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09/17/08
Ten members of Bahujan Samaj Party were the first to turn up at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to donate blood for the victims and help the families to locate their missing members.-Meditation at Global Pagoda
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Posted by: @ 4:15 am

Supremo, Bahujan Samaj Party

14 September 2008
By Vicky(Vicky)
Ten members of Bahujan Samaj Party
were the first to turn up at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital to donate blood
for the victims and help the families to locate their missing members.

Meditation at Global Pagoda

From:

DEVOTION IN BUDDHISM

 

The
devout Buddhists life is one in which they devote themselves to the
teaching and the Teacher. Apart from the teachings they also follow
certain traditional and devotional practices, which may or may not be
consistent with the teaching. Yet it is their way of expression of
love, respect, regard and gratitude to the All Compassionate
Teacher-The Buddha without whom they would not have found the solace
and the Noble eight-fold path-The way out of suffering.

In
the earliest period in the avsence of images of Buddha or Bodhisattvas,
reverence was paid mainly to relics, ie stupas, Bodhi trees, footprints
of Buddha and other sacred symbols. These were constantly represented
in the sculptures against a background of beautifully carved figures of
men or animals. The commencement of the second period of Buddhist
religious art in India is associated with the district of Gandhara in
the far north of Indian subcontinent. The characteristic feature of
this phase of Buddhism is that the figure of Buddha came to occupy the
cells. Gandhara created the conventional type of Buddha, which soon
spread from this part to other parts of Asia.

 

Buddha
in the Anguttara Nikaya says, ” When a noble disciple contemplates upon
the Enlightened One, at that time his mind is not enrapped in lust nor
in hatred, nor in delusion. At such a time his mind is rightly
directed, it has got rid of lust, is aloof from it, and is free from
it. Lust is here name of the five sense desires. By cultivating this
contemplation, many beings become purified”.

 

Furthur
the Vissuddhimagga says ” If by practicing this devotional meditation
one endeavours to live as it were in the Master’s presence, will feel
ashamed to do or speak or think anything unworthy, one will shrink back
from evil; and as a positive reaction one will feel inspired to high
endeavour, in emulation of the Master’s great example”.

 

The
devotees during the days when Buddha was alive went to meet Him and pay
their respect. But in the absence of the Buddha, the devotees who used
to bring flowers lay them at the entrance of the fragrant chamber of
Buddha and departed. The chief lay devotee Anathapindaka came to hear
of it and requested Venerable Ananda to inquire of the Buddha whether
there was a possibility of finding a place where devotees might pay
obeisance to the Buddha when He was on His teaching tours.

 

So
Venerable Ananda approached the Buddha and asked: “Is it proper,
Blessed One, to construct a cetiya (stupa) while you are alive?” The
Buddha replied “No, an object of reverence appertaining to body is
proper to errect only after the passing away of Buddha. An object of
reverence reminiscent of the Buddha has no physical basis; it is purely
mental. But the great Bodhi tree, used by the Buddha, whether He is
alive or dead, is an object of reverence.” Then Venerable Ananda said,
“Blessed One, when you go on your teaching tours, the monastery of
Jetavana is without refuge, and people find no place of reverence. So
may i bring a seed of Bodhi tree under which you got Enlightenment and
plant it at the enterance to Jetavana?” Buddha replied “Very well,
Ananda plant it. It will then be as if I constantly abide in Jetevana.”
This tree, which sprang up, came to be known as Ananda Bodhi tree.

 

It
is keeping with the practical wisdom and organising genius of the
Buddha, that while during his life time he discouraged any form of idol
worship, nevertheless realized that in order to provide the laity with
some object and symbol of veneration some concession had to be made to
the simple faith of the devout and earnest. Hence he permitted to pay
respect and regard to the Bodhi tree as a symbol of his enlightenment.

 

Finaly
before His passing away in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta He addressed
Ananda saying, “there are four places the sight of which should arouse
emotion in the faithful”. Which are they? “Here the Tathagata was born”
(Lumbini) is the first. “Here the Tathagata attained Supreme
Enlightenment” (Bodhgaya) is the second. “Here the Tathagata set in
motion the wheel of Dhamma” (Saranath) is the third. “Here the
Tathagata attained the Nibbana without remainder” (Kusinara) is the
fourth. And Ananda, the faithful monks and nuns, male and female
lay-followers will visit those places. Anyone who dies while making the
pilgrimage to these shrines with a devout heart will, at the
breaking-up of body after death, will be born in heavenly world.”

 

Thus
there came to be establishment after the Buddha’s passing away, the
traditional places of reverent worship to which hundreds of millions of
human beings to this day pay their homage, adoration and gratitude to
that exalted being who showed to so many the way out of the darkness,
misery and despair of earthly existance.

 

Vandaami cetiyam sabbam – I venerate all relic stupas

Sabbathanesu patitthitam – Wherever they are established

Saririka dhaatu Mahaabodhim – Bodily relics, Great Bodhi tree

Buddharupam sakalamsadaa – Images of Buddha always

 

with metta,

Bhanteji

Dear Milind,

                     Thanks
for the information you have given. Now if you know history Buddhism is
the world’s first organized missionary religion. It is the only Indian
religion to become world religion. The whole of India for outsiders is
known as land of Buddha .

Buddha
is the only Guru to be Jagat Guru (world teacher). So how can the land
given to pagoda and where Buddha’s relics are enshrined be illegal. 

Yes
Lands have always been in dispute and they will remain like Tirupati,
Shabrimalai, Jaganath puri, Buddha Gaya etc. which have been occupied
by others. So do people so called dalits or other Indians stop going
there? Most of the Indians are Hinduvadi, christianvadi, muslimvadi,
dalitvadi etc. If now some do something for Buddha and become to that
extend Buddhavadi what is wrong in it.

Most of our people (not
all) in name of Ambedkarite buddhists are fighting in viharas to become
President, secretary but do not fulfill the duties of Upasak, Upasika,
or Dayak, Dayika. The monk’s affairs are no better. You being in
Maharastra know very well. The RPI is broken the BSI is broken the
educated are broken so should we say that the term dalit which means
broken people really fits them. Can these people then be called
Buddhists.

Thus let us not go into
negativities but see the practical work on the ground. Poverty and
Defilements have always been there and they will be there what makes
the difference is the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, and the structures
dedicated to them to inspire and guide us for the practice of noble
eight fold path. Babasaheb Ambedkar himself wanted such huge Buddhist
structures in the major cites to inspire humanity.  So
let us not find excuses or other negative reasons for not attending our
own Indian Buddhist Meditation Centers. Thus finally I repeat the pali
verse:

 

Vandaami cetiyam sabbam – I venerate all relic stupas

Sabbathanesu patitthitam – Wherever they are established

Saririka dhaatu Mahaabodhim – Bodily relics, Great Bodhi tree

Buddharupam sakalamsadaa – Images of Buddha always

 

with metta,

Bhanteji

Idol worship is not an ideal Buddhist practice yet it inspires the humanity. Cultural programmes, Rituals
like offering fruits, food, robes and flowers this is not spiritual but
yet the way of faithful to express their gratitude and develop positive
and pious attitude. To some extend the act of bowing before Buddha
statue is a practice to break one ego so that later on he can bow to
parents, elders ,teachers, and Monks. Through rituality one enters
spirituality and through spirituality one enters the actuality.

 

 

Propagation
of whatever religion must be on the bases of rituality ,sincerity and
finally leading to reality. Not of trickery, boastfulness, blustering
and insult which are the practices of barbarians. 

 

 A mere
theoretical or academic knowledge of dhamma, no matter how deep or
profound, is no substitute at all, for the realization comes through
actual practice of dhamma. Here applies the principle of ‘Learning by
doing”. There are only two rules for the successful spiritual practice:
“Start and keep moving” and in this moving only is reaching. This is
the teaching. The start is through ritual to develop saddha or so
called devotion.

 

Dr.Ambedkar
said: “When our father recited the devotional songs of kabir and other
saints the atmosphere was filled with holiness and seriousness,
following him, when my sisters also started singing bajans in their
sweet voice, I felt convinced that the religion and the religious
instruction were essential for the man’s life”.

 Bhajan
is also a ritual like chanting though it may not be that enchanting.
For beginners and childrens saddha (devotion) is developed through
rituals.

 

Saddha
has spiritual dimension. It does not expect anything in return nor
bargains in the name of prayer. Saddha is something out of which one
respects the other to express gratitude and gratefulness remembering
the qualities and service of that person to humanity. This gratefulness
and gratitude is the moving element of saddha but its essential element
is Trust that becomes more and more confident as one progress in study,
practice and realization, till at last, it becomes the supreme
unshakeable assurance of the one who knows- A Arahant.

 

 

 

Though
not all but most of the Indian Buddhists think that they don’t need
saddha-devotion but only wisdom and that has lead them to arrogance and
lack of etiquette, manners and culture. Wisdom with out saddha is like
eyes without legs and thus one cannot progress on the path to
liberation. Buddha himself has said in Kasibharadvaja sutta:

Saddha Bijjam – Devotion is seed

Tapo Vutti – Striving is rain &

Panya me yuganangalam- Wisdom is my yoke & plough.

 

When it is so with Buddha what to speak of his followers Can they deny Saddha-Devotion.

 

But we
find many (not all) Ambedkarite people who do not devote through their
body speech and thought to Buddha Dhamma Sangha and shrines or
Meditation centers built in the name of Buddha. On the other hand find
tactical and lame excuses for not doing so. May be because this the
first or second generation that has come in contact for the first time
with religions or religious practices. We expect at least the third
generation wont lack in this devotion to Buddha Dhamma and Sangha for
their own good for their own happiness.

 In Alavaka Sutta we find the following statement of Buddha on devotion.

 

Saddhidha vittam purisassasettham – In this world devotion is the best wealth to man.

And

Saddhaya tarati ogam – with devotion one crosses the current (tides).

 

So finally I would like to say that without devotion there cannot be any promotion on the path to liberation.

 

With metta,

Bhanteji

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