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Free Online FOOD for MIND & HUNGER - DO GOOD 😊 PURIFY MIND.To live like free birds 🐦 🦢 🦅 grow fruits 🍍 🍊 🥑 🥭 🍇 🍌 🍎 🍉 🍒 🍑 🥝 vegetables 🥦 🥕 🥗 🥬 🥔 🍆 🥜 🎃 🫑 🍅🍜 🧅 🍄 🍝 🥗 🥒 🌽 🍏 🫑 🌳 🍓 🍊 🥥 🌵 🍈 🌰 🇧🇧 🫐 🍅 🍐 🫒Plants 🌱in pots 🪴 & Attain NIBBĀNA the Eternal Bliss.
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Kushinara NIBBĀNA Bhumi Pagoda White Home, Puniya Bhumi Bengaluru, Prabuddha Bharat International.
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2718 Sun 19 Aug 2018 LESSON (59) Sun 19 Aug 2007
  
Do Good Be Mindful  -  Awakened One with Awareness (AOA)

Sunday 7 Hours  Morning 9:30 am - 11:30 am Sutta (Discourse)


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WELCOME TO MAHABODHI RESEARCH CENTRE

(Affiliated to Karnataka Sanskrit University, Govt. of Karnataka, Bengaluru)

A Centre for Theravada Buddhist Studies


Diploma in Theravada Buddhist Studies P1 Pali Language and Literature

http://www.mbrc.info/
Time Table [Class Room 1]
DIPLOMA In Buddhist Studies (DBS)
(15 HOURS)



SYLLABUS
Paper -1,

Sunday 7 Hours  Morning 9:30 am - 11:30 am Sutta (Discourse)
Lunch Break
2 pm - 3 pm Life of Buddha Dr B V Rajaram
https://www.thoughtco.com/the-life-of-the-buddha-449997

The Life of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama

A Prince Renounces Pleasure and Founds Buddhism

Happy Buddha
Marianne Williams / Getty Images

The life of Siddhartha Gautama, the person we call the Buddha, is
shrouded in legend and myth. Although most historians believe there was
such a person, we know very little about him. The “standard” biography
appears to have evolved over time. It was largely completed by the Buddhacarita,” an epic poem written by Aśvaghoṣa in the second century CE.

Siddhartha Gautama’s Birth and Family

The future Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, was born
in the 5th or 6th century BCE in Lumbini (in modern day Nepal).
Siddhartha is a Sanskrit name meaning “one who has accomplished a
goal” and Gautama is a family name.

His father, King Suddhodana, was the leader of a large clan called
the Shakya (or Sakya). It’s not clear from the earliest texts whether he
was a hereditary king or more of a tribal chief. It is also possible
that he was elected to this status.

Suddhodana married two sisters, Maya and Pajapati Gotami. They are
said to be princesses of another clan, the Koliya from what is northern
India today. Maya was the mother of Siddhartha and he was her only
child, dying shortly after his birth. Pajapati, who later became the first Buddhist nun, raised Siddhartha as her own.

By all accounts, Prince Siddhartha and his family were of the
Kshatriya caste of warriors and nobles.  Among Siddhartha’s more
well-known relatives was his cousin Ananda, the son of his father’s
brother. Ananda would later become the Buddha’s disciple and personal
attendant. He would have been considerably younger than Siddhartha,
however, and they didn’t know each other as children.

The Prophecy and a Young Marriage

When Prince Siddhartha was a few days old, a holy man prophesied over
the Prince (by some accounts it was nine Brahmin holy men). It was
foretold that the boy would be either a great military conqueror or a
great spiritual teacher. King Suddhodana preferred the first outcome and
prepared his son accordingly.

He raised the boy in great luxury and shielded him from knowledge of
religion and human suffering. At the age of 16, he was married to his
cousin, Yasodhara, who was also 16. This was no doubt a marriage
arranged by the families.

Yasodhara was the daughter of a Koliya chief and her mother was a sister to King Suddhodana. She was also a sister of Devadatta, who became a disciple of the Buddha and then, by some accounts, a dangerous rival.

The Four Passing Sights

The Prince reached the age of 29 with little experience of the world
outside the walls of his opulent palaces. He was oblivious to the
realities of sickness, old age, and death.

One day, overcome with curiosity, Prince Siddhartha asked a
charioteer to take him on a series of rides through the countryside. On
these journeys he was shocked by the sight of an aged man, then a sick
man, and then a corpse. The stark realities of old age, disease, and
death seized and sickened the Prince.

Finally, he saw a wandering ascetic. The charioteer explained that
the ascetic was one who had renounced the world and sought release from
the fear of death and suffering. 

These life-changing encounters would become known in Buddhism as the Four Passing Sights.

Siddhartha’s Renunciation

For a time the Prince returned to palace life, but he took no
pleasure in it. Even the news that his wife Yasodhara had given birth to
a son did not please him. The child was called Rahula, which means “fetter.”

One night he wandered the palace alone. The luxuries that had once
pleased him now seemed grotesque. Musicians and dancing girls had fallen
asleep and were sprawled about, snoring and sputtering. Prince
Siddhartha reflected on the old age, disease, and death that would
overtake them all and turn their bodies to dust.

He realized then that he could no longer be content living the life
of a prince. That very night he left the palace, shaved his head, and
changed from his royal clothes into a beggar’s robe. Renouncing all the
luxury he had known, he began his quest for enlightenment.

The Search Begins

Siddhartha started by seeking out renowned teachers. They taught him
about the many religious philosophies of his day as well as how to
meditate. After he had learned all they had to teach, his doubts and
questions remained. He and five disciples left to find enlightenment by
themselves.

The six companions attempted to find release from suffering through
physical discipline: enduring pain, holding their breath, fasting nearly
to starvation. Yet Siddhartha was still unsatisfied.

It occurred to him that in renouncing pleasure he had grasped the
opposite of pleasure, which was pain and self-mortification. Now
Siddhartha considered a Middle Way between those two extremes.

He remembered an experience from his childhood when his mind had settled into a state of deep peace. The path of liberation was through the discipline of mind.
He realized that instead of starvation, he needed nourishment to build
up his strength for the effort. When he accepted a bowl of rice milk
from a young girl, his companions assumed he had given up the quest and
abandoned him.

The Enlightenment of the Buddha

Siddhartha sat beneath a sacred fig tree (Ficus religiosa), known ever after as the Bodhi Tree (Bodhi means “awakened”). It was there that he settled into meditation.

The work of Siddhartha’s mind came to be mythologized as a great battle with Mara.
The demon’s name means “destruction” and represents the passions that
snare and delude us. Mara brought vast armies of monsters to attack
Siddhartha, who sat still and untouched. Mara’s most beautiful daughter
tried to seduce Siddhartha, but this effort also failed.

Finally, Mara claimed the seat of enlightenment rightfully belonged
to him. Mara’s spiritual accomplishments were greater than Siddhartha’s,
the demon said. Mara’s monstrous soldiers cried out together, “I am his
witness!” Mara challenged Siddhartha, Who will speak for you?

Then Siddhartha reached out his right hand to touch the earth, and the earth itself roared, “I bear you witness!” Mara disappeared. As the morning star rose in the sky, Siddhartha Gautama realized enlightenment and became a Buddha.

The Buddha as a Teacher

At first, the Buddha was reluctant to teach because what he had
realized could not be communicated in words. Only through discipline and
clarity of mind would delusions fall away and one could experience the
Great Reality. Listeners without that direct experience would be stuck
in conceptualizations and would surely misunderstand everything he said.
Compassion persuaded him to make the attempt.

After his enlightenment, he went to the Deer Park in Isipatana,
located in what is now the province of Uttar Pradesh, India. There he
found the five companions who had abandoned him and he preached his
first sermon to them.

This sermon has been preserved as the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta and centers on the Four Noble Truths.
Instead of teaching doctrines about enlightenment, the Buddha chose to
prescribe a path of practice through which people can realize
enlightenment for themselves.

The Buddha devoted himself to teaching and attracted hundreds of
followers. Eventually, he became reconciled with his father, King
Suddhodana. His wife, the devoted Yasodhara, became a nun and disciple. Rahula, his son, became a novice monk at the age of seven and spent the rest of his life with his father.

The Last Words of the Buddha

The Buddha traveled tirelessly through all areas of northern India
and Nepal. He taught a diverse group of followers, all of whom were
seeking the truth he had to offer.

At the age of 80, the Buddha entered Parinirvana, leaving his physical body behind. In this, he abandoned the endless cycle of death and rebirth.

Before his last breath, he spoke final words to his followers:

“Behold, O monks, this is my last advice to you. All
compounded things in the world are changeable. They are not lasting.
Work hard to gain your own salvation.”

The Buddha’s body was cremated. His remains were placed in stupas—domed structures common in Buddhism—in many places, including China, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

The Buddha Has Inspired Millions

Some 2,500 years later, the Buddha’s teachings remain significant for
many people throughout the world. Buddhism continues to attract new
followers and is one of the fastest-growing religions, though many do not refer to it as a religion but
as a spiritual path or a philosophy. An estimated 350 to 550 million
people practice Buddhism today.
://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=tightropetb&p=featured+animated+Life+of+the+Buddha#id=1&vid=19dbeffd67991a59ac162004d9ca99ec&action=click

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=tightropetb&p=featured+animated+Life+of+the+Buddha#id=1&vid=19dbeffd67991a59ac162004d9ca99ec&action=click

·

Cinema ModeOff
Life Of The Buddha (Animation) [English]


“Do Good, Avoid Evil, Purify One’s Mind.” This is the teaching of all
the Buddhas. Disclaimer: This video is owned by Buddhist Research
Society.


youtube.com
“Do
Good, Avoid Evil, Purify One’s Mind.” This is the teaching of all the
Buddhas. Disclaimer: This video is owned by Buddhist Research Society.
3 pm - 4 pm Pali Language and Literature Bhikkhu Pammokkho/Bhikkhu Manissara https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZwH9YeILA

Learn Basic Pāli Grammar Episode 02: Pāli Vowels

The People
Published on Jun 25, 2016

Navaneetham Chandrasekharan

Just now ·
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5W2t9tXW-Y&t=28s
Learn Basic Pāli Grammar Episode 02: Pāli Vowels
The People
Published on Jun 25, 2016
Hello,
and welcome back, in this lesson we are going to study the Pali
Pronunciation. The first thing to know about Pali is that it was an oral
language, it had no script of its own. All Theravada countries has its
own script for Pali and we shall use roman script for this course.

There
are 41 letters in Pali, 8 Vowels, and 33 consonants. For this lesson,
we will study 8 Vowels and see how to pronounce them. The eight Vowels
are: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, o.

A= cut=Dhamma
Ā=Father =Dāna
I=east=Sila
Ī=Bee=Dīgha
U=oops=Sutta
Ū=Cool=Bhūpāla
E=Pay=Nare
O=Open=Putto
Category
Education

youtube.com
Pali (Pāli) is a Prakrit language
Pali
(Pāli) is a Prakrit language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is
widely studied because it is the language of many of the earliest extant
literatur…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nGl2l1Ls7U&pbjreload=10

The People
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nGl2l1Ls7U&pbjreload=10
PALI CONSONANTS PART 1
The People
Published on Aug 1, 2013
PALI CONSONANTS PART 1
Category
Education

youtube.com
PALI CONSONANTS PART 1
PALI CONSONANTS PART 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZwH9YeILA

Learn Basic Pāli Grammar Episode 02: Pāli Vowels

The People
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZwH9YeILA
Learn Basic Pāli Grammar Episode 02: Pāli Vowels
The People
Published on Jun 25, 2016
Hello,
and welcome back, in this lesson we are going to study the Pali
Pronunciation. The first thing to know about Pali is that it was an oral
language, it had no script of its own. All Theravada countries has its
own script for Pali and we shall use roman script for this course.

There
are 41 letters in Pali, 8 Vowels, and 33 consonants. For this lesson,
we will study 8 Vowels and see how to pronounce them. The eight Vowels
are: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, o.

A= cut=Dhamma
Ā=Father =Dāna
I=east=Sila
Ī=Bee=Dīgha
U=oops=Sutta
Ū=Cool=Bhūpāla
E=Pay=Nare
O=Open=Putto
Category
Education

youtube.com
Learn Basic Pāli Grammar Episode 02: Pāli Vowels
Hello, and welcome back, in this lesson we are going to study the Pali Pronunciation. The first thing to…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jAPBTF9SWU
 
Dhamma Us

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jAPBTF9SWU
How to learn Pali Language? - 1

Dhamma Us
Published on Apr 28, 2017
About UWest Pali Society:

UWest
Pali Society is committed to promoting Theravada Pali tradition both
academically and ritually. We welcome all the UWest community members to
join us and feel good with us. Individuals outside the UWest community
can be included with the invitation from the members.

The objectives of the UWest Pali Society would be:

1. Pali Sutta Reading & Translation (Free):
Here
we read & translate selected original Pali suttas and discuss the
key Pali terms leading to further discussions. We invite all those
like-minded faculty, staff and students to join us and learn research
and share the experience.

2. Pali Learning (Free):

We are
more than happy to introduce Pali language to those who are interested.
We teach Pali language from the very beginning to advanced level.

3. Online Pali Group (Free):

We have already started an online Pali teaching program. Those who are interested in joining, please contact admin@dhammausa.com

3. Guest Speeches (Free):

We
organize monthly guest speeches by eminent scholars and visiting
Buddhist monks to propagate and promote Pali Language and Literature.

Meeting Dates: Please check for updates here www.dhammausa.com
About DhammaUS:

DHAMMA
US is a non-profit, charity organization engaged in Community Care,
Spiritual Care & Pali Studies. We conduct Meditation, Yoga,
Spiritual Counselling, Healing & Therapeutic Chanting and Teaching
Pali Language. We promote peace, harmony, non-violence along with the
message of the Buddha. We are happy to share the Theravada Buddhist
Studies with any like minded individual or community. However, we
support and promote unconditionally all the other Buddhist schools
without any discrimination. We also respect all the other religions and
their teachings on humanity, world peace, non-violence, and
environmental care.

Contact:

Website: http://www.dhammausa.com/
Blog: http://dhammaus.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dhamma_Us
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dhammaus15
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6dg…
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhamma-us…
Google+: https://plus.google.com/1085636941523…
Email: info@dhammausa.com

Keywords:
UWest Pali Society
UWest
University of the West
Pali
Buddhism
Buddhist
Chanting
Spiritual
Religion
USA
California
Lankarama Buddhist Institute
Category
Education

youtube.com
How to learn Pali Language? - 1
About
UWest Pali Society: UWest Pali Society is committed to promoting
Theravada Pali tradition both academically and ritually. We welcome all
the…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKKg07tv72I

How to learn Pali language? - 2

 
Dhamma Us
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKKg07tv72I
How to learn Pali language? - 2

Dhamma Us
Published on Apr 28, 2017
About UWest Pali Society:

UWest
Pali Society is committed to promoting Theravada Pali tradition both
academically and ritually. We welcome all the UWest community members to
join us and feel good with us. Individuals outside the UWest community
can be included with the invitation from the members.

The objectives of the UWest Pali Society would be:

1. Pali Sutta Reading & Translation (Free):
Here
we read & translate selected original Pali suttas and discuss the
key Pali terms leading to further discussions. We invite all those
like-minded faculty, staff and students to join us and learn research
and share the experience.

2. Pali Learning (Free):

We are
more than happy to introduce Pali language to those who are interested.
We teach Pali language from the very beginning to advanced level.

3. Online Pali Group (Free):

We have already started an online Pali teaching program. Those who are interested in joining, please contact admin@dhammausa.com

3. Guest Speeches (Free):

We
organize monthly guest speeches by eminent scholars and visiting
Buddhist monks to propagate and promote Pali Language and Literature.

Meeting Dates: Please check for updates here www.dhammausa.com
About DhammaUS:

DHAMMA
US is a non-profit, charity organization engaged in Community Care,
Spiritual Care & Pali Studies. We conduct Meditation, Yoga,
Spiritual Counselling, Healing & Therapeutic Chanting and Teaching
Pali Language. We promote peace, harmony, non-violence along with the
message of the Buddha. We are happy to share the Theravada Buddhist
Studies with any like minded individual or community. However, we
support and promote unconditionally all the other Buddhist schools
without any discrimination. We also respect all the other religions and
their teachings on humanity, world peace, non-violence, and
environmental care.

Contact:

Website: http://www.dhammausa.com/
Blog: http://dhammaus.blogspot.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dhamma_Us
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dhammaus15
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6dg…
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhamma-us…
Google+: https://plus.google.com/1085636941523…
Email: info@dhammausa.com

Keywords:
UWest Pali Society
UWest
University of the West
Pali
Buddhism
Buddhist
Chanting
Spiritual
Religion
USA
California
Lankarama Buddhist Institute
Category
Education

youtube.com
How to learn Pali language? - 2
About
UWest Pali Society: UWest Pali Society is committed to promoting
Theravada Pali tradition both academically and ritually. We welcome all
the…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHuiyblfP_A&t=5s

Monk Radio: Learning Pali

 
Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHuiyblfP_A&t=5s
Monk Radio: Learning Pali

Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu
Published on Aug 8, 2012
Ask questions at our live radio session every Sunday:
http://radio.sirimangalo.org/

or via our Question and Answer Forum:

http://ask.sirimangalo.org/

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Thanks for your questions, comments and support for what I do.

May all beings be happy.

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Community Website:

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Facebook:

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Audio Talks:

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Book on How To Meditate:

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Sirimangalo International (Our non-profit organization):

http://www.sirimangalo.org/

Supporting This Work:

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Category
Education

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Monk Radio: Learning Pali
Ask
questions at our live radio session every Sunday:
http://radio.sirimangalo.org/ or via our Question and Answer Forum:
http://ask.sirimangalo.org/ - - - -…


4.00 - 4.30 pm Break

4.30
pm - 5.30 pm Sutta Pitaka Bhikkhu Gandhhama/Bhikkhu Dhammaloka

https://www.dhamma.uk/tipitaka/sutta-pitaka/

*Dhamma

~ Buddha ~ Dhamma ~ Sangha ~



https://www.dhamma.uk/tipitaka/sutta-pitaka/

Home
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eLibrary
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*Dhamma ~ Buddha ~ Dhamma ~ Sangha ~
Search:

Tipitaka Scripture

Tipitaka Scripture


The Sutta Pitaka is one section of the Pali Buddhist cannon called the
Tipitaka, or Three Baskets. The Tipitaka consists of three divisions:

The Vinaya Pitaka: Commentaries and regulations mainly dealing with monastic life


The Sutta Pitaka: Discourses by the Buddha to various audiences about
how to live in a peaceful manner, how to meditate, how to discern truth,
the nature of reality etc.

The Abidhamma Pitaka: is a detailed
scholastic reworking of material appearing in the Suttas containing
summaries of the Suttas and lists.

This website will be primarily
concerned with the Sutta Pitaka because that particular ‘basket’ is the
one that is most pertinent to the likes of you and me, the every day
person in the street who just wishes for a bit more tranquility between
car horns and arguments.


dhamma.uk
The Sutta Pitaka is one section of the Pali Buddhist cannon called the…
5.50 pm -
6.30 pm Vinaya Pitaka Bhikkhu Ariyavamsa/Bhikkhu Ayupala
image.png
6.30 pm -
37.30 pm Abhidhamma Pitaka Sayalay Uttamanyani/Ven Bodhicitta

https://www.youtube.com/watch…
What is Abhidhamma

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nobelpathfinder
Published on Feb 8, 2011
The ultimate objective in Buddhism is attained by purifying and
improving mind. However, understanding what “mind” is a quite
complicated act for any person. This is a barrier for someone who is
interested in learning Buddhism in‐depth. One of the teachings in
Buddhism which provides a comprehensive analysis on mind is
“Abhidhamma”.

The Buddhist
doctrine is categorized into three, which is known to anyone, as
“Thripitaka” namely Suthra Pitaka, Vinya Pitaka and Abhidhamma Pitaka.
Vinaya Pitaka consists rules of conduct for Sangha and Suthra Pitaka
consists of Suttas containing the central teachings of Buddhism. Suthra
Pitaka is mostly on “Conventional Teachings” (Sammuthi Dheshana) of
Buddhism. Abhidhamma Pitaka provides a theoretical framework for the
doctrine principles in Suthra Pitaka which could be used to describe
“Mind and Matter”. Hence, Abhidhamma embraces the “Ultimate Teachings”
(Paramaththa Dheshana) in Buddhism.

Abhidhamma Pitaka consists of seven treatises;

1. Dhammasangani

2. Vibhanga

3. Dhatukatha

4. Puggalapannatti

5. Kathavatthu

6. Yamaka

7. Pattthana

The term “Abhidhamma” simply means “Higher Doctrine”. It is an in‐depth
investigation to mind and matter. It answers many intricate points of
Dhamma. It analyses complex machinery of human, world, mind, thoughts,
thought‐process, mental formations and etc. Therefore it is indeed a
complex doctrine to understand. However, there are many who are
interested in learning this beautiful branch of doctrine. Amongst them
there are plenty of non‐Buddhists as well. This effort is to present
this doctrine in an “Easy to Understand” manner.

( 8th FEB 2011)
Category
Education


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The
ultimate objective in Buddhism is attained by purifying and improving
mind. However, understanding what “mind” is a quite complicated act for
any person….
lished on Feb 8, 2011





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SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY OF THE TRUE FOLLOWERS OF THE PATH SHOWN BY THE BLESSED NOBLE AWAKENED ONE -THE TATHAGATA

They say……'’The first step to awakenment is to say I am not a fool. The second step is to know that you are. Become Blessed Noble Awakened One. ‘’…..This is really important to understand

Kindly visit:

http://www.chiangmai-chiangrai.com/buddhist_ceremonies_1.html

http://buddhism.kalachakranet.org/general_symbols_buddhism.html

The 8 Auspicious SignsTHE EIGHT AUSPICIOUS SYMBOLS

 

 

 

 

I. The Essential Meaning of Sila

The Pali word for moral discipline, sila, has three levels of meaning: (1) inner virtue, i.e., endowment with such qualities as kindness, contentment, simplicity, truthfulness, patience, etc.; (2) virtuous actions of body and speech which express those inner virtues outwardly; and (3) rules of conduct governing actions of body and speech designed to bring them into accord with the ethical ideals. These three levels are closely intertwined and not always distinguishable in individual cases. But if we isolate them, sila as inner virtue can be called the aim of the training in moral discipline, sila as purified actions of body and speech the manifestation of that aim, and sila as rules of conduct the systematic means of actualizing the aim. Thus sila as inner virtue is established by bringing our bodily and verbal actions into accord with the ethical ideals, and this is done by following the rules of conduct intended to give these ideals concrete form.

The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s texts explain that sila has the characteristic of harmonizing our actions of body and speech. Sila harmonizes our actions by bringing them into accord with our own true interests, with the well-being of others, and with universal laws. Actions contrary to sila lead to a state of self-division marked by guilt, anxiety, and remorse. But the observance of the principles of sila heals this division, bringing our inner faculties together into a balanced and centered state of unity. Sila also brings us into harmony with other men. While actions undertaken in disregard of ethical principles lead to relations scarred by competitiveness, exploitation, and aggression, actions intended to embody such principles promote concord between man and man — peace, cooperation, and mutual respect. The harmony achieved by maintaining sila does not stop at the social level, but leads our actions into harmony with a higher law — the law of kamma, of action and its fruit, which reigns invisibly behind the entire world of sentient existence.

The need to internalize ethical virtue as the foundation for the path translates itself into a set of precepts established as guidelines to good conduct. The most basic set of precepts found in the Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s teaching is the pañcasila, the five precepts, consisting of the following five training rules:

(1) the training rule of abstaining from taking life;

(2) the training rule of abstaining from taking what is not given;

(3) the training rule of abstaining from sexual misconduct;

(4) the training rule of abstaining from false speech; and

(5) the training rule of abstaining from fermented and distilled intoxicants which are the basis for heedlessness.

These five precepts are the minimal ethical code binding on the  Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  laity. They are administered regularly by the monks to the lay disciples at almost every service and ceremony, following immediately upon the giving of the three refuges. They are also undertaken afresh each day by earnest lay  Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s as part of their daily recitation.

The precepts function as the core of the training in moral discipline. They are intended to produce, through methodical practice, that inner purity of will and motivation which comes to expression as virtuous bodily and verbal conduct. Hence the equivalent term for precept, sikkhapada, which means literally “factor of training,” that is, a factor of the training in moral discipline. However, the formulation of ethical virtue in terms of rules of conduct meets with an objection reflecting an attitude that is becoming increasingly widespread. This objection, raised by the ethical generalist, calls into question the need to cast ethics into the form of specific rules. It is enough, it is said, simply to have good intentions and to let ourselves be guided by our intuition as to what is right and wrong. Submitting to rules of conduct is at best superfluous, but worse tends to lead to a straightjacket conception of morality, to a constricting and legalistic system of ethics.

The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  reply is that while moral virtue admittedly cannot be equated flatly with any set of rules, or with outward conduct conforming to rules, the rules are still of value for aiding the development of inner virtue. Only the very exceptional few can alter the stuff of their lives by a mere act of will. The overwhelming majority of men have to proceed more slowly, with the help of a set of stepping stones to help them gradually cross the rough currents of greed, hatred, and delusion. If the process of self-transformation which is the heart of The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  path begins with moral discipline, then the concrete manifestation of this discipline is in the lines of conduct represented by the five precepts, which call for our adherence as expedient means to self-transformation. The precepts are not commandments imposed from without, but principles of training each one takes upon himself through his own initiative and endeavors to follow with awareness and understanding. The formulas for the precepts do not read: “Thou shalt abstain from this and that.” They read: “I undertake the training rule to abstain from the taking of life,” etc. The emphasis here, as throughout the entire path, is on self-responsibility.

The precepts engender virtuous dispositions by a process involving the substitution of opposites. The actions prohibited by the precepts — killing, stealing, adultery, etc. — are all motivated by unwholesome mental factors called in The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  terminology the “defilements” (kilesa). By engaging in these actions knowingly and willingly we reinforce the grip of the defilements upon the mind to the point where they become our dominant traits. But when we take up the training by observing the precepts we then put a brake upon the current of unwholesome mental factors. There then takes place a process of “factor substitution” whereby the defilements are replaced by wholesome states which become increasingly more deeply ingrained as we go on with the training.

In this process of self-transformation the precepts draw their efficacy from another psychological principle, the law of development through repetition. Even though at first a practice arouses some resistance from within, if it is repeated over and over with understanding and determination, the qualities it calls into play pass imperceptibly into the makeup of the mind. We generally begin in the grip of negative attitudes, hemmed in by unskillful emotions. But if we see that these states lead to suffering and that to be free from suffering we must abandon them, then we will have sufficient motivation to take up the training designed to counter them. This training starts with the outer observance of sila, then proceeds to internalize self-restraint through meditation and wisdom. At the start to maintain the precepts may require special effort, but by degrees the virtuous qualities they embody will gather strength until our actions flow from them as naturally and smoothly as water from a spring.

The five precepts are formulated in accordance with the ethical algorithm of using oneself as the criterion for determining how to act in relation to others. In Pali the principle is expressed by the phrase attanam upamam katva, “consider oneself as similar to others and others as similar to oneself.” The method of application involves a simple imaginative exchange of oneself and others. In order to decide whether or not to follow a particular line of action, we take ourselves as the standard and consider what would be pleasant and painful for ourselves. Then we reflect that others are basically similar to ourselves, and so, what is pleasant and painful to us is also pleasant and painful to them; thus just as we would not want others to cause pain for us, so we should not cause pain for others. As The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata explains:

In this matter the noble disciple reflects: ‘Here am I, fond of my life, not wanting to die, fond of pleasure and averse from pain. Suppose someone should deprive me of my life, it would not be a thing pleasing or delightful to me. If I, in my turn, were to deprive of his life one fond of life, not wanting to die, one fond of pleasure and averse from pain, it would not be a thing pleasing or delightful to him. For that state which is not pleasant or delightful to me must be not pleasant or delightful to another: and a state undear and unpleasing to me, how could I inflict that upon another?’ As a result of such reflection he himself abstains from taking the life of creatures and he encourages others so to abstain, and speaks in praise of so abstaining.

Samyuttanikaya, 55, No. 7

This deductive method The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata  uses to derive the first four precepts. The fifth precept, abstaining from intoxicants, appears to deal only with my relation to myself, with what I put into my own body. However, because the violation of this precept can lead to the violation of all the other precepts and to much further harm for others, its social implications are deeper than is evident at first sight and bring it into range of this same method of derivation.

The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  ethics, as formulated in the five precepts, is sometimes charged with being entirely negative. It is criticized on the ground that it is a morality solely of avoidance lacking any ideals of positive action. Against this criticism several lines of reply can be given. First of all it has to be pointed out that the five precepts, or even the longer codes of precepts promulgated by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata, do not exhaust the full range of The Practioners of Doctrine Practiced by The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata’s  ethics. The precepts are only the most rudimentary code of moral training, but The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata also proposes other ethical codes inculcating definite positive virtues. The Mangala Sutta, for example, commends reverence, humility, contentment, gratitude, patience, generosity, etc. Other discourses prescribe numerous family, social, and political duties establishing the well being of society. And behind all these duties lie the four attitudes called the “immeasurables” — loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

But turning to the five precepts themselves, some words have to be said in defense of their negative formulation. Each moral principle included in the precepts contains two aspects — a negative aspect, which is a rule of abstinence, and a positive aspect, which is a virtue to be cultivated. These aspects are called, respectively, varitta (avoidance) and caritta (positive performance). Thus the first precept is formulated as abstaining from the destruction of life, which in itself is a varitta, a principle of abstinence. But corresponding to this, we also find in the descriptions of the practice of this precept a caritta, a positive quality to be developed, namely compassion. Thus in the suttas we read: “The disciple, abstaining from the taking of life, dwells without stick or sword, conscientious, full of sympathy, desirous of the welfare of all living beings.” So corresponding to the negative side of abstaining from the destruction of life, there is the positive side of developing compassion and sympathy for all beings. Similarly, abstinence from stealing is paired with honesty and contentment, abstinence from sexual misconduct is paired with marital fidelity in the case of lay people and celibacy in the case of monks, abstinence from falsehood is paired with speaking the truth, and abstinence from intoxicants is paired with heedfulness.

Nevertheless, despite this recognition of a duality of aspect, the question still comes up: if there are two sides to each moral principle, why is the precept worded only as an abstinence? Why don’t we also undertake training rules to develop positive virtues such as compassion, honesty, and so forth?

The answer to this is twofold. First, in order to develop the positive virtues we have to begin by abstaining from the negative qualities opposed to them. The growth of the positive virtues will only be stunted or deformed as long as the defilements are allowed to reign unchecked. We cannot cultivate compassion while at the same time indulging in killing, or cultivate honesty while stealing and cheating. At the start we have to abandon the unwholesome through the aspect of avoidance. Only when we have secured a foundation in avoiding the unwholesome can we expect to succeed in cultivating the factors of positive performance. The process of purifying virtue can be compared to growing a flower garden on a plot of uncultivated land. We don’t begin by planting the seeds in expectation of a bountiful yield. We have to start with the duller work of weeding out the garden and preparing the beds. Only after we have uprooted the weeds and nourished the soil can we plant the seeds in the confidence that the flowers will grow healthily.

Another reason why the precepts are worded in terms of abstinence is that the development of positive virtues cannot be prescribed by rules. Rules of training can govern what we have to avoid and perform in our outer actions but only ideals of aspiration, not rules, can govern what develops within ourselves. Thus we cannot take up a training rule to always be loving towards others. To impose such a rule is to place ourselves in a double bind since inner attitudes are just simply not so docile that they can be determined by command. Love and compassion are the fruits of the work we do on ourselves inwardly, not of assenting to a precept. What we can do is to undertake a precept to abstain from destroying life and from injuring other beings. Then we can make a resolution, preferably without much fanfare, to develop loving-kindness, and apply ourselves to the mental training designed to nourish its growth.

One more word should be added concerning the formulation of the precepts. Despite their negative wording, even in that form the precepts are productive of tremendous positive benefits for others as well as for oneself. The Blessed Noble Awakened One-The Tathagata says that one who abstains from the destruction of life gives immeasurable safety and security to countless living beings. How the simple observance of a single precept leads to such a result is not immediately obvious but calls for some thought. Now by myself I can never give immeasurable safety and security to other beings by any program of positive action. Even if I were to go on protest against all the slaughterhouses in the world, or to march against war continuously without stopping, by such action I could never stop the slaughter of animals or ensure that war would come to an end. But when I adopt for myself the precept to abstain from the destruction of life, then by reason of the precept I do not intentionally destroy the life of any living being. Thus any other being can feel safe and secure in my presence; all beings are ensured that they will never meet harm from me. Of course even then I can never ensure that other living beings will be absolutely immune from harm and suffering, but this is beyond anyone’s power. All that lies within my power and the sphere of my responsibility are the attitudes and actions that emanate from myself towards others. And as long as these are circumscribed by the training rule to abstain from taking life, no living being need feel threatened in my presence, or fear that harm and suffering will come from me.

The same principle applies to the other precepts. When I undertake the precept to abstain from taking what is not given, no one has reason to fear that I will steal what belongs to him; the belongings of all other beings are safe from me. When I undertake the precept to abstain from sexual misconduct, no one has reason to fear that I will try to transgress against his wife. When I undertake the precept to abstain from falsehood, then anyone who speaks with me can be confident that they will hear the truth; my word can be regarded as trustworthy and reliable even in matters of critical importance. And because I undertake the precept of abstaining from intoxicants, then one can be assured that the crimes and transgression that result from intoxication will never be committed by myself. In this way, by observing the five precepts I give immeasurable safety and security to countless beings simply through these five silent but powerful determinations established in the mind.

 

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