buddha, not to the image. When they do so they
reflect on the virtues of the Buddha and are inspired to become like him.
Buddha images are not necessary, but they are helpful. The most important thing
is to follow the Buddha’s teachings.
There are many different kinds of
Buddha and Bodhisattva images that show different qualities. For example, a
statue of the Buddha with his hand resting gently in his lap reminds us to
develop peace within ourselves. A statue with the Buddha’s right hand touching
the ground shows determination.
Traditional offerings are to show
respect to the Buddha.
The instruments used in ceremonies
and meditation are called Dharma instruments. Each instrument has a
specific use. For instance, the wooden fish is hit to keep rhythm
The lotus flower represents
enlightenment described in the poem.
The lotus has its roots in the mud,
Grows up through the deep water,
And rises to the surface.
It blooms into perfect beauty and purity in the sunlight.
It is like the mind unfolding to perfect joy and wisdom.
The Bodhi Tree
The Bodhi Tree is a pipal
tree, a kind of fig tree found in India. After the Buddha attained
enlightenment under this tree, it became known as the Bodhi Tree, the Tree
of Enlightenment. It is located in Bodhgaya, where people
visit to pay their respects to the Buddha. Although the parent tree is no
longer alive, its grandchildren are still there.
As the Buddha sat beneath the Bodhi
Tree after his enlightenment, six rays of light came out from his body and
spread for miles around. The colors were yellow, blue, white, red, orange and a
mixture of all the colors. The Buddhist flag was designed after these colors.
Stupas and pagodas are
monuments where the relics of the Buddha and high monks and nuns are kept so
that people can show their respects. These relics are jewels that remain after
Buddhists have many festivals
throughout the year. These festivals celebrate events in the lives of Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas and famous teachers. During these occasions people can also take
refuge and precepts, or leave the home life to become monks and nuns.
For the Buddhist community, the most
important event of the year is the celebration of the Birth of the Buddha, his
Enlightenment and Nirvana. It falls on the full-moon day in May. On this day,
Buddhists take part in the ceremonial bathing of the Buddha. They pour ladles
of water scented with flowers over a statue of the baby Siddhartha. This
symbolizes purifying one’s thoughts and actions.
The temples are elaborately
decorated with flowers and banners; the altars are laden with offerings;
vegetarian meals are provided for all; and captive animals, such as birds and
turtles are set free. This is a very joyous day for everyone.
Asalha Puja, known as ‘Dharma Day’,
is celebrated during full-moon in July. This holiday commemorates the first
sermon of the Buddha to the five monks in the Deer Park at Benares.
Sangha Day or Kathina Day is usually
held in October. In the Theravada tradition, monks and nuns go on a three-month
retreat during the rainy season. After the retreat, the laity offers robes and
other necessities to them. This day symbolizes the close relationship between
the Sangha and laity.
The observance of Ullambana is based
on the story of Maudgalyayana, a disciple of the Buddha. When Maudgalyayana’s
mother died, he wanted to know where she was reborn. Using his spiritual powers,
he traveled into the hells and found her suffering miserably from hunger. He
brought her a bowl of food, but when she tried to swallow it, the food turned
into hot coals.
The distressed Maudgalyayana asked
the Buddha, “Why is my mother suffering in the hells?”
The Buddha replied, “In her
life as a human, she was stingy and greedy. This is her retribution.” He
advised, “Make offerings to the Sangha. The merit and virtue from this act
will release your mother and others from the hells.” As a result of Maudgalyana’s
offering, his mother and thousands of others were released from their unhappy
state. After this, making offerings to release departed relatives and others
from the hells became popular in Mahayana countries. Usually, it takes place in
HISTORY OF BUDDHISM
BUDDHISM IN THE EAST
Buddhism was first introduced into
Sri Lanka from India in the 3rd century BC by Mahinda, the son of King Asoka.
There it achieved great popularity and is still flourishing today.
In the early centuries AD, Buddhism
was introduced taken to Southeast Asia by merchants and missionaries. The great
monuments like Borobudur in Indonesia and Angkor Thom in Cambodia are
evidence of the splendor of Buddhism in these regions.
In the 1st century AD, Buddhism
reached China where many Sutras were translated into classical Chinese.
In the 4th century AD, Buddhism
found its way to Korea and on into Japan.
BUDDHISM IN THE WEST
Even before the 17th century, people
in the West heard of the Buddha and his teachings from early travelers such as
Marco Polo and Christian missionaries.
By the early 20th century, many
Europeans had traveled to the East to study Buddhism. Some of them became monks
and inspired Buddhism in the West. In the 19th century, Chinese and Japanese
immigrants brought many different traditions of Buddhism to America. Today,
there are numerous Buddhist centers spread across Europe and North and South
JATAKA TALES AND OTHER BUDDHIST STORIES
The Buddha was a great storyteller
and often told stories to get his message across. Stories were also told about
the Buddha by his followers both to explain and understand the Dharma. These
stories have been passed down to the present day and the most popular ones are
the Jataka tales, a collection of hundreds of tales about the Buddha’s past
lives. They show the kind of life one should lead to become a Buddha one day.
In many of these stories, the Buddha appears as an animal to teach the value of
qualities such as kindness, compassion, and giving.
The Monkey King
and the Mangoes
Once upon a time, the Buddha came
into the world as a Monkey King and ruled over 80,000 monkeys. He was very tall
and strong and had wisdom like the sun. In his kingdom on the banks of the
Ganges River, there was a mango tree as big as the moon. The 80,000 monkeys
jumped from branch to branch chattering and eating the lovely fruit that was
big and sweet and delicious. Sometimes a ripe mango fell into the river.
One day, the Monkey King strolled
downstream and came upon a river palace where a human king lived. “Soon
danger will come if the mangoes float downstream,” he told the monkeys.
“Pick all the mangoes and flowers on the trees and take them deep into the
But one mango, hidden by a bird’s
nest, was left unseen by the 80,000 monkeys. When it was large and ripe, it
fell into the river and floated downstream where the human king was bathing.
The human king, who was very
curious, tasted the beautiful mango. “This is delicious!’ he exclaimed.
“I must have more. Servants, find all the mangoes and bring them to me at
Deep in the forest, the servants
found hundreds of mango trees. In the trees were the 80,000 monkeys. When the
human king heard about the monkeys, he was very angry, “The monkeys are
eating my mangoes. Kill them all!” he ordered his archers.
“Very well,” said the
archers and chased the monkeys to the edge of the forest where they came to a
deep cliff. There was no way for the monkeys to escape. Shivering with fright,
they ran to the Monkey King asked, “What shall we do?”
“Don’t be afraid. I will save
you,” said their king. Quickly, he stretched his huge body as far as
possible and made a bridge over the cliff to a bamboo grove on the other side.
“Come monkeys, run across my
back to the bamboo grove,” he called. And so the 80,000 monkeys escaped.
The human king watched all that
happened. He was amazed, “This Monkey King has risked his life to save his
whole troop! And all I’m doing is being selfish. I have learned a great
lesson.” Then he called to his archers, “Put down your bows. It isn’t
right to kill this King of Monkeys.”
Forgetting about the mangoes, the
human king went back to his palace by the river and ruled kindly and wisely for
the rest of his life.
The Deer King
Long ago in a forgotten forest,
lived a deer named Banyan. He was golden like the sun and his horns glistened
like silver. His body was as large as a colt and his eyes sparkled like
jewels-alight with wisdom. He was a King of Deer and watched over a herd of 500
Not far away, another herd of deer
was watched over by another golden deer named Branch. In the tall grass and
shadows of the deep forest, the two herds lived in peace.
One day, the King of Benares was out
on a hunt and spied the beautiful green forest where the deer lived. “What
a perfect hunting ground!” he declared and into the forests he dashed with
his thousands of hunters and came upon the two herds of deer. Without a
moment’s hesitation, he notched an arrow in his bow. Suddenly he spotted the
two golden deer. Never had he seen such beautiful creatures! “From this
day on,” he commanded, “No one is to harm or kill these golden
Thereafter, he came to the forest
everyday and killed more deer than was needed for his dinner table. As the
weeks went by, many deer were wounded and died in great pain.
Finally Banyan Deer called the two
herds together, “Friends, we know there is no escape from death, but this
needless killing can be prevented. Let the deer take turns going to the
chopping block, one day from my herd and the next day from Branch’s herd.”
All the deer agreed. Each day the
deer whose turn it was went to the chopping block on the edge of the forest and
laid its head upon the block.
One day, the turn fell to a pregnant
doe from Branch’s herd. She went to Branch Deer and begged, “Grant that I
be passed over until after my fawn is born. Then I will gladly take my
Branch Deer replied, “It is
your turn. You must go.”
In despair, the poor doe went to
Banyan Deer and explained her plight. He gently said, “Go rest in peace. I
will put your turn upon another.” The deer king went and laid his
golden head upon the chopping block. A deep silence fell in the forest.
When the king of Benares came and
saw the golden deer ready for sacrifice, his heart skipped a beat, “You
are the leader of the herd,” he exclaimed, “You should be the last to
die!” Banyan Deer explained how he had come to save the life of the doe.
A tear rolled down the cheek of the
king. “Golden Deer King,” he exclaimed. “Among men and beasts, I
have not seen one with such compassion. Arise! I spare both your life and hers.
“So we will be safe. But what
shall the rest of the deer do?” “Their lives I shall also
spare.” “So the deer will be safe, but what will the other
four-footed animals do?” “From now on they too will be safe.”
“And what of the birds?” “I will spare their lives.”
“And the fish in the water” “The fish shall be spared- all
creatures of the land, sea, and sky will be free.”
Having saved the lives of all
creatures, the golden deer raised his head from the chopping block and returned
to the forest.
The Wounded Swan
One day when Prince Siddhartha and
his cousin Devadatta were walking in the woods, they saw a swan. Quickly,
Devadatta drew his bow and shot the swan down. Siddhartha rushed to the wounded
swan and pulled out the arrow. He held the bird in his arms and caressed it.
Devadatta angrily shouted at Prince
Siddhartha, “Give me the swan. I shot it. It belongs to me!”
“I shall never give it to you,
You will only kill it!” said the prince firmly. “Let’s ask the
ministers of the court and let them decide.”
The ministers all had different
views. Some said, “The swan should be given to Devadatta.” Others
said, “It should go to Prince Siddhartha.” One wise minister stood up
and said, “A life belongs to one who saves it, not to one who will destroy
it. The swan goes to the prince.”
Prince Siddhartha took care of the swan until it could fly again. Then he
turned it loose so it could live freely with its own kind.
the Golden Rabbit
Once there was a poor farmer who
offered his only bowl of rice to a holy man who was even poorer than he. This
meant he would have nothing to eat that day. He went back to his work and
forgot all about having given his rice away. Suddenly a rabbit hopped alongside
the farmer and jumped on his back. The surprised farmer tried to brush it off.
He tried to shake it off, he tried to knock it off, but the rabbit would not
He ran home to his wife, crying,
“Get this rabbit off my back!” By this time the rabbit had turned
into solid gold! The wife flipped the rabbit into the air. It hit the floor
with a “Crackkk!” One of its golden legs broke off and another one
magically grew in its place.
From that day on, whenever the
farmer and his wife needed money, they would break off a piece of the golden
rabbit. And from that life onward, Aniruddha was never poor. This was his
reward for giving.
A LESSON IN MEDITATION
A very simple way of meditating is
concentrating on your breath. The breath is like a bridge between your body and
mind. When you concentrate on your breath for a while, your body becomes
relaxed and your mind becomes peaceful.
Full lotus is the best sitting
posture. Begin by sitting in half-lotus, then work your way up to full lotus.
Note: It is best to sit at the
same time and place everyday. Increase your sitting time little
by little. You may sit in a chair or stand if necessary.
asuras: Beings who like to fight.
A pipal tree that is known as the ‘tree of enlightenment’. The tree under which
Gautama achieved enlightenment and became a Buddha.
A compassionate being who enlightens himself and helps others to be enlightened.
Enlightened or Awakened One. The word ‘Bodhi’ means to awaken.
The main room inside a Buddhist temple.
Teachings of the Buddha
Understanding the truth of life, freedom from ignorance.
The five rules of conduct given by the Buddha to his disciples: no killing, no
stealing, no sexual misconduct, no false speech, no intoxicants.
Four Noble Truths:
The first teachings spoken by the Buddha: the truth of suffering, the cause of
suffering, the end of suffering, and the Path leading to the end of suffering.
hungry ghosts: Ghosts
that suffer a lot because they are greedy.
Jataka tales: stories
about the past lives of the Buddha.
‘Action’ or the law of cause and effect. For every action there is a cause.
A ‘festival of giving’ held in autumn, where people make offerings to the monks
lotus posture: A
The lotus symbolizes the purity of the Buddha. It grows out of mud, yet it is
not defiled by it.
tradition of Northern Buddhism.
Symbolic phrases that Buddhists chant.
A method of calming and training the mind.
The path in life prescribed by the Buddha, the path between extremes.
An everlasting state of great joy and peace.
Noble Eightfold Path:
The Buddha’s prescription for ending suffering. It is made up of eight parts:
right views, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right
effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.
offering bowl: A
bowl that nuns and monks receive offerings in.
ancient language of India that the Buddhist Sutras were originally written in.
Hermits who become enlightened by themselves.
A Pali word for Buddhist worship.
The community of Buddhist nuns and monks.
An ancient language of India that the Buddhist Sutras were written in.
The six ideals that a Bodhisattva perfects: giving morality, patience, effort,
concentration, and wisdom.
to the Buddha
Buddha’s teachings in writing.
Wall hangings found in Tibetan temples.
The tradition of Southern Buddhism.
Three Refuges: The
Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
‘three baskets’, a collection of the Buddha’s written teachings.
The Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha.
A Buddhist festival when offerings are given to the Sangha..
Wheel of Life and Death: The
six worldly states of rebirth: gods, asuras, humans, animals, hungry ghosts,
A round meditation cushion used in Japanese Buddhism.
Bhagwat, N. K. The Dhammapada And
The Buddha’s Last Bequest. Taiwan: The Corporate Body of the Buddha
Buddhism: A Brief Introduction. Developing
Virtue Secondary School.Burlingame, California: Buddhist Translation Society,
Buddhist Studies. Curriculum
Development Institute of Singapore. Singapore: Pan Pacific Publications Pte
Cohen, Joan Lebold. Buddha. New
York: Delacore Press, 1969.
Dhammika, Ven. S. Good
Question–Good Answer. Taiwan: The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational
Text Translation Society. Burlingame, California: Sino-American Buddhist
Flower Adornment Sutra. Universal
Worthy’s Conduct and Vows. Chapter 40. Burlingame,
California: Buddhist Translation Text Society, 1983.
Human Roots. Buddhist
Text Translation Society. Burlingame, California: Sino-American Buddhist
Hui, Pitt Chin. Lord Buddha.
Singapore: World Fellowship of Buddhists.
I Must Keep My Link Bright and
Strong. Sunday School Department. San
Francisco: Buddhist Churches of America, San Francisco, 1966.
India Long Ago. Sunday
School Department. San Francisco: Buddhist Churches of America, San Francisco,
Jones, J. J. Mahavastu.
England: Pali Text Society, 1952.
Lord Buddha Speaks to Me.
Sunday School Department. San Francisco: Buddhist Churches of America, 1966.
Nan, Upasaka Li Ping. A Buddhist
Goal That Can Be Achieved in One’s Present Life. Taiwan: Prajna Foundation.
Buddhist Text Translation Society: Burlingame, California: Sino-American
Buddhist Association, 1981.
Buddhist Text Translation Society: Burlingame, California: Sino-American
Buddhist Association, 1979.
he Human Source.
Buddhist Text Translation Society. Burlingame, California: Sino-American
Buddhist Association, 1982.
The Teaching of Buddha. Sunday
School Department. San Fransisco: Buddhist Churches of America, 1967.
Thompson, Mel. The Buddhist
Experience. England, Hodder & Stroughton Educational, 1993.
The temptation of Siddhartha Gautama
Please Visit the following sites:
AND HIS DHAMMA
by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar
for images and wallpapers of Budha
Little Buddha Part I 71 min 15 sec
Little Buddha Part II 67 min 59 sec
The Buddha Quotes
A jug fills drop
All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed
can wrong-doing remain?
An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild
beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your
Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings
Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment.
Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He
who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.
Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the
He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no
Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship.
Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the
intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what
good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?
I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act;
but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.
I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be
In a controversy the instant we feel anger we have already
ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.
In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people
create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.
It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him
to evil ways.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand
battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels
or by demons, heaven or hell.
It is better to travel well than to arrive.
Just as a candle
cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.
Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue
appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To
walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and
the guidance of virtue.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We
ourselves must walk the path.
Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.
The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.
The mind is everything. What you think you become.
The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best
The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood.
The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups. A good
principle was never found solitary in any breast.
The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
The whole secret
of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on
no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.
The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it
as grain is sifted through a sieve.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to
truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt
separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up
pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that
Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and
the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the
To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a
way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family,
to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If
a man can control his mind he can find the way to Awakenment with Awareness, and all wisdom
and virtue will naturally come to him.
To keep the body
in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind
strong and clear.
To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s
own in the midst of abundance.
Unity can only be manifested by the Binary. Unity itself and
the idea of Unity are already two.
Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When
the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our
thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the
midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris?
What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this
What we think, we become.
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people
will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels
tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these
feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.
Without health life is not life; it is only a
state of langour and suffering - an image of death.
Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who
is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that
person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the
entire universe deserve your love and affection.
You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished
by your anger.
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