1029 LESSON 02-09-2013 MONDAY
FREE ONLINE eNālāndā Research and Practice UNIVERSITY
for revival of Buddhism
5) School of Buddhist Studies,
Philosophy and Comparative Religion;
Spirituality one finds in one’s religion or religious teachings is the
real guide to human peace and happiness. And every religion has some
morals to teach.
REFLECTIONS ON BUDDHISM
by Most Venerable Dr. VINAYARAKKHITA
Morality In Buddhism
The Buddha out of his compassion and on the personal request of Btahma taught Dhamma for the welfare, happiness and liberation of beings. This Dhamma in short is Dana (Charity), Sila (Morality), Samadhi (Meditation), and Panya (Wisdom). These form the four pillars of the Dhamma now known as Buddhism. Dana (Generosity) is the common good yound in all major religions. We find one nation helping another in some form or other especially in trims of natural distasters as well as manmade disasters. This is a common goodwill gesture shown by individuals and nations. Donating food , clothing,shelter, medicine and blood donation etc., are all acts of generosity. In today’s world as well as in the past the stress was laid on morality, which forms the core of Buddhism. It is this foundation on which one progresses on the path of happiness as well as to the ultimate liberation from suffering called Nibbana.
Dr.B.R.Ambedkar, a Buddhist leader and father of the Constitution said “It is true that in Buddhism there is no god. In place of god there is Morality. What god is to other religions Morality is to Buddhism. ” The morality lies in the precepts, the five minimum precepts. That is abstinence fro killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech and taking of intoxicants. It is the practice of these very five precepts in short that is stressed throughout the teachings of Buddha in terms of morality. In Dhammapada the Buddha says: “Sabba papas akaranam; kusalassa upasampada; sachet priyodapanam team Buddhanam Sasanam”. It means that to abstain frm all unwholesome deeds, performance of wholesome deeds and purifying one’s own mind, this is the teachings of Buddhas.
What are wholesome deeds, and what are roots of unwholesome deeds ? Killing is an unwholesome deed, similarly stealing, sexual misconduct, false speech and intake of intoxicants. These very five actions are roots of all unwholesome deeds. So abstaining from these five actions is what “Sabba papas akranam then kussalasa upasampada” means. Again the so-called wholesome deeds or roots of wholesome deeds are nothing but the other side of the five precepts i.e., giving life supplants non killing, like giving food to the needy. Because food is the nutriment for life similarly blood donation and medicine for the sick all these are acts of giving life. Hence not only you abstain from killing, on the other hand you give life by providing food, medicine, shelter etc. for the needy ones. Similarly the other side of the precept od non-stealing is to acquire things through right means and not by wrong or corrupt means and sharing them with the needy. Similarly leading a faithful family life, speaking tryth, practicing mindfulness and avoiding intoxicants, and avoiding acts which make you unmindful. Then what is meant by Sacita pariyodapanam ? It is Purification of mind (thoughts) by developing loving kindness and compassion for other beings. So when you practice in such a manner that you abstain fro five evils or unwholesome deeds and perform good wholesome deeds you are then rightly following the teachings of the Buddha.
So it is the practicing of this minimum of five precepts that makes one a real practicing Buddhist. According to the Buddha’s teachings no one is by birth a Buddhist, but it is one the who practices the minimum of five precepts who is a practicing Buddhist. The happiness and peace of not only Buddhists but also every other individual lies in this very practice of five precepts which is in line with nature’s law or is otherwise called as Kamma. It is in morality that one can find safety, peace and happiness. Buddha in Karaniya Metta Sutta says: “Mata yata niyam puttam ayusueka put puttam anorak evan pi sabba bhuteysu mana sambhavayae aparimanam”. This means like a mother protecting her only child even so should one had loving kindness and protect other living beings. Whenever it is a question of care , metta and protection else is a better example that the mother. We all know from our own experience how much care, metta and protection a mother gives to her child. Every child finds the highest protection and metta in the mother. Morality also acts like a mother to protect us from the dangers of this life and the lives to come and gives ud safety, protection, peace and happiness which every being seeks. As we know Gauthama Siddharta was born to Maha May but due to her death with in a week his foster mother Maha Prajapati nourished Gautama Siddharta who later became Buddha.
Similarly we should treat morality as our foster mother and let her nourish us because it is under morality’s nourishment that we are guarantees peace, safety and happiness, not only now and here, but also in future. So we have two mothers, one who hs given birth and the other morality and what is morality other than these vey five precepts ? Hence it should be kept in mind always that we live in five precepts for our own welfare and well being and also for the well being of others around us. The safety, peace and happiness of every individual , society, nation, world and the whole humanity lies in this very practice of five normal precepts.
Buddha in Dhammapada stressing on the importance of practicing morality says : “Yoca vassastam jive sessile asamahito, Ekaham Jivitam seyyo silavantassa jhayino”. It means that though one may live hundred years, immoral and uncontrolled, yet better, indeed a single day’s life of one who is moral and meditative.
Parents are the first teachers to their children. Therefore children born to such parents who are established in five precepts get the right environment, education and exposure to the right moral life. When these very children come into the Buddha’s dispensation (Sasana) a s monks/nuns and trained themselves firth in Dhamma-Vinaya then there is every probability of them shining like a moon clear of clouds.
IT IS BETTER TO LIVE LIKE A LION FOR A SINGLE DAY RATHER THAN LIKE A MOUSE FOR HUNDRED YEARS
IT IS BETTER TO LIVE MORALLY AND MEDITATIVELY
Buddha says that in this world there are four types of people, namely the ones who are going from darkness to darkness, the ones who are going from darkness to brightness, the ones who are going from brightness to darkness and the ones who are going from brightness to brightness. The people who are going from darkness to darkness a re those who do not know and hence do not practice the morality of five precepts. The people who are going from darkness to brightness are those who earlier did not know the morality of five precepts but later they came to know they started practicing them. The people who are going from brightness to darkness are those who know about the five precepts and yet are not practicing them. The people who are going from brightness to brightness are those who know the five precepts and are practicing them. Therefore the so called Buddhists do not belong to the first two types but they belong to the latter two types i.e., they earlier belong to the type going from brightness to darkness or from brightness to brightness. hence from this it is clear as to where the Buddhists are heading to with their practice or negligence of the five precepts of morality.
Supreme Court’s refusal to reopen the Central Bureau of Investigation
(CBI) probe into the disproportionate assets (DA) case has come as a big
relief for Mayawati as well as BSP supporters. “The BSP could not have
asked for more before the crucial Lok Sabha Sabha election round the
corner”, said the national general secretary of BSP Swami Prasad Maurya.
Now the BSP plans to go on the offensive against arch rival Samawadi Party on the corruption issue.
Maurya said, “The Supreme Court order clearly shows that the case
against behanji (as Mayawati is addressed by BSP leaders and workers)
was politically motivated.” He said BSP had planned an offensive against
rival parties. “We will expose corruption in the Samajwadi Party
To keep the party cadre upbeat, Mayawati on July 30 had said that DA
case was a conspiracy hatched by the opposition to check the oppressed
Mayawati has repeatedly used the public platform to defend herself
and accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of implicating her in the “false”
case. In 2005-6, the BSP leaders worked hard to keep their flock
together as the Opposition mounted pressure.
the Thursday order, hundreds of jubilant BSP workers marched from the
party state unit office to the Ambedkar statue located at the busy
Hazaratganj crossing. They distributed sweets and raised slogans in
support of the party chief. The district unit president Rakesh Gautam
said, “the party would definitely cash in on the relief given by the
apex court to Behenji in the coming Lok Sabha election”.
observer Badra Narayan Tiwari said that an upbeat Mayawati would now
certainly take the high moral ground over the issue.
VOICE OF SARVA SAMAJ SADBHAVAN