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06 04 2012 FRIDAY LESSON 573 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITYAnd THE BUDDHIST ONLINE GOOD NEWS LETTER by ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA through http://sarvajan.ambedkar.org Dhammapada: Verses and Stories Dhammapada Verse 126 Those Who Pass Away
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06 04 2012 FRIDAY LESSON 573 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITYAnd

Dhammapada: Verses and Stories

Dhammapada Verse 126 Those Who Pass Away

126. Those Who Pass Away

Some find birth within a womb,
evil-doer quicken in hell,
good-farers to the heavens go,
the Unpolluted wholly cool.

Explanation: Some, after death, receive conception in wombs,
Those who have committed sins in their lifetime are reborn in hell. Those whose
ways have been virtuous when they were alive go to heaven when they die. These
blemishless ones who are totally free of taints and corruptions, achieve total
Nibbana, on giving up their mortal lives.


The Noble Eightfold Path

The Great Wall of China

1. Right View Wisdom
2. Right Intention
3. Right Speech Ethical Conduct
4. Right Action
5. Right Livelihood
6. Right Effort Mental Development
7. Right Mindfulness
8. Right Concentration

The Noble Eightfold Path describes the way to the end of
suffering, as it was laid out by Siddhartha Gautama. It is
a practical guideline to ethical and mental development with the
goal of freeing the individual from attachments and delusions;
and it finally leads to understanding the truth about all things.
Together with the Four Noble
it constitutes the gist of Buddhism. Great emphasis is put on the practical aspect, because it is only through
practice that one can attain a higher level of existence and finally reach Nirvana. The eight aspects of the path are
not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, instead they are highly interdependent principles that have to be
seen in relationship with each other.

1. Right View

Right view is the beginning and the end of the path, it simply means to see and to understand things as they really
are and to realise the Four Noble Truth. As such, right view is the cognitive aspect of wisdom. It means to see things
through, to grasp the impermanent and imperfect nature of worldly objects and ideas, and to understand the law of karma
and karmic conditioning. Right view is not necessarily an intellectual capacity, just as wisdom is not just a matter of
intelligence. Instead, right view is attained, sustained, and enhanced through all capacities of mind. It begins with
the intuitive insight that all beings are subject to suffering and it ends with complete understanding of the true nature
of all things. Since our view of the world forms our thoughts and our actions, right view yields right thoughts and right

2. Right Intention

While right view refers to the cognitive aspect of wisdom, right intention refers to the volitional aspect, i.e. the
kind of mental energy that controls our actions. Right intention can be described best as commitment to ethical
and mental self-improvement. Buddha distinguishes three types of right intentions: 1. the intention of renunciation, which
means resistance to the pull of desire, 2. the intention of good will, meaning resistance to feelings of anger and aversion,
and 3. the intention of harmlessness, meaning not to think or act cruelly, violently, or aggressively, and to develop

3. Right Speech

Right speech is the first principle of ethical conduct in the eightfold path. Ethical conduct is viewed as a guideline
to moral discipline, which supports the other principles of the path. This aspect is not self-sufficient, however,
essential, because mental purification can only be achieved through the cultivation of ethical conduct. The importance
of speech in the context of Buddhist ethics is obvious: words can break or save lives, make enemies or friends, start
war or create peace. Buddha explained right speech as follows: 1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell
deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully, 2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against
others, 3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others, and 4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose
or depth. Positively phrased, this means to tell the truth, to speak friendly, warm, and gently and to talk only when

4. Right Action

The second ethical principle, right action, involves the body as
natural means of expression, as it refers to deeds
that involve bodily actions. Unwholesome actions lead to unsound
states of mind, while wholesome actions lead to sound
states of mind. Again, the principle is explained in terms of
abstinence: right action means 1. to abstain from harming
sentient beings, especially to abstain from taking life (including
suicide) and doing harm intentionally or delinquently,
2. to abstain from taking what is not given, which includes
stealing, robbery, fraud, deceitfulness, and dishonesty, and
3. to abstain from sexual misconduct. Positively formulated, right
action means to act kindly and compassionately, to
be honest, to respect the belongings of others, and to keep sexual
relationships harmless to others. Further details regarding
the concrete meaning of right action can be found in the Precepts.

5. Right Livelihood

Right livelihood means that one should earn one’s living in a righteous way and that wealth should be gained legally
and peacefully. The Buddha mentions four specific activities that harm other beings and that one should avoid for this
reason: 1. dealing in weapons, 2. dealing in living beings (including raising animals for slaughter as well as slave trade
and prostitution), 3. working in meat production and butchery, and 4. selling intoxicants and poisons, such as alcohol
and drugs. Furthermore any other occupation that would violate the principles of right speech and right action should
be avoided.

6. Right Effort

Right effort can be seen as a prerequisite for the other principles of the path. Without effort, which is in itself
an act of will, nothing can be achieved, whereas misguided effort distracts the mind from its task, and confusion will
be the consequence. Mental energy is the force behind right effort; it can occur in either wholesome or unwholesome states.
The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline,
honesty, benevolence, and kindness. Right effort is detailed in four types of endeavours that rank in ascending order of
perfection: 1. to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states, 2. to abandon unwholesome states that have already
arisen, 3. to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and 4. to maintain and perfect wholesome states already

7. Right Mindfulness

Right mindfulness is the controlled and perfected faculty of cognition. It is the mental ability to see things as they
are, with clear consciousness. Usually, the cognitive process begins with an impression induced by perception, or by a
thought, but then it does not stay with the mere impression. Instead, we almost always conceptualise sense impressions
and thoughts immediately. We interpret them and set them in relation to other thoughts and experiences, which naturally
go beyond the facticity of the original impression. The mind then posits concepts, joins concepts into constructs, and
weaves those constructs into complex interpretative schemes. All this happens only half consciously, and as a result we
often see things obscured. Right mindfulness is anchored in clear perception and it penetrates impressions without getting
carried away. Right mindfulness enables us to be aware of the process of conceptualisation in a way that we actively observe
and control the way our thoughts go. Buddha accounted for this as the four foundations of mindfulness: 1. contemplation
of the body, 2. contemplation of feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral), 3. contemplation of the state of mind, and
4. contemplation of the phenomena.

8. Right Concentration

The eighth principle of the path, right concentration, refers to
the development of a mental force that occurs in natural
consciousness, although at a relatively low level of intensity,
namely concentration. Concentration in this context is
described as one-pointedness of mind, meaning a state where all
mental faculties are unified and directed onto one particular
object. Right concentration for the purpose of the eightfold path
means wholesome concentration, i.e. concentration
on wholesome thoughts and actions. The Buddhist method of choice to
develop right concentration is through the practice
of meditation. The meditating mind focuses on a selected object. It
first directs itself onto it, then sustains concentration,
and finally intensifies concentration step by step. Through this
practice it becomes natural to apply elevated levels
concentration also in everyday situations.

Golden Buddha
About Buddhism

The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.

Atisha (11th century Tibetan Buddhist master)


The Noble Eightfold Path
The Way to the End of Suffering
Bhikkhu Bodhi


The Noble Eightfold Path -By Bhikkhu Bodhi

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