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2B- Buddha on Mind (citta) and Matter (rupa)
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 10:47 pm

Buddha - Buddhism Religion
Buddha on Mind (citta) and Matter (rupa)

Sabbo pajjalito loko, sabbo loko pakampito. The entire universe is nothing but combustion and vibration. (Buddha)

With this awareness, one can observe and realize
that the entire pancakkhandha, the five aggregates, are nothing but
vibrations, arising and passing away. The entire phenomenon of mind and
matter has this continuously ephemeral nature. This is the ultimate
truth (paramattha saccaparamattha sacca) of mind and matter -permanently
impermanent; nothing but a mass of tiny bubbles or ripples,
disintegrating as soon as they arise (sabbo loko pakampitosabbo loko

This realisation of the basic characteristic of all
phenomena as anicca (impermanent) leads one to the realisation of the
characteristic of anatta (not ‘I’, not ‘me’, not ‘mine’, not ‘my soul’).
The various sensations keep arising in the body whether one likes it or
not. There is no control over them, no possession of them. They do not
obey our wishes. This in turn makes one realize the nature of dukkha
(suffering). Through experience, one understands that identifying
oneself with these changing impersonal phenomena is nothing but

Sourced from ‘Significance of the Pali Term Dhuna in the
Practice of Vipassana Meditation’, Vipassana Research Institute

As you experience the reality of matter to be
vibration, you also start experiencing the reality of the mind: vinnana
(consciousness), sanna (perception), vedana (sensation) and sankhara
(reaction). If you experience them properly with Vipassana, it will
become clear how they work.

Buddha discovered the way: whenever you experience
any sensation, due to any reason, you simply observe it. Every sensation
arises and passes away. Nothing is eternal. When you practice Vipassana
you start experiencing this. However unpleasant a sensation may be -
look, it arises only to pass away. However pleasant a sensation may be,
it is just a vibration-arising and passing. Pleasant, unpleasant or
neutral, the characteristic of impermanence remains the same. You are
now experiencing the reality of anicca. You are not believing it because
Buddha said so, or some scripture or tradition says so, or even because
your intellect says so. You accept the truth of anicca because you
directly experience it. This is how your received wisdom and
intellectual understanding turn into personally experienced wisdom.

Only this experience of anicca will change the
habit pattern of the mind. Feeling sensation in the body and
understanding that everything is impermanent, you don’t react with
craving or aversion; you are equanimous. Practicing this continually
changes the habit of reacting at the deepest level. By observing reality
as it is, you become free from all your conditioning of craving and
(Sourced from ‘’Buddha’s path is to experience reality'’ by S N
Goenka OCT 95 Vipassana english news letter, ‘’Samma Samadhi'’ April 95
hindi Vipassana patrika, discourses of Sayagyi U Ba Khin-Sayagyi U Ba
Khin Journal-VRI Igatpuri)

The Buddha described everything as made from mind
and matter. He described the parts of the mind and the qualities of
matter. These are called “elements” which is confusing today when we use
the same word for chemical elements and I prefer the translation to be
“properties”. The 4 properties he described were likened to earth, air,
fire and water (the Greeks must have got this from him as he sent
arahants to all the known lands) but are to be understood as the
qualities of hardness, cohesion, vibration and expansiveness. These are a
correct description for a tensile aether, just like Maxwell arrived at
later and which I was also convinced lay behind the structure of cycles
and of the wave nature of matter. (Ray Tomes)

The Abhidhamma Pitaka investigates and analyses Mind (citta) and Matter
(Rupa), the two composite factors of the so-called a being.(Pali term
‘Abhidhamma’ is composed of two words ‘Abhi’ and ‘Dhamma’. Abhi means
subtle, higher, ultimate, profound, sublime and transcendental, and
Dhamma means Truth Reality or Doctrine)


According to the Buddhist conception, all inanimate objects are aggregates of the following five inherent elements, namely:

(1) The Element of Solidity (Pathavi),
(2) The Element of Fluidity (Apo),
(3) The Element of Heat (Tejo),
(4) The Element of Vibration (Vaya)
(5) The Element of Space (Akasa) .

In the case of animate objects, all living beings
are also aggregates of six inherent elements, i. e. , the above five
with addition of mind.

1. What is the Element of Solidity?

Whatever in one’s own body there exists of hardness or softness,
such as the hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, etc, is called one’s own solid
By realizing the true nature of the solid element, there cannot be
found one’s own I’ness or personality or ego (Atta), but only the
element of solidity which is ever arising and passing away from growth
to decay, from decay to death. In reality, this is not mine; this am I
not ; this is not my ego, but only the atom of physical phenomena.

2. What is the Element of Fluidity?

Whatever in one’s own body there exists of Liquidity or fluidity,
such as blood, sweat, fat, tears etc, is called one’s own fluid element.
By realizing the true nature of the fluid element, there cannot be
found one’s I’ness or personality or ego (Atta), but only the element
of fluidity which is ever changing from one form to another. In reality,
this is not mine; this am I not; this is not my ego, but this is only
the atoms of fluid phenomena.

3. What is the Element of Heat?

Whatever in one’s own body there exists of hotness, such
as that whereby one is heated, consumed, scorched, perishable, whereby that
which has been eaten, drunk, is fully digested or wasted and so on, is called
one’s own
heating element.
By realizing the true nature of the he heating element, there
cannot be found one’s own I’ness or personality or ego (Atta), but only
the element of that which is ever warming (usama), digesting (pacaka),
decaying (jirana), going up and down of temperature (santappana) and
burning (daha) . In reality, this is not mine; this am I not; is not my
Ego, but this is only the atoms of firing phenomena.

4. What is the element of Vibration?

Whatever in one’s own body there exists of wind or vibration,
such as the upward-going and downward-going winds, the winds of stomach
and intestines, in-breathing and out-breathing and so on, is called one’s
own Vibrating elements.
By realizing the true nature of the vibrating element, there
cannot be found one’s own I’ness or personality or ego (Atta), but only
the element of vibration which is ever moving, supporting and permeating
from place to place. In reality, this is not mine; this am I not, this
is not my Ego, but this is only the atoms of vibrating phenomena.

In the case of the Element of Space, there is, of course,
the space between any two phenomena or elements, such as bone and flesh,
or skin and flesh and so on.

Here we realise that Ancient Indian Philosophy did not understand
the true connection between the One Thing, Space and the many things,
matter. They believed Space / Akasa is what exists between matter,
rather than matter existing as a spherical standing wave in space.

By taking the whole view of the physical phenomena
to one-pointedness, one should understand, discern and realize that the
body composed of hairs,bones, teeth, blood, sweat, wind etc, is nothing,
but the particles or atoms of these four primary phenomenal element
which are for ever and ever arising and passing away without any stop
even a very short moment.

Being so, the so-called body named such and such
with a conventional term is, in the sense of ultimate reality merely
proton, neutron and electron of physical phenomena, but not infinite
soul; nor mine; nor am I, nor my personality nor ego or self.

Regarding the mind, there is no place where mind
can be located. Evidently mind is not static thing, but a moving
phenomenon. It is therefore, in reality, the process of consciousness
arisen between sense organs and objects. When mind comes in contact with
an object through any one of six sense-doors, a new mental phenomenon
or consciousness arises and immediately it passes away. Even during such
a very short moment of consciousness, the mental process has happened
many times very swiftly.

So the comprehensive discernment of physical and
mental phenomena in its real nature is called (Vipassana Ñ ana) Insight

By realizing the true nature of the ultimate
reality, one in able to be contented; contentment leads to lesser and
lesser desire for sensual pleasure, from lesser desire to delight, then
to rapture, absolute purity, happiness, one-pointedness of the mind,
discernment in insight as it really is, banefulness in craving, will for
emancipation from craving,realization of insight in absolute
emancipation and then finally leads to the attainment of Ultimate
Peaceful Happiness of Nibbana.

Therefore, a Buddhist must not only view these two conceptions
correctly, i.e.
(1) (Kammassakata Nana) Insight knowledge in the nature of action and its
(2) (Vipassana Nana) Insightful knowledge into the true nature of
physical and mental phenomena i. e. , the three characteristics of
impermanence, etc, but also he devotes himself to the actual practice of
the Teaching in order to attain the Ultimate Happiness of Nibbana.

DHAMMA - The Noble Doctrine of The Buddha - Sayadaw Bhaddanta
Pañña Dipa

Introduction Buddha Buddhism Religion - Buddhism Quotes - Buddha Reality / Change & Interconnection - Buddha Nature - Buddha Nirvana - Buddha Mind Matter - Buddha Karma - Anatta / Buddhism Religion of No Soul - Dhammapada on Truth - Buddhist Ethics of Middle Way / Eightfold Path / Four Noble Truths - Buddhism Practical Philosophy - Walpola Rahula Quotes - Top of Page

Buddha - Buddhism Religion of Nirvana (Truth) and Karma (interconnection)
Karma of Buddhism Religion

The Pali word kamma or the Sanskrit word karma
(from the root kr to do) literally means ‘action’, ‘doing’. But in the
Buddhist theory of karma it has a specific meaning: it means only
‘volitional action’ not all action. Nor does it mean the result of karma
as many people wrongly and loosely use it. In Buddhist terminology
karma never means its effect; its effect is known as the ‘fruit’ or the
‘result’ of karma.

Volition may relatively be good or bad, just as
desire may relatively be good or bad. So karma may be good or bad
relatively. Good karma produces good effects and bad karma bad effects.
‘Thirst’, volition, karma, whether good or bad, has one force as its
effect: force to continue- to continue in a good or bad direction.
Whether good or bad it is relative, and is within the cycle of
continuity (samsara). An Arahant, though he acts, does not accumulate
karma, because he is free from the false idea of self, free from the
‘thirst’ for continuity and becoming, free from all other defilements
and impurities. For him there is no rebirth.

The theory of karma should not be confused with so-called
‘moral justice’ or ‘reward and punishment’. The
idea of moral justice, or reward and punishment, arises out of the conception
of a supreme being, a God, who sits in judgement, who is a law-giver and
who decides what is right and wrong. The term ‘justice’ is ambiguous
and dangerous, and in its name more harm than good is done to humanity.

The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect,
of action and reaction; it is a natural law, which has nothing to do
with the idea of justice or reward and punishment. Every volitional
action produces its effects or results. If a good action produces good
effects, it is not justice, or reward, meted out by anybody or any power
sitting in judgement of your action, but this is in virtue of its own
nature, its own law.

This is not difficult to understand. But what is
difficult is that, according to karma theory, the effects of a
volitional action may continue to manifest themselves even in a life
after death. (Walpola Rahula, What the Buddha Taught, p32)

Introduction Buddha Buddhism Religion - Buddhism Quotes - Buddha Reality / Change & Interconnection - Buddha Nature - Buddha Nirvana - Buddha Mind Matter - Buddha Karma - Anatta / Buddhism Religion of No Soul - Dhammapada on Truth - Buddhist Ethics of Middle Way / Eightfold Path / Four Noble Truths - Buddhism Practical Philosophy - Walpola Rahula Quotes - Top of Page

Buddha - Buddhism Religion
Buddhism Religion on No Soul (Anatta) & Conditioned Genesis (Paticca-samuppada)

Buddhism stands unique in the history of human
thought in denying the existence of such a Soul, Self, or Atman.
According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is imaginary,
false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful
thoughts of ‘me’ and ‘mine’, selfish desire, craving, attachment,
hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements,
impurities and problems. It is the source of all the troubles in the
world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this
false view can be traced all the evil in the world. (Rahula, p51)

Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in man:
self-protection and self-preservation. For self-protection man has
created God, on whom he depends for his own protection, safety and
security, just as a child depends upon a parent. For self-preservation
man has conceived of the idea of an immortal Soul or Atman, which will
live eternally. In his ignorance, weakness, fear and desire, man needs
these two things to console himself. Hence he clings to them deeply and

The Buddha’s teaching does not support this
ignorance, weakness, fear and desire, but aims at making man enlightened
by removing and destroying them. According to Buddhism, our ideas of
God and soul are false and empty. Though highly developed as theories,
they are all the same extremely subtle mental projections, garbed in an
intricate metaphysical and philosophical phraseology. These ideas are so
deep-rooted in man, and so near and dear to him, that he does not wish
to hear, does not want to understand, any teaching against them.

The Buddha knew this quite well. He said his
teaching was ‘against the current’ (patisotagami), against man’s selfish
desires. Just four weeks after his Enlightenment, seated under the
banyan tree, he thought to himself:

I have realised this Truth which is deep, difficult to see,
difficult to understand … comprehensible only by the wise .. Men who are
overpowered by passions and surrounded by a mass of darkness cannot see
this Truth, which is against the current, which is lofty, deep, subtle and
hard to comprehend.
With these thoughts in mind, the Buddha hesitated for a moment,
whether it would not be in vain if he tried to explain to the world the
Truth he had just realised. Then he compared the world to a lotus pond:
In a lotus pool there are some lotuses still under the water; there are
others which have risen only up to the water level; there are still
others which stand above water and are untouched by it. In the same way
in this world, there are men at different levels of development. Some
would understand the Truth. So the Buddha decided to teach. (p52)

Anatta or No-Soul

The doctrine of Anatta or No-Soul is the natural result of,
or, the corollary to, the analysis of the Five Aggregates and the teaching
of Conditioned Genesis (Paticca-samuppada).
What we call a being is composed of the Five Aggregates, and when
these are analysed and examined, there is nothing behind them which can
be taken as ‘I’, Atman or Self, or any unchanging abiding substance.
That is the analytical method. The same result can be arrived at through
the doctrine of Conditioned Genesis which is the synthetical method,
and according to this nothing in the world is absolute. Everything is
conditioned, relative and interdependent. This is the Buddhist theory of
relativity. (p52)

Conditioned Genesis

On this principle of conditionality, relativity and
interdependence, the whole existence and continuity of life and its
cessation are explained in a detailed formula which is called
Paticca-samuppada ‘Conditioned Genesis’, consisting of twelve factors:

1. Through ignorance are conditioned volitional actions or
karma-formations (Avijapaccaya samkhara).
2. Through volitional actions is conditioned consciousness (Samkharapaccaya
3. Through consciousness are conditioned mental and physical phenomena (Vinnanapaccaya
4. Through mental and physical phenomena are conditioned the six faculties
(i.e. five physical sense-organs and mind) (Namarupapaccaya salayatanam).

5. Through the six faculties is conditioned (sensorial and mental) contact
(Salayatanapaccaya phasso).
6. Through (sensorial and mental) contact is conditioned sensation (Phassapaccaya
7. Through sensation is conditioned desire, ‘thirst’ (Vedana-paccaya
8. Through desire (‘thirst’) is conditioned clinging (Tanha-paccaya
9. Through clinging is conditioned the process of becoming (Upadanapaccaya
10. Through the process of becoming is conditioned birth (Bhavapaccaya jati).

11. Through birth are conditioned (12) decay, death, lamentation, pain, etc. (Jatipaccaya jaramaranam..)

This is how life arises, exists and continues.
It should be clearly remembered that each of these factors is
conditioned (paticcasamuppanna) as well as conditioning (paticca
samuppada). Therefore they are all relative, interdependent and
interconnected, and nothing is absolute or independent; hence no first
cause is accepted by Buddhism. Conditioned Genesis should be considered
as a circle, and not as a chain. (p54)

Introduction Buddha Buddhism Religion - Buddhism Quotes - Buddha Reality / Change & Interconnection - Buddha Nature - Buddha Nirvana - Buddha Mind Matter - Buddha Karma - Anatta / Buddhism Religion of No Soul - Dhammapada on Truth - Buddhist Ethics of Middle Way / Eightfold Path / Four Noble Truths - Buddhism Practical Philosophy - Walpola Rahula Quotes - Top of Page

Buddha - Buddhism Religion

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2C - The Dhammapada Words of Truth - Selections from the Dhammapada
Filed under: General
Posted by: site admin @ 10:41 pm

Buddha - Buddhism Religion
The Dhammapada

Words of Truth - Selections from the Dhammapada

Not to do any evil, to cultivate the good, to purify one’s mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

To speak no ill will, to do no harm, to practice
self-restraint according to the fundamental precepts, to be moderate in
eating, to live in seclusion, to devote oneself to higher consciousness,
this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

Fools, men of little intelligence, give themselves
over to negligence, but the wise man protects his diligence as a supreme

Give not yourselves unto negligence; have no
intimacy with sense-pleasures. The man who meditates with diligence
attains much happiness.

By endeavour, diligence, discipline and self-mastery, let the wise man make (of himself) an island that no flood can overwhelm.

All (mental) states have mind as their forerunner,
mind is their chief, and they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts with a
defiled mind, then suffering follows ..

All (mental) states have mind as their forerunner,
mind is their chief, and they are mind-made. If one speaks or acts, with
a pure mind, happiness follows one as one’s shadow that does not leave

‘He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me’: the hatred of those who harbour such thoughts is not appeased.

Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; it is appeased by love. This is an eternal Law.

This fickle, unsteady mind; difficult to guard, difficult to control, the wise man makes straight, as the fletcher the arrow.

Hard to restrain, unstable is this mind; it flits
wherever it lists. Good is it to control the mind. A controlled mind
brings happiness.

He whose mind is unsteady, he who knows not the
Good Teaching, he whose confidence wavers, the wisdom of such a person
does not attain fullness.

Whatever harm a foe may do to a foe, or a hater to another hater, a wrongly-directed mind may do one harm far exceeding these.

Neither mother, nor father, nor any other relative, can do a man such good as is wrought by a rightly-directed mind.

That deed is not well done, which one regrets when
it is done and the result of which one experiences weeping with a
tearful face.

Make haste in doing good; restrain your mind from evil.

Whosoever offends an innocent person, pure and
guiltless, his evil comes back on that fool like a fine dust thrown
against the wind.

The man of little learning (ignorant) grows like a bull; his flesh grows but not his wisdom.

If a man practices himself what he admonishes
others to do, he himself, being well-controlled, will have control over
others. It is difficult, indeed, to control oneself.

Oneself is one’s own protector (refuge); what other
protector (refuge) can there be? With oneself fully controlled, one
obtains a protection (refuge) which is hard to gain.

Do not follow mean things. Do not dwell in negligence. Do not embrace false views.

Come, behold this world, how it resembles an
ornamental royal chariot, in which fools flounder, but for the wise
there is no attachment to it.

Happy indeed we live without hate amongst the hateful. We live free from hatred amidst hateful men.

From lust arises grief; from lust arises fear. For him who is free from lust there is no grief, much less fear.

He who holds back arisen anger as one checks a whirling chariot, him I call a charioteer; other folk only hold the reins.

Conquer anger by love, evil by good, conquer the miser with liberality, and the liar with truth.

Be on your guard against verbal agitation; be controlled in words. Forsaking wrong speech, follow right ways in words.

Be on your guard against mental agitation; be controlled in thoughts. Foresaking evil thoughts, follow right ways in thoughts.

The wise are controlled in deed, controlled in thoughts, verily, they are fully controlled.

As rust, arisen out of iron, eats itself away, even so his own deeds lead the transgressor to the states of woe.

Know this, O good man, that evil things are uncontrollable. Let not greed and wickedness drag you to suffering for a long time.

There is no fire like lust. There is no grip like hate. There is no net like delusion. There is no river like craving.

The fault of others is easily seen; but ones own is
hard to see. Like chaff one winnows other’s faults, but one’s own one
conceals as a crafty fowler disguises himself.

Not by silence does one become a sage (muni) if one
be foolish and untaught. But the wise man who, as if holding a pair of
scales, takes what is good and leaves out what is evil, is indeed a

You yourselves should make the effort; the Awakened
Ones are only teachers. Those who enter this Path and who are
meditative, are delivered from the bounds of Mara (Evil).

‘All conditioned things are impermanent’, when one
sees this in wisdom, then one becomes dispassionate towards the painful.
This is the Path to Purity.

Who strives not when he should strive, who, though
young and strong, is given to idleness, who is loose in his purpose and
thoughts, and who is lazy- that idler never finds the way to wisdom.

Watchful of speech, well restrained in mind, let
him do no evil with the body; let him purify these three ways of action,
and attain the Path made known by the Sages.

The craving of the man addicted to careless living grows
like a Maluva creeper. He jumps hither and thither, like a monkey in the
forest looking for fruit.
Whosoever in this world is overcome by this wretched clinging thirst, his sorrow grows.

One should not despise what one receives, and one
should not envy (the gain of) others. Those who envy others do not
attain concentration.

The sun glows by day; the moon shines by night; in
his armor the warrior glows. In meditation shines the Brahman. But all
day and night, shines with radiance the Awakened One.

Introduction Buddha Buddhism Religion - Buddhism Quotes - Buddha Reality / Change & Interconnection - Buddha Nature - Buddha Nirvana - Buddha Mind Matter - Buddha Karma - Anatta / Buddhism Religion of No Soul - Dhammapada on Truth - Buddhist Ethics of Middle Way / Eightfold Path / Four Noble Truths - Buddhism Practical Philosophy - Walpola Rahula Quotes - Top of Page

Buddha, Metaphysics of Buddhism Religion, Buddha
On Ethics / The Middle Way / The Eightfold Path and The Four Noble Truths

In the Benares Sermon the Buddha’s teaching begins
with the enunciation of the Four Noble Truths.
These truths are: that suffering is everywhere (known as the truth
of dukkha), that misplaced desire (attachment) is the cause of
suffering; that its cure lies in removal of the cause (the Possibility
of Liberation from Difficulties exists for everyone); and that the cause
may be removed by following the Noble Eightfold Path.

Buddhism recognizes that humans have a
measure of freedom of moral choice, and Buddhist practice has
essentially to do with acquiring the freedom to choose as one ought to
choose with truth: that is of acquiring a freedom from the passions and
desires that impel us to distraction and poor decisions. In this end,
the Buddhist dharma enjoins: tread the Noble Eightfold Path, the course of
conduct that can end suffering. The path requires one to live a life
based on a right view, right thought, right speech, right conduct, right
vocation, right effort, right attention and right concentration. The
details of Buddhist practice are to be derived from this framework and
worked out by reference to the principle of seeking the Middle Way in
all things. In following the Middle Way, extremes are repudiated since
they constitute the kind of ties and attachments that impede progress
towards release.

It is the nature of life that all beings will face
difficulties; through enlightened truthful living one can transcend
these difficulties, ultimately becoming fulfilled, liberated and free. (Collinson, Fifty Eastern Thinkers, 2000)

The Noble Eight-Fold Path is the path of living in
awareness. Mindfulness is the foundation. By practicing mindfulness, you
can develop concentration, which enables you to attain understanding.
Thanks to right concentration, you realize right awareness, thoughts,
speech, action, livelihood and effort. The understanding which develops
can liberate you from every shackle of suffering and give birth to true
peace and joy. (Thich Nhat Hanh, Old Path White Clouds)

What the individual can do is to give a fine
example, and to have the courage to uphold ethical values .. in a
society of cynics. (Albert Einstein, letter to Max Born)

Introduction Buddha Buddhism Religion - Buddhism Quotes - Buddha Reality / Change & Interconnection - Buddha Nature - Buddha Nirvana - Buddha Mind Matter - Buddha Karma - Anatta / Buddhism Religion of No Soul - Dhammapada on Truth - Buddhist Ethics of Middle Way / Eightfold Path / Four Noble Truths - Buddhism Practical Philosophy - Walpola Rahula Quotes - Top of Page

Buddha - Buddhism Religion
Buddhism as Practical Philosophy

On Yoga and the Interconnection of Body Mind and Universe

All our philosophy is dry as dust if it is not immediately translated into some act of living service. (Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi)

Everything he advocated he did: he believed firmly
that the best recommendation for a philosophy or a religion is not a
book, but the life it inspires. (Collinson on Gandhi, Fifty Eastern Thinkers, 2000)

This truth is to be lived, it is not merely pronounced with the mouth ..(Hui Neng)

They have a practical aspect that is readily
absorbed into daily life. At the same time they deal with certain large
questions that have always fascinated humankind: questions concerning
the soul, the self, free will, death, God, reality and the meaning of
life. Buddhism is sensitively agnostic concerning these ultimate
questions and so allows for the human sense of mystery and transcendence
and the propensity to speculate and reason that are part of human
consciousness in general. (Collinson, Fifty Eastern Thinkers, 2000)

Man is made by his belief. As he believes, so he is. (Bhagavad-Gita)

The body and mind both exist as the Relative
Motions of Wave-Centers of all matter in the Universes and are
intimately interconnected. Yoga, as a practical philosophy, recognises
the importance of harmony of body, mind and universe as being an
interconnected whole / One. Yoga means ‘union’ as Fritjof Capra writes;
.. the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in
the Latin root of the word religion, religare (to bind strongly), as
well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union. (Fritjof Capra)

The Wave Structure of Matter should greatly aid in the practice
of yoga as it explains how humans are structures of the universe, an
inseparable part of the whole / One.

An improvement in posture and breathing is not the
sole nor even the primary aim of yoga. Instead, it is either a
therapeutic method of freeing the mind from false beliefs, or the
insight into ultimate reality, the dharmas, achievable by this method.
Yoga is an intrinsic and integrated system consisting of metaphysics,
the philosophy of mind, the theory of knowledge, ethics and the
philosophy of language. (Patanjali)

Health is a balanced state of bodily elements and
of all anatomical and physiological systems, where each part of the body
functions at full potential. (Iyengar)

All impressions and reactions are known as ‘mental
fluctuations’ or ‘thought-waves’, and yoga is the control of
thought-waves in the mind. (Patanjali)

Yoga aids many problems currently existing in
modern society. At a physical level, it gives relief from countless
ailments. The practice of the postures strengthens the body and creates a
feeling of well-being. From the psychological viewpoint, Yoga sharpens
the intellect and aids concentration. It steadies the emotions and
encourages a caring concern for others. Above all, it gives hope. The
practice of breathing techniques calms the mind. Its philosophy sets
life in perspective. In the realm of the spiritual, Yoga brings
awareness and the ability to be still. Through meditation, inner peace
is experienced .Thus Yoga is a practical philosophy involving every
aspect of a person’s being. It teaches the evolution of the individual
by the development of self-discipline and self-awareness. (Iyengar)

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2D - Quotes from Walpola Rahula, ‘What the Buddha Taught’ On the Buddhist Attitude of Mind
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Walpola Rahula - What the Buddha Taught
Quotes from Walpola Rahula, ‘What the Buddha Taught’

On the Buddhist Attitude of Mind

One is one’s own refuge, who else could be the refuge? said the Buddha. (Dhp. XII 4.)

Buddha taught, encouraged and stimulated each
person to develop themselves and work out their own emancipation, for
humans have the power to liberate themselves from all bondage through
their own personal effort and intelligence.

The Buddha says, You should do the work, for the Tathagatas
only teach the way. (Dhp. XX 4.)
(Tathagata means ‘One who has come to Truth’. This is the term
usually used by the Buddha referring to himself and to the Buddhas in

Almost all religions are based on faith- rather
‘blind’ faith it would seem. But in Buddhism emphasis is laid on
‘seeing’, knowing, understanding, and not on faith, or belief. (p8)

The question of belief arises when there is no
seeing - seeing in every sense of the word. The moment you see, the
question of belief disappears. If I tell you that I have a gem hidden in
the folded palm of my hand, the question of belief arises because you
do not see it yourself. But if I unclench my fist and show you the gem,
then you see it for yourself, and the question of belief does not arise.
So the phrase in ancient Buddhist texts reads: ‘Realising, as one sees a
gem (or a myrobalan fruit) in the palm’. (p8-9)

It is always a question of knowing and seeing, and
not that of believing. The teaching of the Buddha is qualified as
ehi-passika, inviting you to ‘come and see’, but not to come and
believe. (p9)

The expressions used everywhere in Buddhist texts referring to persons who realised the Truth are:

The dustless and stainless Eye of Truth (Dhamma-cakkhu) has
He has seen Truth, has attained Truth, has known Truth, has penetrated into
Truth, has crossed over doubt, is without wavering.
Thus with right wisdom he sees it as it is (yatha bhutam). (E.g. S
V, (PTS), p.423; III, p.103; M III (PTS), p.19)(Rahula, p.9)

With reference to his own Enlightenment the Buddha
said: ‘The eye was born, knowledge was born, wisdom was born, science
was born, light was born.’ (S V (PTS), p.422)

It is through knowledge or wisdom (nana-dassana), and not believing through faith. (Rahula, p9)

This was more and more appreciated at a time when
Brahmanic orthodoxy intolerantly insisted on believing and accepting
their tradition and authority as the only Truth without question. Once a
group of learned and well-known Brahmins went to see the Buddha and had
a long discussion with him. One of the group, a Brahmin youth of
16years of age, named Kapathika, considered by them all to be an
exceptionally brilliant mind, put a question to the Buddha (Canki-sutta,
no 95 of M.):

‘Venerable Gotama, there are the ancient holy scriptures
of the Brahmins handed down along the line by unbroken oral tradition of
texts. With regard to them, Brahmins come to the absolute conclusion: “This
alone is Truth and everything else is false”. Now, what does the venerable
Gotama say about this?’
The Buddha inquired: ‘Among Brahmins is there any one single Brahmin
who claims that he personally knows and sees that “This alone is Truth
and everything else is false.”?’
The young man was frank and said : ‘No’.
‘Then, it is like a line of blind men, each holding on to the preceding
one; the first one does not see, the middle one also does not see, the last
one also does not see. Thus, it seems to me that the state of the Brahmins
is like that of a line of blind men.’
Then the Buddha gave advice of extreme importance to the group of Brahmins:
‘It is not proper for a wise man who maintains (lit. protects) truth
to come to the conclusion : “This alone is Truth, and everything else
is false”.’
Asked by the young Brahmin to explain the idea of maintaining or
protecting the truth, the Buddha said: ‘A man has a faith. If he says
“This is my faith”, so far as he maintains truth. But by that he cannot
proceed to the absolute conclusion: “This alone is Truth, and everything
else is false”.’ In other words a man may believe what he likes, and he
may say ‘I believe this’. So far as he respects truth. But because of
his belief or faith, he should not say that what he believes is alone
the Truth, and everything is false. The Buddha says: “To be attached to
one thing (to a certain view) and to look down upon other things (views)
as inferior- this the wise men call a fetter.” (Sn (PTS), p. 151
(v.798). (Rahula, p10)

++ disagree with Buddha’s last quotation.

Once the Buddha explained the doctrine of cause and effect
to his disciples, and they said they saw it and understood it clearly. (In
the Mahatanhasankhaya-sutta, no. 38 of M)
Then the Buddha said: ‘Oh Bhikkhus, even this view, which is so
pure and so clear, if you cling to it, if you fondle it, if you treasure
it, if you are attached to it, then you don’t understand that teaching
is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting
hold of.’ (M I (PTS), p.260) (Rahula, p11)

The Buddha was not interested in discussing unnecessary metaphysical
questions which are purely speculative and which create imaginary problems.
He considered them as a ‘wilderness of opinions’. It seems that
there were some among his own disciples who did not appreciate this attitude
of his. For, we have the example of one of them, Malunkyaputta by name,
who put to the Buddha ten well-known classical questions on metaphysical
problems and demanded answers.
(Cula-Malunkya- sutta, no. 63 of M.)

One day Malunkyaputta got up from his afternoon meditation,
went to the Buddha, saluted him, sat on one side and said:
‘Sir, when I was all alone meditating, this thought occurred to me:
There are these problems unexplained, put aside and rejected by the
Blessed One. Namely,

(1) is the universe eternal

(2) is it not eternal

(3) is the universe finite

(4) is it infinite

(5) is soul the same as body

(6) is soul one thing and body another thing

(7) does the Tathagata exist after death

(8) does he not exist after death

(9) does he both (at the same time) exist and not exist after death

(10) does he both at the same time not exist and not not-exist.

These problems the Blessed One does not explain to
me. This (attitude) does not please me, I do not appreciate it. I will
go to the Blessed One and ask him about this matter. If the Blessed One
explains them to me, then I will continue to follow the holy life under
him. If he does not explain them, I will leave the Order and go away. If
the Blessed One knows that the universe is eternal, let him explain it
to me so. If the Blessed One knows that the Universe is not eternal, let
him say so. If the Blessed One does not know whether the Universe is
eternal or not, etc., then for a person who does not know, it is
straightfoward to say “I do not know, I do not see”.’

The Buddha’s reply to Malunkyaputta should do good
to many millions in the world today who are wasting valuable time on such
metaphysical questions and unnecessarily disturbing their peace of mind:

‘Did I ever tell you, Malunkyaputta, “Come, Malunkyaputta, lead
the holy life under me, I will explain these questions to you?”
‘No sir.’
‘Then, Malunkyaputta, even you, did you tell me: “Sir, I will
lead the holy life under the Blessed One, and the Blessed One will explain
these questions to me?”
‘No sir.’
‘Even now, Malunkyaputta, I do not tell you: “Come and lead
the holy life under me, I will explain these questions to you”. And
you do not tell me either: “Sir, I will lead the holy life under the
Blessed One, and he will explain these questions to me”. Under these
circumstances, you foolish one, who refuses whom? (i.e. both are free and
neither is under obligation to the other.)
‘Malunkyaputta, if anyone says: “I will not lead the holy life
under the Blessed One until he explains these questions,” he may die
with these questions unanswered by the Tathagata …
Then the Buddha explains to Malunkyaputta that the holy life does not depend
upon these views. Whatever opinion one may have about these problems, there
is birth, old age, decay, death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, grief, distress,
‘ the Cessation of which (i.e. Nirvana) I declare in this very life.”
“Therefore, Malunkyaputta, bear in mind what I have explained as explained,
and what I have not explained as unexplained. What are the things that I
have not explained? Whether the universe is eternal or not, etc, (those
10 opinions) I have not explained. Why, Malunkyaputta, have I not explained
them? Because it is not useful, it is not fundamentally connected with the
spiritual holy life, is not conducive to aversion, detachment, cessation,
tranquility, deep penetration, full realisation, Nirvana. That is why I
have not told you about them.
Then, what, Malunkyaputta, have I explained? I have explained
dukkha, the arising of dukkha, the cessation of dukkha, and the way
leading to the cessation of dukkha. Why, Malunkyaputta, have I explained
them? Because it is useful, is fundamentally connected with the
spiritual holy life, is conducive to aversion, detachment, cessation,
tranquility, deep penetration, full realisation, Nirvana. Therefore I
have explained them.’ (p14-5)

(It seems that this advice had the desired effect
on Malunkyaputta, because elsewhere he is reported to have approached
the Buddha again for instruction, following which he became an Arahant.)

** This is the fundamental mistake of Buddhism.
Reality can now be known, and it is extremely useful to all beings and
to the future survival of this planet. As all Truth comes from Reality,
we cannot be wise without knowing the Truth. Humanity can now understand
what they are and how they are connected to the universe, thus
destroying the separate notion of particles and self. The
interconnection and impermanence of the Buddhist doctrine can now be
explained with the Wave Structure of Matter and the Metaphysics of Space
and Motion.

The Four Noble Truths

1. Dukkha
2. Samudaya, the arising or origin of dukkha
3. Nirodha, the cessation of dukkha
4. Magga, the way leading to the cessation of dukkha.

The First Noble Truth: Dukkha generally translated by most scholars as the
“Noble Truth of Suffering”, and is interpreted to mean that
life according to Buddhism is nothing but suffering and pain. Both translation
and interpretation are misleading.
Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at
all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and of the
world. It looks at things objectively (yathabhutam). It does not falsely
lull you into living in a fool’s paradise, nor does it frighten and
agonise you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you
exactly and objectively what you are and what the world is around you,
and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and
happiness. (p16-7)

It is true that the Pali word dukkha (or Sanskrit
duhkha) in ordinary usage means ‘suffering’, ‘pain’, ‘sorrow’, or
‘misery’ as opposed to the word sukha meaning ‘happiness’, ‘comfort’ or
‘ease’. But the term dukkha as the First Noble Truth, which represents
the Buddha’s view of life and the world, has a deeper philosophical
meaning and connotes enormously wider senses. It includes deeper ideas
such as ‘imperfection’, ‘impermanence’, ‘emptiness’, ‘insubstantiality’.
It is difficult therefore to find one word to embrace the whole
conception of the term dukkha as the First Noble Truth, and so it is
better to leave it untranslated, than to give an inadequate and wrong
idea of it by conveniently translating it as ‘suffering’ or ‘pain’.

The Buddha does not deny happiness in life when he
says there is suffering. On the contrary he admits different forms of
happiness, both the material and the spiritual, for laymen as well as
monks. In the Anguttara-nikaya, one of the five original Collections of
Pali containing the Buddha’s discourses, there is a list of happinesses
(sukhani), such as the happiness of family life and the happiness of a
recluse, of sense pleasures and renunciation, of attachment and
deattachment, physical and mental happiness. But all these are included
in dukkha.

Even the very pure spiritual states of dhyana
(recueillement or trance) attained by the practice of higher meditation,
free from even a shadow of suffering in the accepted sense of the
world, states which may be described as unmixed happiness, as well as
the state of dhyana which is free from sensations both pleasant (sukha)
and unpleasant (dukkha) and is only pure equanimity and awareness- even
these very high spiritual states are included in dukkha. In one of the
suttas of the Majjhima-nikaya (again one of the five original
Collections), after praising the spiritual happiness of these dhyanas,
the Buddha says that they are ‘impermanent, dukkha, and subject to
change’ (anicca dukkha viparinamadhamma)(Mahadukkhakhandha-sutta, MI
(PTS), p.90).

Notice the word dukkha is explicitly used. It is
dukkha, not because there is ‘suffering’ in the ordinary sense of the
word, but because ‘whatever impermanent is dukkha’ (yad aniccam tam
dukkham). (Rahula, p17-18)

The Buddha says with regard to life and the enjoyment of sense-pleasures, that one should clearly understand three things:

(1) attraction or enjoyment (assada)

(2) evil consequence or danger or unsatisfactoriness (adinava)

(3) freedom or liberation (nissarana).

When you see a pleasant, charming and beautiful
person, you like them, you are attracted, you enjoy seeing that person
again and again, you derive pleasure and satisfaction from that person.
This is enjoyment (assada). It is a fact of experience. But this
enjoyment is not permanent, just as that person and all his (or her)
attractions are not permanent either. When the situation changes, when
you cannot see that person, when you are deprived of this enjoyment, you
become sad, you may become unbalanced and unreasonable, even behave
foolishly. This is the evil, unsatisfactory and dangerous side of the
picture (adinava). This, too, is a fact of experience. Now if you have
no attachment to the person, if you are completely detached, that is
freedom, liberation (nissarana). These three things are true with regard
to all enjoyment in life.

From this it is evident that it is no question of
pessimism or optimism, but that we must take account of the pleasures of
life as well as of its pains and sorrows, and also of freedom from
them, in order to understand life completely and objectively. Only then
is true liberation possible. (p19)

The conception of dukkha may be viewed from three aspects:

(1) dukkha as ordinary suffering (dukkha-dukkha)
(2) dukkha as produced by change (viparinama-dukkha)
(3) dukkha as conditioned states (samkhara-dukkha) (Vism (PTS), p.499; Abhisamuc, p.38) (Rahula, p.19)

(1) All kinds of suffering in life like birth, old
age, sickness, death, association with unpleasant people and conditions
…– all such forms of mental and physical suffering or pain, are
included in dukkha as ordinary suffering. (Rahula, p19)

(2) A happy feeling, a happy condition in life, is
not permanent, not everlasting. It changes sooner or later. When it
changes it produces pain, suffering, unhappiness. This vicissitude is
included in dukkha as suffering produced by change. (p20)

(3) The third form of dukkha as conditioned states is the
most important philosophical aspect of the First Noble Truth, and it requires
some analytical explanation of what we consider as a ‘being’,
as an ‘individual’ or as ‘I’.
What we call a ‘being’, or an ‘individual’, or ‘I’, according to
Buddhist philosophy, is only a combination of ever-changing physical and
mental forces or energies, which may be divided into five groups of
aggregates (pancakkhandha). The Buddha says: ‘In short these five
aggregates of attachment are dukkha’. (Samkhittena pancupadanakkhandha
dukkha. S V (PTS), p.42) Elsewhere he defines dukkha as the five
aggregates: ‘Oh Bhikkhus, what is dukkha? It should be said it is the
five aggregates of attachment.’ (S III (PTS), p.158) (Rahula, p20)

The Five Aggregates
1. Aggregate of Matter (Rupakkhandha)
2. Aggregate of Sensation (Vedanakkhandha)
3. Aggregate of Perceptions (Sannakkhandha)
4. Aggregate of Mental Formations (Samkharakkhandha)
5. Aggregate of Consciousness

1. Aggregate of Matter (Rupakkhandha)
.. included are the Four Great Elements (cattari mahabhutani),
namely, solidity, fluidity, heat and motion, and also the Derivatives
(upadaya-rupa) of the Four Great Elements. In the term ‘Derivatives of
Four Great Elements’ are included our five material sense-organs, i.e.
the faculties of eye, ear, nose, tongue and body, and their
corresponding objects in the world, i.e. visible form, sound, odour,
taste and tangible things, and also some thoughts or ideas or
conceptions which are in the sphere of mind-objects (dharmayatana).
(Rahula, p20-21)

2. Aggregate of Sensation (Vedanakkhandha)
..all our sensations, pleasant or unpleasant or neutral,
experienced through the contact of physical and mental organs with the
external world. They are six of kinds: the sensations experienced
through the contact of the eyes with visible forms, ear with sounds,
nose with odour, tongue with taste, body with tangible objects and mind
(the sixth faculty in Buddhist philosophy) with mind-objects or thoughts
or ideas. (Rahula, p.21)

Mind is only a faculty or organ (indriya) like the
ear or eye. It can be controlled and developed like any other faculty,
and the Buddha speaks quite often of the value of controlling and
disciplining these six faculties. Ideas and thoughts are not independent
of the world experienced by these five physical sense faculties. In
fact they depend on, and are conditioned by, physical experiences. Hence
a person born blind cannot have ideas of colour, except through the
analogy of sounds or some other things experienced through his other
faculties. Ideas and thoughts which form part of the world are thus
produced and conditioned by physical experiences and are conceived by
the mind. (Rahula, p21-22)

3. Aggregate of Perceptions (Sannakkhandha)
Like sensations, perceptions are also of six kinds, in relation to
six internal faculties and the corresponding six eternal objects. It is
the perceptions that recognise objects as physical or mental. (Rahula,

4. Aggregate of Mental Formations (Samkharakkhandha)

In this group are included all volitional activities both good and bad.
What is generally known as karma comes under this group. The Buddha’s
own definition of karma should be remembered here:
‘ O bhikkhus, it is volition (cetana) that I call karma. Having willed,
one acts through body, speech and mind.’
Volition is ‘mental construction, mental activity. Its function is
to direct the mind in the sphere of good, bad or neutral activities.’
(Abhisamuc, p6.)(Rahula, p.22)

Sensations and perceptions are not volitional
actions. They do not produce karmic effects. It is only volitional
actions- such as attention (manasikara), will (chanda), determination
(adhimokkha), confidence (saddha), concentration (samadhi), wisdom
(panna), energy (viriya), desire (raga), repugnance or hate (paatigha),
ignorance (avijja), conceit (mana), idea of self (sakkaya-ditthi) etc. –
that can produce karmic effects. There are 52 such mental activities
which constitute the Aggregate of Mental Formations. (Rahula, p22)

5. Aggregate of Consciousness (Vinnanakkhandha)

Consciousness is a reaction or response which has one of the six
faculties as its basis, and one of the six corresponding external
phenomena (visible form, sound, odour, taste, tangible things and mind
objects) as its object. (p23)

According to Buddhist philosophy there is no
permanent, unchanging spirit which can be considered ‘Self’ or ‘Soul’ or
‘Ego’, as opposed to matter, and that consciousness (vinnana) should
not be taken as ‘spirit’ in opposition to matter. This point has to be
emphasised, because a wrong notion that consciousness is a sort of Self
or Soul that continues as a permanent substance through life, has
persisted from the earliest time to the present day. (Rahula, p24)

The Buddha said, “There is no arising of
consciousness without conditions,” and “..Consciousness is named
according to whatever condition through which it arises: on account of
the eye and visible forms arises a consciousness, called visual
consciousness …” (Mahatanhasamkhaya-sutta, M I (PTS), p. 256) (Rahula,

What we call a ‘being’ or an ‘individual’ or ‘I’ is
only a convenient name or a label given to a combination of these five
groups. They are all impermanent, all constantly changing. ‘Whatever is
impermanent is dukkha (yad aniccam tam dukkham). This is the true
meaning of the Buddha’s words : ‘In brief the five Aggregates of
Attachment are dukkha.’ They are not the same for two consecutive
moments. Here A is not equal to A. They are in a flux of momentary
arising and disappearing. (Rahula, p25)

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2E Flux / Impermanence / Motion
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Flux / Impermanence / Motion

The Buddha said, ‘O Brahmana, it is just like a
mountain river, flowing far and swift, taking everything along with it;
there is no moment, no instant, no second when it stops flowing, but it
goes on flowing and continuing. So Brahmana, is human life, like a
mountain river.’ As the Buddha told Ratthapala: ‘The world is continuous
flux and is impermanent.’ (Rahula, p26)

One thing disappears, conditioning the appearance
of the next in a series of cause and effect. There is no unchanging
substance in them. There is nothing behind them that can be called a
permanent Self (atman), individuality, or anything that can in reality
be called ‘I’. Eberyonw will agree that neither matter, nor sensation,
nor perception, nor any one of those mental activities, nor
consciousness can really be called ‘I’. But when these five physical and
mental aggregates which are interdependent are working together in
combination as a physio-psychological machine, we get the idea of ‘I’.
But this is only a false idea, a mental formation, which is nothing but
one of those 52 mental formations, which is nothing but one of those 52
mental formations of the fourth Aggregate which we have discussed,
namely, it is the idea of self (sakkaya-ditthi). (Rahula, p26)

The Five Aggregates together, which we popularly call a ‘being’,
are dukkha itself (samkhara-dukkha). There is no other ‘being’
or ‘I’, standing behind these five aggregates, who experiences
There is no unmoving mover behind the movement. It is only
movement. It is not correct to say that life is moving, but life is
movement itself. Life and movement are not two different things. In
other words there is no thinker behind the thought. Thought itself is
the thinker. If you remove the thought, there is no thinker to be found.
Here we cannot fail to notice how this Buddhist view is diametrically
opposed to the Cartesian cogito ergo sum: ‘I think, therefore I am.’
(Rahula, p.26)

No beginning to life

According to the Buddha’s teaching the beginning of
the life-stream of living things is unthinkable. The believer in the
creation of life by God may be astonished at this reply. But if you were
to ask him, ‘What is the beginning of God?’ he would answer without
hesitation ‘God has no beginning,’ and he would not be astonished by his
reply. The Buddha says: ‘O bhikkhus, this cycle of continuity (samsara)
us without visible end, and the first beginning of beings wandering and
running around, enveloped in ignorance (avijja) and bound down by the
fetters of thirst (desire, tanha) is not the be perceived.’ (S II (PTS),
pp.178-9; III pp. 149, 151.)(Rahula, p.27)

And further, referring to the ignorance which is
the main cause of the continuity of life the Buddha states: ‘The first
beginning of ignorance is not to be perceived in such a way as to
postulate that there was no ignorance beyond a certain point.’ (A V
(PTS), p.113) Thus it is not possible to say that there was no life
beyond a certain definite point. (p27)

The Second Noble Truth: Samudaya ‘The arising of dukkha’

The Second Noble Truth is that of the
arising or origin of dukkha (Dukkhasamudaya-ariyasacca). The most
popular and well-known definition of the Second Truth as found in
innumerable places in the original texts runs as follows:

‘It is this “thirst” (craving, tanha) which
produces re-existence and re-becoming (ponobhavika), and which is bound
up with passionate greed (nandiragasahagata), and which finds fresh
delight now here and now there (tatratatrabhinandini), namely,

(1) thirst for sense-pleasures (kama-tanha),
(2) thirst for existence and becoming (bhava-tanha) and
(3) thirst for non-existence (self-annihilation, vibhava-tanha).’
(Mhvg. (Alutgama, 1922), p. 9; S V (PTS), p.421 and passim)(Rahula, p.29)

It is this ‘thirst’, desire, greed, craving,
manifesting itself in different ways, that gives rise to all forms of
suffering and the continuity of beings. But it should not be taken as
the first cause, for there is no first cause possible as, according to
Buddhism, everything is relative and interdependent. Even this ‘thirst’,
tanha, which is considered as the cause or origin of dukkha, depends
for its arising (samudaya) on something else, which is sensation
(vedana), and sensation arises depending on contact (phassa), and so on
and so forth goes the circle which is known as Conditioned Genesis
(Paticca- samuppada).

So Tanha, ‘thirst’ is not the first or only cause
of the arising of dukkha. But it is the most palatable and immediate
cause, the ‘principle thing’ and the ‘all pervading thing’. Hence in
certain places of the original Pali texts themselves the definition of
samudaya or the origin of dukkha includes other defilements and
impurities (kilesa, sasava, dhamma), in addition to tanha, thirst which
is always given the first place. Within the necessarily limited space of
our discussion, it will be sufficient if we remember that this ‘thirst’
has as its centre the false idea of self arising out of ignorance.
(Rahula, p29-30)

The term ‘thirst’ includes not only desire for, and
attachment to, sense-pleasures, wealth and power, but also desires for,
and attachment to, ideas and ideals, views, opinions, theories,
conceptions and beliefs (dhamma-tanha). According to the Buddha’s
analysis, all the troubles and strife in the world, from little personal
quarrels in families to great wars between nations and countries, arise
out of this selfish ‘thirst’. From this point of view all economic,
political, social problems are rooted in this selfish ‘thirst’. As the
Buddha told Rattapala: “The world lacks and hankers, and is enslaved to
“thirst” (tanhadaso).” (p30)

Karma and Rebirth

Everyone will admit that all the evils in the world
are produced by selfish desire. This is not difficult to understand.
But how this desire, ‘thirst’, can produce re-existence and re-becoming
(pono-bhavika) is a problem not so easy to grasp. Here we must have some
idea about the theory of karma and rebirth. (p30)

There are four Nutriments (ahara) in the sense of ‘cause’
or ‘condition’ necessary for the existence and continuity of
(1) ordinary material food (kabalinkarahara)
(2) contact of our sense-organs (including mind) with the external world
(3) consiousness (vinnanahara) and
(4) mental volition or will (manosancetanahara).
Of these four, the last mentioned ‘metal volition’ is the will
to live, to exist, to re-exist, to continue, to become more and more. It
creates the root of existence and continuity, striving forward by way of
good and bad actions (kusalakusalakamma). It is the same as ‘Volition’
(cetana). We have seen earlier that volition is karma, as the Buddha himself
defined it. Referring to ‘Mental Volition’ just mentioned above
the Buddha says:
‘When one understands the nutriment of mental volition one understands the three forms of ‘thirst’ (tanha)’.

Thus the terms ‘thirst’, ‘volition’, ‘mental
volition’ and ‘karma’ all denote the same thing: they denote the desire,
the will to be, to exist, to re-exist, to become more and more, to grow
more and more, to accumulate more and more. This is the arising of
dukkha, and this is found within the Aggregate of Mental Formations, one
of the Five Aggregates which constitute a being.

Here is one of the most important and essential
points in the Buddha’s teaching. We must therefore clearly and carefully
mark and remember that the cause, the germ, of the arising of dukkha is
within dukkha itself, and not outside; and we must equally well
remember that the cause, the germ, of the cessation of dukkha, of the
destruction of dukkha, is also within dukkha itself, and not outside.
This is what is meant by the well-known formula often found in original
Pali texts:

Yam kinci samudayadhammam sabbam tam nirodhadhammam
‘ Whatever is of the nature of arising, all that is of the nature of cessation.’

A being, thing, or a system, if it has within
itself the nature of arising, the nature of coming into being, has also
within itself the nature, the germ, of its own cessation and
destruction. Thus dukkha (Five Aggregates) has within itself the nature
of its own arising, and has also within itself the nature of its own
cessation. (p31-2)


The Pali word kamma or the Sanskrit word karma
(from the root kr to do) literally means ‘action’, ‘doing’. But in the
Buddhist theory of karma it has a specific meaning: it means only
‘volitional action’ not all action. Nor does it mean the result of karma
as many people wrongly and loosely use it. In Buddhist terminology
karma never means its effect; its effect is known as the ‘fruit’ or the
‘result’ of karma.

Volition may relatively be good or bad, just as
desire may relatively be good or bad. So karma may be good or bad
relatively. Good karma produces good effects and bad karma bad effects.
‘Thirst’, volition, karma, whether good or bad, has one force as its
effect: force to continue- to continue in a good or bad direction.
Whether good or bad it is relative, and is within the cycle of
continuity (samsara). An Arahant, though he acts, does not accumulate
karma, because he is free from the false idea of self, free from the
‘thirst’ for continuity and becoming, free from all other defilements
and impurities. For him there is no rebirth.

The theory of karma should not be confused with so-called
‘moral justice’ or ‘reward and punishment’. The
idea of moral justice, or reward and punishment, arises out of the conception
of a supreme being, a God, who sits in judgement, who is a law-giver and
who decides what is right and wrong. The term ‘justice’ is ambiguous
and dangerous, and in its name more harm than good is done to humanity.

The theory of karma is the theory of cause and effect, of action
and reaction; it is a natural law, which has nothing to do with the idea
of justice or reward and punishment. Every volitional action produces
its effects or results. If a good action produces good effects, it is
not justice, or reward, meted out by anybody or any power sitting in
judgement of your action, but this is in virtue of its own nature, its
own law.

This is not difficult to understand. But what is
difficult is that, according to karma theory, the effects of a
volitional action may continue to manifest themselves even in a life
after death. (p32)

We have seen earlier that a being is nothing but a
combination of physical and mental forces or energies. What we call
death is the total non-functioning of the physical body. Do all these
forces and energies stop altogether with the non-functioning of the
body? Buddhism says ‘No’. Will, volition, desire, thirst to exist, to
continue, to become more and more, is a tremendous force that moves the
whole world. This is the greatest force, the greatest energy in the
world. According to Buddhism this force does not stop with the
non-functioning of the body, which is death; but it continues
manifesting itself in another form, producing re-existence which is
called rebirth.

Now, another question arises: If there is no permanent, unchanging
entity or substance like Self or Soul (atman), what is it that can re-exist
or be reborn after death? Before we go on to life after death, let us consider
what Life is, and how it continues now. What we call life, is the combination
of the Five Aggregates, a combination of physical and mental energies. These
are continously changing. Every moment they are born and they die. Thus
even now during this lifetime, every moment we are born and die, but we
continue. If we can understand that in this life we can continue without
a permanent, unchanging substance like Self or Soul, why cant we understand
that those forces themselves can continue without a Self or a Soul behind
them after the non-functioning of the body?
When this physical body is no more capable of functioning,
energies do not die with it, but continue to take some other shape or
form, which we call another life. In a child all the physical, mental
and intellectual faculties are tender and weak, but they have within
them the potentiality of producing a full grown man. Physical and mental
energies which constitute the so-called being have within themselves
the power to take a new form, and grow gradually and gather force to the
full. (p33)

As there is no permanent, unchanging substance, nothing
passes from one moment to the next. So quite obviously, nothing permanent
or unchanging can pass or transmigrate from one life to the next. It is
a series that continues unbroken, but changes every moment. The series is,
really speaking, nothing but movement. It is like a flame that burns through
the night: it is not the same flame nor is it another. A child grows up
to be a man of sixty. Certainly the man of sixty is not the same as the
child of sixty years ago, nor is he another person. Similarly, a person
who dies here and is reborn elsewhere is neither the same person, nor another
(na ca so na ca anno). It is the continuity of the same series.
The difference between death and birth is only a thought-moment:
the last thought-moment in this life conditions the first thought-moment
in the so-called next life, which, in fact, is the continuity of the
same series. During this life itself too, one thought-moment conditions
the next thought-moment. SO from the Buddhist point of view, the
question of life after death is not a great mystery, and a Buddhist is
never worried about this problem.

As long as there is ‘thirst’ to be and to
become, the cycle of continuity (samsara) goes on. It can stop only when
its driving force, this ‘thirst’, is cut off through wisdom which sees
Reality, Truth, Nirvana. (Rahula, p34)

The Third Noble Truth: Nirodha ‘The Cessation of Dukkha’

The Third Noble Truth is that there is
liberation, emancipation, freedom from suffering, from the continuity of
dukkha. This is called the Noble Truth of the Cessation of dukkha
(Dukkhanirodha-ariyasacca), which is Nibbana, more popularly known in
its Sanskrit form of Nirvana. (p35)

Now you will ask: But what is Nirvana?
..The only reasonable reply is that it can never be answered completely
and satisfactorily in words, because human language is too poor to express
the real nature of the Absolute Truth or Ultimate Reality which is Nirvana.
Language is created and used by masses of human beings to express things
and ideas experienced by their sense organs and their mind. A supramundane
experience like that of the Absolute Truth is not of such a category.
Words are symbols representing things and ideas known to us; and
these symbols do not and cannot convey the true nature of even ordinary
things. Language is considered deceptive and misleading in the matter of
understanding of the Truth. So the Lankavatara-sutra says that ignorant
people get stuck in words like an elephant in the mud. Nevertheless, we
cannot do without language. (p35)


Let us consider a few definitions and descriptions
of Nirvana as found in the original Pali texts:
‘It is the complete cessation of that very ‘thirst’ (tanha), giving it
up, renouncing it, emancipation from it, detachment from it.’ (Mhvg.
(Alutgama, 1922), p.10; S V p.421) (Rahula, p.36)

‘Calming of all conditioned things, giving up of all
defilements, extinction of ‘thirst’, detachment, cessation,
(S I, p.136) (Rahula, p.36)

‘O bhikkhus, what is the Absolute (Asamkhata,
Unconditioned)? It is the extinction of desire (ragakkhayo), the
extinction of hatred (dosakkhayo), the extinction of illusion
(mohakkhayo). This, O bhikkhus, is called the Absolute.’ (Ibid. IV,

‘The cessation of Continuity and becoming (Bhavanirodha)
is Nibbana.’
(Words of Musila, disciple of Buddha. S II (PTS), p.117) (Rahula, p.37)

Nirvana is definitely no annihilation of self
because there is no self to annihilate. If at all, it is the
annihilation of the illusion, of the false idea of self. (p37)

Nirvana as Absolute Truth

We may get some idea of Nirvana as Absolute Truth
from the Dhatuvibhanga-sutta (No. 140) of the Majjhima-nikaya. This extremely
important discourse was delivered by the Buddha to Pukkusati, whom the Master
found to be intelligent and earnest, in the quiet of night in a potter’s
The essence of the relevant portions of the sutta is as follows:

A man is composed of six elements: solidity,
fluidity, heat, motion, space and consciousness. He analyses them and
finds that none of them is ‘mine’, or ‘me’ or ‘my self.’ He understands
how consciousness appears and disappears, how pleasant, unpleasnt and
neutral sensations appear and disappear. Through this knowledge his mind
becomes detached. Then he finds within him a pure equanimity (upekha)
which he can direct towards the attainment of any high spiritual state.
But then he thinks:

‘If I focus this purified and cleansed
equanimity on the Sphere of Infinite Space and develop a mind conforming
thereto, that is a mental creation (samkhatam). If I focus this
purified and cleansed equanimity on the Sphere of Infinite
Consciousness, on the Sphere of Nothingness, or on the Sphere of
Neither-perception nor Non-perception and develop a mind conforming
thereto, that is a mental creation.’

Then he neither mentally creates nor wills
continuity and becoming (bhava) or annihilations (vibhava). As he does
not construct or does not will continuity and becoming or annihilation,
he does not cling to anything in the world; as he does not cling, he is
not anxious; as he is not anxious, he is completely calmed within (fully
g=blown out within paccattam yeva parinibhayati). And he knows:
‘Finished is birth, lived is pure life, what should be done is done,
nothing more is left to be done.’ (This expression means that now he is
an Arahant).

Now when he experiences a pleasant,
unpleasant or neutral sensation, he knows that it is impermanent, that
it does not bind him, that it is not experienced with passion. Whatever
may be the sensation, he experiences it without being bound to it

‘Therefore, O bhikkhu, a person so endowed is endowed
with the absolute wisdom, for the knowledge of the extinction of all dukkha
is the absolute noble wisdom.
This his deliverance, founded on Truth, is unshakable. O Bhikkhu, that which
is unreality (mosadhamma) is false; that which is reality (amosadhamma)
is Nibbana, is Truth (Sacca). Therefore O Bhikkhu, a person so endowed is
endowed with this Absolute Truth. For, the Absolute Truth (paramam ariyasaccam)
is Nibbana, which is Reality.’
(Buddha, from the Dhatuvibhanga-sutta (No. 140) of the Majjhima-nikaya) (Rahula, p38-9)

Elsewhere the Buddha unequivocally uses the word
Truth in place of Nibbana: ‘I will teach you the Truth and the Path
leading to the Truth.’ (S V (PTS), p.369) (Rahula, p39)

Now, what is this Absolute Truth? According to
Buddhism, the Absolute Truth is that there is nothing absolute in the
world, that everything is relative, conditioned, impermanent, and that
there is no unchanging, everlasting, absolute substance like Self, Soul
or Atman within or without. This is the Absolute Truth. (p39)

++ disagree. Absolute Truth comes from Absolute Space (what exists, Reality).

It is incorrect to think that Nirvana is the
natural result of the extinction of craving. Nirvana is not the result
of anything. If it would be a result, then it would be an effect
produced by a cause. It would be samkhata ‘produced’ and ‘conditioned’.
Nirvana is neither cause nor effect. It is not produced like a mystic,
spiritual, mental state, such as dhyana or samadhi. TRUTH IS. NIRVANA
IS. The only thing you can do is see it, realise it. There is a path
leading to the realisation of Nirvana. But Nirvana is not the result of
this path. You may get to the mountain along a path, but the mountain is
not the result, not an effect of the path. You may see a light, but the
light is not a result of your eyesight. (p40)

People often ask: What is there after Nirvana? This
question cannot arise, because Nirvana is the Ultimate Truth. If it is
Ultimate there can be nothing after it. If there is anything after
Nirvana, then that will be the Ultimate Truth and not Nirvana.

Another question arises: What happens to the Buddha
or an Arahant after his death, parinirvana? This comes under the
category of unanswered questions (avyakata). (Rahula, P40)

There is yet another popular question: If there is
no Self, no Atman, who realises Nirvana? Before we go on to Nirvana, let
us ask the question: Who thinks now, if there is no Self? We have seen
earlier that it is the thought that thinks, that there is no thinker
behind the thought. In the same way, it is wisdom (panna), realisation,
that realises. There is no other self behind the realisation. In the
discussion on the origin of dukkha we saw that whatever it may be-
whether being, or thing, or system- if it is of the nature of arising;
it has within itself the nature, the germ, of its cessation, its
destruction. Dukkha arises because of ‘thirst’ (tanha) and it ceases
because of wisdom (panna). ‘Thirst’ and Wisdom are both within the Five

Thus, the germ of their arising as well as that of their
cessation are both within the Five Aggregates. This is the real meaning
of the Buddhas well-known statement:
‘Within this fathom-long sentient body itself, I postulate the world,
the arising of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path leading
to the cessation of the world.’ (A (Columbo, 1929) p218)
This means that all the Four Noble Truths are found within the
Five Aggregates, i.e. within ourselves. This also means that there is no
external power that produces the arising and cessation of dukkha. (p42)

When wisdom is developed and cultivated according
to the Fourth Noble Truth, it sees the secret of life, the reality of
things as they are. When the secret is discovered, when the Truth is
seen, all the forces which feverishly produce the continuity of samsara
in illusion become calm and incapable of producing any more
karma-formations, because there is no more illusion, no more ‘thirst’
for continuity. It is like a mental disease which is cured when the
cause or the secret of the malady is discovered and seen by the patient.

He who has realised Truth, Nirvana, is the happiest being
in the world. He is free from all ‘complexes’ and obsessions,
the worries and troubles that torment others. His mental health is perfect.
He does not repent the past, nor does he brood over the future. He lives
fully in the present. Therefore he appreciates and enjoys things in the
purest sense without self-projections. He is joyful, exultant, enjoying
the pure life, his faculties pleased, free from anxiety, serene and peaceful.

As he is free from selfish desire, hatred, ignorance, conceit,
pride, and all such ‘defilements’, he is pure and gentle, full of
universal love, compassion, kindness, sympathy, understanding and
tolerance. His service to others is of the purest, for he has no thought
of self. He gains nothing, accumulated nothing, because he is free from
the illusion of Self and the ‘thirst’ of becoming. (p43)

Nirvana is beyond logic and reasoning (atakkavacara). (p43)

++ disagree

Nirvana is ‘to be realised by the wise within themselves’. (paccattam veditabbo vinnuhi) (p44)

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2F The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga - The Path
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The Fourth Noble Truth: Magga - The Path the Way leading to the cessation of dukkha.
This is known as the ‘Middle Path’ because it avoids two extremes:
one extreme being the search for happiness through sense-pleasures,
which is ‘low, common, unprofitable and the way of ordinary people’; the
other being the search for happiness through self-mortification in
different forms of asceticism, which is ‘painful, unworthy,

The Buddha discovered through personal experience
the Middle Path, ‘which gives vision and knowledge, which leads to Calm,
Insight, Enlightenment, Nirvana.’ This Middle Path is generally known
as the Noble Eightfold Path. (Ariya-Atthangika-Magga)

Right Understanding
Right Thought
Right Speech
Right Action
Right Livelihood
Right Effort
Right Mindfulness
Right Concentration

They are to be developed more or less
simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each
individual. They are all linked together and each helps the cultivation
of the others. (p46)

These eight factors aim at promoting and perfecting the three
essentials of Buddhist training and discipline: namely:
(a) Ethical Conduct (Sila)
(b) Mental Discipline (Samadhi)
(c) Wisdom (panna).

Ethical Conduct (Sila) is built on
the vast conception of universal love and compassion for all living
beings, on which the Buddha’s teaching is based. The Buddha gave his
teaching ‘for the good of many, for the happiness of many, out of
compassion for the world.’

According to Buddhism, for a man to be perfect
there are two qualities that should develop equally: compassion (karuna)
on one side and wisdom (panna) on the other. Here compassion represents
love, charity, kindness, tolerance and other noble qualities on the
emotional side, or qualities of the heart, while wisdom would stand for
the intellectual side or the qualities of the mind. If one develops the
emotional neglecting the intellectual, one may become a good-hearted
fool; while to develop only the intellectual side neglecting the
emotional may turn one into a hard-hearted intellect without feeling for
others. Therefore to be perfect, one has to develop both equally. That
is the aim of the Buddhist way of life: in it compassion and wisdom are
inseparably linked together. (p46)

Right Speech means abstention

(1) from telling lies
(2) from backbiting and slander and talk that may bring hatred, enmity,
disunity and disharmony among individuals or groups of people
(3) from harsh, rude, impolite, malicious and abusive language
(4) and from idle, useless, foolish gossip or babble.
When one abstains from these forms of wrong and harmful speech one
naturally has to speak the truth, has to use words that are friendly
and benevolent, pleasant and gentle, meaningful and useful. One should
not speak carelessly: speech should be at the right time and place. If
one cannot say something useful, one should keep ‘noble silence.’ (p46)

Right Action aims at promoting
moral, honourable and peaceful conduct. That we should also help others
to lead a peaceful and honourable life in the right way. (p47)

Right Livelihood means that one should abstain from making ones living through a profession that brings harm to others. (p47)

These three factors (Right Speech, Right Action,
Right Livelihood) of the Eightfold Path constitute Ethical Conduct. It
should be realised that the Buddhist ethical and moral conduct aims at
promoting a happy and harmonious life both for the individual and
society. This moral conduct is considered as the indispensable
foundation for all higher spiritual attainments. No spiritual
development is possible without this moral basis. (p47)

Mental Discipline (Samadhi)

Right Effort is the energetic will
(1) to prevent evil and unwholesome states of mind from arising,
and (2) to get rid of such evil and unwholesome states that have already
arisen within a person and also (3) to produce, to cause to arise, good
and wholesome states of mind not yet arisen, and (4) to develop and to
bring to perfection the good and wholesome states of mind already

Right Mindfulness is to be
diligently aware to (1) activities of the body (kaya) (2) sensations and
feelings (vedana) (3) the activities of the mind (citta) (4) ideas,
thoughts, conceptions and things. (dhamma)

The practice of concentration on breathing (anapanasati)
is one of the well-known exercises, connected with the body, for mental
development. One should be clearly aware of all forms of feeling and sensation,
all movements of the mind, all ideas, thoughts and conceptions- of their
true nature, how they appear and disappear, how they are developed, suppressed,
destroyed and so on …
These four forms of mental culture or meditation are treated in
detail in the Satipatthana-sutta (Setting up of Mindfulness).(p48)

Right Concentration
leading to the four stages of Dhyana. In the first stage of
Dhyana, passionate desires and certain unwholesome thoughts like
sensuous lust, ill-will, languor, worry, restlessness and skeptical
doubt are discarded, and feelings of joy and happiness are maintained,
along with certain mental activities. In the second stage, all
intellectual activities are suppressed, tranquility and
‘one-pointedness’ of mind developed, and the feelings of joy and
happiness are still retained. In the third stage, the feeling of joy,
which is an active sensation, also disappears, while the disposition of
happiness still remains in addition to mindful equanimity. In the fourth
stage of Dhyana, all sensations, even of happiness and unhappiness, of
joy and sorrow, disappear, only pure equanimity and awareness remaining.

Thus the mind is trained and disciplined and developed through Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.(p49)

Wisdom (panna)
Right Thought denotes the thoughts of selfless renunication or detachment,
thoughts of love and non-violence, which are extended to all beings. True
wisdom is endowed with these noble qualities, and that all thoughts of selfish
desire, ill-will, hatred and violence are the result of a lack of wisdom-
in all spheres of life whether individual, social or political. (p49)

Right Understanding understanding of things are they are,
of the Four Noble Truths.
According to Buddhism there are two sorts of understanding: What
we generally call understanding is knowledge, an accumulated memory, an
intellectual grasping of a subject according to certain given data. This
is called ‘knowing accordingly’ (anubodha). It is not very deep. Real
deep understanding is called ‘penetration’ (pativedha), seeing a thing
in its true nature, without name and label. This penetration is possible
only when the mind is free from all impurities and is fully developed
through meditation. (p49)

From this brief account of the Path, one may see
that it is a way of life to be followed, practiced and developed by each
individual. It is self-discipline in body, word and mind,
self-development and self-purification. It has nothing to do with
prayer, belief, worship or ceremony. It is a Path leading to the
realisation of Ultimate Reality, to complete freedom, happiness and
peace through moral, spiritual and intellectual perfection. (p49-50)

Free Will

The question of Free Will has occupied an
important place in Western thought and philosophy. But according to
Conditioned Genesis, this question cannot and does not arise in Buddhist
philosophy. If the whole of existence is relative, conditioned and
interdependent, how can will alone be free? Will, like any other
thought, is conditioned. So-called ‘freedom’ itself is conditioned and
relative. There can be nothing absolutely free, physical or mental, as
everything is interdependent and relative.

If Free Will implies a will independent of
conditions, independent of cause and effect, such a thing does not
exist. How can a will, or anything for that matter, arise without
conditions, away from cause and effect, when the whole law of existence
is conditioned and relative, and is within the law of cause? Here again,
the idea of Free Will is basically connected with the ideas of God,
Soul, Justice, reward and punishment. Not only is so-called free will
not free, but even the very idea of Free Will is not free from

According to the doctrine of Conditioned
Genesis, as well as according to the analysis of being into Five
Aggregates, the idea of an abiding, immortal substance in man or
outside, whether it is called Atman, ‘I’, Soul, Self or Ego is
considered only a false belief, a mental projection. This is the
Buddhist doctrine of Anatta, No-Soul or No-Self. (p54-5)

In order to avoid confusion it should be mentioned here that
there are two kinds of Truth: conventional and ultimate truth. When we use
such expressions in our daily life as ‘I’, ‘you’,
‘being’, ‘Individual’ etc. we do not lie because
there is no self as such, but we speak a truth conforming to the convention
of the world. But the ultimate truth is that there is no ‘I’
or ‘being’ in reality.
‘A person should be mentioned as existing only in designation (i.e.
conventionally there is a being), but not in reality (or substance
dravya)’(Mahayana-sutralankara, XVIII 92.) (p55)

According to the Buddha’s teaching, it is wrong to
hold the opinion ‘I have no self’ (annihilationist) as to hold
the opinion ‘I have self’ (eternalist), because both are fetters,
arising from the false idea ‘I AM’. The correct position with
regard to the question of Anatta is not to take hold of any opinions or
views, but to try to see things objectively as they are without mental projections,
to see that what we call ‘I’ or ‘being’, is only
a combination of mental and physical aggregates, which are working together
interdependently in a flux of momentary change within the law of cause and
effect, and that there is nothing permanent, everlasting, unchanging and
eternal in the whole of existence.
Here naturally a question arises: If there is no Atman or Self,
who gets the result of karma (actions)? No one can answer this question
better than the Buddha himself: ‘I have taught you to see conditionality
everywhere in all things’. (M III (PTS), p.19; S III, p.103)(p66)

The teaching of Anatta dispels the darkness of
false beliefs, and produces the light of wisdom. It is not negative, as
Asanga aptly says: ‘There is the fact of No-selfness’ (nairatmyastita).

Meditation or Mental Culture : Bhavana

The Buddha said: ‘O bhikkhus, there are two
kinds of illness. What are these two? Physical illness and mental
illness. There seem to be people who enjoy freedom from physical illness
even for a year or two .. But O bhikkhus, rare in this world are those
who enjoy freedom from mental illness even for one moment, except from
those who are free from mental defilements.’(i.e. Arahants) (A (Colombo,
1929) p. 276) (Rahula, p67)

The Buddhas teaching, particularly his way of
‘meditation’, aims at producing a state of perfect mental health,
equilibrium and tranquility. (p67)

The word meditation is a very poor substitute for the original
term bhavana, which means ‘culture’ or ‘development’
i.e. mental culture or mental development.
Bhavana aims at cleansing the mind of impurities and disturbances,
such as lustful desires, hatred, ill-will, indolence, worries and
restlessness, skeptical doubts and cultivating such qualities as
concentration, awareness, intelligence, will, energy, the analytical
faculty, confidence, joy, tranquility, leading finally to the attainment
of highest wisdom which sees the nature of things as they are, and
realises the Ultimate Truth, Nirvana. (p68)

There are two forms of meditation. One is the
development of mental concentration (samatha or samadhi), of
one-pointedness of mind, by various methods prescribed in the texts,
leading up to the highest mystic states. All these mystic states,
according to the Buddha are mind created, conditioned (samkhata). They
have nothing to do with Reality, Truth, Nirvana. Buddha discovered the
other form of meditation known as vipassana, ‘Insight’ into the nature
of things, leading to the complete liberation of the mind, to the
realisation of Ultimate Truth, Nirvana. This is essentially Buddhist
‘meditation’, Buddhist mental culture. It is an analytical method based
on mindfulness, awareness, vigilance, observation. The most important
discourse ever given by the Buddha on mental development is called the
Satipatthana-sutta ‘The Setting-up of Mindfulness’ (No. 22 of the
Digha-nikaya, or No.10 of the Majjhima-nikaya.) (p69)

The ‘ways’ of meditation are not cut off from life,
nor do they avoid life, on the contrary, they are all connected with
our life, our daily activities, our sorrow and joys, our words and
thoughts, our moral and intellectual occupations. (p69)

The discourse is divided into four main sections: the first
section deals with our body (kaya), the second with our feelings and sensations
(vedana), the third with the mind (citta), and the fourth with various moral
and intellectual subjects (dhamma).
Whatever the form of ‘meditation’ may be, the essential thing is
mindfulness or awareness (sati), attention or observation (anupassana).

People do not generally live in their actions, in
the present moment. They live in the past or in the future. Though they
seem to be doing something now, here, they live somewhere else in their
thoughts, in their imaginary problems and worries, usually in the
memories of the past or in desires and speculations about the future.
Therefore they do not live in, nor do they enjoy, what they do at the
moment. So they are unhappy and discontented with the present moment,
with the work at hand, and naturally cannot give themselves fully to
what they appear to be doing. (p71)

You cannot escape life however you may try. Real
life is in the present moment- not in the memories of the past which are
dead and gone, not in the dreams of the future which is not yet born.
One who lives in the present moment lives the real life, and he is
happiest. Asked why his disciples where so radiant, who lived a simple
and quiet life with one meal a day, the Buddha replied; ‘They do not
repent the past, nor do they brood over the future. They live in the
present. Therefore they are radiant. By brooding over the future and
repenting the past, fools dry up like green reeds cut down in the
sun.’(S I (PTS) p5.) (p72)

..A man who is in anger is not really aware, not
really mindful that he is angry. The moment he becomes aware of that
state of his mind, the moment he sees his anger, it becomes, as it were,
shy and ashamed, and begins to subside. You should examine its nature,
how it arises, how it disappears. You should not think ‘I am angry’, or
of ‘my anger’. You should only be aware and mindful of the state of an
angry mind. (p74)

Then there is a form of ‘meditation’ on ethical,
spiritual and intellectual subjects. All our studies, reading,
discussions, conversation and deliberations on such subjects are
included in this ‘meditation’. To read this book, and to think deeply
about the subjects discussed in it, is a form of meditation. (P74)

So according to this form of meditation, you may study, think
and deliberate on :

The Five Hindrances
1. Lustful Desire, 2. Ill-will, hatred, anger, 3. Torpor and Languor, 4. Restlessness and worry, 5. Skeptical Doubts

These five are considered as hindrances to any kind
of clear understanding, to any kind of progress. When one is
over-powered by them and when one does not know how to get rid of them,
them one cannot understand right and wrong, or good and bad. (p74)

One may also meditate on :

The Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Bojjhanga)
1. Mindfulness (sati)
2. Investigation and research (dhamma-vicaya)(all religious, ethical, philosophical
studies, reading, conversation)
3. Energy (viriya)(- to work with determination to the end)
4. Joy (piti)(the quality quite contrary to the pessimistic, gloomy or melancholic
attitude of mind),
5. Relaxation (passaddhi) (-of both body and mind. One should not be stiff
mentally, physically),
6. Concentration (samadhi)
7. Equanimity (upekkha)(able to face life in all its vicissitudes with calm of mind, tranquility)

To cultivate these qualities the most essential thing is a genuine wish, will or inclination.

Four Sublime States (Brahma-vihara)
(1) Metta. Extending universal, unlimited love and good will to all living
beings without any kind of discrimination,
(2) Karuna. Compassion for all living beings who are suffering, in trouble
and affliction,
(3) Mudita. Sympanthetic joy in others success, welfare and happiness,
(4) Upekkha. Equanimity in all vicissitudes of life.

What the Buddha Taught and the World Today

If one understands the Buddha’s teaching, that his
teaching is the right Path and tries to follow it, then one is a
Buddhist. But according to the unbroken age-old tradition in Buddhist
countries, one is considered Buddhist if one takes the Buddha, the
Dhamma (The Teaching) and the Sangha (the order of monks) -–generally
called the Triple Gem- as one’s refuges and undertakes to observe the
Five Precepts (Panca-sila)- the minimum moral obligations of a lay

(1) not to destroy life
(2) not to steal
(3) not to commit adultery
(4) not to tell lies
(5) not to take intoxicating drinks-
receiting the formulas given in the ancient texts. (p80)

A man named Dighajanu once visited the Buddha and said:
‘Venerable Sir, we are ordinary lay men, leading the family life with
women and children. Would the Blessed One teach us some doctrines which
will be conducive to our happiness in this world and hereafter.’
The Buddha tells him that there are four things which are conducive to man’s happiness in this world:

(1) To be skilled, efficient, earnest and energetic in whatever
profession he is engaged. (utthana-sampada)
(2) Protect his income, which he has earned righteously, with the sweat
of his brow. (arakkha-sampada)
(3) Have good friends (kalyana-mitta) who are faithful, learned, virtuous,
liberal and intelligent, who will help him along the right path away from
(4) He should spend reasonably, in proportion to his income,
neither too much or too little. i.e. Not to hoard wealth avariciously,
nor should he be extravagant, live within his means (samajivikata).

While encouraging material progress, Buddhism
always lays great stress on the development of the moral and spiritual
character for a happy, peaceful, contented society. The
Dhammapadatthakatha records that the Buddha directed his attention to
the problem of good government. For a country to be happy it must have a
just government. How this form of just government could be realised is
explained by the Buddha in his teaching of the ‘Ten Duties of a King’ (dasa-raja-dhamma).

(1) Liberality, generousity, charity.
(2) A high moral character.
(3) Sacrificing everything for the good of the people. Prepared to give
up all personal comfort, name and fame in the interest of the people.
(4) Honesty and Integrity.
(5) Kindness and Gentleness.
(6) Austerity in habits. Lead a simple life, not indulge in a life of luxury.
Have self-control.
(7) Freedom from hatred, ill-will, enmity. Bear no grudges.
(8) Non-violence (avihimsa). Should try to promote peace by avoiding and
preventing war and everything which involves violence and destruction of
(9) Patience, forebearance, tolerance, understanding. Able to bear insults,
hardships and difficulties without losing his temper.
(10) Non-opposition, non-obstruction. Not to oppose the will of the people. Rule in harmony with his people. (p85)

The Buddha says: ‘Never by hatred is hatred
appeased, but it is appeased by kindness. This is an eternal truth.’
(Dhp. I. 5) (Rahula, p.86)


Summary & History of World Religions. On Morality, Free Will & God

'The essence of any world religion lies solely in the answer to the question: why do I exist, and what is my relationship to the infinite universe that surrounds me?' (Leo Tolstoy)
Theology Major
World Religions
'The ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance, in which the differentiation of the changes only exists eminently as in their source; and this is what we call God. ... God alone is the primary Unity, or original simple substance.' (Gottfried Leibniz, 1670)
God: One Infinite
'What we need for understanding rational human behaviour - and indeed, animal behaviour - is something intermediate in character between perfect chance and perfect determinism - something intermediate between perfect clouds and perfects clocks.' (Karl Popper, 1975)
Free Will
'There is nothing divine about morality; it is a purely human affair. ... If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed'. (Albert Einstein, on Morality and Ethics)
Morality Ethics
Religion Virtue
'True religion is that relationship, in accordance with reason and knowledge, which man establishes with the infinite world around him, and which binds his life to that infinity and guides his actions.' (Leo Tolstoy, 1882)
Leo Tolstoy
True Religion
'I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.' (Albert Einstein)
Albert Einstein
God Religion
'Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from its readiness to fit in with our instinctual wishful impulses'. (Sigmund Freud, famous Atheist)
Atheism Agnostic
Beliefs Quotes
'The most beautiful and most profound experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He who can no longer wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead'. (Albert Einstein)
Mystical Mystics
'The word pantheism derives from the Greek words pan (='all') and theos (='God'). Thus pantheism means 'All is God'. In essence, pantheism holds that there is no divinity other than the universe and nature.' (Harrison, 1999)
Pantheism Beliefs
Pantheist Religion
In Hinduism, Shiva the Cosmic Dancer, is perhaps the most perfect personification of the dynamic universe. Through his dance, Shiva sustains the manifold phenomena in the world, unifying all things by immersing them in his rhythm and making them participate in the dance. (Capra, 1975)
Hinduism Beliefs
Hindu Gods
'The gift of truth excels all other gifts. ... The world is continuous flux and is impermanent. ... Transient are conditioned things. Try to accomplish your aim with diligence.' (Buddha)
Buddhism Religion
Beliefs History
'To learn and from time to time to apply what one has learned, isn't that a pleasure? ... When anger rises, think of the consequences. ... Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.' (Confucius, Analects)
Confucius Beliefs
'The Tao that can be expressed is not the Eternal Tao. ... There is a thing, formless yet complete. Before heaven and earth it existed. We do not know its name, but we call it Tao. It is the Mystery of Mysteries.' (Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching)
Tao Taoism
Religion Beliefs
Aphrodite (Roman name: Venus) was the Greek Goddess of love, beauty, and the protector of sailors. The poet Hesiod said that Aphrodite was born from sea-foam which inspired Botticelli's painting of the greek goddess on a scallop shell.
Greek Gods
Who is the bravest hero? He who turns his enemy into a friend. ... Judge not thy neighbor until thou art come into his place. (Jewish Proverbs)
Judaism History
Jewish Jews
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Christianity Jesus
Christ Christian
The word Catholic means 'throughout the whole, universal.' 'The Catholic Church is called Catholic because it is throughout the world, from one end of the earth to the other.' (St Cyril of Jerusalem, 347AD)
Catholic Church
'There is no god but God; Muhammad (Mohammed) is the messenger of God.' 'Even as the fingers of the two hands are equal, so are human beings equal to one another. No one has any right, nor any preference to claim over another. You are brothers.' (Final Sermon of Muhammad)
Islam Muslim
Religion Quran

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“You must be the change you wish to see in the

Albert Einstein“When
forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence:
Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter.
Physical objects are not in space, but these objects are spatially
. In this way the concept ‘empty space’ loses its meaning.
… The particle can only appear as a limited region in space in which
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Humanity is going to need a substantially new way of thinking
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” (Albert Einstein)

Biography: Geoffrey Haselhurst, Philosopher of Science, Theoretical Physics, Metaphysics, Evolution.
Our world is in great trouble due to human behaviour founded on myths
and customs that are causing the destruction
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and climate
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the most simple science theory of reality - the wave structure of matter
in space
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health, evolution
and ecology
, politics
and society

This is the profound new way of thinking that Einstein
, that we exist as spatially extended structures of the universe
- the discrete and separate body an illusion. This simply confirms the
intuitions of the ancient
philosophers and mystics.

Given the current censorship
in physics / philosophy of science journals
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Eastern Philosophy: Buddha on Good and Evil

Eastern Philosophy: Buddha on Good and Evil

‘Not to do any evil, to cultivate the good, to purify one’s mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.’

Buddhism Philosophy of Love

Buddhism Philosophy of Love

‘Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world;
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Spiritual Leader: Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)

Spiritual Leader: Gautama Siddhartha (Buddha)

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Buddhist Religion: Gift of Truth

Buddhist Religion: Gift of Truth

sabbadanam dhammadanam jinati. The gift of truth excels all other gifts.’

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Nature: Dynamic Unity of Reality

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(Siddhartha Gautama: The Buddha, 563-483 B.C.)

Buddhism Philosophy of Compassion: the Dalai Lama

Philosophy of Compassion: Dalai Lama

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heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.’

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