03 07 2012 TUESDAY LESSON 656 FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research And Practice UNIVERSITY And THE BUDDHISTONLINEGOOD NEWS LETTER by ABHIDHAMMA RAKKHITA throughhttp://sarvajan.ambedkar.org Dhammapada: Verses and Stories 226-Punnadasi Vatth-
Yearning For Nibbana-Duties of the Buddhist Dhammacari (Contd)
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Verse 226. Yearning For Nibbana
For the ever-vigilant
who train by day and night
upon Nibbana e’er intent
pollutions fade away.
Explanation: Of those who are perpetually wakeful - alert,
mindful and vigilant - who are given to discipline themselves and
studying day and night, intent upon the attainment of Nibbana, the
taints and cankers get
Dhammapada Verse 226
Sada jagaramananam ahorattanusi kkhinam
attham gacchanti asava.
Verse 226: In those who are ever vigilant, who by day and by night train
themselves in the three sikkhas (i.e., sila, samadhi and panna), and who have
their mind directed towards Nibbana, moral intoxicants become extinct.
The Story of Punna, the Slave Girl
While residing at the Gijjhakuta mountain, the Buddha uttered Verse (226) of
this book, with reference to a slave girl in Rajagaha.
One night, Punna the slave girl was up pounding rice for her master. As she
got tired she rested for a while. While resting, she saw Thera Dabba leading
some bhikkhus to their respective monasteries on their return from listening to
the Dhamma. The girl seeing them up so late, pondered, “I have to be up at
this late hour because I am so poor and have to work hard. But, why are these
good people up at this late hour? Maybe a bhikkhu is sick, or are they being
troubled by a snake?”
Early in the morning the next day, Punna took some broken rice, soaked it in
water and made a pan-cake out of it. Then, intending to eat it at the riverside
she took her cheap, coarse pan-cake along with her. On the way, she saw the
Buddha coming on an alms-round. She wanted to offer her pan-cake to the Buddha,
but she was not sure whether the Buddha would condescend to eat such cheap,
coarse pan-cake. The Buddha knew her thoughts. He accepted her pan-cake and
asked Thera Ananda to spread the small mat on the ground. The Buddha sat on the
mat and ate the pan-cake offered by the slave girl. After eating, the Buddha
called Punna to him and answered the question which was troubling her. Said the
Buddha to the slave girl, “Punna, you cannot go to sleep because you are
poor and so have to work hard. As for my sons the bhikkhus, they do not go to
sleep because they have to be always vigilant and ever mindful.”
Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:
Verse 226: In those who are ever vigilant, who by day
and by night train themselves in the three sikkhas (i.e., sila,
samadhi and panna), and who have their mind directed towards Nibbana,
moral intoxicants become extinct.
At the end of the discourse Punna attained Sotapatti Fruition.
Duties of the Buddhist Dhammacari (Contd) Mahamangala sutta
Thus have I heard:
On one occasion
the Exalted One was dwelling at the monastery of Anathapindika, in Jeta’s
Grove, near Savatthi. Now when the night was far spent, a certain deity,
whose surpassing splendour illuminated the entire Jeta Grove, came to
the presence of the Exalted One, and, drawing near, respectfully saluted
Him and stood at one side. Standing thus, he addressed the Exalted One
Many deities and men, yearning after good, have pondered on Blessings.
Pray, tell me the Highest Blessing!
Not to associate
with fools, to associate with the wise, and to honour those who are
worthy of honour - this is the Highest Blessing.
To reside in a suitable locality, to have done meritorious actions in
the past, and to set oneself in the right course - this is the Highest
handicraft, a highly trained discipline, and pleasant speech
- this is the Highest Blessing.
The support of father
and mother, the cherishing of wife and children, and peaceful occupations
- this is the Highest Blessing.
conduct, the helping of relatives, and blameless actions
- this is the Highest Blessing.
To cease and abstain
from evil, forbearance with respect to intoxicants, and steadfastness
in virtue - this is the Highest Blessing.
contentment, gratitude and the opportune hearing of the Dhamma
- this is the Highest Blessing.
sight of the Samanas (Sanctified Ones), and religious discussions at
due seasons - this is the Highest Blessing.
Self Control, Holy
Life, perception of the Noble Truths, and the realisation of Nibbana
- this is the Highest Blessing.
He whose mind does
not flutter by contact with worldly contingencies, Sorrowless, Stainless,
and Secure - this is the Highest Blessing.
To them, fulfilling
matters such as these, every-where invincible, in every way moving happily
- these are the Highest Blessings.
Buddhism for Children Buddhism Buddhist Festivals around the World ￼ ￼ Buddhism began in northeastern Jambudvipa and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. The religion is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million Buddhists worldwide. Buddhism is the main religion in many Asian countries. It is a religion about Dukkha and Dukkha Nirodha. A key concept of Buddhism is Nibbana, the most Awakened, and blissful state that one can achieve. A state without dukkha. Place of Origin North East Jambudvipa Founder Siddhartha Gautama (The Buddha) Sacred Text Tipitaka Sacred Building Stupa Major Festivals Wesak Main Branches (Denominations) Theravada, Mahayana, Tibetan, Chinese and Japanese groups including Soto and Zen How is Buddhism different from other religions? Buddhism is different from many other faiths because it is not centered on the relationship between humanity and god. Buddhists do not believe in a personal creator god.
Who is the founder of Buddhism? The Buddhist tradition is founded on and inspired by the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. He was called the Buddha and lived in the 4th or 5th century B.C. in Jambudvipa.
Why is Siddhartha Gautama so important to Buddhists? Siddhartha Gautama found the path to Awaken-ness. By doing so he was led from the pain of Dukkha and rebirth towards the path of Awaken-ness and became known as the Buddha or “awakened one”.
Who was Siddhartha Gautama? ￼ Siddharta Gautama is known as the Buddha. He was born around the year 580 BCE in the village of Lumbini in Nepal. He was born into a royal family and for many years lived with in the palace walls away from the Dhukkhas of life; sufferings such as sickness, age, and death. He did not know what they were. One day, after growing-up, marrying and having a child, Siddhartha went outside the royal palace and saw, each for the first time, an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. He was worried by what he saw. He learned that sickness, age, and death were the inevitable fate of human beings — a fate no-one could avoid.
Why did Siddhartha Gautama stop being a prince and become a Holy Man? Siddharta had also seen a monk, and he decided this was a sign that he should leave his protected royal life and live as a homeless Holy Man. Siddharta’s travels showed him much more of the the suffering of the world. He searched for a way to escape the inevitability of death, old age and pain first by studying with religious men. This didn’t provide him with an answer.
What are the symbols of Buddhism? ￼ The wheel of life which symbolises the cycle of life, death and rebirth. The eight spokes remind people that the Buddha taught about eight ways of life. ￼ The lotus flower symbolises purity and divine birth. The lotus flower grows in mud at the bottom of a pool, but rises above the surface to become a beautiful flower. Buddhist say this is how people should rise above everything which is dukkha. A flower may be very beautiful and have a wonderful scent, but it soon withers and dies. This shows that nothing in life is perfect. ￼ Images of Buddha Statues of Buddha include lots of symbols. There are 32 symbols in Buddhism which show that the Buddha was a special person. Any of these symbols can be used on statues. For example the Buddha is often shown with: • a bump on on the top of his head - a symbol that he had special talents. • a round mark on his forehead, which is his third eye - a symbol to show that he could see things ordinary people cannot see. • curled hair (the curls are actually snails that kindly covered his head-shaved because he renounced the worldly life- to protect him from the sun as he sat meditating.) They are a symbol that he was a very holy man. • long ears from the weight of his princely earrings-now missing because he renounced his worldly life. (Sidhartha didn’t just give up being rich, but also, renounced being head of an army as a prince, which shows his non-violence.)
Where do Buddhists Worship? Buddhist worship at home or at a temple. Worshippers may sit on the floor barefoot facing an image of Buddha and chanting. It is very important that their feet face away from the image of Buddha. They listen to monks chanting from religious texts and take part in prayers. Home Buddhists will often have a shrine. There will be a statue of Buddha, candles, and an incense burner. Temple Buddhist temples come in many shapes. Perhaps the best known are the pagodas of China and Japan. Another typical Buddhist building is the Stupa (upside down bowl shape). All Buddhist temples contain an image or a statue of Buddha. Buddhist Temples in Thailand How to Buddhists Worship? Buddhist worship is called puja. People chant to show their love for the Buddha. They make offerings of flowers, candles, incense and pure water at a shrine. People thank Buddha for his teachings. When Buddhist worship alone they usually meditate and read from the Buddhist holy books. Every month. most Buddhists have special religious days. These are often days when there is a full moon. Many Buddhists go to temples to worship on these special days.
What is Awaken-ness with Awareness and Nibbana/Eternal Bliss? Buddhist believe that there is a cycle of birth, life and death and rebirth. This goes on and on. They believe that unless someone gains Awaken-ness with Awareness, when they die they will be reborn. If a person can gain Awaken-ness with Awareness, they can break out of this cycle. Breaking out of the cycle is called Nibbana/Eternal Bliss). It is the end of everything that is not perfect. It is perfect peace, free of dukkha. Meditation Buddhists try to reach Nibbana/Eternal Bliss by following the Buddha’s teaching and by meditating. Meditation means training the mind to empty it all of thoughts. when this happens what is important comes clear.
What is the sacred text (Holy Book) of Buddhists? ￼ The sacred book of Buddhism is called the Tipitaka in Pali. It is also called the Pali Canon, after the language in which it was first written. It is written in an ancient language called Pali which is very close to the language that the Buddha himself spoke. The Tipitaka is a very large book. The English translation of it takes up nearly forty volumes. Buddhism is based on Buddha’s teachings. At first these were passed down by word of mouth and later were complied into two sets of scripture. One set by Council of Monks of the Theravada school (the Tipitaka) the other by the Mahayana school ( the Sutras). Both were similar. Both Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists generally accept the Tipitaka in Pali as the Buddhist sacred writings. The three section of the Tripitaka (three baskets of Wisdom) are 1. Vinaya Pitaka (the Discipline Basket) - A rule book for monks and nuns There are 227 rules for monks,and more for nuns. 2. Sutta Pitaka (the Teaching Basket)- The actual experiences of Buddha 3. Abhidhamma Pitaka (the Higher Doctrine Basket)- An explanation on the teaching of Buddha. Most of these are called Suttas Parts of the Tipitaka such as the Dhamma-pada and the Sutta-Nipata are among the most expressive religious books in the world.
What do Buddhist believe? Buddhist believe that the Buddha saw the truth about what the world is like. They believe that nothing in the world is perfect, and that the Buddha found the answer to why it is like this. They do not believe that the Buddha was a god. He was a human being just like them. They believe that he was important because he gained Awaken-ness with Awareness, and he chose to teach other people how to reach it too. The Three Jewels There are three Buddhist central beliefs. These are known as the three jewels as they are felt to be so precious. 1. Belief in Buddha 2. Dhamma - The teaching of Buddha 3. The Sangha - the Buddhist community made up of ordinary people as well as the monks and nuns. The purpose is to help others and by doing so to cease to become selfish and to move on the way towards awaken-ness with awarenes. One important belief involves the concept that one must go through many cycles of birth, living, and death. After many such cycles, if a person releases their attachment to desire and the self, they can attain Nibbana/Eternal Bliss - a state of liberation and freedom from dukkha. At the heart of the Buddha’s teaching lie The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path which lead the Buddhist towards the path of Enlightenment.
What did Buddha teach? The Buddha’s teaching is often divided into three parts. These are the : • Three Signs of Beings • Four Noble Truths • Noble Eightfold Path The Three Signs of Beings
The Three Signs of Beings are the ways that the Buddha used to describe life. 1. Nothing in life is perfect. ( dukkha) It includes things like being bored and uncomfortable, and everything which is not satisfactory. 2. Everything in life - even solid things such as mountains - is changing, all the time. (anicca) 3. There is no soul. (anatta) Instead, the Buddha taught, what does carry on to the next life is a person’s life force (Kamma). The Kamma can be good or bad, depending on how the person lives in this life.
The Four Noble Truths What is the First Noble Truth? Dukkha: Suffering/unsatisfactoriness exists: The first truth is that life is dukkha i.e. life includes pain, getting old, disease, and ultimately death. We also endure psychological suffering like loneliness frustration, boredom, fear, embarrassment, disappointment and anger. What is the Second Noble Truth? Samudaya: There is a cause for dukkha. The second truth is that dukkha is caused by craving and the needing to control things. It can take many forms: the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy. What is the Third Noble Truth? Nirodha: There is an end to dukkha. The third truth is that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be attained; that true happiness and contentment are possible. lf let go of our craving and learn to live each day at a time (not dwelling in the past or the imagined future) then we can become happy and free. We then have more time and energy to help others. This is Nibbana/Eternal Bliss. What is the Fourth Noble Truth? Magga: In order to end dukkha, you must follow the Eightfold Path. The fourth truth is that the Noble 8-fold Path is the path which leads to the end of suffering. What is Dukkha? Dukkha is suffering/unsatisfactiness . All existence is “dukkha”; without permanence and therefore filled with suffering.
The Noble Eight-Fold Path The Noble Eight-fold Path focuses the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions, and developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths. It is the way Buddhists should live their lives. The Buddha said that people should avoid extremes. They should not have or do too much, but neither should they have or do too little. The ‘Middle Way’ is the best. The path to Awaken-ness with Awareness (nibbana/Eternal Bliss) is through the practice and development of wisdom, morality and meditation. Three Qualities Eightfold Path Wisdom (panna) Right View (understanding)
Right Thought Morality (sila) Right Speech
Right Livelihood Meditation (samadhi) Right Effort
Right Contemplation (concentration)
What are the 5 Precepts (morals)? These are rules to live by. The main five are: • Do not take the life of anything living. (Do not kill)-I do not want others to kill me so I will not kill others • Do not take anything not freely given. (Do not steal)-I do not want others to take away anything from me , so I will not take anything not freely given to me. • Abstain from sexual misconduct and sensual overindulgence.-I do not want any one to take away my wife/husband form me. Hence I will abstain from sexual misconduct. • Refrain from untrue speech, (Do not lie)- I do not want others to tell lies to me, so I will refrain from untrue speech. • Do not consume alcohol or other drugs. The main concern here is that intoxicants cloud the mind. If I consume alcohol or others drugs, I may indulge in violating all the precepts since they cloud the mind.
What is Kamma? Kamma is the law that every cause has an effect, i.e., our actions have results. This simple law explains a number of things: inequality in the world, why some are born handicapped and some gifted, why some live only a short life. Buddhists believe that are past actions have an effect on who or what we are in our next life.
Are There Different Types of Buddhism? There are many different types of Buddhism, because the emphasis changes from country to country due to customs and culture. What does not vary is the essence of the teaching — the Dhamma or truth. Theravada Buddhism, the school of Buddhism found in Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar & in part, Indonesia, Vietnam & Malaysia. Mahayana Buddhism, the school of Buddhism found in China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Vajrayana Buddhism, the school of Buddhism found in Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan and Mongolia. Jodo Shin Buddhism or Pure Land Buddhism mainly from India, Japan Zen Buddhism
Buddhist festivals are joyful times. There are many different Buddhist festivals around the world. The most important ones celebrate events in the Buddha’s life. Some festivals are special to a particular country. For example, Sri Lankans celebrate Poson Day. All Buddhists celebrate Wesak, or Buddha Day. The Buddhist Calendar Buddhists follow a lunar (moon) year. This means that every month begins when there is a new moon, so each month lasts 29 - 30 days. Each Buddhist year is about 10 days shorter than the Western year. The important days of the month for Buddhists are days when there is a full moon or a new moon. What is the main Buddhist Festival? The main Buddhist festival of the year is Buddha Day / Wesak / Vaisakha, the celebration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. The festival is a celebration of much colour. Homes are decorated and lanterns are made of paper or wood. Buddhists also visit their local temples for services and teachings, and give offerings to monks.
Buddhist Festivals Buddhist New Year January / February / March / April Buddhist think about how to be kinder and more generous to people.
Magha Puja February (full moon Day) The festival commemorates the occasion when 1250 awakened personal disciples of the Buddha came spontaneously to the Bamboo grove on the full moon of Magha (our February). The Buddha predicted his death and recited a summary of his teachings and a code of discipline which all monks are expected to recite every fortnight. The day is observed with meditation, chanting and listening to sermons.
Parinibbana February (full moon Day) At this festival people remember the death of Buddha. When he was 81 years old, the Buddha knew that the time had come for him to die. He lay down and died peacefully. In the temples the lights are lowered. People chant and meditate in the dimmed light. The lights are made bright again. The lights are a symbol. They show that the light of Buddha’s teachings continues to shine in the world.
Solar February (Full Moon Day) The most important Buddhist holiday in Tibet celebrating the Tibetan New Year. It begins at the full moon in February and lasts for 15 days.
Hanna Matsuri 8 April A Japanese (Mahayana Buddhists) celebration of the Buddha’s birthday. A flower festival where people take offerings of spring flowers to decorate shrines and statues of the Buddha when he was a baby. People pour scented tea over the statues. This remembers the Buddha’s birth, when stories say two streams of perfume from the sky bathed him and his mother.
Songkran April The festival of Songkran takes place in the month of April and lasts for three days. In Thailand, Songkran falls at the time of the New Year. People go to temples and give presents such as food and flowers to the monks. Water is very important in the festival of Songkran. There are often water fights in the streets, and boat races are held on rivers. There is dancing and fireworks and people often watch shadow puppet plays.
Buddha Day / Wesak / Visakha Puja / Vaisakha May (full moon day) An important festival because on this day the Lord Buddha was born, attained Awaken-ness with Awareness, and died. All three of these significant events fell on the same day. In the UK and other Western countries, Wesak is often called Buddha Day. Buddhists go to a temple or monastery. They listen to a talk by the monks about Buddha’s life and Awaken-ness with Awareness. They often repeat mantras and meditate. Many Buddhists give each other cards and presents. In Thailand, the Wesak festival is called Vaisakha. People listen to monks giving talks about the life of Buddha. The shrines in the temples are beautifully decorated. A special part of the festival is at night, when the statue of Buddha is taken outside. People walk around it three times, carrying candles. They pour scented water over the statue.
Poson Day June (Full Moon Day) On this day people remember Buddhism coming to Sri Lanka
Dhamma Day July (Full moon day) A celebration of the first time the Buddha gave his teachings, called Dhamma. Dhamma means ‘truth’.
Kathina October / November (1 day) Kathina is a Theravada Buddhist festival. It is most important in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma. It takes place at the end of the rainy season. People give new robes to monks and nuns.
Sangha Day November (Full Moon Day) Sangha Day is a celebration of friendship. Buddhists come together to celebrate their worldwide community, the Sangha.
Parinibbana Day This is a Mahayana Buddhist festival that marks the death of the Buddha. Bodhi Day Buddhists celebrate Gautama’s attainment of Awaken-ness with Awareness under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya, India.
Buddhist Artifacts(Symbols) Photographs of Buddhist artifacts with useful background notes. Teddy’s Day Out - An Interactive Game for Kids Help Teddy to find the Buddhists symbols. Story of the Buddha Interactive storybook. Buddhist Monastery Virtual Tour - Hertfordshire Grid for Learning A virtual tour of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire. Buddhism For children Life as a Buddhist Written by a Thai Teenager Also take a look at www.thaibuddhist.com Place of Worship - The Buddhapadipa Temple, Wimbledon Stories from Buddha’s Life For children Buddhist Stories Buddhism Worksheets The following can be found on the ICT Teachers Site • The story of how Siddhattha Gotama became The Buddha. An introduction to Buddhism and an “illustrate the story” worksheet • An information and activity sheet on The Three Universal Truths. • An information and activity sheet about The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
The Diamond Way Buddhist Center San Francisco
represents the international non-profit network of more than 600 lay
Diamond Way Buddhist centers of the Karma Kagyu Lineage, started due to
the unique inspiration of Lama Ole Nydahl and directed under the
spiritual patronage of H.H. the 17th Karmapa Trinley Thaye Dorje. The
Diamond Way is the crown jewel of the
Buddha’s teachings; it employs methods of total identification
with enlightenment for
The teachings are presented in a relaxed, contemporary style
them readily accessible to Westerners who want to know the
nature of their mind. Everyone is welcome to come experience a
meditation with us. Our weekly meditation evenings are open to the
public and free of charge. There is a relaxed social atmosphere in the
center and questions are encouraged
You can learn about our teachers and even watch videos
of Lama Ole and the 17th Karmapa giving teachings. If you live in
Northern California but outside of San Francisco, you can find out about Diamond Way Buddhism groups in Northern California
where people can meditate together in their local communities. If you
want to explore deeper, you can click on the links above to find out
more about Diamond Way Buddhism in North America and around the world.
Diamond Way Buddhist Center San Francisco is a member supported California Non-Profit.